Sunday, 11 October 2009

Bullying...what to do??

I am sitting here this evening in a bit of a tizz.My son, who has just started Secondary school, has been saying that he is scared to go back to school tomorrow.Some of the older children have been tripping, pushing, name calling and once shoved leaves down his back.He came back the other day with a plaster on his arm where someone had pricked him with a pen/pencil/compass.

I have contacted the school and his form tutor got back to me straight away so they will be doing something about it, but he is adamant that he doesn't want teachers involved.I just don't know what to do.I thought he was happy.He won't tell me any details, but tonight was in tears and at one point said he wanted to kill himself.Oh my God!! What can I do??

He started acting really oddly and I was worried.He has always loved school and is a bright boy. He is good and kind and popular.I honestly don't think they are singling him out for the mean treatment, but if I could get hold of the little sods who are doing this....They are probably only 13 or 14, but how dare they do this to him??

Part of me even started to doubt him tonight. Is he telling the truth? Is he attention seeking?I found myself getting cross that he was  being so stubborn about not getting teachers involved and yet being so upset.How can I doubt him?That's a terrible thing to think.I just feel so helpless.All my friends children who go there are perfectly happy and have not had any problems as far as I know. Is he being over sensitive?

I am hoping that a good night's sleep will calm him and he will go in feeling much happier in the morning.Have you had any experience of this sort of thing?Do you have any advice?I just don't know what to do... what approach to take. I just want him to be happy...


Gail said...

I have no answers, I guess that is for him to decide. I say always hang with the safe kids, stay close to teachers and avoid situations where these bullies are. There is power in numbers.

When he can, ignore them and walk away. The more you respond, the more they bother you.

Here we have a bully law that states if a child is reported to be a bully, they can be expelled from school.

Your son is a strong, smart young man. He will weather this storm and come out the stronger for it.

I would talk to him and follow his wishes. Make it plain you cannot help if he does not tell.

I wish I had the magic answers.

Anonymous said...

I too don't have the answer but I know the internet will have. I read an article online recently (Guardian Online perhaps) where this was the exact question posted. There were quite a lot of replies on the matter from mothers who had experienced the same problem.

If I remember they varied from their child having to forcibly stick up for himself to the bully being invited round for dinner or to a party which made them see the child as a 'real person' & they then became friends. (the bullied kid wasn't keen on this but it did succeed)

I was bullied for a short while at school & it was only when I stood up for myself & belittled the bully that they left me alone. I was scared as hell but was more angry & decided I would rather go down fighting than be scared every day.

I would try Mumsnet & see what advice best fits your child.

Kork said...

No advice from my corner either, unfortunately!

I can only say that we're praying that he'll be alright, and that they'll stop, without too much hullabaloo...

I had a short bout with a bully once upon a time, and it wasn't until years later that I finally talked to the boy and realized that he wasn't TRYING to bully me...he actually just didn't know that what he was doing was not how you treated made me sad to know he'd spent his growing up with no one to tell him how to be kind an compassionate...

Lots of hugs, and wishing I could sit down over a cup of tea and some chocolates just to be there for you!

Karen said...

I'm so sorry to read this. Kids never want to get teachers involved as they think it will make things worse - but it really has to be done, and if they don't act on it - go to the head teacher or school board. Do what you have to to protect your kids! I've had a couple separate incidents where I had to speak up - and rather LOUDLY - to get anything done. AT one point, I told the school that if they didn't take action, I would keep my child at home - because at least I know they would be safe. They couldn't move fast enough & it did get sorted without any come back on my child from the bullies. I'm thinkiing of you & your son and hope it all gets worked out ASAP!

Sophia said...

Sorry to read of this. I wish I could provide some sort of wisdom or advice, but I do not have children at this time. I wish you the best and lift you up in my thoughts.


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It's going to be fun!

Inkling said...

Wow. I don't know what to tell you. I was bullied horribly in school - had my hair lit on fire on the bus, was pushed down in gym class, was tripped in the hallway, was kissed by a boy who had been dared to kiss me for money, and numerous other hurtful things that had me begging my mom to homeschool me. Maybe that is why I missed 80 days of school one year. I don't remember a time when my stomach didn't hurt, and when I wasn't afraid that I'd have no one to eat lunch with again.

All of that crap made me a damn good teacher who was awesome at making her classroom a safe place for each student, and a no tolerance zone for bullying.

Involving the teachers and administrators only works if they are skilled in reaching out to the bully and bullied alike. I was good at that as a teacher. But my teachers growing up were not.

Still, I have a belief that bullying should never be tolerated. It can lead to really horrible things, and serious wounds for a child to deal with into adulthood.

One video I just watched that is kind of silly but may be helpful is Veggie Tales Minnesota Cuke and the search for Samson's Hairbrush. It's all about bullying, but is a children's animated video.

I can't figure out why he is adamant that teachers not get involved. Is it his honor as a boy, his masculinity at stake? Is it honesty? Is it fear of what will happen out of teacher's sight? I just don't know.

But I do hope some resolution is found. Please keep us posted.

Karen said...

How is it going? Any update? Am thinking of you & your son hoping all is alright.

Karen x