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To wonder what schools can actually do about bullying

(41 Posts)
IconicTonic Sun 28-Jun-15 09:59:46

My DS has been suffering low level bullying since starting in reception (now in y1) and whilst the school have tried to deal with it nothing has really changed.

At the end of the day this child has little understanding of acceptable behaviour or empathy, and his parents opinion is that kids should sort things out between themselves and it is normal for them to rough and tumble.

Reading another thread on here about whether whole class parties should be whole class, a teacher has come on and said with the best will in the world sometimes there isn't much a school can do about certain kids.

So do you agree or have you seen strategies that have been effective?

LashesandLipstick Sun 28-Jun-15 10:17:19

Schools can

1) come down hard on the bully, leading to expulsion if it gets that bad

2) offer support to the bully - sometimes bullies are dealing with issues and don't know how to cope

3) offer support to the victim - look at ways to make his experience easier

4) offer alternative school solutions for the victim or bully, one on one teaching etc, which they legally have to provide in some cases

snowaccidentprone Sun 28-Jun-15 10:26:10

Ds1 was bullied in juniors.

The head teacher talked to the bully and his parents in his office. That was enough to stop it.

Obviously with infant children this may not work, but the school will have a bullying policy.

We also did a bit of role playing with ds1 to help him to come up with solutions, with gave him more confidence ie if the bully does this, what could you do or say as a response? Eg tell the playground assistant or teacher. Or walk away, or take a step closed to the bully, invading his or her space and making them feel uncomfortable.

The school needs to recognise the problem and come up with suitable measures.

EssexGurl Sun 28-Jun-15 10:39:10

In our experience, they do nothing. DS is juniors. The bullying - by multiple boys - takes place at breaks or outside school. In the classroom these boys are little angels. My son has been labelled the naughty one as he causes issues when he complains. If a teacher does talk to any of these boys they cry and no action gets taken.

I write to the school regularly to complain but they say they see nothing so nothing can be done. One day my son is going to snap and hit one of them. And he will probably get excluded. I have the documentation to back up the history. School really is a miserable place if you are being bullied.

Sunnyshores Mon 29-Jun-15 16:35:33

IME very little is done. Its not usual practice to get the parents involved for quite a while, then they say they have some home problem, child has issues, is an angel etc etc and its back to the beginning.
Very sad.

What I would say is though I always imagined it was me complaining all the time, but several years later found out that there were a couple of other parents about the same child. Also speaking to the ex-head found out that loads of parents are constantly in the office about trivial matters, so dont feel bad about being pushy or a nusiance.

WannaShedthisFatSuit Mon 29-Jun-15 16:43:08

* LashesandLipstick Sun 28-Jun-15 10:17:19

^ all of this!!

I agree at reception age its hard, but all of the above, the victim should not have to endure on going suffering.

Kick up a stink, I WOULD.

NRomanoff Mon 29-Jun-15 16:44:56

There is lots that can be done, but often isn't.

I am fed up of the lets sit the bully and their victom down so the victim can tell the bully how they feel. After 2 years of ds telling her bully exactly how she let and him carrying on anyway, she refused to do it again and the HT told her she was being obstructive.

Something was only done when this boy assaulted her twice in 2 weeks and we phoned the police. Even then the school Denied he was bullying anyone else. The police attended school with is and several parents and told the school they weren't doing enough. They also told the HT that the police would be crucified for forcing a victim sit and talk to their accused attacker. Dd refused to return to class whe he was there. Between dds refusal to go to class, the police and my threats of legal action, the boy now has a 1-2-1 supervisor at a times.

Schools need to be zero tolerance on bullying but actually follow through with it. The bullies should be helped, but not at the expense of victims

WannaShedthisFatSuit Mon 29-Jun-15 16:46:46

I also think no 2) in Lashes list is very relavant as kids act out at this age and if he is bulying it could indicate something a miss at home.

ElementaryMyDear Mon 29-Jun-15 16:53:56

What they can do is to follow their own bullying policies. It's amazing how often they don't. However, firm action at an early stage can be effective.

DD had a problem with one particular bully when she was in primary school. I eventually went to the teacher about it and she drafted in the deputy head for the meeting, probably because she felt she wanted some muscle as I was a governor. I was terrifically nice about it but said it just couldn't go on. They acknowledged that it was happening, and agreed that they would talk to DD and tell her to come to them if there were any problems and they would instantly follow up effectively and in a way which wouldn't expose her to more bullying. They also got the bully and her parents in and talked to her. They followed through on everything they had promised and the bullying stopped.

mistymeanour Mon 29-Jun-15 16:56:52

The only really effective strategy is to change schools quickly or sometimes changing class is enough. Schools rarely effectively tackle bullying and just keeping your child in the class in the hope the bully will eventually change only undermines the bullied child's self esteem more and more. It may seem like the bullied child is being punished by having to give up their class but I have never known of the bully being asked to leave or change form group.

SallyMcgally Mon 29-Jun-15 17:04:24

At secondary level they also need to cultivate an ethos of non-tolerance among all the children. There would be far less bullying if people, old enough to know better, didn't just sit back passively and let it happen. I know it can be intimidating to challenge face to face, but they could speak to a teacher and let them know what's happening.

LokiBear Mon 29-Jun-15 17:07:23

I'm a teacher, albeit secondary. There is lots that can be done. If nothing has changed the school is failing your child.

Whatdoesaduckdo Mon 29-Jun-15 17:09:38

I've also found very little is done by the school both my primary aged boys have been bullied this year, for the eldest it's been the continuation if the last 2 years.
My youngest is p1 (n Ireland so aged 4&5) he was bullied for the first few weeks by one boy who eventually stabbed him in the head with scissors, and the school still denied there was a problem. I spoke directly to the child's mother who knew nothing of the previous incidents or that my don had needed stitches because of her son.
With the older boy I was constantly fobbed of with it's rough play boys will be boys etc again u approached the parent who shrugged, now I'm not in any way a violent person but I snapped and told the parent you will get your child to stay away from mine because I will do to you what your boys does to mine I was v angry and shaking with rage I'm not at all proud of the fact that I threatened her but at least the result was she reported me to the school and the boys were switched classes and it has largely settled down.
I have however switched my boys to a new smaller school for September they admit there is bullying on occasions but it's stamped out quickly and effectively a view shared by parents there.
My 2 boys had massive smiles on there faces when they walked out of that hateful school for the last time today

merrymouse Mon 29-Jun-15 17:14:47

Schools have a duty of care and your child should feel safe at school. Some children are more difficult than others and some misunderstandings are inevitable. However either a child that is constantly bullying others needs additional support because of sn or the school need help learning how to manage children. Bullying is not inevitable.

Greydog Mon 29-Jun-15 17:19:30

My sons secondary school did nothing. The only way the bullying stopped was my son smacked him. The bully was so surprised he stopped, and didn't bother either my lad of others again. Whilst not really approving of violence - sometimes - just sometimes....

MrsV2012 Mon 29-Jun-15 17:21:12

IME, little to nothing is done. DS (Yr7) has Aspergers, and routinely has little shits calling him an oddball, a freak, and has his belongings hidden or taken.

I have repeatedly asked school if they can deal with this, they said the usual "we do not tolerate bullying...this will be dealt with I assure you".

It stops for a day or two, then starts again. DD (Year 5), saw her big brother being taunted during lunch break, taking his drawings of Submarines he spent ages on, and putting their hands in his food. She went over and actually hit one of the boys 2 years above her at least someone in the school did something

Guess who got in trouble? Clue, it isn't the bullies that target my DS.

SallyMcgally Mon 29-Jun-15 17:28:03

DS1 is dyspraxic. We took him out this Jan in year 9. He's had his uniform peed on while he was doing PE, his iPod stolen (he knew he wasn't to take it to school, but still), has been thrown around the cloakroom, had his arm twisted behind his back, been kicked, ended up with 90% of his bus jeering at him. I could go on and on. It's a fucking misery. And the bullies are all still there. I completely understand people dealing with it themselves. DS's last Head of Year was fabulous and did her best, but it was too late really. The others failed him and us time and time again. Behaviour Unit in that place is an absolute joke.

SallyMcgally Mon 29-Jun-15 17:39:31

On a brighter note Kidscape are a fantastic charity helping bullied kids and they will come into schools and give workshops on how to tackle bullying. More schools should be doing this. I would also be interested to find out the selection criteria for the employees they put in charge of behaviour units. Does anyone know what qualifications they need? Although to be fair the most essential quality should be common sense really.

Whatdoesaduckdo Mon 29-Jun-15 18:10:11

Sending very unmn hugs to all the mums and kids hurt by bullying on this thread, it's the most horrible feeling to know your child is hurting and struggling to make it stop flowers

NRomanoff Mon 29-Jun-15 18:18:05

I have enrolled both my children in kick boxing classes. To build confidence and make sure they can defend themselves. Wish I had done it years ago. It's really helped. Dd is more confident and the bully I spoke about earlier is too cowardly to test if she is any good.

The boy I spoke about earlier has still managed to attack children with his 1-2-1 , but left ds alone.

The schools need to follow their own policies.

Woooooohoooooo Mon 29-Jun-15 18:23:28

How is your DC being bullied?

flora717 Mon 29-Jun-15 20:18:13

I don't think encouraging violence or participation in violence is really "dealing" with bullies. It's just sinking to the level of an arms race.

Pointlessfan Mon 29-Jun-15 20:23:22

I'm a secondary teacher. There is lots that can be done and we do it at our school but social media is making it harder. Even if we exclude the comments etc continue online. I've even seen print outs of facebook conversations where parents have joined in with the nasty comments.

HelenaDove Mon 29-Jun-15 22:24:08

Romanoff thats appalling. Reading your post reminded me of what happened to that young lad in Educating Yorkshire.

Ds was bullied. School asked how I wanted it handled with ds because
1) it wasn't a straightforward situation
2) it was almost the end of primary school

I said I wanted them to help him to learn ways to diffuse that sort of situation. They were very helpful and worked with him to give him some tools to deal with it in future.

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