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AIBU?

to report a controlling kid to the school?

49 replies

KidsWhoControl · 26/01/2024 15:57

DS has a really great group of friends. He is now in Y12, they have been together since Y7.

One boy has been a problem since the start, and has caused many of the others untold upset over the years. He manipulates the whole group, plays them off against each other in small group chats (either in real life or on snapchat etc), rules over who can be invited to which meet-up, which party. One minute someone is included, the next they are not - it's all him. Individuals hear rumours about themselves that are not true and they are quickly traced back to this boy.

So why don't they just get rid of him? The issue is, he seems to have unlimited control. Fortunately I have never been in an abusive situation, but have had to undergo safeguarding training for a couple of roles. You hear the case studies, really awful stories, and you wonder how the perpetrators get away with it. And then you see the power this kid has over the group. If anyone challenges (my DS has dabbled) they are instantly bad-mouthed in many small off-shoot groups - belittled, made to look like the bad guy, etc. They are all aware of it and yet no one seems to be able to stop it - it takes incredible strength to stand up to it.

So now the kids are planning their first short, parent-free holidays for the summer. The first small group booked a trip. They made it clear that they didn't want to be away in a massive group and that they just wanted to be the 6 of them - no problem! Then this problem kid's small group booked a trip. Amazingly, he declared that the only hotel they could find in Europe was the same one as the first group, for the same dates... how funny! Except the first group didn't find it funny. But it was booked and paid for, so tough.

DS is in the third group. They were looking elsewhere, but now that so many friends are going to the same place, they thought they'd go too. First group are fine with it now, as more people being there dilutes this problem kid. But DS's group are not allowed - by order of problem kid! They have been told to find their own holiday, it would be "tragic" of them just to tag along on a trip they were not invited to. Er, hello! That's exactly what you did mate!

So, I am posting this today because DS is irate, but instead of being willing to just rise above and book it, he has surrendered. They all have. It's just too nasty to face the wrath. I'm posting today, but I could have posted the same question dozens of times over the years.

So, round to my AIBU... should I be speaking to the school about this? I mean, they are YEAR 12 for goodness sake, you think they'd be over this playground nonsense. But this kid gives me the creeps. You can just see the shoots of coercive control growing, I fear for any future partners. I feel this sense of duty to stop him in his tracks - yes, so that DS can have a happy summer but actually, more importantly, so that there is one less abusive man wandering through society. Do I speak up? Would I just make things worse? Do I sound vindictive? Do I let them just get on with it (DS and group can find somewhere else to go, I'm sure) I feel this sense of obligation to stop him before he does some real damage. They still have a year and a half together before DS can shake him off.

OP posts:
Hotchocolate2023 · 26/01/2024 15:58

No, they are year 12

Jollyoldfruit · 26/01/2024 16:02

In your shoes I would prefer my ds not to be at the same location as this lad. Eventually there will be an incident and far better not to have your ds involved in any way.
Let your ds keep his head down and get through the next 18 months quietly if possible.

WhenWereYouUnderMe · 26/01/2024 16:03

Of course you can't speak to the school!

They'll be off out in the world soon enough, and either he'll grow up, or in the real world he'll act like a dick enough to lose his power.

InAnotherLifetimeMaybe · 26/01/2024 16:03

There's people like this everywhere

You can't eliminate them or change their personality..... you learn to deal with it

Haven't we all encountered a person like this in life?

Bernieee · 26/01/2024 16:03

School won’t do anything about it. I understand why you’d want to but they’re in year 12. I would try to empower your ds to make bolder steps and to reaffirm boundaries and respect with the bully

InAnotherLifetimeMaybe · 26/01/2024 16:04

And you won't ever 'stop him in his tracks' op....

KidsWhoControl · 26/01/2024 16:05

I know you are right, and that's why I've never said anything over all the years. I got the point where I was second guessing myself.

Any further advice I can give DS on how to deal? I've run out of suggestions!

OP posts:
FofB · 26/01/2024 16:29

I think your son has been handed a gem- a holiday, where they all have a massive laugh together, bonding, without that idiot with them- priceless! They will be able to cement their friendships without any input from that boy.

And lesson learned for the other boys in the 1st group- don't tell people when you are going!

SandyWaves · 26/01/2024 16:33

Can the two groups change their booking for the week before or after?

GintyMcGinty · 26/01/2024 16:33

Is Year 12 - age 16/17?

This is not the school's responsibility. At 16/17 they need to learn how to navigate these types of difficult relationships by themselves.

kisstheblarney · 26/01/2024 16:34

Oh course this is the schools remit to supervise, like they should if your DS doesn't eat his vegetables or fruit, or goes to bed late!

FFS, if they're old enough to holiday alone, they don't need a babysitter!

I cannot believe what I'm reading!

Bex5490 · 26/01/2024 16:35

FofB · 26/01/2024 16:29

I think your son has been handed a gem- a holiday, where they all have a massive laugh together, bonding, without that idiot with them- priceless! They will be able to cement their friendships without any input from that boy.

And lesson learned for the other boys in the 1st group- don't tell people when you are going!

This - I would suggest to DS to talk on their holiday with the left out group he goes away with about how much they dislike the bully boy and when they come back try not to talk to him…

The holiday is a nice excuse for DS to leave the control and they will have strength in numbers in their little group. The rest of them must feel just like DS.

Rummikub · 26/01/2024 16:41

I work with post 16. And we would want to know especially if it’s happening at sixth form.

Though it’s a shame it wasn’t flagged in year 7/8 if it was happening then.

KreedKafer · 26/01/2024 16:42

What on earth do you think the school can possibly do to sort out sixth-formers' holiday plans? These are 17-year-olds who are old enough to book and go on holidays on their own. They're almost adults.

LakeTiticaca · 26/01/2024 16:46

Why have the splinter groups told this person their plans?
The only way to get rid of the problem is to make a pact to not tell him and keep on doing it until he gets the message and stops trying to rule the roost.
He will come a cropper eventually when he moves in to uni or the workplace and people get the measure of him!!

balzamico · 26/01/2024 16:47

Sounds like the perfect solution, your son gets a dram and control free holiday away from this lad.
All you can do is to educate your son in how to spot this behaviour and how to try and ensure that he doesn't get too caught up in it (or ever allow a future partner to behave this way).
He can't control another's behaviour only his reaction to it

Lollypop701 · 26/01/2024 16:47

So either ignore twat kid an book the holiday… or go somewhere else and not have to deal with him. Personally I’d go for option 2

KidsWhoControl · 26/01/2024 16:54

probably my fault for not being clear, I wasn't thinking the school would get involved in resolving this specific issue. It was more making them aware of a dynamic that is causing real problems.

OP posts:
KidsWhoControl · 26/01/2024 16:56

Rummikub · 26/01/2024 16:41

I work with post 16. And we would want to know especially if it’s happening at sixth form.

Though it’s a shame it wasn’t flagged in year 7/8 if it was happening then.

I was at the end of my tether then and then boom... lockdown happened midway through year 8. Best thing that could have happened to calm the situation. The kid was ok when they returned to school and I thought it was all over, but it's got worse and worse until here we are...

OP posts:
KidsWhoControl · 26/01/2024 16:57

Lollypop701 · 26/01/2024 16:47

So either ignore twat kid an book the holiday… or go somewhere else and not have to deal with him. Personally I’d go for option 2

luckily he has that option, although it's not their preferred option. But just seems awful that someone else can control them like that.

But I am for a quiet life

OP posts:
2jacqi · 26/01/2024 16:57

@KidsWhoControl troublesome boy will cause all sorts of problems on a holiday! your son and his friends in the third group will probably enjoy themselves a lot better without the bad guy being there!! the bad guy is going to lead a very troubled life and I pity any partner he has in the future! he is actually a bully!

KidsWhoControl · 26/01/2024 16:59

LakeTiticaca · 26/01/2024 16:46

Why have the splinter groups told this person their plans?
The only way to get rid of the problem is to make a pact to not tell him and keep on doing it until he gets the message and stops trying to rule the roost.
He will come a cropper eventually when he moves in to uni or the workplace and people get the measure of him!!

I have no doubt! And DS plans to cut him loose asap. But in the meantime he has to get through the rest of sixth form 😒

OP posts:
Waterfallsandrainbows · 26/01/2024 17:00

Definitely better not to follow psycho boy. Is it a private all boys school by chance?

Gazelda · 26/01/2024 17:04

This is a brilliant opportunity for group 3 to strengthen their bond or even splinter apart. All without the supervision and manipulation of the problem young man.

I don't think it could have been planned any better.

Rummikub · 26/01/2024 17:05

I’d mention the dynamic to the sixth form.

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