Secondary school teachers-bullying?(6 Posts)
How do secondary school teachers deal with very unhappy teenagers!? I'm concerned about going to the school in case I make things worse for him.
Lots of the boys in the class are sporty-play football at lunchtime and have decided in recent months to totally exclude a small group of them-calling them names, coming up with crap excuses why the same few can't play, pulling faces if they have to work with them in class etc. DS is now miserable and doesn't want to go to school.
I appreciate you can't make people like you, but is this something that a Y8/9 should have to poke up with? What could a teacher realistically do? If they get the rest of the class in and say-'Don't be mean to Billy etc and don't call them names' then they'll obviously know they've grassed them up and they'll still be unpopular but labelled a grass as well! Is it better to continue to be miserable every day, or to say something and risk making it worse?
No not at all. Definitely take up with the school. Exactly how it is best to do this I don't know - maybe wait for other more experienced parents to post advice!
Thank you for your reply.
I'm just wondering what the form tutor would actually do? I'm worried I'll make it worse by saying something.
Having a chat with the form tutor is a good start.
They can check with the staff who teach your son to see if there have been any incidents within their lessons, which will let you know the scale of the problem ( just lunchtime footie matches or systematic bullying).
Making staff aware of the problem means that a zero tolerance approach to unpleasant behaviour can be applied, without identifying any specific student.
Form tutors will also be aware who the 'opinion formers' are. Sometimes the tacit approval of these 'top dogs', gently encouraged by the tutor can swing the opinions of the masses towards accepting students who have been isolated. This isn't always possible ( it may be the opinion formers who are part of the problem), but it's worth exploring.
The next step would be to involve the head of year. They will certainly want to avoid a potential school refusal situation if your son becomes very upset.
Tutors can also suggest other activities/ groups to help your son feel included and more resilient.
That's really helpful, thank you-are you a secondary form tutor?
I guess what I'm worried about is they will call either the whole bunch of them in and tell them not to be mean (which I can imagine will just result in even more pulling faces if they have to be put with the 'snitch') or speaking to just a few of them-who might go off and tell all the others and the same thing will happen.
I know you can't make kids like other kids. I just wondered what tactics are used.
He really does want to leave the school-I would hope the school wouldn't want him to go so will work with us.
I used to be a form tutor. It was great to see the little year 7's grow and blossom into young adults. I left teaching because of the ridiculous paperwork and the pressure to treat students as numbers not as individuals.
It is worth talking to the school to try and improve things. Hopefully any issues will be handled with subtlety and tact, but it does depend on the culture of the school and the staff involved.
Are there any lunchtime or after school sports activities/clubs that your son could join instead of the general 'kick about' activities? A more structured activity may help your son to gain confidence and widen his circle of friends.
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