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Bullying - what can be done? realistically?

(18 Posts)
Lorenz Fri 10-Jun-11 14:34:41

I have recently learnt that DS has been bullied for the past couple of months. Mainly name-calling, arm punching, pushing him over etc. he's in year 7.

The bastards went one step further last week however when they pinned him down and drew all over his face in permanant marker before a year 10 kid tried to stub a cigerette out on his head.

The cig kid was sent home, parents called in, excluded for a few days and on last warning. The other kids (year 7s) were put into isolation.

Yesterday the kid with the marker pushed DS over and called him a "grass". DS reported him again and this time his parents are being called in.

The thing is there are 10 of them and it's constant. Name-calling, threatening, pushing, piss-taking - yesterday he came home with a swollen bruised hand. He told me he hit it on a wall however I learnt from his facebook page that someone had pushed him over and stamped on his hand.

I was on the phone with the school this morning to find out what they intend to do about it and from what I can make out it's basically an endless circle of "exclusion, parents in, isolation, exclusion, parents in, isolation, exclusion etc etc - these kids don't care about this stuff!! exclusion is nothing more than a few days off school!! isolation is easy work and parents being called in is nothing when the parents don't really give a shit either!

The school told me any bullying outside of school (for instance waiting for him after school) should be dealt with by calling the police but what next?? windows through? they can easily find out where we live.

Am I blowing this all out of proportion? realistically, is this bullying likely to get stopped??

aliceliddell Fri 10-Jun-11 14:47:47

No, you are not getting it out of proportion! If there were more like you this wouldn't be happening. Big up 4 your ds! (Prob shamefully uncool, don't tell him). The bullies' parents should feel the heat and get their little b****s kids under control. Tell the governors? Tell the Head you'll go to the press? Councillors? MP? In the end, get him out, home ed/change school, don't let your ds be affected by the little sh**.s bullies Really hope it goes well for you all, horrible situation.

aliceliddell Fri 10-Jun-11 14:53:26

dh suggests calling a parent's meerting so the parents of the bullies know they're being identified. Could do that via press?

Snowsquonk Fri 10-Jun-11 18:37:29

Ask the school for a copy of their policy on bullying. At the same time, ask for a copy of their complaints policy.

Read the bullying policy, then request a meeting with head of year and go through what the policy says and ask him/her exactly what they are doing in order to deal with the situation your son is facing. If there is anything which is not in line with what the policy says ask why they are not following the policy. Ask what is being done to support your son whilst he is in school and who is responsible for monitoring his progress etc Do not concern yourself with what they are doing /not doing to the bullies, just what they are doing/not doing to support your son.

If at any point you are not satisfied with the response, follow the complaints policy - to the letter.

Don't let it go, you need to be in tigress mode.

IF the school does not have a policy on bullying complain to the governing body and the local authority.

quirrelquarrel Fri 10-Jun-11 18:50:00

God, yes, make a huge fuss. Your son is going to school and getting attacked, and he's only in Year 7. Even if it was just a one off incident.

You might want to take pictures of any injuries or keep a written account of incidents happening. And especially be really nice and warm and understanding to him.

DanFmDorking Fri 10-Jun-11 21:43:15

1. You must keep a diary of the incidents and record everything that happens, date, time and what was said. Include previous events.
2. Write to the school about every incident. It needn’t be long and rambling just short and to the point. “I am very concerned/unhappy to hear that ...” “My son is very unhappy at school because …”
3. At the end of each week, check with the school to see what has been done. Ask them what progress has been made regarding these problems.
4. If you are not happy that the problems are being addressed then take it up with the Hadteacher. Ask what progress has been made.
5. You may choose to approach one of the Governors about the problems. Ask him/her to act as a ‘friend’ during the process. ‘I’m concerned about … I want to make sure that I’m going about this in the right way’. The Governors shouldn’t take part in the process but just check that the correct procedures are been followed. This might give you a bit of assurance that it’s not just ‘you against the school’.
6. How the school addresses parental concerns is a measure of how good the school is.

zeolite Fri 10-Jun-11 21:55:47

How awful for DS and you, Lorenz.

Lots of good advice already, would also expect that the school gets on written record a statement of what has happened to date, that is agreed by all involved, which is sent to all parents as well as kept by the school.

If there are subsequent events, repeat until a satisfactory situation develops (e.g. numbers fall by the wayside because some parents intervene with their sons, DS gets consistent support from friends and staff) or permanent exclusion occurs.

Agree that the main outcome is that DS regains his confidence and sense that he has a right to learn in a supportive environment at school. His response about his swollen bruised hand is a worry. If you've tried and the problem is the school is not supportive, I'd look at moving him. Nobody should be afraid when they go to school.

DanFmDorking Fri 10-Jun-11 22:08:46

I’ve just realised that my previous post is rather formal – thus is my nature.

I would encourage you to keep on at the school about the bullying and to keep a written record of events.

I agree – ‘be really nice and warm and understanding to’ your son. Reassure him that it’s not his fault.
I agree – ‘Ask what is being done to support your son whilst he is in school ...’

Whoever told you ‘any bullying outside of school ... should be dealt with by calling the police’ probably doesn’t fully understand the school’s responsibility or is trying to evade the problem. I’m fairly certain (from an incident at the school I’m involved with) that the school can discipline any bad behaviour from ‘home gate’ to ‘school gate’ (and back). Particularly when they are in school uniform.

cinpin Fri 10-Jun-11 22:20:04

yes if they are in school uniform it is down to the school. Your poor son maybe if the school does not do anything call the police as they will take you seriously. Good luck.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Sat 11-Jun-11 07:14:15

Get the police to go to the school. The school has a duty of care to your son and they are failing. They need to be more proactive. Call the police, not 999, and ask their advice.

Little gits.

onceamai Sat 11-Jun-11 08:24:32

I'm not quite sure I understand why you are sending your son into this school to face violent physical abuse. No child should ever have to face this and if you allow him to do so he will feel he has to and that it may be his fault. If I were you, I would write to the school with a detailed log of what has happened to date and your understanding of the action taken to date and how ineffective it has been. I would say that if they do not ensure a satisfactory outcome and safety for your child within five working days a copy of that will be sent to the Local Authority and to the Chair of Governors. I would request a written framework within 5 working days about what action they are taking to prevent unlawful and violent physical abuse and what they are going to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities towards your son. I would not hesitate also to say that if you do not receive a satisfactory response and confirmation that firm action has been taken you will be reporting all past and future incidents to the police whether on or off school premises. The school is failing to take seriously its responsbilities for your child's personal safety. I would make it very clear that my son would not be returning until they could assure me that his safety would be guaranteed. I would expect anyone guilty of this sort of conduct against one of my children to be permanently excluded from the school. If they could not guarantee the safety of my child I would expect the Local Authority to find an alternative and safer school.

Your poor son and poor you too. Personally though, I wouldn't bother with the phone - put it in writing and hand deliver. Meetings are fine providing what is agreed is confirmed in writing and make sure you take a companion with you and list of everything that needs to be raised and needs to be dealt with and a note of your required outcome. You have the upper hand here - make sure you keep it and keep calm.

Silverstreet Sun 12-Jun-11 11:51:54

If you have incidents out of school where children are in uniform, then it is school's responsibility. If they claim it is not refer to behaviour policy which generally has wording about not bringing school into disrepute as well as not bullying.

I would not involve a governor though as they need to be independent so that they are available to review what has happened if there is a formal complaint.

TheMonster Sun 12-Jun-11 11:53:29

YOu are not blowing it out of proportion at all, but it does sound like the school are doing everything they can.

If I were you, I would inform the police.

GiddyPickle Sun 12-Jun-11 13:17:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GiddyPickle Sun 12-Jun-11 13:21:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ledkr Sun 12-Jun-11 13:31:23

I think the police too due to the seriousness of the violence. Or you could tell the parents and school that if one more thing happens you will go to the police.

admission Sun 12-Jun-11 17:38:09

I think that looking back on previous incidents and what the school did and did not do about it is now a waste of time speculating about.
I would write to the school and simply list the main issues that have arisen and say that you are no longer prepared to accept the school not taking appropriate measures, up to and including permanent exclusion and involving the police. I would also point out to the school that they do have a duty of care to pupils going to and from school and that it is legally allowed to exclude for such instances.
As others have then said start recording each incident by writing to school and giving them 5 working days to respond to the allegations made. They are not going to tell you what happens in terms of any punishment handed out to others but they need to respond to you.
Either the school will respond (I would hope so) and they will take firm action against the culprits or you will have a file of evidence to make a formal complaint to the school Chair of Governors that the safety of a pupil is being compromised by the school's inability to have reasonable discipline in the school. No idea what they will then do but you have two further options. The first is to look for another school and ask for a place at the school, knowing that you have a strong evidenced case if it goes to appeal. The second option is to send a copy of the file to Ofsted and request an immediate inspection of the school, obviously sending copies to the school and Local Authority. I suspect that is the point where you definitely do remove your son from the school.

MrsOlaf Mon 13-Jun-11 22:18:27

The school does have a duty of care.
Has anyone suggested a circle of friends for your ds? That is when a group of friends are selected for your ds to ensure that there are always peers to look out for him. Have you spoken to your ds about how to deal with bullies. You need to look for strategies to help him cope and empower him. He needs to ignore what can be ignored, avoid reacting. He needs to stand tall and appear confident. Laugh when he can. He needs to avoid situations where he is particularly vulnerable.

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