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'its not bullying'

(26 Posts)
sugarsophie2323 Sun 09-Oct-16 15:12:57

Hi everyone, help needed please!

My daughter is in year 4 and has had several problems with one girl in particular. it started in year 3 when they got put in the same class. Both are unable to get on. My daughter has come out of school many times in tears, talking about how particularly nasty this girl can be and then doesn't want to line up to go in to class in the morning. I have spoken to the teachers many times, and when they briefly get involved, the girl becomes a 'friend' although not for long.

The girl is very confident compared to my daughter. Lately my daughter has been playing with friend they have in common, although this girl has come over to them and demanded to this connecting friend that she plays with her and not my daughter. This has gone on for over a week.a physical altercation happened as a result in which the girl scratched my daughter and my daughter feeling hurt stamped on her foot back. (I have always said never hurt anyone unless anyone hurts you). my daughter told me that evening what had happened.

im friendly with both girls parents and talked about whats gone on. I have also involved the school. the other girl has denied any physical altercation has happened at all and then changed her story to 'something may have but she doesn't remember?'

The Head teacher has all three parents in to meet together and has maintained that this is 'not bullying, its a friendship problem, as the school has an excellent anti bullying policy'.
would I be the only one to disagree?!

ample Sun 09-Oct-16 15:22:53

Oh well, if the head says they have an 'excellent anti bullying policy' hmm.
(Some) heads can become defensive as they see a parental concern as a complaint and a criticism of how they run the school.

No you wouldn't be the only one to disagree. I would class this as bullying.
Plenty of children don't get along but are able to coexist within the classroom or playground environment. This doesn't sound like the case to me. I say this as a parent who has needed to take photo evidence of marks and bruises (on DD) into the school office only days after I was told there wasn't a bullying issue.

ample Sun 09-Oct-16 15:31:37

I would ask the school what their anti-bullying policy is, because if this isn't bullying (according to teaching staff), it certainly has the potential to develop. Children push boundaries and will attempt to push more, especially if there know there are zero consequences to their actions.

sugarsophie2323 Sun 09-Oct-16 15:36:19

Thank you! This scratching incident was done at lunchtime, she said it hurt but there was no marks by what I can see. I don't doubt it happened cuz she told me she hurt her back. I think she felt guilty for hurting someone bk which is why she told me.

It's worried me like mad that every incident is going to be branded a 'friendship problem'angry

ample Sun 09-Oct-16 15:55:15

The girls aren't friends. What do the other parents say about it?
I had a similar problem within a group of girls in DD's year 2 class. It escalated into year 3 where it became physical, but imo it's the emotional secretive bitchy stuff that can do just as much damage, if not more.
By year 4 girls are old enough to be able to separate themselves and stay clear. And the other girl you are talking about isn't doing this.
I'm not sure what your next steps are, presuming your DD knows to give this girl a wide berth. Are all the teachers aware? (if they say it's a friendship problem then putting the girls together isn't going to make them bond)
This isn't just a new concern for you as you say, problems started last year.
It was a two year hassle for us, mainly because the girl bullying DD was so sly. She was red-handed in the end but it left a mark with my DD who is now wary. It really shouldn't have to go that far. Nip it in the bud is what the school needs to do, not throw a blanket over it and brand it as 'friendship problem'.
I'm sure schools have a lot of friendship issues between children but when children themselves are getting hurt it's time for a step up.

ample Sun 09-Oct-16 15:57:00

Correction, caught red handed

BackforGood Sun 09-Oct-16 15:59:49

Well - from what you've posted - it doesn't sound like bullying to me either. Bullying is horrific, and a much overused word IMVHO.
That said, the fact the school have an anti-bullying policy like all schools isn't the thing that makes it not bullying.

The most important things though is to get it sorted out - give your dd some strategies, agreed with the school, not worrying about the word.

Optimist3 Sun 09-Oct-16 16:01:14

look up the definition of bullying and see if it fits? You can call it bullying and then tell them what the definition is!! Read it out. They are trying to underplay things

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Sun 09-Oct-16 16:02:46

This is relational aggression and IS a form of bullying. Look it up, there's quite a lot out there describing it from early ages through to teens and adults.

AmeliaLeopard Sun 09-Oct-16 16:07:19

Bullying involves a power imbalance - that might be because one child is older, stronger etc or because it is a group picking on one. Two children not getting along, or even one child being horrid to another isn't necessarily bullying.

However, it doesn't matter if it is technically bullying or not - it must be stopped. If it is affecting your daughter to the extent she doesn't want to go to school you need to focus on that - how are they going to help your daughter to feel safe and happy at school?

sugarsophie2323 Sun 09-Oct-16 16:09:39

The other girls mother's don't seen a problem as their girls aren't going home unhappy or saying anything. We had a incident a couple of weeks ago where my daughter went up in assembly to pick up her commendation and the girl was sat with her middle finger up at her. She went to tell the teacher and the teacher just told her to sit down, my daughter said the teacher didn't see it but she didn't get chance to tell him.

The head teacher is new ( previously the deputy head), I don't want to get nasty about it with him, but I feel as though I wasn't listened to at all. I felt like a naughty school child myself being called in with the others, being accused of making a big deal out of what is supposed to be considered 'normal friendship behaviour'.

sugarsophie2323 Sun 09-Oct-16 16:12:59

On the Governments stop bullying website what has happened comes under social bullying. I just don't see how the school class it as any different. how horrific is it supposed to before it is classed as bullying?!

Starlight2345 Sun 09-Oct-16 16:31:58

Whether this is or isn't hard to say based on not knowing anything.. One thing I would say is what you need to do regardless of this is to teach your DD how to handle these situations.

I have a ds who is susceptible to been picked on by other kids..He is a kind emotional little boy...What I have had to do with him is to tell him he has to stand up for himself, He has now started tae kwon do and self defence. I have done stuff to increase his self esteem. Role play and discuss how she can manage these situations. I have banned my DS from crying in front of other children when they upset him ( strangely works) I have told him they do not deserve to see his tears and save them for mum.

AmeliaLeopard Sun 09-Oct-16 16:41:00

It's not about how horrific, it's about how the school defines bullying. In our case, the main points are that it must be repeated and involve a power imbalance.

So an older child punching a younger child in the face is horrific and must be dealt with, but isn't bullying unless it is ongoing.

An older child repeatedly calling a younger child names, however, would be bullying. Even though it isn't as horrific as a broken nose.

Trying to prove it is bullying is sidetracking - the important thing is how are the school going to ensure your child feels safe and happy in school?

sugarsophie2323 Sun 09-Oct-16 16:46:58

Thank you Starlight2345, and everyone else for their help. I have told her to take no notice of her, she has her outlet in gymnastics, which she gets a boost from having to do different challenges. She has many other friends, her school reports all say how popular she is, however i'm finding the connecting friend happens to pull the other one in tow! I tell her not to worry about it and ive previously passed it off. ive told her not to cry, ive found she doesn't she just gets iratated about situation, comes home moody and it comes out on me, my husband and my sons. its to the point now where ive thought about this situation all weekend and nothing else. Maybe its the parental instinct.

Im hoping to see the head master again the morning, with my husband too.

(sorry about my horrendous spelling, trying to talk, whilst distracting myself by doing an assignment!) tia.

Optimist3 Sun 09-Oct-16 16:48:53

Email the head and explain that the girls are not friends and that the relational aggression/bulling needs to stop. And how do they intend to do that?

sugarsophie2323 Sun 09-Oct-16 16:52:32

Amelialeopard, they are the same age and what happens keeps occurring till a teacher gets involved briefly and then it starts again. the physical incident is the first time, however I don't want it to get to a point where either child hurts eachother again. if my daughter has this happen again, I don't want her too think that nothing will get done about it so she wont tell anyone.

I asked the same question, and he referred it back to building relationships between them, same as whats been done before. Which it never resolves anything. I just kept getting told its not bullying.

sugarsophie2323 Sun 09-Oct-16 16:56:49

Thank you optimist3, Im going to say the morning that I cant let it go to have it continue a couple of weeks down the line.

Optimist3 Sun 09-Oct-16 17:57:27

You could also say that it's part of a cycle and how it keeps happening and temporarily stops each time you raise the issue. How you need it up stop permanently.

AmeliaLeopard Sun 09-Oct-16 18:03:50

Well they need to come up with a better solution. Even if it as simple as 'stay away from each other'. Keep calm, explain that their solution isn't working, so they need to try something else. Don't get sidetracked into the definition of bullying - the important thing is that this stops.

Some head teachers like to minimise, some like to feel superior. It is possible that much of the behaviour falls in to the realm of normal falling out at this age (I teach secondary where falling out and name calling is very common), but if your daughter is distressed by it then something must be done. Physical altercations should be taken seriously, regardless of the ages involved. ANY physical fights in my (secondary) school result in fixed-term exclusion. Violence is utterly unacceptable and children need to be taught that.

AmeliaLeopard Sun 09-Oct-16 18:04:36

Sorry, should say that some head teachers are awesome - I'm not bashing all heads!

sugarsophie2323 Sun 09-Oct-16 19:25:15

I'm glad I'm not their age! They have it hard. Thank you, hopefully tomorrow it will sorted.

RandomMess Sun 09-Oct-16 19:34:04

I would go with the attitude of "I appreciate that this is a friendship issue in that it is social bullying. It has been going on for x months with my DD being regularly distressed. The school needs to step up and help it be resolved properly."

Be clear what they need to do and why...

If still no assistance then you go down the put it in writing route quoting their anti-bullying policy!

sugarsophie2323 Sun 09-Oct-16 19:52:42

Thanks! If nothing gets done, and I go down the putting it in writing route, do you know how far I can take it? I understand this is more formal, just I felt like everything I highlighted was over looked and it was about getting them to be friends..again. I'm not holding out hope I get listened to again.

RandomMess Sun 09-Oct-16 20:22:03

Take it up through their policy which must be published and they must adhere to.

Helping them all to make good and kind choices is so so important, why aren't they doing this? Why are they ignoring social bullying? It's not ok!!!

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