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X bullies my son. X's mum suggests a meeting so ds can 'understand him' and school agree?

(45 Posts)
firstchoice Mon 03-Mar-14 20:20:05

Am completely frustrated.
Ds attends primary.
He has been bullied, on and off, for 2 years.
School does nothing.
He finds it hard to 'speak up' and when we do we are ignored.
1 particular child, X, bullies him almost daily.
Sometimes outright bullying - pushing off walls, cornering in toilet cubicles, deleting ICT work,
sometimes more subtle - name calling, pushing in line, occupying 'space' right in my sons face etc.
He bothers the rest of the class too, but my ds most of all.

School continue to do nothing but say they are 'monitoring' it.
Finally, last week, my ds spoke to his CT, DHT, and HT in one day about it all. Brave lad.

Tomorrow we meet senior education officer from LEA.
We met her 2 weeks ago and described in detail some of the incidents.
She said: 'there is bullying in all schools'. When we got the minutes, there was NO mention of any of the examples we had raised. Just like it didn't exist.

Tonight, we get email from HT, (who isn't coming to meeting tomorrow and about whom we have complained to Director of Education), to say
that X's mother has suggested that there is mediation between the boys to 'improve their relationship' and so ds can 'understand x'. The school seem to think this is a super idea and suggest we use tomorrows meeting to agree it.

?!?!?!

Amy106 Mon 03-Mar-14 22:25:59

Brave lad indeed. That's a lot for one child to have to put up with and it is so very unfair. Unless your ds wants to go to mediation ( and I doubt he does), then I would not agree to it. Just keep repeating at every meeting, "What does the school plan to do to insure my son's safety?" Be like a broken record until they actually do something. Insist that you are able to record all meetings for your records in case this can not be resolved at the school level and "further action is required." Bullying is awful and it stops right away.

steppemum Mon 03-Mar-14 22:46:35

Have the incidents been logged at all? I think that you need a written log of the incidents you are talking about, and it needs to form part of the minutes of a meeting.

I think I am right in saying that minutes have to be agreed by the people who were present at the meeting, so write back to LEA and say you do not accept the minutes as a true and fair representation of the meeting, and say they should list the incidents reported by you.

I would write back to the HT and say you are not prepared to accept a meeting with this child and mother because your son is being bullied by him and it is not mediation which is required but safeguarding.

SapphireMoon Tue 04-Mar-14 07:02:50

There needs to be a meeting before that meeting agreeing to THAT!
As for the minutes, as steppemum says, they are not accurate.
Put in writing that you do not accept minutes as representation of the meeting and state why.

columngollum Tue 04-Mar-14 07:05:44

If the bully is 10 yo or more report him directly to the police for assault and insist they press charges and escort him from the school in handcuffs and charge the head with neglect.

saintlyjimjams Tue 04-Mar-14 07:08:53

Oh gawd - this was our experience of bullying in primary as well. It did my head in tbh. We were told ds 2 was a bit sensitive. I had to actually point out I would find being called a cunt by someone much bigger than me intimidating hmm

What year is your son in? We have found secondary much better - any whiff of intimidation or using your size & the school are on it. None of this understanding bullshit.

Fwiw ds2 did eventually start to get on with his bully & it did help him stand up to him. He remained wary of him though & he remains terrified that he might have someone latch onto him again iykwim. No problems at secondary though & any hint of anything is sorted.

AuntieStella Tue 04-Mar-14 07:09:29

I agree with steppewolf's line.

You need to get every incident on record.

Perhaps repeat the list to the school, and state you will add further incidents as thy arise.

Then state that it will be inappropriately stressful for your DS, as a young victim, to take an active role right now how the school manages behaviour. You will consider such a meeting when there has been a sufficient period with no incidents for your DS to have regained some feeling of security.

saintlyjimjams Tue 04-Mar-14 08:54:04

Yes do record everything. Your poor son sad

BirdintheWings Tue 04-Mar-14 09:00:50

Jimjams, we too were told that DS was oversensitive to 'normal banter'. I had to say, 'So, are you telling me that actually you think it's fine to jeer at someone daily and call them a speccy, poncy, stupid weirdo? A waste of space? An ugly turd? A shitface? Or would you find that upsetting? Oh, and do you prefer your things to be left alone or stolen and damaged daily?'

I was so tempted to add 'You shitfaced stupid weirdos, you!' but decided that wouldn't be the dignified note I wanted with the school leadership team.

saintlyjimjams Tue 04-Mar-14 09:25:14

Yes what is that oversensitivity line??? Agh. Secondary was a breath of fresh air I can tell you! Ds2 had an unpleasant run in with an older child (from his bloody primary school fgs) - I reported it via email at 9 o clock at night - had a reply 10 mins later saying it would be sorted, and it was, by registration the next morning. No suggestion that ds2 was just being a bit wet or over reacting. Older child had knuckles rapped, got told to behave, no problems since.

In primary I sort of went along to a certain extent with the 'yes he needs to learn some resilience' line but looking back, and seeing the different approach in secondary I really think I let him down there tbh. He was being physcially and verbally threatened daily by someone who was his age but much larger than him. I think he actually held it together extremely well.

allisgood1 Tue 04-Mar-14 09:29:02

Have you contacted the people at bullying.co.uk? They are a friendly group who can help you out in situations such as this one. It does sound to me, however, that you have already taken this pretty far with no results hmm if it were my child I would be looking to change schools hmm

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Tue 04-Mar-14 09:33:25

I'd be saying absolutely not.

The only thing my son needs to understand is that you have a duty of care towards him and how you are going to ensure that he is protected from bullying.

and if you can't do that, then all I need to know is where I can find a copy of the LA complaints procedure.

you know, OP, I am so pig sick of bullies being the ones who must be helped and protected and understood at all costs while their victims must learn to be understanding and accepting and most of all, silent.

it fucking stinks.

firstchoice Tue 04-Mar-14 10:06:58

thank you for your input, everyone.
it is hard when you are faced with a wall of denial, to maintain your reality!

Amy - we will ask to record this meeting. they have said NO in the past but, given we gave detailed descriptions of the bullying at the last meeting with the SEO and when she sent us the 'minutes' there was NO mention of it at all except 'mum gets upset at what she sees as problems in the playground', we will need to record it.

steppemum - thank you. I will do as you suggest. The bullying got so bad at this school a couple of years ago that the Police were involved. The HT is a 'local lass' and has rellies all over the village and region so if you 'cross' her then life is really grim. The bullying is allowed / stopped depending on who you are!

Sappiremoon - yes, I was going to bring 'our version' of the minutes to the meeting today but I will also write to say we do not accept their version as they are not accurate. Previously, it has taken up to a year to even get minutes...

collumgollum - it is tricky -
My ds sits in a year younger class where the kids are up to 2 years younger max. The bullying child is same age as my ds but also in the younger class as he is very small and quite immature.
My ds is query dyslexic, and query ASD. School want nothing to do with either issue, nor do local nhs (re the ASD). This leaves my ds less able than average to cope with teasing 'poo-face' / standing in his personal space etc that most kids, inc my younger dd, would brush off. School are claiming it is ONLY this and therefore my ds needs to 'grow a shell'.

Unfortunately, it is also - pushing off walls (ds specs needing repairing), dragging around playground (the school is a zoo and they 'let them get on with it'), spitting, bursting into toilet cubicles, stealing lunch/snack/clothes/schoolbag, and deleting / destroying work.
This is clearly bullying. The bully child goes around with a sharpened pencil trying to stab other kids in the hand (he drives everyone nuts not just my ds but my ds seems less able to cope with it and has been most targeted).
We have been told that the bullying child 'has issues' and our ds 'needs to understand that they lead to this behaviour'. It is our son who has had to move tables, move in the line, 'come out of class' if upset etc.

I think it is 2 kids with poss SN / SEN neither of whom are being supported but one of whose SN are accepted and one of whose are not and one of whose parents are good friends with the HT? angry

auntiestella - I will use your bottom para word for word - thank you!

saintly - .x.

bird - yes, my H is really angry about this. it is tempting to expose them to the sort of behaviour my ds is being expected to cope with, daily. they wouldn't stand it for 2 minutes! Cant, sadly. They DO understand, they just don't care! HOpe things are better for your ds now???

firstchoice Tue 04-Mar-14 10:10:54

allisgood1 - yes, school change only option now.
Means taking my query asd change-averse kid away from his home and his 3 friends. H cant move his job so family will need to live apart as well.

Iseeyoushiver - yes, there is so much bullying in life sadly. In many organisations too. I know he has to deal with this as an adult in all likelihood but, for gods sake, he is 9, this has been going on for 2 years, on and off, they are supposed to protect ALL the children in the school, not just the ones whose parents they like....

TSSDNCOP Tue 04-Mar-14 10:18:49

I would be looking at alternative schools TBH but in the event that is not an option:

First I would be onto Ofsted.

Second I wouldn't be going to such a meeting until AuntieStellas recommendation was followed.

Third I'd go through that LEA report with a red pen and correct every single error and omission.

Fourth I would insist that the bully is not allowed within arms reach f my child in the playground or anywhere outside the classroom.

Bollocks grow a shell, he's a child not a snail, and the school have a duty of care. Perhaps they'd like to explain why they don't implement it to the local press?

saintlyjimjams Tue 04-Mar-14 10:19:22

How long before secondary? Is home ed an option for a few years? It sounds awful!

pancakesfortea Tue 04-Mar-14 10:24:54

I can't really add much useful advice, except to say that I'm completely sure this would not be tolerated at our school. It's not you, it's them.

Good luck.

TSSDNCOP Tue 04-Mar-14 10:26:13

Comes a point OP when you do have to stop being reasonable OP. It is OK to put your foot down with the school. You've tried it the nice way, now they clearly need it spelled out.

Write down your expectations and hand them to each person present at the meeting. Copy to LEA and Ofsted.

saintlyjimjams Tue 04-Mar-14 10:30:20

And copy to governors?

firstchoice Tue 04-Mar-14 10:45:25

Hi again.

No govorners. Only LEA. And they are agreeing to this...

Scottish school Inspectors were in recently.
They have been in every 12m for the last 3 years.
School is deemed 'acceptable' but delivery of entire curriculum is deemed: 'poor'.

My ds had a terrific teacher last term who 'managed' the situation in class (but out of class ds was bullied both by this child and others in year above.)

The day the inspectors came, my ds was suddenly 'voted onto the pupil council' (he was chuffed!) and therefore 'had to meet the inspectors' (I discovered later). They asked him some v specific qu's about: 'was he happy with his teacher' / 'did he understand his lessons' etc. He said 'yes he loved his teacher and no, he often didn't understand but his teacher was kind and would go over it with him'. (VERY literal child, poss ASD).

When I brought up the bullying at the last meeting with the SEO she grinned at me and said: 'oh, but your ds confirmed to the Inspectors how happy he was at school so lets not go there, shall we?'

10 days later that wonderful teacher was taken away and replaced with one with a history of problems (with absence, who has already been absent twice, teaching in other schools unbelievably). This teacher 'shouts a lot' and is putting the class in detentions almost every day...

3 years till secondary.

Home Ed not an option.
You have to apply for permission in Scotland and we have been told 'it would be denied'.

saintlyjimjams Tue 04-Mar-14 11:07:27

They're not allowed to unreasonably withhold consent though. If that's your only reason for not home edding (I know there may be others) I'd go for it. People on the home ed section community will be able to help you. It's very difficult for them to withhold consent - they have to say why - the sorts of examples given as 'reasonable' are if the child is on the child protection register.

LEA's often try to indicate they will act illegally (my local SS did this wrt to the support package my disabled son was receiving). Usually when pointed out they're acting illegally they'll back down.

firstchoice Tue 04-Mar-14 11:16:33

we were threatened with Child Protection on the basis of 'potentially emotionally damaging' our son when we went head to head with them re the ASD diagnosis about 18m ago. Local nhs had refused to assess for asd type issues despite clear indicators (this is the 2nd school he has struggled at, in mainstream classes). We saw top nhs consultant on private basis out of area. They dx'd as 'on the autistic spectrum' and said 'further local assess required'. when we came back from the apt there was a letter waiting re 'cp concerns re too many assessments'.
It took over a year for them to write to us to confirm it had been judged at the time that there were 'no cp action to be taken'. The letter states should we ask for any further assessment then cp concerns will be revived. nhs/ss/lea are all lumped together here as 'childrens services'

The SEO referred to this at our last meeting so I have no doubt they would revive it as a threat if they felt they needed to.

I think the only option is to leave but then I am worried that I will be judged for disrupting him?

AMumInScotland Tue 04-Mar-14 11:21:30

As saintlyjimjams says, the fact that you have to 'ask' to deregister to HE doesn't mean they are allowed to be arses about it. You have the right to Home Educate your child.

Obviously, that may be utterly impractical, and/or you think a school environment (without the bullying) would be the best thing for your child, but please don't let them convince you that it's in any way illegal for you to decide to do it.

In the circumstances, even if you took your child out of school tomorrow and applied for permission afterwards, they aren't allowed to take that into account when deciding whether or not to give permission - only if you cannot give them a reasonable indication of how you would ensure he got a suitable education (unless there are pre-existing child welfare concerns, when they can reasonably decide it would be a very bad thing for the child).

AMumInScotland Tue 04-Mar-14 11:24:53

I really doubt that they'd be able to convince anyone that you are 'emotionally damaging' him by seeking a diagnosis, worse than the school is by failing to deal with bullying.

But, if you want to talk to people who can give you a lot more detailed help on that score, contact Schoolhouse - http://www.schoolhouse.org.uk/ - they have people who can talk you through things, and help you prepare for any crap the council decide to throw at you.

saintlyjimjams Tue 04-Mar-14 11:26:30

I was going to suggest schoolhouse as well.

Sorry, they sound awful sad

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