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DS scared to go to school

(21 Posts)
Bloomburger Mon 10-Jun-19 07:16:52

Another pupil at DS's school has threatened to have him stabbed. It's over a girl and the culmination of low level bullying campaign which we've only just become aware of after a phone call from the school last week. Even after speaking to DS he minimised how serious it was before me checking his phone and him breaking down last night. I'm heart broken, he is such a nice kid. He is being punished and ostracised for refusing to get involved in the bullying.

The school wants to send DS on a course to improve his self esteem so he can stand up to the bullies. The issue not being DS's self esteem but the threat of violence which comes with standing up to these mini gangsters, DS doesn't want to have to use violence, he's huge compared to the other boys, over 6ft tall and very fit and has a huge physical advantage over them but he plays sport at quite a high level and an injury could really affect his season which I know pales into insignificance with the threat of being stabbed hanging in the air but it is a huge issue for DS.

DS is terrified and doesn't want to go into school understandably. Legally what are the implications of keeping him off of school? Other than the school who do we need to tell? Local Authority? Of course we will be reporting the threats to the police, although they were on Snapchat so we're immediately deleted.

We are looking into sending him to private school ASAP and are visiting 3 different ones this week and will hopefully start him at his/our chosen one before the summer break but there may be a delay if a week or so as he has been offered the chance of a scholarship at 2 of them and we need to wait till he's had certain try outs.

Tableclothing Mon 10-Jun-19 07:26:03

Research shows that victims of bullying do tend to have lower self esteem and assertiveness, and this can lead to a pattern of being repeatedly bullied in different settings, unfortunately. I would take the school up on that offer of the self esteem course. If it's any good then it will give your ds skills that he'll benefit from for the rest of his life. Otherwise he's going from one scary and horrible experience into a completely new environment where there will also be bullies (yes, even in private school) and for his own sake he needs to develop the skills to make them leave him alone.

If he gets threatened again via snapchat screenshot it.

How serious do you think the stabbing threat was? Does the person who sent it have a history of violence or carrying a weapon? Are they still a student at the school?

Legally your ds must attend school/education. It usually takes educational welfare officers a while to come round and start threatening you with fines and court action though.

SnuggyBuggy Mon 10-Jun-19 07:29:44

I'd take him out. It's not like he'd ever be expected to go to work and deal with colleagues threatening to have him stabbed. Assertiveness training wouldn't be a bad thing in itself but I don't think there is much benefit to being educated alongside peers who make him feel this threatened

Bloomburger Mon 10-Jun-19 07:36:50

It honestly isn't a self esteem issue, he has stood up to them verbally and taken himself out of situations where he is either threatened or being pushed to do things and their response is to try to set up gifts and now the threat of being stabbed.

DS will not physically retaliate as he can't afford for his hands/arms to be damaged.

I am keeping him off, I'm happy to be fined or even go to prison if it means my son stays safe and if the school can't guarantee this then I feel as though I don't have any choice.

Do I tell the educational welfare people or wait till the contact me? If he can get on the roll of a new school before the end of next week then he'll only have 3/4 weeks of school left.

Bloomburger Mon 10-Jun-19 07:39:49

Student who threatened DS is still at the school. He's v immature, one parent in prison, one with issues which prevents them from caring for him adequately so he's in local authority care. Out of all the boys I think he's the one who has the least to lose so I'd take his threat seriously.

Bloomburger Mon 10-Jun-19 10:43:25

School haven't even rung back.

Police say school will have a protocol for dealing with threats such as this.

Feel incredibly disappointed that they aren't taking it as seriously as I feel they should or is it that it's just normal these days?

Kazzyhoward Mon 10-Jun-19 10:49:19

The school wants to send DS on a course to improve his self esteem so he can stand up to the bullies.

Typical victim blaming. Why aren't the school doing something about the bullies. They should be dealing with the cause, not the effect.

Kazzyhoward Mon 10-Jun-19 10:53:28

Feel incredibly disappointed that they aren't taking it as seriously as I feel they should or is it that it's just normal these days?

Not just "these days". Bullying was bad 40 years ago when I was at a crap comp. Same thing then, school just ignored it, couldn't be bothered, and just told me to either fight back or ignore them. Nothing changes I'm afraid.

And no, I havn't been bullied in adult life. It doesn't follow like some say it does. There are some truly horrid people in schools and they need to be dealt with. Unfortunately, teachers etc want an easy life so are happy to pretend it doesn't happen or deal with it by concentrating on the victim rather than the bully.

Bloomburger Mon 10-Jun-19 11:20:18

I wouldn't have agreed with you until now as we didn't experience any of this with our eldest. Am just shocked as you say at it being my child who is being leant on to change rather than the bullies.

Other than punching one of them square in the face to stop them constantly goading him and calling him gay and a pissy 🙄 what can he do??

SnuggyBuggy Mon 10-Jun-19 11:53:57

I think the other difference is that as an adult it's much easier to avoid nasty people and workplaces don't tolerate as much bad behaviour as schools have to.

I always laugh when people talk about how school teaches you how to mix with different people, it just taught me that a lot of people are no good and best avoided

PostNotInHaste Mon 10-Jun-19 12:01:06

This is awful and I do feel for you all. I don’t know the legal position but just wanted to say make you follow up any phone call with an email. You want to be creating a paper trail at this point. Key word I’d be putting in repeatedly is ‘safeguarding issue’ and that you feel the school are ‘failing in their duty of care’ to your son.

SeaToSki Mon 10-Jun-19 12:02:28

I would keep him home until he switches school. If he is moving school anyway then there is no benefit to going back into the old school and potentially a lot of risk. I think kids can be off sick for a certain amount of time anyway, so he is off sick with stress. You can always get him to do some online school work at home. Look at kahnacademy.com

BusyEvenForBee Mon 10-Jun-19 12:11:55

I would keep him off the school. Your son's safety is very important and school is not dealing with the issue. It is better to send an email to school explaining why you are taking this action if you decide to do it. Always best to keep things in writing.

Just be aware, most private schools will be finishing the year at the end of this month, beginning of July, so might not take him in till September.

Horrible situation, hope you will find a way to resolve it. flowers

Kazzyhoward Mon 10-Jun-19 13:22:54

I think the other difference is that as an adult it's much easier to avoid nasty people and workplaces don't tolerate as much bad behaviour as schools have to....I always laugh when people talk about how school teaches you how to mix with different people, it just taught me that a lot of people are no good and best avoided

Took the words out of my mouth. When I was at school, I had no choice but to suffer the bullies. Despite knowing what was going on, the teachers still put us into pairs/groups according to alphabetical order, and the main culprit was next in line to me, so I couldn't avoid them. But, still, makes the teachers life easier not having to think about mixing the pairings/groups up a bit doesn't it!!! Obviously didn't matter to the teachers that it ruined my education and made me suicidal!

And yes, out in the real world, far easier to avoid certain types of people, or at least keep them at arm's length.

Bloomburger Tue 11-Jun-19 12:14:10

Thank you everyone. The school wants him to go back but today I have found out that the main culprit has said that the only thing DS can do to avoid getting stabbed is kill himself. Luckily, 😔 DS has to have some tests in hospital today so he can't go in as it involves not eating or drinking for 3 hours beforehand. It's to rule out something that could be life changing so not what we need on top of all of everything else.

It's beyond belief. We have a meeting with the head of year tomorrow and then will be going straight to the police station as I don't care what the school says or the telephone operator, I want this logged and the child visited by the police.

Apparently the little boy is part of a gang and 'carries'.

If I ring the local authority will they get involved if he is in foster care, he has been threatening someone else and they rang his mother and she didn't seem too concerned apparently.

I feel like I'm living in a dreadful dream where I've been dragged into someone else's life along with DS.

Bloomburger Tue 11-Jun-19 12:24:08

Oh, our lovely doctor signed DS off till end of term this morning too.

PostNotInHaste Tue 11-Jun-19 13:02:41

I am so sorry, what a nightmare. Your Doctor sounds great and at least you have that. Thinking quickly, personally I would ring the Local Authority, explain what was happened and that your GP has signed him of until the end of term but that he will not be returning to the school as there is a serious threat against his life that has been reported to the Police but as the situation stands you do not consider that the school are addressing this correctly and their response in your opinion constitutes a failure in their duty of care ti DS and is a safeguarding issue so you would like to know which other schools locally have spaces for him.

Make sure you have name of person you spoke to then send email confirming discussion. Meanwhile carry on with sorting place at the private schools you are looking at . Go to meeting with school tomorrow, again back everything up with email to continue your paper trail. You may never need it but there is nothing worse than when you do realising you have nothing (bitter once if experience)

Really hope the tests today go well. Take it all one step at a time, focus on Hospital today, then the School tomorrow .after thatbthe looking at other school. Hang in there flowers

SnuggyBuggy Tue 11-Jun-19 14:13:02

You are doing the right thing keeping him of school and away from this person

PostNotInHaste Thu 13-Jun-19 21:00:57

How are things ?

Bloomburger Mon 17-Jun-19 07:44:05

Thank you everyone for your wise words and support.

As we didn't have proof that the child said he'd get DS stabbed the police weren't interested.

DS's HOY said a lot of the problem had come from a friend of both the bully and DS inflaming the situation and embellishing things that happened and were said.

DS keeping wanting to be part of the bullies friendship group but not really fitting in is a big part of the problem. He won't get involved in the shenanigans they get up to but equally wants to be accepted although is so different to them and has to sort of lower his standards and behaviour to fit in as much as he can. Then he worries about being caught being naughty when they do things even if he hasn't done what they are doing.

DS wasn't entirely innocent, he'd retaliated and it caused huge repercussions for everyone, mostly himself.

DH is blaming DS's actions on being pushed and pushed but I'm less convinced and think DS knew exactly what he was doing and what he did has really disappointed me 🙄 which is now causing problems between DH and I.

It's all a huge mess.

DS is now at his new school. He loves it.

I've changed his number, stopped social media and he's has been warned that if he contacts any of them as he will be a boarder at whichever school we can find for him as far away as possible.

Fingers crossed it's the end of it now!

PostNotInHaste Mon 17-Jun-19 18:37:03

Sounds like it’s been a very hard time all round. Can see why it is creating problems between you and DH. But main thing is he is happy and hopefully you can all move on, lessons having been learnt.

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