When does “banter”become bullying..?

(18 Posts)
coco1 Tue 01-May-18 21:12:08

Hi there, I just wanted to see what other parents thoughts are regarding this please?
DS is in year 6 and for a few months on and off he has come home and mentioned somethings that happened in school. Such as another pupil stealing his lunch and throwing it around, “accidentally”bumping into him.. There are one or two boys who he describes as being mean, I have managed to work out that basically whenever he says something they make a joke about it.
DS is sensitive and I have tried to encourage him to ignore them as if they get a reaction they will carry on, but part of me also thinks why should he have to put up with it?

I am worried that he will have enough, have a go back and then be the one getting into trouble.
He has a pgl trip coming up and I have said that if he doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t have to. He wants to go as he says “if I don’t go they’ve won”, part of me thinks good on him but the other part wonders whether he is actually bothered. I might be over reacting and wondered what others thought.
thank you:-)

OP’s posts: |
Mannix Tue 01-May-18 21:15:09

I hate the term 'banter' and I hate it when someone who is being picked on is told that 'it's only a joke' etc. Have you been to see his teacher and told her about this? I would definitely do this. It would be a real shame if he missed out on the trip.

NotAgainYoda Tue 01-May-18 21:16:14

This is bullying, and your schools anti-bullying policy will say so.
I would check that out regarding what their procedure are (what happens when bullying is reported) and then follow with a meeting with his teacher. If you are not satisfied then arrange a meeting with the Head Teacher.

StripySocksAndDocs Tue 01-May-18 21:16:38

Banter is a two way thing. All involved give and take. All involved find it amusing. There's no victim or butt of all jokes.

Bullying is one way. There's a victim.

The treatment your DS gets sounds one way.

NotAgainYoda Tue 01-May-18 21:17:26

Oh, and try and see them as insensitive, not your son as sensitive.

PeggySchuylar Tue 01-May-18 21:19:49

If it’s not welcome, it’s not banter.

If both parties think it’s funny and it’s two way, it’s banter.

coco1 Tue 01-May-18 21:22:00

Thank you all so much for replying, it’s really helped, I’ll go and speak to his teachers.tomorrow.x

OP’s posts: |


user789653241 Tue 01-May-18 21:22:05

Totally agree with pps. It's not a banter. I would speak to the teacher.

Onceuponatimethen Tue 01-May-18 21:22:34

I would be in to chat to school. In a ‘I thought you’d like to know so you can keep an eye’ sort of way. If it still doesn’t stop I would then ask for a meeting to discuss it

Sorry to hear this - I know it’s stressful flowers

MaisyPops Tue 01-May-18 21:24:26

Banter is where everyone is in on it and it's funny. Any jokes are good natured and it's not unkind.

There's a point where during banter something can cross a line and it becomes unkind. If on realising someone was hurt, the joke stops then it was unkind but not bullying. (Sometimes kids struggle to find the line and only realise they've hit it when someone gets upset).

If it continues and jokes etc go on knowing someone doesn't like it, done to upset, prolonged unkind actions it is absolutely bullying.

In your DS's situation it is one way nastiness and is bullying.

As a teacher my unofficial take is if you pull nice kids aside who have had banter and someone has got upset, they will usually explain they were joking, be apologetic, feel bad for upsetting someone and stop. If you pull a bully to one side and talk to them about their actions they will say but it was just banter as if that ends the conversation.

IAmMotherOfDragons Tue 01-May-18 22:05:30

have a word with his teacher.

We had a few children "joking" with my ds....he came upset about a few things such as they had given him a nickname he didnt like....we spoke to his teacher, who spoke to the other children and they didnt mean to be mean but as ds hadnt told them or his teachers no-one knew about it.

Now.... the stealing lunch and stuff sounds like bullying, but if no-one tells the teachers then they cannot work to put a stop to it. speak to the teacher, if nothing gets better then speak to the head teacher.

CatWhisker Wed 02-May-18 12:05:17

Agree with everyone else. He's being picked on.

toptomatoes Wed 02-May-18 13:06:19

My son is in a very similar situation. We are hoping to speak to his teacher about it today as he was crying last night and says he doesn’t ever want to play out with his friends in case he sees one of the ‘mean people’. He’s just hiding at home. We were unsure whether he was being over sensitive at first but it seems to be escalating and he’s constantly being laughed at, told he has no friends and called a nerd. There’s also been a bit of pushing over and yesterday he was shoved away from a chair he was just about to sit in just so he couldn’t sit with his friend. We don’t want to make things worse but we don’t want him dreading school either so we have to talk to the teacher. Good luck!

GuestWW Wed 02-May-18 16:40:27

When someone says or does something UNINTENTIONALLY hurtful and the do it ONCE, that's RUDE.

When someone says or does something INTENTIONALLY hurtful and they do it ONCE, that's MEAN.

When someone says or does something INTENTIONALLY hurtful and they KEEP DOING it even when you tell them to stop or show them you're upset, that's BULLYING.

FourFriedChickensDryWhiteToast Wed 02-May-18 16:43:51

Banter shmanter

Teateaandmoretea Wed 02-May-18 19:47:26

There is no such thing as 'over sensitive'. If someone makes you feel bad then that's real. You can control the reaction bit not how it makes you feel/ that you notice it.

Definitely bullying op. The answer is that if it makes someone feel uncomfortable/ intimidated the line has been crossed. Banter is mutual piss taking that stops the second someone isn't happy.

coco1 Sat 05-May-18 11:28:11

Once again thanks for the replies and it does me realise it’s bullying, I think I have tried not to over react , but you are all spot on about banter being two way. I spoke to his teachers after another incident, they were really good and said to ds that he has done the right thing telling them, and in fact these particular boys involved have been mentioned by others. Teacher also said he isn’t being over sensitive as these boys have been a pain.

toptomatoes, how is your son., what a horrible situation to be that upset, it’s hard enough as an adult in the workplace to deal with bullying but at least we’re grown up. Your son should not have to tolerate this nastiness.x

OP’s posts: |
toptomatoes Tue 08-May-18 14:57:20

I’m really glad things went well with your son’s teacher. We spoke to DS’s teacher and she was great. It’s only been a week or so but DS is much happier and feels like someone is looking out for him. He also seems more comfortable arranging things with his friends. Fingers crossed!

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