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wwyd, should I tell teacher of comments to my DD or am I overreacting?

(22 Posts)
MarmadukeScarlet Thu 02-Jul-09 20:43:01

I was just unpacking my DD's (yr 4 aged 9.5) school dress as she'd come home in her PE kit.

In the pocket I found a note in her hand writing that said, 'Dear X, I really love you now not. I really hate you now. Thanks alot not. DD'

I calmly showed DD the note and asked her to explain what was going on.

DDs little face crumpled and she said that the girl in question had told everyone in the class, when the teacher was not in the room, that DD weighed 11 stone. Also this girls had been laughing and saying unkind things about what a slow runner DD is and how rubbish she is at sports.

DD is joint second tallest in the year (98th centile) and fairly robust (98th centile - a very long way from 11 stone) with size 2.5 feet etc, she has always been very aware of how much bigger she is than the others - there are several (inc this girl) who are unhealthily thin looking imho.

Should I email teacher or just accept it as part of normal girls bitchyness - DD is a sensitive flower and I have been asking her what is wrong all week, she has been sleepwalking and crying in her sleep.

EffiePerine Thu 02-Jul-09 20:47:02

If she's upset I would talk to the teacher. It's bullying and she shouldn't have to put up with it.

You could point out that being taller she's more likely to succeed in life

toddlerama Thu 02-Jul-09 20:52:04

Definitely speak to the teacher. It's not ok for girls bitching to thing it's normal. They need to be told sharpish that it's unacceptable. angry for your little girl.

MarmadukeScarlet Thu 02-Jul-09 20:54:06

Thanks for your replies, I was so horrified (came over all lioness) that I needed to check my reaction.

Poor DD was so shocked at the time that she just calmly got on with her work and olny wrote the note later on, didn't ever give it to the girl in question.

cornsilk Thu 02-Jul-09 20:54:23

Speak to the teacher - that's nasty.

cornsilk Thu 02-Jul-09 20:54:38

Save the letter as well.

MIAonline Thu 02-Jul-09 20:56:00

Definitely tell the teacher, then she can do a general behaviour chat, but also be keeping a very close eye on the girls involved and may be able to catch them speaking to your DD like this. It is always better if they can be caught 'in the act' and it is dealt with at the time.

Your poor DD though, kids can be really mean to each other sometimes. sad

Greensleeves Thu 02-Jul-09 20:57:42

your poor poor dd, this sort of bullying is SO corrosive sad

Of course you want to do everything you can to nip it in the bud. I would want this other girl dealt with swiftly - she needs to be made to understand that this sort of thing really hurts

does the school have a SEAL programme or anything like it? How do they deal with bullying?

pointydog Thu 02-Jul-09 21:15:23

Taunts about being fat are ridiculously common. It is almost the number one insult and I know my dds have been called it a few times (neither are fat).

I think you need to help your dd understand how meaningless teh insult 'fat' usually is. It's just seen as an easy way to hurt someone.

As your dd is so upset, I would let the teacher know too.

MarmadukeScarlet Thu 02-Jul-09 21:48:56

Thank you all for the replies.

Have emailed the teacher describing the situation but not named the individual (or her quiche that were around her for the taunt) and asking her to bring up personal insults in PSHE.

Greeny, thank you I used the word corrosive in my email as I think it is a perfect description.

Pointy, I pointed (grin) out to her that she knew she wasn't 11 stone so it would be like saying that DD had green, blue or pink hair - DD knows she doesn't so the insult is ridiculous.

This child is one of those that puts my hackles up as she is always whispering, giggling and walks around with a permanent sneer/miserable face.

Qally Thu 02-Jul-09 22:35:18

Agreed that girls are vile about weight at a depressingly young age. Unsurprising in our culture, but still depressing. It's good that you've emailed about this.

I know it may sound daft, but is she a Harry Potter fan? Because JK Rowling said some really, really good things about how girls are to each other over weight, and how weird and disgraceful that is, and it might cheer her up a bit. Might even be a good talking point for the teacher in class, maybe?

pointydog Thu 02-Jul-09 23:31:53

I've known of boys to be taunted regularly about being fat too.

MarmadukeScarlet Thu 02-Jul-09 23:53:25

Qually, she is a massive HP fan and that link is brilliant.

I am going to copy it to the teacher forthwith.

You all rock, thanks for the support.

Qally Fri 03-Jul-09 13:38:45

Awww, good. I thought she might be, given her age, and hope it cheers her up to know her tormentor has officially been sorted Slytherin by Rowling herself!

MarmadukeScarlet Wed 08-Jul-09 07:04:28

I just thought I'd update.

Emailed teacher on Friday, who emailed back and said she would take on board my comments (about putting it in PSHE lesson, using the JK Rowling stuff) and she had a general chat with all the girls about being kind and ending term on a good note - the girl in question (TGIQ) was then off sick.

I asked DD yesterday if the TGIQ had been asked to apologise and she said no.

So, interfering parent that I am, I have emailed teacher back and asked if they would be getting TGIQ to apologise for the sake of both girls - for my DD to reinforce that it is not acceptable for her to be spoken to like that, she has told me and I have done my best to put it right (she has quite low self confidence and if I hadn't found the note she would have just accepted it, she has been bullied at this school quite badly over a long period when in Yr1/2 - school were crap than) and for TGIQ as she needs to learn there are consequences.

Thanks again for your support

RustyBear Wed 08-Jul-09 08:00:10

It could be difficult for the teacher to tell TGIQ to apologise if she denies saying it - you may be sure your DD is telling the truth, but the teacher can't punish without proof - a good PSHCE session on bullying is probably as far as she can go at this stage.

MoChan Wed 08-Jul-09 08:49:01

I certainly think the teacher ought to speak to this girl in a one to one situation about it, and reinforce the fact that this is unacceptable behaviour, even if she denies it... I don't think you needs to insist on an actual apology as long as the point is made to her, maybe?

It's a tricky thing. I was bigger than everyone else at school. I wasn't fat, not remotely, just tall and solidly built. I was was repeatedly called fat, however, as well as some other charming nicknames (the one that sticks out is 'earthquake').

My response to this was to diet at a ridiculously young age, get obsessed, get fat, get eating disorder, yo-yo. I don't think I'd have ever got into such a mess if it wasn't for the insults and taunting, so I really do think this is something worth persisting with. Hope it gets resolved.

cory Wed 08-Jul-09 09:35:46

Agree with Rusty and MoChan that teacher should talk to her, but not necessarily force an apology. Dd was bullied some time ago - secondary school so slightly different, but basically involved older girl shouting across the playground at ever opportunity that she is just faking her disability. Head of year did speak to her and the bullying stopped, but she has not apologised; dd and head of year discussed this with us on parents evening and decided together that as the bullying stopped after the talking to, it is best to leave things alone and not stir things up by pushing for the apology (but if anything else happens, HoY is on the case...)

The bad thing in your case is that this girl has been missed out of the general talking-to; even without evidence, teacher should have ensured that this was given when she was present. As it is, she needs to speak to her one to one.

The other thing about forcing an apology is, you don't know what went on around the incident. I remember being hauled in front of my teacher and a pair of irate parents and asked to apologise for excluding their daughter. What the girl hadn't told her parents is that this was after she had gone all round the school telling everybody how she didn't like looking at my eyes, because they were so odd and made her feel sick (I had a slight squint); naturally, I didn't feel very comfortable playing with her after that. From her point of view, my classmate had told her parents the truth; it was just that she missed out the part of the truth that was relevant to me, probably because it didn't matter much to her.

Not suggesting that your dd has done anything like this- but if the girl denies it or claims extenuating circumstances, it will be hard to force an apology.

MarmadukeScarlet Wed 08-Jul-09 10:22:46

My DD was sitting quietly doing her maths, and continued to do so even after the taunt that was loud enough to be heard by most of the rest of the class.

Although I can see you point.

I just feel all children should be, from a young age, made to see there is a consequence for every action and the painful act (for her) of having to apologise to someone she clearly thinks is below her might do her some good.

It is a very elite private school where being non-sporty, more than skeletal or different in anyway is generally considered poor form. There is an increasing element of entitlement as the children mature. One recent example, I was walking with my physically disbled DS (who was wearing shorts and splints, so fairly obvious even to the untrained eye) when a boy from the school ran through a small gap between DS and a hedge, pushing DS almost over - luckily I was able to 'catch' him as was holding his hand. I said loudly but politely, "Excuse me?" in the vain hope this boy would apologise but he just turned around and said, "What?"

She is changing schools for this and many other reasons, she will be attending a smaller and more nurturing school where effort is praised not just achievement.

cory Wed 08-Jul-09 11:35:44

The way I look on it- and we've had maybe three or four problems with bullying over the years (always on the receiving end, never had a complaint made against mine)- is that my job is to do with my dcs; it's to see that any bullying of them stops. It is not my job to worry about how this is achieved- that's the teacher's job, or how other children are being brought up- that's their parents job. The teacher needs to show to me that the bullying does stop; she does absolutely not need to involve me in any discussions about the other child or ask my advice about how to deal with them. If I'm not satisfied with the results I'll make a complaint, but not otherwise. In fact, every time I have mentioned a problem, at any of dcs schools, it has improved, so I have to conclude that they know what they're doing. If they didn't, I'd complain or change the schools.

MarmadukeScarlet Fri 18-Sep-09 12:20:50

I just thought I'd catch up.

DD has not done nearly 2 weeks at the new school, she is happy and looks forward to going every day - no more nagging in the mornings as she is dressed before me! Also no staying away with anxiety every night.

She loves her lessons, particularly maths - she hated it before as this was one of the lessons with the quiche - and is not behind in this subject as past school thought, maybe she was just so anxious she couldn't do it?

I had a pretty dreadful telephone conversation with the head before leaving, which just reassured me I was doing the right thing.

It is not all plain sailing, DD still screwing up the courage to ask other girls to play or saying yes when other girls ask her - she keeps taking her book at playtime to give herself something to do if she can't find a playmate/group. But things are looking more positive.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 18-Sep-09 12:25:03

That is good.

I hate that my kids have to go to school as they come home sometimes and tell me things that gets me all lion like but not enough to go into school about really.

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