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 Post subject: bullying
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:27 pm
Posts: 238
Location: london sw
I don't know if you would call this bullying, indeed what you would call it, my husband says it's boy's stuff.
He is so unhappy at school, 2 kids have told him that no one likes him, his football team tell him he is rubbish at football and moan at him on the pitch (we have watched him and he is not the best nor the worst), the boys exclude him from games in the playground, push him, shove him, run away from him at the train station- tonight he said that he went to the end of the platform crouched down and cried. After such jubilations and excitement of gaining a grammar school place I am devastated and he is unhappy. I have emailed his teacher who has spoken to him and is waiting for him to tell her what he wants to do- i presume this means should she confront the class.
I am at a loss - is this boy's stuff? Can anyone enlighten me or give me advice, it is breaking my heart to hear such stories from him

Jenny Wren


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11938
As a teacher I would call it bullying - the bystanders are also colluding and are also guilty. This needs nipping in the bud -it is WRONG!

Give your man a big hug from me -


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:29 pm 
Dear Jenny Wren

I have been where you are now, and my son where yours is. My guess is your ds is a sensitive boy and he has gone from a mixed primary to an all boys grammar. There is a massive power struggle in many boys grammars in y7 with boys vying to be the coolest, strongest etc. Often it seems some poor unwitting soul becomes the "victim" who other can score points off.

This is bullying. Don't let anyone tell you it isn't. The boys doing the things are bullies, and the bystanders who stand and watch and don't intervene, or more probably laugh make things much worse for your son. He really will feel noone likes him.

Write everything down. However trivial. These are the things we had - "borrowing" of a pe bag - which then turns up behind the shower
underhand comments in class, constantly being told he was a loser, and no one liked him, laughed at, pushed in the playground. The school did not want to listen unless it was physical violence, and said my ds needed to "toughen up".

Ask to see or at least speak to your son's teacher. Write down everything that he says happens to him and date and diary it. The send it all in IN WRITING to the school. Ask to see a copy of the school's antibullying policy. Individual acts may seem trivial, but when put together it is more obvious that it is bullying.

It is not up to your son to say what he wants to happen. It is up to the school to ensure he is happy and safe. EVERY CHILD MATTERS is the educational buzz phrase at the moment. Every child, however sensitive, has the right to be happy and safe in school.

From my own experience putting everything in writing to the school made things happen. Suddenly senior teachers became involved. If there is a trail of paper then the school know you could go back to this if ever you needed to take a complaint to the LEA.

I can also recommend Kidscape for information (the only registered antibullying charity in this country).

Good luck. There is light at the end of the tunnel. My ds is a confident happy boy now, and his "bullies" are now his friends. He is tougher as a result. But .... he wouldn't have got through it without some teacher intervention in the early days.

Your son can help matters my not showing that he is getting upset by it all. Encourage him to join clubs at lunchtime, preferably with boys from other classes. Try to find an older boy to befriend him on the train. Invite someone to the cinema and pizza or whatever is local to you and considered COOL. If your son can just turn a couple of boys in his form around, so they don't join in it will really help.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:55 pm
Posts: 851
Location: Bexley
I would call this bullying - extreme bullying and I hope someone replies to your post who can give you some good advice. It's certainly not "boys stuff". I have 3 boys - 13, 11, 9 - and I've no experience of anything like this. My youngest tends to complain if he thinks someone has been unkind to him in the playground, but next day they're best friends. My middle son went through a phase of saying other boys wouldn't let him join in at football because he was "too big", but fortunately he's also very good at sport so that didn't last long. My eldest has always been a bit of a loner which has worried me a lot - and he hates football which tends to isolate him a bit! But nothing like this.

Did your son have any issues like this at primary school? Could you meet with his form tutor to discuss it properly? It doesn't sound like they're being terribly proactive. Have you looked at the school's anti-bullying policy - does that suggest a way forward? Does your son have any friends that you could talk to (via their parents if necessary) to find out if there's a ringleader who could be targeted by the school? Or friends you could cultivate so he doesn't feel quite so alone?

My heart goes out to you and your son it really does. I know I'm biased, but boys always seem so more vulnerable than girls. Everyone expects them to be tough (especially dads) and they can be so sensitive. I can remember a brief spate of being bullied at grammar school - a classmate's sister took a dislike to me and my classmate took great delight in telling me her sister was going to "get" me. I can remember feeling completely bewildered as I couldn't think what I had done to provoke this. It's horrible and it's bullying and please don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Good luck x.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:18 am
Posts: 4083
Dear Jenny,

What a situation to be in!

My heart breaks for your dear boy, too. I can't add anymore as HJ has given you such exce11ent no-nonsense advice and it rea11y sounds as if you can do something positive. I just want to add my support to you and your son and hope that things wi11 work out sooner than later.

Best wishes.

LBSWM


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8201
Location: Buckinghamshire
Dear Jenny

I am so sorry to hear abou this. I concur with everything that the previous posters have written. It is bullying and it is up to the school to act, and act now.

A big hug to you and him.

Sally-Anne
x


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 6:31 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Berkshire
My son went through exactly the same thing last year.....now in Year 8 and thriving.
Some of the problem was that he didn't know anyone in his class...another was that he was a young Y7 (July birthday). He just wasn't 'cool' enough, 'strong' enough to cope with the physical playing around. He took things to heart so was seen as the 'victim'. One child was the instigator (with a couple of hangers on) and was constantly mocking him to the whole class.
The school did all they could...had the childs parents in for a meeting with the Head.....report cards..every possible deterrent, which stopped the physical & verbal bullying but he was still seen as the 'victim' . At the end of Y7 they offered him the choice of moving classes which he accepted. He now has a good group of friends and is a changed boy. He has even had some of the 'bystanders' come up to him and apologise.

It is bullying...put everything in writing...ask how they are going to try and resolve the problem. You should first approach the form tutor but CC the Head of Year with all communications.The HOY at my sons school was very supportive.
Dont be put off the school by the problem......many schools have a pocket of 'bullies' whether grammar or comp.
Your son deserves his place at grammar and no one should be allowed to take that away.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:27 pm 
This is bullying.

I would say however, have you witnessed this or is it how your DS perceives things.

My son has come off the train got in the car and would not stop crying because in his words 'he is not wanted on the train'. When question he said that a boy was pea knotting him. He next day he got off the train laughing and joking with the boy.

He has also said that he is the second least liked in his class, but when we went to parents evening, the teacher said he is very popular.

Going to GS is a big change for our little men. They have gone from being picked up and dropped off at a school that parents know each other to having to make their own way to school on public transport.

I would say that you need to talk to him and try to judge how much of it is 'just boys stuff' that he is reading too much into and how much of it is like he says.

I hope that this post doesn't sound too harsh, as that's not how it is intended.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:46 pm 
It's nasty. You have to get the message across that it's bullying. My child was bullied for years. Once the bullies get into the habit it's difficult to stop, try and nip it in the bud. Keep a record of everything - missing kit, knocks and bruises, emotional upset... and make a nuisance of yourself at school until they take it seriously. It was only after I took my child out with head count time approaching - early Jan - that they really listened.
Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:48 pm 
Copy correspondance to school governers and the LEA.


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