thanks, RT, it IS horrible and I know that a lot of poor children out there are subject to it in various forms adn the pack mentality can do great harm. I hope your older child has come through things OK.
Even when we're going through a lull, it's just always there. DS2 doesn't often say much, but he has nervous tics which come and go which I use as a barometer. In the past I've said that I'm going to move schools, but he's maintained, absolutely adamantly, that he won't be driven out by them and it seemed the right thing to do to let him see it out rather than sort of emasculate him.
On their own, all but one of the boys are more or less OK, but this one little oik (no, am no longer reasonable about it all, not now!) has no redeeming qualities and a great deal of power and some of the ones lower down the order, as it were, seem to think that doling out something to DS2 will stand them in good stead with King Oik. Kids are also very clever and although support staff sometimes "see" things, teachers often seem not to.
Luckily, at one point, this brute did admit to doing things to DS2 which was a massive relief in that it stopped being just my word etc and the HT's actions cranked up a gear. DS2 doesn't help by refusing to tell, even tho the HT has said that he can go to his office at any time, closed door or not. He's too proud and too used to the exclusion and it's become a norm I'm finding hard to tolerate. We're meeting up again next week, this time with son and husband and see where we are. Again.
Sorry to Ciren mum for hijacking! I have 2 countdowns on the go. Next Saturday and next July!