“Looking for some advice about what to do about bullying. I have recently found out my son has been subjected to a very violent attack from 2 specific boys on a regular basis, ongoing for about a year, but he was too embarrassed to tell me. Now school say they will deal with it but I doubt it is going to be the outcome I would expect…
“What would you do as a mother? Honestly? Feel free to express any opinion“.
As usual our lovely members offered advice & support…
- I’m 28 now and was badly bullied in secondary school, i told the teachers and my mum and despite my mum’s best efforts the school didn’t really do anything. It went on and got worse and I got hurt so I called the police at school, they came round and took a statement. They said it was all too common for them to get involved as school don’t really do much, I have to say that was the best thing I could have done as it stopped. They went round and spoke to her and she was very shocked and scared and I didn’t get bullied again.
- Hi, my son was bullied at school years back and I only found out when I noticed a boot mark on his thigh when he got out of the bath (he too never told me). I told the school who spoke to the child and they ‘dealt’ with it, by getting my son and his bully in a room to talk. I went to the doctor and asked for the injury to be recorded on his notes. I was advised to report it to the police and get a crime reference (I didn’t).
- This is so awful your poor son, how kids can be so cruel? If you know who the parents are I would speak to them, but if you have no responce from them then go to the police. These kids need dealt with before they do it to anyone else, hope you get this sorted soon your son must be so upset.
- Contact the police and tell them because your son must feeling very bad inside please get help because I lost my nephew to bulling as he hanged himself.
- It was about 15 years ago this happened to my son but I phoned an anti bullying helpline who gave me the advice I mentioned in my earlier comment. Schools prob deal with bullying differently now, I would approach them. No child should have to go through it, makes my blood boil.
Getting support from the school:
All schools are legally required to have an anti-bullying policy. Many also offer different forms of peer support where certain children are trained in active listening or mediation skills to help bullied children. In secondary schools they may be called peer mentors, supporters, counsellors, listeners or mediators while in primary schools, they might be called friendship or playground buddies, playtime pals or peacemakers. Lyndall Horton-James, Bullying Prevention and Education Consultant offers the following tips:
- Before you approach the school, list all the facts: what happened, who was involved, when it occurred, who witnessed it, anything your child did that may have provoked the incident, whether it was a one-off or series of events.
- Don’t arrive at the school unexpectedly: Make an appointment with the class teacher or head of year.Aim to work together with the school and make it clear that you are seeking the school’s help in finding a solution.
- Avoid accusing the school: Remember that teachers are usually the last to find out that bullying is happening at school. The sequence is “friends first, then parents, lastly schools”.
- Be patient: Allow the school time to deal with the problem but stay in touch with them and arrange a follow up meeting to see how the situation is being resolved.
What to do if things don’t improve:
Keep a bullying diary: Write down every incident as soon as possible after it happens. Include the date, what happend, who did it and who saw it. Include the effect on your child, whether your child told anyone and what they said or did and any later effects.
Tell the school each time: Write down what they say or do and any effect their actions have.
If your child is hurt, take photographs and see your doctor (and the police if the assault is serious).
Schools have a variety of options for dealing with bullying. These range from a warning, seeing the bully’s parents and detention to internal exclusion within the school, fixed term exclusion and permanent exclusion.
If you’re not satisfied with the school’s response: don’t give up or be made to feel like a timewaster or a troublemaker. The Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) offers step-by-step advice on how to deal with the school, from how to write a letter to your options if you need to take things further. Their advice line is 0300 0115 142. You can also use our template letters to write to the Head, Governors, Education Dept and Ofsted. Remember, unless you are home teaching, you face prosecution if you take your child out of school. If your child is too frightened or stressed to go, contact the LEA education welfare officer/social worker and ask them to intervene with the school.
Encourage your child to talk about bullying. Let them know that no one deserves to be bullied. Many children think that bullying is just about physical abuse. Make them aware of all of the forms of bullying threats, verbal abuse, racism, sexist name calling, being left out and/or ignored and harassment.