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At my wits end- homophobic bullying, what should we expect the school to do?

(69 Posts)
L0gCab1n2 Wed 02-Oct-19 21:12:41

Our son is in his GCSE year and had several years of bullying at his school. He has been dragged by his tie, pushed, called a faggot online, told he doesn’t deserve human rights, has to listen to boys saying being gay isn’t natural and is disgusting etc, etc. He says he is mocked most weeks. The school talks the talk(has done assemblies and arranged mentoring now and again)but it never seems to go away.

Our son has cut himself off from friends, doesn’t care about his future, can’t focus on work (causing his grades to drop), is very anxious, unhappy and full of self hatred.

Got weeks to wait for a gp appointment and getting hold of the school counsellor is a nightmare. He is bright and under achieving in most areas. He is having support lessons in school out side of class to get his grades where they should be. I am annoyed that the actions of others have caused this.

He is now saying he wants to drop out completely and there is no point doing GCSEs or going to uni as he doesn’t care about any of it. He insists he isn’t suicidal.

I feel the school should be doing something, but what? He drags himself in and puts on a brave face because we make him. I don’t want him to drop out or move him risking his education even more because it seems so unfair.

I can’t believe that in his day age a school can just carry on accommodating this. Is there anything we should expect them to be doing? What can we do to get it sorted? Are they under any obligation to make it stop?

Literally at our wits end. Doing everything at home to help him but really starting to struggle. Please advise.

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TheMarschallin Wed 02-Oct-19 21:18:00

He needs to move schools.

This school is not going to change. The other kids are not going to change.
He is in a downward spiral and it will get worse.

Move him

TheMarschallin Wed 02-Oct-19 21:19:01

And I’m sorry by the way.

It’s not fair and it is wrong.

Bit it will not change.

L0gCab1n2 Wed 02-Oct-19 21:23:12

I can’t,the other options are both requires improvement and I’ll suspect he’d get the same there. He has refused to go to one anyway.

It is also unfair. The school gets to do nothing, the ignorant get educated and my son gets his education damaged even more.

What are they expected to do Ofstedwise or are all schools allowed to just turn a blind eye to homophobia?

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NoodlingAlong Wed 02-Oct-19 21:30:38

That is terrible. I am so sorry your son is going through that.

Two boys in Year 8 at my DD’s school were caught last week picking on another boy in the same year who is bisexual. They called him names. Both the perpetrators have now been permanently excluded. Have you tried a report to the school governors?

Teachermaths Wed 02-Oct-19 21:31:37

Firstly does your son report each incident with the names of the bullies?

What actions have the school taken so far?

They should be keeping your child safe. In reality it can be very difficult to monitor a student without making it very obvious (ie staff following them) so a lot of students don't like this. Is there somewhere he can go at social time, either a club or support room. We have a quiet room for students who don't want to be out and about in social time.

Do you live somewhere with intolerant attitudes? (this might sound like an odd question but rural schools tend to be more homophobic than city schools). It'd be almost unheard of for homophobic bullying where I teach, most students would jump on the bullies like a shot!

PerfectPeony2 Wed 02-Oct-19 21:34:18

Oh gosh I’m so sorry. Can you escalate to the principal/ governors? Or go to the police? It is hate crime.

I would also name and shame. I don’t know how they can get away with this in 2019.

L0gCab1n2 Wed 02-Oct-19 21:35:22

He hides in a quiet garden in the school at lunch time with his only friend. sadI’d like him to try and get out and socialise like he used to. I’m suspecting it could be an intolerant area, it’s an all boy (state)school which doesn’t help.

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Teachermaths Wed 02-Oct-19 21:37:04

I wouldn't force him to socialise if he doesn't want to.

Each incident needs reporting by him to school. If they aren't aware, they won't be able to do anything.

What have they actually done so far?

NotGreenNotKeen Wed 02-Oct-19 21:37:25

You can raise a complaint with Ofsted...

PerfectPeony2 Wed 02-Oct-19 21:38:37

He hides in a quiet garden in the school at lunch time with his only friend

This breaks my heart.

L0gCab1n2 Wed 02-Oct-19 21:39:08

Some have been named and dealt with. Think they had a days on site exclusion. Unfortunately now it’s groups, passers by and clever. Discussing how disgusting being gay is in a loud voice next to him, saying how unnatural it is as a discussion across the class, mocking him( you’re gay) etc

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Ohyesiam Wed 02-Oct-19 21:40:53

I just asked dh about this. He is in pastoral care at a large school.
He says the bullies should receive escalating sanctions every single time.
Can you go in and utterly lose your rag with them? Push and push and refuse to leave the head of year’s office until he had offered you a concrete plan of how this is going to be dealt with.
I went to collect dh from work the other evening and I I stood outside his office i heard him talking to a parent on the phone reassuming them of how he was going to sanction two boys for homophobic comments, and described the pathway he would escalate if it continued. He stated that he wasn’t going to let it drop till their son felt safe at School. This is the level of involvement you need to insist the school attains.
I really hope you get some results and soon.

L0gCab1n2 Wed 02-Oct-19 21:50:59

But there are loads now( too many for him to remember), it has spread like fungus. The cyber thing and physical were dealt with severely I think but then it speads elsewhere. Also they are now clever and do it in a non direct way iykwim. I don’t think he gives names now as it can be a few in a class. Don’t think he’s keen on being the one with the mum grassing on kids either. I’m fed up with being ‘that’ parent. Have just emailed a dep head responsible for safeguarding. No idea if that is the correct thing to do.

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Craftycorvid Wed 02-Oct-19 21:51:07

This is disgraceful and I’m so sorry to hear it’s happening in 2019. I’d hoped this sort of gross behaviour had died out in the eighties. My good wishes to you and your DS. Tell him from me, he will get through this. But the damn school needs to do its job. I’m not surprised your son can’t focus on his work. Homophobic bullying (any bullying) is completely unacceptable. I was bullied because of perceived difference. Have you approached the board of governors? Education authority? Do you have a decent HE college locally? The law says you have to ensure your child is educated, not how. I know you don’t want to disrupt his GCSEs but he won’t be able to shine in this environment.

PerfectPeony2 Wed 02-Oct-19 21:55:46

Set up a meeting with the head teacher tomorrow morning.

If this happened in our school (and I was at high school 15 years ago!) there would have been some sort of assembly with the teacher going mental and giving all the kids a total dressing down.

If he really won’t tolerate you stepping in the only other option would be for him to go elsewhere. I think you need to speak to him and give him either option as it just can’t continue. Could he go to college instead? As some do GCSE courses?

MardyLardy Wed 02-Oct-19 21:56:29

This is awful so just stop it - pullbhim out. Restart - no where single sexed. Nothing to lose

L0gCab1n2 Wed 02-Oct-19 22:01:30

Well there is lots to lose and that’s my point. School get to just shrug their shoulders, do zilch, boys get to carry on sharing their intolerance with the world. My son gets crap GCSEs due to disruption and a RI school I couldn’t even get him to. Surely they have to do something. Is it an Ofsted issue?Making sure he can see the counsellor would be a start.🙄

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L0gCab1n2 Wed 02-Oct-19 22:04:33

The pastoral care seems non existent. We’ve had to badger. Never hear from form tutor. His grades have plummeted, he looks miserable and alone, has a history of being bullied and we’ve had to push for support. Heard zilch from them, nobody approached us. It is quite shocking.

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Girliefriendlikescake Wed 02-Oct-19 22:25:41

I'd want to move him as well, I wonder if he would get on better at a mixed sex school rather than all boys. Have you had a look round the other schools?

It's shocking this still goes on tbh ☹️

L0gCab1n2 Thu 03-Oct-19 06:35:56

It’s his GCSE year and why should we? Surely it’s an issue the school should be sorting. What about other LGBT children?

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Teachermaths Thu 03-Oct-19 07:04:10

Unless your ds is reporting the incidents, there's very little the school can do. They are obviously aware he has been bullied in the past, they may have (wrongly) assumed its stopped if he has stopped reporting it.

I'd expect staff to pick up on it if they heard. It sounds like it's very underhand bullying though.

I A meeting with someone from the school is a good idea. Just so teachers are aware it's still happening and can keep and extra close eye.

I'd expect an assembly on bullying and homophobia and hopefully the school already covers it on the PSHE curriculum.

L0gCab1n2 Thu 03-Oct-19 07:09:14

I email when he tells me so twice this term, there was one at the end of last term. Got the rest all in Sent box.

There was an assembly last year I think. Clearly didn’t do much. I’m pretty sure they are aware there was a problem. I think it is beyond the norm.Sure I remember mention of a student questionnaire and the bullying policy being updated as a result of it. Can’t see any mention of it though, will have to search properly. It was pretty fraught yesterday.

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Punxsutawney Thu 03-Oct-19 07:10:10

Log my experience of an all boys state school is also negative. Different situation but Ds is also gcse year and has just been diagnosed with autism. That makes him a bit different to others. He has suffered bullying over the years. Both name calling and physical. After a big complaint from us school have finally stepped up but we have had to push massively for any pastoral care and support. My other son went to a mixed school and I can now see the difference is huge.

I would start by making a complaint to the head or member of the SLT. If they are useless take it further to the governing body.

Fishcakey Thu 03-Oct-19 07:10:26

Go to the governors. Head teachers hate you involving the governors! Do it now!
I actually think a mixed school though would be much better. Older girls are much nicer than boys in situations like this I think. Roll on college time for him, I so hope life becomes better for him and quickly xxx

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