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DS1's friend, the victim of a bully, has lashed out and been excluded.

(23 Posts)
Durab Wed 10-Oct-12 18:31:01

DS1 is Yr 7, so only been at the school a few weeks.

He's been going by bus with a yr9 boy (BoyA) who lives nearby. Boy A is a bit different, one of those children who's easy to wind up IYSWIM, he's told DS1 he has an illness that makes it difficult for him to ignore things (Aspergers?)

Events,as DS1 tells it, without any input from anyone else are:

They were on the bus home yesterday and Boy B (also yr9) asked Boy A if he wanted a fight. A did his best to ignore, but it continued with the addition of some swearing. DS1 wasn't near them on the bus, so doesn't know what was said/done to ellicit the "you wanna fight?"

All three of them got off the bus. DS1 and A crossed the road, as they need to to get home, B also crossed the road (which he doesn't need to) following them and continuing with the taunting and swearing. B has put his hand on A's shoulder and swung him round and which point A has had enough and punched B. There was just that one punch and they all went their separate ways.

B's parents have complained to the school and A has been excluded for 2 days. There has been no punishment for B.

DS1 is livid, as he feels it wasn't B's fault, he was defending himself and B started it etc. He wants to march into the head's office and tell him what happened.

What, if anything, should DS1 (or I) do?

GupX Wed 10-Oct-12 18:33:28

Call the Head.
Leave a message if you need to.

WilfredToadflax Wed 10-Oct-12 18:34:32

If he wants to go to the HT, I would let him.
I have a friend who has a ds with ASD. He has been excluded twice now when it wasn't his fault, but no-one will stand up for him and tell the truth of what's going on.

Good on your ds for wanting to do the right thing.

NervousAt20 Wed 10-Oct-12 18:35:04

I agree call the head of year and make sure they speak to your DS about what happened

PickledFanjoCat Wed 10-Oct-12 18:36:50

Call the head!

The boy shouldn't have punched him but that other one needs to learn not to goad.

Poor A. sad

Kez100 Wed 10-Oct-12 19:36:41

My daughter once saw a fight on the way home from school, tried verbally to coax the older lad (who she knew) to stop and he did eventually run away. She went straight back into school and said she wanted to make a statement. So, that is what I would recommend your son does.

In her case, the parent of the beaten up child called the school minutes after, and my daughter was told (after having given it) that her statement would help the school give fair redress as she was a witness. Obviously she never heard anything more.

lisaro Wed 10-Oct-12 19:45:15

Actually ASD or not, the other lad laid his hand on A first.

aroomofherown Wed 10-Oct-12 19:46:45

A's parents should phone the Head.

admission Wed 10-Oct-12 21:07:39

For the head teacher to decide on 2 days exclusion they should have carried out a thorough investigation of the incident. Accepting there are 2 sides to any argument, it would appear as your DS has not been asked to give their account of the incident that the school have failed miserably to investigate properly. Some consideration should also have been given to child A's special needs - if child knows about it then presumably the school does. That does not absolve child A but it is potential mitigation as to how the incident evolved, especially if bated by B.

It could be that the school have jumped to conclusions with child B's parents involvement, maybe because of previous poor behaviour by child A.

As your child feels aggrieved by his situation and because this incident could come back to haunt child A later I would allow your son to give his account of the incident to the head teacher.

You also need to understand and inform your son that a two day exclusion cannot be overturned and whilst parents of child A can write to the Governing Body under the current legislation the GB must consider the parents representations but cannot overturn the head teacher's decision. In theory the head teacher can rescind the exclusion, but would they? 2 days exclusion for hitting another pupil is perfectly valid punishment. The truth may be told but it is the school and Head teacher who are going to have egg on face if your son's account can be verified, that they have been conned by child B and their parents.

Durab Wed 10-Oct-12 21:45:28

Thank you. DS1 is consistent with his report and hasn't seen A since the events to discuss them etc. It only happened yesterday, so I don't see how there can have been a proper investigation, but A doesn't deny having hit B so perhaps that's all there is to it. I spoke briefly to A's father this evening and when A got home, he thought he'd had a good day, then they got a call from the school saying he'd been excluded, so it sounds like they didn't even speak to A.

Apparently B's parents wanted to get the police involved and school have had to talk them round. I think maybe they should have let them call the police, who might have been better placed to tell B he got what he asked for than the school are!

I've told DS1 that what ever happens, B's punishment will stand, as he shouldn't have thrown a punch, which DS1 agrees with. DS1 is going to tell his form tutor (who is supposed to be first point of call for any concerns) that he'd like to tell her something in private, tell her what happened and ask her what he should do. Does that sound like reasonable action?

I'm proud of DS1 for wanting to stick up for the underdog (esp as the other boys are 2 years older) but I am a bit nervous about what might happen to him if other children find out (esp B and his mates, who will be on DS1's bus for the next 3-5 years)

Admission, if it turns out the school have to admit they handled things badly, as you suggest, what impact will that have on DS1's reputation with the staff ? He's only been there a few weeks!

admission Thu 11-Oct-12 21:52:58

The information about the other family wanting to involve the police, just reinforces my belief that the head made a rash decision based on not anything like the full facts.

If the head teacher has not asked pupil A for their version of events then that is another massive gap in the "thorough" investigation by the head teacher.

I would hope that talking to the form tutor and the school would have no effect but then I am not the head teacher of the school. To be honest you probably have a better feel for whether you think the school will put up the barriers and potentially be negative to your son or whether they will see that they have made a mistake in this case.

I would actually get your son to write down what he saw, so that he can give it to the form tutor as well as explaining what happened.

Durab Fri 12-Oct-12 08:16:20

Well, DS1 spoke to his lovely form tutor, who passed his concerns on to the head of year involved. DS1 was then asked to make a written statement.

The police are now involved and A and his family spent 2 hours with them yesterday. (IMO a ridiculous waste of resources, but neither here nor there I suppose) Boy A was finally able to give his side of the story and the police thanked him for his honesty because apparently his story matches DS1's and also it seems that of a yr 10 girl who also spoke up. Don't yet know if that's the end of the matter though. A's parents are meeting the head for the first time on Monday.

I don't suppose I'll ever find out what happens to B, but I'd like to think he'd at least be given a good talking too and made to hang his head in shame. I remember him from DS1's junior school, where he was a couple of years older than DS1. He was the golden boy who always sang the solos etc and proper butter wouldn't melt, but a friend of mine who was a dinner lady there at the time says he was nasty in the playground even then. Mum obviously believes he can do no wrong though.

TBH if someone followed me down the street asking for a fight and giving verbal abuse, then turned me round by the shoulder, I'd like to think I'd have the presence of mind to defend myself and I've never hit anyone in my life.

Am very proud of DS1. No-one told or asked him to speak out, he just wanted to make sure people knew the truth and he's done it all on his own without any adult intervention, in his second month in a huge new school.

Also I now know some lovely neighbours smile Boy A and his family only live a few doors away, but I'd never spoken to them until this week blush

choccyp1g Fri 12-Oct-12 09:23:44

Well done to your boy, and to the other girl. Often, bullies depend on a culture of silence (and people in authority not taking the time to investigate).

titchy Fri 12-Oct-12 09:24:36

Good for him - you must be really proud if your ds smile

mumsneedwine Fri 12-Oct-12 10:36:45

If your son was at my school he would be getting an award for his behaviour. Disguised, obviously, to protect him from Boy B (oh I know so many lovely, butter-wouldn't-melt kids who are total bullies), but he would be on my radar as a top student to offer school responsibilities to in the future. You should be very proud.

Madmog Fri 12-Oct-12 10:58:59

You should be really proud of your son, most children would be nervous about speaking up especially in a new school where they're still finding their feet.

Although, the school had already issued an exclusion, it's also re-assuring to know they are prepared to take on board what's your son has said, rather than brush it under the carpet so to speak and save face.

Durab Fri 12-Oct-12 13:34:38

Thank you all. I'm just being curious now, but what would you expect the police to do in respect of each boy? Do you think DS1 will be asked to make a police statement?

A's mother is never going to be persuaded her son got what he deserved is she?

Durab Fri 12-Oct-12 13:34:58

B's mother blush

OwedToAutumn Fri 12-Oct-12 13:40:55

Dont be too harsh on B's parents.

If your child came home and said they'd been hit by another child, you would report it. Remember,so far they have only heard one side of the story.

They may be quite shocked when they find out the whole truth.

(Well done to your DS, BTW!)

Copthallresident Fri 12-Oct-12 13:52:52

Durab You should be proud of your son

Sadly I think the Police do have to take assault very seriously. I had a run in with a nasty piece of work in a car park (never refuse to let a burgundy van driver cut in in front of you) He opened my car door and tried to take my keys out of the ignition and as he did so brushed against my arm quite forcefully. I reported the incident as road rage because though I am no delicate little flower and told him exactly what I thought about his bullying behaviour, a few other people did too and agreed to act as witnesses, I thought the Police should give him a warning that that sort of behaviour was unacceptable to stop him being so agressive with someone who might be vulnerable. However because he touched me that triggered a whole process of persuing a prosecution for assault even though I was saying it wasn't really an assault!! He got a caution and I got follow up calls and a nice letter from victim support!! So I think the Police could possibly persue the same process for both boys. I would have thought though that they will leave it at giving both a talking to.

Durab Fri 12-Oct-12 13:58:54

No Owed, my first question would be what did you do to him? blush and I'm not sure I would report one punch, which left the child unmarked TBH, certainly not to the police.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Fri 12-Oct-12 15:46:31

You should be proud of your DS.

I think the police won't want to pursue this one too much. Firstly, B made first contact (arguably the first assault was by him on A) so there is a chance that A can argue he was acting in self defence i.e. B grabbed me so I hit him because I thought he was going to punch me. Secondly, if B was threatening and harrassing A and that is also potentially a crime. Additionally if B was harrassing and threatening someone because they have disability i.e. if he was threatening A because A has ASD (assuming he does) then that starts to move his behaviour into the realm of hate crime which the police would have to take very seriously indeed.

I think the police will go down the serious talking to route given we are talking about 14 year olds.

manicstreetpreacher Fri 12-Oct-12 17:59:38

OP, I wish my dd had a friend like your DS. I love him already!

All too often the rights always tend to lie with the wrongdoer. Good for him for taking a stand.

I lost faith in the school system a long time ago. Everytime my dd gets wound up by one of the usual culprits they snitch on her on the rare occasion she retalitates and it is always my dd that gets into trouble. Makes my blood boil, I can tell you!

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