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New Y7 and the start of bullying - how soon should I handle it?

(17 Posts)
treehouselover Mon 07-Oct-13 22:02:37

DD has been at secondary 4 weeks, and I'd been really pleased with how she'd settled up until the middle of last week.

She's started getting some grief from another girl in her year. It's only been happening for about 3 or 4 days, but it's clearly quite nasty eg spreading lies about DD to turn her new friends against her, deliberately excluding her, ridiculing and humiliating her in front of others. It's been enough that DD has been in tears on Friday and today.

I'm really torn. My instinct is to contact school tomorrow and try to nip it in the bud, but I don't want to overreact after such a short space of time.


WillColbert Mon 07-Oct-13 22:25:16

I would contact the school. Your poor DD - the start of secondary school is hard enough without someone deliberately trying to make it even more difficult. I think your instinct is right to nip it in the bud.

treehouselover Mon 07-Oct-13 22:31:56

Thanks Will. Yes it is really rubbish. She had such a lovely secure group of friends at primary and they've all gone to different schools. I was so pleased with how she was getting on, and this really is the last thing she needs. She's not that streetwise and I know she won't stand up for herself.

Luckily she does seem to have made a couple of good friends already. One of them today was trying to persuade her to go to the Year Manager, but DD was too embarrassed, which is why I think I need to do it for her.

ZZZenagain Mon 07-Oct-13 22:33:59

think you do have to tackle it now

treehouselover Mon 07-Oct-13 22:41:14

Thanks ZZZ. Yes I think you're right. I'd hate to stand by and then it gets worse and others start joining in.

Just out of interest - does anyone know how secondary schools handle this sort of thing? I have no experience of it at all, except from my own school days where the teachers were as likely to make it worse as make it better.

What would they do in the first instance? Would the girl know that I'd got involved, and would she know that DD had "snitched" (do kids even still say snitched?!)

BTW DD is quite happy for me to go in, and had no problem telling me what was going on, which I'm really pleased about, but I don't want to do anything to break her trust in me or the school.

WillColbert Mon 07-Oct-13 22:50:43

My DS is a new Y7, and at the meeting for new parents the HOY stressed that they really want to hear from you if there are any problems. She said that they can't help if they don't know. My DS is reluctant to approach his new teachers yet, even with questions about homework, so I completely understand why it would be hard for your DD to speak up. It's great that you are there to do it for her. Hope everything goes well.

KittiesInsane Tue 08-Oct-13 09:11:12

Our year manager checked with us how we wanted to handle it and then told the other child that the mean behaviour had been reported to her by 'several children in your form', rather than dropping DS in it.

treehouselover Tue 08-Oct-13 18:02:39

Well it got worse today and she pushed DD into the coat rack in PE. DD's friend dragged her to the HOY to report and I followed up with a phone call as soon as I heard what had happened. HOY has spoken to the girl and just said a "couple of teachers" have reported it. She will also monitor it closely and possibly have a more formal conversation with her tomorrow.

I'm seeing DD's form tutor later this evening for another reason so I will also make sure she's aware.

Anyone got any success stories of bullying being stopped. I think I'm carrying too much baggage from my own school days because all I can think is that it will just drag on and destroy DD's confidence.

creamteas Tue 08-Oct-13 21:11:58

At my DCs school the Policy is:

Internal exclusion
Fixed term exclusion
Permanent exclusion

Higher level punishments are for worse incidents or persistent offenders

My DD was picked on in Year 7, and it stopped fairly quickly as the sanctions escalated.

DanFmDorking Tue 08-Oct-13 23:10:25

1. Keep a diary of the incidents and record everything that happens, date and time and what was said.
2. Write to the school/teacher about the problems. It needn’t be long and rambling just short and to the point. "Dear Headmaster..." “I am very disappointed to find that … My son/daughter is very unhappy at school because …”
3. At the end of next week, check with the school to see what has been done. Ask them what progress has been made regarding these problems.

Later - if you are not happy that the problems are being addressed then take it up with the Headteacher. Ask what progress has been made regarding the problems.

How the school addresses parental concerns is a measure of how good the school is.

anniesw Thu 10-Oct-13 09:23:21

My DD is in Y8 now but after about 4 weeks in Y7 we all had a phone call from the tutor to ask how things were going. I thought that was a great way to build a dialogue with parents and encourage them to talk to school about good and bad things. I know many schools don't do this but I think they do still want to hear from parents - so I would say, with anything like this, call her tutor first. The earlier it is dealt with, the easier it will be for your DD.

Kenlee Thu 10-Oct-13 10:29:05

My Niece didnt have a good time in her super selective we moved her....She loves school now....

Sparklingbrook Thu 10-Oct-13 10:32:27

We moved DS1 the following June, but he is very very sensitive and things that wouldn't bother another child got to him, and he just didn't suit the school.

Just remember there are always options.

mummytime Thu 10-Oct-13 10:47:03

At DDs school, she was off ill. When she returned she was greeted by a boy in her form saying "Here comes the witch."
She didn't report it, but I told HOY the next day.
The boy was spoken to and given a detention. Also warned not to speak to my DD about it. He had a go at my DD because of his detention and was pretty much instantly whisked off to Isolation.

This prompt action stopped the bullying. He is still in DDs form, but doesn't cause her anymore problems than "the other silly boys".

If the school doesn't deal with it quickly and firmly then I would think about alternatives.

treehouselover Thu 10-Oct-13 13:16:23

I appreciate all the advice on this thread. I have written down all the incidents with dates, and tried to keep it very factual with no speculation or opinion. I haven't sent this to anyone yet- it's just for our own recollection in case it comes to needing to take it further.

HOY had a word with the girl on Tuesday, making it clear that staff were onto her and she was being watched. Didn't mention DD or say who told her.

Yesterday DD came home happy because there were no direct incidents, but at lunchtime bully told a dinner lady that DD had called her a "fat bitch". DD got pulled out of a lesson and asked about it by HOY. DD is adamant she didn't say this, and in fact hadn't spoken to bully all day. She'd been keeping well out of her way.

DD's friends backed her and said she hadn't been near her. HOY it seems has believed DD so DD is happy that it's not a problem.

I am really worried though still. It seems bully is changing tactics now she knows staff are involved. How do teachers deal with accusations if it is one child's word against another, and accuser is capable of flat out lying?

KittiesInsane Thu 10-Oct-13 14:50:51

I think your school staff have them both worked out, actually.

Both times, DD has been believed and the bully not (though, to their credit, they also took BullyGirl's complaint seriously enough to investigate).

lalalonglegs Thu 10-Oct-13 15:26:06

This book has some really useful strategies that may help your daughter. It is a bit American but gives a very interesting perspective on the way girl bullies manipulate.

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