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Racism in YR2

(36 Posts)
missedith01 Tue 13-Jun-17 10:49:51


I'm hoping for some suggestions about what to do in this situation, which will hopefully stop me going off in the deep end, which is pretty much what I feel like doing right now.

Just had a conversation with a parent who said that one of their children's best friends is transferring schools at the end of the year because of bullying which was not limited to but certainly contained racist elements.

The child who is leaving is in my DS's class, in year 2. They are amicable but he's not in her group of close friends. The child whose parent I spoke with is a good friend of my DS, and I know the parent well so I believe what he told me.

So my question is, what can I do? What does it make sense to do?

I'm frankly horrified at the moment having only heard this a few minutes ago. I will try and quietly speak with the child's parents in the playground, just to say how sorry I am that they've had to come to this decision , of course.

Would it make sense to speak to the teacher (they're all in the same class)? It isn't my child that's been bullied but I don't want him in an environment where this has happened and I'd like some reassurances that it was dealt with appropriately.

What else? Letter to the governors? As far as I understand the child who has been bullied is definitely going and so there's no chance of making it any worse than it is which is what would hold me back, if anything could.

Has this ever happened near you and what did you do?

missedith01 Tue 13-Jun-17 10:52:12

Sorry, I should have said I plan to speak to my DS too, of course. Nothing really impacts him that's not football/lego related so I suspect I will get a blank look, but ... smile

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Jun-17 10:57:11

A few minutes ago you heard from another parent, that another parent told them they're moving their 6 or 7 year old out of the school, because they say their child was bullied, is that right?

I'm really not sure I'd do anything if I were you? Parents move their children for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it's because they feel their child was bullied and sometimes it's because their child actually was bullied.

But you don't know anything about this individual case so I'd keep out of it if I were you.

And unless you feel there is a bullying culture within the school, writing to governors isn't the right way to go.

missedith01 Tue 13-Jun-17 11:02:30

Thanks for that. I appreciate what you're saying: it's a little more than pure hearsay because the child of the parent that I spoke to was also bullied for sticking up for the child who was originally bullied.

I am worried about the culture. Nail on the head. I wonder if a quiet "I might be way out of line here but I heard ... can you reassure me that everything was done?" with the teacher might be justified ...

2014newme Tue 13-Jun-17 11:04:09

Really? You heard third hand something that may or may not b
W accurate and now you're writing to the governors and speaking to the
teacher and the parents. Are you always a busybody? Do you always get involved in rumours? Have you nothing much to do today?

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Jun-17 11:12:33

I suppose it wouldn't hurt if it makes you feel better, but it does come across as a bit strange.

Asking the teacher to reassure you that the school did everything they should because you heard someone was bullied, is ok in theory but in practice...are you going to do this every time you hear a child was apparently bullied/treated unfairly according to their parents/told their packed lunch wasn't up to standard?

You'll hear so many of these things during your child's years at school. Far too many to involve yourself in.

Unless you have a reason to have no faith in the school whatsoever, I would just leave it.

Rockhopper81 Tue 13-Jun-17 11:13:06

Schools are required to keep a log of all racist incidents, however 'small' or even accidental they may be. So it will be recorded, providing the child and/or parents has notified them of what was said/done (if it hasn't been directly overheard/observed by a member of staff, who is required to report it if they did).

If you have a genuine concern about bullying as an issue in the school, it's fine to raise it, but I wouldn't cite anything to do with what you've heard today - school won't talk to you about it and, in the politest way, it's nothing to do with you.

missedith01 Tue 13-Jun-17 11:14:40

No, 2014newme - I think my post makes pretty clear I'm not doing any of those things. I'm thinking about what I could/should do in these circumstances. I specifically don't want to stick my nose in where it's not justified, which is why I posted here rather than marching to the school with a placard.

2014newme Tue 13-Jun-17 11:16:07

School will not discuss this with you

missedith01 Tue 13-Jun-17 11:18:01

WorraLiberty While I take your point about the impossibility of intervening like that I think comparing racist bullying with a packed lunch not being up to standard is off. The child is leaving her school because of this. It ain't funny.

whoisA Tue 13-Jun-17 11:20:28

TBH it's nothing to do with you, it doesn't affect you or your dc.
Very odd that you would be writing to governors about this.

Ficklemarket Tue 13-Jun-17 11:22:22

Racism is a whole other layer of bullying that you are right to be concerned about even if it has not directly affected you or your child.
As another poster has said, the situation in reality may be different but I would approach the school. I specifically say that I do not want details of individual cases but I want confirmation of your approach to racism and allegations of racism.
Children might trot out crap they hear from home and you don't want it to go unaddressed.
For example, some idiot parents might come out with anti-Muslim crap just because the murderer in Manchester happened to be a Muslim and was apparently involved with other knobheads who justify murder with religious quotes. And their kids parrot it at school.

missedith01 Tue 13-Jun-17 11:22:57

Thanks, Rockhopper81 - that's helpful. It really is that I want to be reassured about the environment my DS is spending time in. I don't want them to tell me about the incidents themselves, like you say, it's not my business. (I'm well aware my first impulse is to dive in and I need to be reminded that it isn't always a good idea.)

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Jun-17 11:26:56

Nobody said it was funny OP.

The point I'm making (in case you didn't understand fully), is that you simply can't get involved in everything to do with things you've heard from other people within the school.

If you have no faith/confidence in the school's ability to deal with these things, then that is a different matter. A matter which I would wholeheartedly urge you to take up with the governing body.

But other than that, you'll wear yourself out checking the school is doing everything they should be over things you've heard.

For all you know, the couple could be removing their child from the school for additional reasons also.

GahBuggerit Tue 13-Jun-17 11:28:33

I think if you try and involve yourself in this you will just look like you are being nosey and trying to get stuck in with the drama which Im sure is an impression you would hate to give. It doesnt sound like you know the actual parents very well either so to sidle up to them in the playground to get the low down would be extremely inappropriate and, again, the actions that only someone wanting to get the gory details would do.

I would trust that the school will handle any future issues that directly involve your DC and obviously involve yourself then but any other cases, in the nicest possible way, are FA to do with you and the school will absolutely not discuss any of it with you except to give you a stock "we dealt with it accordingly". Rightly so.

missedith01 Tue 13-Jun-17 11:36:42

WorraLiberty ... no really, I did understand, and my point was that I wouldn't wear myself out for trivial issues.

I suppose, for me, it's a red flag. I would expect to hear about all kinds of behaviour in this age-group, but somehow not this.

Maybe I'm a bit too optimistic.

WorraLiberty Tue 13-Jun-17 11:39:15

I don't know, perhaps it depends on where you come from?

I live in a very diverse part of East London/Essex, where my local primary has 950 children.

You'll always hear of things like this.

Thankfully the school is excellent at dealing with it swiftly and I have faith in them to continue.

missedith01 Tue 13-Jun-17 11:43:41

GahBuggerit thanks for that.

If I spoke to the parents it would only be to say I'm sorry you're going. I don't know them very well but even at the risk of appearing mad as a hatter I'd probably want to say that. (Having seen it all happen back when I went to school I've really no appetite for drama.)

missedith01 Tue 13-Jun-17 11:46:28

WorraLiberty It's a mixture - I currently live in a rural area but grew up in a city. This is the first time I've experienced it in my DCs school environment.

I'm heartened by what you say about your school.

WannaBe Tue 13-Jun-17 11:49:13

It's none of your business and nobody, not the school or the governors will even entertain your communications regarding a matter which A, has nothing to do with you and B, you have merely heard as a third hand bit of playground gossip.

A parent told you that another parent is removing their child because of (alleged) racist bullying. You don't know for a fact what happened, it didn't involve your child, and if you go up to the parents in the playground you will merely look like an interfering busy body wanting a lowdown on the gossip.

And if you think that seven year olds aren't exposed to this kind of talk then you are woefully naive. As long as you educate your own child wrt the rights and wrongs then you've done all you can. If your child becomes involved in racist playground bullying either as a recipient or a perpetrator, then, and only then, do you become involved with the school's approach.

missedith01 Tue 13-Jun-17 11:51:49

Thanks, WannaBe, that is precisely the bucket of cold water I need. You sound fab. smile

GahBuggerit Tue 13-Jun-17 11:52:03

Sorry I do think its odd to comment on something like this if you don't actually 'know' them.

Depends on what you mean by not knowing them very well - talking to them every day at pick up for a few minutes - probably ok to say "sorry to hear XX is leaving" although if I was the parent Id still think you just wanted to get the gossip (sorry!). Spoke to them once or twice or occasionally I think its appropriate.

The racism might have been perfectly handled but the parents just want out of the school anyway, you will never know unless you get involved though I your DC at risk of racism, is that your concern?

missedith01 Tue 13-Jun-17 12:02:10


" if I was the parent Id still think you just wanted to get the gossip (sorry!)"

Don't be ... I wanted honest opinions ... last thing I want to do is add to their troubles. Well, looks like I'm just going to be repressing as usual, then ... brew

WannaBe Tue 13-Jun-17 12:04:27

Slightly different situation, but a few years ago a child at my DS' primary was temporarily excluded because of behavioural issues. He was actually being assessed at the time but the other parents didn't know that, all that made it to the playground was that the mum had had to come and collect him because he had been violent towards a teacher in class.

Anyway this news quickly spread from the playground to the park and to members of the PTA who were organising that night's school disco, and who rapidly made the judgement that this child, whose behaviour had not been made public knowledge, should be excluded from the disco on their say so as he was under school punishment (which they were not privy to).

It didn't take very long to escalate this child from one who had had a violent incident to one whose behaviour was so violent that clearly all children in the disco were at risk and that they had the ultimate say and would be turning him away at the door. shock when I pointed out that they hadn't been told anything officially and were therefore not at liberty to exclude children on the basis of playground gossip they weren't very impressed.

Fortunately the head set them straight pretty rapidly but it just goes to show how a bit of playground talk can get out of hand when people who only have half the story become involved.

GahBuggerit Tue 13-Jun-17 12:05:15

Its not repressing anything to not press someone you don't know for gossip about their situation. Its pretty normal grin

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