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 Post subject: Bullying
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 662
Location: Herts
This is a primary school issue involving my 8yr old son, so I hope it's OK to post here (I thought it best to start a separate thread from Watfordmum66's one, which is mainly about cyber bullying). My DS is becoming really anxious about going to school as a couple of boys in particular are really nasty to him. He is "not allowed" to join in games, is called names, kicked, pushed etc. Never an overly confident child (although often hidden with an I don't care attitude) this is naturally eating away at his self-estem.

After telling myself "these things happen / got to learn to deal with it / not really bullying surely" for a while, being snowed in this week has given my son the opportunity to tell me more about what has been going on (it's often difficult to get him to say what's happened). Two particular incidents have really upset me - one, my son was chased & captured by year 6 boys & taken to the kids who are tormenting him so they could carry on. Two, he has been told the two (much older) brothers of one child "will get him".

I have already spoken to the class teacher who made vague promises to keep an eye on it & did in fact have one of those class chats about "it's not very kind to leave people out". But suddenly I feel that this is all more serious than I had thought. I am planning to go & see the head next week.

What I would appreciate advice on is this - what can I realistically expect the school to do? (the anti-bullying policy is all about sitting down & chatting). Also, can I insist that this is recorded somewhere as "bullying" & that the parents are infomed?

Sorry this is so long :cry:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
I don;t really know what to suggest.

I do think you are right to be concerned though.

You have taken the right steps by talking to the class teacher first and in some cases the incidents stop whenteh teachers and staff are "keeping an eye out".


It obviously wasn't enough in this case andyou now have to progress to another level.
When you see the head explain explain as you have here about getting the chance to find out how badly your son feels about this. This really is bullying rather than just a case of children hitting each other in the playground and it is obviously havng a profound effect on him.


I would suggest that you spend a bit of time beforehand, write down incidents , times etc and explain that keeping an eye out hasn;t worked in this case. Stress how it is making your son feel about school and how he is carrying this ihome as well. I would take the angle of what can you and the school do together to resolve the situation. Be firm but calm.

Agree on what the next step is to be and then arrange a meeting again in say a month to review the situion. Don't get annoyed but make it clear in as pleasant a mannner as possible that you will not just go away!

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:35 pm
Posts: 609
Hi Tense,

First of all, I'm so sorry that your DS is having this to deal with,and it is difficult for you to deal with too.

We went through a similar thing with our quiet,inoffensive little boy about 10 years ago. he was punched in the mouth, his work screwed up,and his best friend (a girl) was punched and kicked in the stomach.

We were told that this child had "special needs"although they couldn't tell us what those needs were!Although we had meetings at school, The parents of this child did not acknowledge the problem, and the school were not over helpful.

They would not call it bullying,but they did document all the events of violence,and aggresive behaviour.They said that this child had jealousy problems and wanted to befriend my son. So therefore, they said it was a friendship problem! My son had never had a problem with any other child.

Eventually, This child had a 3 day exclusion. Things, sadly didn't improve much,we were concerned that they would end up in the same secondary school,but,luckily my son passed for the local grammar,and the troubled child didn't.
I found out that he went to a special school in the end so at last the problem was dealt with, eventually!

My son is now doing his AS levels,is happy and has no friendship problems!

My advice to you is push, push, push.Defend your son and don't give up.Insist that the parents are informed of every event, and document it all yourself.
Keep trying with the school,Governers,and the LEA.



good luck,



proud mum x2


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
As a Senco I always worked on the basis that the "special need" explains but doesn't excuse the behaviour.

I think the key to getting anywhere is as proud mum x2 , working WITH the school. Remain pleasant but focussed on the goal which is to make school a safe and pleasant environment for your son.

Ask for copies of any minutes or action plans drawn up and always make sure you have a time scale e.g. we will try this for a month and then review.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8203
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Tense

You should not only go and see the Head, but present him/her with the problems in writing when you do. You can ask for the parents of the bullies to be informed, but it is often pointless because, in my experience, the parents of children who bully can tend to be the type that believes that their little darling can do no wrong. It might be more useful to ask the Head to haul the kids in and deal with them.

If the Head takes no effective action and the problem persists, you should go into writing again. After that, a letter to the Chairman of the Governors, and if it still persists, a letter to the Local Authority.

I don't think you will need to go that far, because most Heads are genuinely keen to nip problems like this in the bud. Unfortunately some class teachers can have a very wishy-washy approach to bullying, and yours seems to be one of them. What is the point in having a little class chat, when some of the bullying is coming from Year 6 kids?

Do take it seriously, don't say to yourself that it isn't bullying. It is, and the sooner you address it, the sooner it will stop.

Good luck with sorting it out.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:55 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Bexley
Tense. One bit of your post really struck a chord with me - the bit about your son being told that one boy's older brothers will "get him". The only bullying I endured at school was when I was probably in about the equivalent of year 8 (many, many years ago!). A girl in my class told me that her sister, in the year above, had, for some unknown reason, taken a dislike to me, and she was going to "get" me. Even though it was so long ago, I can still remember the fear and confusion I felt. I had no idea why this girl had taken against me, therefore there was nothing I could do to change things.

It didn't occur to me to tell anyone - probably because I suppose then I thought that bullying was physical rather than verbal and I didn't think there was anything I could do about it. She never followed up her threat, and after a while probably moved on to intimidate someone else. But whatever act of physical aggression she might have carried out would have been nothing compared to the torment of waiting for something to happen. My point is that, if anyone tries to downplay what is happening to your son, please remind them that it's absolutely terrifying for a child to be living under the threat of something happening to them. If your son was doing something to actively annoy these boys he could stop and regain some control over the situation, but as it is he must feel completely powerless. The world is bewildering enough for an eight year old boy without him having to endure this. He has my sympathy and I hope you resolve things quickly and to his satisfaction.

You might ask the head to show you the school's behaviour policy. I'm just looking at the one for our primary and first instances of "intimidating other children, either physically or emotionally" result in the incident being noted on the culprit's record and a letter sent to their parent notifying them of the incident and possibly requesting a meeting to discuss it. Causing another child "serious physical harm or serious emotional abuse" results in a fixed term exclusion. Quite how anyone measures how harmful abuse is I'm not sure as people react to things in different ways. If someone told my youngest they were going to get him he'd be terrified. If someone said the same thing to my 12 year old, they'd probably regret it fairly swiftly ....

I may be starting up a thread of my own as my youngest (10) is regularly bringing home notes about bumped heads/accidents in the playground and they always seem to have been caused by one of his "friends" in particular :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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I agree that you need to get this all in writing and expect a written response from the school.

This is not acceptable - what supervision is there in the playground if this can happen?

I also agree that you need to go to the HT - explain what you've done so far. Then give then a fixed time e.g. a month and go back -

When we 'dug' in a similar circumstance we found that the children involved were bullying EVERY other child in the class - only our child was brave enough to tell.

Reassure your child that they have done the right thing -


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:41 pm
Posts: 686
Location: South Wilts
Hi Tense,

My DD was bullied by another girl in her class pretty much constantly from Years 3 to 5. It was real battle to even get the Head to admit that there was a problem and I had to progress from the 'calm but firm' approach to being very assertive, and almost aggressive to get the situation sorted out. Our school still maintains that it does not have a bullying problem. We did everything that has been advised above and eventually got the problem sorted.

In addition to what has already been suggested there are a few things that you can do to make the situation more bearable for your son. Make sure you encourage the frienships he has in and out of school. Invite other children to your house or on days out. Talk discreetly to other parents about your concerns. Their children might also be being bullied but be too frightened to speak up. Insist that all the staff your son comes into contact with are aware of the situation, especially lunchtime supervisors.

Look carefully at the school's bullying and behaviour policies. When were they last reviewed? Does the most recent OFSTED report mention concerns about bullying, especially from the parent questionnaires?

The perpetrators probably have issues of their own. This does not excuse what is happening to your son. He is very brave for speaking up and I hope things improve for him soon.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:02 pm
Posts: 662
Location: Herts
Thank you all so much for your replies. It seems that many of our children have had similar experiences.

I will take your advice on board, beginng with making a list of incidents. I must admit when I first posted this today I was a bit shocked myself to see some of the things my son has been putting up with in "black & white".

Your kind comments have helped me see that there are a number of constructive things I can do to support him. Thanks again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:45 pm
Posts: 314
Hi Tense,

When I met with the school I took schools bullying procedure and HCC ( I believe we are in same County ) leaflet on Bullying with me.

At the beginnig of the meeting I asked that I had a copy of the minutes and at the end I asked the head to summarise action points. I then took my diary out to arrange a review meeting ( I do not feel I would have been offered this if I had not been insistant. )

I also made it clear that I would continue to liase with his class teacher in the interim before the review meeting.

Good Luck and I hope things improve for your Ds soon.


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