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Need clarification about language used when dealing with bullying.

(32 Posts)
Stressedaboutthis Wed 07-Feb-18 08:34:54

I need some clarification, explanation and advice over the following situation.

My DC is one of many who are on the receiving end of some terrible behaviour at our school by one child. I would say it is on the top end of the scale of bad behaviour with physical violence and verbal abuse. There are lots of children who are targeted, not just one although some DC receive more than others. The DC in question has no SEN we are aware of.

This behaviour is becoming increasingly worse and I am very concerned about it as are others whose DC have been targeted and injured. When my DC has been the target I have addressed it with the school. Despite some minor punishments I hear about via my DC there doesn't seem to be a lot being done about.

My school has a very clear bullying and safeguarding policy. However IMO I do not think they are following it. During a meeting I think I used the word bullying once and it was as if I had said something really terrible about a child. The teacher got very upset and defensive and said "this is not bullying". Why would this not be bullying? That says to me that if it is not bullying then they don't have to follow their own policy. What else would you call constant physical aggression? I am now very conscious of using this word when pulling them up on this DC's behaviour despite how bad it is.

I need to go back to my school following another incident with my DC. I know that once again I am going to be told that they need to safeguard the other DC and that it is not bullying. This is a wheel that keeps turning and I feel I need to be better informed to get this stopped.

I welcome any comments about this.

SquareDot Wed 07-Feb-18 08:37:35

How old is the child who is bullying?
Do have any idea what kind of background they come from?

SingingSeuss Wed 07-Feb-18 08:40:39

If it's bullying, don't shy away from using the word and let the bully off the hook. Take a decision Orion of bullying In with you and compare it to what has happened. Highlight how it has made your child feel and quote their safe guarding policy. The tea her sounds a bit spineless, probably hoping it's less hassle to deal with your complaints that the problem. Make it clear this is not acceptable.

rcit Wed 07-Feb-18 08:42:34

How old are the kids?

rcit Wed 07-Feb-18 08:44:15

My ds got bullied(similar situation ie not the only target)school had no problem saying “bullying”. Call a spade a spade. But ime school are completely powerless to really do anything.

FudgeMallowDelight Wed 07-Feb-18 08:45:37

Don't worry about what the teacher thinks of you using the word bullying. Ask the head teacher how they are going to protect your child from constantly being assaulted and verbally abused at school

Stressedaboutthis Wed 07-Feb-18 08:48:33

Year 5. We are talking MC faith school with wealthy parents.

I totally get there must be some kind of unhappiness in the background. However, that is out of my control. My concern is that the school is not safeguarding the others.

You are right, I have been put off using the word "bullying". It's like as if I use a racist term and then suddenly I had no argument. This is why I am so annoyed.

Stressedaboutthis Wed 07-Feb-18 09:00:03

SingingSeuss, can you just let me know what an Orion of Bullying is?

GreatThingsWork Wed 07-Feb-18 09:03:47

This will be useful to quote from. https://www.bullying.co.uk/general-advice/what-is-bullying/

BigChocFrenzy Wed 07-Feb-18 09:05:58

They deny it is bullying, so they don't have to follow policy for tackling bullying.
The school is wimping out of protecting children in their care
Don't let them

AntArcticFox Wed 07-Feb-18 09:14:44

They sound as though they are trying to shame you for using the word bullying.

I'd poke a bit around their uncomfortable feelings next time I had a dialogue with them. So I'd want to see how they define bullying. How would they characterise the situation between pupils.

Kazzyhoward Wed 07-Feb-18 09:17:15

Surely, if it's physical, it's assault rather than bullying? If the school does nothing, then report it to the police instead.

TournesolsetLavande Wed 07-Feb-18 09:19:28

I wonder if the teacher's argument is that as the child in question is only 5 he is too young to consciously bully and he just needs more time to learn right from wrong and basic socialisation skills?

Anyway, that may or may not be the case but it's of little comfort to your child and the others who are constantly on the receiving end of aggressive physical behaviour.

AntArcticFox Wed 07-Feb-18 09:20:20

I read Year 5 not 5.

TournesolsetLavande Wed 07-Feb-18 09:21:11

And actually whatever they choose to call his behaviour and regardless of what they attribute it to, they have a duty to safeguard your child and others.

TournesolsetLavande Wed 07-Feb-18 09:21:32

Oh sorry, my mistake.

FudgeMallowDelight Wed 07-Feb-18 09:23:13

Year 5 is age 9-10

SquareDot Wed 07-Feb-18 09:24:50

Year 5 age is old enough to know better. The reason I asked about background is perhaps the school are privy to sensitive information around this. As you mention 'wealthy parents', the school may worry about the legal ramifications of confronting them on their child's bad behaviour.

Have you looked into approaching the governing body or an independent mediator?

Stressedaboutthis Wed 07-Feb-18 09:30:04

Thanks for the link. I still think they would get around that because they think that bad behaviour towards lots of DC is not bullying which in their opinion is continuous bad behaviour against one DC.

I am not saying this to be difficult or split hairs. I have come away from 2 meetings confused as hell and I have been made to feel that they need to stick up for the DC against the complaining parents.

AntArcticFox Wed 07-Feb-18 09:37:43

So they are saying it's not targeted but just happens to whomever is nearest?

But there is a mention in your initial post that there are some children who are receiving more than others. That's a contradiction of their reading of the situation straight away.

Putting word use aside the question remains what are they doing to address this "series of events". I'd keep asking that same question on a loop.

AntArcticFox Wed 07-Feb-18 09:39:51

You aren't splitting hairs. They are.

Stressedaboutthis Wed 07-Feb-18 09:44:30

Thank you. This thread has gone a long way to reassure me that I am not in the wrong.

Stressedaboutthis Wed 07-Feb-18 10:45:42

Can I just clarify one more thing. If you have an issue whether that is a SEN or are an unhappy child, does this make you exempt from being a bully? Surely it is bullying behaviour whatever the background and if not then no wonder it doesn't get sorted.

FudgeMallowDelight Wed 07-Feb-18 10:56:50

As well as not protecting your ds the school are doing the other boy no favours either. If he carries on like that at high school he'll spend a lot of time in isolation or being excluded

rcit Wed 07-Feb-18 11:09:38

If the child doing the bullying is unhappy or has SEN then the school need to get them some help.

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