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Consequences for bullying

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#1 steppingonlego

Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:16 AM

My sons teacher today told me another mum had mentioned he was involved in a bullying incident at school.

I was shocked and upset as he has never done anything like this.

I am wondering how best to approach him this evening and what sort of consequences are appropriate. I need his side of the story of course as the boy who he was doing the bullying with has long history of bullying my son and others.

#2 joeyn

Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:21 AM

If it happened at school, the school needs to follow their policy on dealing with bullying.  You can discuss consequences for at home with them, but it needs to be addressed at school.

#3 EsmeLennox

Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:21 AM

Was it bullying or a one off incident?

Bullying is a sustained, continued and ongoing attack (verbal, physical etc) on another child. A one off incident is not bullying.

That said, if your child behaved inappropriately at school (even as a one off) I would be having a long chat to try and get to the bottom of it and then, if appropriate, I would mete out some kind of punishment (perhaps the loss of a privilege). I would say a written apology to the other child, however, if there is a long history of the other child being a bully this may actually exacerbate that problem.

Out of interest, what is the school doing? Are they doing any mediation with the children? Has your child been punished at school for his behaviour?

Edited by Jemstar, 17 April 2012 - 10:21 AM.

#4 Julie3Girls

Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:31 AM

Ok, bullying is not just "an incident".  Bullying is ongoing.

I would definitely start by talking to your son, getting his side of whatever happened in this particular incident.

Depending on how much detail the teacher gave you, I'd have a conversation about what happened.

I would also be talking to the teacher. Find out what the school is doing, if anything. If there have been past issues between these boys, I would also be making sure that the teacher was aware of this, that isn't one sided.

#5 Therese

Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:36 AM

I have moved this to the bullying forum original.gif

#6 beaglebaby

Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:46 AM

I'd want a lot more details than "another Mum told the teacher". We had another parent go on the warpath about kids bullying her son, she spoke to the teacher who tried to explain the situation to her, and when the teacher wouldn't act she came to the parents of the children she felt were bullying.  As the teacher had tried to tell her, her son was not being bullied.  Her son was fixated on one particular game and the other children had moved on from it and didn't want to play, so went and played something else, they didn't exclude him, the teacher witnessed other children encouraging him to participate, but the child was upset that they wouldn't play his game and when he told his Mum she went into mother bear mode.

We all spoke to our children, all were very upset that this boy felt bullied and some even felt that he was trying to bully them into playing his game.  The mother now keeps to herself, I'm not sure if she no longer likes us or is embarassed or if her son is just old enough to walk to school on his own now.

Please, just talk to your son about what is going on and about how the other child must be feeling.  Sometimes a lesson on empathy is far better than consequences.

#7 Rach42

Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:18 AM

If it were my DS I would find out what consequences the school is giving and not worry about consequences myself as it's a first occurrence - although I would mention to him that there would be consequences if he kept doing it.

I would talk to DS about what had happened - firstly to get his version of events and then to ask about why he did what he did.  I'd talk about what led him to do something that was inappropriate and out of character and explain what he should/could have done instead.  With my children if they have shown inappropriate behaviour it's usually out of anger or frustration with something that is going on and they don't know how else to deal with it.  So I try and give them some options of what else they can do.

If your DS was joining in with another boy in doing some bullying (or whatever you want to call it) when it's out of his character then I'd ask him why - did he feel like this other boy would leave him alone if he joined in with him?

#8 steppingonlego

Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:33 AM

Thanks everyone. I do of course  need my sons side of the story first of course.

The teacher said another parent had said that my son and x were threatening Grade 1's and Grade 3's with violence. I know X has a big history of threatening to kill other students (including my son) the reason I spoke to the teacher in the first place was because over the holidays my son had mentioned X had been threatening him and his friends for not playing the games he wanted to play.

I am a bit worried yesterday, as it was a one off, was a bit of if you can't beat them join them which is totally unacceptable and not like my son at all (who is no angel but has never done anything like this to my knowledge)

The school is discussing it with the boys and if they feel it is warranted they will be made to write apologies. I am also concerned as the school is not doing anything about X who is CONSTANTLY doing this sort of thing.

They have told me if I wish to deliver other consequences that is up to me. I guess I am quite upset at the moment but am determined to be calm when I speak to my son.

#9 FeralMinx

Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:34 AM

Sounds like your DS got caught up ganging up on a child, with the bully as a ringleader?  If thats the case, then lots of conversation (ongoing) about what bullying looks like (scenarios, why its wrong, what it feels like, why the long term bully is not to be backed up, how to walk away, how and when to tell a teacher, etc) is in order.  A first incident, when your DS was being caught up in a proper long-term bullies behaviour, is a teachable offence IMO.  But make it clear that if it continues, there will be harsh consequences at home because your home is a bully free zone.  hth x

PS I think the school should enforce the zero tolerence policy they probably presecibe to and at least give a 3 day (in school) suspension to your DS if its reasonable to say that he was involved.  As for what I think should happen to long term bullies  rant.gif don't get me started.  They are essentially free to screw up children for their 12 most formative years.

Edited by HillmanMinx, 17 April 2012 - 11:38 AM.

#10 steppingonlego

Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:35 AM

Just an update after speaking to my son and the parents of the other children involved it appears DS was not committing the act but he was with the child while he did it. I had a long talk with DS about why these things are wrong what he thought the children felt what he could have done instead.

My problem now is with the school who have done nothing to stop this as far as I and the other parents can see. This child has been a problem for a long time he punches children uses very strong language and threatens children with violence (kill them) my Ds burst into tears while I spoke to him as he is scared of this child.

I am going to speak to his teacher tonight but I think I am going to have to take this up with the principal. Several other parents are at the same point as me. I can't believe things are allowed to get this bad. One child who has bee bullied since prep by this boy is leaving the school because of it.

Any advice is very welcome.

Just an update after speaking to my son and the parents of the other children involved it appears DS was not committing the act but he was with the child while he did it. I had a long talk with DS about why these things are wrong what he thought the children felt what he could have done instead.

My problem now is with the school who have done nothing to stop this as far as I and the other parents can see. This child has been a problem for a long time he punches children uses very strong language and threatens children with violence (kill them) my Ds burst into tears while I spoke to him as he is scared of this child.

I am going to speak to his teacher tonight but I think I am going to have to take this up with the principal. Several other parents are at the same point as me. I can't believe things are allowed to get this bad. One child who has bee bullied since prep by this boy is leaving the school because of it.

Any advice is very welcome.

#11 Rach42

Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:40 PM

Your poor DS sad.gif and the other children that are victims of this boy.  

Definitely speak to the principle as it sounds like the teacher is doing nothing about it.  If the principle isn't proactive then I'd be taking it further to the department of education.  At that age I feel sorry for the child doing the bullying too - what is  going on in his home life that he's bringing that attitude to school?  So taking it further maybe doing him a favour too.

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