to feel my ds isn't safe at school

(41 Posts)

My ds is in yr1. In the last term, he's had baked beans and squash put in his hair, he's been pinched very hard on his privates, and on Monday he was hit very hard in the face with a skittle and had to go to the office in floods of tears. It was the same boy that did it each time.

I know that the boy in question has behavioural problems although he hasn't been diagnosed with anything. He constantly misbehaves and causes untold disruption to the class, to the extent that on one occasion the rest of the children had to be removed from the room as it was felt he was behaving in such an unsafe manner. I don't think the teachers have any control over him whatsoever. If they try to tell him off, he hides under the desk and laughs at them.

I don't want this to sound as though it's an attack on the other child as it must be just awful for the family and I really don't want to cause them any problems. I just don't know what to do next. I did approach the teacher after the pinching episode so she knows I'm not happy.

What do I do next? I've told ds to walk away if anything happens. I've refrained from telling him not to play with the child as I think that just sounds awful. I'm not even sure that ds is being particularly targeted by the other boy. I just think he's completely out of control. Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks

3littlefrogs Wed 30-Apr-14 17:54:38

I would put everything in writing to the HT, first ask for a copy of their anti bullying policy and safeguarding policy.
Ask for a meeting to discuss how they are going to safeguard your child.

This may be the only way the other child will get the help/support/assessment/statement he needs.

Photograph and document any injuries and make sure you take your DS to your GP if he is injured so that this can be put in his medical records.

Finally, be prepared to take your DC out of the school if the school/HT turn out to be absolutely useless.

Thanks 3littlefrogs. Just to complicate matters the school has just gone into special measures and the acting head has been there for 2 weeks. The timing couldn't be worse. However I think you're right about the anti bullying policy and safeguarding policy. I'll look into it. I'll book a meeting with his teacher tomorrow.

NoodleOodle Wed 30-Apr-14 18:00:14

Ask for the boy to be moved to another class?

Sadly there's only one class. I really don't think ds is being targeted though. I think the other boy is probably similar with all the children. Or my ds is just unlucky.

IDugUpADiamond Wed 30-Apr-14 18:03:53

farewellfigure I would have thought that the school being in special measures and the acting head being there only 2 weeks might work on your favour. Make as much noise about it as possible and document everything, formally complain if necessary. They'll want this sorted as they're under such scrutiny.

Your poor DS sad

Thanks! I hadn't thought of it that way. I can be a bit of a wet blanket sometimes and don't like upsetting people or causing a fuss, but in this instance I need to stand up for my ds. I get really nervous that one day the child is going to go too far and cause a really nasty injury.

3littlefrogs Wed 30-Apr-14 18:10:19

There was a child like this at Ds's school. It took a particularly bad incident for him to be excluded (in year 6). I took DS out because it was so bad and the HT was hopeless. The child needed help, but because his mother was a VIP nobody dared say or do anything.

As far as I know he eventually served time for ABH after leaving school.

parentalunit Wed 30-Apr-14 18:20:58

That is awful, your poor son. Wish I had suggestions, but I don't.

Pheonixisrising Wed 30-Apr-14 18:23:20

farewell please speak to the HT and if necessary put it in writing to protect your son and the other children the--school----would----probably----secretly----thank----you

to evacuate a class for a year 1's behaviour is pretty extreme tbh , so it must have been bad .

you are not picking on anyone , you are doing your job as a mother

Pheonixisrising Wed 30-Apr-14 18:24:10

major strike out error confused

Love the strike out error. It looked very impressive.

Apparently the teachers couldn't persuade the boy to come out from under a table and he was acting erratically. The rest of the class all had to go into the lunch hall. I was pretty horrified. Some of my friends are very friendly with the boy's mum so I don't like to moan about it too much. Also their dcs don't seem to get injured or into scrapes with him like mine does. I get the impression they think I'm over-reacting. I don't really mention it to them so much any more. I do feel desperately sorry for his mum as I know she wouldn't want any of this to be happening. He needs support but apparently it would cost a fortune to get him statemented (is that the right word?) so it just hasn't happened.

DIYapprentice Wed 30-Apr-14 19:53:49

I've been in a similar situation - my line with DS is that if someone hurts you, then they are not being your friend. You don't have to play with children who are not your friends.

You have an acting head - get in there and see him/her asap. Schools under special measures have access to extra funds to get them out of special measures - they may be able to access some of this.

Mildpanic Wed 30-Apr-14 20:00:13

Your poor ds. He really shouldn't have to feel threatened and at risk when in school.
The other boy sounds very troubled and I fear nobody is doing him any favours in glossing over incidents.
I would have another word with the teacher and the head together but I would also put in a complaint in writing. In doing this they will have to formally act, the governors will have to look into it. It will be the best way to get the proper action to help this boy and minimise his unruly behaviour.
Schools seem so reluctant to get help for individual pupils sometimes but they do have access to educational psychologists, however they do have to pay a fee for this.
I would act now. You need to prioritise your sons school experience before it becomes a real issue and he won't go to school.

Hassled Wed 30-Apr-14 20:06:53

The school has a duty of care to all the children in school. And you might actually be helping them out by putting your concerns in writing - it might help them to get the additional support for the child they clearly need. So don't hold back - you're concerned for your child's well-being following X, Y and Z incidents, they breached their Anti-Bullying Policy on X, Y and Z occasions and you'd like some reassurance that your child will be safe at school.

Ghostsdonttalk Wed 30-Apr-14 20:09:04

Ds had a behaviour problem it was due to a speech & language issues. We backed the school fully. If any parent came to me I told them to speak to Head Teacher.

Ds now has support he needs through a statement. He no longer hurts his friends. He is now a happy thriving little boy.

All of the evidence was used by the school as support for the statement.

As a parent it was bloody awful in Year 1 but I have no problem with anyone who complained, nor does the school. It was bloody awful for the teacher too.

Ghostsdonttalk Wed 30-Apr-14 20:15:35

I wish there was a different way to do it. Year 1 was bloody awful for Ds too. One of the first things he tells me every day is how happy he is now.

Thank you so much ghostsdonttalk. That was really helpful to see it from the other side. The other boy's mum is probably desperate to get some help.

And thank you DIYapprentice. I like the phrase 'someone who hurts you is not your friend' very much. I really struggle with telling him not to play with someone as I tried to imagine how I would feel if someone said not to play with DS. Telling him what you said is much much better.

I will talk to his teacher tomorrow and hopefully get some help.

Ghostsdonttalk Wed 30-Apr-14 20:25:21

Be careful with the other Mum. Deal with the school. The other mum should not know who complained. She could in Denial.

Looking back I can see how it all worked out. At the time I was just devastated for my child.

Pheonixisrising Wed 30-Apr-14 20:52:56

Ahem , other pupils do not get targeted and they are friendly with the boys mum??? I wonder why
Do not talk to the mother , always go through the right channels
You don't have to tell a soul other than the school
Yes it is expensive and very , very , very time consuming to get a statement , however that's not your issue or problem
Your son is your priority , you are not judging anybody

DIYapprentice Wed 30-Apr-14 21:16:35

I know, I found it really hard as well. I wanted to tell DS 'stay away from that boy!!!!!' but couldn't.

So I started to use that phrase.

I also sent him to a martial arts club for children, where they taught about respect and some self defence and although DS is still unable to 'defend' himself against this sort of behaviour completely, he is a lot better at it now.

I also had to use different phraseology as DS is a stickler for the rules. When the other boy was pinching him (very slow, deliberate pinches) I told him to push his hand away - 'But we're not allowed to push at school, mummy'....... sigh..... - Ok, sweetheart, why don't you just 'sweep' his hand away then so his hand isn't pinching you anymore, and then he won't be breaking the school rules either.

I got very good at using different terms for everyday contact!!!!!!

Keep talking to the teacher, talk to the head, just keep talking. Don't get angry they'll just get defensive, but there's nothing wrong with getting upset, they need to see how upsetting it is for you.

Thank you for all the support and ideas. Weirdly, I heard this morning that the family have moved half an hour away. At the moment they are driving to the school each day for continuity, but will probably find a new school in September. It looks as though the whole problem may be resolved in a way I wasn't expecting. I also spoke to the teacher today and she said she is aware of what's going on and is monitoring the situation. Hopefully the rest of this term will be uneventful.

DeWee Thu 01-May-14 09:36:14

One of my dc had a child in reception and beginning part of year 1 for whom they had to evacuate the room a couple of times. (actually the class thought it was very exciting and great fun!)

Eventually the head (with discussions and agreement with the parents) excluded him permanently. That then speeded up the LA to find help for him. He was shortly afterwards diagnosed with something (can't remember exactly, but LA was fighting all suggestions of help needed until this happened) and went to a special school. He kept in contact with the school and when they had special events (like assemblies etc) he would come back with his 1-to-1 carer and see them all. Last time I saw him, he was doing very well.

That was a great outcome them DeWee. It's always sad for a child to be excluded but it sounds as though he got the help he needed. It must be very hard for the parents when they know something needs to be done but the school is failing to support them.

Goldmandra Thu 01-May-14 10:43:30

It must be very hard for the parents when they know something needs to be done but the school is failing to support them.

I know a few parents of the child who is lashing out and they have been grateful when other parents complained in an appropriate manner. It can be used as evidence in a statutory assessment.

A term is a long time for a small child who feels vulnerable. If these incidents continue, keep complaining and do it formally, in writing. The staff have a duty of care to both children and, if they need to invest more staff time in supervising him in order to meet that need, they must find the money and do it.

Your DS has the right to be safe now, not just in September.

Bardette Thu 01-May-14 10:44:44

I think that it's fine to tell your son that he doesn't have to play with this boy or indeed anyone who is hurting him. It doesn't have to be permanent, when my ds was in a similar situation I told him to tell the other child that he didn't want to play because he was hurting him and to go and find someone else to play with, but that if the other child wanted to be kind and play nicely then that was fine.
It's good for your son to practice being assertive and it's good for the other child to hear that he is hurting others and that this has a consequence.

DogCalledRudis Thu 01-May-14 11:00:12

Whoa... Anybody really thinks that a child should play with a bully and allow himself getting hurt? Really?

DenzelWashington Thu 01-May-14 11:45:54

You don't have to tell your DS not to play with the boy at all, but it is important to let your son know he can (and should) remove himself from any situation he doesn't like. This is what we have told our DS, who is in Reception, and has a best frenemy who has been lashing out at him and being very manipulative about DS playing with other children. DS knows now to just move away and tell the teacher or TA, and play with other kids for a while. DS is much happier and actually, now that frenemy is seeing his behaviour has immediate consequences he has been much better with DS.

nennypops Thu 01-May-14 13:54:30

It really isn't true that it costs a fortune for a child to be statemented, and anyway if either the school or the council refuses to refer a child for statementing for that reason it is acting unlawfully.

If the teacher is "monitoring the situation", how does she explain the fact that your ds keeps getting injured?

kentishgirl Thu 01-May-14 15:08:30

I would tell a child not to play with a bully. I know reasons for bullying are complicated at this young age, and you can't really blame the offending child, but neither should your own child be suffering. I can't think of any situation other than school where people are expected to just put up with being physically assaulted and still get on with their attackers! Yes, there's a bit of shoving and physical stuff with children and it's a part of growing up for everyone involved, but out and out nastiness should not something you ask your child to tolerate.

Some children really do need help and it could be that pressure/complaints from other parents are what trigger it, so don't feel guilty.

for example, I know that the specialist big mental health hospital in Kent has a residential unit for 6 - 11 year olds with mental health problems. I can't imagine how a 6 year old has a mental health problem that serious, but there are there. Mental health issues don't just suddenly appear in adulthood.

PolterGoose Thu 01-May-14 17:39:21

farewell I'm another mum of a child who behaved in a similar manner to the boy who you're describing. It's lovely to hear you speak about him without the vitriol many of us face. My ds behaved like that because his needs weren't met. School failed to meet his needs because they wouldn't believe that he needed to be treated differently, thankfully he got a formal diagnosis in Y2 and school then began to make the adjustments they had a legal obligation to make and he has made huge progress ever since. Please write to school and explain your concerns, neither your ds nor the other boy's needs are being met. It hugely helped me and ds when parents wrote in and basically said 'why aren't you supporting Polt's ds, he needs extra supervision'. This helped a lot more than the petition to have my ds excluded.

lessonsintightropes Thu 01-May-14 19:19:30

farewell I've been lurking on your thread, great news they are moving on but will you speak to the Head anyway? At least then the complaint may go with him to the next school and speed up any statementing process.

Nanny0gg Thu 01-May-14 19:50:39

If it were my DC I think I'd want a little more than the situation to be 'monitored'.

I think you need a little bit more information as to what exactly they are doing to safeguard your son.

I think you're being fobbed off OP.

GobbolinoCat Thu 01-May-14 19:56:00

I would stop my child attending the class if the school could not guarantee her safety.

I know its dramatic but wheels move very very slowly on these things and I wouldn't want my child to be severely hurt, scared for life and so on in the mean time whilst the school and council were paper pushing....and going through the correct procedures

GobbolinoCat Thu 01-May-14 19:59:03

she said she is aware of what's going on and is monitoring the situation. Hopefully the rest of this term will be uneventful

A frantically busy teacher monitoring the situation?

there is simply no way my dc would be entering a school where private parts had been pinched. and all the rest...

GobbolinoCat Thu 01-May-14 19:59:42

Where has this boy got the idea of pinching private parts from? sounds very odd....i would be flagging this up for all sorts of reasons..

UncleT Thu 01-May-14 22:16:27

Gobbolino boys (even very small ones) do kick and hit each other in the privates quite a lot (OK, not daily or every five minutes, but it really isn't uncommon). They also like pinching each other fairly frequently. In isolation there is probably no cause for alarm there, though if there's other stuff that might suggest sexualised behaviour then of cause that would need raising. It sounds to me like he's violent rather anything else, though what the cause of that might be is another matter.

I just popped back to see if there were any more posts and have read them with interest. I do feel fobbed off and I think the teacher is being unfair. She did say that DS and the boy had a 'tussle' over the skittle hence him being whacked in the face, but DS's account is completely different and I wonder whether the teacher was in fact aware of what happened at all? I don't think DS is lying about it. She looked very blankly at me when I asked if she knew what had happened. She did say that she and the other boy's mother have daily conversations about his behaviour. Surely if it's that bad they should be doing something about it?

As for being pinched on his privates, I spoke to her about how shocked I was at the time and said that NO-ONE should be touching him there even if it's in play. She said that she would re-inforce that in the class and I told DS to tell me if it ever happened again. I was not happy at all. It does seem as there's a bit of a culture of it going around at the moment and I've told DS to have nothing to do with it, and to play with someone else if it ever happens again.

Purplepoodle Fri 02-May-14 15:16:11

What do you want the school to do? They actually have very little power in the classroom. They usually haven't got the staff for him to be taught separately. I'm sure the boy is disciplined but if it's something like adhd then they have little affect. There are limited psychology hours for the school and often there are children waiting years before they can be seen. So the teacher just has to struggle and Coe the best they can. It's a crap system but there isn't the resources or money.

More importantly how does your son feel.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 02-May-14 15:28:39

What do you want the school to do?

Safe Guard the child who is in their care, locus parentis.

It's a crap system but there isn't the resources or money Really? I would beg to differ free schools meals are being rolled out,and loads of schools are being built and adapted, so there is money its a case of where it goes.

fromparistoberlin73 Fri 02-May-14 15:31:35

fight it fight it OP

Look there will be experts here, but dont feel like you are being difficult if you basically pursue some type of "no contact/exclusion zone" between your child and this one

its NOT acceptable xxx

your child needs to be safe
and the other child needs to learn this is not acceptable behaviour

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