AIBU to want to never send dd back to school?(55 Posts)
My dd1 is nearly 13, and was diagnosed with ASD just over a year ago. She has had a rough few years - she had a bit of a breakdown in the last year of primary, and wasn't going at all for a while. When she did go back she wouldn't join in with lessons, she'd just sit with her head on the desk. She didn't have any friends at all and would spend all break times sitting on her own.
When she started secondary, there was a massive improvement. The school have been really good and supportive, and she has made a couple of friends which is groundbreaking for her. But she's mentioned a few times that the other kids think she's a 'loser', and this week went into a bit more detail about that.
One example is some boys walking past and saying 'hey dd, do you want to go out with xxxx?'. Dd said 'no', and the boys pissed themselves laughing and said to the boy in question 'haha, even dd won't go out with you'. Another example was she was eating her lunch by herself and a group of girls said 'hey dd, do you want to come and sit with us'. Dd thought that was nice of them and went and sat with them. Then one of her (2) friends (who wasn't there at the time but is friends with the girls she was sitting with) said later that one of the girls had been filming dd eating her lunch on her own and posted the video to snapchat, sending it to all her contacts, with the caption 'loner'.
It seems like it's low level stuff like this going on all the time. Dd is doing so well, she has massive anxiety problems so even going to school is a massive thing for her, and she's come so far from where she was a couple of years ago, and those little scotes at school are just chip chipping away at the little self confidence she has.
I don't know what to do about it, I think there's so many kids doing things like this to her that it wouldn't be a case of taking a few kids to one side, it's pretty much everyone. I feel so desperately sad for her, at home she is so bright and funny, she has a very dry, mature sense of humour, but at school she's just like a nervous little mouse. I've offered to home school her but part of her anxiety is based on a massive fear for her future, so I think she'd be hesitant to do something which would mean she probably wouldn't get such good results. I don't think moving her would help, for a start she's terrified of change and just doesn't want to go to another school, and also the school she's at is comparitively small and gets excellent results (it's a state boarding school), so sending her to a bigger comp would be like chucking her in the lions den.
Just wanted to vent really.
No, I think I will have a chat with the head of SEN about it but like I say it's so many kids doing it, I'm not sure what can be done. None of it is 'that bad', it's just low level teasing and general unpleasantness, so difficult to pull people up on.
the Snapchat thing is inappropriate and not at all low level . I'd want to report that to the school. As far as I know Snapchats dont stay online for more than 24 hours - but their servers and the phones used will have records of it.
Your DD will be just fine, tell her to hang on in there. The other kids are too scared to do their own thing, they are sheep. There'll be 1 or 2 influential ones the others dont dare cross.
Home schooling doesn't mean she wouldn't get as good grades, she would probably get better results as she would be actually happy and not suffering every day. I would be talking to the school tomorrow as that isn't on, especially filming someone.
WildBelle Do talk to the Senco, many schools have safe havens for students who would rather be somewhere else during break and lunchtimes.
Not sure how I would manage financially with home schooling (single parent) but I'd find a way if dd was going to be happier.
Dd got very upset when I said to her that I should speak to the school about it, I guess she's worried about it getting worse (she may have a point). The last thing I want is for that to happen and her not open up to me again in case I speak to the school.
There is a place that she can go at break times if she wants to, she spends quite a lot of time there, but she does actually want to socialise and have friends.
Relentless picking on your daughter isn't low level and it could have a serious impact on her self confidence for many years after she's left school. You're right that it's difficult to define it in words when it's so fluid but you can say that to the school, they should understand how things can snow ball
But what could the school actually do? When there are so many kids doing it. I'm worried about the long term effects on her too.
Also dd hasn't named any names (and isn't likely to). I don't think she even knows the names of a lot of the kids doing it.
If they don't know they can't do anything. If you have a chat the school might at least be aware and able to act. It sounds like a general atmosphere of either poor understanding or intolerance going on at the school, this should be tackled at a whole school level by staff.
Good luck, def the right thing to stick up for your dd.
There may be groups she can join and places she can go and they may even try and buddy her up with a nice pupil or group if she would be open to that. They may offer her a place to chat about anything that has happened and decompress after her day.
I would just point out: when DD was on her own and the snapchat was sent out, one of the people involved responded by inviting her to sit with them. That to me is a rejection of the nasty thing the snap chatter had done and hopefully made the snapchatter feel a bit humiliated and shown up for being unpleasant.
It does sound like an unpleasant situation for DD and agree with others you should speak to the school. But at home can you help her focus on the positive? She has two good friends, someone invited her to sit with them despite the nasty snap chat, so obviously at least one person disagrees with the bully.
And some boys are shitbags at that age and will do that to any girl.
your poor DD I wouldn't classify that as low level. I'm an adult and I can't imagine going somewhere everyday and being treated like that. I would speak to the school and see what they suggest.
A bigger school wouldn't necessarily be a worse school for her: more people, more chance of finding a few people on your wavelength. My kids went to a large comp and there was very little bullying. None of mine were ever bullied and they told me a few tales of kids being shouted down if they started anything with someone.
One of DS's good friends has spina bifida and moved there from a much smaller, supposedly naice school. She said he had a much better time at the big comp. It is all about school culture.
Your poor DD. I don't think that's low level either, though I understand your concern that it would be difficult to tackle. Nevertheless, it's harder to tackle if the school aren't even aware of it because no one tells them.
It may be that they can try and tackle the bullying behaviour in a general, whole school way, rather than pulling individual kids out and confronting them on how they have treated your DD specifically. And they may be able to help your DD with developing friendships in the school so that she is more resilient to the bullying and it doesn't get her down as much.
So I would talk to the school and see if they have tools/policies that seem like they would actually help your DD.
If you can take some time off and keep her at home tomorrow, call the school Head, not Head of Year, not Form Teacher, the Senco AND the Head and insist on an immediate , emergency meeting, this is bullying and it is even worse because your child is a vulnerable young adult.
There has to be an immediate inquiry as to what has happened and the perpetrators need dealing with properly. I am not over reacting here, you need to do this now, the school can then start treating her better and building some self confidence and making her a welcome part of the school community. I am not over reacting here, this can not be allowed to be ignored. If the head will not see you as a matter of urgency, go to the local education authority and tell him that this is what you are going to do .
I would home educate. Join some of the home ed fb groups, go along to a local home ed group and get more of a feel for how it works.
Always, always put mental health and self esteem ahead of academics. The latter is much easier to catch up on later.
Dd said that they had an assembly about bullying this week, and on the way out of the hall, one boy (who is a little shit to everyone) pushed another boy over. Dd appreciated the irony of that.
She won't move school, there's a Steiner school nearby and she spent 3 days there last term and met some lovely kids and really enjoyed the less pressurised atmosphere, but decided she didn't want to move school because she doesn't like change. If she won't go to the Steiner school, I don't think she'll go anywhere else. We had to move a lot when she was younger and she ended up going to 4 primary schools, I think she's done with moving schools.
At 13 I don't think you can let it be just her decision. You may need to overrule her if you think things are too bad. But I appreciate it's a tricky balance. She's got 3 to 5 years left at this place - is it going to get any better if you do nothing?
The teachers are all great - they really couldn't have done more to support her. The pastoral support has been fantastic. But the teachers can't make a bunch of hormonally charged teenagers be nice to dd, when most of this happens when teachers are not about. They've singled her out as someone who is weak/a bit different, and therefore someone who they can pick on. I remember similar scenarios from when I was at school.
I would remove her, it sounds soul destroying having to face that shit everyday.
Like Boom said, you can't let it be her decision.
Staying could do a hell of a lot of damage, lifelong damage.
Is she boarding there? Bullying does tend to be magnified at boarding school because there is no escape. And smaller is not necessarily more accepting. A big school can mean loads of experience of SN, a culture very accepting of differences because they've seen it all, and more options.
If moving her is not on the table that only leaves you with keeping on to them about the bullying. If they think you are being over-protective then so be it, let them judge you. But I think they are likely to judge it higher level than you do.
Every time someone on this thread has made a suggestion or given advice you've found a reason to dismiss it and seem very laid back about the gravity of what your girl is going through. She's evidently being bullied on a daily basis over a long long time and you're calling it low level unpleasantness
I feel sad for the girl and not just because of school
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