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To not know what to do? DS14 told me he's suicidal because of school

(79 Posts)
CareBearsEveryWhere Thu 26-Jan-17 09:54:30

I'm sat here shaking. Last night my 14 year old son came into my room to see me as I came to bed. He broke down and said he has been having suicidal thoughts and has even sat on his bed with a knife whilst I've been out. He's said he's felt like it for awhile but hasn't told me as I've been ill.

I'll try not to drip feed and give as much info as possible in the hope someone can advise me of my next step.

He's always had trouble fitting in - he's not sporty and quite 'camp' so has been a target for bullies from an early age. I was very concerned with him starting high school and liaised with the school. He had some problems in the final term of year 7 but that was sorted (I thought).

The problem was, he was then seen by his peers 'as a grass' and since then he has faced a small but persistent campaign of hate against him. He's undermined daily with verbal taunts, never picked for group work, left out of form outings and party invites etc. Although he has one or two friends it's 'uncool' to be seen hanging out with my son so they aren't close.

He told me the latest thing is now they all get in his face and say 'gay' to him every single day. My son has to find somewhere to hide at lunch to avoid them. He has no school people on his social media thank goodness so it's only abuse whilst at school.

I had no clue things were so bad until he broke down last night. He says he has told his head of year but he is also head of PE and the worst bullies are the best sportsmen so nothing has been done.

I can't bear the thought of my son so unhappy but I'm not sure what my next step should be. There is another school he could go to but he gets on the bus that serves both schools and has even been attacked (verbally) by the kids from that school too so he says there is 'no point'.

Obviously I'm contacting the school this morning but I'd be grateful for any advice as to how to handle it? It's not just one or two kids it's his whole class! I'm heartbroken for him and I'd sell my soul to make him happy again.

For info, we have a very settled home life - he is my middle child of three and there are no other issues at play. My kids all get on pretty well although my eldest & youngest are very close so middle one can sometimes feel a bit left out - although I try to make sure he's not upset (usually he's fine and on his computer).

I just can't believe a 14 year old boy is thinking that suicide is his only way forward.

BobbieDog Thu 26-Jan-17 09:59:22

Dont send him to school!!

I had years of counselling and took an overdose at the age of 12 due to school and my mum still made me go!!

Dont make him go. Find some other education he can do outside of school so he can still do his GCSEs.

I wouldnt even attempt to try him in another school as people generally know kids from other schools and it could start up again.

Katy07 Thu 26-Jan-17 10:04:05

I'd keep him off school for now. If it's the whole class then he's never going to get any respite. Is there an alternative school a bit further away (away from people who know him)? Or would home-schooling be an option? I don't know what else to suggest but it's really crap for him and for you. flowers

Itwasthenandstillis Thu 26-Jan-17 10:06:11

I am so sorry to read this. I picked it up because my DS (11) also has expressed a wish to end his life because of school, but for very different reasons - and definitely not as serious as this. I don't understand the school system in the UK, but it sounds to me as if he needs a complete change of situation The bullying has gone too far and will take a long time to undo the damage and make something change. Is it possible to find a psychologist (again I don't know what is possible in the UK) to work with him and support him while you work out practically what to do? - it will also relieve you a bit. My DS's emotional state has really improved with support from a psych.

Vixxfacee Thu 26-Jan-17 10:06:12

Do not send him back to school. He has been really brave telling you what is going on. If you send him with the information you now have it will be very damaging.

flowers for you.

Itwasthenandstillis Thu 26-Jan-17 10:06:56

I agree, don't send him back to school.

stonecircle Thu 26-Jan-17 10:12:44

Likewise - I wouldn't send him to school. That situation is intolerable and there is no way I would subject a child of mine to that level of unrelenting abuse.

If he's having suicidal thoughts then it's just not worth the risk. Young males are so vulnerable. We had a suicide recently at my son's school and others in the area. Education is hugely important but not as important as your son's life.

His school sounds terrible if they are allowing this behaviour to continue.Could you contact the local education authority for advice?

Give him a huge hug from me x

chitofftheshovel Thu 26-Jan-17 10:14:28

Keep him off. Phone now and speak to pastoral care. Don't let them palm you off. Then I'd actually text DS and say you're coming to pick him up right now.

His head of year and PE teacher are totally failing in their duty of care towards him.

If you/he want to reintegrate into the school arrange a meeting with head of year and head of pastoral care. This level of abuse cannot continue.

Does he have friends from primary or out with his current school?

daimbar Thu 26-Jan-17 10:16:40

So sorry to read this.

I would definitely keep him off school until a solution is found he feels comfortable with.

If there is no other option than to keep him at school you will need a lot more support and procedures put in place. It might be as simple as allowing him out of school at breaks and on lunch so he can't be targeted.

Also it might help him to watch some of the 'it gets better' videos. Many inspiring stories from people who were bullied at school because of their sexuality telling kids 'it gets better'

SabrinaTheTeenageBitch Thu 26-Jan-17 10:17:15

Oh bless his heart. Echoing what others have said, please keep him at home until you can get this resolved. His education isnt the most important thing right now.

I was bullied relentlessly in secondary school and it was a miserable way to live. I hope you get things sorted. Some children are absolutely horrid. Hes opened up to you which is a good sign - a lot of kids wouldnt. He obviously trusts you very much so keep those doors open and make sure he knows none of this is anything to do with him and everything to do with them being prize twats.

flowers for you. Its a awful feeling to know your child is going through this.

user1477282676 Thu 26-Jan-17 10:18:26

Firstly I'm so sorry. flowers

Secondly...get him out of there.

NO school for him at the moment. Just shower him with love which I'm sure you're doing.

Is he actually gay? If he is, then there are multiple gay youth support groups out there....I will PM you if you need more help.

Coldilox Thu 26-Jan-17 10:19:17

If he's having suicidal thoughts he needs medical help. GP appointment asap, as well as the stuff with the school obv

Chapultepec564 Thu 26-Jan-17 10:20:20

It sounds as if the head of year has totally failed in his duty of care towards your DS.

You need to escalate this immediately - in writing. There is no point phoning or talking directly to the staff as these interactions are not recorded and to all intents and purposes did not happen.

In the interim I would keep your DS at home and seek an urgent CAMHS referral through your GP.

JonSnowsWhore Thu 26-Jan-17 10:20:51

Oh this made me so sad for him. I haven't been in this situation, mine aren't old enough for secondary school yet but we all know from our own experience that some of those kids can be bloody evil. But agree with everyone else, they could throw me in prison & throw away the key for not sending him to school before I risked his life by sending him in. I think just Let him take some time out & maybe show him way which the world is a much more accepting place now once you get out of secondary school. There'll always be a place for him to fit in somewhere with friends, he just needs to find it

AristotlesTrousers Thu 26-Jan-17 10:22:57

Oh my goodness, that sounds dreadful, OP. I definitely wouldn't be sending him there until you have sorted this out. I hope the school will be supportive.

It brought back memories of my own high school years where everybody in my class used to come up to my face to call me Dull Girl (somebody even made up a song about me) amongst a heap of other stuff. If I hadn't been fobbed off by my teachers and I'd been able to tell my parents (which wasn't ever going to happen), I think I'd have got over it. Can definitely relate to the suicidal feelings.

So, the fact that your DS has confided in you counts for a lot - you must be doing something right as a parent. I think you just need to follow your gut on this one, make sure that your door is always open, and follow your son's lead. And don't give up - if the school doesn't listen, or if the head tries to minimise it, take it to the next level. Your poor boy. flowers for you both.

wineandsunshine Thu 26-Jan-17 10:23:15

Oh this is awful. I have a son the same age and reading that had me in tears.

I would be calling school now to collect him/arrange a meeting with his Head of Year etc to discuss. I would also be ringing for an emergency GP appointment - they should see him today or tomorrow.

I have no experience in this situation but I hope he gets help x

SmileEachDay Thu 26-Jan-17 10:23:18

If he's having suicidal thoughts, he needs to be seen by a doctor. If you have a GP surgery that can give you an appt without you having to wait 3 weeks and ring at 8.15 precisely make a GP appt, if not then go to A&E, where arrangements can be made for a psych assessment.

That is not AT ALL to belittle the experience of your son, but young males are vulnerable and it's a good idea to get him"in the system" of CAMHS (this is assuming you are in the U.K.)

Speaking with whoever is in charge of pastoral care is a good idea and his HoY. School need to know exactly what is happening for your son, and you need to know what they are going to do to keep him safe - physically and emotionally - so you can make the best decision for him.

OutwiththeOutCrowd Thu 26-Jan-17 10:24:56

Oh dear, CareBears, have a hug!

That sounds like a very difficult situation for both of you. And I agree with others that you should keep DS at home until the school takes this matter seriously.

Looking further ahead, if he is to remain in this school, does it have some sort of club where the less macho boys meet up? In my DS’s school it’s the drama club. Even if your DS isn’t into acting, he could help out backstage. The drama club boys all look out for each other and go around together. I think that probably puts the bullies off.

I also know of a gentler boy who found that school life improved when he swapped to a different ‘home’ form group.

Rather unfortunate about the PE teacher head of year. In my DS’s primary school, the HT was also a PE teacher and he much preferred the ‘sporty boy’ bullies, so I can understand your problem there.


BarbarianMum Thu 26-Jan-17 10:26:48

Agree with all of the above. Take him out of school now. Escalate with the school but don't send him back in the short term (or quite possibly ever). Give him some breathing space, then look at your options - home ed, different school, (not using shared transport). There will be a solution but there is no rush. GCSEs etc are nothing compared to mental health and happiness.

life07 Thu 26-Jan-17 10:27:58

Education is not worth this IMO, please keep him off and don't send him back to that to school even if they try and fix it.The trust is broken and he'll never feel safe there again.

imthelastsplash Thu 26-Jan-17 10:29:19

What a great mum you are! I agree with all the above, he needs to not be in school until school can guarantee his safety. He really does need to see a GP as well, suicidal thoughts shouldn't be taken lightly.

WhatHaveIFound Thu 26-Jan-17 10:30:04

I'd remove him from the school until they can prove that they're supporting him. If they can't then i'd move schools if it's at all possible. Don't let them fob you off.

Last November i had a call from school to say that DD had told one of her friend's that she didn't feel like living any more. It hit us completely out of the blue as she's always appeared happy at home. Occasional teenage tantrums but nothing more.

Over the last few months the school have been a massive support. She now has a mentor who she can talk to at any time and we seem to get getting there.

For her it was purely down to schoolwork stress as she sets herself very high standards. Personally i'd rather have a happy child than A*s/9s!

JugglingFromHereToThere Thu 26-Jan-17 10:31:31

Oh CareBears flowers

It's good he was able to tell you this though.

Lots of good advice here I think.

You can talk with school but with DS at home with you? They need to take on board that this is serious and take some significant action to really turn things around. I think I'd be wondering about a fresh start in a new school too.

Can you get some support for you and him to make sure he keeps talking and sharing with you or also with someone else?

Allthewaves Thu 26-Jan-17 10:32:39

I'd keep him off and start looking at another school. Does he have to gt the bus to the other school? Could he get public bus or a lift

HoneyBunnySunny Thu 26-Jan-17 10:38:34

I've been here with both dds. Firstly he doesn't return to school. That can take a back seat. Also get an urgent gp appointment and camhs referral from them. Ask about accessing camhs crisis team. You may need to go through a and e or the gp may be able to do it.

Write everything down your son told you, make a note of incidents, names etc. Email school and ask for an urgent meeting. Lodge a formal complaint against the head of year. Keep a paper trail of everything. Ask for the bullying policy of the school. It may be on the schools website. Depending on gp and camhs they may be able to sign him off. This means that all absence is authorised. Firstly he needs space to heal. Then look at alternatives to school - the LA should help. There will be some. Also in the short term get a lockable box for knives, medicines and razors. Also include any supplements with iron. I really feel for you and your sonflowers good luck

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