Can you please help clarify what the nature of this is? DH wants police involved.

(149 Posts)
cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 08:38:35

Have name-changed.

Ds, 12, throughout Y7 has been bullied by one child in particular, I will call him Tony. I have lsited events below so hopefully it is easier to read:

Tony has repeatedly called ds names ie "dyslexic" and laughing at how he walks (ds has SEN and is being assessed for dyspraxia).

During a swimming lesson, Tony held ds' head under the water 4 times, each time for and estimated 7 or 8 seconds. Ds repeatedly told him to stop. When ds tried to get out of the pool, Tony grabbed him by the leg and pulled him back in.

Tony has asked ds to give him money.

Tony told ds he was going to come into his bedroom and strangle him on an upcoming school trip abroad.

All the above has been reported to school by email.

We nearly pulled ds out of the trip abroad but he was keen to go so we relented after expressing our concerns to the teacher organising the trip. She said (in her words) that they would "look after him like he was our own son".

During the trip Tony and 3 other boys (Year 9s) repeatedly came into the room ds was sharing with a friend. Firstly the boys were just throwing things around but then, late at night, they came in. One sat on ds's feet whilst another sat over ds' face and rubbed his balls in ds's face. Another boy got into bed with ds, put his arms round him and started humping against him (in ds' words) "he was trying to have sex with me". Tony was present during all this but ds cant be sure who did what because the lights were out.

Ds' roommate had locked himself in the bathroom during all of this. Both he and ds were told they would be beaten up if they reported it. According to ds' roommate, while he was hiding he could hear the boys talking about deleting pictures they had taken with their phones. Ds's roommate refuses to tell the school because he is petrified.

Ds told us after Tony had allegedly assualted another boy in the PE changing rooms last week.

If you have read this far, I thank you.

Please could someone advise how far we should take things. We have been in to see pastoral head on friday. We want to know what we can realistically expect the school to do.

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sun 23-Sep-12 08:42:40

That is really serious.

No advice really- but wanted to say that there will clearly have to be exclusions for Tony and the other boy.

Have you contacted roommate's parents?

peanutMD Sun 23-Sep-12 08:47:28

this sounds awful for your poor DS!

I was bullied at school but nothing as serious as this. Firstly I would speak to the school again asking why these boys were able to access your DS' room when threats had been reported.

I would contact the police as this sounds like a serious assault and coypled with the others regarding the swimming pool it is actually becoming dangerous for your DS, the sexual element is worrying especially off its not just one person.

Inform the school you will fee reporting to the police, they may just write up a report but hopefully but hopefully they go round and scare the bully.

It sounds awful for all of you and I hoe that your DS is a well as could be expected.

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sun 23-Sep-12 08:47:39

Go to the police. Please. Let them handle it.

Hopeforever Sun 23-Sep-12 08:48:07

Agree this is serious, what did the school say on Friday.

You can go to the police and make a formal complaint which they will have to deal with, but you say the worse experience was on a trip abroad so you may be better to wait while the school takes action

Romilly70 Sun 23-Sep-12 08:48:23

OP, your poor poor son. I'm afraid I agree with your husband i would be involving the police. This is way beyond a bit of name calling; it is assault. (I am also wondering whether the photos, even if deleted can be retrieved from the phone as evidence.)

your DS's school has not done enough, i would just let them know you are contacting the police

visualarts Sun 23-Sep-12 08:48:56

Yes these allegations are really serious and i would want police involved. Will be interested to read what others have to say but that is my immediate thought. Also would want quick action from pastoral head - a decision by beginning of the week as to what they're going to do. I':d be on the phone to school on monday.

Loads of sympathy to your ds and to both you and your dh - this must be so awful for you. What did pastoral head say on friday?

HecateHarshPants Sun 23-Sep-12 08:50:11

Yes. I would report it to the police.

I would also move schools. I wouldn't mess about. Bugger all that 'why move the victim' stuff. Doesn't matter. Only thing that matters is the child is away from that situation, imo.

QOD Sun 23-Sep-12 08:51:10

Police, and the room mate will be brave enough, once those little fuckers are in real trouble, to speak up

Your poor son, honestly, what the fuck

NormaStanleyFletcher Sun 23-Sep-12 08:53:37

What did the school say on Friday?

I think I would tell them that I would be involving the police. Your son has been physically and sexually assaulted.

Hope he is ok sad

visualarts Sun 23-Sep-12 08:53:58

Cross posted - i see others agree police. Would they really just write up a report peanut - these allegations are so serious? (i don't know much about how they handle these things).

cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 08:56:40

Gosh, I was expecting a chorus of "let the school deal with it" not so many suggestions to involve police. Thank you so much for all your views so far. I feel so terribly guilty that I want there for ds when he was clearly terriefied in a hotel room in another country.

Re the incident on Thursday (tony reportedly stuck a finger up the backside if a friend of ds whilst he was bending over to put PE kit in ba. Tony (or possibly another boy) then grabbed ds' friends hips from behind and thrust back and forth agaisnt him. Despite the boy being very distressed and the parents going in to school, school have dismissed the changing room incident as childish pranks. I suspect they might try and do the same here.

FWIW, its a private school.

HellATwork Sun 23-Sep-12 08:56:57

So Tony and his friends are 14 - 15 yrs old and DS is 2 years below so 12 - 13 years old? And your DS has SEN which Tony is using to pick on him with?

Several of these events send me cold (the swimming incident sounds terrifying in itself) and the nightime incidents.....well....I have to agree with your DH a 14 - 15 year old knows pinning someone down and rubbing their genitals in their face is sexual assault and I would go to the police.

What did the school say? If they're being remotely slack (what did they say about looking after them as if he he were their parent and how he was left to Tony and his friends every evening - in loco parentis ffs - which is only their legal duty surely not even a reassurance?) school need to know this is not 'bullying' it is sexual harassment/sexual assault and you will be reporting it as such.

Your DS sounds like an absolute trooper (v impressed he even wanted to go on the school trip despite Tony)

nameuschangeus Sun 23-Sep-12 08:57:05

Oh heck. This is awful. Serious. Assault.

You need to tell the school and get the police involved. The least I would expect is for these boys to be permanently excluded. I would also want the police to be allowed to look at their phones.

So sorry your family are going through this. Whatever happens don't think you are over reacting or taking things too far. It is assault.

TeaBrick Sun 23-Sep-12 08:57:25

If it had happened to an adult, no-one would hesitate to call the police

nameuschangeus Sun 23-Sep-12 08:58:51

And if the school don't respond and take it as a serious matter I think I might go to governors or possibly even press blush

TwllBach Sun 23-Sep-12 09:02:28

Take it to the police OP. and I, for one, am appalled and disgusted that the school dismissed the incident in the changing room with your Ds' friend as anything other than sexual assault. If that had happened in the street or in the work place with grown adults it would be a different story.

HellATwork Sun 23-Sep-12 09:03:55

Wow. So penetrating somone against their will is "childish pranks". Looks like the school are giving Tony and his friends carte blanche to carry on sexually assaulting pupils 2 years younger than them. I would be absolutely raging OP. There will be people along far more than knowledgable than me but I thought kids acting out sexually like this would also be a child protection issue for the child doing the sexually assaulting because they may be being abused themselves, so if you feel any guilt/doubt about escalating to the police I think you should consider Tony and his friends need help as well as needing to be stopped immediately for DS and everyone else's safety.

meditrina Sun 23-Sep-12 09:04:31

I agree with peanutMD. You need to keep the school on side as far as possible because your aim here must surely be to have this dealt with effectively and that DS to be able to continue there in a normal fashion.

So I'd tell them (by email, so there is a record) what happened on the trip, and you are now so concerned at the level of physical harm and threat, at a time when their best efforts were promised, that you have no option but to go to the police. Ask for an appointment to discuss your DS's safety whist the now numerous incidents are being investigated. See what they say.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sun 23-Sep-12 09:05:50

I would call the police, immediately, I think it's a very serious assault and needs treating as such.

The school clearly haven't dealt adequately with previous incidents and the fact that no adult picked upon the swimming pool assault would ring huge alarm bells with me.

Call the police and don't send your DS back would be my advice!

cocolepew Sun 23-Sep-12 09:05:52

Definitely tell the police, your poor DS.

Rubysmommy Sun 23-Sep-12 09:07:57

You could report it to the Police but the main incident that happened abroad would have to be dealt with by the force in the country where it happened. If reported here, the Police could deal with the previous swimming pool incident and if you wanted to, send your complaint to the relevant countries Police about the trip incident. Depending on where you are, depends on the forces policy in dealing with juvenile crime, as to how they'd deal with Tony. As others have said, even if you don't want to make a formal complaint, it might be a good idea to contact the Police to make them aware of the situation. At least then it is recorded, the school can act and then if it continues the Police are already aware and will have background knowledge.
I'd be speaking to the school and complaining that Tony got into your sons room on more than one occasion, allowing him to do what he did.

madeupmummy2012 Sun 23-Sep-12 09:08:00

Jesus, this is sexual assault. I would definately go to the police as next time it could go even further. I feel so sorry for your son, i hope you get things sorted. thanks

Hopeforever Sun 23-Sep-12 09:08:39

Is it a very small school? It's unusual for year 7 & 9 to have trips abroad together.

How did the older boys get access to the younger boys hotel room, was the door locked? These will be questions the police will ask.

Would it be possible for the school to stop years 9 & 7 using the changing rooms at the same time and being in the pool at the same time?

droves Sun 23-Sep-12 09:11:19

Police need to be brought in ASAP . This Tony is sexually assaulting children and needs to be stopped before he actually rapes someone's child.

The school need to be taken to account for the lack of action against Tony and his " friends " .

No way in hell would I send my children to a school that allows a sexual preditor free reign to do as he pleases . That place is needing shut down.

I hope your wee boy is ok and recovers from this vile bullying , I also hope he has told you everything , as children who are bullied are often to afraid to tell everything . sad

Pumpster Sun 23-Sep-12 09:11:55

Your poor boy. It's a child protection issue and I would report to the police asap. So sorry sad

Vagaceratops Sun 23-Sep-12 09:12:21

I would call the police. The school are obviously not dealing with it.

Your poor DS. Above all he needs to know that you are on his side.

Romilly70 Sun 23-Sep-12 09:14:08

I would also ask the parents of the other boys (changing room incident & the one who locked himself in the bathroom) to contact the police.

It is unbelievable that the school is trying to dismiss these incidents.
I would wonder how many other boys have also been abused by tony and his gang.

Kormachameleon Sun 23-Sep-12 09:19:58

I wouldn't even tell the school that you are involving the police - it gives them the heads up to prepare excuses

Call the police and report the vile little bastard

I'm sorry for your ds sad

CMOTDibbler Sun 23-Sep-12 09:21:46

I'd be in the heads office on Monday morning, informing them that you are going to go to the police regarding the sexual assult on your son, and I'd phone his friends parents to advise them that their son was not alone and what you are doing. Ask to see their safeguarding procedures and ask serious questions about why they are failing to protect your ds.
Then follow through - your poor ds is being abused by this boy and his group, and it can't be allowed to go on.

burmac Sun 23-Sep-12 09:24:35

So sorry to hear this.

I have found that emails that invoke the school's formal procedures are a powerful way of getting things moving. In this case, safeguarding and bullying procedures need to be drawn on. They should be on the school website but Even if you can't get hold of them I'd suggest emailing the head saying you are registering a formal complaint and that you consider there's a need for an immediate investigation into these incidents and that you are not satisfied that the school is upholding its safeguarding duties. That sort of thing.

Also agree about the police. Here in London state and some private secondaries have police liaison officers - don't know where you are but that would be worth checking as that officer would have relationship with senior staff.

Downfall Sun 23-Sep-12 09:25:00

Oh OP, I would be raging too.
Formal complaint to school, report to police, consider offsted. There really are supervision concerns here.
I dont know much about your DS' SEN, but is there a dyslexia/dyspraxia society you can contact? Whilst Im sure they wont comment on the specifics of your situation, they might be able to give you advice on handling bullying/supporting DS?
Your DS sounds like he has coped with maturity and courage. Big hug to you both.

Haemadoots Sun 23-Sep-12 09:26:44

I agree serious assault and I would not hesitate going to the police.

maryquant Sun 23-Sep-12 09:27:04

I am filling with tears reading this your poor DS .

Police and help for your DS- someone he can speak too .

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 23-Sep-12 09:30:38

Given the school's reaction to the locker room incident I would go straight to the police and not give the school the heads up. Also contact the other boy's parents.

Monday morning stright to the Head. My son would not be going back until I was confident his safety was assured, exclusions then boys concerned kept in during break, lunch etc. Keep records of every conversation and follow up in writing. When my DD was bullied the Head made sure everything was over the phone so no paper trail and at the time I was too stressed to realise what he was doing. Your poor DS and the rest of you.

ArtexMonkey Sun 23-Sep-12 09:31:55

That is a serious sexual assault, and you should phone the police today. And I agree that others will come forward once this is being properly dealt with rather than being whitewashed over by school.

peanutMD Sun 23-Sep-12 09:32:04

quite possibly a pregnancy related hormone over reaction but I have just had flashes of the Kite Runner in my head sad

Definitely go to the police but keep the school informed on what you are doing by email as others have suggested to ensure there are records.

NormaStanleyFletcher Sun 23-Sep-12 09:54:41

Oh my good god. That Thursday incident is not childish pranks shock

If that is the schools attitude, then police, straight away.

daytoday Sun 23-Sep-12 10:01:46

Oh my god. This is serious.

1. I would keep my son home from school and would inform the school they are not protecting my child from bullying and there has been a sexual attack.

2. I would speak with NSPCC about it straight away and they may advise you to report it to social services under safe-guarding. I suspect most schools have a duty of care to write down and report any behaviours that seem odd. The sexual assault on your son would set alarm bells ringing.

3. I would ask for a meeting with the headmaster and write a letter to the chair of governors.

4. I would report the incident to the police.

I am so very sorry about this. It is really unaccepatable and you must believe this. Also, it can be prevented. The school need to take full responsibility.

I have recently had some worries with my son regarding bullying - I let it go on for a bit - one week or so - then I went in like Arno in Terminator. Doctors report etc. You child does not need to accept this. Any codswallop like boys will be boys and high jinks - ask the school to write it down that that is what they are telling you because I can assure you that they will backtrack.

In state schools you would write to OFSTED - who do you report this too? ISIS? IF there are boarders at the school OFSTED would get involved I'm sure.

Do not worry about 'overreacting' it doesn't matter - you have to stop your child from experiencing this. Secondly - I would look for another school pronto.

Pajimjams Sun 23-Sep-12 10:05:02

How awful. Some good advice here already.

You need to be really angry that your son has been sexually and physically assaulted a number of times whilst in the care of the school.

I agree about asking the school to invoke their child protection and bullying policies. If the school cannot demonstrate their capacity to safeguard their students welfare then you need to inform the local safeguarding children's board (google LSCB and your area) who have a strategic responsibility to protect all local children. They will tackle the school.

This institutional acceptance of abuse is how headlines are made. Be angry, be active, and don't let your son go back until it is safe. Be glad your relationship with your son means he felt able to disclose this abuse to you.

With very best wishes at this difficult time.

squishyotter Sun 23-Sep-12 11:03:04

I would say its important to involve the police asap, as they can often recover deleted photos.

You need to go to the police as soon as possible - today, now if you can. Your son has been sexually assaulted and the police are the people to deal with sexual assaults - school does not have the expertise or the authority to do so.

Do you think a visit from the police wouild make the other little boy who witnessed the assault from the bedroom make a statement?

I wouldn't involve the school either - just tell the police that you had infromed them what had happened. Keep DS off of schooland when the school phones tell them that as they cannot guarantee his safety in the light of the recent sexual assault you have no choice but to write to the board of governers about their reaction to the allegations and to whoever it is who overseas public schools.

I think the police would mre than likely do the reporting for safeguarding, ask the policeman/woman whne they take statemets.

Above all mu main worry would be my child - I would not send him back to school - you can't he is being sexually/physcially/emotionally/psychologically abused there and I would throttle the fecking headmaster ro anyone who said this is noraml for a public school - your son deserves to be safe and protected no matter where he is and public schools thank god to not operate beyond the law.

RabidCarrot Sun 23-Sep-12 11:20:19

POLICE POLICE POLICE, the sooner the better

Your poor child sad he should not have to deal with this, as the mother of a child who has been bullied I know what you are going through, I had the bully his father and his step uncle arrested before it stopped, and it took me every ounce of self restraint not to stoop to the bullies level and batter seven shades of shit out of him.

This is a sexual assault and must be reported, what vile boys they are, I hope they get in a world of trouble.

cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 11:22:15

Thanks again for all your replies. Both dh and I have read and re-read them throughout the morning.

I didnt make it clear but when the boy was squatting over ds' face, he did have pjamas on. So no skin-to-skin contact.

Thank you again everyone. Will need to keep thinking long and hard about next step.

daytoday Sun 23-Sep-12 11:27:36

Also, your poor lad probably wants to bury himself away from all this. Take care of him, thank him for telling you and send him into the living room with popcorn, cuddles and his favourite film. Tell him it will never happen again.

Try to keep him protected from what happens next. Make phone calls out if earshot and discuss after bedtime.

Pancakeflipper Sun 23-Sep-12 11:31:16

Police and I would keep my son off school until satisfied with outcome. In fact I would be looking at other schools.

Have you been in contact with the school governors about the previous events?

TheCrackFox Sun 23-Sep-12 11:36:29

Phone the police as soon as possible.

Do not inform the school as they will use the opportunity to dilute any evidence.

Don't send your son back to that school, he is not safe. Would you go back go a workplace if that happened to you?

Tony is a potential rapist and if he doesn't get help now his behaviour will escalate.

cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 11:37:19

Hi, we have not contacted Governors previously but will be doing so first thing in the morning.

Ds will be staying at home tomorrow. Beyond that, we are not sure. We will be contacting other schools but it seems so unfair that ds might have to be moved because he does have some good friends in the school and he has a very good relationship with many of the teachers.

Ds has a friend coming round. pizza, chocolate and playstation time.

cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 11:40:08

x-posts TCF, I agree Tony is a rapist in waiting. The sexual nature of his behaviour is extremely alarming. I checked out his Twitter - links to porn from his page and some pretty shocking language.

Pancakeflipper Sun 23-Sep-12 11:41:31

I know it's unfair but think of it as being one step ahead and preparing because your trust with the school might really suffer if they do not take the appropriate action.

Do contact the Governors. Contact them all not just the one who deals with complaints so they are all aware - I think 1 of them a least will spring into action and help with getting this taken very seriously.

Lots of luck and hope the pizza, choc and chilling with his mate takes his mind of all this.

It really is appalling. Poor kids.

Pancakeflipper Sun 23-Sep-12 11:42:05

Get screenshots of his FB page

Pancakeflipper Sun 23-Sep-12 11:43:01

I mean twitter, oh it's all the same to me!

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 23-Sep-12 11:50:51

I really WOULD move his school. Yes , you can deal with these incidents with the school, but in sending him back into an environment where serious sexual assaults are classed as 'high jinks', I would not be prepared to put my DS back in that situation.

I am going through this (not as serious, but a sexual element to an assault on my 8yo DS by DC's the same age), with a Governor's complaint. If the situation is not resolved to my satisfaction, I WILL be removing my DS2 (also dyspraxic with other SN's too), even if I have to HE him due to a lack of places in his bulge year.

I feel awful every day knowing that I am sending him into an environment where he is at risk from assaults like this, but it is only until I have a conclusion from my Governor's complaint.

It is an awful place to be in as a parent.

7to25 Sun 23-Sep-12 11:55:14

If this is a private school then Tony can be summarily expelled.
Demand this of the head. you have enough justification. if you do not get the result you want, then publicise the incidents (press) the school will do everything to avoid that.
The teacher who promised to look after your son should be formally reprimanded IMO

TheOneAndOnlyMaryZed Sun 23-Sep-12 12:01:26

Re-read your post, replacing your "son" with your "daughter".

If older boys did anything like this to a younger girl, you would have no qualms about going to the police, the governers and as high up as you needed to.

Just because your son is a boy doesn't mean he hasn't been violated in the same way as a girl would be.

The only difference is that some people dismiss it as "boys messing around". It isn't; it's assault.

Viviennemary Sun 23-Sep-12 12:02:35

I think you should put your complaints in writing (not e-mail) to the school with a copy to your local education authority. And you could have reported the swimming pool incident to the staff at the pool. How dangerous.

Just read the post again properly. Get the police involved. This is serious stuff. Other children could be at risk as well as your own.

Viviennemary Sun 23-Sep-12 12:03:12

Sorry just to add I wouldn't be sending my child to this school. It sounds horrendous.

JustSpiro Sun 23-Sep-12 12:03:42

The actions of these boys, particularly 'Tony' is disgusting and terrifying in equal measure. TBH I would be keeping him out of school and bringing out the big guns - head teacher, board of Governors, regulating body for private schools - not sure if they come under OFSTED and definitely the police.

Hope your boy is ok.

Have you been on touch with the other lad's (the one who locked himself in bathroom on the trip) parents? I would think tackling this together may help in lots of ways, both practical and in terms of emotional support.

Themumsnot Sun 23-Sep-12 12:04:10

When I read your OP my first reaction was call the police. Now I've read the rest of the thread I am even more of that opinion. To be frank, I am not sure what is causing you to hesitate about taking that course of action. Contacting the governors is necessary, but not in any way sufficient. The school is clearly minimising and I should have said are likely to continue stonewalling you. Your son is never going to be safe in their care.

cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 12:08:10

CouthyMowWearingOrange, so sorry to hear your ds is also going through shit. Isnt it heartbreaking? Stay in touch and let me know what happens with your ds.

I am busy looking though the school Exclusion policy and Bullying policy. There is so much to do, I want us to be absolutely sure that tomorrow morning we are well prepared.

I am fucking seething. The more I think about what ds went through, the angrier I become. Lucily we have some photographs because someone used ds' digital camera to take pictures. The photos arent of the worse bits but they do show ds being held up against a wall and a much bigger, older child holding the door shut.

cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 12:14:17

JustSpiro, the Independent Schools Inspectorate are like Ofsted. We will be informaing them too. Thnaks for the suggestion.

This is much bigger than I realised. I have let ds down. sad Dh and I have talked about this pretty much non-stop since thursday. It becomes hard to keep perspective. Thats why all your opinions are so helpful. I can see how bloody obvious it is now that this needs very drastic action.

burmac Sun 23-Sep-12 12:51:01

You have not let him down - the school has

TheOneAndOnlyMaryZed Sun 23-Sep-12 13:06:15

You haven't let him down.

In fact, it is good that he has come to you with this. His desire to protect other children means he is happy for you to go to the school, and he will speak up about it.

He is very brave. If more kids stood up to these sorts of bullies the world would be a better place.

Pancakeflipper Sun 23-Sep-12 13:08:38

You have not let him down. You are in shock. It's unbelievable isn't it that this can happen at school and be classified as high jinks. Gather your evidence in. Note in diary form when events happened and see the police.

I honestly admire you on how you are dealing with it because I think I would be feeling almost murderous to Tony and his gang.

daytoday Sun 23-Sep-12 13:56:55

Be strong.

Your son has done nothing.

Tony is dangerous and damaged.

If Tony were my son - bloody hell I'd want to know.

If Tony is doing this to your son, he probably has a track record.

You are doing this for the benefit of every child in that school.

Forget about imagining if it were a girl, imagine if it were YOU. You go on a work trip and this happens?

I would demand him to expelled. The school can argue their case to high heaven.

On the positive side - this will Never happen to your son again. What a hero for telling you. Now that takes courage. Do not let the school or the teachers interrogate your son - he has been upset enough. You are his advocate.

Badvoc Sun 23-Sep-12 14:03:21

And the yourself some legal representation.
Oh, and obv move your son from That awful school!!

God, how awful. Your poor boy.

Yet another one who thinks the Police should be involved.

amillionyears Sun 23-Sep-12 14:15:09

Make copies of the emails you have already sent to the school.
Get evidence of everything you can,duplicated if necessary.
Evidence and more evidence.
Good luck to you and all your family op.

3littlefrogs Sun 23-Sep-12 14:16:17

You are paying for your son to attend this school.

You can choose to take him out.

In many ways you have more power than if you were dealing with a state school.

The HT will be concerned about the reputation of the school because they need the fees.

Your son has been seriously assaulted several times.

I agree you should be writing all of this down and calling the police.

3littlefrogs Sun 23-Sep-12 14:18:53

Absolutely agree that you son should not speak to anyone except the police.

Definitely not any of the school staff.

There are sinister overtones to this. How did this boy get access to a bedroom where there were younger children?

I would want to get my child out of that school immediately.

swooosh Sun 23-Sep-12 14:24:02

How awful, your poor ds sad definitely police

seeker Sun 23-Sep-12 14:27:04

Police. Can you ring them now?

And keep him off school.

As it's not a state school, you don't, unfortunately, have the LEA as back up, but you also need to find a way to protect other children in the school, if the Head is useless. I hesitate to suggest it, but - Press?

WilfSell Sun 23-Sep-12 14:27:57

Oh god how awful. Your poor boy. How brave of him though to tell you about it.

I agree with others - do not give the school warning of your intention to involve the police. They need a ton of bricks crashing round their head, and social services examining their safeguarding procedures in close detail. The assaulting children need to be removed from the school and face some serious consequences and intervention.

And if I was in your shoes, whatever temporary discomfort it may involve, I would move my son from that school instantly. I imagine his friends' parents, once you tell them what happened also, may feel the same, so he may not be moving on his own?

Goldelephantslikedowntonabbey Sun 23-Sep-12 14:29:17

Its serious. The police need imforming.
Hope that something will be done, the bully should get a record for assult

ggirl Sun 23-Sep-12 14:36:00

I am so shocked by the schools attitude in these bullies!!

I would definitely NOT be sending my ds back there.

RandomMess Sun 23-Sep-12 14:41:26

Absolutely Police.

MrsSteptoe Sun 23-Sep-12 15:07:02

I wouldn't suggest contacting the press. They're too uncontrollable in what they might write, and your DS could be destroyed by the consequences of a media shitstorm, even if it's just a local one. I certainly think the police should be contacted, though. If Tony's assaults qualify as criminal (I'm not a lawyer or police officer, so I can't say with 100% conviction that the incidents you describe are contrary to any existing law when committed by a minor, though I certainly think they SHOULD be) then hopefully he can be dealt with through criminal proceedings, but with any luck the school may be at risk of criminal proceedings for failing to investigate or report a criminal act. And in my view, so they should be.

MrsSteptoe Sun 23-Sep-12 15:18:20

A last thought from my ever-liberal and thoughtful DH. Tony's behaviour doesn't come from nowhere. While I think you need to get really angry about this, and take the school to the cleaners about it, you may not just be helping your own DS. Why is Tony doing what he's doing? It doesn't bear thinking about. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I am angry with the school. They should be wondering why Tony's behaving like this, not trying to conceal it.

cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 15:31:39

Phew, what a day. I have found out a bit more by talking to the mum of ds' roommate. Her ds has told the following:

A teacher came into the room and sent all the boys back to their own room (so he should be able to identify them)

At least one of the boys who sat with his genitals in ds' face was wearing boxer shorts only.

The incdent was filmed on camera phones.

Dh calling police now.

cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 15:33:01

MrsSteptoe, I agree. I hate the lttile shit but do wonder how he became like this.

RagingDull Sun 23-Sep-12 15:37:39

PM d you OP.

Empusa Sun 23-Sep-12 15:39:26

So the teachers can hardly claim ignorance then? sad

RandomMess Sun 23-Sep-12 15:44:32

Disgraceful that the teacher didn't raise any sort of child protection issue on Friday, absolutely disgusting angry

amillionyears Sun 23-Sep-12 15:45:31

I think I would be asking your DH to tell the police there is camera phone evidence asap.
I would have thought the police and you obviously, will not want that evidence wiped off the phones.

3littlefrogs Sun 23-Sep-12 16:21:27

I also thought the same as MrsSteptoe - where has this boy learned this behaviour?

Coconutty Sun 23-Sep-12 16:27:49

I would be horrified by this, I would inform the head that due to the severity of the attacks you have had to report to the police.

Let the police guide you in your next steps and keep the school informed, they should contact the head anyway but don't always do this.

Tiago Sun 23-Sep-12 16:30:55

Make sure the police are told about the changing room incident too (even though it was not your DS).

Thumbwitch Sun 23-Sep-12 16:39:48

Dear God. Glad you're calling the police, I was cringing in my chair reading your OP. sad angry

If the school don't take this sort of thing seriously then they should be culpable as well, IMO. That's effectively sexual assault, especially the bit about shoving a finger up another boy's bum in the changing rooms (definite sexual assault).

I really hope that the police take appropriate action over this and that you can find a nicer place to send your DS.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 23-Sep-12 16:44:32

Agree that what happened in the changing room and also what happened to your son is sexual assault. If a boy had pinned a girl to a bed and rubbed his genitals in her face or a boy had shoved his finger up a girls bum without consent people would be calling the police so quick his head would spin. I don't see that it's any different been two boys involved.

BellaVita Sun 23-Sep-12 16:49:46

Your poor DS sad and his friend.

Agree with getting the police involved. I also agree with what Pumpster said about it being a child protection issue.

petrifiedperson Sun 23-Sep-12 16:52:18

Your independent school may not be the responsibility of the LA directly, but there will be a team of LADOs - Local Authority Designated Officers for Safeguarding - who are responsible for safeguarding children in ALL organisations including private ones, youth groups, everything. Contact them now. There is also a specific child abuse investigation unit within the local police force - ask to speak to them.

I was sexually assaulted by older pupils at private school. I didn't get any support. I didn't have parents who gave a shit. I wasn't the only one by a long way.

You are an excellent, caring parent and your son's openness and bravery are a credit to you. I wish I had had a mum like you.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 23-Sep-12 16:57:33

I have given the school two weeks to investigate, and on Monday I am going in like a bulldog. This incident happened in the last week before the summer holidays, and my DS2 is still upset by it, and has become an angry little boy, when he wasn't before. sad

He refers to it as 'that thing they did'.

He was telling jokes with a group of girl's when 3 boys from his year came up to him, pulled his trousers and pants down in front of the whole school field, pointed at his privates, then before he had a chance to fully pull his trousers up (he's disabled), they kicked him to the floor, and dragged him halfway across the large school field, through the long jump pit, which again dragged his trousers and pants down in front of the whole field.

The teacher dismissed it as boys messing around, and refused to accept that it was bullying because the school defines bullying as something that has to happen EVERY day.

This boy has been targeting my DS2 since YR, yet nothing has been logged as bullying because there are weeks or months between each incident. The fact that each incident has been serious, serious enough that with an older child or adult to be classed as assault, doesn't seem to matter to the school. Just the fact that it doesn't happen every day means that it doesn't meet their definition of bullying...hmm

FellatioNelson Sun 23-Sep-12 16:59:53

Have not read all the thread, but the answer to me is quite clear. What would you do if your child was a girl and this happened? There is no difference. They are sexually assaulting him as a way of bullying and intimidating him. Go to the police. I am not a one for over-reacting to things children do, but I would go to the police with this - no question.

CondoleezzaRiceKrispies Sun 23-Sep-12 17:00:08

Agree with the poster who suggested getting screen shots of his Twitter account, surely then at the very least there's a case for bringing the school into disrepute or something along those lines.

This is just awful.

FellatioNelson Sun 23-Sep-12 17:02:28

OK, so if it wasn't 'bullying' according to their definition, then it is most certainly a sexual assault. Ask them if they would view it as such had your son been a girl.

TBH I doubt it will get treated as seriously as sexual assault by the police, but even if their parents find out and it goes as far as being investigated and they get a stern warning from the police and school about it then that should be enough to shame/shock them into submission, the horrible shits.

Thumbwitch Sun 23-Sep-12 17:02:46

Jesus, Couthy - that's fucking awful! shock
How would they like it if someone did that to one of them?? I bet they'd soon change their minds about it being "boys messing around" - can you imagine??

Your poor, poor DS. sad And that school needs a good rocket up its collective arse for their pathetic attitude. angry

choccychomp Sun 23-Sep-12 17:07:29

Like everyone else, I have to say tell the police for your son's sake. Plus, if my children ever did anything like Tony I'd want the police involved because I wouldn't know how to deal with it. Horrified that the school are refusing to see how bad this situation is.

boredandrestless Sun 23-Sep-12 17:26:04

Your poor DS! shock sad "Tony" sounds bloody dangerous.

I too would be on the phone to the police, if any of the things that have happened to your DS (or Couthy's) had been done to an adult the perpertrator would be being charged with assault!

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 23-Sep-12 17:52:06

There's a thread on MN somewhere about it, but I can't link as am on my phone.

I think the Governors have had long enough to 'investigate' now, and am collecting myself to shove a rocket up the school's proverbial.

The school has a frankly woeful history of not dealing with bullying, all 3 of my DC's have been severely bullied there, but only option locally is this school or HE.

Sorry for thread hijack, OP.

What I am trying to say, OP, is that given the age of the perpetrators in your DS's case, I would not HESITATE to call in the police. The ONLY thing that stopped me with DS2 is that the perpetrators were below the age of criminal responsibility. That isn't an issue in your case, so I would call the police without delay.

I would also send in a VERY strongly worded letter to the board of Governors at the school, AND if there is not a satisfactory response from that then go to the Independent Schools Adjudicator. (My complaint is going to be winging its way to Ofsted by Tuesday morning if Monday's response is unsatisfactory.)

I feel for you and your DH, and even more so for your DS. It's a horrible situation to be in.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 23-Sep-12 17:55:23

Oh, and Google your DS's school's Anti-Bullying Policies, and base your Governor's complaint letter around them. And if you disagree with their Anti-Bullying Policies, as I do with my primary (it actually states that it needs to be an everyday occurrence), then include that in your Governor's complaint letter.

You CAN carry on with a Governor's complaint even if you pull your DS out of the school, I have discovered.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 23-Sep-12 17:57:29

Fellatio - Believe me, I DID include in my complaint letter about how they would (And HAVE previously) dealt with it totally differently if my DS2 had been a girl...

cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 17:57:46

Couthy sad your poor ds. I cant understnad how some of these evil little bastards operate.

Ds wont be returnign to school tomorrow. Does anyone know what we have to do legally to keep him at home. Dont want to be prosecuted for non-attendance.

RandomMess Sun 23-Sep-12 18:01:20

Get him signed off sick by the GP?

PTSD or similar!!!!

Themumsnot Sun 23-Sep-12 18:05:14

Cressida - what have the police said?
I imagine if you are worried about non-attendence you could go to the GP and have him signed off sick. Or you could inform the school that in order for him to return they need to discuss with you what measures they have put in place to guarantee his safety.
But if you have no intention of sending him back there, you can always notify the LA that you are home educating until you find a suitable school.

lunar1 Sun 23-Sep-12 19:10:09

Another vote for the police, your poor ds.

cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 20:02:25

petrifiedperson, your post made me feel so sad for you.

Couthy, weirdly the anti-bullying policy has been removed from the school website. It was ther on thursday hmm

cressidacow Sun 23-Sep-12 20:02:59

Will spk to GP tomorrow, thanks for that.

KnickKnack Sun 23-Sep-12 20:42:05

If you Google the name of the school and the words "anti bullying policy" or whatever they had called it, you should be able to find a cached version of the old a snapshot of the page when it had the policy there.
(I think?!)

daytoday Mon 24-Sep-12 11:25:20

Suddenly had a thought, I really hope this doesn't worry you, but it might be a good angle to push the school and police into action - but

Whose not to say that the school and certain teachers have a vested interest in not exposing unsavoury practises. Yours wouldn't be the first school where a teacher has encouraged inappropriate behaviour for their own sexual benefit, to hide something more sinister.

I am in no way suggesting this is happening - but if a teacher had dismissed such serious events as 'boys being silly' without investigating and making it clear it is unacceptable behaviour. I think I would want to question how on earth the teacher had come to that conclusion? What do they consider normal high jinks.

The school should welcome your concerns and want to investigate.

ggirl Mon 24-Sep-12 11:55:26

good point daytoday..hope it's not true though

3littlefrogs Mon 24-Sep-12 12:00:36

I agree with you daytoday. This crossed my mind too.

FelicitywasSarca Mon 24-Sep-12 12:18:45

I know it's been said a thousand times already, but yes this is serious, yes this exposes grave concerns about the schools ability to discipline and maintain order and prevent criminal offences being committed.

You must continue to work with the police OP and protect your son from further harm. He must leave this school and the perpetrators of this awful violence must be dealt with by the police. (Although we must remember they are children too- and it is probable that they are themselves being abused in some way).

HiHowAreYou Mon 24-Sep-12 12:23:44

A boy at my school behaved in a similar way, disturbing sexual behaviour alongside bullying.
He was in a foster home, I assume he'd had a terrible life.

Your son's school is being so short-sighted in not pressing for this to be investigated and dealt with fully. Both for your poor son and the perpetrator.

However, I am fully aware that some teachers and some schools would rather not see things that make them uncomfortable or would prove difficult to sort out. You must be so cross.

I'm very glad you rang the police. You are doing entirely the right thing.

takeonboard Mon 24-Sep-12 15:45:32

How did you get on with speaking to the poslice, school and GP today OP?

I hope your DS is ok today smile

takeonboard Mon 24-Sep-12 15:46:31

police of course

swooosh Mon 24-Sep-12 16:29:20

How did you get on today?

Ladymuck Mon 24-Sep-12 16:46:58

Too late I suspect but yes, you need to phone the Police and ask to speak to the Child Abuse Investigation Team, which is exactly what the school should be doing/have done. No one else should be attempting to "investigate" what has happened, as that alone will damage any police investigation. The police will have officers who are trained to deal with these situations, and will act a lot more professionally than anyone at the school or the LA social services will do ime. Your son and the other boys will be interviewed by plain clothes police, and your son should be given the specialist support and counselling to deal with this.

I know that in these situations that a lot can happen in 24 hours. Do make sure that you have some real life support yourself. This is a lot for YOU to deal with.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Mon 24-Sep-12 16:51:59

OP, another one in tears here,your poor DS, he is so lucky to have you and your DH as parents, and has been able to tell you about the incidents. You have done absolutely the right thing - the police must take action about this.

meah Tue 25-Sep-12 01:27:01

Hi, i have lots of experiance with bullying having being bullied myself from about yr7 until the yr when you work experiance (during that time was when i stood up to the bully), and now to my disgust my 2 youngest have suffered the same fate, my dd having suffered more. In my experiance/s the school will at first attempt to do something, stage one is to usually talk to all students involved including the child who is being bullied, two punish the bully or contact thier parents (though i have never known them to do that), the girl who bullied my daughter was banned from getting the bus and put into issolation for a while but was allowed back on the bus after some time, three is to exclude the bully from school for a short time and then in some cases expell them entirely from the school - I think that schools are useless at dealing with bully's so dont except much and i feel that contacting the police should be an option depending on what the school says and does about your situation. Good luck smile

andyinlondon Tue 25-Sep-12 02:01:07

CouthyMowWearingOrange as your DS is disabled tell the school that you are reporting the assault as a hate crime not as bullying, and / or do the same with the police.
attacking a disabled person because of their disability is the same as attacking a person because of race or gender in law,
they are all are hate crimes and should be treated as such

it was the only way i could get my DS school to act when he was getting bullied.
his school went into panic mode and resolved it that day!

CouthyMowWearingOrange Tue 25-Sep-12 02:04:11

Andy - won't work if the perpetrators are under 10yo. Which they are. And as the school is refusing to accept his disabilities now (have taken him even off SA now, despite outside involvement and 4+ diagnoses on record of various things), that's a non flier!

CouthyMowWearingOrange Tue 25-Sep-12 02:05:23

And I know more than you think about disability hate crime, as well as my DS2 being disabled, my DD is too, and so am I. Still not going to work with my police when they are all under 10yo.

andyinlondon Tue 25-Sep-12 02:15:16

Sorry to hear that, my DS was 13 at the time so the school had to take the threat seriously. and they did act, it is a horrible situaton to be in.

I hope you can get it resolved it is a horrible situation

andyinlondon Tue 25-Sep-12 02:19:54

i would still give it a try, if a child under 10 was shouting the "n" word at a black child they would act on that as a hate crime and there should be no difference in law between either incident,
perhaps a letter of two to your MP might help to force them into action,
worth a try

perfectstorm Tue 25-Sep-12 03:02:01

Bluntly, private schools are businesses. They rely on reputation to recruit. They are fierce on protecting that, and you need the police to protect your child because the school are abysmally failing. So glad you are taking action. And so, so sorry for you and him and your DH. Thank God he has parents he was able to tell, and who support him.

Any new OP? Hope your soon is OK, under the circumstances.

That should have said Any news, hope your son is ok?

PiedWagtail Tue 25-Sep-12 09:28:22

That is absolutely appalling. I'd contact the governors asap. I'd also contact the police. Tony is obviously disturbed and who nows what he could do next? Vile. he had his horrible mates need to be excluded from school . Hugs to you.

PiedWagtail Tue 25-Sep-12 09:28:37

Knows, not nows! blush

seeker Tue 25-Sep-12 09:42:14

I am a little concerned that the op hasn't come back. I hope that means that she is getting what she needs in RL, or that the police have told her not talk to anyone. But,OP if you are reading this, and the school has told you not to discuss the situation, be very careful. This is a classic technique for making bad stuff in an organisation "go away". I hope all's going well.

LikeSilver Tue 25-Sep-12 09:49:41

Please contact the Police. Your DS has been assaulted and the school's reaction is pathetic.

I would bet £££ the bully has been/is being sexually abused themselves nd consequently also needs protection.

takeonboard Thu 27-Sep-12 10:19:27

Where's the OP?
I hope everything is ok and being dealt with by the police....

cressidacow Sun 30-Sep-12 16:04:50

Hello, just a quick visit back here to update.

Police were great and took the incident very seriously. They have been into school and have talked to boys involved. They also had a meeting with the Head and I hope this has had an impact on how he treats bullying issues in the school in future. Police/SS said they have "alot of work" to do with the main perpetrator. He is out of the school (not sure if a perm or temp exclusion) so ds feels he has been listened to.

Police wont be taking any further ie no one will be going to court because it is so hard to establish who did what. Im fine with that decision as is ds. As long as he can carry on enjoying school (he loves his school in every other respect) I'm happy.

So ds has returned to school at end of last week.
Ds back to being a general pain in the arse so I think he feel ok about everything.

Thanks again to everyone support and advice. It was invaluable to me. xx

Ladymuck Sun 30-Sep-12 16:11:40

Sounds as if you have had quite a week. I'm glad you were able to take action, and this undoubtedly will have helped your ds to feel more secure. Well done, as I know taking what could be seen as extreme action is hard to do.

It isn't clear as to whether you have met with the school yet? If you haven't then I presume that that is next on the agenda?

Pancakeflipper Sun 30-Sep-12 16:20:35

That's brilliant.

My friends daughter recently went to court due to a girl at school who stole some of her possessions outside of school and then attacked her Even though they won the courtcase the entire ordeal was awful so I think it is right for your son to not have to go through that lengthy process.

Hope the SS find the help this child requires so he never does anything like this in his future years.

cressidacow Sun 30-Sep-12 16:25:16

Hi, yes we have been into school - dh and I spent 2 hours with Head last Monday followed by a further meeting on Wednesday to outline the conditions for ds to return. I think the Head listened to what we have to say. We shall wait and see.

cressidacow Sun 30-Sep-12 16:27:34

Thanks pf. I really didnt want a court case, poor ds has had enough and just wanted to get on with his life!

I am so glad we took the course of action we did though. I have my suspicions that without the police to add weight and credibility, the Head might have tried to minimize the situation and save his own arse.

Pancakeflipper Sun 30-Sep-12 16:37:15

I think you are right. Glad you got the police to tell the Head how serious it really is

RandomMess Sun 30-Sep-12 16:53:35

I'm glad the police have taken this seriously and kicked the schools butt into taking action.

Very happy that your ds is happy again.

amillionyears Sun 30-Sep-12 16:54:05

Can I ask,are other parents at the school aware of what has been happening?

Panadbois Sun 30-Sep-12 16:57:04

I've just hugged my DS after reaing this thread. I'm horrified with what your son had to put up with.

Downfall Sun 30-Sep-12 17:19:04

So pleased to hear your DS is feeling safe and happy, OP. Ive been thinking about you.

perfectstorm Sun 30-Sep-12 17:41:33

cressida I am certain the head would have tried to continue to bury this and minimise it and make it all about your child, had you not intervened. Which means it is not just your own child you have protected. You will have scared the head into applying child protection policies in future, to stop this incident coming up alongside another later one, so you've protected a lot of other people's children too, as has your ds. I hope he knows how his courage and willingness to stand up and be counted will work to make sure nobody else has to cope with the crap he has. He's a bloody hero in my eyes.

So glad there are people like you and your family about - and that the police now recognise these sorts of crimes as serious and corrosive, too, and pulled the head up sharply.

I hope all goes well for your son in future.

HiHowAreYou Sun 30-Sep-12 18:11:39

So pleased that this was taken seriously and dealt with to your satisfaction. Good news. smile

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Mon 01-Oct-12 05:13:57

Good news, well done.

Nice to have a positive ending.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 01-Oct-12 05:35:50

Oh well done! I hope your ds is ok, & please keep checking at the school to make sure they follow through on everything (& not bury it!).

FellatioNelson Mon 01-Oct-12 09:00:21

I'm so glad you took the decision to go to the police - I'm sure it has helped in making the head sit up and take notice of you - it would have been so easy for him to dismiss it all childish pranks otherwise. Most level-headed reasonably intelligent people do not involve the police easily or without a great deal of thought where children are concerned, so I'm glad you have been listened to, by them and the school.

And I am so glad your son is back to feeling happy and positive about school, and hoepfully this will be the last of it now. Bullying makes me sick to my stomach. I know that all bullies are allegedly unhappy 'victims' of some sort themselves but I find it very hard to have any compassion or understanding when they are making some child's life an absolute misery.

takeonboard Mon 01-Oct-12 13:04:41

Well done and great for your DS that he is able to go back to school and the bully has been removed - too often its the other way around.

lamoseley Mon 05-Nov-12 21:38:34

I didn't want to read and run.
My daughter is the latest play thing for the school bully. We are at the start of process to move her.
Your sons safety and well being are paramount. I would not send him in until you know he was 100% safe.
Just wanted to offer my support. Best wishes x

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