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bullying/really unhappy probably clinically depressed 12 year old dd

(38 Posts)
overthemill Tue 05-Jul-11 12:09:21

what can I do? I feel that the school don't take us seriously - I myself feel a dread when I contact them yet again about something. Before this school dd was happy, bright, cheerful with oodles of friends. She moved to this school in yr 5 (normal for where we are) and hates it. She simply hates it.

No friends, name calling (really nasty unpleasant stuff) she's not 'allowed' to sit down on bus, at lunch, play in certain games, gets teased cruelly about size of breasts/clothes/name (unusual surname) endlessly always. She is now always unwell, asthma, eczema and is at school less than 50% with genuine health problems which are, I am sure, all stess related. She starts at CAMHs next week with clinical psychologist.

She is bright (school told me too bright for her own good!) and gets good grades always. She doesn't want to do well at subjects now cos people ease her for being a nerd.

What can I do? It seems impossible to move out of catchment but we cant sell our house (have tried). I am at my wits end tbh

Hullygully Tue 05-Jul-11 12:10:42

Poor her and poor you. Keep her out of school until you find a proper solution poor girl. Could you rent your house out and rent a house elsewhere?

menagerie Tue 05-Jul-11 14:59:25

Too bright for her own good??? That's not a good sentiment in a school. What a wholly inappropriate thing to say.

Where did the friends she had at her last school end up? Is there another school in the area where she might settle better?

That level of bullying is seriously damaging. She doesn't have to put up with it. I feel so much for you and for her. I bet she is a lovely, clever, talented girl - they are always the ones to get targeted. School is where we go to learn, it shouldn't be a place to endure violence and torment. Sounds like she can't learn much with the attitudes of staff and students. Look around. There has to be a better place for her. Maybe take her out of school for a while and help her build up her confidence before she starts somewhere else.

Can she make friends outside school - a music or drama group, choir or church group? Anywhere she is accepted that will strengthen her belief that the problem lies with them, not her.

It's terribly hard to behave this way when you are gentle and put upon, but try to tell her no one can make her feel bad without her permission. If they say she can't sit down on the bus, she needs to learn to say, 'Yes I can' and defend her territory. Maybe I should be ashamed to admit this but I'm not: a popular boy was bullying my son for years and teachers never believed him because the boy was always angelic in front of staff. One day the boy said something particularly spiteful and my son whacked him across the ear so hard the boy cried. He hasn't been bullied by that boy again. I am so against any form of aggression normally but self defence is something else. Your daughter might start self-defence classes. Knowing she could defend herself if they got really nasty might give her the air of someone not to be messed with.

Meanwhile encourage her to see clearly what pathetic little Hitlers her bullies are, and that they are less than dirt beneath her feet.

overthemill Tue 05-Jul-11 15:10:30

in this area everyone from a place go to one school, no choice. so everyone in our village is at this school then moves up to next one, upper school.

I have talked to county about in year change of school but they are not hopeful. All schools are full and medical need doesn't cover this eventuality. They say stick it out, but i don't want her to have to. She doesn't 'get' these people, she has no understanding why anyone would be horrid to her (these are all 'the cools'). In her old school (not here, elsewhere) she was probably one of the most popular in a bright little village school. Here it seems that these kids want to knock it out of her.

spoke to school again today and the said 'she's very sensitive isn't she?' like they thought she is TOO sensitive. Why should she not be sensitive to people being crap to her??? WTF?

rosar Tue 05-Jul-11 15:11:04

I couldn't agree more with what menangerie has said.

When you are looking at eczema, asthma and CAMHS at her age, it's not likely that she'll get anywhere with the school. Could you look to rebuilding her self-belief over the summer and a new start elsewhere? However difficult the choices may seem, she seems to need to turn back from this awful descent.

Could you get support from CAMHS and GP for her to attend another school as a result of special needs (social and medical)? Other MNters may be able to advise on this...

menagerie Tue 05-Jul-11 16:48:45

She's not being oversensitive, she's being badly bullied and a school which is indifferent to this will never change. That's deep set rot. Is there any chance you can move area? I know that sounds very drastic but you get one chance at education, and spending your formative years sick physically and mentally, with fear and loathing of where you are and who you're with, could be a permanent scar.

The school and the cool kids may be in the majority but you are right and they are wrong. (I've had battles against school indifference to bullying - can you tell? grin) Don't stand for it. Ask to see their bullying policy. Can you get a personal statement from her last school describing the kind of girl she was and send it to the head of the new school, her form and year tutors to show them how she has gone downhill in their care?

Schools may be full but things change and it would be good to be prepared and knowledgable if a place comes up in a different one. Go and visit some other schools, full or not. Talk to the head teachers, ask specifically about their bullying policy. When you find a school you trust, campaign hard to get her in there.

Meanwhile, teach her ways to feel good about herself, how to act confidently and to hold a very low opinion of the spiteful ones who are doing this. Is there someone from an older year you could ask the school to appoint as her buddy on the bus so they travel together? Don't bother being anxious that you keep on at them. Tell them you'll get off their backs as soon as they come up with a satisfactory resolution. grin

overthemill Tue 05-Jul-11 18:58:06

thank you so much, this really helps. school called in 2 pupils and threatened them, and they have been very contrite. the kids still been crap tonight on bus though. but county has given me names of 2 schools with places, not very close but worth visiting.

aseriouslyblondemoment Wed 06-Jul-11 10:45:40

overthemill i have pm'd yousmile

overthemill Wed 06-Jul-11 10:53:23

amazingly, even tho dd really unhappy when she arrived home from school yesterday - in tears and rushed upstairs - we talked about it all at bed time with her dad. she felt humiliated by me interfering i know but 2 girls had apologised. had call from one mum saying she was really angry with HER dd for her meanness to my dd and totally backing me up.

it felt so good to hear these things. Today dd got up cheerfully and even laughed and joked on way to leave house. felt like a different child. wonderful

Amaretti Wed 06-Jul-11 10:57:02

Hope she has a good day today, OP.

menagerie Wed 06-Jul-11 14:22:47

Could be the best outcome is that she gets over it and stays where she is. The girls being contrite and the school intervening are such good signs. She may have been embarrassed that you intervened but she's a whole lot happier. So often we don't stand up to bullies for fear of making situations worse. Sounds like you did the right thing.

overthemill Wed 06-Jul-11 16:04:07

thanks to you both. sitting here waiting for her to get back off the bus, hope she is happier still.

spoke to my sister today and discovered that her dd also was bullied a local school but she didnt say anything until years later. simply have to stand up for my dd and to these pathetic bullies.

philmassive Wed 06-Jul-11 16:09:01

overthemill, best of luck, I am somewhere in the whirlwind you've described with my ds. I hope dd is fine and these other children have realised that it's not the way to be. Fingers crossed for you and dd.

ThisIsJustASagaNow Wed 06-Jul-11 16:25:47

I am so so sorry for your ddsad It's such a sickening feeling.

We've had a small incident recently (dd also 12, quiet, works hard etc so a similar personality). I put my complaint in writing via an urgent Email to the tutor and head of year as I felt I would sound calmer and could say what I expected them to do. Also so that they'd have a written record. They took it seriously and fingers crossed all is much better and dd has received an apology from the girls involved. What is it about some girls of this age though?? hmm

Looking on Amazon for info re bullying I noticed there are some really helpful looking books aimed at children, with strategies on how to stand up for yourself and dealing with bullies. I think I'm going to invest in a couple. My dc are lucky in that they've not really run into it before now but on the downside they're not sure quite what to do if/when they do come across it. Could be worth a look for your dd.

I do hope things improve. To have the mother of a bully phone you and back you up is a very good sign. I do hate the implication from the school that she's oversensitive. What an unhelpful thing to say. They should value her. Your dd's good grades can only reflect well on them ultimately; you'd think they'd want to protect an asset like thathmm

overthemill Wed 06-Jul-11 16:50:27

thanks for new comments. dd home now and really pissed off because of the of the 2 girls who got told off has told everybody and now loads more girls have turned on dd because she has got that girl into trouble. oh how i hate girls aged 12! so no one talking to dd today because i have complained and as far as my dd is concerned, teh two girls called in have 'got away with it' and her life is even more of a misery than ever.

going to look at another school next week although dd doesnt want to, i want her to have a lovely yr 8 in prep for important years to come - and because she is lovely and should have friends who value her...

overthemill Wed 06-Jul-11 16:51:25

btw, i am so sorry that other children are going through his to - it doesnt make me feel any better - i wish i could just call a halt to it all somehow.

ThisIsJustASagaNow Wed 06-Jul-11 17:11:27

sad God they sound utterly vile angry

I don't blame you for looking for another school, but in the meantime I'd be requesting an appointment with the head and creating merry hell.

aseriouslyblondemoment Wed 06-Jul-11 19:07:02

Unfortunately many schools fail to acknowledge bullying and complaining parents are seen to be 'hysterical'.Also many schools due to their size will have you fobbed off with deputy heads.

overthemill Wed 06-Jul-11 20:31:37

oh yes i am fobbed off with deputy head but actually thats good because i can barely conceal my contempt for the head. i used to be a governor...

wellwisher Wed 06-Jul-11 20:37:05

Contact the school again; let them know of this latest development and tell them which one of the girls has been stirring up further trouble. They need to stamp it out.

Your poor DD sad how long until term ends?

overthemill Wed 06-Jul-11 20:56:00

have just emailed school. 2 more weeks of term to go plus 2 days

overthemill Thu 07-Jul-11 21:09:20

school has seen dd now and girls will get day in isolation on monday. dd is having trial day at new school tomorrow. interestingly she want very impressed, but now is much warmer. and 3 girls came to ask her out to play tonight. odd but good

wellwisher Fri 08-Jul-11 14:50:37

good - hope things get better. Thanks for the update smile

rosar Fri 08-Jul-11 17:46:33

OP she'll survive and so will you. You are right to intervene, and she'll appreciate it, if not already.

Any school that could not be bothered to foresee the backlash from the other girls coming must be pastorally challenged. Even if they were not vigilant before, they should now keep escalating their procedures, with every incident kept on the girls' records, until it stops or permanent exclusion of the culprits results. It is tiring for you, and other parents, but that's what needed. End of year is no reason for not scheduling challenging interviews with HT and extended detentions for next year. That's what schools with good pastoral support do with bullies.

Your DD has a right to stand tall despite these little-minded bullies. But you are also right to look elsewhere, just in case the school is not up to its job of safeguarding her welfare, or educating their pupils socially.

Hope DD and you have a settled weekend.

menagerie Fri 08-Jul-11 23:56:06

Rosar grin at 'pastorally challenged.'
The girls who called for her might be nice girls who didn't know she was being bullied and are looking out for her. Let's hope so.

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