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UPDATE: School bully what to do next?

(20 Posts)
MissTeri Sat 28-Oct-17 17:07:40

Not an AIBU but an update from a previous one (I'll link in comment below) -

This Thursday bully punched my son on the arm whilst in the dinner hall.

Friday morning I went in to speak with the HT. I explained that clearly watching this child during play times was not good enough as the child was then seeking opportunity to hurt my child at other times. HT checks who is on duty that lunch time and assures me that something will be done about this and that the child would be very closely watched that day and he would make sure my son had a good day and leave for half term on a good note (Half term a week later here in Wales).

Just after lunch time on Friday I get a phone call from a teacher saying there had been another incident. The bully had slapped my son around the face using both hands. She tried to play down the situation but I insisted I was coming to the school right away to bring my son home, I did not want him there one minute longer.

It transpires that what had happened is the HT had asked someone to bring bully to his office to speak with him about his actions the previous day. HT had to nip out of office for a short period and bully was to wait for him there. Teacher leaves bully there, bully then leaves the office. A teacher tells bully HT wants to speak with him and he says HT already has. He continues to the playground where he hits my son again.

HT really angry and is calling bullys parents in. He says he hopes my son will return after the holidays but I'm very apprehensive, ask if something will be in place immediately on the Monday they go back and he says yes. They will now keep the boys completely segregated but that my son won't be inconvenienced by whatever they put in place - it will be the other boy who is watched/kept from him not the other way around.

On the Monday he goes back I will speak with HT to find out exactly what is in place that morning before making the decision on if I should send my son back or not.

It transpires that bullys mum has been lying about trying to get her son help and in fact she denies there is anything wrong at all! Other mums have since told me some truly horrifying things about the impact this child has had on their own children. My own child is saying 'I don't want a life any more' sad

I also had to miss a two hour lecture to collect my son and take him home. So what do I do? give up Uni and homeschool because of the bully? Do I contact the LEA now?

MissTeri Sat 28-Oct-17 17:08:09

Previous thread - www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3062393-WIBU-to-keep-my-son-off-school

Sorry they're both so long.

TSSDNCOP Sat 28-Oct-17 17:14:43

About now I'd be writing to the HT cc Chair of Gov and lea to ask specifically, under the terms of their anti bullying policy they will implement to safeguard your son. Recorded delivery letter.

MaisyPops Sat 28-Oct-17 17:16:26

Sounds like the school are well aware od the situation but this bully child and his mother are nasty pieces of work.

A child who dares walk out the head's office, lies to staff and then physically harms anothet child is a child who is being told by home that they can do as they like.

Meet with the head, see what will be put in place. Hold your ground.

That child should be getting excluded every single time they hurt a child. Eventually having enough exclusions on their record will allow the school to push for a managed move, place in a PRU or a permanent exclusion. They can't so any of that unless thry keep good records though (because people lile this kids parents, to be judgey, in my experience usually are the first to claim school pick on their angel and activelu aim to stop their child being sanctioned. They are bloody nightmares).

MissTeri Sat 28-Oct-17 17:17:21

TSSDNCOP - if I email and cc Chair of gov and LEA do I attach copies of previous emails so they know what is going on or contact them both first and then send the email copying them in?

TSSDNCOP Sat 28-Oct-17 17:21:03

Honestly I think the time for being nice has come and gone. I'm all for the school dealing with this stuff, but the bully is running rings round them.

Copy everything, bullet point summary of events as front page. Request for action plan with measurable deliveries and escalation strategy.

Kids must feel safe in school.

MissTeri Sat 28-Oct-17 17:23:07

A child who dares walk out the head's office, lies to staff and then physically harms anothet child is a child who is being told by home that they can do as they like Absolutely and I think this part of it really opened up his eyes in regards to what this child is actually like. I have it on good authority that the school are sick to death of the parents - very much as you describe, they're bolshy and full of bloody self importance but put across a very good image of a church going wholesome family!

Should I be pushing for temporary exclusion do you think? or would I be 'ignored' as it's not for me to decide this childs punishment? I don't really understand the whole process of schools dealing with bullying - am I right in thinking there must be steps taken before exclusion or other similar sanctions can be made in the same way you can't just sack someone they need warnings etc?

PeteAndManu Sat 28-Oct-17 17:34:18

The punishments and the process the school follows should be included in the anti-bullying policy. If you are in the England this is a statutory policy and should be provided to you immediately. You can’t specify what the punishment should be but you can say that what they are doing is not working as your child is still being hurt. I’m in a similar position, not quite as far on as you. I’m emailing if my child says something at night so they have the details to review and investigate plus it keeps a record. I’m also keeping a log of all incidents, what, when, who and action taken. Bully’s parents are similar and deny that it is happening. Get the anti-bullying / behaviour and complaints policies both are statutory. Hold them to account against them. www.gov.uk/government/publications/statutory-policies-for-schools

Goldmandra Sat 28-Oct-17 17:38:46

Keep a written log of every event and every conversation.

You need to come from the angle of how they are going to keep your son safe, not how they are going to manage the other child.

You have every right to wont to know in detail what your own child's experience will be, i.e. will there now always be an adult watching if this boy is near your son?

MrsPworkingmummy Sat 28-Oct-17 17:41:17

@MissTeri This is an awful, but unfortunately not uncommon, situation. Your poor DS! I'm a secondary school teacher, and have worked in a number of schools, all of which have had similar policies for escalating punishments for bullying. Unfortunately, as much as a HT might want to, excluding a student is not as simple as it sounds. Like everything else these days, there are so many hoops to jump through!

One day exclusions/ isolation can be implemented fairly briskly, but cearly this is not suitable for repeat 'offenders'. The school has to take into account any issues the child might have (e.g. is it safe to exclude if their home life is awful), whether they have SEN, what their past record is like. The HT would then need 1 (or a series of) meetings with governers etc. The child's parents would also be invited to attend and put a case forward. A positive outcome could lead to a longer exclusion .

As someone had previously mentioned, 'problem' students who repeatdly misbehave can be recommended for a managed move to another school. This can take time as the other school are not always obliged to take them. Another option is to send a child on placement to a PRU (a placement can cost tens of thousands and places are few and far between in some LEAs).

If I were you I would email AND wrote to the chair of governess, making reference to the previous email thread. Give them a chance to respond. If you are still unsatisfied, you could contact your council/LEA. If you want to take it even further, report to Ofsted and the DFE.

Good luck. It makes me so mad to read posts like this. Honestly, there are awful kids like that in all schools, but because the parents won't accept their kids do any wrong, and therefore don't intervene or support from home, HT and teachers are often left banging heads against a brick wall.

MrsPworkingmummy Sat 28-Oct-17 17:43:38

Apologies for the grammar errors. Blooming predictive text. Hope you made sense of that x

MaisyPops Sat 28-Oct-17 17:48:32

You can't requesr a fixed term exclusion, but that's what would happen in my school for those actions.

Give the school time to respond but be willing and ready to hold your ground. This child cannot continue ti behave like that

Where parents have been like that at schools I've worked there have been a range of approaches. So far my favourite has been the head and governours pulling parents in and saying 'we don't tolerate x y z. You are either on board, you choose to leave and find another school or we will follow the procedure to the detail and your child will not complete their education here. It's entirely your choice what happens.'

lougle Sat 28-Oct-17 18:00:58

You can't request action against the child in question - that is for the HT and Governors to decide, but you can say what you want for your DS, which may have implications for the other child.

So, you want your DS to be able to use the playground freely at break times, without fear of assault. This may mean that the other child is limited in his access to the playground in some way, but you are discussing your DS.

You want your DS to be kept segregated from the other child at all times. This may mean that they can't be in the same lessons, and may mean that the other boy will have to be moved to a different class. The boy may need to eat lunch at a different time, etc.

Spikeyball Sat 28-Oct-17 18:17:06

I don't think the school are coming out of this smelling of roses. They are allowing this to go on. Your emphasis needs to be what are you doing to keep my child safe. Talking about punishments for the other child to the school is taking the discussion away from your child.

youarenotkiddingme Sat 28-Oct-17 18:29:12

I think you are handling it very well.

It's really helpful the school are engaging. Remember to carry on keeping everything to the point and emailing to clarify conversation and that you are correct that they are doing x y and z.

It's the email you send to clarify that I'd copy the LA into.

My ds was bullied but his school did nothing and he eventually ended up suicidal himself.
I wished now I'd have been more on top of it from the start.

NannyOggsKnickers Sat 28-Oct-17 18:30:44

This sounds awful. Unfortunately, it isn’t just as easy as excluding, for a fixed term or permanently, a bullying child. Because each student has a right to a place in education, and it can be quite difficult to get other schools to take a child in a managed move, it is often a long and drawn out process to deal with students this damaged and violent.

As far as I know it is highly unusual to have a child excluded or permanently excluded at primary. There needs to be quite a weight of evidence. The school are likely collecting this already. But it sounds like the parents are the type to fight it tooth and nail if they are prepared to lie to school about support arranged for their son. Parents often forget about the impact a child like this has on the other students in their year group.

I suspect school want him there even less than you do but their hands are tied by procedure, the law and the almost total lack of funding for behaviour management of children with emotional/ social disorders. What happened to all the PRU places?

Keep a record of what is going on. Work with the head and write, write, write to the governors. They will not want to start loosing students because of the behaviour of one. Please emphasise to your son that the kind of students who behave like this are almost always from difficult backgrounds and this boy is targeting your son, not because he is worthless, but because the bully feels worthless. Only people who are very damaged little individuals do this stuff. It is nothing he has done and there is nothing he could have done to stop it. I say this as some one who was bullied as a child. It feels a bit mean, I know, but help him to stop being afraid by seeing the bully for what they are- a sad, afraid child who is lashing out. This is what helped me eventually. This person isn’t powerful, they are weak.

MissTeri Sat 28-Oct-17 18:34:20

Thanks everyone for all the advice, it's giving me a lot to think about. I sympathise with the HT because he put things in place but really his staff have not followed it through. He said there is plenty of staff on the playground so this should absolutely not be happening. I also appreciate that there are steps to follow.

I know of several other parents who are considering contacting the HT about the same boy. Most have put it off until this point simply because the family were meant to move. I'm hoping some of them will now put their concerns forward but I don't want to actively encourage them to do so because I don't want to seem as though I'm starting some kind of witch hunt, I do think other coming forward would be helpful though?

Thankfully the children are the same year but different classes as they have too many children so had to split the yr group into two for lessons. This minimises contact a lot which is good but the fact that even though they're apart for most of the day yet he still feels need to attack my son is really, really concerning me.

One of my sons closest friends has been off this week and so I think the bully has seen this as brilliant as he can get my son more easily. Sons friend has a big brother who friend will run and fetch if bully is hurting my son (bully is scared of him thankfully).

Sorry for those of you in similar situations or who have been there. It's bloody heartbreaking flowers

lalalalyra Sat 28-Oct-17 18:41:03

I would email the HT cc'ing the Chair of Governors and include details of previous emails. So something like "Despite our previous discussions on x, y and z date..."

Don't be pushing for any specific punishment for the child. That will just give them the opportunity to say that they can't discuss that with you.

Your discussions about your child. Your child has been repeatedly assaulted and you want to know how they will keep him safe.

I'd be approaching it from the angle of where the school are failing. So "You said there would be adult supervision in the playground, yet my son has been assaulted again, how will you ensure his safety?"

Also be very clear that you expect your son to be able to come t school for a normal school day. That's all you want. You aren't asking for the moon on a stick. Make sure he is never the one moved or restricted.

emmyrose2000 Sun 29-Oct-17 11:40:56

Frankly, I wouldn't trust the school as far as I could throw it. They've repeatedly said they'll do X, Y and Z, yet they either fail to follow through at all, or do it so ineffectively that they may as well not have bothered in the first place.

I'd escalate this to the top today. Email whichever authority is relevant in your area, and yes, include the emails you've already sent the school so they can see the paper trail, and how it hasn't been acted on by the school. Summarise every incident in bullet point in one main email, and ask why the school and ELA is failing in its duty of care as as your is constantly abused whilst in their care.

Forget the bullshit HT has fed you about making things right after half term. It won't happen. HT strikes me as a liar who needs to be pulled up by higher ups over their lack of effective bullying policy.

dorislessingscat Mon 30-Oct-17 09:08:56

Delurking to say best of luck OP.

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