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DS is being bullied...

(12 Posts)
offwithyourhead Tue 09-Oct-12 14:25:36

We live in a villagey/hamlet area. Everyone knows everyone. When DD was 5, and suddenly DS 'appeared', they all knew he was adopted obviously (though I didn't actually make a point of telling them, apart from close friends). He's one year younger than DD.

Recently, he joined the village primary. There used to be two, but it closed down last year, so this is DS (and DD's) first time there. He's being bullied for not having 'real' parents.

Maybe if he was new to the village it would seem more likely, but he's lived here for six years! And it's only now. Even his teachers seem to not mind, I only found out about him being called names, being hit and being teased from DD who 'protected' him. The teachers didn't even tell me! DD is also suffering because some of her friends have joined in, she's obviously got rid of them- but they've been friends for years and it's really hurt her. She's also worried that she'll be bullied too. Thankfully DD will be in secondary next year, but it's still a small school, this school is basically a feeder for that one, so the bullying won't stop- and when she goes, DS will have lost his protector.

I've come back from picking them both up- they were pretending to be ill so that DS could get away from it all. I can't believe the school aren't doing anything. Any advice?

Naoko Tue 09-Oct-12 14:40:23

No adoption-specific advice, am here via active convos, beyond 'raise merry hell, and if it doesn't help raise it again and again and again until someone listens'. That's absolutely appalling. Have you been to the school? What did they say?

Your poor DS, and DD too (although good on her for standing up for her brother).

tethersend Tue 09-Oct-12 14:43:15

Contact the head immediately- this is disgraceful.

Ask your DC for some specific incidents and write them down- include names of other children (witnesses and perpetrators), dates, times, places and any staff present.

Essentially, you need two questions to be answered:

1. Why have you not been informed of any incidents?
2. How are the school going to ensure that this stops immediately?

If both your children claimed to be ill in order to come home, this should have raised concerns from the school. What did they say?

Am furious on your behalf.

offwithyourhead Tue 09-Oct-12 14:54:45

Thanks. I've sent an email to the head but I'm just not up to phoning them today, or going to the school gates. I'm considering giving them the day off so I can think about it more calmly and talk it through with them- if they aren't crying about DS being beaten up, then we could discuss things better.

Next day I might contact them for an appointment or go to the gates and talk. I also know a few of the mother's of DD's 'friends' who were swept along in the bullying. Apparently it's Yr3-Yr6 basically- kids younger than him are joining in. I don't know if the parents will be defensive or not, or could do anything or not.

When I finally clear my head a bit (bullying always seems to happen to other people's children, not my own) I'll start raising 'merry hell' as you put it Naoko but I'm so angry no one will understand me if I start talking to them.

DanFmDorking Tue 09-Oct-12 15:06:32

Yes, this is disgraceful.

Do the following:-
1. Keep a diary of the incidents and record everything that happens, date and time and what was said.
2. Ring the school tomorrow morning (I said tomorrow morning ) and tell his class tutor what has been going on.
3. Write to the school about the problems. It needn’t be long and rambling just short and to the point. “Dear Headmaster ...” “I am very disappointed to find that … My son is very unhappy at school because …”
4. At the end of next week, check with the school to see what has been done. Ask them what progress has been made regarding these problems.
5. If you are not happy that the problems are being addressed then take it up with the Headteacher. Ask what progress has been made regarding the problems.
6. You may choose to approach one of the Governors about the problems ‘I’m concerned about … I want to make sure that I’m going about this in the right way’. The Governors should check that the correct procedures are been followed.
7. How the school addresses parental concerns is a measure of how good the school is.

Some more reading

Goldmandra Tue 09-Oct-12 15:07:13

I'd ask for an appointment with the head and a copy of their bullying policy.

They have a responsibility to deal with this and you should go in expecting them to be aware, have formal records and have taken action to deal with it. If they haven't taken any action you need to be 'shocked'.

Ask them to agree a written plan of action to deal with the bullies and help both of your children to feel safe in school and agree a date when you can next get together to discuss it.

When you get home email the school with the plan of action as you understand it asking them to let you know if the are any errors or omissions. This is your proff

tethersend Tue 09-Oct-12 15:07:26

I don't blame you. Parents are involved? shock

Absolutely keep your children off school tomorrow- and tell the school why.

I would think about contacting the LEA also; normally I would only do this if the school fail to address the issue properly, but I think the seriousness of this case warrants external intervention.

Goldmandra Tue 09-Oct-12 15:07:51

Sorry!

This is your proof of what you agreed and your lever to make them do it.

Lilka Tue 09-Oct-12 18:46:19

How awful, your poor DC's

I agree you must document everything, ring in, write to the head repeatedly, get things written down so you have evidence the school are failing to deal with the bullying, and keep going up the chain of command till someone does something

I think you could repost this also somewhere with more traffic of a school nature, there must be some knowledgable posters about - one of the education sub-forums maybe??

DanFmDorking Tue 09-Oct-12 18:55:50

You may like to read these two threads 11yo DS being picked on ... and Y8 does not want ....

They contain good advice and discussion.

Devora Tue 09-Oct-12 23:16:41

Oh, I am so sorry to hear that. Actually, I am furious on your behalf.

I am friendly with another mum at my child's school, who's son was getting picked on in the playground for being black. When I commiserated with her she said, "It's ok, Devora, he is my fourth child and I know what to do. I sat in the HT's office and told him, 'I've been down this road before. You need to know this: I will NOT sit back and accept your inaction on this. I will be back in this office again and again and again - every day if necessary - until you decide to take action. So why don't we save ourselves the grief and move straight to doing something about it?' "

Much as I like to take a reasonable-parent-acting-in-partnership approach to school, I was inspired by her complete focus on what was right for her child. And I am absolutely dreading my (black, adopted) child starting school and maybe having to deal with some of this sad

Italiangreyhound Wed 10-Oct-12 00:32:27

Firstly I must say I am fuming on your children's behalf and so sad that this type of thing happens.

I would try and do all the things mentioned above as the other posters have some really good ideas.

I would also Google around for some ideas how to speak to your children about this and how to empower them through this process. It is natural you want to protect them and it is totally correct to do so. As well as this help it may also be useful to help them to feel as good about themselves as you can through this process.

I am sure you are already doing this and I just to mention it, maybe saying stuff like how brave they are to stand up to bullies and to tell you, how resourceful they are to think of pretending to be ill, although it is heart breaking that they have had to do this! sad

As much as possible help them to feel empowered and that they are not in any way at fault and that others have made terrible choices etc by choosing to bully, it is not anything they are doing. I am sure you are doing this, I am just mentioning it.

I googled around and found some sites.

www.empoweringparents.com/My-Child-is-Being-Bullied.php#

www.bullying.co.uk/advice/anti-bullying-advice

www.kidscape.org.uk/zap/index.asp

I am sure there are more.

In our local area there are sometimes Karate or Taekwan-do classes which help to build up children's sense of confidence and sometimes help them stand up to bullies. I am not necessarily recommending this for you, just mentioning it because sometimes it can help children to feel able to protect themselves. I really wanted DD to do a class but she doesn't like or want to, so I do know it is not for everyone and I would also say there should be no reason for school kids to learn self defence. angry

I am so shocked by your post and so sorry for you and your dear kids. Please do come back and tell us how things work out.

No child or parent should go through this and no school should ever feel they can ignore bullying or sweep it under the rug.

Really hoping that your kids' bravery and your prompt action will quickly stop this rot.

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