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Bullying when bullied child gets angry(9 Posts)
Just wanted some other opinions on this...
I received a phone call a couple of weeks about from the Home School Liason person about my 8 year old DS (Y4). He informed me that ds has been behaving aggressively towards other children and needs to learn to manage his anger. Ds been in the school since nursery and we have had no problems. He has been stroppy at home; he's struggling with his older sibling (Y6) growing up and less interested in him, going on a residential trip, will be going to secondary next year etc.
I was wfh, so went to a meeting that day. The School Liaison Person (Mr T) had some incident sheets regarding my ds's aggressive behaviour at lunchtime. No problems in the classroom - I checked this with his class teacher that afternoon. As he spoke, it became obvious that my ds was being picked on by older children, teasing him because he is small. He is also very easy to wind up, and gets angry. He pushed another child. I suggested that it sounded like he was being bullied, and that I'd speak to him that evening. I also agreed that it absolutely isn't acceptable for him to retaliate, and he needs support not to do this. I asked that he be kept inside at lego club for a few days to take the heat out of the situation, which was agreed. Mr T said that my ds is very honest and always admits when he's done something wrong (he does, because he's absolutely convinced that he's in the right).
Spoke to ds, and he described some older children repeatedly teasing him for being small etc. He has been surrounded (Mr T verified this), and prevented from moving away. He told me the name of one of the children. We had a long discussion about other ways of dealing with being provoked ie walking away, telling staff.
I called Mr T the following day, explained all this and gave him the child's name and year group, and said that I would like it treated as bullying. Also for my ds to be supported in dealing with situations differently - I'm trying to do this at home, but obviously I'm not there during the school day.
He stayed in for a few days, and things seemed to settle down. I called Mr T to get his feedback, was informed that my ds had been much calmer. I asked if the children bullying him had been spoken to and Mr T muttered something about that 'friendship group imploding' which seemed to imply no.
Didn't want to make a fuss, so left it, hoping things would improve. His class teacher spoke to me on Friday, saying that his work has improved lots.
Today at pick up, the PE teacher told me that he'd punched another child in the stomach last week (she saw this and ds had admitted it and apologised) and other children had said that he slapped someone around the face today (she didn't see this and ds denies it). She said that she's never had any problems with him before, and doesn't know what started this. My ds couldn't say, other than that the child last week 'was annoying me'.
It was clear that the PE teacher knew nothing about my ds being bullied, and neither did the deputy head who I had a quick chat to. DS said that some other children had been following him around today taunting him 'you're too weak to even beat me up' and pushed him. He doesn't know their names and deputy head suggested that they walk around the classrooms tomorrow to identify them. Also, that he needs to complete a 'bullying form' (first mention of this).
Another long chat with ds. Writing isn't his thing, and he said that 'no-one reminds me to fill in a bullying form'. Also that Mr T hasn't said anything to him about the original bullies being spoken to, nor asked him to identify them in the playground as he said that he would.
Thanks if you've got this far! I acknowledge completely that ds shouldn't be hitting other children, and I want to support him with managing his anger differently, but there's only so much that I can do at home. I feel like the school needs to be being more proactive in helping him managing playground situations, or keeping him inside until he is able to manage them better. It's not fair on any of the children if his behaviour, nor the fact that he's being bullied isn't being properly addressed.
I called the head, and have a meeting tomorrow. I've printed off a copy of the bullying policy, which Mr T has spectacularly failed to follow, meaning that other staff haven't, as he appears not to have informed them.
How can I help ds? The possibility of moving him to another school has occurred to me, but life will be full of people who annoy him, and the same problem might arise again. My sense though, is that if it had been better handled, it would have defused not escalated.
Any advice or suggestions? I'm really struggling with this.
Gosh I fee your pain.
I have had a Similar experience eith my DS. When the school have got the 2 children together to discuss the situation my DS says the other child lies. In front of an adult the other children apologies but back in the playground or classroom the situation gets 10x worse.
I have no idea how you rectify it. I have one v sad child... he is 10
Thanks for your reply, and I'm sorry to hear about your son. The school's bullying policy mentions about getting the children together, although this hasn't been implemented in my ds's case.
I do appreciate that bullying, especially sneaky, sly bullying, is hard for adults to monitor and manage, but that doesn't mean that you just pretend it isn't happening.
What's the next step for your ds? Have you told the school that the situation is getting worse. It seems to be that not being taken seriously is worse than the actual bullying in some ways.
I’ve had experience with this kind of situation sadly. I withdrew my DS eventually, but I’d suggest speaking to the head and getting a list of action points and a timescale for them to happen in, in accordance with the school bullying policy.
These might be for example
- get the children together
- inform all children’s parents by telephone
- keeping them in at break time for xx days
- informing all teachers involved
Then that these things need to have happened by the end of the week , or next Weds or whenever you think is a suitable timeframe.
Then ask for another meeting or telephone call at the end of that timeframe to review what has happened. Make sure that is diaried.
Obviously what you decide is appropriate will come from your meeting tomorrow and depend on the children involved and the bullying policy. There might be things you need to agree for home too.
If you go through those stages and nothing is done or put in place I think you’d be within your rights to go to the governors.
Thanks for you reply. What you outline re action points and time scales are what I expected from the first meeting tbh. I wasn't very satisified with the discussion, but I wanted to keep Mr T on side.
I think the underlying issue is that he doesn't have the skills to do his job, based on other things I've heard and an issue that I had with my other child last academic year. I just want him to implement the policy, which is very, very clear and comprehensive.
As such, I think going to the governors would be fruitless, as they can't make someone competent!
Update.... met with the head this afternoon and asked her what she knew about current situation with my ds. She said that she'd heard that there had been some behaviour problems and that he's stayed in at lunch time a few days. No mentioning of bullying, hence policy not being followed.
I described events and she's in agreement that he is being bullied, and has started to implement re bullying policy.
Her approach was very 'what can we do to help?' rather than 'let's try to pretend that we've sorted this problem out before we've even properly identified what it is'.
I'm really shocked that, even with me explicitly saying that these incidents needed to be treated as bullying, Mr T hadn't taken this on board.
I feel better that someone is taking action and will see how ds goes.
That sounds really positive. Well done!
It sounds good. I would make sure something is in writing to ensure it is acted on.
Thanks. I saw the Head briefly after a concert in school yesterday afternoon, and she said that she's started to implement the policy.
When I dropped my ds off at school today, I saw the deputy talking to him and ruffling his hair, so feel confident that he's been flagged up.
Mr T refused to make eye contact with me, and that's absolutely fine. As long as I know it's being dealt with, I don't care by who.