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If your child was the class bully, would you want to know?

(20 Posts)
NormaSnorks Wed 09-Sep-09 10:55:20

And would you even believe a friend if they tried to tell you?

cory Wed 09-Sep-09 11:01:13

If my child was the class bully, then presumably that would mean my child was rather an unhappy child, as well as making other people unhappy. So of course I would want to know- for everybody's sake. Would probably prefer being told by the teacher though, rather than another mum.

EccentricaGallumbits Wed 09-Sep-09 11:01:19

I'd want to know and also talk to her teacher rather than just second hand via another child
Not that I wouldn't believe other child but with all their fallings outs and misinterpreting everything I'dwant a fuller picture of what was going on.

mankyscotslass Wed 09-Sep-09 11:02:09

I think it depends on who told me. blush

I have a few good friends at school who I trust to be honest with me, and I would be the same with them, no matter how uncomfortable the truth is.

But there are people who I am "friendly" with who I am also wary of, and who seem to sometimes have a hidden agenda with everyone elses children bar their own.

I am aware of my childrens shortcomings, and am well aware none of them are angels, especially DS2, so if one of my good friends came to me with issues I would listen, even though I may bristle a bit in mother tiger mode!

I would have hoped the school would raise the issue before anyone else though.

Hassled Wed 09-Sep-09 11:02:28

Yes, I'd want to know. And then I'd do my own research/probing to establish whether or not it was true. I wouldn't assume it was false.

NormaSnorks Wed 09-Sep-09 11:06:19

Sorry, should probably explain.

A boy in DS's class:

- is bright, articulate, clever
- 'leads' a little gang, dictating who can/can't play with them
- encourages children NOT to play with one certain child (who has a variety of difficulties/ differences)
- lies about what other children have done to get them into trouble, and encourages his friends to join him in the deceit

This has been going on all last year and has just started again this year. The school don't seem to be handling it very well. They seem to 'favour' this child and believe his word over other children, as he is more articulate/ confident, and gets his friends to back him up.

I don't know if the Mum is aware/ is trying to resolve it/ is blissfully ignorant/ is secretly proud of her 'strong' son hmm.

I suspect it's one of the last two sad.

If it were my child doing the bullying I think I would want to be told, but I don't think any parent accepts that their child is a trouble maker very gracefully....

What should we be insisting the school do?

Should anyone try to have a discussion with the mum?

BuckRogers Wed 09-Sep-09 11:39:53

Is your son one of 'the gang'? If so, I'd concentrate on teaching your DS that such attitudes are wrong and unkind and that excluding other children is very unfriendly. Ask how he thinks the excluded children are feeling.

From your post, I'm assuming you aren't good friends with the mum therefore I'd say it would be a bad move to mention anything. If she was a good friend and you were sure of your facts then fine, but not in these circumstances.

How do you know all this btw? Has it come from your DS? If so, bare in mind there may be other sides to it.
Also, school may be more on the ball than you think and his mum be be well aware of the situation.

In your position, all you can do is educate your DS to be thoughtful and inclusive and to think for himself.

NormaSnorks Wed 09-Sep-09 12:06:26

No - DS is not in the 'gang', but rather on the periphery... sometimes plays with this boy, sometimes not.

I am actually proud of him, as he came home saying "Mummy, X was being horribly to Y again yesterday, and A,B &C were joining in, so I went to play with someone else.

(Some kind of jeering about this other boy's appearance was going on I believe)

DS was involved last year though, when X & his friends kept blaming him for things he didn't do. I know this because my elder son witnessed it, and came home upset that DS had been told off for it, and the teachers chose to believe the other child.

I am quite friendly with X's mum actually, but I really don't think the school
a) see it all
b) believe the children who are being victimised
c) are doing very much/ enough

I've retained a fairly neutral stance really, and try to be on good terms with most of the parents. Several of them have recently confided to me that their children are having similar problems, and are discussing 'what can/should we do'. Those who have approached the school (end of last term) were not happy with the school's attitude, in that they didn't seem to be taking it seriously enough/ offer any solutions.

At the moment I'm mindful that it's the beginning of term and things always take a couple of weeks to settle down.

Was just interested to see if anyone thought it was possible that the Mum may NOT be aware of the distress her child is causing. Has anyone been in a similar situation? How would they want to be told/ find out?

Mamazon Wed 09-Sep-09 12:11:11

Ds was propbably seen as the class bully.

He was much much bigger than his peers and his ASD caused him to charge about quite a lot in an attempt to join in with his friends at play time. he would get easily frustrated and sometimes lashed out at people he percieved to have slighted him.

thankfully he has now moved to a much more understanding school.

But yes, i was glad i knew how people viewed him as it allowed me the opportunity to speak to certain parents and sheild him from others.

There is always the feeling of "no, not my boy" but once that seed has been sowed im sure she will see the tell tale signs herself

ICANDOTHAT Wed 09-Sep-09 18:08:43

Norma have you witnessed his behaviour first hand or is this coming from your dc? Just wondered, as I cannot imagine the school are completely ignorant to the situation unless he has Special Needs that they are not allowed to discuss.

NormaSnorks Wed 09-Sep-09 20:40:36

I have seen similar behaviour from X when we have had him over to play, and also DH coaches a local junior sports team and he has witnessed similar, and completely spontaneously mentioned it to me.

He has no SN as far as I know - certainly nothing obvious.

The teachers DO seem to favour him rather - he is a very bright child, and I imagine very verbal in class from what I've seen in similar situations.

The school MUST be aware, because it has been discussed with them, but there is no evidence of them dealing with it. My son and his friends are having their concerns dismissed with comments like 'don't be silly' when they try to tell teachers about things that are happening.
My son gets upset and says that he doesn't want me to go in and talk to his teacher about it, as he (DS) will then get into trouble sad.

What would it be reasonable to ask the school to do, do you think?

bellissima Thu 10-Sep-09 12:59:59

Do other parents share your concerns? If so, I think that you should inform the school (probably individually rather than as a showdown 'posse' - but all within the near future) that you believe that this behaviour has started up again, that you are seriously concerned and that you do not want it to blight yet another year. Focus on the effect on group dynamics perhaps rather than simply running down one child, but do make it clear that the outcome is misery to other pupils. I would honestly approach the school one more time before the parent.

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 10-Sep-09 13:07:36

Are the parents of the 'victim' aware of what's happening? At the very least they should be the ones making *very strong* complaints about this and if they aren't somebody should tell them. However hard the task, they should be aware.

bigTillyMint Thu 10-Sep-09 14:26:19

How old is he? An awful lot of this type of behaviour does go on in school, and some of it is just a normal part of growing up.

But it sounds like this boy may need a bit of help to learn that his behaviour is upsetting others, particularly if it is persistently towards a certain child.

crokky Thu 10-Sep-09 14:31:52

I'd want to know if my child was causing others to be miserable. I am the sort of person who always wants to know things though, I feel better able to deal with things if I know the full facts, even if they are uncomfortable. Do you know what this mum is like? Some people do prefer not to know stuff. I would probably send an anonomous letter to the mother so that she is aware. If I received such a letter, I'd try to sort stuff out.

Highlander Thu 10-Sep-09 16:10:33

If my friend hinted I would ask the teacher, saying that you want school to work with you in encouraging kindness etc.

God, I would be mortified that the school wasn't bringing it to my attention

NormaSnorks Thu 10-Sep-09 16:46:20

Yes - the parents of the usual 'victim' are most definitely aware, and have been into the school on several occasions about it. Their son is distraught about it all - very upset at the prospect of having to be anywhere near X, won't join any clubs he is in etc etc.

The sad thing is that the child that is particularly being bullied has given up on the 'system' and is saying things like "it's not worth telling any teachers, because they all just believe HIM", or "I'll just get told off for 'telling tales'" (this also happened to my DS, so I know it does happen).

The parents of Y (bullied boy) are investigating new schools they are so upset. However I think they are writing a final, formal letter of concern to the school first.

They are all 7/8 year olds BTW.

bigTillyMint Thu 10-Sep-09 17:01:45

The parents of any children who are being bullied / have good reasons to be concerned about their children ought to go in again and ask for a meeting with the teacher and head or deputy if it is really causing so much upset. If several people go in separately or together, they should take it more seriously. Ask about their anti-bullying policy.

The little boy who is "bullying" needs some help to change his ways - they are all learning how to get on with peers, etc, and it sounds like he's going about it the wrong way.

MrsWobble Thu 10-Sep-09 17:06:35

I would want to know - but from the school not other parents. when my dd was that age she and a couple of other friends got into trouble for bullying behaviour - not violent or particularly serious but upsetting enough for the victim's parents to raise it with the teacher.

i was phoned at work to be told - by the teacher after school. I then phoned the victim's mother that evening and the mothers of the other girls and we all agreed that whatever had happened/was happening it had to stop and there would be no excuses and no blame. The teacher had already asked the girls to apologise to the victim, which they had done. i went in to school with dd the next morning and we went into the classroom before school to talk to the teacher and dd had to apologise to her as well.

I don't think they meant to cause the upset and they were genuinely sorry. We had a few days of a very quiet slightly tearful child - but she got over it and it has never recurred and the girls concerned are all good friends now.

So, to answer your question, I would want to know so that it could be dealt with.

NormaSnorks Thu 10-Sep-09 22:35:18

Mrs Wobble - that sounds like a really good approach and solution.

By comparison, in my DS's class when child X had been winding up child Y (who then complained to a teacher), that teacher then gathered together the group of 8 or so children who were supposedly playing together and asked them via a 'show of hands' who was 'telling the truth' about the incident shock.

Boy X has such a 'clique of followers' that they all supported him....

Clearly I wasn't there, so will never know the truth etc. However my friend (mother of Y) went in furious about this approach, and the teacher apparently was reprimanded hmm

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