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To report theft at school to Police?

(41 Posts)
valhala Mon 28-Sep-09 23:35:55

Long story, but, DD2 (12 years) has been bullied since starting new school in January. She reported the various incidents (several kids, both verbal and physical bullying) but little was done despite my meetings with school so one day she lost it and lashed out. Of course she was in big trouble at school and home for doing so though I do sympathise.

Because of this and her wary, defensive manner, school think she MAY have SEN (mooted the idea of Autism Spectrum). They have also identified a learning problem as although shes quite bright and very articulate her writing speed is so slow they feel she will need help/a scribe for exams.

In May they promised 1 to 1 support with someone to do craft and to talk to at lunchtimes and after school club but despite several pleas from me in writing have failed to deliver. Likewise an offer for her to be seen by an Ed Psych. Tomorrow I will deliver an official complaint about this and the fact that they have not answered questions put in writing many times about her strengths and weaknesses, what tests they have carried out, what they intend to do next and so on.

She reccently asked me to take her to the doctor to "ask for sleeping pills" as she cannot sleep - hell for her, me and DD1, as are the temper tantrums and bad behaviour which I experience when she is under stress. I took her although I knew of course he would't prescribe anything, but hoping he could back me/get the ball rolling with ed Psych/encourage her to go to CAMHS, which she won't do etc. The doctor has since contacted the school nurse to see DD and we await that opportunity (nurse has tried but DD was off, refusing to go to school having been hit by another pupil at the time, to be fair).

DD came home today to say that her phone had been stolen and that 2 other pupils told her they had seen 2 boys who have a history of bullying her smashing it up on the school field and picking up the remains. We went to the field this evening and found a couple of parts of her phone, which I brought home with me.

I emailed the Deputy of this huge school before I went out, and he wants her to give him a statement tomorrow though she is very scared of returning, especially without a phone to call me on if there is further unpleasantness. I have told her she must go in and that this is the only way to get any form of justice and the matter sorted.

I am so thoroughly pissed off with the school ignoring not only her complaints of bullying but my attempts to get answers from them in order to help DD. I am also concerned that they are suggesting that she has SEN - which would explain why she is reacting to the bullying so badly as to be excluded for a day last term - yet doing nothing to help and thus exacerbating the problem. The school also know that she has been a victim of vile verbal abuse and threats from a parent in a past school and that she has no faith in teachers to keep her safe as a result and have been aware of this since day one.

So, if the school do nothing about the phone incident, given that they have failed to implement the help they offered or answer my questions, some of which date back to February, AIBU to call the police and report the phone incident as a crime?

CuntWhacker Mon 28-Sep-09 23:50:23

No, definitely NOT unreasonable.

If the school are not doing something about it, these bullies need to learn that they cannot treat others like this. Stealing is wrong - and a crime - whether it happens in school or outside of it.

hambler Mon 28-Sep-09 23:52:44

phone the police

valhala Mon 28-Sep-09 23:56:23

Thank you CW (not sure if I dare repeat your name!). Apart from all else, I am wondering if there are govt guidelines which say that such crimes should be dealt with in the school as I know that there are guidelines saying that this should be the case with assault by a pupil upon another at school unless the school are shown not to be dealing with the problem. (This is from experience with DD1 in the past year or so and I had a tough time convincing the police to act when she was punched in the eye at a previous school although they did in the end and were brilliant about it, but boy I had to get arsey with them first!).

I am at my wits end with the school and have been in tears, which really ISN'T me!

valhala Tue 29-Sep-09 00:00:34

PS when I took DD to the doctor at her request because of her inability to sleep she suddenly and honestly without me coaching or promptig her said that it was because of the bullying. A few days before she had been spat at in the face by one of the boys who was today involved in the phone theft. The TA she reported it to told her to sit down and not to worry - this is despite the Deputy telling me in writing that she should report bullying to the nearest member of staff and that he would inform all staff that they should take her complaints seriously, having done nothing in the past and been challeged by me in a meeting.

valhala Tue 29-Sep-09 00:01:36

Sorry for the typos, my N key is playing up!

Mermaidspam Tue 29-Sep-09 00:03:46

Ring them. This school is failing your dd.

mathanxiety Tue 29-Sep-09 04:07:00

YANBU. And isn't spitting assault in this age of Hep B and AIDS? I would call the police. Is there some sort of ombudsman you could also call about the school dragging its feet and ignoring the bullies while punishing the victim??

thumbwitch Tue 29-Sep-09 05:29:40

Am again shocked and appalled at the failure of another school to take bullying seriously. Perhaps MN should start a "name and shame" board for schools that fall into this category, so that other parents can avoid them.

Definitely go to the police. Spitting is assault, your daughter has effectively been mugged and her property destroyed.

Also report it to the Governors (and I hope none of the bullies are sons of any of the Governors).

I was bullied in the work place, sexual harassment leading on to death threats (which weren't taken remotely seriously by the management, despite the man having MH issues) - I saw the manager, the director of the department (a woman who basically told me to put up with it), someone in the Regional Health Board (ok it was in the NHS) and got no satisfaction or assurance that this would be stopped. THe man should have been given a written warning for his behaviour! Eventually I went to the police as well and they came in to my work place. Finally the bullying stopped, but there was always an undercurrent from a few members of staff afterwards that I was a sad pathetic wimp who had called the police in because this man "called me a few names". Ha! As if the police would have come for that reason alone.angry

Deeeja Tue 29-Sep-09 08:00:37

I am so sorry to hear about your daughter's bullying, it is disgusting how the school have ignored it. I agree you should definately report the theft to the police.
You should also go back to your gp and push for a referral to a developmental paediatrician to have you daughter assessed regarding her possible special needs. You should tell the gp that you think that your daughter may fall somewhere on the autistic spectrum and why you think that is, and he has to refer her for assessment to the specialist team in your area.
I have 4 sons with autism, one of whom did not get a diagnosis until he was 13. He is almost 21 now, and doing well.
Take care, x.

valhala Tue 29-Sep-09 08:46:18

Thank you everyone - I really was doubting my own judgement and confidence. DD2 has woken late today (as did I, oops!), worried that no phone means no chance of contacting me if she's hurt again. She should have been in school 10 minutes ago and is still home dragging her feet. So, no doubt I'll soon get a call from school and get spoken to like shit/in a patronising manner dependent on who rings - they're hot on punctuality and attendence, if not on violence and theft.

And name and shame? I wish I could at the moment!

Having been out of this county for 2 years I chose to move back to this town last year largely because I thought I knew the school, my DD1 having attended it for a few months before we moved away (iyswim). It has a great Ofsted, great GCSE results and places are much sought-after, hence I had to appeal to get DD2 in there mid-year. As I explained at the appeal I thought that this school could keep my DD safe from the aggression she had experienced in the past.

The school had in recent years been very much in the limelight over it's part in a tragedy which affected two local children, it's had a lot of cash thrown at it, a huge amount of support from the community and shameful LA, and it's staff almost portrayed as saints and heros for "soldiering on" through the tragedy by the media and it seems to me that they now almost have an air of being untouchable, as if they are so lauded by all these people they can't possibly be in the wrong.

After all, why spoil your great Ofsted if you can blame the parent instead?

Lovesdogsandcats Tue 29-Sep-09 08:59:39

Right here is what I would do, and it may not be for everyone!
Firstly, deep breath! Make yourself a cuppa, and dd too. I would tell her that she she does not have to go back to school until you and her have had a meeting with the head, where each incident, and the lack of help has been addressed one by one.
Tell the head how he personally has failed her, by telling her they will tell each incident seriously, yet when she reported it the ta ignored it!!
If she has SN even worse as she is in a vulnerable group.

I personally would be in no rush to send her back, as it cannot be doing her mental health any good. I would lastly tell the head that unless he can make school a safe environment for kids, he can expect further episodes of this.

Then I would ask him to call the police in front of you.

Good luck.

mumoverseas Tue 29-Sep-09 09:04:23

your poor DD. I know how awful it is as I started a very similar thread recently in another topic.
DD has not been bullied thankfully but has had several items stolen over the past few weeks. The first time it was low value items such as make up and tuck but last week it was her ipod which was stolen from under her pillow. She should of course have locked it away in her wardrobe but when she got up in the morning, she was rushing and forgot and when she went back to her dorm (she is at boarding school) it was gone.
The school are bloody useless. I warned them after the first thefts that I would not tolerate it as at the end of the days, the girls in the boarding house are 13 to 15 so old enough to know that stealing is wrong. Am furious to have got a mail back yesterday saying that it was basically DD's fault for 'leaving it lying around' and that they would not report the theft to the police as I had requested so I could try to claim on insurance and implied that she had probably misplaced it and it wasn't stolen!

As others have said, you are right to go to the police, you have clearly tried to resolve matters via the school but without a satisfactory result. You therefore are left with no choice. Your daughter has been assaulted and her property stolen and criminially damaged.

I hope your daughter is ok and that the bullies are taken to task

Doobydoo Tue 29-Sep-09 09:10:53

Poor you and dd.
I agree with Lovescatsandogs,is there a possibility that you could keep her away from the school while you decide what to do as it does seem to be contributing to your dd's behaviour?
I really hope you get this resolved.

CuntWhacker Tue 29-Sep-09 09:13:45

I agree - keep her off school, for today at least. I think she needs some TLC

claricebeansmum Tue 29-Sep-09 09:24:36

Valhala your OP could have been written by me.

DS (13) suffered along similar lines with constant bullying after joining as a new boy. He had outbursts - I say the worm turned.

This summer he has had a first assessment by CAHMS who have now referred him on for counselling for which we wait and wait. He was assessed for autism but found just to be normal but "anxious and depressed".

His sports kit was stolen repeatedly and in the end although the school would not accept liability they did send me a cheque to cover the cost of replacing the items. Theft is endemic within his school and not helped by the fact that lockers with padlocks can easily be jemmied open due to design fault.

To you and your DS I send huge love. I do have some idea of what you are going through.

I would demand an appointment with head today and take with you a complete list of every incident to date - however minor. It is the ongoing "minor" bullying that is so wearing - nobody sitting next to DS at lunch, nobody wanting to be with him in group work etc.

katiestar Tue 29-Sep-09 10:44:29

I am so sorry to hear about your poor DDs ordeals at the hands of bullies.
I can't believe some schools are so crap and some children so vile.

scaryteacher Tue 29-Sep-09 10:56:23

Ask to see the anti bullying policy; point out they have a duty of care to the students; write to the head and copy it to the chair of governors. Also, go to the LEA and ask them for help.

Can your daughter not stay with her tutor at breaks etc? I used to stay in my classroom every lunch and break (except when duty) to make sure that my tutees and any of the kids I taught had a safe haven if they needed it.

CuntFuckerSmith Tue 29-Sep-09 12:53:01

Defo involve the police.

valhala Tue 29-Sep-09 13:46:59

Scaryteacher, I have no idea if she could, but would ask why SHOULD DD have to spend her breaks with her tutor instead of her friends? Why should she miss out, have less feedom than the bullies, be "the victim" who stays with teacher?

I have news from school, on what MIGHT be a brighter note.

Well two little feckers have admitted finding the phone and taking it, the year head rang me to say (not quite in those words, obviously!). Amazingly, one of them WASN'T (as first thought) Kieran, the scumbag who'd spat at DD recently.

Year head asked if I still had the phone bits, could I put them in a plastic bag and touch as little as possible - think he was a bit taken aback when I said that I had left the house with plastic bags and had picked up the phone bits using said bag, which I have sealed!

He spoke of theft and criminal damage, asked how much the phone cost ("only" £35, not a fortune but £35 I haven't got to buy a replacement) and is now speaking to the Deputy to "see if the school will press charges".


IF FFS?????????????????????

Lets try WHEN!

Cos I have told him that if the school doesn't I will, and I will have Police crawling all over the building and there every time any fecker in that school hurts my children from now on!

So now I wait....

There are other options of course:

1. Natural Justice - take their phones, smash one up in front of them and give the other to my daughter.

2. Erect gallows on the playing field of the school. (that was DP's idea)

3. Take the offender's phones off of them, cover both mobiles in Vaseline, and then have them inserted somewhere they could never be recovered. (That was DP's idea too!).

valhala Tue 29-Sep-09 14:23:07

Oh by the way, if I keep DD off of school cos of bullying I am guilty of causing unauthorised absence.

DD has missed a few days as SHE has refused to attend due to fear. I put this in writing and said so in phone conversations to the school. That didn't stop the school telling the EWO that it was ME who was keeping DD off of school, hence the jobsworth EWO called me yesterday to talk to me about DDs absences.

I nearly hit the roof that the school were blaming me for their negligence which has resulted in DDs school refusal!

It appears that I must provide a med cert if DD is off of school owing to the effects of bullying. hmm

Can't do much at present as the doc is on vacation, so thats a battle to fight another day!

zipzap Tue 29-Sep-09 14:46:30

From some of your posts it sounds like the school likes its good OFSTED reputation, so I would document all this and send it to them as well so they can see the reality of the school rather than the gloss that is painted for them during inspection time. Oh and tell the head of course that that is what you are doing!

Can you get school to send work home for your daughter if she is unable to go in because of the bullying and the school's inability to keep her safe? Then at least she would be keeping up to date, am guessing that she is able to do it (not like she has broken both arms and can't write IYSWIM) so she can show that she wants to be at school and learning.

YADefinitelyNBU to report it to the police given the inability of the school to treat you or your daughter's concerns seriously.
Does the school have any links with the local police?

Good luck to you and your daughter in sorting it all out and hoping the bullies get a proper come-uppance!

valhala Tue 29-Sep-09 19:25:43

Guess what! I got a reply about whether the school will press charges and an update, from the head of year. Names have changed of course but otherwise this is his email, word for word.

"Two of the boys concerned were excluded from lessons (they admitted taking the phone to the field after it fell from Susan’s bag). They are also on report now. One boy admitted to handling the phone and lost his free time today essentially for lying to me about his involvement. I am still no further forward regarding the vandalism to the phone, which was the main offence but I have asked for a final witness to be sent to me in the morning. What will make things difficult tomorrow is that Susan doesn’t want her friend to be named who I hope will give me information. I will do what I can.

I have taken several statements and have spent three hours on this so I am hopeful of a result.

Mr Brown as do you and I, feel that it would be appropriate for you to report the matter to the police in addition to any sanctions we administer as a school.
I will get back to you if I discover any more information."

Now hold on.... since when did I say that I wanted to contact the Police? I didn't, I said I wanted the school to! So it comes as no surprise to see that they are being unsupportive and failing DD2 all over again, leaving me to deal with the Police without the benefit of their backing. angry

Oh and yes, he did write "Mr Brown as do you and I, feel...". Thank God he's a twat science teacher, not an English teacher!

juuule Tue 29-Sep-09 19:39:24

I would not be sending my dd back into school until this was resolved in a way that she could attend without feeling under duress. Involve the local authority. Tell the EWO why you can't send her. Get the GP to confirm when he returns from vacation. But keep your dd safe and help her feel more confident and secure. The school is unable to do this at the moment so you will have to until things are sorted out.

Have you contacted Kidscape for advice?

Would it help for her to attend a different school? What would she think of that suggestion?

Or home-ed for a while?

shockers Tue 29-Sep-09 20:00:58

If this had been done out of school it would have been a criminal offence. The school should really report it on your behalf. If they gloss over an incident like this then they are also failing the bullies by giving them the false impression that this is not serious enough to warrant police involvement. I haven't had time to read the whole thread so you may have already answered this but is this the only high school in your area?

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