Am I over reacting?(18 Posts)
My son has been having constant issues with the children in his class since starting his school in 2013. He is not the only child to feel bullied and belittled and the class teachers have admitted that he is in a particularly nasty and mean year group. Recently, I met with the Headmaster and spoke of my concerns and my son's increasing anxiety. I felt these concerns were sniffed at and he did everything he could to make them seem out of proportion. I told him I found him very UNapproachable and unsympathetic to my concerns, to which he seemed hurt and offended. I left with all kinds of reassurances that my issues would be looked in to.
Today my son told me that he was shouted at in front of his class and he was so scared that he was shaking. He had been accused of drawing a picture which had been purposely done to hurt the feelings of another class mate. No facts were checked and he swears he did nothing to hurt anyone's feelings. I know everyone would expect that I would defend him but I promise I would be the first in line to reprimand him. He said he was making a plan to run out of the back door and leave school by climbing the fence because he's so fed up of all the wrong children getting the blame for things. He said he just couldn't stand going there any more and could I please move him. He was Sent to see the head who asked him for his side of the story and was basically called a liar yet again with no evidence
When he said he was scared enough to shake I was devastated. Then when he said he had planned to leave school I was terrified. Who wants to think their child is scared and feeling hopeless enough to leave school by himself?! He's only 9 and is very sensitive. I am unhappy with how he is feeling and angry that he was made to feel like a liar and a bully.
I wouldn't send my child anywhere else if he felt scared of someone but he is supposed to be at school by law. I need some advice, I feel like this is a big deal. Any opinions gratefully received.
If it was my child I would be looking for a new school asap.
Move schools, its unlikely to get better where you are
I'd put him on waiting lists for other schools and in the meantime keep going back to the school and speaking to the headteacher. Let your son know what's going on and hopefully he'll feel a little better if he knows its being sorted.
Where are you? I assume you aren't in England? Yes I would move him as fast as possible. No hesitation. Son has had some awful experiences over the years at school but they have all been handled well and nothing that left him feeling like that.
In England your child only has to be in education by law - this can be at home or at school. To educate at home all you have to do is de-register him from school. I know some countries have a more regulated home education system and Germany doesn't allow home education at all. But I would definitely look into the rules for your country.
In England to do an in-year transfer you just have to go to the local authority for your home and put in an application. They can tell you which schools have vacancies. Or you can ask around. You can go on waiting lists if there are no vacancies.
I'm in England. Unfortunately, I live in an area where school places are few and far between. I will home educate if I need to at this point.
Thank you very much, I appreciate the replies and advice. I think I knew exactly what I had to do but knowing that I wasn't over reacting was important. Sometimes you just need that back up!
Pull him out if you feel you need to. But, continue through the complaints process at school, if at all possible. Probably this means writing to the governors but check the schools website to be sure.
That way people know what's going on. And if the situation escalates for another child they have evidence to support their case.
Yes, get on the lists for other schools. Even if places were few and far between in reception year, there may be movement in higher years as people leave the area, go to independents, etc.
Start keeping records - every meeting, every issue in the classroom. Send an email after talking with the head: "Thank you for meeting with me today. As I understood, you agreed to do xx and yy following the incident when DS ...". Keep language professional.
If it's not greatly improved after a couple of rounds of this, approach the governing body. Also, get a copy of the school's bullying policy and make reference to it where relevant. Good luck OP, sounds terrible.
I think you need to ask them why they decided your son was being horrid, but in the cases where he is the victim they don't correct the other child/children.
Another girl in Dd's class used to be constantly doing underhand nasty things, which she'd then deny. Dd would respond openly, and happily admit what she'd done. The other dc would turn on the tears and act the victim.
I'm not suggesting that is the case here, however the reason the school were able to apportion blame where it was due, and ignore her parents bleatings, was because they had closely observed them, and could recount what/where/when incidents occurred.
And as they seem to be assuming your son is acting in the same way, then presumably they will be able to recount other incidences where they have witnessed your son being underhand.
Except I doubt they will, because it doesn't sound like that is the case here or they would have mentioned it before now when you've been in. And again not suggesting your son is like my example, but asking the school for a list of all your sons similar past behavior, when no such thing exists will be a difficult question for them to brush off.
You need to discuss this with the school and find out what evidence (if any) they think they have. Make sure you get this and your concerns about the school's failure to adequately address bullying in writing. After any phone call or face to face discussion send an email setting out your understanding of what was discussed - that counts as written evidence. Then apply for other schools and, if you are refused entry on the basis that they are already full, appeal. You will be able to use the written evidence of bullying in your appeal and it could well persuade an appeal panel to admit your son.
If you've been having issues for all these years and nothing seems to be changing I would pull him out. He sounds very down and desperate poor kid. I'd home educate until an alternative place became available. I wouldn't bother with the head anymore (probably not sensible but that's me) as he's proved little help so far. I'm sure your son will be infinitely happier elsewhere, good luck
So as I suspected, the school are not very forthcoming in taking any kind of responsibility for what has happened. They have decided after almost 4 years of this class running riot, to employ a zero tolerance policy and jump on anything that vaguely looks like bullying without stopping to think first. The head teacher told me he had decided that there was 'probably' ill intentions meant by my child. PROBABLY. He was punished on the basis of probability. I asked him what this was based on as I had been reassured repeatedly that my child was not regarded as naughty, a bully or a troublemaker by several members of his staff. He had no answer.
The class teacher when told my child had been too afraid of being shouted at to defend himself, claimed it was rubbish and said, and I quote 'I've had enough of this' and stormed out. Our conversation had been less than 30 seconds long at this point. He apparently wasn't at all concerned that he had made a 9 year old shake and devise ways to sneak out of school. He leaves at the end of term and is no longer invested in the welfare of his class by the looks of things. I see this as a safeguarding issue. I am not happy to leave my child in his care any longer.
I am about to send a follow up email regarding this meeting and my concerns in relation to this teacher being in charge of a class of 30 children, when he claims to have 'had enough of this', when questions of a child feeling safe in his care are raised. It actually makes me feel physically sick.
Keep the email plus any other emails you have sent. Apply for other schools now. Don't wait for places to become available. When you are refused entry you should appeal and use this as evidence showing why your son cannot reasonably be expected to stay at this school.
I think your relationship with the school has irretrievably broken down. You don't trust them and they are not treating you with courtesy . It seems they are not following their Behaviour Policy and it is a free for all. The teacher seems out of his depth and unable to settle these children down so they can learn effectively.
By the way, some children do shake when they have been rumbled! As there has been no effective investigation, no-one will ever know what has been going on. However, in this situation, do find another school. It is the only way out.
My ds was being bullied in year 7 and was so low and depressed
To cut a long story short I moved him with weeks to spare of year 7 to a school that on paper doesn't look that great but has amazing pastoral care.
It was the best thing I did. Ds is flourishing and most importantly, happy.
Make the calls today to set the wheels in motion, don't discount a school due to ofsted, do go and have a look, your ds deserves better than this and you sound like you've tried all you can to resolve the situation.
The best feeling is knowing your child is happy going to school, feels valued and where bullying of any kind is just not tolerated.
Good luck op
"a particularly nasty and mean year group"? What a useless school. They should have been clamping down on the nasty and mean children from Reception on.
Your poor DS. Don't send him back on Monday. Just advise the school you will home tutor until you can get a place at another school. I hope he will be happier when he moves.
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