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AIBU?

To be concerned about my child being forced to sit next to child who harms him just because he’s a good kid

90 replies

Mollyshoe · 20/09/2022 22:28

Last year my son sat next to a very disruptive boy who would thump him all day long, thump him to demand to see answers, just generally distract him by tapping hîm and kicking his chair and also coughing and blowing in his face and pulling his hair.

I asked to have my son moved after he started to hate school because of it. This was only after nothing else worked. The school said no. Eventually they moved my son and his mood improved.

this year, year six, my son was happy to be sitting with his friend. But after a week, the disruptive boy was moved next to my son because he was misbehaving and they think my shy, well behaved son is a good influence. Maybe he is but my son is now getting thumped, harassed, tapped, kicked and blown at again.

The teachers say they don’t see it happening - because the boy does it when he can get away with it as soon as the teacher is marking, covered by ta, talking to another child!

Am I being unreasonable to ask for my son to move? I know they need resilience but not against this it’s unfair he had to sit next to disruptive kids who cause him harm and anxiety instead of his friend because he’s a good child.

he said he feels like he’s being punished and struggled to sleep tonight .



To be clear this is about this one child harming mine not a hate war against all kids who are “disruptive”to varying and uncontrollable degrees and who I understand may face understandable challenges that I sympathise with.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

573 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
2%
You are NOT being unreasonable
98%
Carproblem · 20/09/2022 22:31

No I wouldn't have that.

cansu · 20/09/2022 22:32

Is this the same child as last year? If so, then yes ask for him to be moved. You can say that there were problems last year and you think he will get on better with another peer. You can't however specify that he is beside his friend. If this is a different child, then maybe wait and see. Your ds may well want to sit next to his friend and be aware that if he says the boy is disruptive, you will react.

Y7drama · 20/09/2022 22:33

I wouldn’t be happy with this.

AloysiusBear · 20/09/2022 22:33

Yanbu.

You can't insist your child sits with their friend but you can insist they aren't burdened as the sole seatmate of a difficult child all year.

2pinkginsplease · 20/09/2022 22:34

No I wouldn’t tolerate that and would be demanding my child was moved and the other child better supported.

FarmerRefuted · 20/09/2022 22:35

Raise it again with the teacher and explain that you do not want this child sitting next to your child as it is having a negative impact on his ability to learn.

I've had to had this conversation before about my DD who is "good" in a very laid back way and because she's so chilled out and we'll behaved there has been more than one teacher who has used her as a scaffold for disruptive children in the class on the assumption that she will somehow be a calming influence on them.

Its lazy classroom management, your DC is not there to support disruptive pupils, that is the job of the teacher and the support staff.

endofthelinefinally · 20/09/2022 22:36

It is such a lazy way of dealing with the disruptive children and very cruel to the well behaved kids who get abused and assaulted all day long. My child used to come home covered in bruises because she was always put next to the naughtiest boy to "encourage him to be good".

Thepossibility · 20/09/2022 22:37

Stand up for your child.
There is a particular girl I have insisted DD isn't to be seated with. One year I insisted on different classes.

FarmerRefuted · 20/09/2022 22:38

When I've worked as a TA, children being disruptive would be told to come and sit at my table, they didn't get farmed out to other kids in the class because it's not their job to manage other pupils behaviour.

CaptainMum · 20/09/2022 22:39

Stand up for your son. It sounds dramatic, but I'd probably keep him at home until then assured me he wouldn't be next to him.

bellac11 · 20/09/2022 22:41

Tell them that if the assault happens again you'll be phoning the police and reporting it and you'll need the school to explain why they put your son at risk and in harms way knowing the history between the two boys.

EveSix · 20/09/2022 22:41

There's a term for this in the country where I went to school; "pillow child", basically expected to absorb impact of bad behaviour by proximity of placement (usually quiet, studious girls next to disruptive pupils, but could be either sex). Don't accept that your DS is being made into one.

Dacadactyl · 20/09/2022 22:42

I would be straight in that school tomorrow and demand my child was moved.

cariadlet · 20/09/2022 22:43

Primary school teacher here.

If a child is continually behaving like that then the classroom needs rearranging so that the child doesn't actually sit next to anyone.

I had a girl in my class (no actual SEN or additional needs) who ended up upsetting whoever sat next to her, just by being too bossy. Nobody had to sit next to her for more than a term and sometimes I swapped seats half way through a term because her partner was getting upset.

I wouldn't even have made a child sit next to her for 3 or 4 weeks if she had shown the behaviour you described in your op.

I would check with your ds that he is telling the teacher what is going on. He might find it difficult if he's shy and the teacher might not be aware of the frequency with which this is happening.

Dacadactyl · 20/09/2022 22:44

That is actually outrageous of the school. There is no way I'd stand for it. You need to tell the teacher this child is not sitting next to yours. It's not up to your son to be the behaviour manager!

LittleOwl153 · 20/09/2022 22:45

Ask for him to be moved away from this kid. If they refuse ask for their safeguarding policy and ask how they are keeping your son safe given that he is being thumped repeatedly everyday - whether the teacher sees it happening or not. (And it is as much about your sons mental health as the physical thumping).

Encourage your son to shout out each time he is hit "oi X stop thumping me" "X stop poking me" as loudly as he can. The teacher will soon get fed up of the disruption. (I'd be tempted to say tell him to thump him back but adding to the violence will get him.noticed but probably is not helpful).

FOJN · 20/09/2022 22:46

The challenges or issues the other child may have are not your sons responsibility. I would not tolerate the school attempting to use your son to manage another child's behaviour, especially when it is having such a negative effect on your child.

The school need to find another way of managing undesirable behaviour but it is not your responsibility to discuss solutions with them. You have a duty to protect your son and the school has a duty to prevent him being harmed by classmates.

Speak to the school and be firm about your expectations.

JaninaDuszejko · 20/09/2022 22:46

I think with the right (confident) well behaved child it can work, DD1 has been put next to 'naughty' boys all through school and because she's funny and confident as well as well behaved and smart it does work. My friend's daughter is quietly confident and doesn't accept any shit as well and she drags up the performance of the 'naughty' boys sat next to her because she insists they work. In both those cases putting a 'naughty' boy next to a well behaved child does work. My DD2 is less self-confident than her big sister and does not like being put next to disruptive boys and I have complained when she has been upset by them. Luckily my DD's school has good pastoral care and have always dealt with any issues I've raised.

In your case it means your son is being subjected to bullying which the school should not tolerate and if a quiet word with the teacher does not sort the issue I'd escalate and escalate until you are listened to.

SausageinaBun · 20/09/2022 22:49

I believe that parents/grandparents are the only people who will truly have their DC's interests at heart and therefore it is important to speak up for them. That means speaking up for them confidently when you have to. This is one of those times. It may help to describe some of the contact as non-consentual as year 6 children should understand that touching each other without consent is unacceptable.

This is also a time when you can coach your DS to respond assertively. I encouraged my DD to take a 3 step approach when a boy kept on touching her, particularly when the teacher was away:

  1. Tell him to stop
  2. Tell him loudly to stop to draw the teacher's attention
  3. Physically move away from him (e.g. to a spare desk)


It was important for my DD to know that I would support her if she got in trouble for moving away from the other child as she sometimes had asked to move and a TA had refused to let her.

I always followed up a day's persistent inappropriate behaviour towards my DD with an email to the class teacher. Not necessarily with an expected action, though sometimes with a request to confirm that the behaviour had been logged as a behaviour incident.

In all honesty, I think the teacher found it easier to sit the boy away from my DD than deal with my DD's responses to the behaviours directed at her and also mine. I know that probably passed the problem on to others in the class, but I only have my DD in there as my priority and she had taken her turn.
PeekabooAtTheZoo · 20/09/2022 22:52

I'd consider removing him from the school if it's an option. I was that good kid. I still have scars on one of my arms from what the disruptive child did. I was 7. Good, quiet, studious kids are not rehabilitation centres.

justasking111 · 20/09/2022 22:53

I was the pillow child quiet studious girl. I got the disruptive, unpleasant, smelly child often. It's very lonely apart from anything else.

endofthelinefinally · 20/09/2022 22:56

My youngest child is mid twenties. It is so shocking that this is still going on in primary schools. My parents used to complain about the same things happening when they were at school. Awful.

Mollyshoe · 20/09/2022 22:59

cansu · 20/09/2022 22:32

Is this the same child as last year? If so, then yes ask for him to be moved. You can say that there were problems last year and you think he will get on better with another peer. You can't however specify that he is beside his friend. If this is a different child, then maybe wait and see. Your ds may well want to sit next to his friend and be aware that if he says the boy is disruptive, you will react.

It is the same child yes. He just wants to be free of this child whoever he sits next to. He isn’t insisting it be his friend and he’s not lying. I’ve seen the bruises and have been dealing with this for a year

OP posts:
jabbathewhat · 20/09/2022 23:00

I would be teaching child to absolutely scream when they are being hit!

unacceptable and I personally would make bully child sit by themselves at my table If it was my classroom!!

coming from a secondary school teacher. I do often try to shrapnel naughty children so they are not sat next to each other but I would never consider the good children as behaviour management!

PassMeThePineapple · 20/09/2022 23:01

No way would I put up with this. If they didn't move him I'd take it higher. Look at the voting

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