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My son has just burst into tears, and he never cries. Please help :o(

(56 Posts)
MoreSpamThanGlam Tue 16-Nov-10 18:26:28

My son is in Year 7 at a newish state school. He used to go to the 1 class per year primary but we moved out of the area to go to the same school as the other children.

He is a bright boy and very sensitive....and very ginger. he is musical and sporty but the kids at his school are predominantly froma poorer background and there are lots of fights, bullying etc. He feels really intimidated and has told me he has no friends, despite being the most popular boy in his old school.

I was just driving to my Mums and he told me about an old friend of his that has moved schools and as we started talking everything came flooding out and he was crying uncontrollably and said that his only friend has now said he cant be friends with him for fear of being beaten up.

He said that even if I speak to the head of year it cannot change the intimidating atmosphere of the whole school.

I come from a very working class background and went to a rough school and didnt want him to go to a predominantly white, middle class school but this is just awful. The other 2 closest schools are also dire. How do I get him in to the school he wants? Please help me.

Fuchzia Tue 16-Nov-10 18:30:20

I'm sorry I can't really offer any advice, but it seems like pretty serious bullying which needs to be taken very seriously by the school you should certainly raise it with them. Your poor DS.

scurryfunge Tue 16-Nov-10 18:35:27

You do need to speak to the school about this. If the there is a bullying culture within the school then they need to tackle it. It may not help your son initially though. Can you encourage friendships from elsewhere - if he is a member of a club then that may encourage friendships.

The first term of secondary is always difficult.

MoreSpamThanGlam Tue 16-Nov-10 18:44:14

He is a member of two clubs and has made some friends there but they do not feel they can be friends with him at school.

He has made noises about moving, but I just put it down to settling in, but this is something different. he said the whole atmosphere in the school is intimidating.

I just want to movve him, I can't stand it.

pointydog Tue 16-Nov-10 18:49:58

High school can be v difficult. Lots of strong characters jostling for top dog positions and looking for the scapegoats. Things tend to settle down when people find their group, their like-minded buddies.

How many pupils are at the school? If it's big, the chances are that your son will find a group of friends that suit him. What extra-curricular clubs does the school run?

When does the school set? Is he with the same pupils all teh time or is he in set classes for maths and english? If he has ended up wioth a particularly bad bunch for certain clases only, the school could move him into a better class (re behaviour).

Speak to guidance and other staff to get a clearer picture of the situation and get them to suggest some options too.

Try to remain calm and gather some options!There could be ways to make this easier.

pointydog Tue 16-Nov-10 18:50:40

How many year classes? SOme classes are better than others.

scurryfunge Tue 16-Nov-10 18:51:35

Is a move a realistic option? If you are able to move him, I would do it sooner rather than later.

If the whole atmosphere is intimidating (and not just scary because he is new and used to primary) then it sounds like the school does not have a grip on bullying.

jonicomelately Tue 16-Nov-10 18:52:32

I don't know what to suggest. Is it teething troubles? Can you afford private or even if you can't if he's bright can you approach a private school with your plight. Lay it on with a trowel and tell them you'll pay them every penny you can afford. They can only say no.

bogwobbit Tue 16-Nov-10 18:53:02

Seriously if it's that awful, could you not move him.
I went to a crap school, hated it for five years and wished (still wish) that my parents had managed to move me somewhere else.

jonicomelately Tue 16-Nov-10 18:53:43

I'm only suggesting private school btw because the OP says all the other schools are also dire.

thisisyesterday Tue 16-Nov-10 18:54:24

i agree, if you can move him then do

i was bullied at secondary school and all i wanted was for my mum to make the decision to send me somewhere else

AMumInScotland Tue 16-Nov-10 19:05:18

It does sound like the whole school has a bullying/intimidation problem. The "proper" answer is always to go into the school, nag them to deal with the problem, etc, to make it better for everyone.

But personally I'd say sod it, take him out, and see what the options are from there. When you say the other schools available are dire, do you think they also have bullying issues, or do they just seem "rough"? You could try looking more seriously at those to see if they look better in that respect at least.

Or you can keep him out and home educate him while you wait for a place to come up at another better school. When it is not the start of Y7, spaces do come up as people move away etc, so you stand a better chance of getting him into a school you can be happy with than you did for the start of this year.

jonicomelately Tue 16-Nov-10 19:26:16

I agree with AMumInScotland. If they can't be bothered to give your son a good experience why waste any more time with them. They'll never change. I know this from experience. I moved my DS from a school where he was really unhappy. He's never looked back.

pointydog Tue 16-Nov-10 19:29:30

Beware of being too quick to move him.

Moving does not always help a situation. You need to look at all options and see what can be done. Nothing, as yet, has been tried.

Alouiseg Tue 16-Nov-10 19:31:13

Why should you move him, he's not causing the problems?

You really need to speak to the school without your son knowing and stress that he is to be discreetly monitored. Ask to see their policy on bullying and make sure it is correctly implemented.

howdidthishappenthen Tue 16-Nov-10 19:32:22

I have no advice at all as I;m not there yet with our too,but just wanted to offer sympathy. You must be so unhappy. Give him a cuddle from us all at mumsnet sad

howdidthishappenthen Tue 16-Nov-10 19:32:42

sp; '*two*

welshie10 Tue 16-Nov-10 19:38:50

So sorry he is having such awful problems, my D has just started yr7 and is having different issues but still as alarming and it is hard to think about anything else at the moment. But do go into the school and do not leave until you feel happy they will tackle the problem. Hope things improve soon

EvilEyeButterPie Tue 16-Nov-10 19:40:40

I was like this in year seven. I begged to be moved. My parents refused on the grounds that I had to get used to it I just internalised the bullying. I would have my kids out of that school like a shot, and into another local school or home edded, at least for a bit.

Winetimeisfinetime Tue 16-Nov-10 19:59:04

I agree with AMumInScotland, I would, if at all possible take him out of that school.
The thing is that it sounds like that school is never going to be the right environment for your ds and you won't be able to change the culture of the school to be more suitable for him.

We took our ds out of school for very similar reasons and ended up home educating him - used an internet school for iGCSEs.

Talkinpeace Tue 16-Nov-10 20:03:53

Ask for a meeting with his tutor
and head of year
and the head
if no joy after those three weeks, written complaint to head and head of governors.
If it's not an academy you can also complain to the LEA.
Give each group one week - five working days - to get action.
If no joy by Christmas, seek advise and write to the school advising that you are withdrawing him until "safeguarding" is improved.

New schools need to get on top of such issues HARD and FAST. Your may be the opportunity they are awaiting.

If they are an academy with no LEA control - goodness knows.

Effjay Tue 16-Nov-10 20:08:42

Pulling him out of the school should be the last resort. I think a conversation with the head is really important, in confidence and hopefully with your DS there (out of school hours if you can, so that the problem kids are unaware).

I'm a bit old-fashioned in that I think resilience is a really important attribute to develop in a child. I think it stands them in good stead for later life, when there can be REAL challenges. But it's a fine balance and it will depend on the child - EvilEye sounds like she did not get the support she needed from anyone at the time.

It's really important that you help him through this and help him to cope. The school may have some good ideas for coping strategies.

But really, in the end, if the problem persists over a period of time (put a time against it, say three months) and it does not settle down, then you may need the last resort.

bulby Tue 16-Nov-10 20:12:06

Please, at least give the school a chance to get things sorted. Speak to form tutor and head of year, DO NOT put pressure on yourself to think you have to pay private until you have at least seen if something can be done. This is an awful situation but you might find the school can offer lots of support, most schools now have counciling services which can directly help you and your son and there are probably systems in place specifically to deal with bullying. I really hope this works out for you.

jonicomelately Tue 16-Nov-10 20:14:01

I agree that resiliance should be nurtured in children, but why should this child suffer? If it was a woman whose husband was constantly physically and mentally bullying her with no sign of improvement, wouldn't we all be urging her to leave?

KerryMumbles Tue 16-Nov-10 20:15:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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