To wonder why the college aren't taking this seriously? [--TRIGGER WARNING--]

(47 Posts)
1256 Fri 03-May-13 16:52:37


A few months ago, a close friend's son [we'll call him FS] went out drinking with a friend [A] of his he's known since primary school. He's in different classes to this lad and ended up tagging along with him and some of his friends from those classes. Whilst they were out drinking one of his friend's friends [B] started hitting on a girl at the club who was already drunk when they got there, as the night went on the other lads joined in giving her drink after drink, until she was absolutely wasted as FS described it.

FS was quite drunk himself but he mentioned to a bouncer that he thought they should get this girl out and in a taxi as she was falling over and clearly not in control, they said they'd keep an eye on her. At the end of the night they all left the club, the girl included, who apparently had to be half-carried out, he told A to make sure she got a taxi home and left to get the bus.

Next day he woke up and found that his friend A had tagged him in a picture on facebook that B had put up of the girl asleep in B's bed. He was joking in the comment about how she'd done the 'walk of shame' out of his apartment but he was gutted his mates hadn't seen her because they were asleep, he'd also gone into pretty graphic detail about how he'd had sex with her.

FS was absolutely horrified that he'd been stupid enough to let the girl go off with these lads and said he thought they were putting her in a taxi. He said there was no way this girl was sober enough to consent to have sex and he phoned the police and reported it. Turns out the girl has also reported it and it's being taken very seriously by them, apparently B has a previous accusation against him regarding date rape.

Anyway, FS posted on the picture that what B had done was rape, so when B was arrested they guessed that FS had something to do with it because of the post and it's well known FS's DM was the victim of domestic abuse and rape and that FS is really sensitive about it. All of these lads, including B, have started to bully FS in college. Barging into him in corridors, intimidation, rumors and insults etc. The college have not excluded B or anyone else and have suggested that FS should leave his classes earlier to avoid them in the corridors.

So on top of dealing with the guilt being 'that guy' who didn't step in when he knew he should of, he's being bullied and the college are shrugging it off. sad Aibu?

QuietTiger Fri 03-May-13 17:00:25

I can't contribute anything in the form of advice that you probably haven't already thought of, but the college SHOULD be taking bullying seriously, especially given the circumstances surrounding the bullying. I would also be inclined to report B to the police for harassment and witness intimidation, especially since they are taking the rape allegation seriously.

You are absolutely not BU, and what you should be, is VERY VERY proud of your son, for being strong enough to stand tall and state his principles instead of running with the crowd.

anklebitersmum Fri 03-May-13 17:02:37

No. If he's a witness and has made a statement as regards what did and didn't happen he is entitled to the protection of the law.
Seek advice from the force dealing with the case.
The arrestee should have been warned as regards intimidation of witnesses.

FS should be congratulated for doing the right thing but is probably going to have to swallow the hard lesson that sometimes 'standing up to be counted' just makes it easier for them to shoot at you sad

Moral fortitude is a rare quality these days..wishing you all the best.

SantanaLopez Fri 03-May-13 17:03:34

They should be doing something about the bullying.

I suspect that it would be very tricky to exclude B if he has not been convicted of anything.

As much as I feel sympathy for him, FS should know that Facebook is not the place to make accusations like that.

1256 Fri 03-May-13 17:05:23

His DM has phoned the police but he's reluctant to help, he thinks it'll make the bullying worse.

We have told him he should absolutely be proud of himself, he recognized he made a mistake and he's going to be giving evidence if it goes to court, which it hopefully should.

We're thinking of taking it in turns picking him up and dropping him off during breaks and before/after college to avoid these lads. Although it's ridiculous that he is the one being made to suffer, I wish I could do more to help him but I have a young baby to look after too. sad

Chelvis Fri 03-May-13 17:07:02

I would speak to the police - surely it's witness intimidation? I should think that the police would view that pretty seriously. Maybe then the college could be persuaded to take it seriously, if the police get involved.

Good for FS for standing up for this woman - he has no reason to feel guilty, he just believed that people are decent and would do the right thing. How sad that they don't sad

Featherbag Fri 03-May-13 17:11:53

I'm afraid I have nothing terribly helpful to add, other than I would advise FS to report EVERY contact with this boy and his friends to the police. I just wanted to say your friend should be SO PROUD of her fabulous son, he is AWESOME!

anklebitersmum Fri 03-May-13 17:14:05

FS's DM needs to insist that the College and Police address this behaviour as it only gets worse if the perpetrators feel that they're getting away with it.

The college have a duty of care..something which probably needs re-iterating. Witness intimidation is harder to determine as they have to refer to the alleged crime whilst abusing you hmm

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 03-May-13 17:15:04

FS actions are very commendable. He should be proud of himself for doing what he could do. Its very unfortunate however he was not bu to think better of his friend really was he? A very sad situation.

I don't know what to say re college. I feel very sorry for FS there. Just wanted to add a bit of support for FS was all....

1256 Fri 03-May-13 17:18:17

Yeah, he and his DM are really shocked about A, but apparently he really doesn't think that B did anything wrong. A tried to explain FS that what happened to FS's DM was rape, whereas what happened to this girl was not because she was in the club and drinking. sad

IAmNotAMindReader Fri 03-May-13 17:25:42

Intimidating a witness is an offence and this is exactly what they are doing and the college is colluding with them. Insist it is dealt with appropriately by both police and college.
It doesn't matter whether his evidence ends up being used or not at this stage it could potentially be used so therefore he is still a witness.

What did the policy advise when your friend told them about the bullying? I wonder if they could go into the school and talk to the staff about their duties to FS?

He is clearly a great kid, BTW, very proud of him too over here!

gobbledegook1 Fri 03-May-13 17:49:19

Well done FS.

I agree, they should be pressing matters with the police over this.

WilsonFrickett Fri 03-May-13 17:54:02

It is absolutely witness intimidation and college should be treating it very seriously. I'm sure the police would too. Is there a welfare officer or a students' union FS could involve?

Is the girl at college too? Because if she is B could be temporarily excluded pending a trial.

Please tell FS a complete stranger is very proud of him, and his mum too, if you can thanks

Dawndonna Fri 03-May-13 17:55:19

I go with what Iamnot said. I would also remind the college that they are not allowed to punish the victims of bullying and harassment, eg. removing them for their own safety. They have to remove the perpetrators.

StuntGirl Fri 03-May-13 18:08:17

FS has nothing to be ashamed of. His only crime was trusting that his friend was not a rapist. It's absolutely not his fault it turns out his friend is a criminal. He should be so, so proud of himself for reporting this awful crime, he has done an amazing thing.

I would contact the police and ask for their advice. I would also contact the college and demand some action in line with their anti-bullying policy. Get a copy of the policy and highlight exactly which parts they're failing on, and ask them to tell you how they're going to remedy it. Don't accept anything less than an action plan of how (and when) they're going to implement their actions by. Keep them accountable.

1256 Fri 03-May-13 18:10:03

The girl is isn't in the college, fortunately for her. I have no doubt these lads would intimidate her too, if they could. They're animals. My DM is talking to his DM at the minute, she's going to go to the college on Monday for moral support and ask to see their bullying policy/get an interview with the principal. With my DM there she should have the confidence to push for them to do something to help FS.

Bobyan Fri 03-May-13 18:21:23

You need to involve the police before it goes any further...

thebody Fri 03-May-13 18:28:17

Go to the police ASAP. They will contact the college. Don't leave until after the bank holiday as the allegation and the fall out is so serious.

1256 Fri 03-May-13 18:32:46

FS's DM has phoned the police about this, FS wasn't helpful because he thinks more police involvement would make it worse.

We forgot it was bank holiday. blush

quoteunquote Fri 03-May-13 18:34:37

Tell FS, I think he is wonderful, I wish there were more men like him,

the police should be told,

they can talk to the people (these horrible lads and collage) concerned and explain how they will jeopardise their case if they continue,

Use the phrase "This is affecting his ability to learn/study" when speaking to the principal. He has a right to go about his business,and if his education is being affected by their actions then the collage is required to act.

If he is not free to go about his business without intimidation the collage must act, and so will the police, intimidating a witness is illegal.

If you speak to women's aid they will have some good advice about how to make the collage act, I know they have advised when it the woman being harassed, I expect they will be happy to point you in the right direction.

1256 Fri 03-May-13 18:47:23

Thank you for the advice quoteunquote I know FS's DM has been in touch with Woman's Aid before, after she left her abusive husband so I'll definitely recommend that she gets in touch with them.

quoteunquote Fri 03-May-13 19:39:56

They have done this situation over and over, so will have good advice,

He can do practical things like, make sure his fb has the highest privacy settings, he has a real friends list, and anyone else on there can still be his friend, but he should hide his updates from anyone he is not sure about,

keep busy, arrange to meet up with good friends and go and do activities,have a barbecue with friends, it helps to keep busy, it helps to get away from where you are, a short break from looking over your shoulder can really help, anyone he would have a fun time visiting?

Is there any older males who can talk to him and explain how proud they are of him, he will feel wobbles.

vary his routine, different routes,

He is helping someone who was raped, anyone saying anything negative about that is not his friend or a nice person.

Try to arrange lots of positives to look forward to, days out, trips, he needs to keep looking forward,

He also needs to be told it's not his fault, he couldn't of known this vile man would rape, he needs to be told, he is different, because he did the right thing , was brave and told the police,

He needs to be reassured that it's normal to feel the way he does about this, it would shake anyone up, he dealing with vile assholes brilliantly.

He needs to keep a diary of incidents.

Glup Fri 03-May-13 19:57:49


This is a very difficult situation for the college, but they should also be assisting your friend's son. I have to say I'm writing from experience of dealing with worse situations than this (sigh). Several things:

1. If there is police involvement, the college should now have been informed, but will not be able to exclude the boy as it happened off-site.

2. There will be a link police officer associated with the school. You could ask to speak directly to them as, if the boy has not been charged, they are the person who will be dealing with him. Let them know what is going on, as you may find this is actually a police issue rather than merely 'intimidation'

3. You do need to speak to the college. Formally request a meeting with whoever the relevant pastoral person is (don't know what they do in colleges!).

You are now potentially dealing with a situation where one child is testifying against another in a criminal case. When this has happened in our school (sigh), we have arranged the corridor and class meetings VERY carefully. In one instance, for example, the accused had all of his sets changed so that he was not in any of the same classes as the victims or those testifying against him. This meant dropping GCSE options where it was unfeasible to do this. Potential corridor and breaktime meetings were also prevented as he was required to leave all classes five minutes early......this could, of course, only happen when he had actually been charged.

JerseySpud Fri 03-May-13 20:01:17

FS is amazing, absolutly amazing.

He has totally done the right thing and the college should be helping him not making it easier for these boys to bully him

ChairmanWow Fri 03-May-13 20:12:48

As well as speaking to the police your friend and/or her son should go straight to the Principal. Explain that they are also reporting this to the police and want an urgent meeting to discuss how the college are going to address this. She should to this in writing. If she gets no joy from the Principal the college should have a governing body and she should take this to them.

FS needs to keep a diary detailing these incidents - dates, times, place, witnesses.

He sounds like a wonderful young man and she should be very proud of him. When there is so much reporting out there about young men and their lack of respect for women it's heartening to read about such a sensitive and responsible lad.

sarine1 Fri 03-May-13 20:21:15

If this was a school, they CAN exclude a pupil for something that happened off site and I suspect that a College's exclusion policy may have some similar conditions (ie 'bringing the name of the College into disrepute). Schools can also exclude, even where there are police investigations so again, it's possible that a college's policy will allow for this. AS others have said, obviously this is bullying and that certainly will be actionable. Ask to see their 'exclusions' policy and challenge them about the implementation of their anti-bullying policy.
This young man has done the right thing and deserves protection!

TalkUsernameYoudLike Fri 03-May-13 22:47:10

Your son is an amazing person. flowers

I would just like to say that FS is a total and utter star. If there were more men and women prepared to stand up and be counted the world would be a better place for everyone and especially women. I bet it makes a massive difference to the girl who was raped that he, a young man, has independently reported that this happened.

If my sons grow up to have half of his morals I will be extremely proud. Unfortunately for him there has been a back lash which is why it is now important for all of you to stand up for him, as you are doing.

Hope it all works out x

ZebraOwl Sat 04-May-13 00:22:16

I second the excellent advice you've received about how best to help your friend's son. Am disgusted the College have taken this stance, frankly - sounds as though their anti-bullying policy urgently needs reviewing.

Am mostly posting to say how impressed I am with FS's behaviour. He has been very brave to speak out & to stand by his beliefs.

I'd just like to add that it's really important he lets go of feeling responsible for what happened. He couldn't have known what was going to happen & he was in no way complicit with the rape. Yes, if he'd seen her into the taxi it wouldn't have happened, but beating himself up with Ifs will only hurt him. There are lots of other Ifs that the whole thing turns on, all sorts of alternative scenarios where the rape wouldn't have occurred - including if the girl hadn't had so much to drink she wasn't able to get herself home safely. That doesn't make the rape her fault though. Not having personally seen her into the taxi doesn't make it FS's fault either. It is the rapist's fault she was raped, as is true in all rape cases.

It will harm FS to carry around this guilt/shame that is not his - is there a counsellor at the College or any other support service he could access? What has happened will have had a massive impact on him: feeling responsible; the stress of being a witness; the bullying; anxiety about possible outcomes; and of course the dredging up of feelings about the DV his mother suffered.

cantreachmytoes Sat 04-May-13 01:05:26

I too just wanted to add that FS is a star. It must mean SO much (whether she expresses it or not) to the girl that someone else reported it - and a guy.

Please, somehow, let him know that about thirty strangers are very proud of him.

As for A who thinks its not rape because she was drunk (sorry, can't remember why he thought this wasn't rape and on phone so can't see!) I think that is indicative of why there needs to be a MASSIVE campaign about this sort of thing - like condoms in the 90's. His attitude is both sickening and sad.

Anyway, well done FS and I second what everyone else has already said!

MrsFrederickWentworth Sat 04-May-13 01:33:03

Fs is a star.

Email the Principal, cc the chair of governors, and say it is being taken up with the police. If there is a deputy responsible for pastoral care, include them too.

The point about email is that it is a permanent record, allowable in court, and people cannot usually reliably claim they didn't get it or were not copied in.

The points here are twofold:

General bullying
Intimidation of a witness.

The college must have a policy on the former.

The latter is an offence and the young people concerned need to understand that it is. They may not. They may think "it's just bullying" iyswim. If the college it their parents do not see reason to inform them the police can.

But Fs or his mum needs to keep copies of the correspondence.

If it persists and nothing is done, they could complain to the body that oversees Fe or 6th form colleges.

And don't forget that the local councillors and MPs have a duty to their constituents. If I got no joy there, I would be hot foot, on the basis of if they condone this, WTF are they also turning a blind eye to? That's how some music colleges got away with it for so long, that no one was prepared to address the issues.

NynaevesSister Sat 04-May-13 07:14:52

I have nothing new to add except I hope my son grows up to be like FS. He should not feel guilt over this. It is commendable that he could not see his childhood friend doing that because he wouldn't have. He was right to tell this boy what he did was wrong and a hero for backing this girl up. It wasn't an easy choice but he did it. Well done.

Janey654 Sat 04-May-13 07:31:42

Another who just wants to say that FS, although it is probably small comfort, is amazing. I do hope the college start taking this seriously.

Wishiwasanheiress Tue 07-May-13 08:28:11

Any news op? Hoping some of this helped you. Best wishes

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Tue 07-May-13 09:05:36

I can't add anything practically either but just wanted to second the fs is amazing and did what most wouldn't. He should be very proud, although I'm sure he's not feeling that now

NoWayPedro Tue 07-May-13 09:44:58

This is absolutely disgusting; reading it makes me very, very angry.

What is worse is this boy (group of boys) don't seem to associate any stigma to what has happened and think bullying FS is also acceptable. Is it widely known in the college or are they trying to intimidate FS into keeping him quiet? This really shows what total disregard they have for anyone and they will continue to demonstrate this type of behaviour (and worse) through life until stopped in their tracks. The justice system need to start coming down really hard on people like this as an example and hopefully deterrent.

I'm appalled by the colleges lack of action. As someone upthread said, there should be a huge campaign about this kind of thing - starting with college. Frankly whether they are found guilty or not (and I believe you), the college should be warning all students as an awareness issue.

When i used to go out and on occasion drink a bit too much as teenage girl, we always used to go in a group of girls and would look out for each other, share taxis home even if it was some ridiculous roundabout route or try and stay at each others houses etc. Saddens me to read things like this.

1256 Tue 07-May-13 09:50:34

Hey guys, small update for you.

Had an incident with B over the weekend and FS's DM, he actually came to their house with a couple of friends and keyed their car and smashed in the back window, which is a massive escalation in the abuse, unfortunately for the little toss-pot she has security camera up due to her abusive ex, so she has it all on video! She's handed the tapes over to the police and he's been arrested, still waiting on news about that but it's likely they'll press for criminal damage and witness intimidation (FS has agreed co-operate this time and is telling them about how bad the abuse is getting.)

They also have an interview with the headmaster tomorrow, my DM is going with them. So I'll keep you updated on what happens.

maddening Tue 07-May-13 10:12:36

Fs and his dm are v brave and to be commended - b is really not helping himself is he - once a violent, ignorant and stupid bully always a violent ignorantand ststupid bully!

quoteunquote Tue 07-May-13 10:28:27

thanks for the update, how very stressful for you all,

I hope the meeting goes well, calm relentless persistence will help get you a decent result, could you get the police to speak to the head and make sure they understand how serious the situation,

our local police station are very good at helping with communications, make sure you share the log numbers of the incidents, so if there are any other occurrences, they get linked.

WoTmania Tue 07-May-13 12:48:21

FS sounds like a really wonderful man - we need more like him (and less like B)
I hope everything gets properly sorted out as it's totally unfair that he should have to deal with this bause and bullying when he was the one who did the right thing.

Maggie111 Tue 07-May-13 13:05:27

What a wonderful man - I really hope it all gets sorted soon.

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Tue 07-May-13 13:15:11

Well done FS.

Isandri Tue 07-May-13 13:35:19

Just wanted to say that I think FS is wonderful.

anklebitersmum Tue 07-May-13 13:53:04

Yay for security cameras!

Double "Yay" for FS for continuing to find the strength to do the right thing.
As someone Burke? once said "All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing."

Here's hoping that B and his band of miscreants get what they deserve on all fronts.

Messandmayhem Tue 07-May-13 13:56:06

Another one wanting to say how great FS is, well done!

KeatsiePie Tue 07-May-13 15:55:27

Go FS!! What a good person he must be. I'm so sorry it escalated but hope the police attention is useful in getting the school to take steps to stop the bullying.

Also, I know Facebook is not the generally a smart place to have arguments about this kind of issue, but I'm also impressed that he spoke out on it in response to the photo. That shit should not be making its way around social media tagged/commented on as if it were in any way acceptable. Good for him.

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