Young boy committed suicide due to bullying.

(62 Posts)
Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 08:49:18

In light of the above, whose parents were on Gmtv this morning, aibu to send this message to my Ds' bully.

'What you are doing to Ds on Xbox live is called cyber bullying. It is nasty, and how would you feel to be on the receiving end? I thought you lot were all mates, but sadly it all seems to have gone wrong. If it carries on I will dial 101 and get advice from the police. If it goes on at school I will contact your house master. Feel free to show this to your parents, but somehow I don't think you will. Think about it please, and go back to being the nice chap I know you really are.'

They are 11, and were friends at primary school. I appreciate friendship groups shift, but on Sunday night my Ds was almost physically sick about going back to school. They basically name call, especially as he likes to play Skylanders when they all play Cod. He has cod too, as I caved in to the pressure, andhe plays it at friends houses anyway. I have told him to block the name callers, but apparently they then can join in a game he is playing with another friend.

TheDeadlyDonkey Tue 26-Feb-13 08:54:58

YANBU, but personally, I would take screenshots (is that possible on Xbox? Photos if necessary) and go to the police.

Sending him a message is just words on a screen. He needs a proper fright to stop him behaving like this.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 08:59:55

Thank you for replying. Not sure about screen shots, the contact is verbal over the 'live' bit! I have emailed Ds form tutor to see how things are at school. This boy has previous, and I learnt yesterday that he is bullying another boy with hearing and speech difficulties. He is a typical bully, picking on kids lacking confidence.

theboob Tue 26-Feb-13 09:03:04

I had this with ds1 when he started high school , he is very small for his age and this made him a target. It took him to fight back in the end on the school bus to get them to stop , not the way i wanted it to go but it seems to have worked .
He is good friends with one of them now and it took me a while to get used to this , i would contact the school as they take cyber bullying quiet serious where we live

rainbowrainbowrainbow Tue 26-Feb-13 09:05:31

I wouldn't contact the boy directly.
School yes.
Parents possibly if I knew them and felt able to speak to them calmly.
Police depending on what is being said/done

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 09:08:05

Interesting, yes he is very small for his age, and the youngest int the year. When he was at infant school I used to have to drag him off the school gates. hmm He walks to school with these boys, and in the first term ran home refusing to go back. I took him in and the school sorted it. In the London borough all schools have a resident police officer, I may contact him for help.

theboob Tue 26-Feb-13 09:12:12

It can't hurt to ask his advice , my ds was being physically hurt every day and he would never fight back for fear of detension , it would continue onto xbox at home .Hope you get it sorted soon x

rollmopses Tue 26-Feb-13 09:19:55

Much, much too mild.

Take screen shots, email him that you will be taking these to the police and are expecting him and his parents to be at the headmaster's office at whatever o'clock (speak to school first).

You have to cut such behaviour very swiftly and mean business.

Make yourself little oiks biggest nightmare.

squeakytoy Tue 26-Feb-13 09:21:23

you cant take "screen shots", but you could use your iphone or similar to record/video it. However my course of action would be to stop him playing the live function on it in the first place.

AgentFelix Tue 26-Feb-13 09:22:43

I would definitely involve the school and get advice from the resident police officer rather than send a message through Xbox Live. In my experience appealing to a bully's better nature is rarely successful.

Xbox Live is DS's (also 11) world [sigh] and I would ban it if it wouldn't break his heart. I am utterly sick of him relaying rude messages from other boys to me. On Sunday he received this "Sniff my bollock you smelly tramp" because he scored a 'sweaty' goal on Fifa 13 confused. Blocking is pretty pointless because they can still communicate in parties.

I hope the school take it seriously.

TheChimpParadox Tue 26-Feb-13 09:26:59

I would not make any contact with the bully - especially as he is a child himself - could open up a right mess for you in that respect.

Go to school and or parents initally.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 09:30:11

I am literally shaking. I have just had bully's dad at my door. Bully showed the message to his dm, and she has gone mental. Dad said my message was also bullying. I said it wasn't, the message was sent just so he would stop. Bully is denying it, and dad says he didn't hear it so he has no proof, and I have to text him if it happens again. Wtf. I am still contacting school, but told him I will not name names, but if they ask my Ds, it's up to him.

SavoyCabbage Tue 26-Feb-13 09:30:20

No, don't send it. You need to go over the little twats head.

everlong Tue 26-Feb-13 09:32:13

Speak to school. Today.

TheChimpParadox Tue 26-Feb-13 09:35:00

Ah you've sent it - thought that might back fire on you - sorry.

Speak with school .

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 09:35:31

The chimp. Unfortunately you were right. I just want him to bloody stop. I thought it was the right thing. I always make such a bloody mess of things. hmm

chartreuse Tue 26-Feb-13 09:36:17

Go to the school, put everything in writing. You need to have a paper trial to show you have followed the correct proceedures. Look at the school's anti-bullying policy and make sure they stick to it.

Sounds like you're being bullied slightly now by this Dad if you've told him you won't name names to the school. What was conversation with this boy's Dad like ? Not good that it left you shaking ?

Sending you all good wishes for getting this sorted, and without aggravation for you, for the sake of your DS.

I would talk more with the school I think. HTH

AgentFelix Tue 26-Feb-13 09:40:23

Your message isn't bullying at all. You haven't made a mess of things.

Get school involved ASAP and DO name names.

pinkje Tue 26-Feb-13 09:45:13

Don't be too hard on yourself Lynned, the thing needed to be brought into the open which it now has. Hope your son moves onwards from this.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 09:46:02

Thank you for your support. The dad wasn't shouting, but his manner was slightly threatening. I asked him into the house, as I have known them for a long time. The reason I didn't contact them is because I didn't want to cause a big fuss, I thought my message would be enough for the boy to think about his actions.

Not good that dad's manner was slightly threatening to you.
He should have been apologising to you for his son's behaviour IMO !
And doing everything he can to make things right for your son - even more so as the boys used to be good friends sad

TheChimpParadox Tue 26-Feb-13 09:51:27

Hope you get it sorted . x

Maryz Tue 26-Feb-13 09:53:09

Hopefully the dad will stop it.

To be fair to him, he reacted and is taking you seriously. Yes he was defensive (as many of us would be if an adult sent a message to an 11 year old), but hopefully having listened to what you have to say he will speak to his son.

So although it probably wasn't a sensible thing to do, the outcome could be good. You would be worse off if the dad had either done nothing, or had come and been really aggressive and told you to fuck off.

ds2 is 14 and so far I have refused to let him have xbox live, as all the fights between the boys in his school seem to start on xbox live. At least with facebook there is evidence of the bullying. He knows I'm right - but is negotiating having it for three months over the summer holidays to see how it goes. I am resisting.

JenaiMorris Tue 26-Feb-13 09:53:49

I'd be pretty pissed off if an adult sent that message to my son, sorry. Especially if they weren't able to produce any evidence.

Sadly bullies' parents are often either in denial or just clueless. Sometimes they claim that they're the ones being bullied (we've had this - it was bizarre) and sometimes children manipulate situations to get people into trouble especially when they know they're sailing close to the wind themselves.

ZZZenAgain Tue 26-Feb-13 09:57:50

a friend of mine had problems with her dd being bullied by a group of boys at school. The school did not intervene effectively to help and the parents were not interested either. In the end she went to the police with it. I think this is what you should do, record what you can, take in your evidence and see what they have to say about it.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 09:59:54

Menai, I think that is what he is afraid of, his Ds in trouble at school. The school have already dealt with him once, when my Ds ran away from school because of him.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 10:00:50

Zzz, that's the problem , I have no evidence, apart from what my Ds has said.

Personally I wouldn't go to the police but continue talking mainly to the school and also, depending how things go, possibly with the parents especially as you know them quite well. But I wouldn't accept any threatening behaviour from them, and I wouldn't make them any promises about what I'd say to whom, or how I'd go forwards with sorting this out for DS.

threesypeesy Tue 26-Feb-13 10:05:27

sorry to hear this is happening and yanbu to want it sorted but i would react the same as the dad i dont think you should have made any contact with this child as it will come back on you worse im afraid threatening a child with the police is still threatening a child imo. I really hope you get this horrible situation sorted and i would stick to school, the childs parents or police it needed

our dds school had a simillar incident one child bullying another. the parent of bullied child approached the bullying child and demanded it stopped school now are takining the bullying child side as a child needs defended more from an adult in there eys

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Tue 26-Feb-13 10:07:04

Do not worry about not having evidence.

Speak to the school, name names. Act openly and clearly. It makes everyone's job easier.

Maryz Tue 26-Feb-13 10:07:54

You can't go to the police with no evidence, it really won't help.

You can go to the school and ask them to keep an eye if there is bullying going on at school. Does he get bullied in person, or is it just name-calling over the internet? Because I'm not sure that name-calling on its own, horrible as it may be for your son to listen to, is a police matter.

You can also make sure your son only plays these games where you can hear the conversation. You can of course stop him playing them online of course - can't he control who he plays with? At 11 he is very young to play online, because quite apart from what his friends are saying, the language and the attitude of the random adult players is pretty awful.

TheChimpParadox Tue 26-Feb-13 10:09:16

Not your job to have the evidence - you now this is going on - you make the complaint - let the school and or police investigate and get the evidence.

But it shouldn't be a case of the school taking sides really should it ?
They should be able to deal with both issues if they feel there are two issues, though I think OP's message to boy was reasonably OK

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 10:09:36

My message did say I would get advice from the community police, but I can see why that would worry a child. That was partly my intention, so he would stop. Part of me isn't sorry, if you could see the distress he has caused my Ds and the family.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 10:12:50

Maryz, the bullying has been in person as well. I think I will let the school deal with it, I have advised his form teacher that some bullying has been going on, Ds is unhappy, and could he speak to the pastoral care, or whatever they call it these days.

threesypeesy Tue 26-Feb-13 10:15:48

bullying can go to far and it can lead to some terrible situations but now your aware of it you can moniter it. also as previously said maybe take him off line or use your phone to collect evidence of whats happening as if you take this further i can see the parents using your text against you.

also i totally understand why you sent message and how you must be feeling but im sure most parents do not want another adult going over ther head and approaching there child

Maryz Tue 26-Feb-13 10:16:12

If it is in person, then you can get evidence of that, so I would concentrate on that at the moment.

If your son knows that the bullying in person is being dealt with he will find it easier to ignore the name-calling online. Talk to the school, but most of all keep a diary of exactly what happened when, who was there, what was said and done. It will build up an accurate picture, and a contemporary diary is worth an awful lot more than trying to remember afterwards exactly what happened, if that makes sense.

squeakytoy Tue 26-Feb-13 10:16:14

What makes me sad here is that so many people think it is wrong for another adult to dare to reprimand their child. What is so bad about another parent telling your little darling off?

If I had been bollocked by another parent, you can be damn sure my parents would have given me a second bollocking twice as severe, not gone round to have a go at the parent who had told me off.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 10:27:51

Thank you squeaky toy, it's not like my message threatened to go and knock his block off- much as I would like to. I just warned him that I would take it further. I didn't want to contact his parents, so they weren't upset, and he wasn't in trouble. I gave him the opportunity for it not to go that far.

JenaiMorris Tue 26-Feb-13 10:28:21

squeaky I think this is different to ticking off a group of children for climbing on parked cars or something. I have no problem with telling off other people's children in those and similar curcumstances.

The one-to-one nature of a message like that is where it strays into the Not-OK.

I feel mean saying that here as obviously it's a bit late now that it's happened already. I'm not trying to have a go at the OP.

Lafaminute Tue 26-Feb-13 10:34:06

I don't understand why you all continue to let your CHILDREN play Xbox live.....they are children and it is your job as their parents to protect them and yet you are letting them expose themselves to cyber bullying because it would "break their hearts" ???? shock shock shock
Well, it'll break your heart if your child is ever driven to drastic measures because of the effects of cyber bullying......
I am shocked!

squeakytoy Tue 26-Feb-13 10:35:41

I cant see this as "not ok" though. The OP was polite, didnt swear or threaten him, and gave him the opportunity to make amends without it going further.

Clearly this kid knows that his parents will back him up even though he is a nasty little bully... sad

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 10:43:09

I can see what you are saying about x box live. The purpose of it is so they can play games together. I had no idea this would happen. It is a sad word we live in. I have not felt this low for a long time.

rainbowrainbowrainbow Tue 26-Feb-13 10:48:23

Lynn I think you need to see it from other parents pov.
Would you be happy for a parent to without your knowledge send you r son a message that might frighten him?
Wouldn't you want to know if your child was being a bully?
Regardless of your feelings towards the boy, he is a child, and I really don't think what you did was the best course of action.
If you had seen the boy actually do/say something in your presence that's one thing, but you didn't.
I hope things better for your ds soon, as a mother to a child who was mercilessly bullied I know how upsetting it can be.
My ds was younger, when it happened I invited the boy over for tea killed him with kindness and it all calmed down. Sadly the boy had a tragically awful home life which explained a lot about his behaviour sad

differentnameforthis Tue 26-Feb-13 10:54:50

If your son is to the point of being almost physically sick about going back to school, what have you done so far to stop this happening?

As parents, we need to stop being passive & hoping that "it sorts itself out" because it never does.

Locketjuice Tue 26-Feb-13 10:56:26

My other plays COD and its ridiculously violent maybe that's a something to look at.

My nephews played it, my sister no realising how bad it was and couldn't work out why they suddenly started swearing at each other and being violent until she actually watched them play and what it contained and then it clicked they were linked. Took the game away and its stopped.

Maryz Tue 26-Feb-13 10:58:18

I was trying to be subtle about the X-box Live Lafaminute grin.

I agree though. I think it is horrible to see youngsters playing online with people who are obviously adult men, with all the aggression and the language and the attitude of adult men.

Quite apart from the arguing with kids of their own age.

ds plays with his friends when he is with them, which isn't often during term-time. I don't see the need to play online - and in fact the main reason I got an X-box rather than a PS3 at the time was that the PS3 is automatically online, whereas the X-box is subscription only.

Lynned, don't feel low -these things happen. Hopefully it will blow over - but it is much more important to sort out the in person bullying as you can always turn the X-box off.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 11:11:05

Rainbow, I can see what you are saying. It was probably the police bit that did it. If I had left that out, do you think my message was acceptable?

greenfolder Tue 26-Feb-13 11:21:22

i do not think that what you did was wrong AT ALL.

I did a similar thing. I gave the child the chance to stop before it went further. It worked once, it didnt another time. This was bullying by bb and text. with the child that continued, i just used it as further evidence that the child knew exactly what they were doing, they had been told to stop but continued. i took it to the school and told them i would take it to the police if it did not cease.

please do not beat yourself up- take it to the school and let them deal with it as far as they are able. dont know much about x box but can you block people, only let certain ones on? or just switch off the online bit and play against the computer?

shewhowines Tue 26-Feb-13 11:25:10

I can't see what the problem is with the text TBH. It wasn't threatening. It outlined the situation and gave the child permission to show their parents. It also ended on a positive note about the child being basically a nice child.

It was a chance for the child to address the situation before it was escalated to school/parents and could potentially have saved the child getting into further trouble.

Put that behind you now. The parents are aware. Get the school involved. Explain the above to both and ask how you move on from here.

I agree that you need recorded evidence so voice record/video DS when he plays on it. Would probably be better if he stops xbox live altogether though.

Keep on at the school and insist on them sorting the problem out at school - involving meetings with bullies parents too. Not sure what they can do about the xbox; that's outside school. Perhaps reiterate to the parents that you will take that to the police if it doesn't stop but i'd stop xbox live first I think, so remove that problem.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 11:26:40

He's blocked one of the other boys, but they can be brought back in by other people. So they chip in on games he's playing with his other friends.

I am going to let the school take the lead. I am not sure whether to fess up and let the school know about the message I sent, or just leave it alone. Also do I contact boys mum, apologise and try to explain what I was trying to do, even though I explained to the dad, who didn't seem to want to listen?

cherrycarpet Tue 26-Feb-13 11:55:03

I hope you get this sorted soon. Horrible situation for you and your son. My eldest DS is also 11 and Yr 6 is proving to be tricky for him. He's small for his age and seems to be getting the brunt of the bully's venom at the moment. Mainly verbal but a bit physical too. I've been into school a few times in the last few months and spoken to the Head and his teacher about what's going on. At least it is formally documented and the staff are aware of what's going on. Hopefully they have spoken to the children concerned as it seems to have died down a bit at the moment.

I have learnt (from bitter experience) not to approach the other children or the parents directly. I have tried this with the parents in the past and it just escalated things and the parents were either very defensive or in denial that their DC could be so vile. Sooo... The other thing I'm trying to do is equip my son with techniques to deal with their offensive behaviour. We're reading a book called 'Bullies, Bigmouths and So-called Friends' by Jenny Alexander and I would highly recommend it.

The other main thing is to keep communicating with your son to make sure he's coping OK. We don't have an Xbox live and your post has certainly given me another reason not to get one!

Given your situation I would definitely go into school and definitely mention names but explain that the Dad didn't want you to do that! Good luck....

livinginwonderland Tue 26-Feb-13 11:57:27

you need to turn off x-box live. it's not kid-friendly. let your DS play on his own against the game, and let him have his friends round and they can play multiplayer. if the bullying is happening online, you need to be seen to have taken steps to stop it happening again (ie, turning off the online bit of the game).

i think i would have gone to the parents before sending a message to an 11 year old boy, but what's done is done. the parents are aware of what's happened, so give them a chance to sort it out before you goto the school. the dad was angry because his child got accused of being a bully - it's not a nice thing for any parent to hear. give them a chance to sort it out as a family, and then, if nothing changes, go the school. the police should be a last resort in my opinion.

I think I'd possibly tell school I'd sent a message to child as I was upset and wanted the bullying to stop. Say that you hope you were reasonable in what you put but aren't sure now whether you should have done so ?
- Something along those lines anyway ....

Then concentrate on telling them what's been going on for your DS.

There's not necessarily much to be gained from discussing situation with the Mum, especially as she was meant to be livid or some such. Though it is an option I guess.

See what school can do to help is my advice. And I don't think I'd let my DS continue playing with the X-box either if he was having these sort of experiences through it ? Surely he could do something else - like see his real friends in RL ?

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 12:06:12

Cherry carpet, sorry to hear that, year 6 is indeed a tough year. It's hard knowing just how to deal with it, or let dcs handle it for themselves. However my Ds is very unhappy, and making himself ill. Settling in to secondary school is tough enough without someone from your primary school bullying you. Yes definately steer clear of x box live, and if he has a Facebook account, which used correctly is fun, make sure you are friends with him so you can keep an eye on it.

For what it's worth, I think the parents would have reacted the same if I had approached them directly, which is why I left them out of it in the first place!

penelopepissstop Tue 26-Feb-13 12:57:13

Dad's probably in denial by the sounds of it. Why would any parent do what you have unless it were true?
Next time go straight to the school or parents. Dealing with kids that aren't our own is always a minefield.

sleepychunky Tue 26-Feb-13 13:00:51

Lynned I'm really sorry to hear about what's been happening to your DS. Please can I suggest you give Kidscape a ring - they have some amazing advice both for you as a parent and for your son. They also run free sessions for children to teach them skills which will help.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 13:03:38

I did tell the dad it wasn't the first time he'd bullied Ds and I had had to go to school before. It took the wind out of his sails a bit. What I also forgot to mention, that this is the charming child who called Ds names because he had a rucksack rather than a messenger bag. I dutifully went and bought the ' right' bag, and he told my Ds it's about fucking timeangry

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 13:29:54

Thanks sleepychunky, I've just spotted it on the www.gov website. Love your user name by the way, always wonder how mumsnetters choose user names!

JenaiMorris Tue 26-Feb-13 14:01:48

I did tell the dad it wasn't the first time he'd bullied Ds and I had had to go to school before. It took the wind out of his sails a bit.

I bet.

I don't want to go into too much detail but we had a confrontation with a father who was adamant that our son had been bullying his (so a reverse situation but bear with me!).

Now that the truth has come out the father has gone strangely quiet.

BruisedFanjo Tue 26-Feb-13 16:04:01

I'm pretty sure you can report players to Microsoft and they listen in and can ban players based on their investigations. This will also let the bullys parents know you were telling the truth and they won't be happy with junior - especially if they're paying for his subscription. It will also hit the bully where it hurts, he (like most of the peer group) will really care about being left out of online time. If Microsoft ban him, it won't be up to mum n dad to reinstate little darlings Xbox privileges, he will have to keep a clean record to Microsoft after his bans lifted.

If school aren't helpful the case you then have with Microsoft is proof you can present to the police if you need to go that far.

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