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Ds 10yrs being called GAY by classmates. AIBU to complain?

(52 Posts)
notgivenupyet Mon 17-Nov-14 19:55:58

Ds 2 10yrs is having a horrible time at school, low level teasing seems to be increasing and DS2 doesn't want to go to school because of it. Finally he has opened up and said that todays insults and teasing has involved calling him 'Gay' repeatedly and laughing and that this began last week.

I know some people wrongly use the word Gay to describe trainers they don't like etc but whether it was used like that or in the true sense. It was done to be cruel and nasty and in my opinion its use like this is homophobic bullying.

Background to this is the ringleader is the deputy heads son.

I am so upset and angry.

Please help me decide how to deal with this; dp says don't say anything because whatever happens ringleader will come up smelling of roses and DS with be in a worse situation. HELP?

Phoenixfrights Mon 17-Nov-14 19:59:20

yes, absolutely, complain. Doing nothing is not the right thing to do. Schools are now required to promote equality and homophobic bullying will trip them up when they get Ofsteded, and rightly so.

Oh, and you could equip your DS with some choice sentences along the lines of "is that supposed to be an insult?!. Did you know we're not living in the 1953, right?"

flapjackattack Mon 17-Nov-14 20:01:12

I'd say something to DS' s class teacher that you're disappointed the school isn't coming down heavier on negative and homophobic language.

marne2 Mon 17-Nov-14 20:01:17

If your son is hurt by the comments then I think you need to do something ( obviously he is upset as he doesn't want to go to school ), you need to speak to your sons teacher first and if things still don't improve then you need to go to the head. It doesn't make any difference who the boy is, I'm sure his father will be disappointed in his son for being so cruel.

makeitabetterplace Mon 17-Nov-14 20:01:45

Yes complain. And ask to see their anti-bullying / equality policies if you're nothappy with their response.

makeitabetterplace Mon 17-Nov-14 20:02:40

Also, a good response to bullies,which you an practice with him is a really nonchalant and condescending 'whatever'

caravanista13 Mon 17-Nov-14 20:03:21

This should never be acceptable in school (or any where else!). Has he reported the abuse?

dingit Mon 17-Nov-14 20:05:08

I would. Your poor DS he must feel awful. They always pick on less confident kids. Hope you get it sorted.

sunnybobs Mon 17-Nov-14 20:08:36

You must complain & take as much of a statement from your son as possible and let the school know that you will be lodging a complaint/raising concerns with Ofsted if it is not seriously tackled. Ofsted are very very on this form of bullying at the moment and they will ask students & parents about how and if the word gay is used in school as an insult. Request a copy of their anti bullying policy and really pay attention to their responses. He who shouts loudest is the way to get attention in schools so make sure you're heard.

MissMarplesBloomers Mon 17-Nov-14 20:10:12

"You say that like its a bad thing" is my choice of retort but might be too grown up a phrase.

REALLY difficult but if he can cultivate the art of shrugging his shoulders & walking away they'll lose interest, no reaction no fun.

And yes absolutely report it to his form teacher, no child should be using that language.

some info from the MN campaign!

Maybe the teacher could use some resources from that campaign to do a whole class activity during a PSHE session (or whatever its called now!)

sunnybobs Mon 17-Nov-14 20:10:34

Also keep all complaints in writing as well as raising it verbally and if you send something to the class teacher send a copy to the head teacher at the same time alerting them to your concerns.

GoringBit Mon 17-Nov-14 20:11:30

YANBU to want to complain, or to have qualms because of the ringleader being the deputy head's son. FWIW, I think you should make a complaint; it's horrible, bullying behaviour, and the school should be coming down hard.

Lazymummy2014 Mon 17-Nov-14 20:17:57

School must (legally) have an anti-bullying policy including (again, by law) how they tackle homophobia/homophobic language. Make a complaint about the bullying and askto see the policy so you can check their action against their promises! Most schools will publish all their policies on their website actually so you may not even have toask. As other posters have pointed out ofsted are shit hot on this now so you are actually doing the school a favour by giving them the opportunity to sort themselves out!

ilovesooty Mon 17-Nov-14 20:22:29

Can't add to these responses except to say yes - complain. It's totally unacceptable.

TinklyLittleLaugh Mon 17-Nov-14 20:29:02

One of the teachers at my DCs' school had a horrible, bullying child. I know someone who is a TA there and she told me that the other teachers gave this woman a lot of stick about her kid, they really didn't try to help her make excuses for him.

SaucyJack Mon 17-Nov-14 20:31:31

Can't you just get him to shrug it off?

Gay is only an insult if you're homophobic.

Roseformeplease Mon 17-Nov-14 20:35:00

Stonewall have some materials for schools on this. It is NOT acceptable for so many reasons. If it is not tackled by the school, you need to go higher.

raltheraffe Mon 17-Nov-14 20:38:28

I was in Asda recently and there was a boy of about 7 looking at toys. Dad was telling him "you are not having that toy, its for gays, stop being so gay etc

Shockers Mon 17-Nov-14 20:42:53

A deputy head worth their salt would take all negative behaviour seriously.

Plus, if the DH's child is regularly a bit nasty, it will have been noticed by other staff... I would hope!

Talk to the class teacher first, but ask for an appointment in a letter. Letters have to be logged afaik. Next stop the head.

notgivenupyet Mon 17-Nov-14 20:48:54

Thanks for all your responded, I think I am doubly upset because I think it possible that ds is gay, we have had chats before after him saying that he doesn't want to get married because he doesn't want to marry a female, when I talked about same sex relationships he was so relieved. There are other things more non specific things that make me think this is a possibility and this is what his peers are picking up on?

We just had a big chat, DS loves playing Rugby and I had a brainwave and we searched the welsh rugby play Gareth Thomas and how he is in a same sex relationship and a successful sports man etc.

Also talked about the fact that using the word Gay is unacceptable in the same league as the racist terms people used.

I have armed him with some phrases as many of you suggested, whatever I do arming him with some responded is never a bad thing and it has made him feel better. So thanks all who suggested that- good plan!

Also thanks for the person who put up the link, I am going to look into that now he has gone to bed.

Sadly this child has form for behaving like this as did his sibling, who speaking to parents with children in the siblings class also bullied peers with little consequence and from my time volunteering I saw this first had and had a conversation with some TA's who said staff are fearful of addressing the siblings behaviour. I also know the other parent ie not the deputy head but their spouse has had meetings with the head teacher over the ringleader concerned this time and the parent reports that it is all an over reaction because the child is child of a teacher!!!

Thanks again everybody, If I do put something in writing, which I want to do, it will have to go straight to the head because ds's class teacher shares some responsibility with the deputy head, who am I kidding the head is going to be as biased....

Partydilemmas Mon 17-Nov-14 21:01:15

Glad you have had a chat with ds and he is feeling a bit better. Goid idea about Gareth Thomas!

Partydilemmas Mon 17-Nov-14 21:01:45

*good!

Please do continue with the complaint.

MissMarplesBloomers Mon 17-Nov-14 21:13:55

OP the link I posted above is info from the MN & Stonewall campaign, some good stuff to share with your son. x

mummytime Mon 17-Nov-14 21:15:15

Get your son to keep a diary of any events.
Complain in writing to the Head teacher, and ask what he is going to do about the use of homophobic language. You could also point out his duty to safeguard all children, and he is failing this both to your son and the "ringleader" by not cracking down on this kind of behaviour. After all by ignoring the school is allowing the "ringleader" to think his behaviour is acceptable, something he will discover it is not later on in life.

You could also point out that people who make those kinds of comments are often deeply unsure/worried about their own sexuality.

StrumpersPlunkett Mon 17-Nov-14 21:24:34

So sorry your son is going through this, whether he is gay or not the bullying needs to be dealt with.
the same thing happened v recently at our school (infact from your post title I wondered if you were my friend) However, she managed to get her son to school with the promise she would speak to the school about it.
within a couple of minutes of being at the school office the form tutor was with her and within half an hour it had been dealt with in a very swift and serious manner. It will not be happening again with these boys, they have been told that the school has a zero tolerance policy and they would be excluded if it happened again.

It has really helped the boy feel supported and the parent to feel confident sending her son there. It has also sent a clear message to the boys and their friends that this is not acceptable.

All schools have bullying in some form from time to time but I honestly believe that swift and severe response is the right one.

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