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ds (7) being excluded from playground football games by other boys.

16 replies

ipanemagirl · 18/05/2008 00:39

I've posted on this before and it had got better but recently it has got worse.

There is one boy in ds's year who is the best footballer and absolutely chooses who can and cannot play. He basically says yes or no when they ask to play. ds has been allowed to play fairly often but is also fairly often just excluded. This boy runs the most popular game and he dictates regardless of who's ball it is. He is an excellent player.

ds says this boy and his friend were pushing him away from that area of the playground last week and red carding him for whatever. It just sounds so nasty. And they are really nice boys, I know the mothers, very involved caring people.

When I spoke to the teacher she did her usual lame/limp shrug and more or less said that the playground is their business and kids have to learn the hard way.

But this boy should surely be encouraged to learn more about sport than this kind of imperiousness? What about fairplay, good sportsmanship, inclusion, generosity etc? I mean this is a lunchtime kickabout not the school team fgs!

Any way am now agonising whether to call the boy's mother about it and am hugely torn. I get on with her very well, she's a very nice person but has three boys and I think has a higher threshold for bastardish behaviour than I do!

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ipanemagirl · 18/05/2008 00:43

Sorry, when I say these two boys are 'nice' what I mean is that they are not very badly behaved boys in school and are academically very supported at home etc.

Apparently they called my ds 'gay' for wearing pants instead of boxers, so now he won't wear pants! He says that gay means 'disgusting'

Both these boys have pretty big brothers so I assume they're getting it from them.

But it's just whether to talk to the mothers or not, I find it so hard, so often the mothers seem to be powerless and not really able to influence their children's behaviour when they're not there.

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heronsfly · 18/05/2008 07:29

Tricky one,I have got a son who was the football king at school[grown up now] and him and his fellow members of the school team were probably guilty of this at playtimes,if a parent had mentioned this to me I would have been furious with him and would have gone into school and insisted that he was not allowed to play football at lunchtime,but after years more experience I know all that would happened is that he would have gone into school and shouted that he couldent play football anymore because so and so got him into trouble and things would have got worse,so no I wouldent talk to the mum, could your son join the local boys football team this seems to impress them at that age.

twentypence · 18/05/2008 07:41

Ds has been told over and over by a girl that he can't play near her or with her. Sometimes she makes a special trip to tell him this, even though he was across the other side of the playground.

Even when her mother was there she repeated this behaviour so this is when I realised that she doesn't actually realise how this makes him feel.

When I asked ds what he does when she says he can't play he signs and says "I played on my own again." (which is crap - he has a load of people he plays with). I tell him that I agree that she is being horrible and that if I hear that he ever treated another child that way I would be "very cross" with him. I also know that apart from being sympathetic there is nothing I can do.

LittleBella · 18/05/2008 07:45

I don't think you should talk to the mum, this is a school matter.

Any anti-bullying policy worth its salt states quite clearly that excluding someone from games is a form of bullying. So the teacher you spoke to knows this (or should know this) and is choosing to ignore her own school's anti-bullying policy and allow this specific form of it. Piss-poor. I would get hold of a copy of it, find the bit that says that, highlight it and bring it to her attention with an expression of surprise that she hasn't clocked it and an enquiry of what active steps will be put in place now that you've brought it to her attention.

It doesn't need to be forcing the good player to allow your DS to participate, it can be just keeping an eye on him and making sure that he is involved in other games/ other sets of people in the playground. I agree that the fact that this other child is being allowed to lord it over the other children is appalling, but that's a wider issue about the school culture.

Buda · 18/05/2008 07:45

God they can be so horrible can't they. Mine is nearly 7 too and plays football every day. In fact the whole school got a football ban last week as they were all being horrible to each other!

The teacher should deal with it. But failing that can you invite the boys around and let them play football in your garden or something and keep an eye and jump in if there is any nastiness - then you could have a conversation with all of them about fairplay and being nice to each other etc.

I lost it with mine and a few of his friends last week over the same issue. We were at a BBQ/campout at a friend's and I noticed one boy was stood to the side and in tears so I went to see what was going on. He had kicked the ball and it hit another boy in the face and so my DS and his other pal red-carded him. So he was in tears as was the boy who had been hit. I lost it and told them I would cancel the campout for everyone if they weren't nice to each other. I pointed out that they were friends and even in premiership games the players look out for each other.

handsomeharrysmum · 18/05/2008 07:47

hmmmmm,no CHILD should be 'red carding' anyone else. As we say at our school, "You are NOT professional footballers, it's a game on a school yard". We play a year at a time, only 30 in each year and not all boys want to play at the same time,football has one member of staff supervising it so no-one can be nasty to anyone else.It's not up to the 'best' footballers to decide who can play and who can't.That needs pointing out to the teacher.

seeker · 18/05/2008 07:49

This is such a hard one, isn't it? I think that part of the problem is that you can never be exactly sure what's going on in the playground. Who supervises playtimes at your school?

BreeVanderCampLGJ · 18/05/2008 07:52

They are not allowed football at school after 8.45, it stops all that nonsense.As there are less children there and therefore less of sense of power for leaders.

PosieParker · 18/05/2008 07:54

Playground politics are run by children, but should be overseen by adults on duty. If a child is excluding others and is the' leader' then they should be made to share and play nicely. Go and see the Head who will have to do something about it. Don't use the word 'fair' use phrases like, 'I love the ethos of community at this school', 'It has a reputation for not accepting bullying on any level' 'I am so disppointed at the lack of guidance during break time'. It's the little things like this that if allowed to creep in lead to acceptance of bullying and unfair play.
Good Luck!!

AbbeyA · 18/05/2008 07:59

It is a school matter. I would speak to the Head. Excluding children from a game is bullying.Probably the staff are not fully aware of the problem. It is a fairly easy one for the school to solve: either they play games where everyone is allowed to participate or it is banned.

ipanemagirl · 18/05/2008 14:21

Just read these posts - thank you all so much I hugely appreciate your advice! I also feel much less down about it now that I know I'm not being precious or lame in some way. I know life is tough but this is infants for goodness sake!

The teacher made me feel it was really my ds's inadequate football skills that were the problem but I think this leading boy (plus his deputy) appear to be an a proper power kick for the sake of it.

Do you think I should definitely start with the Head? I know the Assistant Head very well and she spearheaded the anti bullying policy. But the Head is really the only one at the school who has serious clout!

Many many thanks to all of you.

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ipanemagirl · 18/05/2008 14:25

Seeker staff and midday assistants supervise play times but I am not overly impressed by how supervised the children really are. I often seem to observer gossiping huddles that are only broken up by children who are brought to the huddles with injuries or injustices. There are some teachers who are clearly supervising but I think the midday staff are not great.
But they are so militant that you take them on at your peril! We tried to make some adjustments to the dining hall systems and the acted like we (the gov body) was trying to have them all shipped to Alcatraz or worse!

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hippipotami · 18/05/2008 14:31

Agree with what others have said, don't go to the boy's mum but speak to the school.

As for hte teacher's reply - that is poppycock!
At our schools (dd at infant school, ds at junior school) there are playground monitors (adults at infant school, Y6 at Junior school)who should ensure no one is excluded.
The lunchtime supervisors at the infant school oftens set up games such as hide and seek, duck duck goose etc to ensure EVERY child has a game to play and is not left all alone.
Surely part of playtime is to learn to share/play nicely/incude your classmates etc, therefore school needs to get involved.

Bridie3 · 18/05/2008 14:42

My son has experienced similar exclusion in the past (before they realised what a good footballer he was) and it made him desperately sad.

As others have said, it's exclusion and it is a form of bullying and needs stamping out by an adult. As someone else also said, it's not very sporting either.

AbbeyA · 18/05/2008 18:10

I hadn't realised it was infants! Definitely get it stopped-imagine what it will be like by year 6! If you know the deputy Head start there.

ipanemagirl · 18/05/2008 21:14

Thanks I think I will go to the Assistant Hd, she wrote the policy and is pretty hardcore about most things!

I'll let you know how I get on!

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