To be annoyed that the school are doing nothing about this?!

(54 Posts)
PenguinBear Tue 05-Mar-13 22:04:18

There have been messages written on the toilet wall wishing dd1 would kill herself etc. really nasty stuff and the school's crap investigations found nothing.

It has happened again and to quote the school 'we are at a loss' hmm.

I could give them a list as long as my arm of things they could do, none of which have been done.

What can we do? We've written to the head, written to all staff invoked including head of year etc. Considering pulling her out but it's a fee paying school and we are on a Scholarship so DP is worried that they'll think we're ungrateful if we pull her out.

Would it be worth contacting the police at all?

Have you been into school for a meeting? Rightly or wrongly, schools always seem to act when parents get pushier.

No experience of this at all but just wanted to say I am very sorry your dd is going through this.

And I wouldn't give a flying shit whether they thought I was ungrateful or not. Waving their cash around does not absolve them of any responsibility to your poor girl. sad

maddening Tue 05-Mar-13 22:11:10

Are there any other schools she could apply for a scholarship with? Any good grammar schools or state schools in your area?

Contact the police to ask if it is something they would take seriously ? Do you have photos?

Revengeofkarma Tue 05-Mar-13 22:11:23

There are people writing that more than once, the school does nothing and the concern is you'd be seen as ungrateful for the scholarship? F* that. What message does that send to the bullies and your daughter? That it is ok to treat her abominably so long as you are grateful for them to do it? Of course it isn't, so don't act like it is.

Give them the list of things they could do. Get something done. And if that means leaving and then going to the press, do it. If it means calling the cops now, do it. Show your daughter you love her by making this stop.

seeker Tue 05-Mar-13 22:11:29

A crap school is a crap school, whatever sector and however funded.

Pull her out. If they are crap about this, they will be crap about other things, too.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 05-Mar-13 22:12:41

They are allowing your child to read nasty spiteful messages about herself with no consequence and your DP is worried you won't look grateful enough to them?! shock

There are no words.

If the school has made it clear they are not going to do anything, they are effectively offering you the option of leaving. Move her FFS!

Hassled Tue 05-Mar-13 22:13:58

If it were me I'd pull her out. Do you really think you should be grateful for the opportunity for your DD to be bullied to this extent?

What are the local state schools like?

And if she were at a state school I'd say - get a copy of the school's anti-bullying policy (because they have to have one). Go through it and identify which parts of the policy haven't been followed. Then write to the Chair of Governors with that information.

mummymeister Tue 05-Mar-13 22:14:16

have to agree with seeker. this is an appalling response to what has happened. surely they must have proceedures in place to deal with this. you have to make an almighty fuss - demand a meeting with the head, head of year, her teacher and head of governors. they cannot be allowed to let this pass. if you arent satisfied then pull her out of the school and tell ofsted why you have done it. no one should have to tolerate this.

PenguinBear Tue 05-Mar-13 22:16:29

No-one has ever said anything nasty to her face or behind her back as far as we know. It's a very small school so culprits are relatively limited and still the school is dreadful at dealing with it.

Disclaimer <DP is a tw*t>.

numbum Tue 05-Mar-13 22:19:06

'DP is worried that they'll think we're ungrateful if we pull her out. ' Yes because that's obviously the most important thing here hmm

numbum Tue 05-Mar-13 22:20:36

I need to not get a glass of wine half way through typing a reply type faster

If she's unhappy why would you leave her there? Do fee paying schools have governors you can approach?

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 22:21:14

I'm not sure why DP is worried about them thinking you are ungrateful- I should shout it from the rooftops that you are ungrateful. They might be charging fees but they are not a good school! Go in- demand to see the anti bullying policy and then ask them to implement it. Tell them that if they are not going to address the problem you will report it to the police. If nothing happens I would change schools. The private system has the whole range from excellent to dire- just like state ones.

MidniteScribbler Tue 05-Mar-13 22:31:21

Call the police and tell them that threats have been made against her life. It (should) be taken very seriously. Keep a log of incidents, and your interactions with the school and what they aren't doing to prevent it happening again.

PenguinBear Tue 05-Mar-13 22:35:07

In response to people who asked about pictures, no we haven't but apparently the school have!

seeker Tue 05-Mar-13 22:36:39

I presume she's not going to school tomorrow?

yellowbrickrd Tue 05-Mar-13 22:41:55

How horrible for your poor dd. The school's response is completely weak and unacceptable so you must be very tough on it to show her how wrong this is.

As above - tell the school you are taking the matter to the police. That should galvanise them.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 05-Mar-13 22:48:05

Hello OP, I am so sorry for your dd. I agree with midnite and it needs to be taken seriously.
If it was me I would demand action from the school, Police involvement and if this fails. Sod what people think about being ungrateful it could really harm your dd mentally for a long time. I'd be bringing her home as it could escalate if nothing done.
Please start being proactive immediately, it can't be allowed to continue.

PenguinBear Tue 05-Mar-13 22:52:26

She wants to go in seeker!

No-one is unkind to her face and never has been so she's agreed with her friends that as long as they don't leave her on her own then she feels safe.

She's been at the school since she was 3 and has always loved it. We have no idea why this is happening or who could be targeting her. When we discussed it with the school they thought it was out of jealously.

gymmummy64 Tue 05-Mar-13 22:53:19

they have given you a scholarship because your daughter is bright and is likely to get great sats results be a credit to the school. It doesn't affect their duty of care in any way at all and they are failing her. Forget that it's a fee paying school, forget the scholarship, forget any other issues you might have - it's cut and dried. Talk to them as you would anyone else who compromised your child's safety and mental health, because that's what they're doing.

seeker Tue 05-Mar-13 23:01:37

So you're happy to send your child into an environments where she has been threatened, and where the people who's job it is to protect her are not doing it.

right.

PenguinBear Tue 05-Mar-13 23:08:25

If I don't send her in, she'll be at home doing nothing. Plus if this takes weeks to get sorted then she'll be missing out on a lot of her education.

We've talked about it with her and she wants to go in so I can't see why keeping her at home is a good option. Yes I totally agree that the school have dealt with it badly and we are trying to sort things out. And if she stays home, surely it's just showing the bully that they've won which she doesn't want to do either.

If she's happy at the school and well settled, then let her stay. But go to town on the Head Teacher. This should not be allowed to happen and the school has absolutely nowhere to hide. They need to act. There are procedures and the school is duty-bound to enforce them. It's not good enough to shrug and say they're at a loss FFS.

For ammunition, here's this, from the Dept of Education website: "The new Ofsted framework which came into force in January 2012, includes ‘behaviour and safety’ as one of its key criteria for inspections. Schools should be able to demonstrate the impact of anti-bullying policies."

Inertia Wed 06-Mar-13 07:09:06

I'd make a non-emergency report to the police.

Would also consider asking DD to take photos of the comments as evidence (at a time when nobody else is going to be using the toilets ).

Isityouorme Wed 06-Mar-13 07:11:38

Get photos, send them to all the school governors asking them why the school can't deal with it. Get pushy as it is dreadful. Good on your LO for going into school.

Isityouorme Wed 06-Mar-13 07:11:52

And contact police

SpanishFly Wed 06-Mar-13 07:17:49

as everyone else says, YOU need to do something if the school are not. YOU have to show your daughter that she can depend on you to help her when she gets into a situation that is Too Big for her to deal with herself.

The school are behaving appallingly. She's had no threats made to her face - thats OK, then hmm. The first threat to her face could happen at any time - and you really don't want it to get to that stage.
No, it's absolutely NOT OK that she is having threats against her life in ANY form.

exoticfruits Wed 06-Mar-13 07:19:52

The school has to have an anti bullying policy and they have to show it to you. Take it home, read it carefully. Use a highlighter pen or take notes of the relevant parts with bullet points. Go back and tell them that you expect them to follow it. Take it up with the governors if they don't. (And you can take it home- they must have a photocopier)

BeckAndCall Wed 06-Mar-13 07:28:12

This is appalling. The school is clearly useless so you may consider taking matters into your own hands. Possibilities:

Go into school with your lawyer to talk about their duty for safeguarding children;

Use the class contact list, if you have one, to alert other parents to the situation and ostensibly to ask if there daughters have likewise been targeted - that way other parents will know what's going on;

Speak to the police - if this were Internet bullying it would be taken ruinously so I'd guess that bullying be graffiti would be taken equally seriously. School just might pull their finger out if a squad car turns up in the car park;

Talk to the chair of the governors or, depending on the constitution of the school, the higher sponsors than that eg church council ( if it applies)

And I agree with others about the scholarship - they're not going to take it away from you - check the details of your offer - the terms and conditions will be in it and this won't be a reason for withdrawing it.

delboysfileofax Wed 06-Mar-13 07:28:58

Just out of interest what are people who are suggesting to contact the police expecting them to do about it?

I can completely understand your daughter being upset about it but it is not a threat to her life as OP reported it in her first post.

This is something the school need to deal with not the police

Heebiejeebie Wed 06-Mar-13 08:11:57

Have you considered whether she could have written the messages herself? Have you had a meeting with her teacher and head? Have you given them, in writing, the list of things you would like them to do? If they are not acting then the governers should be involved. If she wants to keep going in, then I am not sure what keeping her at home would achieve.

BeckAndCall Wed 06-Mar-13 08:38:23

delboys, my understanding of the recent cases of Internet bullying are that bullying in itself is an activity of it interest to the police- I'm unclear tho as to whether that applies to just cyber bullying, or whether graffiti bullying would be covered. Hence I suggest it's worth a conversation.

rollmopses Wed 06-Mar-13 08:42:33

You 'could' give them a list what to do. Why don't you, it's your child who suffers, no?
You must stand up for your DD and if that means going in with big boots, so be it. Do not be afraid to involve the police, as a matter of fact, that what you should do asap.

mummytime Wed 06-Mar-13 09:03:14

The police do deal with bullying, although usually at a secondary level which this doesn't sound as if it is. The school sounds useless. I wouldn't allow them to quietly get away with it.

delboysfileofax Wed 06-Mar-13 09:12:38

I could understand if it was a direct threat that police may get involved- but as far as I could see it was just a horrible graffitI message. I'm not sure what people are expecting? handwriting analysis? forensic pen matching? How could the police do anything the school can't? Just seems a massive waste of their time even ringing them.

BeckAndCall Wed 06-Mar-13 12:41:18

Personally, given its gone on so long with useless responses from school, I'd get lawyered up and go in to see the head for a meeting as my first action. The police suggestion is just another option ( which may or may not fall on deaf ears) - wouldn't do any harm for the school to know you were considering it as an option.

seeker Wed 06-Mar-13 13:13:53

If it's a small school and the message was handwritten, I bet they have a fair idea who it was anyway.

I hate it when people feel they have to be grateful to a private school. Well, I would hate it if people felt they had to be grateful to a state school too- but it doesn't seem to come up!

frazmum Wed 06-Mar-13 13:22:54

You need to escalate this. Arrange a meeting with the Head, stipulate it must be for this week and then go in with full details of all the incidents and what you want to happen. Ask to see their Bullying Policy before the meeting as this shows the procedures they must follow. Also write down your escalation procedure - Board of Governors, Police and also find out if your LEA can get involved in a private school matter.

I've had to deal with DDs being bullied at a private and state school. The state school were excellent (especially when I pulled out DD until it was sorted which they did in 24 hours). The private's first response was 'we don't have bullying at our school', then 'she got the bruises at home'. We had been dealing with Deputy Head, escalated to Head Teacher who thankfully successfully dealt with it.

Try posting on Education/Bullying on Mumsnet as you'll get some help with dealing with a private school.

maddening Wed 06-Mar-13 13:37:55

Delboy - I suggested she ask the police - you don't know what the police's opinion is of this - they would be in the position to advise the op and even if they can't do anything they may have advice for the op.

The fact the messages are actually suggesting that the little girl kills herself rather than insult her or name calling imo takes this beyond normal bullying (and normal bullying is bad enough but this seems more ominous going by the type of message)

maddening Wed 06-Mar-13 13:40:05

And why is asking their opinion a waste of police time - don't be so ridiculous.

coatonarack Wed 06-Mar-13 13:59:16

Write to the school governors listing the facts in a non-accusatory manner. Don't forget they will support the Head so you will need evidence.

If you have another fee paying school in the area go to see them. If DD is on a scholarship then another school will want her on their school roll. They might be able to offer her a scholarship to, or an assisted place. I used to work in a private school. Don't have any qualms about handing in the notice of withdrawal, but only do this if you have somewhere else lined up. If you do it, however, you can always withdraw the withdrawal, so DD doesn't have to leave if you change your mind.

Go to your doctor with you DD and get a doctor's note signing her off school for a week with stress - directly related to the bullying.

Keep complaining, keep complaining, keep complaining, keep complaining. At the very least, they will have to do something to shut you up. That sounds flippant but that's how it works. And also, stage sit-ins, ie sit in reception until the Headmaster or the Head of Pastoral will see you. Don't be fobbed off. Private school teachers are lazy bs and will do anything for an easy life, so if you are making their life difficult then they have to finally take action.

And finally, the school will want to keep your DD if she is clever as she will boost their exam results. They should be grateful that you chose them, not that you should be grateful that they accepted your DD. Seriously, check out other school options.

delboysfileofax Wed 06-Mar-13 14:23:22

Yes, the advice would be that it's a school issue! You really don't think that someone writing "I hope person x kills themselves" is a police matter do you?

What law has been broken? The only one I can see is criminal damage and in that case the school would be the "victim" not the OPs daughter

delboysfileofax Wed 06-Mar-13 14:23:55

Last comment was to maddening by the way

maddening Wed 06-Mar-13 14:40:01

Delboy - I haven't suggested the police will do anything but are a good point for advice.

The police do take bullying in schools seriously and most forces have a lot of info online. Yes they do say that approaching the schools is the most usual advice but they also advise on their online sites that in certain cases they do get involved - so I doubt you or I would know exactly the police response would be as the messages aren't just insults but do have a more ominous tone - so why would it hurt for the op to ask them what they think? And if they can't help they will have access to local support groups and advisory services that migbt be of help to the op particularly as the op has tried the "approach the school" advice already.

maddening Wed 06-Mar-13 14:43:37

Here is a good link which explains more about what the police might do.

www.antibullying.net/lawinfo3.htm

Inertia Wed 06-Mar-13 14:46:32

Delboy- the police often have community liaison officers who work directly with local schools as part of their job (may well not be the case for fee-paying schools).

If it's been reported to the police, then the school are not in the position of being able to sweep things under the carpet so easily.

Mintberry Wed 06-Mar-13 14:46:56

I'm not an expert on this, but I would have thought that contacting the police might be a good idea to make the school take this more seriously for your DD and other children in the future. Those wealthy MC parents won't be happy paying high fees to send their little darlings to a school with police cars parked outside, will they?

complexnumber Wed 06-Mar-13 14:53:38

I know this does not directly address the OP's issue, but the best schools I have worked in have all had a policy to remove graffiti asap after it has been noticed. This was normally by the end of the day.

Consequentially there is v. little scribbled on our walls.

However the bullying aspect needs to be addressed more directly, the school's 'hands up' 'what can we do' is abhorent.

delboysfileofax Wed 06-Mar-13 15:02:48

Thanks for the link maddening, maybe Scotland has different legislation in place, and I was aware of the role of school liaison officers. However in this case I still don't understand how people are expecting them to get involved. In my local force they only act if crimes have taken place inside the school, and whilst nasty this is not something they would get involved with

rollmopses Thu 07-Mar-13 11:45:09

coatonarack, your comment below is the most utterly idiotic, spiteful, narrow-minded drivel I have ever read on these boards. You do realise that, don't you?

''Private school teachers are lazy bs and will do anything for an easy life, so if you are making their life difficult then they have to finally take action. ''

Snoopingforsoup Thu 07-Mar-13 13:03:20

Governors if they don't do anything more.
Make a complaint that will be found upon school inspection.
Your child deserves this to be sorted, scholarship or not. Keep on at them, they need to keep an eye on your daughter.

BeckAndCall Thu 07-Mar-13 16:06:43

Agree with rollmopses ^ ^

Sounds like a very balanced opinion - chip on each shoulder

coatonarack Thu 07-Mar-13 18:05:57

OK, I'll rephrase. I worked in a PS for 4.5 years and the teachers THERE were b lazy b. So I left. And my DD is in a PS and most definitely will not be staying on for 6th form as her teachers are b lazy b.

However, one of my DS's friends has a wonderful Mum who is one of the most awesome, inspiring, dedicated, workaholic fantastic English teachers I've ever met. Jaw droppingly brilliant. She teaches in an Academy.

So I know that there are some good teachers out there. But also some crp ones. And the ones who protest so much about what a hard life teachers have are usually the crp ones as the good teachers are too busy working in the school for the benefit of their charges to have time to do any moaning.

Gone off thread, but just because someone teaches in a PS doesn't automatically qualify them to be above criticism.

coatonarack Thu 07-Mar-13 18:06:43

And yes, there ARE some brilliant PSchools around. And some brilliant PS teachers. Just not in my area. But your area is probably different. And they are probably v good there.

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