School Bullying – at what point do you intervene?

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  • School Bullying – at what point do you intervene?
  • mildred
    Member

    My daughter has just started secondary school. She’s gone from being a bright and lively kid with an incrediblely wicked sense of humour to a surly, chelpy, mood monster, who loses it with anybody & everybody at the merest comment.

    The wife has slowly indentified that she’s on the receiving end of some fairly low key but constant unpleasantness from a “friend”.

    This kid is a horrible piece of work who’s clearly throwing her weight around my my daughter seemingly the butt of all the bitchiness.

    Given that it’s all low level (self esteem type stuff), at what point do we as parents intervene with a trip to school?

    We don’t want to escalate things and make it worse for our daughter, and she perhaps need to work out a certain lesson about people herself, but it’s having an effect on her that I don’t like the look of.

    Normally I’d be straight in there with all guns blazing but the wife (who is a teacher) is advising me to tread carefully.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Now. Can’t understand why your wife wants to put off

    Premier Icon wors
    Subscriber

    I spoke with the kids parents when it happened to my lad. Sorted straight away.

    andeh
    Member

    Soon as possible. If you don’t fancy going in then you need to at least make the school aware of it so that staff can monitor the situation. Maybe don’t go in guns blazing though, it’s not the school’s fault, remember, they will try to help.

    Kids are sneaky so I doubt the staff have noticed any bullying, particularly low key stuff in secondary school. Speak to her form tutor (I’m assuming she has one). School should be supportive, most schools have very strict policies on bullying.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    Do it now.

    As someone who was bullied throughout secondary school, I went from top 3 in the year to leaving with two CSE certificates and a number of suspensions, it’s taken a long time to get my head right.

    I’ve suffered with depression and low self esteem all of my adult life and have real difficulties socialising for fear of being targeted again. Totally irrational behaviour. But I think things would have different if my parents had followed up the threats of moving my schooling following my hospitalisation by bullies.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    I would look at a couple of actions – we have done both when one of ours was bullied.

    1. Look for things that would increase self-confidence and bring it back to the previous level and/or;

    2. Nip in bud with school/parents now.

    all the best,

    Jay

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Subscriber

    Act now; doesn’t need to be forceful or aggressive  – be clear with bully’s parent(s), school, your wife and daughter.

    CountZero
    Member

    Perhaps you could find a local martial arts/self-defence class that works with children with low self-esteem. Being given help to stand her ground to bullying may be all she needs.

    skids
    Member
    milky1980
    Member

    +1 for bigblackshed’s advice as I went through a similar experience and have had to deal with the same issues later in life.  Mananged to avoid any suspensions but did end up in hospital from concussions and a suspected broken back once too after things got physical.

    I’ve got a cousin going through the same problem at my old school too (age 14) and they have been just as useless as they were when I was there.  I had to go to the head master and read the riot act to them to get anything done after any action was originally left to the teachers and absolutely nothing was done, even with screenshots of social media bullying attacks.  The school tried to downplay it all as just kids being kids and having spoken to friends who are teachers in other schools that is how a lot of teachers and schools treat it, just as they did back in my day.  I respect teachers for the job they do but on bullying they are completely useless as a profession.

    As for you calling it low level, that doesn’t exist.  Mental bullying is often worse than physical as it leaves damage that cannot be seen and can lead to major issues later on.  Good luck getting it sorted but definitely act on it now.

    Premier Icon duckman
    Subscriber

    As a teacher, now…right now. Ask to speak to the deputy who is year head, you won’t be the first or the last. It will be dealt with now or will escalate, my opinion obviously is different from the poster above, in my 10 years across 3 schools each has had a specific anti-bullying policy that escalates bullying up to senior management immediately and as a priority. It isn’t an option to just leave it to an individual teacher to deal with.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Subscriber

    Second the above. Act now and ensure those who need to know about it do know about it. My heart goes out to your daughter and the posters who were bullied. The effects can last a long time. Some kids can be right bastards.

    School now, its not an easy fix for teachers so tell them now before it gets to a crisis point.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    Now. As well as getting it dealt with, your daughter needs to know you are taking it seriously and are supporting her.

    Premier Icon Clink
    Subscriber

    Now.  I’ve worked in 4 secondaries and all worked hard to deal with bullying.  It’s not necessarily easy to deal with – as mentioned above, kids can be very sneaky.  This can be frustrating for the school as well as the parents.  New versions of Keeping Children safe in Education came out in September with lots of reference to peer-on-peer abuse – might be useful to reference that with the school?

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Subscriber

    (as a head of year in a secondary school)

    Speak to school now – work with them rather than go in adversarial though. Schools hate bullying as much as you do but will need time to tackle any issues, especially if they are not currently aware of them – expect there to be a period of information gathering at first as the expectation for any action to be heavily evidence-based is pretty strong in most schools now (not saying this is a good thing, just the way it is in an increasingly accountability driven education system).

    jonnyboi
    Member

    As above. Do it now. Schools have moved on in their approach to bullying IMO and can be very proactive and supportive

    wiganer
    Member

    even with screenshots of social media bullying attacks.

    Why leave it to the school if it’s hapoening over social media. The school isn’t FaceBook, nor the parents of the kids. Grow some and go face the other kids parents, or speak to the police.

    As for the OP, why not trust your wife’s judgment? She’s a teacher. She’s closer to this than any of the other teachers on here. Unless you’re not really looking for advice and just want reinforcement of your view to steam in now?

    Is wiganer on drugs?

    kayla1
    Member

    Cobra Kai?

    You’re joking but since my niece (9) started going to boxing and kick boxing classes she’s started doing better at school.

    OP now would be the right time to step in.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    As someone who was bullied throughout secondary school, I went from top 3 in the year to leaving with two CSE certificates and a number of suspensions, it’s taken a long time to get my head right.

    I’ve suffered with depression and low self esteem all of my adult life and have real difficulties socialising for fear of being targeted again.

    Ruddy ‘ell – mirror image of me!

    At 50 I’m over most of it now, but still have a fear of rejection which stops me doing things.

    So mildred – yes, as others have said get it sorted asap.

    But I will add you need you try and find out if it’s proper bullying or girls bitchy behaviour. My daughter is nearly 16 and she still gets the ‘friend one day, enemy the next day’ treatment from a certain faction of her friendship group. Learning to say ****-em is a big part of coping.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    Now.

    I’ve done the same before and to the school’s credit they dealt with the issue immediately and punished the bully. I had to make it very clear to my son that the threats-if-you-tell aspect of bullying is just noise and it needs dealing with before it escalates. The bully boy has now left the school to start afresh somewhere else. Hope it works out for him.

    And, psychological or physical bullying  – it all needs dealing with immediately imo.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    If it is social media (which seems to be a guess on wiganer’s part, so ignore if it’s not the case) schools have policies in place for this – at least they should and my kid’s school regularly sends out reminders. Offender would be easy to sort out by reporting that to the school.

    Murray
    Member

    Now. I’m going through this at the moment. School failed to act for 9 months but are now starting to sort it. Be polite and send emails to confirm conversations.

    wiganer
    Member

    Is wiganer on drugs?

    What would lead you to that conclusion? Perhaps because I’m not reaching for the pitchfork and impaling the headteacher?

    if it is social media (which seems to be a guess on wiganer’s part

    I was responding to two separate people, milky1980’s post and the OP. In milky’s case of social media bullying why go to the school firstly and expect them to sort it out? Go to FaceBook/Insta/etc, go to the police, go to the other kid’s parents, why offload immediately to the school? Be a parent and try to solve it yourself. If I went to HR at work complaining that Geoff in engineering was calling me names in the pub what do you reckon they’d say!? If it’s happening in school then fine, raise it with the school.

    My point to the OP is why isn’t he trusting his wife? Unless those offering advice are somehow closer to this than her. She is a teacher after all, and the parent of the victim.

    maracucho
    Member

    Resist any instinct to wade in all guns blazing. What exactly does your wife suggest?

    Telling the school without telling your daughter is a possible step. Obviously you would have to explain that you don’t want your daughter to find out that you have intervened.

    Mood changes could be due partly or wholey to hormonal changes. Puberty is a horrible thing. Obviously that doesn’t excuse any nastiness on the part of others.

    Reassure your daughter you love her. Find something she enjoys that will help her confidence, if possible.

    Have you asked your daughter what she thinks would help? To what extent have you discussed it with her?

    Don’t expect everything to be fixed instantly but do expect help from the school. Good luck and best wishes.

    Leather the Bullies Faither.

    freeagent
    Member

    Father of two and husband of secondary school SENCo here –

    Now is the time to speak to the school, but as others have said – work with the school rather than going in hard. Speak to head of year and confirm all verbal conversations via email so you have a record.

    School will be keen to resolve it, but don’t forget that teachers have a million other things to do so be patient, but don’t be afraid to follow-up with a call/email after a few days for a progress report.

    If social media is involved screenshot all the evidence and send to the school – they will be interested (despite what the fella further up the thread seems to think) as social media is the root of many issues at school.

    I don’t think approaching the parents at this point is the best approach – if they are total psychopaths you’ll make things a million times worse – my daughter had some issues with a violent kid at primary school who’s mental father had told her to give people a whack if they say something you don’t like.

    wiganer
    Member

    Still nobody other than me suggesting maybe the wife’s opinion matters? Fair enough.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    Still nobody other than me suggesting maybe the wife’s opinion matters?

    Yes, it does matter but it is also possible she is wrong.

    In milky’s case of social media bullying why go to the school firstly and expect them to sort it out?

    Twofold – one because they are equipped and trained to deal with it, will have seen it before, will see it again, and from experience if she is being bullied by a girl or a group of girls then she won’t be the only case, and the school needs to see the extent.

    Second because the school can then support your daughter. Because it’s an imperfect world, there are bullies in all walks of life and while it’s all wrong, one life lesson is that often things are a bit shit and always can be, and you need to learn resilience to separate out and deal with low level shit. The school can also help her to see that the issue is theirs and not yours.

    And while there will always be the people that say giving her a crash course in Krav Magna and concurrently punching the father’s teeth down his throat will solve it, that’s not always the best way. I suspect a lot of bullies are victims themselves of some form or other (was the case in my daughter’s case, the ringleader bully needed almost as much support to deal with why she was bullying as my daughter in the end).

    Premier Icon paulhaycraft
    Subscriber

    As your wife says, I’d tread carefully. But, as almost everyone else says, I’d start treading carefully now!

    Things can take a while in schools and weeks soon become months.

    dannyh
    Member

    Still nobody other than me suggesting maybe the wife’s opinion matters? Fair enough.

    Plenty of people are – all the references to ‘not just steaming in’ etc.

    You’re just trolling (in a low key way, admittedly) on a thread about someone’s kid being bullied – which, frankly, is pretty poor form.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    have just reread the OP. Teacher wife didn’t say don’t deal with it, he said

    Normally I’d be straight in there with all guns blazing but the wife (who is a teacher) is advising me to tread carefully.

    I’d suggest a non-confrontational meeting with the school to tell them what’s happening and asking them if they see it, are aware of it, and if not can they look for it and advise, is a perfect means of treading carefully.

    [yep, what Paul and Danny said]

    wiganer
    Member

    You’re just trolling (in a low key way, admittedly) on a thread about someone’s kid being bullied – which, frankly, is pretty poor form.

    Absolutely not! Nobody should be bullied. Period.

    I am responding to two different things. One is an implicit opinion, not from the OP, that social media bullying is a problem for the country’s education system to sort out, my opinion is that it is a problem for parents and social media platforms firstly, supported by schools – if that is low key trolling in your opinion then fine. As the husband of a teacher I could bring a host of other opinions to the fore, but that would be poor form! The other, and pertinent point, is that surely the OP’s wife knows exactly when and how to intervene?

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    I, respectfully, disagree.

    A child at the school is being bullied by another child at the school. The fact it’s out of school hours, or via social media isn’t important…. they are both part of the school and the school should be involved in dealing with it, for the reasons above.

    I’d also argue that if Geoff from engineering is bullying you out of hours which in turn is affecting your work / enjoyment of work / efficiency, then that is also a matter for work to be involved in. I’m not alone in that –

    Are employers liable for bullying outside of work or on social media?

    surely the OP’s wife knows exactly when and how to intervene?

    Maybe not. You can be too close to the situation to think calmly about it, for example. But at the risk of repeating she isn’t saying don’t intervene, she’s saying don’t go in all guns blazing, which is sound advice.

    FWIW, i don’t think you are trolling but I do think your advice is way off.

    wiganer
    Member

    I think I am in agreement with your last point theotherjonv, in that the OP’s wife’s advice is sound. We’ll respectfully disagree on the other points, I’m ok with that.

    dannyh
    Member

    OK – seeing as I’m going to be filling in my daughter’s secondary school application this evening and I’m just a bit wobbly about the whole thing of her going into a much bigger place, I might have been a bit punchy. Sorry about that. FWIW she hasn’t ever had any problems like this, but we’ve all been kids and we’ve all seen how one kid doing or saying something ‘uncool’ can trigger a ‘look’ between two of their ‘friends’ and we’re off…….

    I do disagree with your point about social media, though. One of the best points about the school we are putting down as number one choice was that the head seemed to get genuinely angry when talking about the snide stuff on social media. He was honest in that it is more difficult to deal with than seeing a bigger kid punching a smaller kid and nicking their dinner money, but he unequivocally stated that the time to deal with any bullying was straight away.

    Sorry!

    nosedive
    Member

    I may have had a beer but it sounds like its time to kick off to me

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 43 total)

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