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Bullying: when are parents of bully informed?
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DubTheeUnforgiven · 16/11/2020 10:52

My Yr 5 child has been bullied at school since the start of term, on multiple occasions by the same children. Bullying has been both physical assaults and verbal abuse/humiliation.

We have had several meetings and discussions with teachers over the past 6 weeks and have been told that they are dealing with it. They tell us they have disciplined the children by speaking to them and telling them off, moving the children away from my child in class and occasionally keeping the children in at play time/preventing them from doing a particular fun activity. However, the bullying has continued.

The teachers have confirmed that the children's parents have not been informed about their child's behaviour and that this is a conscious decision at this stage (rather than they haven't got around to it).

I feel that an obvious solution to preventing continued bullying at this age (9-10) is to involve the bullying child's parents and I want to ask the school why they're not doing that, but likewise feel it's not my place to tell them what to do, just to trust them to put a stop to it.

Is this normal in a primary school? At what stage are parents of a bullying child informed about their child's behaviour, in your experience?

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Beagledbybeagle · 16/11/2020 20:00

I would want to know if my child was a bully. I would definitely want the parents to be told if their child was bullying mine. Maybe you need to talk to them more.

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Beagledbybeagle · 16/11/2020 20:02

Makes me so cross, its always the bully that gets sympathy. Maybe they need it in some cases. But really dont think there is ever a good enough reason to make someone feel shit.

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Beagledbybeagle · 16/11/2020 20:02

Hope you sort it soon.

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Madwife123 · 16/11/2020 20:05

Have you considered if there is a reason they are not telling this particular child’s parents as it’s not normal to hide this information from them. Could the child be a victim of abuse and they are worried it could become worse?

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june2007 · 16/11/2020 20:09

perhaps the family have a lot on their plate at the moment. Not excusing behaviour but it may be understandable from teachers pespective.

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Grapesoda7 · 16/11/2020 20:15

From my experience, schools rarely tell the parents.

My son was bullied, physically and mentally by a group of boys a couple of years older than him. Even when the teacher found them surrounding him in the toilets, parents still weren't informed. I spoke to the parents in the end.

Id ask the school directly to inform the parents.

Hope it gets sorted.

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DubTheeUnforgiven · 17/11/2020 21:16

Thanks everyone, your views have been really helpful.

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CyanBee · 18/11/2020 21:33

What is your school's anti bullying policy? Details should be on the website. It will all depend on that. I would take it higher up. My son was bullied in y5 and I took him out after months of it not changing even though the parents were told. He was much happier in a school with zero tolerance and within a few weeks we had our little boy back. Saying that he still gets flash backs 18 months later. Please don't put up with it, ask to see the head and take someone with you for support. Best of luck

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DubTheeUnforgiven · 20/11/2020 04:50

@CyanBee so sorry that you've been through similar. The policy is vague in the extreme. I've now gone to the head, who is dealing with it as we hoped, so fingers crossed. It's a shame that it's taken quite a robust complaint from us to get some decent response.

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PresentingPercy · 21/11/2020 10:32

Often parents don’t know until DC are punished by an exclusion. However I think parents should be informed if children are withdrawn from activities and are being denied playtime. That, is a form of exclusion. I would look at the discipline and behaviour policy too. That might give a greater steer on punishment.

It’s also good for schools to have a partnership with parents over behaviour and this should include bullying. They should be seeking support and reinforcement of good behaviour strategies. It’s not really for you to intervene in this but the school seems a bit clueless in my view. Do look up their discipline and behaviour strategies though. No school admits to tolerating bullying but the measures they take must be sufficiently effective to stop it.

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ThePinkGuitar · 21/11/2020 10:38

Me and quote a few other parents have spoken to the head about a boy who describes graphically violent threats to other children in his year and on occasions punches/grabs them they’ve now spoken to the parents finally but that boy is very much labelled the ‘naughty’ one. It should have been nipped in the bud before now as I think it will affect that child’s friendships going forward.

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Smartiepants79 · 21/11/2020 12:18

I don’t know the specifics obviously and as the parent of the child being bullied it looks a bit shit but there may well be very good reasons why teachers are choosing not to involve parents at this stage.
There are multiple scenarios in which telling the parents will make bugger all difference and in fact maybe make it worse.
All I would focus on is the fact that what they are doing isn’t having the effect they want it to. They need to keep trying to find a solution.

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MissMarplesGlove · 21/11/2020 12:33

I feel that an obvious solution to preventing continued bullying at this age (9-10) is to involve the bullying child's parents

In my experience, this makes it worse. The parents are generally bullies themselves, and will be defensive, if not outrightly aggressive.

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PresentingPercy · 21/11/2020 14:23

Yes that can be a concern but parents should be involved in improving behaviour in most circumstances.

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PresentingPercy · 21/11/2020 14:26

It shouldn’t be assumed parents of bullying children are just as bad. They might not be giving clear behaviour expectations to the children. They might even be very upset that DC are bullying and really want to stop it. Most parents recognise that a bullying child will be friendless in the end. That’s why working together is mostly beneficial.

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DubTheeUnforgiven · 22/11/2020 08:03

Thank you everyone. Lots to consider and some very helpful insights.

Hadn't really considered the possibility that telling the bully's parents may make matters worse but I see that could be a factor in some cases.

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PresentingPercy · 22/11/2020 09:23

But that’s only the case in a few scenarios. The behaviour policy should be what the school follows and that should indicate working with parents as a desirable strategy. Otherwise good behaviour is not reinforced at home. Once a child is not allowed playtimes, parents should be told. Most children don’t improve without parents being on board with the school.

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cabbageking · 22/11/2020 23:34

If they have made a conscience decision not to involve the parents there may be safeguarding issues to consider?

Sometimes not telling the parents gets a better result.
Perhaps the parents believe in severe punishment?
Not every child is safe at home?

Keep on at the school if their interventions are not working.

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PresentingPercy · 23/11/2020 07:51

It would be very unusual for all the bullying children to have issues at home.

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