To ask how I should proceed with this?(9 Posts)
Been a lurker for a while but this is my first time posting.
I have twin boys, 6 (year 2) we'll call them A and B. A has been quite poorly recently, off school for 6 weeks, in hospital for 2, one of which was spent on HDU. Since nursery he's been best friends with J; they were as thick as thieves, always together. They both have other friends, but mainly played with each other.
A returned to school two and a half weeks ago, came out his first day back, very upset because J didn't want to play with him anymore and he'd been on his own all day. I had a good talk with him that night, encouraging him to play with his other friends and said that we could maybe invite J round to play one night. He didn't want to, he's quite stubborn and so I just encouraged him to play with his other friends.
Over that week he managed to find a new little group to play with, and all seemed okay. On the Friday he went to L's house to play and although he admitted he was missing J and told me he didn't understand what he'd done, he seemed happy. Then back at school on Monday J, along with his two new mates, D and H, started name-calling. I told A to ignore them. Tuesday more name calling and attempts to tell his new friends not to play with him, Wednesday more of the same and a little pushing and shoving.
Then on Thursday afternoon I received a phone call asking me to go in to school. B, my other twin, had been fighting. I have to be honest I was a little shocked, B is the more placid of my two boys. Anyway I get there and find B in the head's office. I ask what happened and the head tells me B had "beaten up" J, D and H. I asked B what had happened and he told me he'd been playing football with his friends when L had come running over to him to tell him that the three boys were "getting" A. So B ran to where they were and saw the other boys had A cornered and were pushing, kicking and hitting him. D was trying to kick A in the stomach and so B ran over and in his words "swept D's legs" (he does karate) as he knows A cannot risk any blows to the stomach due to the illness he's just suffered. B then says he jumped in front of A and that he didn't hit either of the other two boys he just blocked their attempts to punch him and pushed H away. When he pushed H, he fell over D and landed badly on his wrist. It was this that was witnessed by a dinner lady.
At this point, hearing A had possibly had a blow to the stomach I asked to check on him, he had a bloody nose and that night bruises on his arms. I called my partner to come and take him to hospital (precautionary, we'd been advised to if any stomach issues- he was okay).
I asked the head about B's punishment, and was told he was expected to write a letter of apology to the other three boys and would lose golden time. I asked what punishment the other three boys would be receiving and was told they were still investigating, but as someone had witnessed what B had done they could issue his punishment.
Today before school I had a meeting with the head again as there were more incidents on Monday and Tuesday of name-calling and trying to isolate A. I have also discovered that none of these 3 boys have been punished for the incident last week (except J, his mum found out and is mortified, she made him apologise and sent A a present), but the head today seemed very reluctant to listen to anything I was saying in terms of how they're treating A. She asked me if A could be upset because J has new friends. Maybe I'm being sensitive but I took that to mean she thinks A is lying! She then told me that H's dad (who happens to be a school governor) Is apparently now accusing my boys of bullying his son!
I know B did wrong, he has been disciplined yet at the same time he felt he was protecting his twin brother, and I've always raised my boys to look out for another and protect each other. I spoke to both boys after school tonight and B says he told D to leave A alone after he saw him pushing A in the lunch line. It seems D's auntie, who's a dinner lady, saw this and she's the one who told the head. B was then made to sit out the rest of his playtime after he'd eaten.
To say I'm pissed off is a bit of an understatement. If anyone is being bullied it's A, and yet it's all being turned on my boys. Or am I being a little blinkered? Are my boys in the wrong? How should I proceed with this, as I don't feel my concerns are being taken seriously by the head?
Sorry this was so long.
To be honest I wouldn't have allowed B to receive any punishment. He did not instigate the fight, he was only protecting himself and his brother.
I would email the head outlining what happened and the actions that they have taken, much as you have written in your op.
I would ask for a copy of the bullying protocol and I would ask the head how to escalate the matter to the governors.
As Mickey has suggested I would recommend putting it in writing to the school and testing their policy. This is clear bullying of A in my opinion from what you've said and I'd demand consequences to it.
I remember when it was my DD and the line that got the school to do anything was.....
"As parents we are responsible for our DD and her safety outside of school, but the minute she crosses the premises you are responsible for her safety and my DD should have a safe place in which to be educated. So how exactly are you proposing to resolve this situation."
As for B - whilst I don't condone violence in any way, under the circumstances, I'd be treating him - what a wonderful brother!
If the bullies have "friends in high places" ie the Governor and the Diner Lady, then I'm afraid you're probably going to face an uphill battle getting these issues sorted.
If the Head refuses to take your concerns seriously, I'd consider moving them before things escalate and A gets seriously hurt (which is a possibility due to his previous illness).
Good luck OP, I hope you get things sorted.
I would definitely set out what has happened so far in writing and send to the head. Ask that she reply in writing, confirming what, if any, punishments have been applied to the other boys involved. I would also take the opportunity to point out that due to A's medical problems, the consequences of being physically attacked in this way could be very serious. I personally would also add that B was defending his brother and that he did not use excessive force, just what was necessary to ensure his brother didn't come to further harm. I really wouldn't let this go, these boys sound bloody horrible! I would also take B aside and tell him that you are very proud of him for looking out for his brother.
So B defended his post operative brother A from being beaten up by 3 other boys and the school want to punish him?
And the bullying is ongoing?
I'd be going ballistic.
My DH and I would be demanding a meeting with the Head Teacher and demanding to know her plan for protecting my son's from further assault and harassment.
Thank you for your replies. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't being blinkered in how I was seeing things. I am fuming and DP has booked tomorrow morning off work so he can come in to see the head with me. We're going to write an email together tonight, so we have everything documented.
And we've both told B we're proud of him, I think he just acted on instinct to protect his brother. The boys are very different but very close and fiercely protective of one another and their little sisters. I just don't want B to have that pressure on his shoulders and up until now both boys have loved school and been happy there. It's breaking my heart, seeing what this is doing to A, I've noticed a real change in him the past couple of weeks and the poor kid has had so much to deal with recently without all of this too.
As others have said, put it in writing and ask for the policy. Also, ring school and ask for details to contact governors.
If you are on good terms with Js mum, maybe speak to her about it.
There was an incident in my DS school with a dinner lady. The police were contacted and social services investigated. If school aren't listening i would ring the 101 also and see if they can help or advise on who to contact. Especially as your son is post op and vulnerable
Well done B!!! You must be incredibly proud of him, I am and I have never met him! What nasty little bullies! I would tell the school that if they actually protected their students from bullying, then B would never have to have protected his brother. Obviously they are failing to protect your son! I bet if you were a govener this would never have been a problem! I would have taken photographs of the injuries your poorly boy received from the bullies. I would emphasise how dangerous that was for A considering his recent health problems. I would be taking this further, you cannot follow the ordinary channels if the bullies father is going to claim his special snowflake is the innocent party.
Do you have a Quality Improvement Officer? The QIO in Scotland is in charge of all of the schools in her area. I would be making a complaint there! These children will think they are invincible! I would consider moving schools! They knew your son had been physically attacked, yet despite knowing how precarious his health has been they failed to let you know! They should have phoned you to inform you that A had been physically attacked, instead they were only interested in getting an apology from and punishing B! Did they apologize for not contacting you about A? Or reassure you that all three boys would be dealt with for their bullying behaviour? I'm betting no, this parent who is the govener obviously has significant influence!
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