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Young boy committed suicide due to bullying.

(62 Posts)
Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 08:49:18

In light of the above, whose parents were on Gmtv this morning, aibu to send this message to my Ds' bully.

'What you are doing to Ds on Xbox live is called cyber bullying. It is nasty, and how would you feel to be on the receiving end? I thought you lot were all mates, but sadly it all seems to have gone wrong. If it carries on I will dial 101 and get advice from the police. If it goes on at school I will contact your house master. Feel free to show this to your parents, but somehow I don't think you will. Think about it please, and go back to being the nice chap I know you really are.'

They are 11, and were friends at primary school. I appreciate friendship groups shift, but on Sunday night my Ds was almost physically sick about going back to school. They basically name call, especially as he likes to play Skylanders when they all play Cod. He has cod too, as I caved in to the pressure, andhe plays it at friends houses anyway. I have told him to block the name callers, but apparently they then can join in a game he is playing with another friend.

BruisedFanjo Tue 26-Feb-13 16:04:01

I'm pretty sure you can report players to Microsoft and they listen in and can ban players based on their investigations. This will also let the bullys parents know you were telling the truth and they won't be happy with junior - especially if they're paying for his subscription. It will also hit the bully where it hurts, he (like most of the peer group) will really care about being left out of online time. If Microsoft ban him, it won't be up to mum n dad to reinstate little darlings Xbox privileges, he will have to keep a clean record to Microsoft after his bans lifted.

If school aren't helpful the case you then have with Microsoft is proof you can present to the police if you need to go that far.


JenaiMorris Tue 26-Feb-13 14:01:48

I did tell the dad it wasn't the first time he'd bullied Ds and I had had to go to school before. It took the wind out of his sails a bit.

I bet.

I don't want to go into too much detail but we had a confrontation with a father who was adamant that our son had been bullying his (so a reverse situation but bear with me!).

Now that the truth has come out the father has gone strangely quiet.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 13:29:54

Thanks sleepychunky, I've just spotted it on the website. Love your user name by the way, always wonder how mumsnetters choose user names!

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 13:03:38

I did tell the dad it wasn't the first time he'd bullied Ds and I had had to go to school before. It took the wind out of his sails a bit. What I also forgot to mention, that this is the charming child who called Ds names because he had a rucksack rather than a messenger bag. I dutifully went and bought the ' right' bag, and he told my Ds it's about fucking timeangry

sleepychunky Tue 26-Feb-13 13:00:51

Lynned I'm really sorry to hear about what's been happening to your DS. Please can I suggest you give Kidscape a ring - they have some amazing advice both for you as a parent and for your son. They also run free sessions for children to teach them skills which will help.

penelopepissstop Tue 26-Feb-13 12:57:13

Dad's probably in denial by the sounds of it. Why would any parent do what you have unless it were true?
Next time go straight to the school or parents. Dealing with kids that aren't our own is always a minefield.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 12:06:12

Cherry carpet, sorry to hear that, year 6 is indeed a tough year. It's hard knowing just how to deal with it, or let dcs handle it for themselves. However my Ds is very unhappy, and making himself ill. Settling in to secondary school is tough enough without someone from your primary school bullying you. Yes definately steer clear of x box live, and if he has a Facebook account, which used correctly is fun, make sure you are friends with him so you can keep an eye on it.

For what it's worth, I think the parents would have reacted the same if I had approached them directly, which is why I left them out of it in the first place!

I think I'd possibly tell school I'd sent a message to child as I was upset and wanted the bullying to stop. Say that you hope you were reasonable in what you put but aren't sure now whether you should have done so ?
- Something along those lines anyway ....

Then concentrate on telling them what's been going on for your DS.

There's not necessarily much to be gained from discussing situation with the Mum, especially as she was meant to be livid or some such. Though it is an option I guess.

See what school can do to help is my advice. And I don't think I'd let my DS continue playing with the X-box either if he was having these sort of experiences through it ? Surely he could do something else - like see his real friends in RL ?

livinginwonderland Tue 26-Feb-13 11:57:27

you need to turn off x-box live. it's not kid-friendly. let your DS play on his own against the game, and let him have his friends round and they can play multiplayer. if the bullying is happening online, you need to be seen to have taken steps to stop it happening again (ie, turning off the online bit of the game).

i think i would have gone to the parents before sending a message to an 11 year old boy, but what's done is done. the parents are aware of what's happened, so give them a chance to sort it out before you goto the school. the dad was angry because his child got accused of being a bully - it's not a nice thing for any parent to hear. give them a chance to sort it out as a family, and then, if nothing changes, go the school. the police should be a last resort in my opinion.

cherrycarpet Tue 26-Feb-13 11:55:03

I hope you get this sorted soon. Horrible situation for you and your son. My eldest DS is also 11 and Yr 6 is proving to be tricky for him. He's small for his age and seems to be getting the brunt of the bully's venom at the moment. Mainly verbal but a bit physical too. I've been into school a few times in the last few months and spoken to the Head and his teacher about what's going on. At least it is formally documented and the staff are aware of what's going on. Hopefully they have spoken to the children concerned as it seems to have died down a bit at the moment.

I have learnt (from bitter experience) not to approach the other children or the parents directly. I have tried this with the parents in the past and it just escalated things and the parents were either very defensive or in denial that their DC could be so vile. Sooo... The other thing I'm trying to do is equip my son with techniques to deal with their offensive behaviour. We're reading a book called 'Bullies, Bigmouths and So-called Friends' by Jenny Alexander and I would highly recommend it.

The other main thing is to keep communicating with your son to make sure he's coping OK. We don't have an Xbox live and your post has certainly given me another reason not to get one!

Given your situation I would definitely go into school and definitely mention names but explain that the Dad didn't want you to do that! Good luck....

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 11:26:40

He's blocked one of the other boys, but they can be brought back in by other people. So they chip in on games he's playing with his other friends.

I am going to let the school take the lead. I am not sure whether to fess up and let the school know about the message I sent, or just leave it alone. Also do I contact boys mum, apologise and try to explain what I was trying to do, even though I explained to the dad, who didn't seem to want to listen?

shewhowines Tue 26-Feb-13 11:25:10

I can't see what the problem is with the text TBH. It wasn't threatening. It outlined the situation and gave the child permission to show their parents. It also ended on a positive note about the child being basically a nice child.

It was a chance for the child to address the situation before it was escalated to school/parents and could potentially have saved the child getting into further trouble.

Put that behind you now. The parents are aware. Get the school involved. Explain the above to both and ask how you move on from here.

I agree that you need recorded evidence so voice record/video DS when he plays on it. Would probably be better if he stops xbox live altogether though.

Keep on at the school and insist on them sorting the problem out at school - involving meetings with bullies parents too. Not sure what they can do about the xbox; that's outside school. Perhaps reiterate to the parents that you will take that to the police if it doesn't stop but i'd stop xbox live first I think, so remove that problem.

greenfolder Tue 26-Feb-13 11:21:22

i do not think that what you did was wrong AT ALL.

I did a similar thing. I gave the child the chance to stop before it went further. It worked once, it didnt another time. This was bullying by bb and text. with the child that continued, i just used it as further evidence that the child knew exactly what they were doing, they had been told to stop but continued. i took it to the school and told them i would take it to the police if it did not cease.

please do not beat yourself up- take it to the school and let them deal with it as far as they are able. dont know much about x box but can you block people, only let certain ones on? or just switch off the online bit and play against the computer?

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 11:11:05

Rainbow, I can see what you are saying. It was probably the police bit that did it. If I had left that out, do you think my message was acceptable?

Maryz Tue 26-Feb-13 10:58:18

I was trying to be subtle about the X-box Live Lafaminute grin.

I agree though. I think it is horrible to see youngsters playing online with people who are obviously adult men, with all the aggression and the language and the attitude of adult men.

Quite apart from the arguing with kids of their own age.

ds plays with his friends when he is with them, which isn't often during term-time. I don't see the need to play online - and in fact the main reason I got an X-box rather than a PS3 at the time was that the PS3 is automatically online, whereas the X-box is subscription only.

Lynned, don't feel low -these things happen. Hopefully it will blow over - but it is much more important to sort out the in person bullying as you can always turn the X-box off.

Locketjuice Tue 26-Feb-13 10:56:26

My other plays COD and its ridiculously violent maybe that's a something to look at.

My nephews played it, my sister no realising how bad it was and couldn't work out why they suddenly started swearing at each other and being violent until she actually watched them play and what it contained and then it clicked they were linked. Took the game away and its stopped.

differentnameforthis Tue 26-Feb-13 10:54:50

If your son is to the point of being almost physically sick about going back to school, what have you done so far to stop this happening?

As parents, we need to stop being passive & hoping that "it sorts itself out" because it never does.

rainbowrainbowrainbow Tue 26-Feb-13 10:48:23

Lynn I think you need to see it from other parents pov.
Would you be happy for a parent to without your knowledge send you r son a message that might frighten him?
Wouldn't you want to know if your child was being a bully?
Regardless of your feelings towards the boy, he is a child, and I really don't think what you did was the best course of action.
If you had seen the boy actually do/say something in your presence that's one thing, but you didn't.
I hope things better for your ds soon, as a mother to a child who was mercilessly bullied I know how upsetting it can be.
My ds was younger, when it happened I invited the boy over for tea killed him with kindness and it all calmed down. Sadly the boy had a tragically awful home life which explained a lot about his behaviour sad

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 10:43:09

I can see what you are saying about x box live. The purpose of it is so they can play games together. I had no idea this would happen. It is a sad word we live in. I have not felt this low for a long time.

squeakytoy Tue 26-Feb-13 10:35:41

I cant see this as "not ok" though. The OP was polite, didnt swear or threaten him, and gave him the opportunity to make amends without it going further.

Clearly this kid knows that his parents will back him up even though he is a nasty little bully... sad

Lafaminute Tue 26-Feb-13 10:34:06

I don't understand why you all continue to let your CHILDREN play Xbox live.....they are children and it is your job as their parents to protect them and yet you are letting them expose themselves to cyber bullying because it would "break their hearts" ???? shock shock shock
Well, it'll break your heart if your child is ever driven to drastic measures because of the effects of cyber bullying......
I am shocked!

JenaiMorris Tue 26-Feb-13 10:28:21

squeaky I think this is different to ticking off a group of children for climbing on parked cars or something. I have no problem with telling off other people's children in those and similar curcumstances.

The one-to-one nature of a message like that is where it strays into the Not-OK.

I feel mean saying that here as obviously it's a bit late now that it's happened already. I'm not trying to have a go at the OP.

Lynned Tue 26-Feb-13 10:27:51

Thank you squeaky toy, it's not like my message threatened to go and knock his block off- much as I would like to. I just warned him that I would take it further. I didn't want to contact his parents, so they weren't upset, and he wasn't in trouble. I gave him the opportunity for it not to go that far.

squeakytoy Tue 26-Feb-13 10:16:14

What makes me sad here is that so many people think it is wrong for another adult to dare to reprimand their child. What is so bad about another parent telling your little darling off?

If I had been bollocked by another parent, you can be damn sure my parents would have given me a second bollocking twice as severe, not gone round to have a go at the parent who had told me off.

Maryz Tue 26-Feb-13 10:16:12

If it is in person, then you can get evidence of that, so I would concentrate on that at the moment.

If your son knows that the bullying in person is being dealt with he will find it easier to ignore the name-calling online. Talk to the school, but most of all keep a diary of exactly what happened when, who was there, what was said and done. It will build up an accurate picture, and a contemporary diary is worth an awful lot more than trying to remember afterwards exactly what happened, if that makes sense.

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