9 year old DD isn't coping with another class pupil(21 Posts)
Some objective and wise advice neede please.
DD has struggled to get on with a boy in her class for years but I've always encouraged her to avoid him. She tells me that he is a gossip, spreads lies and rumours, grabs girls to cuddle them and generally annoys her. When they were younger, I encouraged her to be non reactive, show that she wasn't moved at all by his behaviour, and it worked.
The last year has been difficult for her to the extent that she dwells an awful lot on what this boy says and does. I phoned the school to request that they weren't sat at the same table with their learning groups when DD told me that this boy was discussing 'sex' (various graphic stories) and how he looks at suicide on YouTube. Thankfully, they moved her but on the yard, he carries on as normal.
The things he is doing are pretty low-level - pulling faces and making bizarre noises in her face, continuing to try and cuddle her (despite her fiercely telling him to stop and on one occasion even shoving him away - he just laughs) and calling her names like 'thick head' and 'deaf-o). It isn't every day, but when he does do it, it gets under her skin to the extent that she's dwelling on it until late at night.
I have asked her to approach her class tutor to ask her for advice (I.e. "He's doing x, y and z and I don't know how to handle it and it's really getting to me") but she doesn't trust her class teacher to handle it and is mortally afraid of getting a row herself (the boy "tells tales" an awful lot and I get the impression that he is taken seriously - he doesn't play with other lads and often they target him).
I'm not quite sure how to handle this one. He isn't talking about anything inappropriate with her anymore or doing anything really offensive, so I don't know whether going up the school is going to make me look like a whinging Mum with an axe to grind. I sometimes see his parents out and about and I used to be tempted to say something, but this may be inappropriate too.
I should add that this doesn't happen on a daily basis, but not a week goes by without another 'incident'. It really is bothering her to the extent that she's focusing upon him an awful lot.
Go in and have a chat with the teacher. I'd want to know if your DD was in my class. I would speak to the boy - at first just a case of you're doing X,Y and Z and its making DD feel uncomfortable and she doesn't like it. You need to respect her right to say no etc. If it still continued I'd be having further conversations with the boy and his parents.
Thanks Wombat, I really am grateful for your advice.
For me the unwanted cuddles would be a problem. If it was distracted my child from school work or making them worried at home I would have a word with the teacher.
Low-level refusals to respect someone else's boundaries are still very tiresome even if not particularly egregious. He sounds like a wind-up merchant who needs to know where the line is.
Derbyshire Peak District. In the very bumpy bit
transpose this persistent harassment to adults and you wd be going to a higher authority. He is targeting your dd=harassment-and probably not only her as he gets to her 1 a week . If she watches , she will identify others he is doing the same to . Perhaps she can ally with them and safety in numbers may help.The sexual component raises other issues which perhaps require ss intervention . This needs to be stopped as he will get into more serious trouble as he gets older if he continues along this path. As it happens in the playground ,is there a supervisor there who can be asked to pay attention.Hell of a disgrace that a 9yr old girl is being harassed at school.
armamai thank you for your post, really - thank you. I'm getting very neutral reactions from other Mums and it was making me feel over-reactive.
I phoned the school yesterday to speak to either the class- teacher or the Head but all the junior division and key staff were out for the afternoon. Unfortunately, he grabbed her again yesterday whilst on this trip and she lost her temper. She shoved him off her so hard that he fell and knocked himself quite hard on the floor. He cried and gained lots of sympathy from onlookers. DD told a TA what she did and was told it would be dealt with on Monday ( school trip ended quite late and parents collected from venue). She's now in a right state. I need to be prepared as I'm not letting the school point the finger of blame solely onto her
Ohdearlord thank you too for your post. It's upsetting that she has to put up with this when all she wants to do is play football and sprint around with her friends on the yard. It's not helpful that other girls on the yard don't mind being cuddled and grabbed by him then tell my DD that she's being nasty to him for not liking it.
she has the right to defend herself,op. She is not partly to blame as he is deliberately ignoring her right to control her body . He has been told explicitly many times NO and the school has been informed that this is unwelcome-actually it's an assault. I'd be sending an email to the school saying you and your dd need to meet with the ht as there has been ANOTHER assault on her her by the same student i.e. you take the offensive and ensure a paper trail. I f you have not been emailing and keeping track up till now, put a mini history of this boy's harassment of your dd in this email. This sends the message that you are taking this seriously and they have to deal with it. It creates the concern for them as to why you are keeping track and perhaps you will go above them. They do not want this to happen and will try harder to stop this boy. Use the correct language for what he is doing , do not minimise it. Do not bring up that other girls allow it-=irrelevant. Your dd has control over her body = a basic legal concept.This is a safety issue as this boy may do more if he is allowed to get off with this. Maybe talk to a person who can give you advice as to the legal language =will encourage the school to take action. I actually paid a lawyer to send a letter to an employer when my dd had a part time job in her early teens and was being harassed by another employee.It worked and was worth the $$.
I sympathise. How awful for you, and for her. On Monday I would NOT let her go into school on her own. I would go in with her, go straight to the school office and ask to see the class teacher, TA or even the Head. Most schools will make time to see any parent as an emergency if something important comes up unexpectedly. As has been said before, I would take in a list of everything that has happened, and calmly and clearly state that it is inappropriate/worrying/disturbing etc etc, and you expect the school to put a plan of action together to deal with it to stop this harassment. You are not a whingeing parent - you're a concerned one who simply wants the best for your DD. Good luck.
armarmai you're posts are extremely helpful and encouraging. I really am grateful.
I'm going to pen an email tonight with the history of this pupil for the last year and then request a meeting for next week. DD has been moody for weeks about school so I'm starting to realise how much this boy is affecting her. She needs to know that I am behind her 100%.
HappyMummy thank you. That's really worth doing, actually - thank you. I'm around Monday morning to tackle this so perhaps I'll hold back on the email and print it off instead (as a reminder of what DD has had to put up with).
As an adult, we wouldn't put up with this so it's mind boggling that children should have to out up with it too.
If you're talking to them on Monday, I'd also make sure that you remind them that you tried to talk to them on Friday about this matter before you knew that the boy had caused yet another problem but that they weren't available to talk to you about it, to push home the point that you are not just there to talk to them about the incident yesterday, that this is a long term problem that is seriously affecting your dd and that yesterday's incident is a trivial issue in the main problem of this boy's behaviour. Because if they don't care about your dd being hassled over the years (and by not stopping this behaviour they've effectively condoned it) then why are they suddenly worried about the boy being hurt - it should have been fairly obvious to them that if they allow a child to continually harrass other children, then at some point those children are going to snap and push back. And sometimes when people push back, those being pushed get hurt. It's not something that should come as a surprise to the school - if anything it's a surprise that it hasn't happened sooner.
I'd also take an approach along the lines of 'thank god that you are finally going to do something about this problem boy and that he might finally realise that no means ' when you talk to them, that this is a problem that has been years in the making and you wish they had sorted it out sooner so that it had never had to progress this far, rather than going in and begging them not to tell your dd off - rather than it never crossed your mind that they would do anything other than tell her well done for not snapping earlier despite lots of long term provocation.
before you talk to them, I wonder if there's anyone you could talk to for advice, such as phoning 101 or Childline - or if there's somewhere else that isn't quite such a 'front line' team you could call?
I'm guessing the boy is also about 9 and therefore below the age of being able to report him to the police. But they may well be able to tell you exactly how they would classify the boy's behaviour when trying to pester your dd if he was 10+ - so that when you talk to school and they try to downplay it, you can say no, it's definitely harrassment (or whatever they say!).
It also means that when they try to say that your dd shouldn't have pushed back that you can ask them what exactly she should do when he is harrassing (or whatever they say) her - is she expected to let him do as he wishes with no regard for her whatsoever? And if she says No then why does it not mean No? So what should she say? And keep reminding them to make them realise how worrying his behaviour is and how much worse it could go on to be if it carries on in the same vein. And that you bet that if a male member of staff tried to hug a female member of staff multiple times despite being told No each time he would be rightly thrown out of school rather than being encouraged and told that it was the female member of staff's problem, if he wanted to hug somebody he could hug them regardless of what they thought.
Sorry, this is a bit garbled and not very coherent but hopefully you can sort of see what I'm getting at!
Hope it all goes well for your dd on Monday and she doesn't have too miserable a weekend because of it.
zipzap and everyone else
I wish I could print off your post as a 'script' to bring impact to my words. Wow - that is so well written.
You have really focused my thoughts on this and given me the confidence to tackle it with a clear head. DD is still dwelling on it it tonight but DH and I have told her that we are 100 % behind her and that sharp words will be exchanged should the school not see the big picture here.
Thanks so much, everyone.
I wonder if your DD finally shoving the boy away so he fell and hurt himself will deter him from getting physical with her again? Hope so! Good luck for Monday.
This is a safeguarding issue.
You need to put a complete log of events, and the effect it is having on your child, in writing to the HT.
Explain that you want a meeting and written response with a plan of action.
If this is not forthcoming, write again, with a copy of your original letter, copied to the chair of the board of governers.
The next escalation would be to the LEA and your MP.
Bit late sorry but just thought - have you checked out the school's anti bullying policy on its website? If it's not there and easily available (and if not, why not but that's a separate issue!) then you need to ask for it so that you can point out how the school are failing in relation to the steps that they are supposed to be going through when bullying occurs.
Hope you manage to get a productive meeting tomorrow and your dd hasn't had her weekend spoilt by this hanging over her!
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