Is this normal for a typical ordinary state high school?

(35 Posts)
saadia Sat 28-Sep-13 06:53:31

Ds started Y7 at our local high school this month. It was not my first choice but we had no other option really. As a school it is improving and overall I am pretty happy with it.

There have been a few incidents though. Ds said that as he was going to class one day an older boy shouted in his ear for no reason. A few days ago ago again going to class he accidentally got in someone's way and they started pushing him and his friends around. Ds and friends reported this to the Year Head, but so far nothing has been done. One day on the way home from school two older boys started walking with him and making rude comments about some teachers. They threatened to come home with him but then didn't. Ds said he was a bit worried about it.

When I think back to my school days this kind of thing was pretty normal and part of me thinks ds needs to toughen up and deal with the real world but are these incidents signs of problems at the school or would they happen in most places?

BikeRunSki Sat 28-Sep-13 06:56:30

Sounds like my school, although I left in 1989!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jaynebxl Sat 28-Sep-13 07:11:25

How do you know nothing was done when the incident was reported?

Really hard to tell if your ds is being a bit sensitive or not. Is it worth checking with his tutor how things are going?

DS1 moved schools over similar goings-on. He is quiet and sensitive and hated all the shouting, and stuff from the older children. We did speak to the school, but what could they do really?

DS2 isn't and it wouldn't really bother him as much.

Bearleigh Sat 28-Sep-13 07:49:47

My son is at an independent school and gets this too. It's horrid, and upsetting, but I fear low level nastiness like this is normal.

saadia Sat 28-Sep-13 08:08:17

Thank you everyone for your replies, I did suspect that school couldn't really stamp this kind of thing out completely but will raise it at the Parents Evening that is coming up. Ds doesn't seem overly bothered about it and says that most of the older kids are friendly and helpful so I don't want to over-react.

Talkinpeace Sat 28-Sep-13 13:43:48

Its normal for ANY secondary school - teens are smelly hormonal things. Your sweet year 7 will be a hulking year 11 pretty soon ....

clary Sat 28-Sep-13 15:43:17

Sounds pretty normal and low-level tbh. Teenagers can be horrid. They can also be lovely.

I'm a year 7 tutor and I don't think I would do much about any of those - the pushing one, yes, if we knew who.

One of my tutees had a bottle of water poured over her head the other day. For no reason (she's lovely). Luckily she knew the boy and we were able to invoke a suitable sanction.

When you say nothing has been done, btw, how do you know? I would be surprised if the action taken were reported to you tbh. I'm not about to call this girl's parents and tell them James xx was put in isolation for the afternoon.

My ds' school would jump on this kind of behaviour,but making ds report it is another matter. I would flag it up to the head of year in an email, and cc the head.

Evageorge Mon 30-Sep-13 21:20:46

This is not acceptable nowadays. If the Head of Year does not respond, I'd contact them yourself.

Clary, you are a Y7 tutor yet you wouldn't do anything about boys following younger children home in a threatening manner?! shock Good God, I am DREADING secondary school...

We did talk to the school about this sort of thing but the reply was 'sometimes you have to let life be the teacher'. So we moved him, as he wasn't right for the school.

BurberryQ Tue 01-Oct-13 08:47:45

that sounds normal tbh - my children's school deal with it by punishing anyone who reacts to it.

clary Tue 01-Oct-13 14:42:34

Well I am not sure that making rude comments about teachers is following someone home in a threatening manner.

If a student is being rude about me outside school (and let's face it, I am sure they are!!) there ain't a whole lot I can do.

If the OP's child reports it and tells me who they are I might have a word and tell them to leave him alone. But IMHO it would do more harm than good. Sometimes you just have to deal with a bit of banter.

It wasn't the bit about making rude comments about teachers that worried me - the OP said that these children threatened to come home with him and he felt uncomfortable. Clearly that is unacceptable.

KittiesInsane Tue 01-Oct-13 14:50:05

Clary, please be very sure that you have limits on what passes for 'a bit of banter'. That word sets my teeth on edge after DS's unfortunate experience at his first secondary.

'Oh, he overreacts, it's just normal schoolboy banter...'

So, it's normal to call a child (daily) a little speccy gay freaky swotty annoying weirdo?

Sadly, it seems that was indeed normal acceptable behaviour at that school. It isn't at his current school.

KittiesInsane Tue 01-Oct-13 14:51:40

...where a teacher once described him as 'an irritating little bugger but you just can't help liking him', so the 'annoying' bit may have had some basis in truth, but hey.

clary Tue 01-Oct-13 19:45:37

Well I wasn't there so I don't know what was said to the OP's son.

But if a few yr 9s were asking a yr 7 "Who's yr form tutor? Clary! Oh she's a real [insert teen idiom of choice]" and then said ooh, where do you live. We might come home with you... - well, if I was passing and knew them I might say come on lads, leave him alone.

But I really don't think I would go to them later on and ball them out. Because I just think it would land the yr 7 lad in trouble tbh.

OP actually says he was "a bit worried about it" so it doesn't sound like a threat particularly.

I agree that "little speccy gay freaky swotty annoying weirdo" is not banter. It's not acceptable.

But I am trying to say that sometimes yr 7s need to learn to roll with the punches. A scenario like the one I have outlined above is one of those situations IMHO.

KittiesInsane Tue 01-Oct-13 22:31:11

Ah, fair enough, Clary. The point that I realised we were on a loser with the old school was when I quoted the above to them and they STILL reckoned it was ordinary schoolboy banter.

But I really don't think I would go to them later on and ball them out. Because I just think it would land the yr 7 lad in trouble tbh.

This is what terrifies me. DD said to me today "you can't tell on someone if they bully you because they will just bully you even more". Very sad to see that teachers agree with this.

clary Thu 03-Oct-13 00:41:18

No I don't agree with bullying, and I am going to speak to someone in my school tomorrow who has continually told others that someone in the year is "gay" - that's not acceptable.

But I think bad mouthing a teacher in (maybe) a jokey way is NOT bullying. If I saw it happening, as I said, I would have a word. But if a student told me, miss, these year 9s were being rude about you yesterday, then yes, I think I can take it. And I think it might be best for their future school career if they learn that sometimes things are said which they may have to shrug off. Not because the people will come and get them more, just because, y'know, it's not that big a deal. there is a finite amount of time that can be spent dealing with things and some things just have to be let go. I wasn't there when the incident happened to the OP's son but my immediate reading of it is that it may be one such.

I don't agree that bullying victims should take it because otherwise it will get worse. I resent the implication tbh.

Dominodonkey Thu 03-Oct-13 00:55:08

I agree with clary- a flippant comment may not be followed up- though if it was clear who the year 11 child was I would probably have a quiet word. It sounds more like a misfired joke really.
The other situation with the repeated nasty name calling is different and would be dealt with harshly at my school.
I do think some year 7 s need to toughen up a bit. Things like 'she touched my pencil case' get rather annoying at this time of year. Most year 7s grow out of it as long as they are not too mollycoddled at home.

clary Thu 03-Oct-13 01:00:52

grin @ "she touched my pencil case"

My favourite this week has been "Miss, which way round shall I stick this (an A5 sheet of vocab) in my book?" (from several different people). Do you know, I really don't mind, it's your book after all! smile I love them!

I think we are at cross-purposes, Clary - I am not talking about the teacher bad-mouthing at all, that wouldn't concern me in the slightest. It was the following home bit that bothered me.

I don't agree that bullying victims should take it because otherwise it will get worse. I resent the implication tbh.

What did you mean about not telling off the older children in case it made things worse for the Y7 then?

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