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Ds2 getting bullied at school again, but doesn't want to talk to his teacher.

(8 Posts)
Stayingsunnygirl Mon 07-Sep-09 13:29:10

Ds2 is 14, and has just started S3 (the Scottish equivalent of Year 10). He's been bullied in the past, during his junior school years and during his first year of senior school in England (where the bullies included his supposed best friend).

Since we moved up to Scotland 18 months ago, things have been much better. He's made friends at school, and goes in early to hang out with them, and when there was one nasty incident (a boy pulled down his shorts and boxers during PE) the teacher verbally tore the boy to shreds and sent him to the deputy head who excluded him temporarily. This made ds2 feel more secure, as he felt bullying would be swiftly dealt with.

However the bullying has reared its ugly head again. He's being taunted about his weight and lack of fitness (even though he can beat the lad who's saying this in races in PE), and about the fact that he is English and that he works hard and does well in school.

I've had a long talk with him about this, and am boosting his confidence as much as possible. I've also suggested one or two strategies for dealing with the bullying, such as showing a 'don't care' attitude if possible.

What I really think he needs to do is to go and tell his guidance teacher, so that she can deal with the pupils concerned, but ds2 doesn't want to do this as he is worried about repercussions, and doesn't believe that the school will do much anyway.

I was bullied to the point of depression when I was at senior school, and never told a single teacher, because I didn't think they'd do anything (my parents' attitude was that sticks and stones would break my bones but calling names wouldn't hurt me - which was utter bollocks). I wish now that I'd given the school a chance to deal with it, and I don't want ds2 to have the same regrets in years to come.

So - I am wondering if I should contact his guidance teacher myself, to discuss the issue, even though ds2 is not keen to talk to her.

What would you do?

Tortington Mon 07-Sep-09 13:33:07

i was bullied too - and told - and ithe bullies wee reprimanded but it just lead to being left out and whispers and sniggers ans sly jibes,.

that being said i think its the right thing to do.

i also think that you should cement his existing friendships

its course, its shallow - but if you have the money - pizza hut and sleepover etc

make your house the place to be and the bully will conform - in other words try and buy them off isn't that horible!

Dumbledoresgirl Mon 07-Sep-09 13:34:15

Yes, I would make contact with the guidance teacher myself. My son is a year younger than yours but going through a similar experience. He did not tell his teachers or family about it but I knew something was up when he was not eating at school. I contacted his tutor and we went from there (process still ongoing so I can't say what the outcome is).

I think you need to explain to your son that these issues might affect his work or his happiness at the school and you are not prepared to sit by and see this happen. Make him understand that you have his interests at heart. At the very least, you will be notifying the teacher that you have a concern. S/he can't do anything to help your son until s/he knows this.

mmrsceptic Mon 07-Sep-09 13:36:20

Yes, I would talk to the teacher privately and explain, and ask advice.

I had really good advice on bullying from mn from the fab edam and scareyteacher and I hope you don't mind if I repeat it.

It is to be loud: ie when being pushed or having your bag taken off your back etc you shout "leave me alone X" or "why are you doing this".

I gave this advice to my Y7 child, he did it and I swear the issue just stopped. This kid who was doing it said "it's because Y" (whatever it was) and so mine said that's stupid, or something along those lines, and a conversation started.

Definitely talk to the guidance teacher and keep lines of communication open.

Dumbledoresgirl Mon 07-Sep-09 13:37:17

I forgot to say, there might not be repercussions from the bullies. My ds was (is?) being bullied by different sets of children. The older ones were directly told to leave him alone, but his own peergroup were not told that my son had complained about them. The school is working in the background to improve relationships between these children and my son.

junglist1 Wed 09-Sep-09 17:39:00

If the teachers aren't helping approach the bully yourself, tell him you're not having it any more etc. I've done this a few times and it always works. My boys are now protected by boys who were nasty to them previously, because I demanded respect for my family. If you use teenage slang on them they'll be in complete awe of you. Seriously.

Stayingsunnygirl Fri 11-Sep-09 22:08:44

I spoke to the school, and his form teacher had a chat with the two boys most involved. Both have promised to leave ds2 alone from now on, and one of them was very ashamed, and apologised to ds2 straight away.

He says that school was OK today - no problems with any of the bullies, so we'll see how things go from now on. The school have told ds2 that he should report any further incidences, and they'll be dealt with - the boys concerned will be punished, and the parents may be called into the school.

So - fingers crossed. And thanks to all of you for your support and advice. smile

teech Sat 12-Sep-09 03:37:34

I sincerely hope everything works out for you. Bullying is ugly, painful and unfortunately part of all our lives, not just schoolkids.

I am in no way suggesting that your DS2 is to blame for his bullying, but I'd like to relay this story from my first teaching job.

There was a girl in year nine who was bullied. I could see it in my lessons how she was isolated by the others. The 'in crowd' would have nothing to do with her and the nicer kids were wary because they didn't want 'bounce back' attention on themselves. Luckily for me I also had in that class 3 pupils from the very rare 'confident and nurturing' group. The sort of students who are very mature, don't get involved in petty school politics and take people as they come. They are generally identified as being able to get along with everyone in their year group without being close friends with anyone but other 'nurturers'. And they are rare! So 3 in one class was a blessing and I put the bullied girl in their group for practicals and other group work.

It took about 2 months for the group I'd put her with to hang back one lesson to talk to me. They couldn't get on with her. At all. It appeared that this girl was so used to being bullied that she would take offence to anything that was said to her by anyone in her peer group. They'd be trying to do a practical and would ask her to do something, and she took it as a slight and would argue about why she shouldn't. Everything this group tried to make her feel included was thrown back in their face as an attempt to make her look stupid. They told me they understood why I'd put her with them, but they couldn't work with her any more...

My point? Once a child has been bullied it is tempting to see bullies everywhere. To become hypersensitive to what happens. As anyone with low self-esteem can tell you (me included) it's easy to find insults where there really wasn't an insult. I guess what I'm saying is that if your child is bullied you need to boost their self-esteem outside the classroom, push them to conquer their fears and also teach them how to engage with new people confidently, otherwise they might well see bullies where there are none.

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