Who's in the wrong here?

(93 Posts)
Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 16:48:58

Would love your opinion, not sure who's in the wrong.

I'm furious at the way DS was treated at school yesterday. Long story short he's 12 and has had the same bunch of pals since start of primary. One of his pals was given a silly nickname last year. Not offensive in any way but apparently the pal is sick of the nickname now and it's upset her but she never said anything to DS or friends, if she had they wouldn't have used the name anymore. So her father went into school yesterday and told staff his daughter was being bullied by her friends. They have been threatened with all sorts and screamed and shouted at before even being allowed to give their side of the story. I don't know who I'm more disappointed at, school or her parents.

LooseyMy Sat 18-May-13 16:50:37

What is the nickname and why was she given it? Your story could be interpreted in different ways.

Depends on what the nickname is.

scaevola Sat 18-May-13 16:53:34

How do you know she's never said anything?

I doubt a parent would be upset to screaming point unless the child had been upset for some time.

The important thing now is to leave the school to deal with it, refrain from making the girl's life harder by gossiping about her family, and make sure your DC knows not to use the nn in future.

ChippingInIsMissingHerLatte Sat 18-May-13 16:53:55

No, it doesn't depend on the nickname - if she no longer likes being called by it, she should have just told her friends (in the first instance anyway) & the parents are in the wrong for not getting her to do that first and the school is in the wrong for over reacting & not listening to the other childrens side. Ridiculous.

Onesleeptillwembley Sat 18-May-13 16:54:06

Really? Screamed and shouted at? I doubt that very much. Obviously you believe every load of bollocks thing your son tells you. It makes it seem more likely she has been bullied.

CombineBananaFister Sat 18-May-13 16:54:34

Totally depends on nickname - if everyone is this worked up about it now, could be she never liked it and been putting on a brave face? Strange though if they're all really close that parents didn't just go to you guys direct and say stop using it? maybe it's more offensive than you think?!? confused

cory Sat 18-May-13 16:54:36

Could it be that the girl has actually tried to indicate earlier that she didn't like the nickname and that the boys were simply being a bit dense about understanding what she was saying?

I remember my life at primary being made absolute misery by some boys who kept making remarks about my looks. I met them many years later, abroad, they were delighted to see me and clearly had no recollection of ever having made my life a misery. Yet I could have sworn that I made it clear to them at the time, insofar as I dared; obviously if there is a whole gang of other children calling you a name and nobody is backing you up, you do get a bit nervous.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sat 18-May-13 16:56:05

The school is wrong for not listening, don't judge the dad you don't know what he's been told

Pozzled Sat 18-May-13 16:56:31

More information needed. You could be describing anything from a minor misunderstanding to quite serious bullying.
However, if the child was upset by the nickname, I think the other children would know this- whether she had 'told them' or not.

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 16:56:37

Don't want to say incase someone knows me. Situation is bad enough. Lets just say they were watching a cookery programme and one of them said oh your just like Jamie Oliver. It's as stupid as that. The name just stuck and she laughed and joked about it for months and all of a sudden doesn't want to be called that anymore. All fine, but why didn't she just say that instead of calling everyone bullies. It just doesn't make sense. DS is so upset to have been labelled a bully. School have gone completely over the top.

cory Sat 18-May-13 16:58:41

Do you know that she hasn't said it and the other children just didn't realise she meant it?

I was called an incorrect pronunciation of my name by a colleague for years.

Every time I said the correct pronunciation. And they still always got it wrong.

Eventually, I snapped and lost the plot with them.

They hadn't realised they were annoying me.

Sounds a bit similar, tbh. It was pissing her off, the kids weren't listening and she cracked to her dad who went in and lost the plot.

Pozzled Sat 18-May-13 17:05:53

When you say she laughed and joked about it, did you see this? Did she genuinely find it funny, or was she going along with it so as not to make a fuss?

I can easily imagine a child feeling a bit irritated and hurt at first, but not making a fuss- trying to brush it off, but the others not letting it go. It's very easy for children to use the 'it's only a joke' line when actually they know perfectly well that the other child doesn't like it.

Not saying that this is what's happening in this case, OP. You could be right in that the child and school have completely overreacted. But as I say, I'd want to know more.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:05:58

Who was screaming and shouting at him?

That doesn't sound a very effective way of tackling anything that might have happened.

My DD had a nickname to do with her surname at primary that she hated, and it was used to bully her alongside other 'disrespectful' shit they'd use to isolate and exclude her.

There's definitely something not right with the scenario you've described, it can't be as your DS says with everyone happy and getting along nicely, but this girl's going home unhappy and upset enough for her parents to involve themselves.

Children who say they've been bullied should be taken seriously, I'm not saying your DS has done anything intentionally, but it's unlikely she'd be getting het up if everything's as he said it is.

What if she had said it and they'd just brushed it off?

It's just that you haven't factored into the possibility your DS may have done something when you say 'I don't know who I'm more disappointed at, school or her parents.'

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 17:07:20

I even rang her parents last night. I know them well enough. She said that daughter was upset and sick of it but because they only knew me and not the other childrens parents they felt they had to go straight to the school. When I said that DS had been called a bully and been totally humiliated she just said 'yeah I thought that's what would happen'. The friends father took them all swimming last week! Why didn't he just speak to them when he dropped them off at home. That's how I would have dealt with it. DS said he would never intentionally hurt his pals feelings. He's devastated it's come to this.

cory Sat 18-May-13 17:08:18

I wouldn't go looking for who is wrong and who is right here, but assume it was a genuine misunderstanding and try to encourage your ds to take it as a learning opportunity: sometimes we misgauge people's reactions, these things happen, I accept that nobody meant to upset anyone, but let's think about what we can do better next time.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:08:43

My DD tried to 'take ownership' of the nickname she had to take the sting out of it, writing it on her bag/books/school website, but privately she still loathed it.

Major error. Ringing the parents. Keep school stuff in school and don't get involved in kids falling outs.

The father was protecting his daughter. That's his job. He went about it the right way, went into school, and the school are dealing with it.

If you'd rung me I'd have been fuming.

Pozzled Sat 18-May-13 17:09:37

I forgot to say- you are completely right to say that your child and the others should have had a chance to give their side of the story. And there shouldn't have been shouting and screaming in any case- a calm investigation, warning that it needs to stop, then a punishment if necessary. Shouting and screaming doesn't achieve anything.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:11:14

Advice on other threads with posters asking what to do because they suspect their child is being bullied, is to go straight to the school and definitely not involve the parents.

They did the right thing.

But who was it who shouted and screamed at your DS? That's definitely not right.

TidyDancer Sat 18-May-13 17:12:43

Oh this happened to me at school. It was done as a so-called innocent joke, the name that was given to me, but I hated it. I never said a word about it and just laughed along because I knew if I made a big deal out of it, it would get worse. I couldn't wait until sixth form when the people who used the name would be gone.

It was used to belittle. It may have been under the guise of a silly joke, but it didn't feel like that.

My guess is that poor girl has snapped after a year of feeling like she was the butt of a joke. Good on her for saying something, she shouldn't have to put up with it the way I did for years. It can be low-level (at best) bullying.

You have only got one side of the story. The only person you should feel sorry for is the girl.

TidyDancer Sat 18-May-13 17:13:49

I doubt they have been screamed and shouted at tbh.

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 17:14:37

She even called herself by the nickname for months. She's sat in my car every night laughing and joking all the way home from school. DS and friends are in total shock.

But that's a defence mechanism, don't you see that?

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 17:16:38

It was student services who screamed and shouted. That's how they seem to deal with everything!

TidyDancer Sat 18-May-13 17:17:21

Exactly Freddie. She did it, more than likely, to try to deflect the fact that she was hurt.

I'm surprised that you're not able to see this, OP.

LaRegina Sat 18-May-13 17:17:33

Agree you shouldn't have phoned the other parent - it's not for you to pipe up with your opinion when the school are already involved.

But I find it hard to believe that the children involved were 'shouted and screamed at' at school over it (assuming you mean it was a teacher or other adult at school that dealt with it?). If that's true it's completely out of order and needs to be dealt with.

I just have the feeling that Shazjack1 won't accept that her son could have been in the wrong.

TigerSwallowTail Sat 18-May-13 17:18:21

Who was screaming and shouting at your son and his friends?

LaRegina Sat 18-May-13 17:18:30

If 'student services' are really that bad then you really need to make a complaint about them, don't you think?

Fluffypinkcoat Sat 18-May-13 17:18:40

Were they definitely screamed and shouted at? We had a girl at school who was nicknamed Rimmer because of her last name and we'd all do the salute off red dwarf. She always laughed along and none of us knew she hated it until the whole class was held in at break and told it was upsetting her and we shouldn't do it anymore. So we stopped. Are you sure they haven't already been warned like this and they didnt stop?

cory Sat 18-May-13 17:19:33

School seem to have dealt with this very badly. But the parents aren't responsible for that. Usually, the advice to take school related problems to school rather than directly to the other parents is very sound.

Anyway, though it is a pity that your son was frightened and upset, this is an ideal opportunity to take to him about name calling and how easy it is that it goes wrong and causes unintended upset. It's a way of getting something useful out of it for him.

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 17:20:08

If its a defence mechanism, why get in the car then? She only lives 5 mins from school so didn't even need a lift. Said she loved getting a lift as she has a good laugh with DS and another friend.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:21:03

You can't say it's the girls fault for not finding the words (if in fact she hadn't ever given any sign she didn't like it), I'm not saying this is on the same scale as what you're describing, but children who have been abused often find it difficult to say what's going on in their heads to people on the outside.

It's unfortunate it's gone seemingly from 0 to 100 in just one day, but you don't seem to have any concern for the girl, which is a shame.

Can you not understand that she snapped? That she wouldn't have wanted to draw attention to it and certainly wouldn't have wanted to discuss it with you?

LaRegina Sat 18-May-13 17:23:42

And as others have said, maybe the girl concerned felt that she was being ridiculed all along and therefore felt too upset/undermined to voice her feelings.

wetspringday Sat 18-May-13 17:24:52

It's difficult for children to articulate themselves in situations like this - can be difficult for adults too, actually. So I think her parents were perfectly reasonable to go to the school about it. I also don't think the school did anything THAT bad - yes, a bit draconian but by the same token, there were a crowd of them, and they were told very sternly to cut it out, which they now will.

I've also been in the position where I've had to pretend to have a great sense of humour about something - it isn't fun. I think you think she enjoyed it and when she stopped enjoying it cried 'bully' but it's likely to be more complex than that.

lljkk Sat 18-May-13 17:26:32

yanbu. Maybe the 12yo girl had a sudden change of heart (No...never?!) but parents shouldn't have escalated it & school shouldn't have escalated it still further.

wetspringday Sat 18-May-13 17:28:12

The parents shouldn't have gone into school to ask for their help in eradicating a name that is upsetting their child? I think they SHOULD. I had a name shouted after me and was told to ignore them and they'd stop. Which they did. FOUR YEARS LATER!

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:29:01

It's understandable you're feeling defensive about your DS Shaz, and I don't think anyone's suggesting he's this monster of a bully who's hoodwinked you into seeing it his way, but only looking from this from his point of view might not help you get to the bottom of it.

cory Sat 18-May-13 17:29:05

Add message | Report | Message poster Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 17:20:08
"If its a defence mechanism, why get in the car then? She only lives 5 mins from school so didn't even need a lift. Said she loved getting a lift as she has a good laugh with DS and another friend."

Perhaps she is desperate to be friends with them- but still doesn't like being called names? My db was in this position: so anxious to be in with his group, but he still cringed every time they used his nickname. As his sister I could see how much he hated it and I took it for granted that they saw it too and did it on purpose. In retrospect I am wondering if perhaps they were just being dense.

Flobbadobs Sat 18-May-13 17:29:17

DS was given a nickname that on the surface was innocent and fun, underneath though he hated it but people kept calling him this particular name. He 'owned' it, he laughed joked, said "ok thats enough, I really don't like this", everything he could think of. We spoke to his teacher who spoke to the class, it still happened.
In the end he thumped the next boy who called him the name. His form teacher thankfully understood because he had also been bullied (because that is what it is, bullying) so Ds was disciplined for the hit but it was made clear that the name alling stopped. It's not a nickname, it's bullying and I can guarantee that the girl in question found it funny for about a day before it got tedious and humiliating for her.
The parent obviously felt that he needed to protect his daughter and went to the school. Maybe this will cause the namecalling to stop.

cory Sat 18-May-13 17:30:59

I would approach this exactly as if ds had been engaging in rough play and one of his mates had been hurt or frightened: Yes love, I know you didn't mean them to feel that way, but these games are a bit dangerous, it's so easy to end up with a result you didn't mean, better to think a bit more carefully next time.

Pozzled Sat 18-May-13 17:31:34

The other thing is that nicknames can be used in very different ways. Just calling someone by a different name instead of using their real name is one thing. Saying the name at every opportunity and in a teasing/insulting tone of voice is very different. But it's hard to explain the difference unless you're there to see and hear it.

Another question- you implied earlier that the nickname is a celeb's name. Would this be the name of a person they respect and admire? Or a figure of fun? Calling a young footballer Ronaldinho or similar is very different from calling a child Rolf Harris (sorry, random name choices!)

Casmama Sat 18-May-13 17:35:31

I don't believe that they were "screaming and shouting" - your son is surely exaggerating and you are acting like he is the victim of something rather than the girl. You would be best to advise our son to apologise to his friend and ask if they can out it behind them.

Casmama Sat 18-May-13 17:36:10

Your son and put- bloody ipad!v

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:36:17

So the girl shouldn't have said anything lljkk?

She should have shut the fuck up and kept it buttoned, the parents should have brushed her off (maybe telling her to man up and not be such a baby?) and the school should have ignored a child telling them they're unhappy giving a clear sign to the other children that their behaviour's OK?

Back to the bad old 80's eh?

Have you got children yourself?

Is that the route you took when they told you something was bothering them?

NotYoMomma Sat 18-May-13 17:38:44

You seem to be making out that this girls fault?

she has gotten annoyed by a silly name (and I can bet you she will have told them) and so told her parents that they keep doing it

totally acceptable

Nanny0gg Sat 18-May-13 17:40:03

I'm with the father. I was given a name I hated and it made my schooldays a misery.

Your son has been told off once. She's had months of this.

I think he needs to get over himself and think of how his friend feels.

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 17:43:22

I can see that calling her the nickname was getting on her nerves if she's now fed up with it. I suppose I'm more angry with the way school have went completely overboard. We are going to arrange a meeting with them next week. Thanks for replies, Im still seething though.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:44:10

'I think he needs to get over himself and think of how his friend feels.'

I think that's what I was trying, but failed, to say.

That the OP doesn't seem concerned now that she does know and is trying to find ways of disproving it.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:45:41

Please don't seeth at the girl though Shaz.

I'm wondering how her coming round to yours is going to pan out, will she be excluded from the group now she's said she's not happy?

That would be awful.

How exactly have the school gone completely overboard? They've had a right ticking off, a stern talking to. Nothing else? They haven't been suspended or anything have they?

ChippingInIsMissingHerLatte Sat 18-May-13 17:46:31

It is this girls fault for not speaking to the boys or even Shaz who she gets a lift home with every night, it's also her parents fault for not speaking to Shaz. She gets a lift home with them everynight, her father takes them all swimming - there's a 'relationship' there and the parents should have sorted it out. Bloody ridiculous.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:47:01

Sorry seethe (I think?)

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:49:01

That's just victim blaming though isn't it Chipping?

(just taking the details given by the OP at face value)

larrygrylls Sat 18-May-13 17:49:36


People do need to learn to laugh at themselves and, if it was an inoffensive nickname, it is one of those things one ought to be able to deal with aged 12.

I detest bullying but I also detest the modern idea that everyone has a right to be hypersensitive. Building resilience is a key part to bringing up a child. And if she had really finally had enough, it was, in the first instance, up to her to request that people stopped using it. If they persisted, then it starts to look more like the start of bullying and that might have been the point to complain via her parents to the school. The school should then have had a quiet word with all the protagonists and explained the situation. Only if it then continued and escalated would the behaviour described have become appropriate.

It is completely unreasonable to expect a bunch of pre teens to suddenly realise that a name that they had used for ages had suddenly become offensive to someone.

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 17:49:58

He has thought of how his friend feels. He's devastated as he genuinely didn't know she was bothered as she never said a word. They all have different nicknames so didn't know she was upset.

lljkk Sat 18-May-13 17:51:54

Blimey Zigzag, say what you really mean.
No I haven't children, of course not. And no I wasn't bullied most of my childhood, no I wasn't actively suicidal from age 7-14 because of bullying. (And neither was DS age 9-10). Of course it hasn't haunted my whole life. Of course I went around happily calling myself that silly nickname which anyone else would think was harmless, it wasn't remotely like .... "Pigsty". Of course the school didn't blame my experience entirely on me. Of course I never cried or had panic attacks and wasn't generally socially shunned for 4 yrs. Of course I wouldn't know a thing about being properly bullied. How could I possibly have a clue? Believe whatever you like that makes you happy to lash out.

I still think OP's DS isn't to be blamed for not being a mind-reader. And that the parents handled it in an OTT way, and the school even worse.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 17:55:55

Yeah Larry, it's the girls fault because she deliberately went looking to be offended to get the other children into trouble.

Course she did hmm

Are you one of those types who pick up on what other people feel uncomfortable with and then use it as a shitty stick to poke them because you think they should be less sensitive and you're the one to teach them that important lesson?

I know people like that and they make my skin crawl.

cory Sat 18-May-13 17:56:18

"I detest bullying but I also detest the modern idea that everyone has a right to be hypersensitive. Building resilience is a key part to bringing up a child."

But not to the extent of teaching them to take a talking to from their teachers...

I think the parents did exactly the right thing. They went to the school. And they didn't involve the other parents.

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 17:56:42

And yes I am worried about how the friendship is going to pan out. It's such a shame the way it's been handled.

School put them on report with the word BULLYING written across it so every teacher they had on Friday saw it and was disgusted with them. They are so ashamed. I can empathise with her parents, of course it's awful to have a child upset, I just think it could have been nipped in the bud a while back if we'd known.

cory Sat 18-May-13 17:56:58

As far as I can see the whole thread is about the fact that most posters feel the OP is being overprotective of her son.

Your son was using a nickname that another child found upsetting. He did it more than once for a prolonged period of time.

What would you call it then?

Would love your opinion, not sure who's in the wrong.

What you really meant was, 'Would love your opinion on why my son is absolutely not in the wrong, excuse me whilst I drip feed...'

rabbitlady Sat 18-May-13 17:59:25

your son has bullied her and she has been having a lift with you so couldn't say anything.

and you, as the adult, went along with it. maybe the school should complain about you.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 18:00:09

Sorry lljkk, I didn't mean to upset you, I just feel really strongly about it having had similar shit myself.

You sound like you've been through the wringer too.

cory Sat 18-May-13 18:00:30

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 17:56:42
"And yes I am worried about how the friendship is going to pan out. It's such a shame the way it's been handled."

I think your reaction is going to have a great part to play here. Talk to your son. Tell him you accept that he didn't mean any harm, that you are confident that he can sort this out with the girl, that you know that next time he will be more careful and that they will all get over this, concentrate on the can-do aspect - and it's likely to work out fine.

Make him concentrate on how hard done by he is and how outraged you are- and he is likely to dwell on it for a long time and not in a way that will be helpful to him.

As I see it, it is very much about building resilience.

larrygrylls Sat 18-May-13 18:01:14


It is amusing that it is you who have decided to use personal abuse against me whilst asserting I am "one of those types who pick up on what other people feel uncomfortable with and then use it as a shitty stick to poke them because you think they should be less sensitive and you're the one to teach them that important lesson". Hmmmmm

I have both been bullied (not greatly but enough to know what it is like) and dealt with people who have cried "bully" as a dog whistle word to get others in trouble when they have not remotely been bullied in any objective sense of the world. It is not the girl's fault as she is still a child. It is, though, possibly her parents fault for not giving her the emotional toolkit to allow her to deal with normal age appropriate joshing.

Are you, perhaps, one of those types who looks for slights in every personal relationship and thus finds herself a little bit isolated, thus justifying their own incorrect perception of persecution?

PureDeadBrilliant Sat 18-May-13 18:02:38

I severely doubt they were "screamed and shouted at".


Think of the girl. She feels like she us bring bullied.

normal age appropriate joshing

There's a big difference between joking around with someone, and keeping someone the butt of a joke for a year.

Shazjack1 Sat 18-May-13 18:03:59

Blimey, wish I'd never asked. They all have different nicknames, are they meant to be mind readers when one of them gets naffed off but says nothing.

cory Sat 18-May-13 18:04:09

How about giving the boy the emotional toolkit to deal with a telling off from his teachers, larry? Why does the emotional resilience have to be all on one side?

DoctorAnge Sat 18-May-13 18:04:09

You really don't get it do you OP? hmm

You were totally out of order calling her patents. They don't need to answer to you.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 18:05:07

'School put them on report with the word BULLYING written across it so every teacher they had on Friday saw it and was disgusted with them.'

I must say that I find this kind of black and white branding of children just as bad as it was when bullying was ignored.

I don't think your DS is a monster Shaz, the way they've handled it they may as well made him walk round the school wearing a sandwich board with bully written on it.

It's just setting him up to be bullied by the other children IMO.

Blimey, wish I'd never asked. Well of course you do, you didn't get the answer you wanted.

cory Sat 18-May-13 18:05:57

Shazjack, I can only repeat my advice: help your son to move forward by accepting that it was not intentional but that it had unforeseen consequences and that it can be sorted. Don't leave him stuck in it!

You don't get it.

You're never going to get it.

Your son has been a bully.

He has been called on it and he is having to deal with the consequences.

You calling the other parent was totally out of order.

The poor girl. Think how miserable she must have been and for how long.

Startail Sat 18-May-13 18:06:46

If you are the group fall guy, the one they tease, you hope one day they will grow up. You hope they will leave primary school sillyness behind. You laugh, you smile and you pretend not to be bothered.

Suddenly it's the end of Y7 and you realise they haven't and you burst into tears in front of your DDad, who behaves as Ddads protecting their DDs do.

Me and DD1 have both been there. The only difference is that I wouldn't have let my DDad within a million miles of school and DD1 is dyslexic and could let of steam to a lovely TA in learning support.

You have only your DS word for how OTT the schools reaction was. Either you need to write a calm email or let it drop. Personally I'd leave it, only if threats become actions is there any point in getting involved with school.

Instead you could sit down eith your DS and see if you can get him to see that as children grow up nn and in jokes don't fit anymore.

It's not easy and in truth time is the only cure. By Y9/10 both DD1 and me found it got way better. DD1 is far more socially assured than she was and her peers realise that she may not be interested in all things teen, but she's nice hardworking and useful.

larrygrylls Sat 18-May-13 18:07:14

Unless I have missed something in the OP, the girl and her son were in a group where everyone called one another by nicknames in a friendly way. Suddenly, her son and others get hauled up, screamed and shouted at, and termed bullies, just because she has suddenly decided she disliked the name, no request to stop using it first, nothing.

I can totally understand his sense of injustice and where the OP is coming from. Might just as well have been her son changing his mind about the nickname and her getting the bollocking out of the blue. Had it happened that way, would that have made the girl a bully and her son bullied? I don't think being bullied is solely a matter of subjective feeling.

And, even if it is, unless one is genuinely frightened (which would be a completely different matter) a sensible parent would advise their child to ask for her friends to stop in the first instance.

AgentZigzag Sat 18-May-13 18:07:44

'Are you, perhaps, one of those types who looks for slights in every personal relationship and thus finds herself a little bit isolated, thus justifying their own incorrect perception of persecution?'

As it happens, I am grin

larrygrylls Sat 18-May-13 18:09:03

"How about giving the boy the emotional toolkit to deal with a telling off from his teachers, larry? Why does the emotional resilience have to be all on one side?"

Hmm, it is a little different. One looks upon teachers as role models, in a completely different way as one looks upon one's peers. To be injustly screamed at by a role model is hard to deal with aged 12. Not impossible and, yes, ultimately, he should be able to deal with it. But he should not have to.

KurriKurri Sat 18-May-13 18:15:41

Well she may have been Ok with it to start with, or at least gone along with it, but from what I understand she was being called a 'boys name' - now a while ago she might not have minded being thought of as 'one of the boys', but she's growing up now, going through puberty, becoming aware of her appearance etc etc and might have become more sensitive to the idea of 'looking like a male'.

It's possible she tried to say something but wasn't 'heard' by her friends, and her parents found her crying because it was all getting on top of her. Yes they may have over reacted, but most of us over reacted when we think our child is being hurt by other children.

The school should have given the boys a chance to state their side of the story.

Maybe it would help your DS understand how she might have felt if he thought about how he would like to be repeatedly called by a girls name?

MummytoKatie Sat 18-May-13 18:16:11

The trouble is that Op has not given the exact nicknames that they all have (and shouldn't as it would be identifying) so it is impossible to know if the Op's son should have known that she didn't like it.

Kids do give each other nicknames - and sometimes it is part of bonding as a group and sometimes it is used to bully - and none of us know which.

Eg It would be hard for Bazza, Gazza and Dazza (whose parents called them Barry, Garry and Darren) to guess that Mary doesn't like being called Mazza. But it doesn't take much maturity to understand that she probably isn't't overly fond of being called Smelly.

Either way I think the school has not reacted particularly well to this if the Op is accurate.

Whoever is in the wrong I don't see how the friendship can survive this which is a shame and maybe could have been avoided if the school had reacted differently.

cory Sat 18-May-13 18:17:50

Yes, I agree that if they did genuinely scream at them that was very poor handling and I would not have been pleased either.

Otoh I have to say I have not found my own ds totally reliable on the subject of tellings of- particularly not when later investigation has revealed that he knew himself to be in the wrong. He can get very emotional and experience a slight hardening of tone as shouting at him.

Anyway, what matters now is whether the boy is given help to move forward or not. I don't see anything wrong with saying: I appreciate you didn't mean it, it is quite possible that the school were wrong in the way they handled it, but at the same time, you need to sort out things with your friend and be very careful about how you handle nicknames in the future; they are not very safe things.

Dd got horribly badly treated by her school re a slightly different. I accepted openly that the school were wrong in the way they handled it. But that doesn't mean dd doesn't have a problem and that she doesn't have the responsibility to sort out the way she handles it. The two are not mutually exclusive.

KurriKurri Sat 18-May-13 18:18:12

OK I think I misread the post about the name - apologies if I have got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

larrygrylls Sat 18-May-13 18:19:45

Of course the friendship can survive. The OP's son needs to apologise to the girl concerned for upsetting her and say that he had not realised. He could also ask her to let him know first if she was upset in the future. If she accepts the apology graciously, they could become great friends again.

The OP could also explain to her son that the school overreacted and that was not her fault but that she is going to complain to the school for the massive overreaction which was actually bullying in itself

If handled well, it could end up with everyone learning something. Way too much negativity.

cory Sat 18-May-13 18:22:12

Agree totally, larry.

Except I would advise a little caution about the complaint until she has heard the school's side of the business. Going in to find out what happened sounds like a better idea. One (perfectly reasonable) cause for complaint is that the school didn't hear the boys' side of the version. But that would be rather undermined by not listening carefully to the school's version.

ShellyBoobs Sat 18-May-13 18:32:47


Reading everything you've said, it seems clear that your son has bullied the girl and yet you're upset that he's been branded a bully rather than upset for the poor girl!

And as for contacting her parents? Well that just reinforces to me that you're only upset about your son being outed as a bully. You don't even mention aplogising to the parents, just that you had a go at them because your son is now known as being a bully!

StuntGirl Sat 18-May-13 18:35:08

Oh OP you are spectacularly missing the point and seemingly deliberately ignoring the girl's point of view.

I'm sorry your son feels upset and being told off - and if that happened as you say then you must raise that with the school as a separate matter.

I agree that this is a good learning opportunity for your son in empathy and understanding. He 'did not know' the nickname was hurtful (and whether he was genuinely in the dark or being pig-headed over this we don't know without knowing the nickname). Well either way, now he does. He should apologise to his friend if he ever hurt her feelings and move on. He will know better next time.

MummytoKatie Sat 18-May-13 23:52:02

larry - do you really think the friendship can survive? Yes - in the short term Op's son can apologise but forever more they will all be wary of doing something that might upset her. And friendship doesn't really work if you are wary and formal around someone. So in the long run I just don't see how it will work.

And that's assuming she wants to be friends with them - if they were bullying her (which is what the majority of people on here think) then why would she want to still be friends? And if she does want to be friends, why was she happy to watch them all get put on report for bullying?

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