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To be annoyed at DS being excluded from Summer club?

(125 Posts)
ThatsSoFetch Tue 07-Aug-18 15:51:28

I booked DS age 9 into a summer football club - the type that the flyers are put in their bags every school holidays. Paid for the entire summer 2 days a week. Ive just had to collect DS from his 4th session there - he has been excluded for the remainder of his sessions.

They say he pushed another child.

Ive spoken to DS and he says the other child has been continuously bullying him all day and little was done about it all - indeed the pushing incident happened when they apparently all collectively went to the toilet together and DS was lined up by staff next to the child who continued to call him, in front of staff who did absolutely nothing but say to stop name calling - not separated them whatsoever, kept them stood next to each other.

DS has become so frustrated at it - over 3 hours of bullying - that he pushed the child who then pushed him back.

DS has been excluded for apparently being violent in pushing the child. Apparently the other child has been excluded too - for bullying and also being violent.

Ive spoken to DS who is absolutely beside himself. He knows what he did was wrong but said to me he had reached the end of his limit and that nobody was helping him, despite him repeatedly telling the adults.

Im absolutely furious at the staffs mismanagement of the entire situation.

Ive called and spoken to the manager who said that their policy is not to separate children who have/are falling out but that they exclude instantly for any BULLYING or violent behaviour. They couldnt answer why they didnt exclude the child when he was bullying before it reached a point where DS just couldnt take any more.

I wont in any way try to justify what DS did - he did wrong - but what I dont get is why I receive a phonecall asking me to collect him moments after he pushed the child, yet the child was permitted to bully my child for over 3 hours.

AIBU in my view of how they handled the situation?

bumblenbean Tue 07-Aug-18 15:57:03

It does sound like a bit of an extreme reaction on their part. I suspect the push was deemed ‘violence’ as per their policy and that they feared repercussions from
Other parents if they didn’t crack down on it.
Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like they’re going to change their minds, so I suspect you and DS might have to chalk this up to experience. Will you be getting refunded for the remainder of the course?
Maybe in Any event a good opportunity to talk to DS about ways to handle conflict and bullying, though frankly it doesn’t sound like the club did a very good job of it!
Hope you and DS find another fun activity to replace it.

ClaryFray Tue 07-Aug-18 15:59:15

It's a lesson learnt for ds that sometimes no matter how much you are frustrated you can't go around pushing people. Many people act like jerks in adult life despite knowing better, be thankful it's an exclusion and not an assault charge as an adult. It's a life lesson and move on.

Frogscotch7 Tue 07-Aug-18 16:01:09

Perhaps they didn’t realise just how upset your son had become - children have different levels of resilience to things like name calling. I think it’s appropriate that they’ve both been excluded for putting hands on each other. Hopefully you’ll get a partial refund and can find another activity.

LlamaPyjamas Tue 07-Aug-18 16:04:01

I’d expect a refund for the remainder of the sessions. And I wouldn’t chastise DS as he was the victim so shouldn’t be punished for defending himself. He tried to deal with the situation correctly - told adults, asked for help but didn’t get it - the pushing was a last resort.

I would certainly pursue the question of why the bullying was permitted to continue for three hours. I’d ask in writing, demanding an answer. Your DS wouldn’t have been excluded if they’d followed their own policy of instant exclusion for bullying. Demand an explanation and an apology.

ThatsSoFetch Tue 07-Aug-18 16:05:01

Honestly I didnt call for them to change their minds - I had actually called them for a refund which I did manage to get thank goodness!

Dont get me wrong - Im really cross at DS for what he did but really feel that for some reason their apparent 'zero tolerance' policy was severely overlooked for several hours for DS to be bullied and Im pretty furious at how it is that as a result of their apparent selective 'zero tolerance' policy, this happened and DS is now absolutely devastated.

Its the apparent selectivity of the activation of their 'policy' that has annoyed me the most. Additionally the woman who was 'on the door' and overseeing the operations there was absolutely the rudest woman I have ever met - did that wide eyed looking down at you look every time I collected or dropped off - worse still is apparently her child is starting school this year with DD. Kill me now!

DS is one of those children who struggles to fit in sometimes and recently has been through a lot in our family situation, so it was good to see him excited about going somewhere.

Sadly for him, everywhere round near us is all booked up now.

frecklesMaybe Tue 07-Aug-18 16:08:20

Words are just words whereas physical violence is worse until the law changes.

How is the other child a bully but yours is the victim?

NewPapaGuinea Tue 07-Aug-18 16:13:47

Sounds like they couldn’t be bothered to administer any discipline and have taken the easy option and washed their hands of it.

ThatsSoFetch Tue 07-Aug-18 16:14:26

frecklesmaybe - Ive not actually stated that my child is a 'victim'....

I have however stated that my child was bullied and nothing was done about it. He actually didnt retaliate until he realised nobody was helping him or addressing the situation and after 3 hours reached his limit.

I have also not in any way said that his behaviour is acceptable - he knows it isnt and has been clearly spoken to by myself today.

My issue is with the club provider having a 'zero tolerance' policy to bullying and violence - yet allowing my son to be bullied until it turned into a situation where my son pushed the child who was bullying him.

Mistressiggi Tue 07-Aug-18 16:17:57

I’m amazed they can drop someone for one push - easier than being a teacher clearly to run these summer camps! But if they’ve had it in their terms and conditions I suppose they can. Would have been better to have worked on improving the relationship for at least another session though.

Bezm Tue 07-Aug-18 16:18:19

You have only listened to one side of the story. Of course your child is going to say that he was being bullied all morning and that no one did anything about it. He's trying to deflect the blame away from his actions. You need to listen to the adults in charge and see what they say. My guess is that both boys were winding each other up and it ended in a fight resulting in exclusion for them both.

IceCreamFace Tue 07-Aug-18 16:21:20

Does sound annoying - alot of the summer camps are staffed by poorly paid, barely trained students so they may have not really known how to de-escalate the situation and probably just excluded them both once it got out of hand because they didn't know what else to do.

greenseedlessgrapes Tue 07-Aug-18 16:24:09

DS should never use violence.

mineisarossini Tue 07-Aug-18 16:24:12

They have a zero tolerance policy in place and activated it:

The other child was excluded for name calling
Your child was excluded for pushing

Hopefully they will both learn their lesson, not name call or push.

Your child should not have lost control and lashed out, he has to learn at some point that a few names can not hurt him and violence isn't the answer. I am not sure when you want him to learn this key skill, but I guess you would prefer it to be before he hit the nightclubs and pubs where he will be in a great deal more trouble than he is now.

Instead of bleating about how unjust it all is, why are you not sitting him down and teaching him to deal with these things differently, breathing techniques when something is upsetting etc etc.

You are doing him no favours at all making excuses for this behaviour.

ThatsSoFetch Tue 07-Aug-18 16:26:17

Bezm - I have got both sides of the story. The manager I spoke to told me what had happened, that DS hadnt started it and indeed wasnt the cause - that the other child had been name calling and DS pushed him and was excluded just for the push. DS has stated the exact same thing.

The manager stated they wont separate children who are arguing and that it isnt their policy to do so and she also stated that they are told at the beginning of the day to not bully/name call - and this was reiterated during the morning.

The situation wasnt handled at all - since the other child was bullying he should have been excluded earlier, rather than it culminating in this situation. That is my point. This could have been avoided.

I wouldnt have taken just my sons side of it.

sunflowersinthesky Tue 07-Aug-18 16:26:55

Some bullies are real artists at doing it when adults are looking the other way.

I dare say that's what happened here.

ThatsSoFetch Tue 07-Aug-18 16:33:14

mineisarossini - please dont think Im making excuses for his behaviour - I was absolutely furious at what he did and he very much knows it!

But my entire point here is how their 'zero tolerance' policy on bullying and violence was only activated when my son pushed the child after over 3 hours of being bullied.

Im just annoyed at their handling of the situation and how if they had excluded the other child earlier for bullying, DS wouldnt have done that - yes I know what he did wasnt right but still, totally could have been avoided if they hadnt been selective in activating their policy!

FannyCornforth Tue 07-Aug-18 16:33:22

What IceCream says is spot on. They aren't teachers. It's a very difficult job.

twoheaped Tue 07-Aug-18 16:34:18

I have watched these clubs and from what I have seen, the trainers are first and foremost sport lovers/players, not necessarily child aware.
It used to drive me nuts that I was paying X amount for dd to be taught football but in reality she didn't because too many kids messed about and weren't made to behave.

Can't help thinking if a teacher had been around, there would have been more doing and less messing!

He's better off out of it and it's a shame he was pushed to violence.

ThatsSoFetch Tue 07-Aug-18 16:36:51

On the contrary - they actually all appear to be long standing staff! And interestingly looking on their reviews - I havent been the only one to comment on the female member of staff who was rude to me!

brownmouse Tue 07-Aug-18 16:42:38

Sounds as though they aren't allowed to lay hands on the children at all. So it seems fair enough to me. Bad luck but a lesson for your DS

SchadenfreudePersonified Tue 07-Aug-18 16:43:15

Words are just words whereas physical violence is worse

Stuff that, Freckles - words can destroy confidence and ruin people's lives.

The other boy has realised that as long as he didn't actually raise a hand to OP's son, then he could pretty much goad and torment as much as he liked - he's deliberately pushed OP's DS until he couldn't take ny more.

The staff have behaved very unprofessionally - all this "not separating" crap is rubbish! They don't miraculously become friends just because they are forced to sit next to each other. It just means that the child who is being tormented has no escape, and if the staff don't bother to intervene and stop the name-calling or whatever each and every time, then the bullied child either gets increasingly depressed and unhappy, or - they lash out in self-defence. And generally, because they have tried really hard to keep their temper until they have been goaded beyond endurance, they react physically.

OP I would ask for the remainder of your money back. In fact, I might even try to get the lot back as they obviously didn't exercise a proper duty of care if you DS was allowed to be teased and bullied until he couldn't take i any more.

Whether you'll get it or not is another matter, but I would certainly do my best if I were you.

I hope your DS is able to enjoy the school holidays despite this disappointment.

LizB62A Tue 07-Aug-18 16:44:27

Words are just words whereas physical violence is worse until the law changes.

How is the other child a bully but yours is the victim?

Clearly you (or your child) have never been bullied....

drspouse Tue 07-Aug-18 16:46:16

YANBU at all OP and I am fed up to the back teeth of extra-curricular providers not having basic child management skills that TAs are expected to have.
My DS is awaiting assessment for ADHD and he's had to leave about 5 clubs this year, AFAIK all of them run by people whose job this is.
The only one that's stuck by him is Beavers, the voluntary one!
At one Beaver event he became overwhelmed and pushed a child and had to go home which was 100% right.
At the others it has all been not paying attention/not participating which he needs a bit of extra help with, it is true, but they never give him or me a warning or suggest any solutions.
It's always been "we've tried our best, we can't cope, sorry bye".
Yes you should have dancing/music skills to run a dancing/music club but you should also have child skills.
School work out what help he needs to participate and progress and they put it in place. They tell us when there's a problem and what they are proposing to fix it. I don't see why these professionals can't do the same.

Canshopwillshop Tue 07-Aug-18 16:49:07

I think it’s an overreaction to what your DS did and I think it’s a bit ott to call a push ‘physical violence’. A similar thing happened to my friends DS at around that age. He was in a football team with a renowned bully who taunted and name called during each and every match and nothing was ever done or said as he always managed to stay under the radar. At the end of the last match of the season my friends DS (a big boy) picked the bully up and deposited him in a nearby hedge. He was never troubled by him again!

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