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AIBU to do nothing about this BULLYING incident?

(54 Posts)
RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 11:31:50

dd is nearly 14.
yesterday at school a boy told a group of very intimidating, notorious girls that dd had been 'bitching' about them. dd is terrified of these girls. they spend most of their time in detention and are into all sorts of risky behaviours. they parade round the school in a pack, giving everyone filthy looks. anyway, you get the picture- every comp has a group like this, i imagine.

anyway, one of the girls cornered dd in the toilets and slammed the door in her face. dd calmly denied the accusation and walked away.

at lunch, the whole group pursued dd and she was surrounded by many, many onlookers in what sounded like a lynch mob. the language and level of intimidation sound horrendous. somehow dd remained calm and composed and stated her innocence in a civil, articulate manner. then said she was walking away. eventually, a few people in the crowd who had been with dd in class when the supposed bitching occurred came forward and said it was untrue. it sounds like the tide turned on the nasty girls and gradually they realised that they have have been misinformed. unlikely as it sounds, dd then got a grudging apology.

for the rest of the day people were coming up to dd, some older who she doesn't even know, congratulating her on her handling of the situation.

dd seemed weirdly calm reporting this to me, as was buoyed up by the support she got.

this morning we were discussing it in front of dh, who was at that point not aware of the events of yesterday. dd had a real melt down, sobbing her heart out at the thought of dh reporting it to the school. we had to promise we would do nothing without talking to dd first, and agreed to treat this as a one off, as there was a 'good' outcome for dd.

AIBU or foolish to not report this to the school and respond to any future incidents/ fall out as it occurs? is is ever the right thing not to act with bullying like this? dd seems terrified and i don't blame her. i would be scared of these girls too.

finally, a related question...how 'normal' do you think this is for a secondary? should i questioning the culture at school where this can happen? (we are new around here and questioning school choice)

PopcornFrenzy Thu 17-Dec-15 11:36:56

Firstly a big fat well done to your DD for her handling of it. I think you should treat this as a one off and if these girls are as bad as you say the school probably know about them.

Your DD will probably get left alone now as we all know bullies back down when they don't get the reaction they're after.

I was bullied mercilessly at school and wish I'd have handled it like your DD.

RB68 Thu 17-Dec-15 11:40:54

I agree - if there are further issues then a different approach needs taking but I would have an issue with the boy in particular - what a coward

RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 11:42:07

thank you popcorn, for your kind words.

i am proud of dd. i think she just found some inner strength from somewhere, but her self esteem is very low at the moment since moving to this school, I'm not sure how she managed it!

dh was worried that as they lost face and one ended up apologising to dd that they might target her again. could go either way sad

RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 11:44:32

RB, apparently he is very smug and arrogant and dismissed what he said as 'banter'. dd can be quite feisty when not intimidated by someone and said 'i'll deal with him!' i.e. she doesn't see him as a threat in the way these girls are.

PartridgeFairysparkles Thu 17-Dec-15 11:45:08

Well done to your DD. I would perhaps just let the school pastoral person know what happened though in an email, just for their information.

InTheBox Thu 17-Dec-15 11:45:32

Well done your dd! She sounds a very level headed young woman. I agree with you. She's obviously able to handle herself in the face of such disgusting behaviour. I'd play it by ear and be guided by dd wrt future incidents.

RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 11:46:14

oh gawd, partridge, i can't do that now having promised dd. i feel very conflicted tbh.

LaurieLemons Thu 17-Dec-15 11:46:17

Honestly? Pretty normal these days, I know it's not right but in reality she will just end up with more hassle from the girls if you report it. Kids would rather get in trouble themselves than 'grass'. I would trust your DD if she says it wouldn't help things. Gobsmacked how she didn't react one bit! If they don't back down then something needs to be done but it sounds like she handled things well.

RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 11:47:50

thank you in the box smile
is this normal for a comp?? dh said it was like that at his school but i went to a boarding school which had plenty of bitchiness but none of this mob behaviour.

AuntieStella Thu 17-Dec-15 11:48:13

I'd respect your DD's wishes.

She's dealt with it herself, and does not feel the need for further action.

Now if this one shitty incident does become actual bullying (by which I mean continued picking on) she may want/need help.

But will be far less likely to turn to you if she thinks you'll wade in, in ways that she actively does not want.

LaurieLemons Thu 17-Dec-15 11:50:28

If you emailed/had a chat with pastoral care and just tell them to keep an eye out because they've been giving her a bit of trouble but state very clearly that your dd doesn't want action taken, I'm sure they will understand. Perhaps write the email together?

RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 11:50:50

laurie, i have often thought she would make a good lawyer as she is very articulate and quick thinking in an argument. she don't swear. she isn't aggressive. she can have a very sharp tongue with dh and me at times, but i think words are her weapon of choice and thats just how she is wired. i might've expected her to cry, but she didn't feel afraid at the time, surprisingly. i think it was just so surreal for her.

Spilose Thu 17-Dec-15 11:52:58

It was normal but certainly not a daily occurrence and my school. I would leave it for now and well done to your DD.

RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 11:54:21

thanks auntie, i absolutely agree that she must trust us. hence making a promise to her. I'm just checking i wasn't misguided in making that promise.
when you say 'actual bullying', i'd always thought bullying was about the level of intimidation and power imbalance and not just the sustained nature of it. would you not call it a bullying incident, then?

laurie, i think that would have to be phase two.

diddl Thu 17-Dec-15 11:58:01

I can't think that it would be handy to have it on record with the school.

PLus the boy-what was his motive?

She dealt with it this time but it might not go so well another time.

Floggingmolly Thu 17-Dec-15 11:58:19

God no, be guided be your dd on this one. She's dealt with it magnificently, all credit to her.

RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 11:59:20

diddl, do you mean tell or not tell? bit confused smile

RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 11:59:36

thanks molly!

RatherBeRiding Thu 17-Dec-15 12:03:11

Personally I wouldn't report it. She faced them down, they learned that she won't be intimidated, she now has a level of respect throughout the school. If it happens again, though, you might want to re-think.

Sadly yes this is not uncommon but your DD has handled it the right way - bullies only bully if they are allowed to bully - and she didn't allow it. Good on her - you must be very proud of her!

RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 12:05:39

ratherbe, thank you. you don't think there'll be repercussions due to the loss of face?

Pepperpot99 Thu 17-Dec-15 12:10:15

I agree with Partridgefairy - your dd was ace grin and has handled the situation bravely and maturely. I would inform the school though, being careful to let them know your dd does NOT want any action taken.

I know you feel conflicted , OP, but sometimes we have to tell white lies in order to take care of the bigger picture. As another poster said, the school is probably aware of these horrible girls and their pack mentality, and therefore it will be useful for the school to know about this incident. It also means they can keep a discreet eye on your dd to make sure no similar incidents occur.

I have emailed my dd's school about things when I have promised my dd I wouldn't do anything. It does make me feel a bit like a heel, but I justify it with the knowledge that parents and the school, on balance, know best smile and can see the bigger picture.

RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 12:15:32

pepper, i cannot break my promise to dd, although i agree with what you say in essence. i would contact the school knowing dd wouldn't approve, but not if id specifically promised not to.

i think i will await further info. dd said a similar thing happened to another girl. if i hear of one more incident i might even contact the school anonymously 9not sure how, though). these girls spend most of their time in isolation so I'm pretty sure the school have got the measure of them, in many respects.

badtime Thu 17-Dec-15 12:16:04

Roasted, IME (as someone who looks like like a really easy victim but isn't), most bullies won't take the risk of losing face a second time. If they do, then report it.

RoastedParsnip Thu 17-Dec-15 12:17:07

thanks badtime, I'm intrigued! care to share?

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