Accusations about inappropriate behaviour

(19 Posts)
Fromthenorth Tue 06-Dec-11 08:21:30

Does anyone have any experience of this?

My DS is a fairly naive 15 yr old. He has now twice been accused by girls of harrassment by mobile. The school investigated the first case and found him entirely innocent and that the girl was stirring things up. The second case was at cadets, and he has been suspended pending investigation.

From what I can gather, it's a similar scenario - the girl was trying to flirt with him and he was a bit offhand in his response. Maybe I'm being an over-protective mother, but I do wonder if this is a case of hell having no fury like a woman scorned. The trouble is, his mobile does auto delete (although I've now asked him to change that) so we don't have any evidence - and we haven't actually been told by the cadets what the issue is (so we're guessing in the dark here).

I think what I'm actually asking here is, does anyone else know of this kind of thing happening? Is it some modern phenomenon of girls (do boys do this?) reporting things to adults as inappropriate which, if it was between an adult and a young child would be wrong, but between teenagers is just normal growing up stuff? And, if so, how on earth do you deal with it?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bucharest Tue 06-Dec-11 08:27:23

To be accused of something you "didn't do" once is unfortunate.

Twice and I'd be removing the scales from my eyes, Mum.

Fancy that as well,huh, his naughty mobile deleting any incriminating evidence.

Are you really that naive?

bigTillyMincepie Tue 06-Dec-11 08:28:45

You said it Bucharest!

paranoidandroidwreckmyownlife Tue 06-Dec-11 08:30:52

Reality, did you actually read what the OP wrote???
Op it might be prudent to talk to your son about what could come across wrong, but yes IMHO some types of teenage girls can be complete cows at times.

Mrsrobertduvall Tue 06-Dec-11 08:33:18

Presumably you haven't seen his texts, but it looks as if the girl has kept them and shown them to cadets, hence his suspension.
Think you need a serious chat with your son.

paranoidandroidwreckmyownlife Tue 06-Dec-11 08:34:34

DD1 is 17 and has told me some awful things girls in her year have done over the last few years. Once in particular her friend got a boy into trouble for sexual harassment, he was in serious trouble! DD went to the school and told them the real version of events as she couldn't let him get into so much trouble for what wasn't actually his fault. He could well have been suspended or even excluded permanently!!!
Just saying it CAN work both ways, but yes OP take the auto delete off his phone for evidence.

Pagwatch Tue 06-Dec-11 08:38:42

You need to get him to tell you exactly what he wrote. Saying 'he was a bit off hand response' suggests that either you don't want to admit what he said or that he won't tell you. Neither of which is good.

I agree it is possible for a naive 15 year old to be goaded by peers of either sex. But having auto delete is pretty convenient isn't it?

Two separate allegation, two separate occasions on which he did not have the simple good sense to not reply rather than sending something offhand, and yet being savvy enough to auto delete. Based on what you say, even without knowing what he said, I would be extremely angry with him.
Seeing him as a victim here will not help him.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I have two DSs, 15 &16, and this has not happened to them or any of their friends or peers, so, no, it's not common. If it happened once, I'd give my son the benefit of the doubt. Twice? I'd get to the bottom of what he actually wrote/said, but in the meantime I'd remove his mobile and have some serious chats about respecting girls.

His 'offhand response' may have been inappropriate though. Unless it's 'No, don't bother me'.

Dd (13) texted a boy (friend) about meeting at the park to play cricket with some others. I'm quite sure he thought he was giving her the brush off by saying "depends if you'll have sex" hmm (yes, he was inappropriately 'joking')

You need to be involved with what her saved texts say he said - it is a bit convenient that his is gone. If there is nothing in the texts he sent and it's just 'No, go away' it will be obvious and he will be cleared.

Of course it could be all her fault -but you won't know that til the investigation happens.

Pagwatch Tue 06-Dec-11 09:39:56

What does he say the text said?

Fromthenorth Tue 06-Dec-11 10:35:17

I have no idea if mobiles can do the following - just as I had no idea that it was possible to have auto delete. I use an old steam-powered mobile and am being quite caught out by this technological stuff.

He says, the girl sent him and his mates a text with checkboxes to questions like, "If we were together right now, would you want to...... 1) watch a film 2) go for a walk and so on and obviously they got naughtier after that. He says he responded with these two I've said. Now, I can't tell if he's being evasive or just dumb... and that's what I'm trying to find out. She then wrote back and said, well, what about numbers 5 and 8? These were naughty ones, I gather (and maybe I should have asked for exactly what they were but at the moment I'm not doing - they were a bit rude and that's enough for now). He said he wrote back and said something to the effect of 'maybe'. But I got the impression from talking to him that he was more offhand than that.

Now, as you say, until we actually see this correspondence, we won't know. I presume the girl has kept it - if this is actually the proplem, that is, and not something else we haven't been able to figure out yet. But I presume she must have kept this 'evidence'.

It has been pointed out to me - and I think this is valid - that if she was the one who sent all these questions, then any answer she got from anyone could not be deemed inappropriate, as she invited them.

I'm sure there's more to this than I'm hearing at the moment - of course. My feeling is that it will end up as six of one and half a dozen of the other - some fault on both sides. At least, that's my hope.

It does transpire that other boys have had this happen to them - and they have been exonerated after investigation. Maybe it's some kind of behaviour that's happening locally and it's having a bit of a viral effect.

Anyway, we are booked to speak with the CO this afternoon - so hopefully more will emerge then. I shall keep you posted. Thank you for your comments so far - I find the measured ones particularly helpful

Pagwatch Wed 07-Dec-11 14:23:16

I hope you get to the bottom of this.
I would advise him to refrain from texting girls who are not trusted friends too. I am sure you have already done that.

Fromthenorth Thu 08-Dec-11 14:21:30

Thanks, Pagwatch. The lad is feeling terribly chastened and has pretty well shut down all his e-communications. Obviously this isn't sustainable in the longterm but is a good solution for now. We are gradually uncovering what has gone on and it does seem there is error on all sides - this is not to say that DS does not have some major things to learn, because he does.

We're seeing the CO tonight so should find out exactly what he has been accused of - up till now, we don't know, and that's awful. We suspect that the girls may have reported edited bits of conversations - i.e. things he texted to them, but not what he was responding to. But we won't know till tonight.

But in the meantime, he's keeping his phone off most of the time and is not going on Facebook. And we've agreed that, if any none-trusted female contacts him, that he won't respond until we're there and can monitor the conversation. That way, when he says he wants to reply in such and such a way, we can spot if maybe it's that type of response that is coming up to bite him. We have discovered that he is sometimes too persistent - and doesn't always recognise signals in print which he would recognise easily if physically present.

Big learning curve for all of us. Thanks for your support.

Fromthenorth Fri 16-Dec-11 17:14:53

We met with the CO last week and the upshot of the meeting was that we saw downloads of these text conversations and they were pretty shocking - on both sides. Not unexpected for teenagers....... but they were definitely two-way. We had, meanwhile, obtained from another boy a copy of the checklist text that this girl had actually sent out to a lot of the boys, which had started the conversation off. This wasn't on the texts she had revealed to the CO. We were staggered that this girl had reported my son, when what she was saying was outrageous. However, we suspect that she hadn't intended all her texts to be downloaded by the officer and printed off, but had only intended to show her the ones which put him in a bad light.

The upshot is that he has been vindicated as far as inequality in the conversation. He's still a dimwit for having engaged in it, though.

However, what I have found really shocking is how, if a boy is accused of inappropriate behaviour towards a girl, he is automatically considered to be guilty. Indeed, the first responder to my post did that very thing. What is not considered is the extent to which girls are capable of mob mentality and can gang up on someone and take a small misdemeanour and blow it up out of all proportion.

The outcome for us is that my son has come off Facebook and has stopped texting. He is much happier and I think, really, none of the participants in this very sorry saga were happy about themselves for engaging in the rude exchanges. Meanwhile, I’ve sent off for some self-help books for teenagers recommended by kids on Amazon.

Gosh – it was all so much easier when he was only three……

I'm glad you have reached a satisfactory outcome - even if it is that they were both as daft as each other! At least your son will not be labelled as some sore of sexual harasser. It's very easy for teenagers to egg each other on, and for situations to get out of hand.

I'm about to go and lay down the rules for the "after party" for tonight's school dance, and I completely agree that it was so much easier when they were three...

Hopefully, you can put it behind you and start next term anew.

thunderboltsandlightning Fri 16-Dec-11 17:30:07

So first it was an offhand response and then he was too persistent but it was the girl's fault anyway. I don't think you are sending a good message to your son about this at all. Please do teach him to take no for an answer.

Fromthenorth Sat 17-Dec-11 13:10:53

We have talked everything through with my son and am pretty sure we've been responsible about it and that he's taken onboard all the messages. He has had things to learn.

Much of what I was reporting earlier was a mishmash of messages we were gradually uncovering - the final outcome was much clearer. The bottom line is, which I really seek to convey, and perhaps haven't done so very well, is to beware of making judgements about the rightness or wrongness of a situation until all the facts are before you. Certainly, if my son had not deleted the original messages (which, of course, he did, whilst in a panic and which made him look even guiltier), then the whole thing would have been scotched at the very beginning, as the truth the message conversation conveyed was nothing like what had been portrayed.

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