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Please cayou help me: is this bullying behaviour?

(6 Posts)
wonderwoo Mon 09-May-16 11:18:46

My son had problems with another boy at school when he was only 5. It started as the boy hurting him - generally by wringing/squeezing his arm hard so that it hurt regularly (daily) and deliberately, when adults weren't looking. When this was addressed, but then it turned into other types or physical hurt, such as stamping on his foot and running a wooden cart hard at his shins, squeezing his arms around my son's neck so hard that it hurt. This was happening on a regular basis, mainly when teachers were not looking.

Eventually the physical side stopped (for a while), but it turned into scribbling on his work, preventing him from playing with other people and saying things that upset him (such as how he wanted to hurt his little brother amongst other things), being destructive towards other people and blaming it on my son etc etc. My son ended up not being able to play with anybody else, and so either had to be alone, or was forced to play with this boy. If he tried to play with other the people, the boy would spoil games, and scare them away in some way. If my son tried to get away from him, he would follow, threaten and physically prevent him from getting past. He used threats about getting my son in trouble in order to stop him telling a teacher. When my son did tell an adult, he would say my son had done things to him that he hadn't.

When questioned by adults, the boy admitted to doing these things, and his parents agreed that he behaved like this at home. There was no question that this wasn't happening.

My son showed signs of stress: he was withdrawn and sad, would cry at me leaving him at school, started crying at night, would not eat or sleep well, twirled his hear to the point of having a bald patch, and so on. The school did nothing, and so we eventually removed our son from the school (after a year of this occurring).

I think that this is bullying, given that it was repeated and deliberate actions towards my son, designed to hurt him in some way (either emotionally, socially or physically). The school did not invoke their bullying policy. Their definition of bullying is "Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally" and I feel that this fits what happened to my son.

I tried complaining to the head and governors and they just told me that there wasn't any problem. I feel so upset that this happened, but most of all that it was minimized and not dealt with by the school (they went down the victim blaming route, saying my son should be more assertive, whilst not addressing the root of the problem). I feel like I need to report to the LEA why we left the school, as it seems that the school can just behave how they like and ignore bullying.

I am new to dealing with schools and was somewhat naive to all of this and how schools work. I just want to check with other people, who are not involved: would you consider my son to have been bullied? I appreciate it is not severe in the scheme of the type of bullying that I have read about on here, but it did affect him deeply and he was only 5/6 years old. It was made worse by the school ignoring and denying the problem. If you would let me know what you think I would appreciate it. Thanks.

Kanga59 Mon 09-May-16 21:18:17

That's definitely.bullying.

In an ideal world you would have kept contemporaneous notes and evidence including emails to school reporting the incidents over time.

report to ofsted for failure to safeguard?

Dragongirl10 Mon 09-May-16 21:25:24

I am amazed you even have to ask..in the nicest possible way!

This was rotten bullying ..think I would have taken my dc out pretty quickly..l found the response 'he behaves the same at home infuriating' ...why are some parents so inept at parenting.

How is you poor son now op? is he in a better school? I really hope he is happier.

I would write to OFSTEAD detailling what has happened.

CodyKing Mon 09-May-16 22:33:15

This is a very grey area - schools don't want to know - LA send you back to school - OFSTEAD aren't interested - there's no "reason"for leaving a school - no records kept of incidents - it's a disgrace and yet it goes on and On -

Sorry no help - I wish they would change the "law" so every incident was recorded - the Govenors kept a log and reviewed it -

wonderwoo Tue 10-May-16 15:26:09

Thank you all for your replies

Dragon - I realise, reading it through now, that it seems silly to ask. The thing is it all took my by surprise, and kept evolving into new types of bullying. Add to that, my confidence has taken a knock because of the school minimising everything, and making out I was being "over-anxious". It has lead to me questioning myself about everything, all the time, so I wanted to check it out with you wise MNers.

And yes, my son is at a lovely school now, that puts a lot of emphasis on behaviour. He is happy again: full of enthusiasm and joy for life. And he is learning slowly to trust again, that adults will help him.

CodyKing - it is a disgrace, I agree. It seems to me that headteachers don't really have to answer to anyone. I just want the reasons whey we left the school written down somewhere, in black and white. I am amazed that no one collects that data. I am not sure ofsted are interested in this stuff? I will write to the LEA but don't expect to get anywhere really. It makes me so sad that children are left to suffer in this way.

CodyKing Tue 10-May-16 17:33:06

Write to your MP -

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