Handling year 7 friendships(4 Posts)
NC for this in case it's recognisable: It is going to be long.
I have a dd in year 7 at a largish comprehensive. They seem good on bullying issues etc. but I'd like advice on how to handle this.
Background is dd was bullied verbally by her form, and also by her apparent best friend in year 6, so we deliberately sent her away from the majority of her school (large primary) and she was put in a form in year 7 where she knew no one. Actually I was pleased as it gave her a chance to break away.
Basically towards Christmas she started referring to her "friends". Very happy, lots of texting etc. She was going round in a group of 5 girls and they seemed to be fine with her.
Of the other 4 girls they were in sort of pairs from best friends from their previous school.
I'm going to call them A and B (best friends) and C and D (best friends). Both pairs have a stronger one and a weaker one personality wise: Lets assume A and C are the stronger ones. (confused yet?)
Now after Christmas she started getting closer to B. She started doing things out of school with her. A at this time started going off with C and D.
After a few weeks of dd doing things with B, A suddenly started being nasty to dd. Things like they'd be told to get into a 3 and she would go and ask the teacher if A,B,C,D could be in a four, leaving dd on her own. Or asking dd to save a space at lunch then going and sitting elsewhere, and coming and asking any of the others sitting with dd to go with A.
Then nasty comments started, especially coming when dd was doing something after school with B. And the demanding B does things with her on days that she's got a prior arrangement with dd. Usually consists of A telling dd that B can't do it/doesn't want to do it because .... It never has resulted in B not doing it with dd.
Last week was particularly bad with her telling dd that B doesn't like her etc. When that didn't work she told B that dd and D had done something and dd came home in tears saying that B wasn't talking to them and she didn't know why.
That was sorted over the weekend.
Now having talked last weekend to B's mum, she says that she and B are sick of A's behaviour. And she's been talking to B about it for some time. When they talk B always says she's going to stand up to A and not let her be nasty, but when actually faced with A she can't do it. I understand this totally, dd would be exactly the same if it was her ex-best friend.
There are other incidents, such as one project they were put together and A did absolutely nothing, but refused to let some of dd's best work go in, meaning they got lower marks than they should have, which really upset dd as she had done the work.
Now: My problem is that I can see this escelating and I want the school to be aware that she is deliberately causing problems for dd before she blames her for something dd ends up in trouble for. BUT the issue is that she's very manipulative. I suspect strongly that A'll turn it all round to blame B, and have the support from C for this. I don't think, given a crunch that B will stand up before a teacher and agree that A is being nasty either.
So I don't really want A pulled out and disciplined, because I suspect she will manipulate it into dd being the bad one and B will feel she has to stick up for her. Or she will turn it round and B will get all the blame.
If dd is approached as well it is very likely she will deny it all.
I think what I want is:
1. The group to be given help on working together. Dd would be very happy to be friends with them all, but she would be very wary of A (and C too) for the time being.
2. In lessons teachers to make sure that ABCD aren't in one group leaving dd out.
3. Teachers to be aware that A is bullying dd and not take anything she says dd did as truth.
How do I get this across on the telephone, as if I go in and dd sees me she will get very upset? Or would a letter be better?
I think a face to face chat with school (form tutor / head of year) would be best. Tell it like it is, they will be good at handling issues like this discreetly. Try to nip this in he bud - or at least get your concerns on record in case it does escalate. Good luck to you and DD. x
I used to be a yr7 tutor in a girl's school. You need to talk to the tutor and head of year, they need to be filled in on the situation so they can keep an eye on it and decide what the best way to handle this is.
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