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Older pupil demanded money from DC at school - what to do?

(16 Posts)
lanalon Fri 18-Nov-16 11:29:19

What you would do in the following situation?

DS is in Y7 in a new big comprehensive school with children from all walks of life. He was on his way to a lesson yesterday and was passing through a narrow corridor which is not visible from the outside. There was a group of older children in the corridor. One of them has blocked DS’s way and demanded money. DS tried to go around the boy, but he did not let him. DS did not have any money with him, he took the backpack off his shoulder, got his planner out and started to flip through the pages to find the section of the rules which deals with demanding money to show to the boy that he may be expelled for such behavior. The boy was taken aback by such response, snatched the planner from DS’s hands, closed it, said it was a joke and let DS go.

I was relieved to hear from DS that he was not frightened by the incident, because, he said, no-one in his right mind would demand money knowing what the implications might be. DS felt that most likely it was a joke. I am glad on this occasion that DS is still naive, because clearly the act was intentional, as it happened in a narrow corridor which no-one could see and that the boy blocked DS’s way several times. The school is very strict on the behavior side, but this did not deter the offender.

The question is now whether I report this to the school. Given DS’s response to the boy, I think it is unlikely that this boy will try it again with DS, but he might well try it with other children. If I do report it, the management would certainly take action: DS would have to identify the boy, the school will suspend or punish him, but there is a probability of revenge (either physical or emotional) from either the boy or his friends. Also, this may happen outside the school gate.

If you were in a similar situation, what did you do and how did it go in the end?

BratFarrarsPony Fri 18-Nov-16 11:33:19

Your child sounds great btw, well done to him for standing up to this bully.

With all the considerations, with your son having to identify and all the rest of it, perhaps leave it for now.

Unless you can get a name and do it anonymously...

SAHDthatsall Fri 18-Nov-16 11:55:22

I would put a £5 in his bag and take a photo of it beforehand. If it happens again your son can hand it over to the bully and later on when reported you will have him bang to rights.

BratFarrarsPony Fri 18-Nov-16 11:58:04

that would only work if the bully was searched, and still had the money on him, and school cannot search pockets and so on without calling the police in , which they might be loth to do. (loth? loath? not sure)

Witchend Fri 18-Nov-16 12:00:18

DS did not have any money with him, he took the backpack off his shoulder, got his planner out and started to flip through the pages to find the section of the rules which deals with demanding money to show to the boy that he may be expelled for such behaviour
Is he planning on being a politician?

In all honesty, I can't really imagine a bully being phased by that-they'd just go into intimidation, ("you won't tell anyone so I won't be suspended")so whereas I wouldn't call it a joke, it may not be repeated. The fact the older boy stood and let him get his planner out and flip through it, sounds unusual in such circumstances, unless students generally hide money in their planners.

I think, I'd probably send a factual letter to the head of year/behavioural manager. Say exactly what occurred, but stress you don't want your ds to be asked about it, and just ask that they can keep an eye out.

lanalon Fri 18-Nov-16 13:31:15

Good idea about taking a photo of 5 GBP, although by the time this gets to the management (next day in the best case), the bully may not have the note and true, they need police to search him anyway.

Not sure about wanting to be a politician, but DS said he wants to be a lawyer. He is very rule abiding at school, over the top, I must say, which did him good in this situation as he felt protected by having the rules in place and believing that others should take them seriously too.

PonderingProsecco Fri 18-Nov-16 16:14:08

I would email tutor reporting facts yet emphasising any dealings with situation need to be careful as do not want ds to be further targeted.

ChocolateWombat Fri 18-Nov-16 16:37:40

I'm amazed by the response of your DS.
I hope you don't mind me asking but is he on the spectrum? It just reminded me of a child I once knew who hit someone and when picked up on it by the school, got out his planner and pointed out that nowhere did it say that hitting was not allowed - he was very pedantic and logical in his approach to everything.

Anyway, that question aside, which is obviously not the focus of the thread and I hope you aren't offended by, I think I would report it. This time, the bully backed down (which I was surprised by - most money streakers know it's not allowed, don't need to see the rules to know this...and don't care that there could be serious repercussions) and turned out not to be the aggressive thoroughly nasty type who beats up people who say no, however simply the fact that someone is trying to get money out of younger children needs to be brought to the schools attention.

I'd approach it from the angle that you don't necessarily need follow up because of your boys wasn't actually taken in the end, thankfully and your boy seemed to walk away confidently rather than being traumatised....however, others maynot manage the situation as he did and be robbed. The school would hope to avoid that. Quite how they would deal with stopping that I'm not sure....but that's up to them. They may wish to try to pin down exactly which boy was involved, so your son might end up involved, but he sounds like the type who could cope with that and has a strong sense of right and wrong and might actually enjoy bringing the perpetrator to justice, as it were. Of course, I might be reading him all wrong.
Good luck in your decision, sorry it happened and be encouraged by your sons brave approach.

Suppermummy02 Fri 18-Nov-16 18:06:05

Well done to your DS.

You have to tell the school, (just email them) they will find out if it was a joke or not. Just think that this boy COULD be taking money off other children not as 'strong' as yours.

List the facts to the school as you know them. The school will look into it, but they can only promise to be sensitive and respectful, they cant say they won't ask your DS about it. Its a serious issue, even if its just a 'mucking around', its still bullying.

Megainstant Fri 18-Nov-16 18:09:50

Your ds sounds fab grin

Megainstant Fri 18-Nov-16 18:10:56

I would wait BTW

He handled it brilliantly

Ditsyprint40 Fri 18-Nov-16 18:21:35

He sounds brill!!

Taking a photo sounds a good idea, and schools absolutely cane search pockets etc without police, but possibly only for banned/illegal items rather than something like this.

Anatidae Fri 18-Nov-16 18:29:09

Your son sounds cool as a cucumber smile he will go far...

Difficult one. If this boy is targeting other pupils then he needs stopping - not all are as sharp as your son. I'd report it and get assurances from them that they will deal with it in a manner that doesn't implicate your son.
Well done him smile

lanalon Fri 18-Nov-16 18:34:28

ChocolateWombat, I am not offended by your question, his response was certainly unusual for me. He was not diagnosed with anything and no-one of his teachers has ever suggested it. By the way, this school has rules about almost everything, including beating upsmile DS is a very sensitive and empathetic child, I've heard children with syndromes do not understand the social norms, and he certainly understands those. He has a couple of good friends from his primary, but he is not pro-active in making new friends in secondary, he says he needs to build trust first.

My biggest concern, if I tell the school, is DS's safety. If the school reacts promptly , the bully will know straight away who reported him, unless he offended other children in the meantime. I may need to wait and tell the school later, to make it more dificult for the bully to link the facts. This is not ideal either.

Suppermummy02 Fri 18-Nov-16 19:26:21

the bully will know straight away who reported him

The school are experts in dealing with bullying, they wont jump in like a bull in a china shop, of course they know the consequences for your DC and will act accordingly.

But you shouldn't wait, there is a potential bully out there and your now implicit if you dont pass on what you know. Do you really want to be responsible for allowing another child to be bullied because you wanted to keep quiet for a few weeks. It also makes your claims less valid if they are weeks old.

ChocolateWombat Sat 19-Nov-16 09:08:43

I wouldn't be put off by fear of reprisals. This is what bullies hope for and they rely on the fact people won't tell for fear of future action.

I can understand why this would cause a concern for you, but as previous piaster said, the school will know how to handle this. Yes it could become obvious it was him (and is likely to) but this isn't necessarily a problem. In some ways it is good for a bully to know that a specific person has identified them, firstly because it makes them see the implications of their actions for an individual, but also because if there are any reprisals, it is very clear who has committed them.....and the school would also address this issue with the bully.

So, yes I can see why you have concerns......but don't let this stop you doing the right thing and reporting it. Talk it through with your boy, and if you like, approach the school asking them first how they would handle a report of bullying, before giving the specifics. Voice your concerns and let them reassure you before going into details. The person to approach would be the head of year or pastoral deputy, but I would also copy in the form tutor. And you can always request a face to face meeting.

It's just been anti bullying week......the school should be hot on this at the moment.....and any bullies will not be taken lightly at this point.

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