WWYD - DS YR1(38 Posts)
I would appreciate any advice please.
My DS has just started yr1.
Boy A has been harassing him at break time and trying to be rough with him, including kicking.
Boy B has been pushing him over in the playground and whilst DS has been down on the ground on all fours Boy B has been trying to push his head down which hurts DS's neck.
In the classroom Boy B has also been stabbing DS with pencils, pushing him etc.
This has all come out over the past few days. DS has said that 'I'm scared at break time, that's why I like to be on my own'.
We've only been back a week so I want to nip it in the bud before it all escalates but what should I say to the teacher?
DS has a right to feel safe at school but at the moment he's not and is reluctant to go in in the morning.
I'd take it straight to your DS's class teacher-after school on Monday ask if you can have a word, explain what's been happening and ask the teacher how you can deal with it between yourselves and the school.
Hopefully the actions of the teacher will reassure you that they have done sort if policy and are taking you seriously. I'd also ask to have follow up meetings with teacher (daily?)
I think I'll write it all down and give her the letter first thing Monday and ask to meet with her after school to discuss it all. Also, if I write it down then its more likely to be logged?
The part that scares me the most is Boy B stabbing him with the pencil on his torso. That could be really nasty if he did it hard enough in the wrong place.
Boy A is a 'spirited' child and Boy B has SEN so I know they're both on the schools radar.
TBH, I'd go straight in on Monday morning & not leave it until the end of the day. Hope you get sorted.
The teacher probably won't be surprised. Go in for a chat.
Does anyone have an opening line for my letter? I've got complete writers block!
I wouldn't write a letter - it should be dealt with if you talk to his CT.
Catch her in the morning (go in early if you have to) and have a quick word. All you need to say is what you've said here (although I wouldn't mention that you know the other boys have issues)
kiri I quite often get tongue tied and stutter over words so I'm going to write it all down and give it to her in the morning but make it clear that I want to meet with her to discuss it all.
Oh okay, fair enough Hope his CT listens to your concerns and this can be nipped in the bud asap. I know when stff like this happens at DS's school they're very good at dealing with it
If this was my child & he didn't want to go in (quite rightly so!) I wouldn't make him in those circumstances.
I'd phone the school& request a meeting urgently.
That is serious bullying, I wouldn't expect an adult to go somewhere where they are being assaulted and I certainly wouldn't expect a child!
I would demand it stopped immediately. A child shouldn't be expected to be able to deal with it& if the culprits are unable to be managed or supervised adequately then the school is failing.
Perhaps you could phone them on Monday morning to say that he won't be coming into school because of the bullying and you want to speak to someone about it, that will get their attention pretty quickly and probably a meeting with the head and/or class teacher that day.
I had a similar issue with 3 boys picking on DS2 in Year 2. The school were pretty useless about it tbh. In the end I contacted the parents of 2 of them, one was apparently outraged about me contacting her and complained to the school, the other was really understanding and assured me that she would talk to her DS. This made the school sit up and take notice too, so it helped from all angles.
Both of these boys have since been really nice to DS, the other one (whose parents I don't know, so wasn't able to contact personally) is still a little shit, but without his henchmen is not so much of a threat and at least it is all on the record.
Hope you get it sorted soon.
BakeryQueen I feel awful still sending him even though he's having children be violent towards him but if I keep him off, I worry that it will get harder and harder to get him to go in and create more problems later on. That makes me sound really uncaring I know.
A child shouldn't be expected to be able to deal with it& if the culprits are unable to be managed or supervised adequately then the school is failing.
I've written near enough exactly that in my letter because when he complained to a teacher at break time about Boy A he was told to 'stay away from him'. It's not up to my DS to stay away from him, the other boy shouldn't be behaving like that in the first place!
TwoSteps Thanks for your reply. I'm sorry the school were not much use to you, awful that you were left to contact the parents yourself. I'm glad the issues have been mostly resolved for you DS.
Another reason for me writing as well is so that it's more likely to be put on record - do you have to ask for that or do the school do that automatically?
Thank you all.
Our son was bullied by children who had ADHD, were in foster care and had no issues at all. They chose to say there was no bullying going on and had no reason to remove the other children from school.
Be prepared for them not to want to lose the children who bring in more money for them.
Good luck. I hope you have a better outcome than we did.
Umm ... missstrawberry - my DS has ADHD and the school gets no extra money for him because he hasn't got a Statement. And I'm fairly sure that schools don't get extra money for children who are fostered either - they just have to provide them with a place.
Please don't tar all children with SEN with the same brush - DS hasn't ever hit anyone in his life. He did get punched in the face twice last week though
Your poor boy.
My ds suffered from bullying regularly throughout infant and primary school.
You are absolutely right to put it in writing, as you do need to create a paper-trail in the even the school doesn't do enough or is ineffective in dealing with it. They have to keep your letters on file, but there's no harm in asking for it to 'go on record' to make sure that happens.
Go on your school's website and see if they have their school's policies and procedures online, if not, request a copy of their anti-bullying policy first thing on Monday. They have to have one and have to give you one on request. You will then know what they should do and be able to make sure it happens.
I would also deal with it first thing on Monday. Either speak to the teacher and give her a brief idea of the issue, then give her the letter and request a meeting after school or go in a bit early and ask at the office to see the teacher before everyone starts lining up. I favour the second option, as it means the discussion will be private and away from other parents and pupils.
Bullying.co.uk Kidscape and Beat Bullying.org may all be useful websites for you.
If you are not happy with the teacher's reaction, how she deals with it and/or the bullying doesn't stop, escalate your complaint, first to the head of year or key stage, then the Head Teacher and if you are still having problems the Governors. Ultimately, you can go to the Local Education Authority if all else fails, but hopefully the school will act swiftly to deal with the situation and your ds can start to feel safe at school again.
kiriwawa - they did get extra money. The also employed a member of staff who was meant to watch him 1-1. He just waited until she went home early to attack my son.
And nowhere did I say all SEN children were bullies. Just as not all girls like pink. It would be wrong and silly to say it was fact. And I didn't.
MissStrawberry, my ds - the one who was mercilessly bullied by children who apparently had no SEN or 'issues' whatsoever has ASD. He has never hurt a soul, but has been verbally and physically bullied relentlessly over the years, with some of the most serious assaults by children who had no 'issues' at all (other than being vile and disablist).
Kiriwawa is correct. Unless a child has a statement the school does not get any additional funding, 'looked after' pupils have to be given priority in terms of a school place, but don't automatically come with extra funding and even when pupils do have a statement very often the funding barely covers the support they need, so school would often rather pupils didn't have a statement in the first place, due to the way the SEN funding system works
or rather doesn't work.
The "There is no bullying in our school" line is the most common first response of schools and is actually listed as a typical 'evasive response' on the Kidscape bullying page. What it means is simply that the school refuses to acknowledge the bullying and usually that they care more about the reputation of the school than they do the pupils in their care.
Bullying takes place in all schools, good or bad, because, lets face it, children can be horrible to each other and need to be properly guided in appropriate behaviour in order to develop a moral compass. They are children and have a lot to learn, including how to treat others. It's how the school responds to it that makes the difference.
Ok, that child did receive additional funding, but the extra money will have been used to pay for the 1:1 and other support, it wasn't additional funding for the school to use as it pleased and was therefore no reason for them to want to keep the child at the school.
Contrary to what many people think, it is not financially lucrative for schools to have pupils with SEN, regardless of whether or not they come with funding.
Before this turns into bashing me for something I never said I will make it very clear I was making the differential and therefore explaining the schools decision because that is what they chose to do and why.
The school denied any bullying. They didn't want to be seen to be asking for more vulnerable children to be moved so chose to lose several children who had nothing wrong instead.
They were pretty shit and made the whole thing an absolute nightmare.
If anyone is upset by what I have said then obviously I am sorry but this isn't about you or me. I was explaining what happened in our case in the hope it helps the OP.
I'm not bashing you MissStrawberry, just trying to make sure that the old commonly held belief that SEN pupils are lucrative to schools and therefore somehow given preferrential treatment over other pupils is not perpetuated.
I'm very sorry your dc was bullied and that the school was ineffectual and dismissive about it. I know how wretched it makes you feel when your child is being bullied and the school refuses to recognise it. There is no excuse for their response, but it's actually one of the most common responses whether or not pupils with SEN or looked after children are involved.
The bullying websites I linked to are very useful for learning about your dc's rights and the best way to escalate complaints until the school is no longer in a position to deny the bullying.
It's a sad fact though that often it's the victim, rather than the bully that ends up moving class or leaving the school, as many schools are outrageously bad at handling bullying properly.
Strawberry I'm sorry your DS was bullied too. Boy B is statemented and there is a full time TA in their class for him but she is shared with the 3 other children in his class who are also statemented. So there's never a 1:1 TA for him but a 1:4.
Thank you Moose. That's very useful information and good websites. I've looked up the schools anti-bullying policy to quote bits in my letter and it looks good. They count bullying as 'whenever a child feels that he/she has been intentionally mistreated by another, in whatever form that takes.' which is good because I've read with horror on here that some schools only accept it's bullying if it's been a string of continued attacks.
Soullessbutsunny, wishing you strength tomorrow to sort this out for your little boy.
As well as handing over the letter in the morning please also mention that he is being bullied & scared to go to school & that you strongly insist he is looked after & any incidents prevented not just reacted to.
Stress the urgency because all the time it is taken to get sorted will be time that your son's confidence is being destroyed.
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