to want to send an anonymous letter to everyone in my child's year

(207 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

SallyMcgally Thu 28-Jul-16 03:28:33

Of course the answer is Yes. But I really want the kids in my son's year to know just how spiteful and hurtful they are, and how lonely he is. He is the sweetest boy, with dyspraxia and Ehlers Danlos syndrome, and now depression, and he has had to endure the most vile behaviour. This is what I want them to read. I'm tempted to go to every bloody bus stop and noticeboard in town and pin it up. I'd genuinely be very grateful to hear if anyone has any ideas about how to make a whole community kinder???

You can be wonderful, passionate and inspiring. I've seen you march for refugees, denounce racism, support Gay Pride and change your Facebook pictures in solidarity with victims of appalling atrocities.
But I know your Facebook pictures because my son shows them to me, and we know that man of the same people who appear to stand up for the most vulnerable are the very same who have made his life unbearable by bullying.
Sometimes I don't think you even recognise what it is that you do. Do you never stop for a minute and wonder what it must be like always to be laughed at in one of those 'Hot or Not' videos, to have your life turned into a bloody nightmare because the spiteful rumours are just too good not to spread (no need to bother with whether they're true or not), to be called 'weird' and 'retard' and 'freak.' (You're not very imaginative - it's the same bloody thing over and over again.) You probably think you're not a bully, if you don't actually go round beating people up or stealing their stuff. But most of you join in. You sit there laughing, smirking, encouraging the others. The worst among you, the very worst, are those who used to be friendly, but who have now decided that it's too much of a risk to hang out with the boy that everyone leaves out because he's 'weird', or the girl who doesn't dress right or behave in the way that you think is OK because it's 'normal.' I veer between hoping no other person ever has to know the kind of loneliness you've condemned my child to, and wishing that you could know just how bloody miserable it is. You have punished him because he's just different enough to deserve this kind of misery, and yet you would be outraged if anyone accused you of attacking the disabled. Did you know that children with special needs are vastly more likely to be bullied and marginalised in school? Did you know that in most cases it only takes two bystanders to intervene to stop a bullying attack? And almost all of you choose not to. Day after day after day you could make a real difference to someone right there in front of you in your class with the simplest, most basic act of kindness. Day after day you choose not to. So change your profile picture if you want to, but don't think that that is enough to change you into a decent person.
There's no point in asking you to imagine how you would feel if it happened to you, because most of you know damn well that it won't. But maybe you could think about how you'd feel towards somebody who treated your little brother or little sister in the same way. What would you think of those who laughed and joined in while people shouted insults at them, locked them in the loo in the bus and wouldn't let them out until they'd admitted that they were a 'retard'? And if, god forbid, anyone treats your own child like this in the future, then you will finally understand just how deeply parents like me hate people like you.

derxa Thu 28-Jul-16 03:30:36

flowers

KoalaDownUnder Thu 28-Jul-16 03:31:28

YANBU. God, your poor boy. sadflowers.

I don't know what else to say, just that I'm so sorry.

SallyMcgally Thu 28-Jul-16 03:32:44

thank you both. that's kind.

SwearySwearyQuiteContrary Thu 28-Jul-16 03:33:48

YANBU at all to want to send it. I'll never understand how people can be so vicious to one another. Are you getting any support at all from the school?

Rainbowqueeen Thu 28-Jul-16 03:37:30

He is lucky to have a mum like you

If the school is not being supportive, can you take it further? Governors?

Best wishes to you both

SallyMcgally Thu 28-Jul-16 03:38:12

His Head of Year is fantastic - she does whatever she can. But the bullying had quite a hold before she became his Head of Year. There are a couple of other teachers who seem really committed and lovely, but the Behaviour Unit is utterly useless, and there is nowhere to expel the worst pupils to because the Pupil Referral Units have gone. So the worst punishment is exclusion for a few days, or isolation, which is no real punishment at all. We'll take him out and Home Ed until the end of year 11 I think and hope things are better in a 6th form college.

MiscellaneousAssortment Thu 28-Jul-16 03:38:30

I'm so sorry. A million hugs for your DS.

I know all too well what it's like to be trapped in a place where you are the lowest of the low and fair game for everyone to give you a good kicking.

Do you think it would help if he knew that life gets better when you leave school? It's the only time throughout your life when you cannot choose where you are and who you are 'locked up with'. Things will get better. I hope he can believe that, have the hope to get through.

Ps. I have a connective tissue syndrome too, snap! They called me stick insect through school, cos of the way I looked, a name among other (worse) names.

SallyMcgally Thu 28-Jul-16 03:39:17

Thanks for the kind messages xx

SallyMcgally Thu 28-Jul-16 03:42:13

Oh miscellaneous, I'm sorry they were bastards to you too. I hope he does believe things will get better. Problem is I underestimated how long it would take them to grow out of this, so he's rather sick of me saying things like : 'I'm sure now they're in Year 10 they'll have grown up a bit' and a couple of the sixth formers have been awful as well. But yes, I hope he does realise that it gets better. Adults really like him (which is, of course, the kiss of death . . .)

TheWitTank Thu 28-Jul-16 03:44:26

This makes me so sad flowers
Good luck with the home ed -does he go to any local groups or clubs where he can make friends independently from school?

SallyMcgally Thu 28-Jul-16 03:51:18

thank you xx
He does drama and so far they seem a nice crowd, but it hasn't led to hanging out over weekends etc which is what he really misses. Early days though, so fingers crossed.

VioletBam Thu 28-Jul-16 03:56:29

How old is he Sally?

Those little SHITS! angry

Me624 Thu 28-Jul-16 04:02:06

Your poor DS. Sixth form college will be much better if he can just hang on or you can home ed. It's not like school at all, much more like uni. I know quite a few who were "misfits" at school who thrived at college.

SallyMcgally Thu 28-Jul-16 04:04:58

He's 14, but summer baby so will be in year 11 next year. Thanks Me624 - that's what I'm really hoping. I'm not sending him back full time - he's given it his best shot, and he's just miserable and therefore not learning much in school itself.

SallyMcgally Thu 28-Jul-16 04:11:10

Your angry face made me smile, Violet! They are shits, but I don't think a lot of them realise quite how shitty their behaviour is. They think it's just the ones who are really vile and disturbed who are the problem, whereas actually those people would be far less likely to bully if they didn't know that it would be condoned and endorsed by most of the year group. It's the huge number of them in the middle who let it happen who are the real problem, I think. If they even said hello more than once a year, or exchanged a few pleasantries it would be something, but they don't. I've never in my life come across such a spiteful, unempathetic, witless bunch.

Panicmode1 Thu 28-Jul-16 04:29:58

flowers

Huge huge sympathies. My son has had a horrendous time with bullying this year, by his two so called 'best friends' but he's only in primary school and they are only 8. I went through every avenue with the school, whilst watching him turn from a happy go lucky, smiley boy into an increasingly distressed, angry, under confident child, and I finally tackled the parents of the children involved - who were horrified because they didn't know anything about it angry. Once I did that, the situation improved and the last half of this term was better so he has decided to stay at his current school (we were going to move him).

I hope that sixth form college is a much happier place for your son.

murmeli Thu 28-Jul-16 04:35:42

As a former head of year and senco, I think you need to speak to the school again and the senco. We once had a similar thing from an autistic pupil and read it in assembly; it worked wonders. No child should be treated like this and it sounds like the school isn't doing enough. This has nothing to do with lack of prus and behaviour units. Schools do have procedures to follow (e.g you have to do x number of fixed term exclusions before permanent/managed move); your other option is the police and from what you have said you would be more than within your rights to go to them with this (be aware though that once police involved school's hands are tied). But what you have described is something which the police can and will deal with. Particularly if there is online stuff. On another note, please speak to school again to avoid home schooling at this stage; y11 is far too important. In my experience Home schooling at this stage is more likely to build anxiety and put him off going to 6th form. Most schools have a safe area where pupils struggling with attending classes can go and work with support from school staff; that would be much better option than home Ed. He should not be missing out because of bullying which the school can and should be dealing with.
My heart really goes out to him and youflowers

murmeli Thu 28-Jul-16 04:40:20

Also make sure you have hard evidence of any online stuff including screen shots, print outs etc. Nothing is deleted forever online. And block them from contacting him electronically and make sure security settings all v private. And yes the head and governors need to do something more, but police will tell them that xx

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 28-Jul-16 04:48:16

I'm so so sorry for your boy, and for you too. And I agree with you that it's not just the out and out bullies, but that he has NO ONE in his corner, no one to give him a sympathetic smile, no one to stand up and say "enough now", no one who cares enough to give him one drop of human kindness sad angry

It's ridiculous that this has been allowed to become such an entrenched position by the school - they should absolutely have done more to prevent this.

As the saying goes:
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

sad thanks for you and your boy.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 28-Jul-16 04:51:07

Interestingly, there was a case of cyberbullying at a local high school to me (in Australia) - all the children involved, and there were more than 60 of them, were suspended. This involved an awful lot of paperwork for the principal, but he thought it was worth it. Certainly seemed to fix the problem at the time (although who knows how effective it was long-term).

I agree that it might be an idea to inform the police of the cyberbullying aspect - they can't do much about the in-class stuff, if there's no actual assault, but they certainly should be able to do something about the cyber stuff.

Sweetandsour93 Thu 28-Jul-16 05:16:18

I'm so sorry to hear about what your son is going through, people can be horrendously cruel sad
You're quite right that the ones who do nothing are just as bad. I had four years at secondary school that were absolute hell. I had vile insults thrown out me, I was always left out and ignored. Often I didn't speak to a soul for the entire day. Not one person ever tried to help or intervene. Nobody wanted to sit by me or talk to me and I ended up often refusing to go to school. My attendance was usually very low, I loved learning but I dreaded school every day.

I think you're right to take him out of school, the teachers etc should be doing far more to deal with the bullying but often things are swept under the carpet. The long term emotional damage from bullying can be awful. If you can home ed for the final school year then I'd do it.
College is often different (new people, better atmosphere). I thrived at college and got some of my confidence back. I hope things improve for your ds flowers

timegate Thu 28-Jul-16 05:18:30

That is so awful, I'm so so sorry to hear this, this is heartbreaking. flowers

Please collect as much evidence, and do take it to to the school again, or if it's cyber bullying, the authorities will be interested.

This is also a reminder to us all that we need to teach our children to stand up for anyone being bullied/treated badly. My parents really drummed that into us, and I can remember confronting bullies with one-liners that shut them up. It probably is different now, but sometimes it just takes one person's support that can make a huge difference. I truly hope things change for you son OP!

Longlost10 Thu 28-Jul-16 05:19:20

I think you should ask for this to be read out in tutorials. 100% of the children in one school cannot statistically be all cruel people, but they can all be thoughtless, ignorant people, and that can be changed. God bless your DS

2gorgeousboys Thu 28-Jul-16 05:48:27

I'm so sorry that your son is going through this.

With your permission Sally, I am going to show this to my boys. Whilst I sincerely hope that they would never treat anyone in their secondary school like this, I'd like them to understand the need to say something if they see behaviour like this going on and be aware of the impact that laughing or joining in would have on someone.

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