Normal - or out of order? Could do with some perspective(14 Posts)
DD is in year 7, not great social skills, but has made some friends & has joined lots of lunchtime clubs.
However, she's been having ongoing problems with a group of 5 girls in her form. School have been reasonably sympathetic, some intervention ('talking to' as far as dd is aware, though of course she doesn't know the details) but don't seem to actually be able to stop the ongoing low level picking.
The main issue that is really wearing dd down is repeating things that she says in a high pitched squeaky silly voice. Example that she gave today is that she commented to a friend that something one of the boys had done was 'hilarious' - cue group of girls giggling and repeating 'hilarious' in silly voices.
DD does have a bit of an odd vocabulary, and is definitely as said above socially not great and a bit of an 'oddball' (described as 'gifted with lots of aspergers traits' by the Ed Psych). Form tutor/school counsellor etc. advice is 'to ignore it' / 'rise above it' but it is making her thoroughly miserable. She definitely doesn't have the social skills to use witty put downs or mock them without getting in trouble.
I think I need to speak to HoY again, and I suppose I'm trying to decide whether to push for more intervention with the girls (as opposed to more support to help dd deal with this).
I would say that it is bullying and ask the school to do more. The Anti-Bullying Alliance has some stuff on its website that might be useful. They define bullying as 'the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.'
That's it, I think it is the repetitive thing, and the fact that it is specifically aimed at her, IYSWIM. The example she gave that she doesn't find upsetting is a boy in her year who is generically annoying to all the girls - he tries to wind her up sometimes & she can just walk away because it doesn't feel personal.
I'll have a look at the link, thanks
Your poor DD. Long term low level bullying can be soul destroying.
My DD is a similar personality and her school were great with a similar situation at the beginning of Y7, although unfortunately (or maybe fortunately as it turned out) it escalated to physical violence very quickly and she got pushed into a wall in front of quite a few witnesses.
The HoY came down very hard and monitored the situation very closely and it has now completely stopped.
Maybe I'm biased but I would say it's not normal and is completely out of order, and I would be phoning the HoY to ask what has been done to date, and what will happen if there are any further incidents. Don't be afraid to quote the school's anti-bullying policy and question any deviation from it. It will be on the school's website (by law I think)
Because it happened to DD in the first few weeks of new school I probably over-reacted and went in all guns blazing, but I don't regret it. It got fixed and she's now got a lovely group of (equally geeky) friends.
Good luck to your DD and I really hope it can get sorted for her.
You could request that as the school has been so ineffective in stopping the bullying (which it is) that your DD move form groups away from them.
Telling your dd to ignore it instead of coming down heavily on the girls and squashing it (come on, Y7 girls can be dealt with) is outrageous.
Your poor DD. I would keep pushing the school to sort it out sooner rather than later. From what you wrote this is bullying imo. Sadly some schools prefer to sweep under the carpet rather than dealing with it. Good luck, hope it will be sorted soon.
Unfortunately moving form groups isn't an option - also dd has friends in her form group who aren't in many other lessons with her, whereas the group of girls are mainly in the same sets, so she'd move away from friends but still be with the troublesome group a lot, if that makes sense.
I've spoken to HoY again this morning - she obviously has spoken to teachers about this, but unsurprisingly they haven't seen anything (its always when waiting for lessons etc). Her suggestion atm is to get dd together with this group to talk about it, & try to improve matters that way, so we shall see.
The trouble is, dd does have a bit of an odd manner & way of speaking - but as I pointed out to HoY, if she had a bad leg and walked oddly, I wouldn't expect her to get teased about that and have to put up with it.
If I had my way, I'd expel those brats. How dare they treat your poor DD like that? The school needs to sort this out. I feel so bad for her; well done for dealing with this. The best of luck. X
I don't think getting her together with all of them is the way to deal with this. Talking about how it feels is ok but in my opinion when kids do this they just need to be told very firmly to stop or there will be consequences.
There is no excuse for doing this to others, it is not acceptable.
My DS was bullied at both primary and secondary and I went into school each time and put everything in writing and used the word bullying.
Yes it happens but unless you are the one being bullied it is easy to minimise it as something you can rise above.
OP, I would be furious. I'm so sorry you're going through this.
It's so difficult, isn't it? It always seems to me that there are two completely different outcomes you want in a situation like this-and sometimes they are mutually exclusive. You want the wrath of a god to descend on the heads of the bullies- and you want the bullying to stop and your dd to have a happy life at school. Sadly, giving her strategies to deal with the situation might very well be more likely to archive the second than the wrath of God approach. However much justice says the wrath of God should descend.
My ds was in a slightly similar situation last year- he is the "posh" one in a non posh class. There was a lot of mimicking his voice and way of speaking in year 7- he lost his temper a few times and there was hassle, with detentions being handed out. But it didn't stop. In the end, the Head of Yeqr called him in and said basically that if he wanted, they would keep punishing the kids who did it every time he reported it but she couldn't promise that it would stop- if it stopped in one place it would just pop up in another. So she suggested that obviously he should still report anything he wanted to, but that he tried ignoring it, or laughing. She even said that she would turn a blind ear to the occasional swear word. And it seems to have worked. He's in year 8 now, and while people still occasionally do the "la-di-da" voices at him, it's very rare because they got bored, I think.
Not sure what I am trying to say- maybe that sometimes you need to find a strqtegy that works ^for the child^- even if it's not the one your inner mother tiger would want.
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