Pastoral - emotionally abusive teen relationship(10 Posts)
Yesterday, I stumbled across a situation that I'm not sure how to proceed with. I saw a Year 11 girl goading her boyfriend and him retaliating, calling her c*nt, sl*g, tw*t. Staff intervened, one teacher ushered the girl to her lesson and I stayed with the boy to calm him down. He has a history of violent outbursts (punched windows, doors etc). I talked him down and in temper, he started sobbing.
He told me that she goads him, gives him mixed messages, is equally verbally abusive. He is convinced that she wants him to hit her - has said to him many times "go on then, hit me. You know you want to". Whilst verbally abusive, he hasn't hit her, but I'm seeing that the red flags are there for a violent relationship. Indeed, whilst I sat there with him, she left her class and was walking back and forth, as if goading him more.
I tried to tell him that at his age, life should be about exam-stresses, playing footie/rugby with his mates, fancying girls and enjoying life. Instead, he's hating school, getting into trouble and wrecking his head about this girl. He told me "but I love her Miss, she's under my skin." His Head of Year then took him to his office to cool him down. This cycle will just continue until it escalates to the next level.
What can I do? His parents are not good role-models, and her parents indulge her completely and are very anti-school. I want to be able to talk this boy into moving on with his young life (he trusts me). I want to to tell this girl to grow up and stop goading him, to stop playing dangerous games with a troubled boy.
Other staff have seen her toy with him too - all over him one minute, pushing him away the next, ignoring him for days on end etc. It's truly a toxic situation but I have serious concerns about this boy. I see the potential for a violent relationship here and I'm hating myself for saying this, but this girl seems to be playing a game with him without realizing the awful life-changing consequences.
Please advise. Has anyone come across something like this before? Is there any more I can do?
You believe the boy is either being abused or at risk of abuse. Therefore It is an immediate safeguarding concern for your schools child protection officer and you need (ed) to report it immediately, as did your colleagues. Ensure that you and the colleagues you mention all report concerns based on behaviours seen by the girl so that the boy is not kept at risk of an accusation or entrapment of assault, self harm or anything else.
Ideally you need to get yours in 830 this morning. If your safeguarding officer is not in yet, then go straight to the head teacher. The aim is safeguarding and protection of the boy, not to fix or end an abusive relationship, and that needs an appropriate response from the appropriate safeguarding.
Hope that helps!
Flanks, thank you. Hearing you loud and clear. I'm logging into our portal now and penning an email and I'll be at CP's door first thing.
Chalk, I spoke to her yesterday when she was out of lessons, walking back and forth, asked her what was happening, and she told me "nothing, he's doing my head in, nothing to do with you". She's very old for her young age and it's almost like dealing with older people who are heavily involved with one another.
I'm sorry. My post was wrong. Flanks was right.
Sounds like an absolutely awful situation for both of them.
But I do think she needs as much support as he does. Not sure if she also needs reporting to CP but I guess so.
Maybe she's reacting to an abusive relationship at home. Etc.
Good luck. Hope something can be done to help both of them.
I agree with chalk, after reflecting on your post while mixing porridge (morning routine!) I came back to post again.
With this behaviour, the likelihood that one or both of them has been in abusive relationship in the past is quite high.
There are of course safeguarding concerns for both children, and both will need support.
Professionally it is important you maintain boundaries. Avoid any leading questions, otherwise you may cause unintended consequences and also make yourself vulnerable to accusations etc.
It is for these situations that clear procedures exist, so that children and staff can both be protected by a clear framework.
Reading your 2nd post again, I have more concerns about the girl by the way.
Age inappropriate behaviour (old forbher age in your words) is one of the most common flags for history of abuse.
Thank you both once again.
Flanks, I've emailed CP and spoken the the HoY that took him to cool him down. I've not heard back at all from CP but I'm appalled at his HoY's attitude - was biased and unchallenging of the boys temper. Totally blase and treating it as bickering between 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend'. I don't agree with his opinion and I'm afraid I told him so. I've had PPA this past hour so I saw the Head of KS4 who shares my concerns. He's asked me to put it in writing which I'm in the process of doing
and shouldn't be checking this thread at all.
Thanks for the excellent advice. I feel stronger in chasing this up now.
Sadly the attitude of your HoY is not uncommon enough.
With regards to CP, I would expect nothing more than an acknowledgement of your concern.
If you feel that the concern has not been addressed then you can approach the head teacher instead. It sounds as if head of ks4 is on board though, so the concern won't be ignored.
Keep up the good fight. In my opinion more teachers need to treat behaviour as communication, rather than nsomething to be controlled. You are doing the right thing, and because of that you are giving both of these teenagers an opportunity to express themselves in a healthier and less destructive way.
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