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(15 Posts)
norriscoleforpm Thu 13-Oct-11 22:16:55

My ds has just started in year seven and it seems that a group of years 8 and 9 have been verbally abusing and intimidating his little group - nicking their football, shouting at them etc. He told me this about three weeks ago and I went to speak to his teacher a fortnight ago about this. She assured me that things would be put 'in place' and the situation monitored. Fair enough. He and his friends have been asked to fill out statements (oh, I gave her names of the perpetrators as well..) and keep the teachers informed. I have spoken to him every day since but it seems things are still the same. I was prepared to give it another week or so, knowing that it can take time for procedures to work, but today he has come home in tears. When I asked him what was wrong, he told me that he didn't like French (!) Luckily, a friend from primary school who is at a different secondary was round and he let me know that in fact, ds had been elbowed and punched by one of this insidious little gang. No teacher anywhere near to witness it and ds too scared to 'tell'. What do I do? I intend to go in tomorrow and try to find someone to talk to but am worried that i will be told to 'make an appointment' as I was last time! do I demand to see someone? Honestly, I'm furious. Ds is a really nice little chap and I just don't know why he is being picked on - he's not a nice little chap as in small and geeky iyswim. but just an ordinary 11 year old who wants to play football at break time. I am so sad sad

marriedinwhite Fri 14-Oct-11 06:37:27

Don't go in tomorrow looking for someone to talk to you need to make an appointment first. However, tomorrow you do not send your lad to school - why would any parent send a child to an establishment where they are likely to be physically assaulted. You telephone the school to report that your son will not be attending because you reported bullying three weeks ago, the situation has escalated and your son was physicially assaulted yesterday. You also make it clear that you want your child to return to school but naturally cannot allow this to happen until you have met with the Head of Key Stage Three (personally I would be asking to meet the Head) to discuss why the situation has not been put right after your first call three weeks ago, what support the school will be extending to the year 7 children who have been bullied from now on and when that support will be put in place. You then confirm in writing what has been agreed noting specifically that you expect your child to be kept safe from now on and confirming you hope in future there will be no further assaults. You will be amazed at how quickly the school responds. Make sure you keep a written note of everything and confirm back to the school what they say they will do. This will provideyou with an audit trail and ensure they can't wriggle out of taking action.

swallowedAfly Fri 14-Oct-11 07:05:30

i'd phone and i'd say that ds has been physically assaulted and you need to see someone. i'd use the word assaulted because that is what this is and it shouldn't be trivialised. i'd call first thing today and say you need to see someone before you'll allow ds to go to school and take him with you to any appointment.

you then need to point out that this problem was brought to their attention weeks ago with no improvement and has since escalated to physical violence therefore you feel they're failing in their duty of care.

whoever did it should be excluded for violence and that will hopefully bring it to this groups attention that they cannot behave like this.

do use the word assault, do mention duty of care and if i was you i'd say given this is an assault do i involve the police? not saying you should involve them but it might wake up the school into taking action and knowing you won't ignore this.

poor little guy.

norriscoleforpm Fri 14-Oct-11 09:49:42

Thanks so much. I've only just seen these replies and he has gone in - he actually wanted to as it's PE today which he loves. I did go in and speak to the receptionist, who, as I expected wasn't terribly helpful. She has assured me that the head of year 7 will call me this morning, and I said i f I hadn't received a call by 11am I would come and remove him. I used the word assault, because, as you say, that is what it is, and I will be keeping notes etc. I will be expecting the boy to be removed which I'll make clear when I get the call - or when I go in to bring him home, which ever comes first. It's clearly not on sad

emsy5000 Fri 14-Oct-11 09:57:47

I would also get him to start making a note of every time someone hassles him or his group at school places times dates. this way you have hard evdience of what is going on and can show that it has carried on over a long period of time.
there is a case for also getting the police involved he was assulted and if he is again then it is still a crime.
I do not see why if it happens to a child in the context of school we think of it as any less serious than if it happend in the street.
I remember being hit repeatedly with a hockystick by my bully and the head telling me I needed a thicker skin.

norriscoleforpm Fri 14-Oct-11 10:14:52

^^ I was verbally bullied at school by a vile group of girls as I have a minor disability. When iI told the teachers, I was quoted 'sticks and stones....' This is why I will not allow it happen to my children sad

Thereitis Fri 14-Oct-11 10:33:28

When confronted with a similar bullying situation I did exactly what Swallowedafly suggested and what you've done so far - I informed the school of what had happened waited for it to improve - when it happened again I made it plain that if the school couldn't protect my DS I would be forced to call the police. I did not remove him frm school based on the theory that he shouldn't learn to run from the problem but confront it head on (with support) and I figured his education shouldn't be damaged by the actions of someone else. Invoking the police got EVERYONE'S attention because, as has been said, it's assault.

swallowedAfly Fri 14-Oct-11 11:06:22

i'm really dubious about school's tendencies to always handle things in house full stop to be honest - and i say that as an ex secondary school teacher.

i think schools should have good links with the police in that when these things happen a policeman/woman can come in and speak to the child who has been violent about the seriousness of the situation. ideally each school would be allocated their own officer who would deal with things like this and do assemblies etc on criminal issues such as this and drugs, knives etc. it's in no way draconian it just seems like common sense to me.

norriscoleforpm Fri 14-Oct-11 12:02:11

I've been speaking to his 'learning mentor' - what ever happened to 'teacher'??? Anyway, she seems to think it's a little bit of playfighting hmm and having spoken to ds said he was quite calm about it all..... She suggested that 'this kind of thing happens' between years 7 and 8 and said she will put into place some 'strategies' about year 7 having their own football and space to play away from the older boys. I'm not entirely convinced, but assured her I will be monitoring this very closely and if he comes home upset again I will be taking it further. I don't know, am I being a precious mother? He's not an only child btw, he has an older and younger sister so i'm not being pfb.

swallowedAfly Fri 14-Oct-11 12:11:14

i don't think you're being precious and no i don't think they've done enough. punched and elbowed is not play fighting and it sounds like they're going to do nothing to the child who hit him.

not on at all imo. and wtf with a learning mentor? should have been a head of year at least.

norriscoleforpm Fri 14-Oct-11 19:18:44

Well, the lad involved is going to be spoken to by his 'learning mentor'... so obviously all will be well...

emsy5000 Mon 17-Oct-11 08:43:57

I don't think your being anything of the sort. There are few situations worse than the terror of facing a bully day in day out. We feel so powerless when we do unless we are shown how to deal with them!

swallowedAfly Mon 17-Oct-11 09:29:12

how's it going norris? did ds go off to school ok this morning?

norrisghoulafterpm Mon 17-Oct-11 13:58:34

He's gone to school yes, but last nght we had the crying, the long face, the sheer, I don't know, almost terror. DH had a long chat with him but I don;t know if that helped... This morning, we had the tummy ache, the sore shoulder, the 'something in my eye'. I think it's more than just this situation. It seems he just has a real problem with school sad. We're going to monitor it this week and see how it goes.

swallowedAfly Mon 17-Oct-11 14:00:49

oh bless him. you must be really worried. so hard to know what to do.

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