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What is going on?(7 Posts)
Sorry this is long but I'd really appreciate some advice and I've tried to cover the whole story...
DS has just turned 5. Tall lad but youngest in his Reception class. Lovely school, small class of 21. He settled fantastically. Went from a very shy and not confident child to a child really blossoming. He has LOVED school. Loves his mates. Loves the work.
Then, I think it was shortly before Easter he started having a few wobbles about a particular boy X, the 'naughty' boy. I didn't pay a huge amount of attention to it (other things going on) and it seemed to me, at that time, that everyone had the same problems with this boy (he has as yet undiagnosed special needs, but the issue for DS is being hit, pushed, shouted at, continually followed). I gave DS strategies such as telling X to stop, putting his hand in front of him if X was coming in to push him, and if that failed going to a teacher.
About 10 days ago when I picked DS up he completely broke down in floods of tears - literally bawling and hysterical. Not like him at all. According to DS X had been repeatedly pushing and shoving him, been shouting in his face and the teachers would stop it and then it would start again. In a nutshell DS said he felt singled out by X (my words, but he was saying X just does it to him) and none of the other boys wanted to play with him because X was always following him. I also noticed, but don't know if it's connected as DS didn't seem clear, that he had mild bruising all around his chest/neck/upper arms almost like he'd been dragged around by his shirt?? He also had a huge egg on his forehead a few days before which he said was caused by X "running in to" him - it didn't seem clear if it was accidental.
I spoke to the teacher the next day (a new teacher since Easter) and she said it was because DS had been so kind to X whereas the other boys had not wanted anything to do with him from the start, and now X couldn't handle it when DS wanted some space to play with his friends. Kind of hero-worship, now gone a bit wrong. She said they would be split up more and DS given more opportunities away from X.
Since then we have had, I think, 3 nights where he's woken very upset about X. And it's been listed in his "worst part of his day" every day at dinner... Then yesterday pick him up and in the car DS is really silent and quiet. I ask what's wrong and straight away he said "please talk to Mrs H about X again mummy, I don't want to go back to school". He said he had been repeatedly pushed and then finally pushed over landing very hard on his elbows at which point the TA intervened. Indeed when I looked at his elbows they had fresh bruises... He seemed pretty ok in himself after he calmed down. But then he wouldn't go to sleep at all and got very very distressed saying "I don't want X to hurt me" over and over.
So DH and I go in this morning before school to catch his teacher. Both she and the TA were there. They both looked visibly taken aback when we said we were still worried about DS and X. The TA said the pushing story of yesterday didn't make sense as DS and X hadn't been together at that time?? Also that X wasn't capable of pushing over "a big lad like DS" he can't even hold a pencil. The teacher said she thought it was a "smoke-screen" for something else worrying DS.
I will be so mad at DS if he is 'blaming' this little boy and he's not to blame... but I really really don't think he's making this up. He's never made anything up even remotely like this before and when he tells silly fibs he gets a blatant smirk on his face. He has a very clear sense of right and wrong, and although he can be lively and mischievous it just doesn't fit with his personality to date. And he is obviously very very upset and worrying about something... and why say it's X if it's not? We don't ask leading questions regarding it, we let him say things himself. So I don't understand.
So now I don't know what to do. DS says Mrs H has spoken to him today and said his Yr 5/6 buddies will look out for him more in the playground and he will be kept separate from X. But why do that if they don't think X is the problem?
I've spoken again with DS tonight and said I absolutely need to know he's telling me the truth about what is upsetting him so we can help and the teachers can help, and his story was exactly true to everything else he's said. I don't want him to think I don't believe him so he can't tell me, but it's all a bit odd?? So what do I do?
Can you go back above the teacher to her supervisor and ask why your 2nd concern was dismissed? Your DS has been so brave in telling you. Many kids don't so I would believe him above all else. Especially as he has several physical injuries. Would any other children in his class be aware of what is happening?
thanks for replying... the other kids in his class don't like X. I actually have felt desperately sorry for the little boy and encouraged my DS to befriend him if he could. He obviously has needs which aren't being met and the other kids steer clear of him because he pushes, hits, spits etc. I know also a lot of the other boys have hit back, and some girls have screamed to get him off them, whereas DS takes it and doesn't really react at the time. And that's just DS - I've seen that happen with other situations where a child is doing something unkind to DS.
If I go above the teacher's head I'm taking it straight to the headteacher. There is no other level in between as it's such a small school. I'm also concerned about it seeming like I've got a 'vendetta' against X and I haven't - it's just now got to a point where my DS is really suffering.
I've thought about it more this evening and I do 100% believe DS. I have NO reason to doubt him and the last thing he needs is me doubting him. He needs to know I'm completely supporting him and doing everything I can.
If some of these attacks are happening in the playground where is the supervision? If you get no joy from the teacher and/or TA (who should be monitoring the situation anyway, if X has known issues), speak to the Head and let him/her know your concerns. The school shoud be able to put a pair of eyes on this situation especially if it is impacting on other children.
Firstly you have to make sure he knows 100% that you believe him.
Secondly, it is not up to his buddies to keep an eye on him - it is up to the staff.
Make an appointment to see the head teacher - you have tried more than once to resolve this through his teacher so you shouldn't have any concerns about going higher. Ask to see the schools anti-bullying policy and ask how it is being implemented to help your son. Ask for details of how your son will be protected at school - saying his buddies will look out for him is not acceptable.
If you don't feel you have got what you want from this meeting then write a letter voicing your concerns to the Governing body.
Don't rest until you have a resolution - your son is counting on you. He has been very brave telling you and you obviously have a close relationship that made him feel comfortable doing so. Do all you can to sort it out for him.
You should really go to the headteacher - write down everything your DS has told you, make an appointment and go in to the head - children protecting children isn't on, the school need to put a strategy in place to deal with this other child.
Your son has done the right thing in telling you, and you really should sort it for him.
Sorry you're having to go through this, been there with one of my DC's and it's rotten. and <<hugs>> for your wee boy.
thank you all so much
DS has been so much happier today and said X is being told to keep away from him, and he could play with who he wanted. So I wonder if even though the staff were 'defensive' to me, they actually took action more than I'm aware.
I've let DS know I am so proud of him for telling us etc and will fight his corner and trust him completely. Will see how it pans out, but have already decided if there is even another whiff of something going on I'm going straight to the head. Thank you.
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