11 year old being bullied on school bus(28 Posts)
Sorry this is long but I need to vent here or I may do or say something I might regret!
!My DD has been having problems on the school bus since beginning of new term with a girl who lives near us.
Unfortunately they do not have a chaperone on this bus so it sounds like a free-for-all by all accounts with some choice language being spouted most of the time.
However one girl has targeted my DD and another girl - none of whom knew each other before September. She had been slapped in the face more than once, had her hair pulled, her bag tipped all over the floor and then there's the swearing and general intimidating behaviour.
This girl has family problems to say the least but I cannot have my DD being the scapegoat for whatever problems they have.
I have spoken to her guardian - as I'd met her briefly and knew where thy lived - and this girl cried a lot of crocodile tears and a lot of excuses were thrown into the mix (by both girl and her guardian). None of which matter to me tbh.
I thought we had resolved it after a fashion yet first day back after half term today and it's as if that conversation never happened.
She is a very articulate girl and appears manipulative of adults around her. She actually said to one of the other girls "you know I have lots of problems" FFS!
My first instinct is to charge round there again but now I've written it all out I think I'll be speaking to school tomorrow instead.
AIBU to expect them to deal with this despite it being on the bus and not in school?
YANBU to expect the school to deal with it. They have a duty of care to their pupils travelling on school transport.
Is it a school bus or is it public transport that happens to do the School route?
Ask the school to deal with this. Ask for a copy of their anti bullying policy and make it clear to them whilst you are willing to work with them towards a positive outcome for all parties, you will have no hesitation of involving the police should their input prove ineffectual.
YANBU. Get on to the school ASAP. This has to be dealt with. No way should your daughter be put in danger and unable to escape every single day. Awful. (I’d be driving her to school or getting alternative transport btw. Is this possible?)
Thanks for your replies.
It is a designated school bus. They are first on and last off unfortunately so it's just over half an hour unsupervised.
My DH and I could alternate taking her but I don't think the answer is her avoiding this girl.
I will ring first thing and ask for anti-bullying policy and ask for their help.
I'm quite forthright myself but if it's not going to have any effect it's not helpful. And if it escalates we could be looking at years of arguments and nastiness which obviously no-one wants.
My DH has a more measured approach so I will follow his lead I think.
Does the bus have allocated seats? If not can your DD sit behind the driver until the school (hopefully) does something about it.
The school absolutely should deal with this if it is happening on a dedicated school bus. DS went to a school where there were a lot of school buses and it was a regular feature that school were dealing with issues that arose on the transport.
I would be inclined to take her to school myself, if I were you. I know it's not ideal and it is as if the bully has 'won' but your daughter needs protecting. It's not forever and it doesn't mean that somehow your daughter will never learn to stand up for herself . Right now she needs you. I know many will disagree but this is my honest opinion.
I had this as a child. Please do something. I won't say what I would do as I would be flamed but get this bully put down once and for all.
Oliviastabler. I know what you mean. I had to refrain from saying what I'd like to do.
She has been sitting at the front from the beginning as it is a big coach even though there are less than 20 of them and I think there's too much scope for things to go on at the back.
My DD said everyone does as they like and the driver doesn't react to what anyone is doing. Not blaming him though. I think I'll also ask the school whether they can arrange a chaperone. What I'd like to do is get her taken off the bus but I guess that takes time.
I'm happy to take her to school - I suggested it before half term - but she isn't keen. Thinks it will make it worse.
My school bus was like this over 20 years ago. Only tough kids ended up getting it. Everyone else walked or got a normal bus
Could you enrol her in a regular martial arts class, locally.
My own DS(12yo) was bullied by one lad in his class. Eventually I enrolled DS in the local Jujitsu class, and after a number of months of further bullying by this lad, DS hit the boy a huge roundhouse kick to the side of the knee, dislocating it, but luckily not doing any permanent damage.
The boy's mother was going to get the police involved until I pre-empted her actions quoting the law on assault and self defence (as told to me by my former sensei).
There is a section on pre-emptive strikes that pretty much state that if the perpetrator of a potential assault, has entered your personal space (AFAIK it's usually around your own arm's length from your body), and is clearly threatening, with the aim to hurt you (obvious to those who are standing nearby), then you can defend yourself by hitting them first. Here
This is very vague, but my former sensei is very clued up on the law as he also is an SIA qualified doorman, and works with police, knowing and using the law to try and deter fights outside clubs/pubs/concert venues etc.
I did think about martial arts actually. That's good advice.
If nothing is resolved I will certainly do my utmost to make sure she can defend herself in whatever way necessary.
It will boost her confidence if nothing else.
I imagine this is causing your daughter a great deal of anxiety and my instinct would be to initially remove her from this horrible situation as she needs protecting before it affects her mental health. Also speak to the school to see if they can sort out the anarchy on the bus and bullying then maybe later if it is resolved, your daughter can go back to travelling by bus again.
You'll probably find that those who do martial arts, or have done martial arts in the past, will be the ones who are more likely to have respect for your DD. This will generally be due to the discipline instilled while they were training.
If your DD learns how to focus on the techniques used in MA, and if executed well, she'll not need much force to make the bully/bullies back down quickly. She'll likely make friends at the club too, and maybe she'll find that a few of them possibly go to the same school. That would be better for her as they will probably have her back if the bullies start on her.
I'm using Jujitsu as an example as I go to our local club, as does DS. I go 3 times a week and DS usually goes the same, although his school pays our sensei to teach JJ as one of the after school clubs. DS, if bored and up to date with all his homework, has been known to go to as many classes as there are available, and after the incident with the last bully, no-one tends to mess with him now.
It may well be worth while investing in focus pads for boxing, as well as a pair of gloves (MMA gel gloves, are good as the fingers are free to open water bottles without taking them off IYSWIM). I have a thai pad for the roundhouse kick practice, gloves, shin guards and focus pads.
As DS and I are at the same club, and we're at the same level, so we can train in many of the same techniques.
It may help your DD's confidence, especially if she learns how to focus on executing the techniques she has learned. A number of things she needs to be aware of and learn are:
1. Never underestimate your opponent.
2. Practice slowly. This helps with muscle memory and therefore better technique execution.
3. Use the technique appropriate to the attack. Eg, the bully throws a punch, your DD blocks it, then your DD pushes the bully hard and runs away. If the bully has a weapon, a cross-block would be more appropriate for protection and disarming them, with a view to either a subsequent shoulder lock or some type of wrist throw.
4. Practice strength execution. This helps your DD understand, from her perspective, what constitutes a light kick/punch etc from a hard one. Strength execution is relative to the person's individual strength. The stronger the person, the harder their 'light' kicks/punches/elbows/knees will be to their opponent IYSWIM.
5. Use the force proportionate to the attack. Eg, dislocating a wrist/elbow/shoulder because the opponent pulled your hair is disproportionate to the level of attack. A simple kick to the thigh, then a hard shove then run is appropriate.
Lastly, make sure your DD knows the law surrounding self defence (I've already linked the CPS website on the pre-emptive strike). The more she knows, the more she will know what moves are appropriate to use in any given situation.
One thing to be aware of is this: should your DD push the bully and the bully falls backward and is knocked unconscious, your DD could be in serious trouble. Always ensure your DD knows to have friends with her at all times. Or at least try to be in public. That way, if anything happens, there should be witnesses willing to back her up.
I hope you your DD can get this sorted quickly. The bully is using her problems at home, as an excuse for bad behaviour. Plenty of children come from dysfunctional/neglectful homes, but they can behave as good as gold.
I can't really think of anything else to add, but I wanted to give an idea of my experience with bullies.
I hope you and your DD get this situation sorted soon
Sorry for not responding last night. I went to the gym and left my phone in my friend's car overnight!
I'm just about to write an email to the head of year/pastoral care and will follow up with a phone call in an hour.
I took her into school this morning and she was definitely a lot more relaxed. I'm also picking her up tonight.
Luckily she doesn't have any lessons with her so doesn't see her throughout the day.
I haven't had time yet to read all your responses but will report back later this morning.
Have just spoken to school. They will take statements from both girls tomorrow and go from there.
Teacher said they can access CCTV from bus company too.
I feel a bit sick actually because my DD will be upset now at school tomorrow and I wouldn't be surprised if we get an angry visit from guardians tomorrow night.
Sounds like the school might be good with this - already mentioned CCTV etc - let's hope they are.
Our boys had problems on the school bus, contacted the school to ask who was responsible for sorting out the problem, the school or bus driver. The school said they were, (but the driver should be sorting things out before it gets to the stage where the school needs to intervene). They also said that if the children didn't stop misbehaving they could be banned from the bus and they would have to find another way to get to school, and our school would do that if they needed to.
Let's hope the school sorts it out quickly and efficiently for you and your DD.
If the guardians of the other girl do turn up angry at your house you can refuse to discuss it with them and tell them they need to sort it out with the school, not directly with you. If they turn up being rational it is up to you whether you want to discuss it with them, or still ask for it to be dealt with via school.
I would go zero tolerance and start to track everything in writing
Do not telephone do everything in writing and get very legal and scary
The girl needs to be told loud and clear that this behaviour will not be tolerated and there will be consequences . And clearly she hasn't received that message yet
In parallel you do need to safeguard your DD and I would questions whether short term the bus can be stopped ?
The message clearly hadn't gotten through yet -keep shouting
And I would not even speak to guardians
Fuck them right off . You do NOT have to engage
The apple doesn't fall far does it
They have cameras? That girl is in deep shit then, fingers crossed.
My MIL has a story she likes to tell about my DH when he was a kid and had problems on the school bus with one particular boy. After a few months she got a call from the bus driver saying my DH has finally retaliated and bent this boy’s fingers back until he begged for mercy.
Driver said he was obliged to report it to MIL and she obviously paid some lip service to the fact violence isn’t the answer etc but it was basically acknowledged by all he’d done the right thing and - surprise surprise - the boy never bothered him again.
I would tell my DS to do exactly the same. Sometimes an eye for an eye is the only thing that will tame a bully.
We had a similar incident with DS (13) getting punched on the school bus.
We called the school and we also called the police. The police logged the incident as assault ( and the lad in question ended up with a visit at home from a police officer and got a good ticking off) but also a policewoman who specifically dealt with incidents on the local school buses got involved. She was absolutely lovely to DS and came down like a tonne of bricks on the lad who punched him. She liased with the school on our behalf and ensured that the lad was banned from travelling on the school bus for many months and made sure the school helped to enforce that. The lad was also suspended for a week.
This action nipped it in the bud as at the time the behaviour of this lad was escalating, and since then there have been no more problems.
Maybe this is something you could do?
Make sure your daughter knows that it's not her fault and that she shouldn't have to put up with it. She shouldn't have to resort to violence herself (although as a last resort suggest she takes up the flute - a smack round the head with heavy plastic flute case is very satisfying).
Get police involved if school are ineffective.
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