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A bright child is a bullied child in state schools!!!!!!!

(212 Posts)
TenaLady Thu 05-Jul-07 18:07:33

Your thoughts please. I just find it incredible that if a child is bright either in primary or secondary school they seem to be penalised by their peers.

Is it jealousy, what is it that makes these children that want to get on and enjoy their education such a target?

I know if it were my child I may consider private education where the motto is fail and you are doomed or does this behaviour also happen in private education?

MamaG Thu 05-Jul-07 18:08:44

I haven't found that with my DD, year 3

mummydoit Thu 05-Jul-07 18:10:54

Certainly used to be true when I was at school. My comprehensive school years were the worst of my life. Not physical bullying but lots of name-calling and girls telling other girls not to be my friend and things like that. The quality of education (or lack of) was a big reason for leaving my home town. I believe schools where we are now are much better but, if I felt there were any chance of my children being treated the way I was, I'd have them in a private school in an instant.

TenaLady Thu 05-Jul-07 18:11:48

Hmm, I wouldnt necessary know or notice if I hadnt been in the school as a parent assistant this last year.

Very interesting observations.

mummydoit Thu 05-Jul-07 18:13:37

Wouldn't your child tell you if he/she was being bullied? I actually asked my parents if I could go to boarding school to get away from the bullies. Unfortunately, there wasn't the money to go private so I just had to stay where I was.

fruittea Thu 05-Jul-07 18:14:02

My DD is bright, in year 7, and has had a fantastic, happy year in her very "normal" state comp. I don't think you can generalise tbh. Yes, it can happy though - I got terribly picked on for being the "brainbox" in my school. But I was quiet and shy and an easy target. DD is bright and breezy with lots of friends and seems to be fine.

[touches wood...]

TenaLady Thu 05-Jul-07 18:14:47

Mummy, Ive noticed the exclusion of these kids who are perfectly pleasant children and at quite an early age too!

I too can remember the kids when I was at school that suffered for their enthusiasm for being educated. Really cant understand it and all power to them for enduring and making a better life for themselves.

mummydoit Thu 05-Jul-07 18:15:12

Fruittea has a good point. I was the quiet, shy type too (you wouldn't believe it if you met me now!) so I suppose I made it easy for them.

Blandmum Thu 05-Jul-07 18:15:29

Not always.

Depends on the child and the school

roisin Thu 05-Jul-07 18:16:15

Of course it's not possible to generalise but in many of our secondary schools there is a culture where it's not cool to be clever. Many bright children learn very quickly to hide their abilities, and others do get bullied.

TenaLady Thu 05-Jul-07 18:17:31

Mummy, interestingly, my ds told me only the other day that a girl that sat on his dinner table used to whisper in his ear all the time that she hated him.

He was in reception for heavens sake and she was a year 3!!

When I asked why he hadnt told me when it had been happening (beg of autumn term 06) He said he didnt want to make me sad!

So I am not sure that he would tell me.

fruittea Thu 05-Jul-07 18:17:47

Yes, roisin, it's true and it's sad. Maybe it's as much about the culture of the school, how they reward/sanction behaviour.

TenaLady Thu 05-Jul-07 18:19:02

MB expand on that for me please.

meandmyflyingmachine Thu 05-Jul-07 18:19:53

IME social exclusion is more down to what bands you like, what sport you do etc. Not how clever you are.

dayofftomorrow Thu 05-Jul-07 18:19:55

In any school any "different" child will be the bullied child very tall, very short, fat, red haired (thought not in DS's school where due to a large number of scottish and irish children it is very common)

aloha Thu 05-Jul-07 18:20:20

Well, my stepdaughter is 15 and at a pretty academic independent school, and she says you don't want to be labelled as a swot even there. I think being clever is fine tbh, so long as you effect a kind of carelessness about it, but being nerdy isn't, and will get you picked on.

aloha Thu 05-Jul-07 18:21:24

Being cool is important.
Poor ds - don't think he'll ever be cool. Ah well, I'll try and make sure he'll have a good haircut and clothes.

meandmyflyingmachine Thu 05-Jul-07 18:22:09

If you like the right things, then you are in with the in crowd. Being bright is not a disadvantage. But if you are not in witht he in crowd, then anything about you is fair game. Inclusing how bright you are. So it may seem that that is the reason for the exclusion.


TenaLady Thu 05-Jul-07 18:23:37

Aloha, I agree to a degree that nobody wants to be labelled a smart alec in life. I have just noticed in my own education and now seeing it as an adult that there has to be the tiniest degree higher of brightness above the rest and its a licence to pounce.

You dont have to purport to be einstein before you get aggro.

Blu Thu 05-Jul-07 18:24:00

Is this a proven theory?
Where did you get this from Tenalady?

TenaLady Thu 05-Jul-07 18:25:39

The in crowd in this instance are disruptive children which is not helpful. You either get it in the neck from your peers or hammered by the teachers!

OOh its a fine balance for these poor kids to meet.

Blandmum Thu 05-Jul-07 18:26:23

Some school have better antibullying policies. (true of state and private)

Some schools have a more positive ethos to academic achievement than others. (ditto)

Some very bright children pose less of a 'Target' to other children because they are in some way 'cool', ie look good, are also good at sports or other valued attribute (this is pants, and it shouldn't matter a tinker's cuss what else you are good at etc, but in the real world this is what matters). Some very bright children exude confidence to the point that bullies go look for an easier target.

Sometimes kids luck in, and find themselves in a very bright year where it is cool to be clever.....this takes a critical number of kids to be clever to upper sixth are a year like tis. It is a pure fluke. But being bright was cool for them.

Classroom dynamics are amazingly complex.

Our school organises assertiveness training for kids who are bullied. It works very well

TenaLady Thu 05-Jul-07 18:27:50

Blu not sure if it has been proven but I should say that I have seen enough of it during my education and now seeing it again in the school where I assist.

I see there are not many comments from private sector, so I presume it isnt neccesarily such a problem.

TenaLady Thu 05-Jul-07 18:30:01

I like the sound of assertiveness training for the kids that get bullied. Got anymore info on that or is it an in house approach designed by your school?

Blandmum Thu 05-Jul-07 18:32:37

they get sent out. To my shame I don't know where. Done by the school and local ed psychs I think.

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