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WWYD in this situation? DD in trouble at school for the first time.
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Tryingtogetthisright · 27/01/2022 13:24

DD is almost 11 and in year 6 at school. She got her first phone in September so she could walk safely home alone. The phone has been largely untouched until the past 2-3 weeks when she asked to contact her friends on WhatsApp. I naively thought this would be fine likening it to the many hours I spent chatting to my friends on the landline at her age! Obviously I was wrong and I have been way too trusting which I accept.

She was told off on Tuesday with another two girls for targeting a boy in their class during a WhatsApp group chat. The school didn’t inform me and still haven’t, DD told me that evening. We had a lengthy chat, I told her off and she’s lost privileges for the next week. She’s also no longer allowed to use WhatsApp and won’t until she’s mature enough to use it responsibly so not for the foreseeable. Coupled with the telling off at school, I personally thought this was sufficient.

It sounds like they were all playing a game during this chat which totally got out of hand. The boy involved (will call him A) decided to play a game called ‘A is - ‘ and the girls were invited to fill in the blanks so they all started saying things such as A is annoying, A is fat etc. Obviously not pleasant but the boy seemed to goad them into continuing by asking them to continue and also joined in at one stage calling himself a swear word. Just sounds like a stupid game that got out of hand. This is DD’s version of events anyway. I know the boy involved is not innocent because he was pushing DD around in the playground a few months ago and I had to inform the teacher. He recorded the chat anyway and showed his Mum who then contacted the school.

This is where I, personally, would have left it. I’d contact the school and let them deal with the perpetrators accordingly which they did. DD has been reprimanded both at school and home which I believe is sufficient and it’s ok to now draw a line in the sand and move on. His Mother clearly doesn’t agree and has been blowing DD’s phone up which I just think is completely inappropriate. We didn’t realise it was her initially because she used her son’s phone. She called about 5 times in a row on Tuesday night until we switched the phone off because DD was in bed and we were just sitting there with the phone buzzing incessantly. DD then told me an unknown number had been calling her yesterday on the way home from school and had left voicemails each time where they didn’t say anything. Obviously a bit weird so I just blocked the number. Anyway, this morning his Mum messaged DD saying ‘it’s A’s mum, I’ve been trying to call you. Can you let your parents know I want to speak to them please.’

I’m just unsure what she wants to speak to me about really. I don’t know who she is and don’t know who the boy is so totally uncomfortable with her blowing my 10 year old’s phone up like this! I’ve messaged the teacher to explain that DD has been reprimanded appropriately and I don’t really think it’s acceptable of his Mum to keep calling DD like this. DD has chosen a totally different group of friends this year for some reason and I don’t know who any of them are but I do know she’s never been in trouble before at school so I’m extremely disappointed it’s happening now.

Just wondering whether I should contact his Mum this evening as well or just leave the school to act as a mediator?

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ChaToilLeam · 27/01/2022 13:27

I would speak to the woman, tell her the school is handling the situation, you’ve dealt with it at home and it is NOT appropriate for her to be contacting your DD. If she persists, block.

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LIZS · 27/01/2022 13:30

@ChaToilLeam

I would speak to the woman, tell her the school is handling the situation, you’ve dealt with it at home and it is NOT appropriate for her to be contacting your DD. If she persists, block.

Exactly this. Tell school too.
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KindleBeKind · 27/01/2022 13:30

It sounds as though she wants to talk to you to help her understand why your child was bullying hers. Seems appropriate to speak to her.

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SoupDragon · 27/01/2022 13:33

He recorded the chat anyway and showed his Mum who then contacted the school.

Wouldn't the chat have shown that he was encouraging them? Have you seen the chat?

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Sproutandcrumpet · 27/01/2022 13:33

I can understand why the boy's parent is upset. It's an awful feeling when other kids are mean to your child, however, it's really inappropriate for her to be contacting your child directly. I would let school know about her bombarding your child's phone and they should advise her against this

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Theunamedcat · 27/01/2022 13:34

Has he downloaded and edited the chat? Have you seen your daughters side? You should have it backed up?

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Tryingtogetthisright · 27/01/2022 13:36

It was a phone conversation so I can’t see it. He recorded it apparently and showed his Mum who then contacted school. School haven’t informed me at all so I’m purely going off DD’s version of events but tbf to DD, she did tell me straight away rather than waiting for the school to contact (and they haven’t contacted so I’d still be none the wiser had she not!). I have no reason to believe DD is lying really, she didn’t have to tell me but did and has accepted the punishment. I’m not sure whether he recorded the whole chat or just snippets that made the girls involved seem worse iykwim.

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Tryingtogetthisright · 27/01/2022 13:37

I can understand why she’s upset too but DD did say the teachers have acknowledged that A is not an entirely innocent party during their chat on Tuesday and as I say, I had to contact the teachers about him a few months ago because he was pushing my DD around in the playground.

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SituationCritical · 27/01/2022 13:39

I'd speak with her calmly and tell her that DD has been reprimanded and that she will not be using WhatsApp for the foreseeable future and that her phone is being closely monitored by you. I would also say the school are aware and will be handling the situation. If she starts screaming and yelling, don't respond, put the phone down and make the school aware of the situation.

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itsgettingweird · 27/01/2022 13:40

Agree they are too young for what's app. Group chat require more social skills.

It's great you've recognised this and followed through. If only more parents would.

Great you've recognised your dds part in this doesn't paint her in a great light. Again - you'd be surprised how many downplay it.

However, despite being an immature game involving insults it was a game that all people involved with consented. It was initiated by the boy who's mum has complained. We don't know if the boy feels bullied or if she's monitored his phone and seen it and taken it to school off her own back.

What needed to happen - understand the risks involved when unkind comments become the norm - and it being stopped has happened.

I'd send the mum a simple message from her phone from you (so she doesn't get your number!).

"It's x mum. Please stop harassing my 10yo daughter on her personal mobile. She is a child and it's in appropriate for you to be maintaining this level of attempted contact with a minor when they've made it clear they don't wish to engage by not responding. If you continue I will be seeking advice from the police"

Once again I'm not condoning what they did. But it was stupid immaturity that got out of hand.

What's she's doing as an adult is far worse.

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GiantSpider · 27/01/2022 13:41

It's totally inappropriate for the other parent to keep phoning DD and leaving blank voicemails. I would block this number too. Keep communication via the school as you are doing.

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SituationCritical · 27/01/2022 13:42

I would also want to see or hear the content of the chat so I could address any issues with DD about appropriate use of social media/messaging.

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Tryingtogetthisright · 27/01/2022 13:46

I’ll wait for the teacher to respond and see what she says but I will request to hear it or at least to know what DD’s part in all of this was. DD said as far as she recalls, she only called him fat once and said ‘dating x’ so ‘A is dating X’. The fat comment is obviously totally unacceptable which she realises and she apologise at school on Tuesday when they were told off. We had a lengthy chat and I told her she has to be incredibly careful about anything she ever sends in a message or says over the phone because as she’s now discovered it can totally bite you in the arse. Also had a general discussion about bullying but DD didn’t feel like this was bullying because A kept asking them to say more things and they just got carried away.

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itsgettingweird · 27/01/2022 13:54

Well exactly. They got carried away. Doesn't make it right but they've accepted they are wrong and steps have been taken and explanations given.

It's far more worrying that an adult feels it acceptable to harass a minor on their personal phone.

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PinkSyCo · 27/01/2022 13:54

I would have answered my daughter’s phone and spoke one to one like two adults instead of letting her keep on bombarding my DD.

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Soontobe60 · 27/01/2022 13:55

Starting a ‘game’ of A is … doesn’t mean the person starting it was inviting others to be insulting, which is what you’ve described. It’s not at all goady. He may have been surprised at the others resorting to insults rather than complements, then ended up joining in because what else was he supposed to do? As a parent, I’d have been furious.
What you actually need to do is what you should have done in the first place, and that’s to speak to your DDs teacher about the whole incident. That way you’d have got the full facts about what actually happened. It’s more than likely that you’ve got a watered down version from your DD.
The mother calling your DD is not appropriate, but before you challenge her, find out from school what happened.

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Tryingtogetthisright · 27/01/2022 13:59

@Soontobe60

Starting a ‘game’ of A is … doesn’t mean the person starting it was inviting others to be insulting, which is what you’ve described. It’s not at all goady. He may have been surprised at the others resorting to insults rather than complements, then ended up joining in because what else was he supposed to do? As a parent, I’d have been furious.
What you actually need to do is what you should have done in the first place, and that’s to speak to your DDs teacher about the whole incident. That way you’d have got the full facts about what actually happened. It’s more than likely that you’ve got a watered down version from your DD.
The mother calling your DD is not appropriate, but before you challenge her, find out from school what happened.

I’d agree with this if A himself hadn’t joined in by insulting himself. DD told me he called himself a dickhead which was far more extreme than the words her and the other two girls were using. It’s obviously completely unacceptable regardless but I don’t think he was an innocent victim by any means.

I didn’t answer the phone because it was the boy’s number so I thought it was him calling.
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Tryingtogetthisright · 27/01/2022 14:01

Oh and I think he was goading them because DD said he kept saying ‘do continue’ and ‘keep going’ so they’d say more and more things. If you were upset and felt targeted, I don’t think this is a usual reaction. She also said he was smiling when they all got called out of class to be told off… it sounds like he knowingly recorded it to get them into trouble imo but obviously this is DD’s version of events and I don’t know whether it’s 100% true.

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itsgettingweird · 27/01/2022 14:05

Before speaking to anyone you need to know what actually happened from the school.

Not a version where they include their opinions on it.

The version where they tell you exactly what was said and heard.

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tootiredtospeak · 27/01/2022 14:07

I think you need to speak to this woman. Your DD is only going she has been honest kids make mistakes. First I would speak to the school as right now you haven't corroborated what's happened. Then call her from your phone and be clear with what action you have taken and it's not appropriate to contact your DD as an adult. My concern if you ignore this would be her approaching your DD should she do pick up for her son.

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WhatNoRaisins · 27/01/2022 14:12

I'd block and just go through the school. Nothing good will come from talking directly to this woman.

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Soakitup37 · 27/01/2022 14:13

I think it’s important that the school are aware of what’s happened but I don’t think it’s their responsibility as it wasn’t a schooling matter and was social in context, even if it happened during school time (which is another matter of using phones when they would be banned for use)

I’d speak to the mother to clear the air and express the fact that you are not happy with your daughter’s behaviour and she has been reprimanded as you see appropriate and just politely tell her you feel (because frankly it is) inappropriate for her to be trying to discuss this with your daughter directly.

For them this will blow over, may end up being an “in” joke if they grow in friendship. One day they’ll realise that it wasn’t kind or appropriate themselves but honestly this is how lessons are learned at this age and in this case it’s not the action that’s unforgivable, but the hope that they learn from this before they get to an age where you will have less influence over the way they conduct themselves in peer to peer social interactions.

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itsgettingweird · 27/01/2022 14:15

@tootiredtospeak

I think you need to speak to this woman. Your DD is only going she has been honest kids make mistakes. First I would speak to the school as right now you haven't corroborated what's happened. Then call her from your phone and be clear with what action you have taken and it's not appropriate to contact your DD as an adult. My concern if you ignore this would be her approaching your DD should she do pick up for her son.

Well if she approaches and intimidates a 10yo she's a knob and can also be reported.

Just because a 10yo did something unacceptable it doesn't give an adult a reason to do exactly the same thing (bully the person she's accused of being the bully).
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newnameagain99 · 27/01/2022 14:16

I'd block and tell the school too. Totally inappropriate for her to be ringing your daughter's phone.

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Tryingtogetthisright · 27/01/2022 14:18

My concern if you ignore this would be her approaching your DD should she do pick up for her son.

I had the exact same thought earlier. The majority in her year walk home alone now but I know a few don’t and I’m not sure whether he gets collected or not.

I’ll wait to see what the teacher says then I’ll message A’s phone to say it’s her Mum and ask her to send her number so I can contact her or I’ll just call her on A’s phone if that’s better. I hope she’s reasonable and doesn’t start shouting, I will just hang up if she gets nasty. I think I’ve handled it ok personally and DD knows she was wrong, this doesn’t really need to be dragged out anymore.

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