Bullying: should I just take him out of school? Please help - desperate for advice!(369 Posts)
I hope this is the right place to post (I found this website very recently!)
My son is 12 (Yr 7) and is struggling a lot. He was quite popular at Primary School - lots of friends, etc. but still isn't fitting in at Secondary
I thought he would, but it was just taking some time. However, since October, he has really started to hate school. He is really shy... Some boys started laughing at him, saying that he was a loser, etc. because he had no friends. My son began to go to the library (during break/lunch) and made a few friends in there - he began to like school more. However, then lessons became really hard - some boys began to break his pens/pencils/ruler; they even stole his phone and smashed the screen. I spoke to his Form Tutor (the 1st point of contact) who told me that he couldn't do anything, due to him not being allowed to carry a phone. I was a little surprised, but decided to leave it, hoping that it had been noted.
Loads of incidents began to happen - his pants were being pulled down; he was being pushed; he was being prodded with scissors, etc.
I spoke to his Form Tutor again - he said that I needed to write the incidents down... I then gave the notes to his Head of Year; she made my son write a statement. The boys denied doing any of it (obviously) and she said that she'll keep an eye out.
Just before a PE lesson, my son spoke to his PE teacher and said that he was too scared to get changed in the normal changing room. The teacher called the bullies out and said "you promise you won't scare (son's name), as he thinks you will?" which was an awful way to handle it! They then kept tripping him up, throughout the lesson, resulting in my son needing an X-Ray. I went to his Head of Year again, who told my son to write another statement - the boys denied it again... She said she'll keep an eye out. I told her that she hadn't been, or that she's trying to and it isn't working and I asked what else could be done. She said that nothing can be done, at the moment, due to her not knowing who is telling the truth. The PE teacher denied ever seeing the boys tripping him up, which I struggle to believe, due to him needing an X-Ray on his wrist - after all, the boys are Gifted & Talented for PE, so maybe he doesn't want them to get into trouble, who knows?
Anyway, his Head of Year put they all on report, including my son, so she can see what their teachers say. That day, my son was locked in a cupboard; punched in the stomach and told to kill himself - nothing was ever noted on these reports, due to them happening between lesson changes.
My little boy began getting an upset stomach/vomiting - his doctor said it was due to fear/nerves. I took the doctor's note into school - his Head of Year began questioning my son about home life and asking if he is making the stuff up, due to it really being something else. I was fuming. I got the Deputy Head involved (the Head was just too busy for bullying incidents - their words) and she said that they will keep an eye on the situation - she also spoke to the bullies.
That lunch time, when my son was on the way to the library, 5 children from Yr 11 (who are relatives of the bullies in my son's year) dragged him to the back of the library - stole his money/threw him to the ground/hit him in the face... My son came out from the back of the library, with a bleeding nose, a TA came over to him - he shouted words along the line of "I'm so fucking done - why are none of you helping me?"
She immediately took him to Head of Years' and said that he needs to be kept in isolation for the rest of the afternoon, due to him swearing. He went to talk to his Head of Year to explain, which she then replied "I'm not willing to listen, if you're not willing to respect staff..."
He broke down in tears and begged to call me, they refused. He walked out of the isolation room (which means automatic suspension)... I came and collected him - he threw himself into my arms, in absolute tears. The Head said "I'll deal with you on Thursday..." and we left. I'm just lost. My son is lost - he is depressed/suffering from constant upset stomach, etc. due to the constant fear. I have tried to cooperate with the school. My son has tried to take their word for it; he has faced school for 7 months, being bullied. Yes, he swore, it wasn't right, I know, but I didn't punish him, I'm okay with you thinking that I should, but I physically can't - my son is absolutely broken.
Please help, what would you do?
I have an 11 year old in high school, and if she hated school and was being bullied like that I'd be removing her immediately.
I personally would find another school. I wouldn't send him back because they don't seem to be able to keep him safe. I would be more worried about the attitude of the staff as bullying seems low on their list of priority.
Please pull your son out of school. I have no real experience of schools as my ds is only a toddler, this is serious bullying I was bullied not half as badly in school and I still have slight anxiety about new people if it was me I wouldn't send my ds back there ever and I find out who to complain to I've heard people on mumsnet say who you go to above the school hopefully someone with actual experience will be along soon but please dont send your son back this is terrible and the schools way of dealing with it is a disgrace.
Poor little mite - please take him out, that place sounds appalling!
Thank you all for your replies - I'm so ready to pull him out, but I'd hate to choose the wrong thing, but I'm definitely more prepared to do it now. I hate the way they are dealing with it, they're not doing anything - it annoys me that they think 'fuck' is a bigger deal, than what has been happening to my son.
His reintegration meeting is tomorrow, I don't even feel like waking him up to go to it. He has just fallen asleep (a normal routine for him) as he tends to get most sick at night... I'm so done with watching him suffer.
Change school and tell governors, Ofsted and local authority why in no uncertain terms. Im so sorry you and your son have been through this. They haven't handled it at all in fact they've made matters far worse than they needed to be.
Frankly in your position I'd also consider suing. They've failed in their duty of care, been negligent and contributed to the emotional and physical abuse of your child.
You know you could go to the meeting with out him and explain that he's to traumatised to go in and that your so dissapointed that they are unable to keep ds safe that you are to frightened to send your son back to a dangerous enviroment, as if they cannot protect his physical/mental well being them it's your job and they are not doing theres.
Are they not failing in their legal duty of care to protect his health, wellbeing and safety? I would agree with summerdreams that you could point out that you will not return him to this unsafe environment until they have laid out convincing steps to keep him safe....possibly mentioning that if he is ever again assaulted on school property you will be involving the police.
Or find a different school, because this one's attitude is appalling. They seem to be into victim blaming.
Your poor kid. But at least you do believe him. That's worth rather a lot.
Take him out of school now then look for another school. As soon as I told my son he didn't have to go back he was a changed boy. He was out of school for 5 weeks before he got into the school he chose to move to but he has been so happy in his new school right from the start. He moved to a school where nobody knew him so they didn't know what buttons to press. I only wish we had done it sooner as he was at the beginning of year 10 when he moved.
you're his guardian his protector his rock. don't let him go back, not to that school at least.
Also don't bother with any more meetings. Things have gone so far that nothing will change. It is wrong that your son will be the one to move and the bullies will go unpunished but just focus on what is right for your son which is to be out of it straight away. I just phoned the school and said my son wouldn't be coming back and we were seeking admission to another school. They said come in for a meeting and I said no, we've made our decision. ( I was very polite and non confrontational )
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What a bunch of atrocious fucking cunts. Definitely never send him back there and take it as far as you can. What a fucking awful way to treat a person, I'm glad he has a parent(s) who are noticing and caring and helping him through all this.
Don't send him there ever again . He's not safe there . What a bunch of fuckers !! And they call themselves teachers ?!? Disgrace. I've got son in Y11 ,and I would be pulling him out if that would be the case .
Also I will be putting everything in writing and going to authorities . Don't just go quietly .
reading this made me very very sad for your poor ds.
When I was at school, I had no friends st all. (One in primary but none in secondary) and like your son was terribly bullied. It started off as little things: picking on my physical appearance, putting my school books in the sink during lessons to make them wet etc and escalated into smashing my face so hard against a mirror the mirror broke. Like your ds I tried to hide in the library at breaks/lunchtimes. Like your sons school, mine were rubbish, and the teachers were horrible to me too (told me and my mum my written work was disgusting and I didn't deserve to be in the classroom or to learn!) the reason I'm telling you all this is to urge you to pull your son out of that environment. My schooling days had such a negative impact on my self esteem and self worth, I left school with no qualifications (1 c at GCSEs) but when I retook them two years later I got 2as 3bs and a C and I'm still now frightened on buses and things, despite working as a HCP.
This has turned into an essay, but hopefully it will help you make a decision. for your son and for you.
Do NOT send him back. Contact the police (age of criminal responsibility is ten) and report absolutely all of the physical assaults. Get a crime number and then write a firm letter to the school stating your objections, your reasons and your actions. Send a copy to the Governors and LEA.
But most of all keep him home and allow him to recover.
This made me cry and furious at the same time.
He needs to go to a new school. Their anti-bullying policy is shocking.
And anyone would have swore in that situation!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
It shows what a lovely relationship you have with your son that he is willing to confide in you, and tell you all of these stressful and painful details. You are doing the right thing by not punishing him and taking him out of school.
I am a teacher, and the first school I taught in was a bit like this. To be honest there was so much bullying and bad behaviour it was like the school was drowning. These schools do exists, and since nobody is prepared to change at your DSs school, then he is better off out of it.
It's almost the summer hols - would you home school him to give him a break and then start somewhere else in September?
7 months of bullying like this is terrible, but I think with your love and support your son will get over it, as long as he is kept out of that horrible environment.
This has made me cry too. Poor poor boy. I would absolutely not be sending him back there ever again.
I would find a school with a strong anti bullying policy and a nice, caring environment. Is there another school nearby that you feel would be better, or do any friends have their dc in nice schools that you know of? Even if I had to put his name on a waiting list, that's what I'd do.
I too would write everything down, as even if you don't use it now, you'll have it on paper (or computer) to use down the track.
You are a brilliant mum for helping your son.
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