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What does your school call bullying?

(36 Posts)
TheOriginalFAB Tue 27-Sep-11 17:51:36

Our school calls acrs of bullying "incidents" and will not use the word bullying. I suggested they might prefer assaults. They also seem to have a problem with pupils saying sorry to the child they have hurt.

<frustrated>

MigratingCoconuts Tue 27-Sep-11 18:05:41

How is your son doing FAB? What happened after you called the police?

I have been thinking of you

TheOriginalFAB Tue 27-Sep-11 18:08:15

He got hurt again yesterday sadangry.

The parents are being called in.

The kids have been spoken to by the teacher but not the deputy head yet angry.

I am exhausted.

Just had a text from a mother saying my youngest has hurt her child today. I phoned the school, it is for them to deal with though once I have talked to dh about it we might talk to dc too.

TheOriginalFAB Tue 27-Sep-11 18:08:53

Thank you thanks for thinking of me. Much appreciated as I feel so helpless and alone at the moment.

MigratingCoconuts Tue 27-Sep-11 18:31:42

thank you for the flowers! What a nice new icon...smile

Its so shocking that this is going on still. Have you made any decisions about secondary schools?

TheOriginalFAB Tue 27-Sep-11 18:40:50

Still deciding about secondary schools as a lot depends on if he passes his 11+.

Just spoken to my youngest and 4 boys kicked and punched him to the ground today after he asked if he could play with them. He told a dinner time supervisor but he said he couldn't hear what she said in reply. He didn't tell his teacher as he had to line up and I suspect he had to get on with work and the moment was lost.

I could cry.

dikkertjedap Tue 27-Sep-11 18:44:42

I think that bullying is difficult to define and I agree that what some people define as bullying other people seem to find okay.

I consider bullying:
- persistently hurting or threatening to hurt (intimidating) another child resulting in the other child becoming scared/withdrawn/not willing to ask adults for help etc.
- verbal intimidation/persistent name calling/telling a specific child that it is stupid/etc
- excluding a child from games or persuading other children to exclude a specific child
- persistently singling out a specific child in a negative manner

Persistent IMO is either more than once a day and/or several days in a row.

This does not mean that any of the above should be condoned if they were a one off. Even then the offender should be spoken to and explained why such behaviour is unacceptable.

TheOriginalFAB Tue 27-Sep-11 19:05:41

Definitely bullying then. They said they picked on my son because it was fun sadangry.

smee Wed 28-Sep-11 13:00:34

FAB, that's awful. At our school even name calling is called bullying. I thought it was ott at first, but the result is an incredibly kind and caring school, where the kids all know what's acceptable and what's not. If someone hits another kid, they automatically know they'll be put on 'red', which is a huge disaster for most of them. If they persist they're sent straight to the head, so it's zero tolerance really. I haven't read your other threads, so am sure someone's suggested this, but have you tried going to the Governors?

takeonboard Wed 28-Sep-11 13:34:53

I define bullying as ANYTHING which is done with INTENT to hurt another person. a person can be hurt physically, emotionally and psychologically.
So if they know their actions will hurt and they go ahead they are bullies. End of.

Any school who doesn't see it that way is not going to deal with the problem, I moved my DS after 3 years of banging my head against that brick wall.

Take my advice if they don't acknowledge and act on it get your son out of there asap for his sake.
I know how you must be feeling now, the effects on all of us were devastating, as a parent it cuts you to the core when your child is under attack and you are helpless, more so if the school are useless sad

seeker Wed 28-Sep-11 13:43:32

I'm a bit conflicted about this. I worry that if every single incident where a child deliberately hurts another child is called bullying, that the word will become "devalued" I think that it has to happen more than once. For example, a boy in my ds's class called him a horrific and very hurtful nme once. Ds was very upset but I don't think that is bullying because it did't happen again. On the other hand, there is a boy (outside school) who consistently does small things- hiding his shoe, tripping him, rubbing his knuckles on his head - just constant low level stuff, nothing as bad as the school incident, but I think that is bullying because it goes on and on and it mkes ds sad.

takeonboard Wed 28-Sep-11 13:58:57

Yes I agree seeker one offs are not bullying, but if 1 child repeatedly hurts another even if they don't repeat the same action then that is bullying - such as the boy outside of school with your DS.

I think the OP's son has been assulted repeatedly though.

IndigoBell Wed 28-Sep-11 13:59:37

Can you not remove your kids from that school? Immediately?

If you don't work you can HE them while you find a new school.....

It is never acceptable for kids to be routinely beat up sad

TheOriginalFAB Wed 28-Sep-11 16:09:29

Just met ds's other teacher. I was under the impression we were having a meeting with her as I wasn't told I couldn't when I rewusted it, and dh had stayed off work for it. Words were hard, brefly then the deputy head came up. They want to move forward as ds1 has had 2 days 2 whole fucking days without anyone hurting him. I bet they do. We were told the letter had gone out but they haven't. There doesn't seem any urgency or priority. I just said to dh we need to go higher and he said to what.

<screams> <cries>

IndigoBell Wed 28-Sep-11 16:34:01

Higher is the governing body.

If you want to complain about the HT, you write a formal letter of complaint to the chair of governors.

(Not saying that you should - just telling you that is what the next thing is)

TheOriginalFAB Wed 28-Sep-11 16:40:37

We haven't even seen the head teacher.

I asked the teacher if we could go in to school to talk and she said no, she had a staff meeting. The deputy came along a few minutes later and invitred us in. She then said "absdoluitely." TBH I am so mad at the moment at how they are taking so bloody long to deal with this that I am probably better off doing nothing atm.

TheOriginalFAB Wed 28-Sep-11 16:41:55

I just don't understand why it is all taking so long. Yet in the infants, the teacher only knew there was an issue with my other son in the class yesterday and it is already dealt wth.

teacherwith2kids Wed 28-Sep-11 17:02:36

Call the school secretary in the morning, and make an appointment to see the HT - should be possible within a day or two at the outside. Say what it is about, and say that you would like the HT to have spoken to the class teachers about what has happened so that he is up to speed with all the details before the meeting.

Take with you all evidence that you have - a diary of the incidents reported to you by your son, other evidence (I presume that you took photographs of the results of the assault you mentioned the other week?), dates of discussions with the staff etc. Report how your son is responding - is he withdrawn / anxious / tearful / unwilling to go to school / uncharacteristically aggressive? As you say this has been going on in previous years, any records you have of previous discussions would be useful too - or if you don't have that, then you could ask the HT to speak to x and y teachers as well because they have information about problems in earlier years.

Ask to see the school's anti-bullying policy (the HT should have one to hand) and explain why you believe that what your son is experiencing is bullying. Check that the school has followed the consequences for bullying outlined in the anti-bullying policy so far, and how they propose to proceed if the behaviour towards your son does not stop.

Be assertive, but not angry. The HT is the person in a position to change things in terms of how the teacher and deputy head are responding at the moment, but as the HT has not been involved so far there is no point in being angry with him / her.

As a PP says, if you are not happy with the HE response, then you can refer the whole matter to the governors, again including all the evidence you have.

TheOriginalFAB Wed 28-Sep-11 18:53:06

The head teacher is leaving so dh doesn't want to see her.

The school just want to move on as he hasn't been hurt for 2 days now and say things have been put in place.

If he is hurt again that is it.

teacherwith2kids Wed 28-Sep-11 19:04:50

When is the HT leaving? I presume at Christmas - it would be rare for a HT to leave mid-term?

Until then, the HT is in charge. Certainly if your timescale for getting something done is 'over the next couple of days', as I had understood you to say, then she is the person to speak to.

Why not go and see her? It's surely better to make certain that EVERYONE in the school is on side, knows what is happening, has agreed with a plan of action, rather than just 'wait and see if something else happens and then "that is it" - whatever that means - seeing the head? Seeing the head about withdrawing your child from the school? Why not go and see her NOW to get things sorted in advance before your son suffers more?

(Apologies if you have already seen her previously and all these events have been since that meeting - that would obviously change matters. If you have seen the class teacher and the deputy head for proper meetings and nothing has been resolved, then the next step is to see the HT. A HT is in charge until they actually leave the building, and if they don't deal with the matter satisfactorily, then contact the governors.)

TheOriginalFAB Wed 28-Sep-11 19:13:47

She is leaving April time.

The head has never seen us or been involved in this apart from to write to my husband and say I wasn't to speak about it to the deputy head in the playground. The head has never sorted out any bullying and I know of families who have moved their children because she wouldn't sort it.

It is all just so slow. It has taken years to get to thepóint where the parents are being asked to come in. Letters haven't gone out yet and we have already been told we have to allow time for them to arrange to come in. hmm.

Priorities! DH has taken loads of time off work to deal with this.

teacherwith2kids Wed 28-Sep-11 19:16:38

Step 1, then, is still to see the head. Or speak to her on the phone. It could be you, doesn't have to be your dh as well.

Step 2, if she doesn't deal with it, is to refer the matter, in writing and with evidence, to the governors.

THEN you can complain that it is going slowly IF nothing happens. You can't really complain that nothing is being done if you don't take the obvious first step?

TheOriginalFAB Wed 28-Sep-11 19:21:26

We have been in to school more than a handful of times.
The kids have been spoken too.
The bullying has continued.
The kids were spoken to last week.
He was hurt again this week.
The teacher is lying. Have no option but to let it go as she is never going to admit it.
The parents of the bullies haven't even been told yet.
I have been told that things take time.
I have been told I have to look forward and focus on the fact ds has had 2 good days - ie 2 days without being kicked, strangled, had htinghs thrown at him or hit.

teacherwith2kids Wed 28-Sep-11 19:43:15

So the teacher hasn't responded appropriately or in line with the bullying policy - go to the head. Why not?

All parents in my experience in school who have a genuine complaint about bullying have been STRAIGHT in to see the head - appointment or no appointment - and the head has then investigated what has happened, including interviewing the staff involved. If the head hadn't done that - in all cases I have been party to they have - then those parents would have had no hesitation in taking the matter to the governors.

The fact that you seem unwilling to take this up with the proper member of staff through the proper channels, given how serious you say that the problem is, is absolutely baffling to me.

Oblomov Wed 28-Sep-11 20:05:41

I know what you mean FAB, re parents not being told. Our was very very minor compared to yours. But ds was named called and teased mercilessly for weeks and weeks and weeks. He never told me. I found out from his friend. Head had the 3 boys in her office and they admitted it. But Head never refered to it as Bullying. And I know for a fact thta none of the 3 parents were ever told.
I wonder what HAs to happen, before parents are informed ?

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