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My son was strangled at school
59 replies to this topic
Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:01 PM
Hi lovely EB’ers, looking for a bit of advice as to how to proceed with my sons school. He was strangled twice on Friday at lunchtime by the same child( both 9), first time his friends scored at him to stop, second time they pulled him off my son.
So I’m wondering what I can expect the school to do? Obviously keep my son safe but can he be put in another class away from my son? Really lost here.
I’m thinking I’ll take tomorrow off work to keep him home until I’ve spoken to the principal. I had not been notified of the incident nor given an incident report but she definitely knows. I called the school at 4 on Friday & she’d left for the day gah!
Thank you in advance xx
Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:15 PM
Wow. That is terrible. I definitely think you should march on in on Monday morning.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:18 PM
I would start with sending an email to the school about the matter so it is in writing if you haven't done this already.
I'm sorry, your son must have been so scared.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:18 PM
They should have called you, not the other way around.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:30 PM
OP, it sounds like an awful day for your son. Awful and scary.
I would suggest booking in a meeting with the school and starting with "Tell me about Friday". From what you have shared there is some missing bits for me- were staff aware of the assaults or was it your son's friends who acted? There is a possibility that staff were not aware of the extent of the assaults.
From there you can ask what is happening to address your son's safety and to address the violence of the other child.
Good luck, it sounds stressful.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:52 PM
So my kid was the strangler in this scenario! According to the teacher, there was some provocation - the other child yanked DS' tie, and DS retaliated by putting his hands around the kids neck for long enough that he became very distressed. DS had to be pulled off him. According to DS there was also a back story involving possible 'bullying' by this child of DS' best friend (I say possible because DS tells us nothing about school, much less social dynamics of his friendship group....and this was the first I'd heard from DS about this other child's behaviour towards DS or his friend, so I just don't know what is fact and what moral revisionism ....).
In any case, to give you a benchmark re the schools response... Firstly, I was called at hometime by the classroom teacher who told me what happened. DS was spoken to by the deputy of the junior school that day, and also given detention later that week, as well as a lecture/counselling discussion with the principal of the junior school. DS does have some ongoing issues with anxiety and anger, but he is rarely physical with other kids - so the consequences above are probably at the milder end of what I imagine the school might apply, aimed at 'nipping this in the bud'. There wasn't any talk of changing classes etc
Maybe this is a helpful example of what steps the school might take - however I doubt they will talk to you about the other child as it's probably not appropriate?
Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:53 PM
Honestly I wouldn't expect much.
When a kid at our primary school strangled a classmate at around the same age he got suspended for a few days and then given a merit certificate the following week. The kids remained in the same classroom together.
I hope you get a better result.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 12:54 PM
That is so frightening. I’m so sorry that happened to him.
How is he since it happened?
I agree with emailing the school. I’d also be at the office desk at 8.30am waiting to meet with the principal.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 01:03 PM
Thank you for the great responses:)
My son definitely didn’t provoke him, this child came up from behind him so my son had no idea it was about to happen. I’ve spoken to the boys Mother’s-the witnesses & they’ve all said the same thing. This child has been on my radar for a while, he has said some very worrying things to the boys in the past & he banged my sons thumb the day before with a hammer in woodwork.
The school are renowned for brushing this type of thing under the carpet grrr
Posted 16 June 2019 - 01:14 PM
Given the latest laws in Qld making strangling a serious offence, I'd also be giving your local police station a call for advice & even to lodge a complaint.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 01:18 PM
I hadn’t even thought of contacting the police, I know it is essentially assault.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 01:55 PM
Bugger the school, maybe if theyd called you Friday I'd work with them, but since not, I would go straight to the police then to the principal with the police report. Can you get an AVO? I know a child under 10 generally isn't held responsible but surely an officer can approach the family and either attempt to shock the kid or get the family help from other agencies.
I'm am so so sick of schools brushing what is a criminal act under the carpet because it happened at school.
I'm so angry on your behalf and your DS OP.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:02 PM
What state are you in?
Published or private sector?
What you can expect from the school mag be different depending in where you are.
Edited by EsmeLennox, 16 June 2019 - 02:03 PM.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:14 PM
I’m pretty annoyed at the lack of contact from the school. It speaks volumes I think...my son isn’t the only one who’s been strangled by this child.
We’re in a public school in vic
Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:27 PM
If he came up behind him and strangled him and had previously hit him with a hammer I’d contact the police anyway, just to see if they had any suggestions if no luck with the school
Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:29 PM
You said the principal definitely knows - can you get details from your DS about who he reported it to? That way when you approach the school you can start with the basic facts - “DS reported the incident to Ms X...”
Any teacher who witnessed it or had it reported to should have reported it immediately, so there should already be a paper trail. There is unfortunately the possibility that a teacher has written an incident report but it didn’t get properly escalated Friday and is sitting on somebody’s desk to be dealt with on Monday morning...
Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:36 PM
I’m sorry to hear that your son was hurt. Have you taken photographs of the injury or taken him to a dr?
The school may well be dealing with the other student as best they can, but don’t expect to be privy to their handling of the other student and their family. That would be private.
I wouldn’t go marching in with a police report just yet. There could be lots of reasons why they haven’t spoken to you. Maybe they are trying to establish what happened so they can let you know. Maybe it takes more than a couple of hours to escalate an incident like that to the person who will deal with it and liaise with you. Maybe they are short staffed, had more urgent matters to follow up, maybe are unaware, maybe there’s more to it, or less....
In my experience, private schools are more likely to brush incidents under the carpet to avoid bad publicity. Public schools tend to do the best they can with the resources, staff and policies they have. They don’t have much of an incentive to hide problems. And they have limited options to solve a problem with a violent student and all of them take time, months or years even.
If it happened at lunch time, and lessons continued after lunch, then maybe there wasn’t time to speak to everyone Friday afternoon before the end of the working day. In between managing, driving, babysitting, social work, policing and counselling, teachers also have to teach. I’m sure your sons teachers care that he was hurt and are probably doing the best they can to support everyone.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:43 PM
I don’t particularly want to know how they’ll deal with the child, I just want him kept away from my son. In no way do I blame any of the teachers but the principal knew by the end of lunch & still no phone call, I don’t think that’s good enough from management.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:45 PM
There was a recent fight at my DS's public NSW high school between 2 girls. It was pretty nasty with blood being drawn and clumps of hair being pulled out of one girl.
I don't know exactly what played out, but the instigator was initially suspended, police became involved and then the instigator was expelled.
If the school isn't doing anything I wouldn't hesitate to go to the police to keep my child safe.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:54 PM
It has not been my experience that a child has been moved out of their class following such an incident, especially if this is the first such recorded incident. Focus is generally on managing the incident within current boundaries.
I would take my child to school as normal - but request an urgent meeting ASAP and open with a request to hear what occurred on Friday. There are some gaps to fill in this story.
Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:03 PM
It’s a long story that I don’t want to bore you with but I have a pretty good understanding of what happened from my son & 3 other boys, this child is definitely troubled and needs help. I just don’t want my son hurt anymore 😭
Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:04 PM
A reasonable base expectation for Monday is that your child should be able to go around school, and on the playground and freely walk around at recess and lunchtime and when he is leaving school in the afternoon and not be afraid of encountering this kid without the kid being directly supervised by an adult. This will provide sufficient time for them to then come to a conclusion about how they can make your child feel safe in this space so it does not happen again. They should be making time to meet with you and come to a conclusion about what the ongoing scenario etc. should be and what the facts of the situation were. Strangulation is serious conduct. I would be furious about not being called ... bring these things back to ...if an adult was acted upon in that way in the workplace —- what would be the base expectation for that person’s safety?
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