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Violence at school.

(101 Posts)
LookAtTheFlowersKerry Thu 30-Mar-17 07:47:57

Ds1 is 14 and attends a single sex school.

There have been six or seven incidents of violence towards him in the past two years, he's been punched in the head twice, choked, pushed up a flight of stairs so his head hit the railings, etc.

Yesterday he was held in a headlock and strangled to the point he couldn't breathe and then punched in the stomach.

I had to hear about this from him as school didn't contact me. His HoY told him she would speak to the boys involved.

Last time he was punched, HE got a detention for 'antagonising'. We went in to speak to the school and they were apologetic but told us ds needs to keep quiet when they verbally abuse him as he aggravates the situation.

Yesterday's incident was because a boy (who incidentally is six foot and well built compared to ds who is 4'11 and weighs less than seven stone) called him anorexic. This is a theme, he gets called this frequently.

Ds replied along the lines of 'you ought to watch your Big Mac intake' and this led to him being attacked.

He came home and cried in my arms. I am RAGING.

I'm keeping him home today and plan to speak to this school after I've dropped my youngest off. I'm not particularly assertive and will get in a flap. Please help me with some strategies and phrases to get this sorted.

They apparently have a 'hands off' policy but this constitutes a fifteen minute detention in most cases so not really a deterrent.

I can't keep sending him into a place where he is physically hurt regularly.

He is a bright boy and does well at school but currently hates it because he seems to be a target (it's several unrelated incidents).

Any advice welcomed.

hoopdeloop Thu 30-Mar-17 07:50:53

If they aren't willing to take action, take it to the school board or whoever is higher up than the headteacher.

And move your son out of that school

MaitlandGirl Thu 30-Mar-17 07:51:26

Get the police involved - the school obviously aren't taking it seriously.

2014newme Thu 30-Mar-17 07:51:29

The school sounds dreadful. Would you want to go somewhere like that every day?
What action have you taken?
Met with HT?
Complaint to governors?
Complaint to Lea safeguarding officer?
Complaint to ofsted?
Police involvement?
Investigation of other schools?

Have you exhausted all those routes?

2014newme Thu 30-Mar-17 07:52:04

Also have you kept a log of every incident?

LookAtTheFlowersKerry Thu 30-Mar-17 07:54:16

We haven't taken any action so far except a meeting with the school.

I need to escalate it now.

I'm going to speak with his Pastoral head this morning and then write an email to the governors.

Is it worth going through all the channels at once or do I need to take it one step at a time?

I know I've been less than proactive about this and I feel awful. I was fobbed off a bit by the school's promises but nothing is changing.

almightygirl Thu 30-Mar-17 07:58:53

Look up or ask for a copy of their anti bullying policy. Tell them how it's affecting your ds - can't sleep, doesn't want to come to school etc. Ask what action they will take to ensure your ds's safety and ask when will this be done.

After the meeting, write down all the main points, including any actions. Email it to them - 'as discussed this morning...'

If they don't do anything or it doesn't stop, take it further - head, governors, LEA etc.

I know it's hard (got the t-shirt) but try to stay calm. Ime, they respond better to facts than emotion.

Good luck flowers

SuperPug Thu 30-Mar-17 08:01:20

Sounds like you're doing the right thing and I'm so sorry for your son. The school's response is awful. Re: the violent bullying you described, they could have notified you - I gather they were fully aware of the incident as they mentioned your son "antagonising" the bullies? Which sounds like a load of rubbish and nothing warrants choking and punching another pupil.

ThePiglet59 Thu 30-Mar-17 08:11:27

He is being assaulted. You need to contact the police about this, regardless of whatever contact you have with the school authorities.

You would if he was being attacked in the street.

Schools tend to be rubbish when it comes to bullying I have found. They always have a nicely written policy, usually zero tolerance and so on, but do the sum total of bugger al.

Trifleorbust Thu 30-Mar-17 08:11:59

Nothing justifies him being physically attacked. You should complain to school governors.

Why do they think your DS is antagonising the bullies? What exactly did he say about Big Macs? confused

PoisonousSmurf Thu 30-Mar-17 08:13:07

Any school that takes the side of the bullies is a bad school. Move him out of there! And in the meantime look up self defence moves. There are loads out there and they don't require strength. Only technique.

Sassypants82 Thu 30-Mar-17 08:15:12

Sorry, no advice but just wanted to say well done for addressing this & being a strong advocate for your son.
He doesn't deserve this & I hope you both get some immediate satisfaction. Best of luck.

2014newme Thu 30-Mar-17 09:17:44

He's been attacked for two years but you have taken no action other than a chat with school. Ffs!!! If you won't defend your son who will???
It drives me absolutely mad when ineffective parents sit back and allow their kids to be assaulted.
The school sounds ineffective, get your sharp elbows out and deal with this. You need to be calm, assertive and clear on what you want to happen.
I feel very sorry for tour son that he I s being bullied but for school and parents to do sod all about it is really negligence.

redexpat Thu 30-Mar-17 09:42:58

Police.

Bestthingever Thu 30-Mar-17 10:04:47

That school sounds dreadful. Incidents like the ones you are describing would definitely be punished by an exclusion in my ds's single sex school. As a result, although it wasn't a great school, there were very few fights. I'm assuming your ds is in year 9 or 10. You don't want this situation affecting him academically at such a crucial stage. I honestly think you need to speak to the police and in parallel, write to the principal and the governors. I'm actually appalled at a boy of that age effectively getting away with putting someone in a headlock.

JennyOnAPlate Thu 30-Mar-17 10:08:45

Victim blaming is not an appropriate response from the school at all. I would ask for a copy of the schools complaints procedure and follow it. They are failing in their duty to safeguard your child.

And yes to contacting the police.

Your poor boy flowers

Figglesticks Thu 30-Mar-17 10:31:37

Your DS has been physically assaulted several times. This needs to be taken to the police. I would call 101 and ask for help with this. It won't stop until the boys are disciplined and it sounds like the school are doing nothing.

Figglesticks Thu 30-Mar-17 10:31:56

In fact it sounds like the school are making it worse

ShowMePotatoSalad Thu 30-Mar-17 10:34:51

I think schools need to do a lot more to teach children that this kind of thing is assault and could result in prosecution. School isn't a protected zone where you can do what you like and only have to face an after school detention as punishment. If my son was physically harmed at school I'd phone the police.

CurbsideProphet Thu 30-Mar-17 10:39:48

I would be calling 101 to ask for advice. Your DS has been punched in the head, pushed on stairs, and was held in a headlock and strangled, yet the school did nothing. This is assault.

adagio Thu 30-Mar-17 10:43:38

Ok, agree with what that lot above has said, it is awful - your poor, poor boy sad
but sounds like you are looking for some strategies for yourself to be calm and assertive?
So, physical stuff- shoulders down and back, head high. If sitting, make sure at least one foot is stable on the floor. Try and slow down your talking a bit and deepen your voice - when you get stressed you probably hunch your shoulders, speed up and get higher pitched, which gives you less gravitas. Remember silence/pausing is ok. Maintain eye contact.
Material - be prepared, either take in notes or at least have thought through in advance
- what do you want to say to make your point
- what do you want them to do (real punishment for bully, apology?)
- what should happen next (how can they assure you your son is safe, and ensure his education doesn't suffer)
- deadline (review/book in follow meeting in eg a week)

As pp said, follow up in writing (email) to give an audit trail.

Good luck flowers

CurbsideProphet Thu 30-Mar-17 10:48:36

I have worked in education and this is beyond bullying, it is assault. I genuinely think that instead of trying to battle with the school you should call 101 and ask for advice. If you go straight to the school their aim will be to cover their own backs.

DrudgeJedd Thu 30-Mar-17 10:50:12

Have you read through the school's anti-bullying policy op? I can't imagine that the weak response you have had so far complies with it. Print yourself a paper copy and annotate it with instances where they have not followed it in your son's case. Then check the school's complaints procedure and make sure you are following it so they can't bat this back at you. The school sounds awful and the slt enabling this should be ashamed of themselves.
My son goes to a mixed comp that takes any bullying very seriously when one of his friends was slapped on the side of the head by an older boy last week & that boy spent the rest of the day in isolation. There is no need for children to have to put up with physical assault at school. It isn't character building it's just plain old bullying.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Thu 30-Mar-17 10:55:58

He got detention for antagonising them. I'm fuming on your behalf.
Chats with the school are getting you nowhere. As well as bullying this is abuse.
You need to report these horrors to the police, and. The school to the safe guarding officer. I'd be going to the press about the school, as well over their victim blaming.
They'll soon pull their finger out, when. They're made a cunt out of.
This is serious now, op. Your ds can only take so much.

bubbathebuilder Thu 30-Mar-17 11:03:33

The Piglet59: "Schools tend to be rubbish when it comes to bullying" - presumably this statement is backed up by you looking at every school in the country and making an assessment? Or do you mean "I too have come across schools that were rubbish when it came to bullying" - that is perhaps a more balanced view.

OP - this sounds like a really horrible situation. Genuinely feel for you. Unfortunately bullying is a way of life for many children - and the school should be working hard to resolve it. As others have said - involve the school authorities, get clear ownership on actions and when they will do them by. If nothing improves, speak to the HT. If nothing improves speak to the Governors. If nothing improves from there, speak to maybe the LEA.

Don't involve the police. It is a bone idea that will likely create more trouble and tension - and if you are someone who "gets in a flap" (using your words) this will simply increase the stress levels for you. But, the school should have a school police officer. It may be worth asking what awareness or involvement she/he has had in this.

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