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Bullying At The School Gate?

(45 Posts)
juicyfruitqueen Mon 06-Jun-11 17:12:11

A parent at the school has told me that she is being bullied (have posted this issue in WWYD) by another parent at the school gate.

She said that she was being ignored/not included in chat/her children were being ignored. She asked if we could talk again about this another time.

I don't know a huge number of people there as I am always rushing to/from work. I did, since she spoke to me, try to observe more carefully (instead of running through 'what i have to do' mental lists).

I saw that her children were chatting with their classmates, and that the said mum was very distant (so much so that if one were to talk to her, then you wouldn't easily see one's own child coming out the gate, iykwim).

The pressure is on now as she has sent me a text asking what day/time would suit to talk (we have a parent contact mobile list at our school).

I don't want to be involved, and am a little freaked out by her persuing this with me. I didn't see any of what she complained to me about.

If I am honest, then I feel that stuff like this only exists on telly!

Am I unreasonable to not believe in the issue of parents bullying at the school gate at all?

BooyHoo Mon 06-Jun-11 17:14:14

erm, what teh hell does she expect you to di about it? she is an adult! why is she whingeing to another parent who hasn't got any involvement in it??

tallulahxhunny Mon 06-Jun-11 17:15:42

I saw that her children were chatting with their classmates, and that the said mum was very distant (so much so that if one were to talk to her, then you wouldn't easily see one's own child coming out the gate, iykwim).

no i dont get that bit at all sorry

Hassled Mon 06-Jun-11 17:15:46

She does sound a bit - well, I don't know. Paranoid? Why does she think this is your problem - do you know the other (alleged bully) parent and does she think you'll be take the role of the UN?

If, aside from all this, you quite like her and a coffee with her wouldn't be hideous, then go ahead, meet her and tell the truth - she has to make some effort herself, the DCs seem fine, etc.

Dropdeadfred Mon 06-Jun-11 17:16:33

I think i would just send back a kind message saying 'i'm sorry you are unhappy but I do not involve myself with these parents either, as I am always rushing off to work. I dont think us chatting about it would change the situation...have you tried talking to one of the parents directly?'

Jajas Mon 06-Jun-11 17:18:22

Bullied is a word that is so utterly overused imo. I wouldn't get involved to be honest unless she was a close friend already but that doesn't sound to be the case.

youarekidding Mon 06-Jun-11 17:19:32

What drop said.

juicyfruitqueen Mon 06-Jun-11 17:21:12

tallulahxhunny Sorry to be unclear. What I meant is that her children were being included in the general chat amongst the children leaving school, so not being left out, etc. The bit about her being distant - she was standing a good bit away from the main entrance gate, and parents usually crowd near the gate so as to get a view of where their children are. So if one wanted to include this mum in a chat, then you wouldn't be able to see your own child. Does that make sense??

Hassled- I did think, on reflection that it seems a bit paranoid. I don't know the alleged bully, other than to say hello.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 06-Jun-11 17:21:21

Well being ignored isn't exactly been bullied is it? Not by adults anyway. It doesn't sound like she is being ignored on purpose but that she stands apart from everyone else. Does she really expect people to go over and start chatting? Has she made an effort? Maybe the other mums just know each other from toddlers, etc and haven't realised that she wants to join in. Maybe gently point all this out to her.

katvond Mon 06-Jun-11 17:21:23

Fucking hell she's probably being ignored as she's a fucking loon very boring and a total chav smile

juicyfruitqueen Mon 06-Jun-11 17:23:31

katvond grin That's more or less what dh said (and he's never able to go other than parents evenings).

BornInAfrica Mon 06-Jun-11 17:24:39

I can only emphasise what others have said about not getting involved. Just don't. She'll almost certainly turn out to be a life-sucking loon with more issues than you'd care to shake a stick at. Make a diplomatic exit from the situation and run like fuck!

juicyfruitqueen Mon 06-Jun-11 17:29:36

So, the thread title should probably have read: AIBU to think this woman is a loon?

It just go me thinking as to whether a bullying type situation does ever exist, like this outside amongst the mums.

The cynic in me thinks that she may have way too much time on her hands to think up of problems. But part of me worries that she could be miserable and in need of a bit of help.

Either way, I think I'll send a text back saying I am too busy to meet up.

TheCrackFox Mon 06-Jun-11 17:33:18

She sounds very odd and try to distance yourself ASAP.

Perhaps mention that joing the PTA might help her to make more friends at the school gate.

worraliberty Mon 06-Jun-11 17:33:32

She sounds as mad as a box of frogs confused

I'd text her back telling her to look up the word bullying tbh.

Jajas Mon 06-Jun-11 17:35:02

Oh it does exist I'm sure, I just know that I wouldn't want to get involved if neither party weren't closely known to me (well I wouldn't want to be involved then either but it becomes more difficult in that situation).

coccyx Mon 06-Jun-11 17:38:13

perhaps she is shy and has found you the most approachable.
Don't get this nonsense of chatting at school gate,if she wants to then she needs to take big breathe and say hello to other parents.
Drop and go is my preferred method!

juicyfruitqueen Mon 06-Jun-11 17:42:57

I don't think she is shy.

I have heard her speaking to teachers and being quite assertive.

She may have chosen to speak to me on that day as I was early, and instead of waiting in the car, I waited near the gate, and she approached me.

I so regret having my name on the parent contact list!

onceamai Mon 06-Jun-11 17:52:25

Perhaps they are all avoiding her. I think you might have guessed why. Poor children though - it's a pity if they miss out socially because of it, ie, because noone wants to get involved enough to invite them for tea.

Groovee Mon 06-Jun-11 17:53:37

This happened to a friend and I. Our son's started nursery around the same time, then in the January at the music class we went to another mum asked if our boys were in the nursery and hooked on to us. 4 years down the line she told us one story while another story was actually happening and made us looks complete imbeciles for backing her when the other parents had a reason for detesting her. I'd keep well clear. You could do what I do and say that the text never arrived :-D

CrapolaDeVille Mon 06-Jun-11 17:55:03

So she's feeling left out and reached out to you and you don't want to get involved.....nice. Are you part of DC's Big society?

juicyfruitqueen Mon 06-Jun-11 17:58:26

I do think that may be what's going on here groovee.

Her children are invited to all the usual parties, I never see that they are missing from any events at all.

I do feel for her children at parties as she tends to get very shouty about little things (juicy stains on their clothes, etc.)

juicyfruitqueen Mon 06-Jun-11 18:00:33

CrapolaDeVille don't know what 'DC's Big Society' is?

CrapolaDeVille Mon 06-Jun-11 18:15:37


Juicy, I've always been of the opinion that if someone asks for help they must be pretty desperate and would, therefore, help them.

coccyx Mon 06-Jun-11 20:58:19

not what i would call bullying

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