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DS strangled at school, twice. AIBU? (Long sorry)

(105 Posts)
ScoutsMam Wed 10-Feb-16 18:18:53

I am trying not to over or under react here. Looking for some sensible Mumsnet advice.

DS has had issues with being bullied since September when he started high school. I put complaints in writing and asked for a copy of the schools anti-bullying policy.

The bully was warned, I was told teachers would keep an eye out and I would be kept informed of any issues. I was told this over the phone. I never got a written response to my complaint or a copy of the anti-bullying policy.

Tonight DS told us that he was strangled going between buildings by another student. He also disclosed that this happened last week too, in the presence of a teacher. The student was sent to a support worker. No one checked DS, no one informed us.

I am currently in the stage of the white hot rage that comes when someone's hurt your child. I don't blame the bully, honestly. I do blame the school for not protecting my son and not informing me of the attack. DS is a worrier and is aware that the other student has a difficult home life and a support worker at school so didn't tell us until today as he is at an age where he understands that sometimes 'naughty' behaviour is a result of more than "he's a nasty bully".

The school has it's own police officer, and form for not dealing with bullying.

How do I deal with this to protect DS? If someone had strangled him in the street and needed adult intervention to stop it I'd ring the police.

At the moment I feel I should tell the school if this happens again I will contact the police and go straight above the school to complain using the fact that I've previously asked them to provide anti-bullying policy and they have not as justification for not complaining to school. Plus, complaining to the school seems silly, as they are aware of last week's attack and don't seem to see it as something they need to deal with in terms of protecting my DS. DH feels we should go to the police now, if only to jolt the school into action. AIBU?

LagunaBubbles Wed 10-Feb-16 18:23:41

Yes, I agree with your DH about phoning the Police now.

IAmNotAMindReader Wed 10-Feb-16 18:26:26

You know they've got a shit record for dealing with bullying. It won't change unless drastic action is taken. You can't rely on them to deal with it in your sons best interests. They've had their chance inform the police now.

CoteDAzur Wed 10-Feb-16 18:26:59

Do you have any idea who this boy's parents are?

I would definitely contact the police if school does not take real steps to prevent this sort of thing happening in the future, but I would also call up his family and tell them that you are going to do it and why.

MerryMarigold Wed 10-Feb-16 18:27:38

I would wait till you have full story from school and use it as a threat, but you require a meeting first thing tomorrow. Why did he strangle your ds? Was he messing, bullying or angry at something ds did?

LalaLyra Wed 10-Feb-16 18:27:58

I'd go to the school police officer. Ask him what is being done about the strangling. Then when he, almost inevitably, says he has no details of it give him all the details.

The school are not keeping an eye on the situation, and not informing you of a serious incident is most certainly not keeping you informed.

soapboxqueen Wed 10-Feb-16 18:28:40

If this had been the first incident and the school had swung into action then I'd have said police next time.

But it isn't and they haven't. Do both. Call to complain, back up with a written complaint. Go to the police as well.

seven201 Wed 10-Feb-16 18:30:31

The anti bullying policy is probably on the school website somewhere. Maybe you should drop the ofsted word bomb and governors casually when asking for this to be taken seriously. It's a safeguarding matter and you do not feel the school is providing an adequate duty of care. Hope the school pull their finger out.

averythinline Wed 10-Feb-16 18:30:39

call the police....strangling is extremely serious _ I would also be tempted to not send him back to school until they can assure you how they will keep him safe..
I would also be emailing/phoning the head/governors now to advise them what your doing....

ElsieMc Wed 10-Feb-16 18:35:56

Strangling is the most serious form of dv fgs and it should have the same high priority within a school environment. You can lose consciousness very quickly and once someone has moved to this level of bullying, then your son I am afraid is not safe in this school. I moved schools when my gs was strangled on an outing, the other boy sitting on his chest and strangling him while his mate encouraged him. He had no chance and kept quiet about it for days, he was very pale and shaken.

You need a meeting with the school immediately. Tell them you are informing the police. They are falling short of their safeguarding procedures and are certainly not caring for your son. You are not over-reacting in any way and your son needs you to speak up for him now. Good luck.

ScoutsMam Wed 10-Feb-16 18:37:42

Do you have any idea who this boy's parents are?

Yes, they form part of the reason DS's empathy towards the boy. Apparently the poor boy's home life is not a happy one from what DS knows.

Why did he strangle your ds?

Earlier on in the year DS attempted a friendship with the boy despite more low level bullying, he invited him to go get chips with him and his pals a few times as I believe the lad is on his own a lot. From what DS has said this hasn't continued as although the boy came with them he was still hitting and pushing everyone and hurting them.

Honestly though, DS is a gentle wee chap. Reasons behind this boys behaviour are not my business. The school is failing him as much as DS and that needs to be addressed but I doubt they'll go into the reasons for the boy's aggression with me. DS isn't one for picking on people and I think he's actually quite mature for his age in that he is able to link the actions with factors in the boys life, again asking him to go with him and his pals for lunch instead of just excluding him.

I open to the fact he might have done something to him, but I honestly do doubt it. He is scared of the boy now and tries not to initiate contact with him.

RaspberryOverload Wed 10-Feb-16 18:38:25

Don't make any attempt to contact the other child's parents.

If they turn out to be the kind of parents that don't care, or who think their child is an agel, they could turn it round and accuse you of harrassment, or similar, which could muddy the waters of your complaint.

Keep it official - school/police.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Wed 10-Feb-16 18:38:51

Anti bullying policy is usually rubbish - look for the complaints procedure and start quoting it - usually says - we will respond in writing in c days - we will have a review meeting in X days - we will do X y and z and keep you informed - don't be frieghtened of the wording - read it!

Soooosie Wed 10-Feb-16 18:39:37

Phone the police now. Make a formal incident report with them. Tell the head of year afterwards, giving him the police incident number. Demand that the boy is excluded

vestandknickers Wed 10-Feb-16 18:40:35

Your poor DS. Definitely talk to the school again and ask why you weren't informed.

Why did your DS not tell you last week though? I assume there were no physical marks on him? Have you asked him what he means by "strangling"? I'd be a bit careful about going in all guns blazing until you know exactly what happened.

I really hope it can be stopped whatever's happening because it isn't right that your DS has to put up with any kind of bullying.

Dotandethel Wed 10-Feb-16 18:43:21

I wouldn't be sending my child back until they could assure me he was safe in their care.

ScoutsMam Wed 10-Feb-16 18:44:09

Why did your DS not tell you last week though?

He can't tell me why he didn't. He told me today when no other adult saw. I think and this is now speculation as he's gone upstairs just there, that when it happened last week there was what he considered a responsible adult there, a teacher he likes and respects. You know when you hear about kids disclosing stuff and the adult's reaction is really important? I reckon the teacher going on like it was nothing has made him feel that that's the case.

Have you asked him what he means by "strangling"?

Yes, I asked him to show me. Hand on both sides of the neck, thumbs on windpipe. Typing that makes me shiver.

Katenka Wed 10-Feb-16 18:46:25

Dd was bullied by a boy that she tried to befriend because she felt sorry for him.

It went on for years. She even moved primary only to have him move there 6 months later. He attacked her in year 6 when he was 11. I called the police due to the school not doing enough.

He was charged and had to attend some courses. Tell the police your not want the school officer dealing with it, if he is rubbish.

Dd is at secondary school now. Her bully only made a comment to her and our police officer dragged him and reminded him about his caution and that if he didn't leave her alone he would done for harrasment and charged again. He hasn't even looked at her since. I would trust our officer to deal with it.

But if you don't tell them that.

CurbsideProphet Wed 10-Feb-16 18:48:52

I work in a secondary school. If I were you I would confirm details of strangling - ie. 2 hands/1 hand/headlock, any verbal altercations, and witnesses, then I would be phoning the police.

I think schools should have their behaviour/bullying policies on their website, so that it is easily accessible for parents/carers.

CookieDoughKid Wed 10-Feb-16 18:49:28

This is very serious. If it was me I would be escalating this to the highest order and I would want this put on the record . I would get police involved so that the bully 's parents understand the seriousNess of this crime and I would want a meeting with both the head and governed and written responses on what the school is going ton do about it. I got a tip from a friend off the record who is a deputy head teacher that the only way schools take it seriously if parents escalate and put it on the record. It needs to of be properly filed for Ofsted's attention.

I would have no hesitation whatsoever to take this right to the top and above until the bullying is stopped

CookieDoughKid Wed 10-Feb-16 18:51:23

Because quite frankly next time it could be murder . Yes it does happen.

CurbsideProphet Wed 10-Feb-16 18:51:27

I've just cross-posted with you.

That description of the strangling is shocking, as is the reaction of the adult who witnessed it.

ScoutsMam Wed 10-Feb-16 19:04:20

DS is now writing down what happened last Tuesday, what was said, who saw, where he was standing, how he felt.

We will then do the same for today.

We tried to get a hold of the school tonight. No answer. DS has said he would like to stay off until it's resolved. We are going to contact the police tomorrow, first thing. Then we will contact the school and explain why he is not in, here is the incident number, I am going to complain to Ofsted and board of governors.

Thank you all for your input. I feel I'll be able to deal with this better if I'm not doubting my own actions.

GruntledOne Wed 10-Feb-16 19:08:21

Write to the head pointing out that you asked for the bullying policy X days/weeks ago and you haven't received it yet, and ask that he ensures that you receive it by the end of tomorrow together with the school's complaints policy and their discipline and safeguarding policies.

When you get the bullying policy, go through it carefully and ask them, again in writing, to tell you precisely what steps they took to follow the policy and, if they didn't why not.

Ask them also why they haven't followed their complaint policy. Usually these require the complaint to be considered in two or three stages - possibly someone like the head of year first, then the headteacher, then the governors. I know it seems a bit of a waste given that you've complained previously, but I think they need to be held to their policies and made to follow their own procedures so that they know they can't just ignore complaints.

Most seriously, ask them to set out precisely what they are going to do to make sure your child is safe in future.

I would also seriously consider contacting the council's safeguarding team, as there is obviously a major issue about safety in this school.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Wed 10-Feb-16 19:12:51

Easier said than done - but you must take your emotion out of it -

Everything needs to be DS said, DS feels, DS is "having nightmares/school refusal/not concentrating" whatever. Keep factual.

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