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Safety at Sceondary school - What can I do?

(34 Posts)
CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 17:05:59

Today at my DD's school, one of the girls in her class beat up another girl, quite severely. To the point where the victim could not breathe, and an ambulance was called, and the girl taken away on a stretcher - this isn't just my DD telling me, I'm close friends with one of the mid-day assistants, and she told me before my DD did.

The police were also called by the school. The thing is, this girl attacked my DD in the lunch hall last year, she strangled my DD for 'looking at her funny'. The school persuaded me not to call the police by putting this girl in Isolation for two weeks. She has also 'tripped up' my DD on numerous occasions, to the point where my DD has had bruised shins etc.

Today's incident happened on the school field - but the Mid-day assistants did not get there in time to prevent the victim from getting seriously hurt. I am worried that after a few weeks, this girl will be allowed back into the main population of the school again, and I fear that they cannot guarantee the safety of the other pupils, my DD included, while this girl is attending the school.

I cannot take my DD out of the school - there is not another secondary in our town with spaces in this year group, some pupils in DD's year have been sent out of County for secondary, as it's such a large year group.

I do not know what to do, as I do not feel safe sending my DD to school while this girl is on the school site. How do I go about talking to the school to tell them I want them to either GUARANTEE my DD is at no risk from this girl, or to permanently exclude this girl? In today's incident, this girl punched the other in the chest - if she did that to my DD, who has a heart problem, she could KILL my DD. Hence my worry. I don't feel that a short-term exclusion will help, as this girl has had many many of them, and her violence is escalating.

Apparently, today's incident was because the violent girl believed that her victim had been 'dissing her family'. So her reaction is very excessive for the victim's 'percieved' crime.

I feel scared that the same thing will happen to my DD. I moved my DD's primary school when she was 6yo because this girl attacked her with a pair of scissors, and the school refused to exclede her or even keep her in at breaktimes, and despite moving to the other side of my town, they have ended up at the same secondary school. In the same sets, as violent girl has no interest in learning, and my DD has SEN.

Help me, I'm scared my DD will end up in hospital or worse. What do I do??

bluesky Wed 14-Sep-11 17:07:21

I think you need to write a letter to the Governors.

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 17:08:04

How would I word it?

bluesky Wed 14-Sep-11 17:10:44

You need someone to come along who is good at letters!

You state the facts, without bringing emotion in it. State your concern, as your concern is still there following the incident with your daughter last year.

I'm not surprised you're worried.

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 17:13:08

The girl was stretchered off the school field being oxygen bagged. This is a 13 yo! Thing is, the violent girl is AT LEAST 5'8 tall, and built like a human tank. I wouldn't want to upset her - and I'm 30!

FagButt Wed 14-Sep-11 17:14:44

I would have thought that after this latest incident,surely this girl will be expelled?

FagButt Wed 14-Sep-11 17:15:36

In fact, I would be highly surprised if she was not escorted from the premises immediately.

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 17:16:04

Yeah, RIGHT. I only know of one girl that has been expelled from this school in the last 7 years, and she broke a teacher's nose!

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 17:18:35

To be fair, these are the ONLY two problem pupils the school has had in years. Most parents in this area are very involved with their dc's education, the Secondary gets the best results in our town except the Grammar schools.

Just VERY scared that she will just be put in isolation for a few weeks, then left to get on with it again.

FagButt Wed 14-Sep-11 17:21:58

How old is this girl. If she has assaulted the other pupil and they want to press charges, they will be quite within their rights to do so.

It would be interesting to see what the victims family decide to do about it all.

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 17:24:48

The violent girl is also 13yo. They've all just started Y9. I really hope they press charges.

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 17:26:43

What would be the likely outcome if they did press charges? Because I can't see them locking a 13yo up? So surely that would mean that at some point she will be back at school?

RoseC Wed 14-Sep-11 18:07:40

How awful. I know at our school she would be expelled... it may be that the parents of the victim will insist on appropriate exclusion. My cousin was (rightfully) expelled twice for violent/disruptive behaviour (although hasn't yet put someone in hospital. He was 12 and went to a special school for disruptive children.

How about this as a starting point for the letter:

Dear [Chair of Governors]

I would like to express my concern about my daughter's safety in school following the incident with [bully] today.

[Bully] has a history of violent and bullying behaviour towards [daughter], both at primary and secondary school, which has been discussed with [headteacher] before and included an instance of strangulation last year resulting in a two week exclusion for [bully]. Given the escalation in [bully]'s behaviour, the failure of the school to protect [victim] and my daughter's existing heart condition I am extremely apprehensive about her sharing lessons and break times with this student.

I would like your firm assurance that [daughter] will not be at risk from [bully] on school property. This is in line with your [include school policy on bullying/protection of children?].

I look forward to receiving your reply within ten working days [this gives them time to have an emergency gov's meeting].

Yours sincerely,

HuntyCat

If you want to keep your DD home if the bully goes back into school you should put that in this letter as well - didn't want to put words in your mouth though smile

CustardCake Wed 14-Sep-11 18:10:01

In such a serious case I would be very surprised if the police weren't involved which starts a whole avalanche of other interventions and other services getting nvolved. Its obvioulsy gone way beyond the point of something the school can deal with and punish as it sounds like a very serious assault.

The school have a duty to keep your daughter safe - all of the pupils safe in fact - and I think it is a good idea to write to the Governors and the Head about this incident and the fact that you do not feel reassured that they are currently living up to their duty of care for other children by having this girl unsupervised at school especially as all of their interventions to date haven't stopped the problem getting worse and worse.

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 18:26:07

The police were called by the school, the violent girl ran off the school field after the assault, while the mid-day assistants were busy checking on the victim and calling an ambulance for the victim. Social services have been involved with this violent girl's family for YEARS (since they were at school nursery, definately). Obviously hasn't done much good. hmm.

I think the letter is a good place to start.

FagButt Wed 14-Sep-11 20:12:09

I doubt she will be in school tomorrow.

Please update when you hear something. If she has been known to social services, i think things will happen.

She may be referred to a PRU.

Talker2010 Wed 14-Sep-11 21:03:32

Prior to contacting the governors you should contact the head

The school will have a complaints procedure which will state that governors are the port of call after the head

If you feel that is not going to have the impact you need then write to the head and cc the chair of governors

CeliaFate Wed 14-Sep-11 21:11:50

Contact your dd's head of year, the school headteacher, the chair of governors and tell them what you said in your op.
If enough parents complain in the strongest terms they will have to do something.

cricketballs Wed 14-Sep-11 22:24:10

Let me jsut rant before I offer any advice!

unfortunately this type of incident is the long result of the downgrading any school/LA gets from OFSTED if they exclude a pupil (no matter how bad the incident) and the many appeals from parents once their child is excluded.

rant over grin

I would second the letter (but would send as an email as the urgency of the issue needs also to be confronted) to the CoG, but also send a copy to the Head and to the education department of the LA

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 22:32:48

School is rated Outstanding on Ofsted - will they be at risk of losing that if they exclude this girl then? Because the HT will do ANYTHING not to lose the Ofsted outstanding (only two Secondaries in whole town are outstanding, this is one). Would that be why they keep putting the girl in Isolation rather than kicking her out?

nailak Wed 14-Sep-11 22:37:18

erm, why cant you home school? or use private tutors etc

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 22:44:02

Erm - because I am a lone parent with 4dc, one is only 7.5mo, and I am at work?? For minimum wage, so I can't afford tutors?? Nailak, I just do not have the money, if I did, I would HE, it's something I have considered for years, but I can't give up work to do so, can I??

RoseC Wed 14-Sep-11 22:54:40

It might be a reason why... my DF is a governor, I'll ask him tomorrow about what they can and cannot do. I know his school have excluded someone in the last two years but have been rated 'outstanding features' and 'outstanding' in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

If you want the urgency of the email but the seriousness of a letter (I always prefer a letter) could you get DD to drop it into the school office tomorrow morning? TBH I imagine if the school is any good the governors will be having some kind of emergency meeting in the next two days anyway.

cricketballs Wed 14-Sep-11 22:56:39

they can lose their outstanding rating as can the LA. What I would imagine they would try to do is a managed move rather than exclude.

Any help the school drafts in massive cost the school, even if there is a move to a PRU/college course etc therefore most schools will try to facilitate a managed move to another school (which is in the LA's best interests as they have less excluded students on their data as well)

CardyMow Wed 14-Sep-11 23:01:45

I doubt there will be a place at another mainstream school in our town in this year group. The only spaces are at the PRU locally.

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