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bullying bullying bullying - what on earth to do? Involve school or just parents?

(21 Posts)
Meandbobbymcgee Fri 14-Nov-14 12:06:29

my eight year old girl is getting in it in the neck from a girl in her class which she is managing quite well - ignoring, going to play with someone else etc, although I can tell she feels lonely about it (her two best mates left the school last year - total bad luck). This week she was blatantly threatened by two year five girls at an afterschool activity - one threatened to punch her in the face, the other said she would sing at her funeral - nice eh? irony is one of them is our opposite neighbour whose parents are lovely and whose kids I sometimes take to school! The parents are taking it seriously but have clearly seen it before and cant really stop their kids behaviour. I have arranged to talk to the kid tomorrow and aim to threaten to take it to the school - but should I be taking it to the school anyway and what will they realistically do? My kid worried about repercussions and is such a little sweetie she just doesn't get why people are mean. Hate all this - losing sleep - what should school response be if I do tell?

littlesupersparks Fri 14-Nov-14 12:11:48

Tell the school. Without a second thought! Ask then what they think should happen. Horrible things to say xx

Meandbobbymcgee Fri 14-Nov-14 12:15:06

thanks. tempted to threaten to tell school if she does it again in order to try to incentivise her leaving my kid alone but maybe that means she just gets away with it?

Muskey Fri 14-Nov-14 12:18:06

Whatever you do don't talk to the child involved in the bullying. Yes to going to the school and depending on the parents take it to them. All to often parents turn a blind eye to their children bullying others and just put it down to children being children.

Meandbobbymcgee Fri 14-Nov-14 12:20:29

blimey really muskey? don't talk to child? I was thinking that might be my best move - she lives just across the road - why do you think not?

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Fri 14-Nov-14 12:22:36

Let the school deal with it - don't do anything more to try and sort this out yourself. Definitely don't speak to the child yourself.

I've had to speak to school about similar issues before - my advice is keep it calm and factual. I said explained the effect it was having on ds and what his version of events was and asked school to investigate further - I also said I was aware I only had 1 side of the story.

elastamum Fri 14-Nov-14 12:23:58

Tell the school anyway. She is not the only child involved and the school need to know so they can sort it out. Your DD may not be the only child being bullied either.

Meandbobbymcgee Fri 14-Nov-14 12:26:54

hmm. thing is I am not very hopeful the school will do much. loads of parents have told me in the past that their experience of reporting bullying to the school just results in school saying children are children , you need to bolster your child's responses etc . feel I might do it better myself but don't want to make it worse.

Ineedanewone Fri 14-Nov-14 12:27:21

I would advise always taking it to the school first, and let them sort it out.
There ay be a bigger picture that you are not aware of, and they are more likely to have sanctions available to them as a form of 'punushment' such as withdrawing participation in school activities.
Even if you know the parents really well it will sour any future relations, and they may well counter your description of your sweet child with one of their own.

Muskey Fri 14-Nov-14 12:27:48

Because meandbobby as a parent I wouldn't want someone talking to my child about bullying I much prefer if people have a problem with my child to come and speak to me. Also often children who are bullies are very good at manipulating themselves out of trouble. Even just speaking to the bully can leave yourself open to being accused of being a bully yourself even if you only have good intentions.

Meandbobbymcgee Fri 14-Nov-14 12:29:32

elastamum, these two along with a girls gang in their class are known for making other girls cry - school hasn't done very well in dealing with it so far. It is one of my biggest, bitter disappointments with the school system that they don't deal with bullying effectively and that they don't teach kids to be nicer to each other. pastoral care seems totally lacking, its like lord of the bloody flies in there.

Meandbobbymcgee Fri 14-Nov-14 12:31:32

muskey - good advice - but I told the parent straight away last night and they thought it would be a good idea if I spoke to their child myself as they cant get her to listen to them. but now I feel like I might be just getting myself into a weird position? Thank god I came on here. Need to have a rethink....

Ineedanewone Fri 14-Nov-14 12:34:11

I also totally get the losing sleep thing, as it is heartbreaking to see your child upset and it is also very hard to rise above the visceral desire to sort it out yourself, but from experience it is not likely to end well, and at the end of the day the bully is also a child too.
it may be helpful to look at for advice for you and your daughter

Muskey Fri 14-Nov-14 12:36:42

I do know how you feel meandbobby it does get better but you need to be persistent.

Meandbobbymcgee Fri 14-Nov-14 12:40:40

thanks a million Ineedanewone ...kidscape stuff v helpful - looks like I need to cancel talking to the child and go to the school.....

Ineedanewone Fri 14-Nov-14 12:51:42

My pleasure Meandbobbymcgee! ( used to love that song and am just about to find it on youtube!)

steppemum Fri 14-Nov-14 12:59:47

basic rule of thumb is always - if it happens at school (even if in their after school club) then you report to school and school deals with it.
If you are not happy about how school deals with it, (on -going bullying I mean) escalate it at school. Ask to see their ant-bullying policy, write in written complaint to chair of governors etc.

The school was in loco parentis at the time, the school was responsible.

Never talk to the child, it is overstepping your responsibility and can been seen as inappropriate (particularly as bullies tend to know when to cry wolf)

Usually I would also say, it is not your job to talk to parents either, it is the schools job. But as you know parents that may be hard. Still, these things quickly tend to turn nasty as it is your child's word against theirs.

Meandbobbymcgee Fri 14-Nov-14 15:17:41

ineedanewone its such a great song, so reminiscent of my youthful days before dealing with bullying at school was even a twinkle in my eye! ...but as the song says 'freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose'

also been listening to the faces in the car on the school run' I wish that I knew what I knew now, when I was younger..' oh the irony

Steppemum - as you insinuate - I could nt really not have told the parents I literally bump into her twice a day in the street and my bedroom overlooks her living room...

but I will be reporting to the school and thanks to you amazing mums for backing me up and stopping me from feeling like the only person on the planet..

zipzap Fri 14-Nov-14 18:44:24

If you know the school is crap at dealing with these sort of things then forewarned is forearmed - study a copy of their bullying policy before going in, highlight anything useful and before they give you their standard response of bolstering your child's responses etc, then you need to say that you have already done this so they don't think they can trot this out and that's dealt with it.

You need to also make it clear to them that you know there is a pattern of bullying behaviour that is not currently being dealt with at all (let alone effectively) and that they are failing in their duty of care to your dd (and all other children being bullied there). Set out what you want them to do, including upping the ante with providing a load of pastoral support and guidance and tie it in with their bullying policy if possible.

And then follow it up with an email summarising your conversation and what their agreed actions are (and yours) and what checks/follow ups are going to happen in the next day/week/month to crack the culture of bullying that exists in the school.

merrymouse Fri 14-Nov-14 18:52:31

Fundamentally, neither you nor the parents can sort this out if you aren't there and you aren't in charge of the situation.

BlueChampagne Fri 14-Nov-14 23:22:43

Anti bullying policy should be accessible on the school's website.

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