my D was sexually assaulted on a school trip - Advice needed(23 Posts)
Hi, please bare with me this is my first ever post.
I feel like I'm not really being heard so I was wondering if anyone on here had any experience or advice similar that may help me feel like I'm doing something positive for my children.
Let me start by saying I'm a mum of 5, all under 11yrs. I'm a stay at home mum with anxieties which focus around my children (mainly their safety)
Last may we went through a horrible ordeal where my second oldest child, my (then 8) daughter was abducted by 13 & 15 year old boys who we never previously knew but later found out lived in the area. A few weeks previous my D celebrated her 8th birthday and with the jelp of my counsellor at Link I started to allow my two elder children to play in front of the house with their friends. This was where she was taken, for other 2.5hrs later found by armed police being held by these "lads" come December the case was dropped as in the eyes of the law there wasn't enough to prosecute. This resulted in my family having to move home, the police didn't feel she would be safe staying where we were.
We moved 40 minutes away from all family and friends to a new school and home in January.
Going to a new school meant any previous help with my D's education (she had her own support teacher due to mental health reasons) stopped. This new school was proving to be very ignorant of my D's needs so I started to complain about this.
Fast forward to last week, my two elder children were due to go on a trip with the school to an activity site (a bit like a camp) for 5 days. I paid over £500 for them both to go.
They were due to leave on the Monday, so on the Friday I started to become nervous and thought I would contact the deputy head. They promised me my children would be absolutely fine, settled my worries about D and said they had already spoken to the 6 teachers who will be accompanying them.
Being the anxious mother I am I still wanted to speak to D's teacher who I knew was also going. I explained my concerns of D not wanting to take part and they were already aware of her mental health anything so understood. They too promised to keep an extra close eye on her.
So, Monday they left. I had no contact until the Friday when my son got off the coach with a black eye. I immediately put it down to the activities or playground play. He's 11, loves football and a real lad.
They got in the house and that's when my son told us what happened on TUESDAY evening.
This is where things get emotional and messy...
He explained him and a couple friends were outside in the dark along with all the other children playing a game where they collect cards. He heard a girl upset and went with his friends to investigate. When he arrived he saw it was his little sister. Behind her was a bigger boy in their school holding her arms behind her back, infront of her was a boy also in their school "humping" her (In his words) his friend got the boy from behind off and the other friend got the boy from the front while he took his sister to a member of staff at this centre, there were NO teachers around.
this member of staff asked my son and his friends to go collect the two boys, when they did a fight started and resulted in my son having a black eye, his friend being hit and another friend being hit in the nose causing a bleed.
a teacher then arrived and only dealt with the assault, not sexual assault.
she sent the boys to their rooms for 2 minutes and left it at that.
my D was asked what happened she told them and nothing was done.
later that night that same teacher knocked on her door and asked her if she was ok, my D replied yes and the teacher asked if she wanted to see her brother. on her way to her brother another teacher and centre staff member asked D what happened, again she told them. she then saw her brother and went back to her room.
NOTHING was done, my D spent the rest of her week upset, down and not wanting to play on the activities.
I found all this out on FRIDAY evening, at first i didn't want to believe it after what happened last year so I would wait until monday and speak to the school, maybe my children had it wrong?
come Saturday the mother of the boy who "humped" D rang me, she was very distressed and apologised for her sons behaviour. she said he told her the whole truth and she was devastated. she asked why I hadn't called the police and I explained I hadn't believed it until she confirmed it.
sunday morning we decided to report it to the police.
come Monday morning my younger children went into school as usual but we took the older two to reception, we wanted a meeting with the head.
he practically walked passed us after we waited for him and got in his car and drove off, we ended up having to deal with the deputy. (the one who called me that Friday before)
she didn't know anything about the incident which prompt my husband to ask why, even just assault a smack to the face is a head injury we should have been notified. atleast spoken to by teachers when we collected them.
she had no explanation.
in the end my son decided he wanted to stay in school, my D didn't. she came home with me because she said if the boys were still at school she didn't feel safe.
it is now Tuesday and the boys are still at the school while my d stays home. to me she should be at school and the boys suspended, surely?
the advice I need is, the police say there's nothing criminal they can do as the boys are 9yrs old. a year under the criminal responsible age. I guess I don't have much choice but accept that?
they previously agreed to investigate the school and the activity centre to find out why there were no staff supervising and why this could happen.
I've since been told the only thing I can do is write a complaint to the school, which I will do (once I figure out what to actually say) and then a letter to board of directors of the school.
To me it seems so pointless, basically yes a serious incident occurred but we wont be dealing with it you will have to write a complaint as well as deal with your family and the emotions along with that... is there anything more I can do that will actually get me anywhere?
I will still do the complaint but that will take weeks/months for them to even acknowledge it and by the way the school have been since we came here I can see they are the type to sweep issues under the carpet.
any help is greatly appreciated, I'm sorry for the long post.
Is this in the UK?
If so I would be phoning Social services on their emergency number now, and the key phrase I would be using is that: "The school failed to safeguard your daughter's safety".
She (and maybe others of your children) should not return to this school until you are ensured that proper safeguards are put in place.
Second contact social services.
I've reported your post, only because you have written your child's name.
I also suggest you call social services for advice. This is a safeguarding fail on the schools part. They should be able to help you deal with the school and their involvement will force school to listen.
I'd be expecting the head teacher to be in contact by now given your conversation with the deputy. I'd also expect a referral to social services etc. I'm no expert, but there should be school policies that you can see and these will have been breached in multiple ways.
I would like to post by out that you have used one child's name in your post - report it to MNHQ to get it edited out.
unfortunately we are already involved in social services (on going from the time she was abducted last may and because of her mental health making her vulnerable) so yes they are aware. They visited yesterday heard what happened and spoke to the police today but when I mentioned the school not safeguarding my children he didn't really seem interested. He was more interested in what happened on the trip & why she is home and the boys are still at the school than the school actually being at fault. Everything seems to be a bit surreal I guess when I hear of things like this I imagine the school doing more, the police doing more and everyone taking it seriously. it seems a bit like a movie being played out wrong and even though the lad admitted to it and having so many children witness the events happen the adults involved don't really want to believe it.
already my D is being victimised as she's told to stay home when its the boys who should be at their homes punished, am I wrong? like I said I just feel like this whole thing is a dream, why is nothing being done? has society accepted children committing sexual assault on each other?
oh dear I'm sorry I didn't realise I put a name in my post, any idea how I can edit that? I'm very new this is my first ever post, I did try to keep this as safe as possible
To get the post edited press the report tab and in the message box ask MN HQ to edit it for you. I have reported it too.
There should be someone at the school specifically responsible for safe guarding so find out who that is and speak to them as a first step.
Definitely get your letter of complaint done asap (PM me if you struggle with that sort of thing, I write a good letter if I do say so myself ) and send copies to the head, safeguarding officer, board of governors and education department, the more people you involve the better.
Also worth contacting your MP if you don't get a satisfactory outcome from your letter. I really feel for you OP, your DD is being badly let down by the school here and you are doing absolutely the right thing not letting them sweep it under the carpet
Ive reported to hq for you who will sort it as soon as it is picked up.
thank you Mummytime. I've reported and asked.
I'm told ofsted wont be any good as its an academy not a school? don't know how true that is but I guess I could try
Find out who is the named Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) every authority has to have one. Should be able to just Google LADO and the area. Report it to him/her. That's exactly what their job is- to ensure school's safeguarding is all it should be.
You need to look at the school's complaints policy and follow that (I think). But OFSTED has the same role whether an academy or not.
Have you considered reporting the boy to social services in case he is being sexually abused leading to this behaviour? This is not just bullying it is serious and you can also go over your social workers head if he is trivialising it. What does your daughter and son's child psychologist say? It will have affected the sons as well
Ofsted (it's only independent schools they don't have remit for) with the specific safeguarding concerns and saying you don't feel your child is safe.
I'd also contact the school and ask for a meeting with the child protection/safeguarding officer and outline your concerns.
Also your social worker should have referred this into LADO!
The schools safeguarding teacher is the deputy (the one who also rang me before they left and promised me D will be ok and she has briefed the staff)
Social worker came over Monday evening, nothing since so I'm not sure what he's doing. Maybe stuff in the background?
A police officer called yesterday and explained it's up to the school to suspend the boys, they aren't criminally able to do anything as both boys are only 9. Apparently it means kids can do this sort of thing and it's ok?
Monday and Tuesday I had to ASK for work for my D to do at home, I had to go out my way to collect the work. This morning I took the work she had done (which for a year 5 was terrible, I.e one piece was "describe what a saucepan is" the second piece was to answer some questions based on a story you can make up, this work took her all of 20 mins each of the days. It was pointless.
When I took the work in expecting some for the rest of the week there was nothing, told they'd call me later.
No call so I called them hours later and they still hadn't spoken to any teacher for any work.
It's bad enough she's off school for this and not the boys but to not give her work is ridiculous.
I will try and start the complaint letter tonight, I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to start it without blabbering on for thousands of pages.
They've failed her from that Tuesday evening and it seems to continue even though she's not there.
Wrote to the governors factually listing everything that has happened in bullet points.
Ask why the boys ha e not been diciplined and how they are going to safe guard your child because the school is failing in their duty of care.
Also contact social services about these boys and report them through official channels - not through your own personal social worker.
At that age to be fair - that kind of behaviour is a huge red flag that the boys could be being abused themselves or at least exposed to inappropriately sexual material.
thank you, I'm doing the bullet points now as I type this.
feel like my head will explode, still have the house duties 5 kids their after school activities and now this to add to the list. sitting down writing complaints wasn't what id thought id be doing when I found out what happened but I guess no one else will do it for me. putting the big girl panties on x
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