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Intervening in a fight

(59 Posts)
fightworry Mon 01-Apr-13 14:55:14

Can anyone please advise what the standard protocol is for handling a fight in school (Yr 7/8 children) please.

A child with SEN (ASD/ sensory issues) who I shall call Boy A had been provoked all morning by another boy (Boy B) who was told by the staff to leave Boy A alone. At break time it was wet play and all children were crowded into 2 classrooms (Boy A does not like crowds/noise). Boy A went into one classroom, saw a child there he had difficulties with so did the right thing and went into the other classroom. Unfortunately Boy B was there, approached him and carried on provoking and taunting him. Boy A repeatedly asked to be left alone but Boy B kept saying 'make me then' etc..

Boy A who has a very literal understanding then pushed Boy B in an attempt to make him go away and a fight broke out between them. Boy A had a TA supporting him who ran out of the class to get assistance and made no attempt to de-escalate the situation, verbally or otherwise.

The fight was broken up by another boy before staff arrived. Boy A was very upset and asked why the TA did not help him but the TA said that she was not allowed to intervene. Is this correct?

Boy A was immediately excluded for fighting and Boy B received a lunchtime detention a few days later.
The TA was fairly new to the school and had only spent 15 minutes with boy A before that day (was not his regular TA).

float62 Tue 02-Apr-13 17:17:20

Oh god, another ASD child without an education. The third ASD child recently permanently excluded that is being written about on MN in the past couple of days alone. Completely agree with couthy on her points. I think that we need more SSs and AS units and schools are going to have to admit in the first place that they can't manage these children appropriately rather than going through the motions of inclusion before they spit the child out, blaming the child and causing so much long-term emotional damage.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Tue 02-Apr-13 13:31:58

Yep, I would be too, Sassh

sashh Tue 02-Apr-13 09:48:17


That's exactly what I was thinking.

Actually what I was thinking is that if boy B was bullying boy A because of the colour of his skin then this would have been stopped.

Winding up an ASD child is sheer discrimination and bullying all in one.

If I was boy A's parents I'd be calling the police to report a hate crime.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 07:36:48

So where is Boy A now, is he being taken care of, has he got a better placement that a school that wasn't prepared to offer the basics needed for him to cope?
Ideally, as a parent, I'd be complaining to the LA Inclusion team and the governors of the school in order for them to ask searching questions of the school and ensure that they take responsibility for the failure.
But my first priority would be making sure that my DS was in the best possible place, physically and emotionally, to thrive. An indifferent and badly-organised school looking for quick solutions would not be it.
What a sad, avoidable mess.

fightworry Tue 02-Apr-13 05:59:09

Bit complicated Tilly. It was recorded as an PE. He couldn't go to the PRU as the school had sent him there for a while previously and it was agreed that it was the wrong environment.

bigTillyMint Tue 02-Apr-13 03:11:39

What a sad story for boy A. The school is clearly in the wrong and did not make reasonable adjustments for himsad - it was boy B on this occasion, but could have been others involved leading to permanent exclusion.

Out of interest, did it get recorded as a PE or did he get shipped out quickly to a PRU or SS (as our LA do to avoid PEs)?

fightworry Mon 01-Apr-13 21:43:31

Neb the school permanently excluded Boy A shortly afterwards.
The parents had previously pointed out that a lot of incidents seen were as a result of other children 'winding him up' and that these needed to be addressed sad.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 01-Apr-13 21:26:45

Only way child B should come into this is to ask school what strategies they are going to use to prevent bear-baiting and personal attacks on child A by students for their own entertainment.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 01-Apr-13 21:24:59

Not good enough, definite school failure and a need to work with the child and the parent.
Card shouldn't be stuck on anything, it needs to be in a pocket so that it is always available. Not having a place to withdraw to is also not good, how can they not be able to provide him with a chair or a corner?
DS was in a MS secondary with over 1500 pupils and they managed extremely well.
Why is it so difficult for other schools to do the same?

tethersend Mon 01-Apr-13 21:24:37

Couthy, I really don't think it would be helpful to child A's parents' case to assert that there were absolute consequences which should have happened to child B.

fightworry Mon 01-Apr-13 21:21:20

There was no safe place available for him to go - school were aware of this. The 'escape' card was stuck to the front of a book that he didn't have with him at break.
I guess when he was in that state of anxiety he would not necessarily have thought of getting away. He had asked the other boy to leave him alone but was told 'make me' which is why he reacted as he did.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 01-Apr-13 21:19:02

Sorry, but I'd be in there with my big file and copies of policies and a written record of all the accommodations the school should have agreed on and put in place to meet his needs. (Linked to targets and IEP, or statement)
I'd be checking in detail what they had and hadn't done, and what they intended to do to prevent a recurrence. Y7 or Y8? They've had enough time to create and implement effective protocols.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 01-Apr-13 21:15:10

So, did Boy A not have a permission to leave the room card, a safe place to go to when he felt overloaded?

fightworry Mon 01-Apr-13 21:13:51

She hadn't seen what started the fight and left straight away to get help. Doesn't appear that she was told of the earlier difficulties between the 2 boys so she had been treated unfairly in a way too I suppose.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 01-Apr-13 21:08:13

Do you think that the TA judged the situation as horseplay?
Normal, robust joshing between chaps?
And then panicked when the situation exploded?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 01-Apr-13 21:05:52

I agree with flight risk, in that it is pretty poor behaviour of the school to leave Boy A in the situation where this was likely to happen.

I also feel it was pretty poor of the school to leave Boy A with an inadequately trained TA.

I also feel it was pretty poor of the school to leave Boy B to be in EITHER of the wet play rooms after he had been teasing and goading (read bullying...) Boy A in a lesson.

It should have been dealt with at that point by Boy B being put in isolation over break time as it was wet break.

And another incident of bullying by Boy B towards Boy A should be dealt with by after school detention.

And any further incident should be an automatic exclusion.

Christ, ONE incident from Boy A has resulted in exclusion, why the difference? Is Boy B the football star player, or the Mathletics champion, or something?!

Welovegrapes Mon 01-Apr-13 21:05:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 01-Apr-13 21:00:13

One of the infuriating things in the early days of DS being in MS secondary was that whenever there was a physical altercation, I could trace the fuse every time, and I'd given the school a list of triggers and situations.
They were fantastic after the couple of terms, because all the teachers saw it as their job to be proactive. So a situation would begin to develop and they would intervene before it became a fight.
He did have a couple of exclusions, and several internal exclusions, but after the first one, they were very clear on the grounds and reasons for their actions, and had his best interests at heart, alongside other students.
In this case, I think action should have been taken a lot earlier to prevent the escalation. TA sounds clueless, and that simply isn't good enough.

tethersend Mon 01-Apr-13 20:56:21

Agree with all those points, fightworry.

Which makes a serious enough case without needing to refer to child B's punishment at all.

tethersend Mon 01-Apr-13 20:54:27

That was to Couthy.

tethersend Mon 01-Apr-13 20:54:05

No. In the same way that statemented children aren't 'given a green light to bully other children', despite there also being legislation to protect them from unnecessary exclusion.

Unless that also makes you angry?

fightworry Mon 01-Apr-13 20:53:46

Fair comment Tethers. Fairness is the key. I think the main point is that Boy A was excluded apparently for behaviours relating to his disability. The fact that the staff knew that the goading had occurred but didn't take steps to minimise the later risk is pretty poor imo. Also an untrained TA should not have been supporting a child in such a state of high anxiety that issues were likely to happen.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 01-Apr-13 20:52:35

In which case, that should have been the same for Boy A with ASD, thus proving the point that this school are not treating Boy A fairly.

And sorry, but it's NOT right to treat a child with ASD HARSHER than a child bullying them. For ANY REASON.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 01-Apr-13 20:49:58

So effectively now, LAC are given a green light to bully other children, knowing that their punishment will not be as harsh as other DC's in the school, and also knowing that should their victim retaliate, their victim will be punished more severely than they will be.

Good god.

tethersend Mon 01-Apr-13 20:41:18

"Do you think it is FAIR of the school to treat Boy A more harshly than Boy B despite Boy B being the obvious instigator?"

Without knowing the circumstances of each child, I cannot possibly answer that.

"would never have expected, as a LAC, (which I was on and off from the age of 6mo to 16yo), to have behaved any differently to what was expected of other DC's in my school, or to have received lighter punishments when I did break rules."

I think, after years and years of LAC having the worst educational outcomes and being at a higher risk of exclusion than any other cohort, it is right and proper that legislation was brought in to combat this. I understand what you are saying, but each child in care is different, and the evidence points overwhelmingly to there being a need for additional support, hence the legislation. I don't think having different expectations is in itself a bad thing- the expectations need to reflect the child.

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