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Bullying, school being 'forgetful'?

(17 Posts)
CatherineOfAbdomen Fri 15-May-15 19:31:02

I'll try and keep this brief, but don't want to drip feed or out myself..
DD year 8 has had some issues with 3 girls at school, one in particular who has a sidekick to back her up, with the occasional 3rd girl who joins in when the mood takes her. It has mainly been nasty comments, attempts to exclude from activities etc, the usual stuff. DD has tried to ignore, walk away, but the girls concerned accuse her of being rude, so she has now started to hold her ground. All 4 girls have seen the year head who has tried to get them to make peace or leave each other alone.

My dd however is a bit of a loner (many aspies traits) and struggles with the complexities of friendships, if any of the other girls are on their own for whatever reason, they seek out my dd to fill their otherwise lonely lunch hour. She then thinks they are her friend, once the 2 or 3 have regrouped they are as bad as ever and she doesn't know if she is coming or going?

DD was pushed by the main ringleader this week, which in itself wouldn't be too bad ony she is recovering from major surgery and has to be very careful.
DD went to speak to head about it the next day. In the mean time, unbeknownst to my dd, the girl had already gone to the year head to complain that my dd had hurt her feelings over a lunchtime comment about a cornish pasty confused.

When questioned in the corridor by the year head, the girl said she nudged her but only after being pushed first, her friend backed her up.
My dd said when she was pushed she was caught by a classmate (who may or may not have seen what occurred ? so she might be able to substantiate what happened. The school are denying my dd told them this, are considering the matter closed and are not talking to anyone else regarding the matter.

School have contacted me, made quite a big deal about the nastiness regarding cornish pasty-gate and have expressed concern about my dd's isolation and lack of friendships.
They are sticking to the nudge story as 'they have no CCTV to see what really happened'
I want to go in and ask why they appear to be brushing it under the carpet, but I don't know whether I am making something out of nothing, as at the moment I am hyper protective of my dd as she has been through so much for the last 2 years with her illness.
I would apprecaite some feedback (please be gentle)

CatherineOfAbdomen Fri 15-May-15 19:47:48

Blatant bump as off active convos within seconds blush

CatherineOfAbdomen Fri 15-May-15 20:38:23

Giving it another whirl.

CatherineOfAbdomen Sat 16-May-15 08:20:32

Anybody?

WaitingForMe Sat 16-May-15 08:26:40

I'm sorry to hear your daughter is having a hard time. I think it needs pointing out to the school that they do not have the right to deem a matter closed if a parent has serious concern that they feel has not been addressed.

Has your daughter got a SENCO? My eldest stepson's team bridges the gap between our concerns and the schools authority

CatherineOfAbdomen Sat 16-May-15 08:32:13

Thanks so much for replying. No she doesn't have a SENCO, she has a health officer who is in charge of her physical health plan.
I was thinking about going to the school, but didn't know if I was over reacting.

Bursarymum Sat 16-May-15 08:32:55

You are not making something of nothing. This is an horrible situation for your dd and she must be feeling really miserable right now. Does she have a diagnosis? Even worse is the fact the school are brushing it under the carpet when a vulnerable girl is being bullied.

The first thing I would say is that you need to put all this in writing to the school. Unless something is in writing, they can just pretend it didn't happen. You need to point out that your daughter is vulnerable (in writing) and that as such the school have a duty of care.

This thing of being friends with her only some of the time is typical nasty girl behaviour and would be confusing for any child, let alone one who has AS (have you read Cat's Eye?)

If the school will not address this, then you need to think about complaining to the local authority. But please don't think that you shouldn't push for there to be an end to this. The school have been very unhelpful at this point. My dd is 11 and we had a recent situation where some girls were being nasty to her on the bus. I told her form teacher and she spoke to the girls that day and told them if they did not stop, their parents would be called into school. Your dd deserves better than this.

Bursarymum Sat 16-May-15 08:34:23

You are definitely not overreacting.

CatherineOfAbdomen Sat 16-May-15 08:38:22

She doesn't have an AS diagnosis, she has always been 'quirky' or somewhere between 'odd' and a f***ing freak' depending on how polite someone is being.
I have read a little on AS and it raised the question in our minds. The past couple of years however have been consumed with adddressing her physical issues.
I shall seek out Cat's Eye however.

CatherineOfAbdomen Sat 16-May-15 08:39:44

I'm so glad you don't think I'm over reacting. She's an only so I'm always aware I may be being a bit pfb and all that.

Alonglongway Sat 16-May-15 08:46:44

I have teen DDs......it's endlessly tricky.

I'd be more inclined to try and build up her sense of how she wants to go forward - does she actually want to be friends with these girls? Cos it gets worse - mine are now 17 and almost 15 and I think 14 is a really rough stage.

It sounds like they are all running to the head of year and maybe s/he is running out of patience?

Maybe you could run through the pasty-gate incident with your DD and talk about how she could have played it differently so she's forearmed for when these things happen. Could she still have had a dig but without getting herself in trouble? Or are these girls out to get her so she should just stay away

On the friendship stuff, yes this goes on and on - we seem to have been talking about it at home for 10 years! I use the metaphor of tectonic plates shifting - ie that the plates drift together and apart from time to time for no discernible reason. So it becomes more about strategies for finding friends and things you want to do rather than feeling hurt about some random mean girls - if that makes sense

When do they take their GCSE options - our choose in year 8 and start the courses in year 9 and that did seem to help. They find themselves in classes that enjoy the subjects and new friendships flow from that

Bursarymum Sat 16-May-15 08:54:11

Nobody should ever have to put up with being called 'a f* freak' there is a difference between general girl bickering and 3 girls repeatedly ganging up on one who is already more vulnerable. Girls do tend to fall in and out of friendships easily sometimes but I think this is a different situation and I'm disgusted that the school seem to be victim blaming your dd in shifting onto comments about her socialisation. Can you also speak to and get advice from any of the professionals who work with your dd and try to get their support?

Cat's Eye is a novel by Margaret Atwood - it's about a woman who has never got over the bullying from her supposed 'friend', Cordelia.

Bursarymum Sat 16-May-15 08:57:01

Catherine - perhaps you could also post this in SN? There are a lot of mums there who have children with AS or traits and they may be able to give you some more advice. I have three dds btw and if anything like this is happening to any of them, I do always approach the school with the expectation that it will be dealt with.

CatherineOfAbdomen Sat 16-May-15 08:57:35

They don't choose options until year 9.
We have discussed pasty-gate, which started off as an innocent discussion about food, animal welfare and health. My dd was then accused of saying that the other girl would die if she ate any more.
It's so ridiculous.
With 3 teen girls I don't know how you manage.
She has tried to stay away, but they seek her out.

CamelHump Sat 16-May-15 09:00:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CatherineOfAbdomen Sat 16-May-15 09:02:12

Thanks for that advice Bursary mum. I'm a bit reluctant though as I wouldn't want to offend parents who have a diagnosis for their children.
There is only one lady at school who deals with my dd's physical health plan, she's new and not quite on the ball yet.

Bursarymum Sat 16-May-15 09:08:12

You won't offend anyone, believe me smile I use the SN board for my oldest dd - she has classic autism though so I don't have experience of AS but I've definitely read similar kinds of issues that crop up like this on that board.

Maybe another thing to consider is that a diagnosis may help your daughter. Sometimes a diagnosis is needed to get recognition and support. That's a personal thing though.

But the first thing is to write a letter or email to the head of the school. The head of year has not been helpful so go higher. The problem with some teachers is that if they themselves were queen bee bullies at school, they never sympathise with the victims.

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