Wednesday, 17 September 2008

An Awkward Dilemma

There is a boy at my daughters' school who is a huge problem. He was excluded once, but the local authority made the school take him back. He is rude, disruptive and violent. He has one on one support and is mostly taught outside of the classroom, only allowed to join the others when his behaviour shows improvement. At the end of last term he was doing quite well and had started to spend quite a bit of time with the rest of his class. Since the summer holidays, however, his behaviour is worse than ever.

Because the school is relatively small, each class has two years groups in it. This boy is now in Jedi's class. Although he is not being taught in the classroom at the moment, they come into contact much more than before. Although this boy is generally pretty disrespectful of just about anyone, he appears to have developed a dislike for Jedi. You have to know at this point that Jedi is a very kind, thoughtful child and would never knowingly hurt or upset someone, in fact if she does, she gets as upset about it as the person affected.

The first week back at school, Jedi accidentally bumped into the boy outside the toilets, she apologised immediately, as she would to anyone. The boy grabbed her by the throat and pinned her to the wall! This happened at lunch time and Jedi still had the boy's fingers marks on her neck when I picked her up after school. The incident was reported and the boy was made to apologise to Jedi. To me the forced apology was pretty pointless and meaningless but there you go. I didn't act any further because I believe the school is doing it's best in a difficult situation.

The second week back at school the boy tried to take Jedi's skipping rope from her. When she refused to let it go and pulled it back, he head butted her in the stomach. When Jedi told me about this incident I promised her that if anything else happened I would speak to her teacher. Yesterday the boy approached Jedi and offered her 'a fight' and then promptly started to try and punch her. My husband happens to have been an undefeated boxer in his younger days and has not only taught the girls to punch but to block. Luckily Jedi chose the blocking option. As promised, when she told me I went to have a word with her teacher. I also spoke to the school secretary, as the head was unavailable.

I find this a really difficult situation. I volunteer at the school and am more aware of the issues with this boy than a lot of the parents. I know that the school has been put in a very difficult position by the local authority but how can I allow this to continue. Jedi is in her last year in junior school and is doing extremely well. I really don't want this year to be a misery for her. The school has promised to monitor the situation but if it continues I really don't know what my next step will be.

On a different note I am off for my smear tomorrow. I am a real baby when it comes to smears. I am highly sensitive in this area and really hate the procedure. But as yesterday's ABC Wednesday post pointed out, it is one of great importance, so I will 'wince and bear it'.


Frankies' Cornish Farmyard Ramblings said...

Hi Frankie here,

I also help out at my younger childs school and am so happy this school year he is year 4 and kept down with some year 4's and year 3's he is a gentle giant and for the two years we have been here he is big, not a thug, but dealt with much older boys and fell out with them all the time! This year he feels like the daddy of the form, doing his confidence great. If you cannot comunicate with the boy the school must deal with situation, Jedi sounds a brilliant child you must be very proud!

Frankies' Cornish Farmyard Ramblings said...

By the way,
I do not have a Mum, A sister, etc, I really hate all that stuff too! I know something is up for me as have started heavy periods every fortnight. Feeling glum, confused, bad tempered etc, will be due smear next year, in these situations I talk all the way through! good luck, hope you watched the sex education programme on tv last night, you would know what all bits should look like.

Tattie Weasle said...

Horrendously difficult situation. Keep reporting any incidents. I presume the boy is statmented hence the one on one teaching.
I suppose the only way is up and once you have spoken to the teacher and the head teacher the next thing to do is WRITE. Where they can ignore or conveniently forget a conversation a school is bound to reply to a letter. These need to be kept for the record. If nothing happens after this and the situation does not visibly improve then up again and call the local LEA.
A similar situation is happening at our local primary and it has got very messy with people saying they had conversations and then being told they did not and that nothing has been recorded.
It is hateful aand I am so sorry it is happening to your lovely daughter.
Good luck with the smear test - can sympathise...

Adventure girl wanna be said...

Hi there again,
I have to know what a smear is?

I think a smear is goatcheese on warm bread;)

I would not tolerate the bully at your daughters school.

Don said...

Being an elementary teacher, I can tell you that at my school when a parent wants action, they talk often and loudly! Squeaky wheels... Go over the teacher's head immediately, if there isn't appropriate action.

It's too bad that this bully is left to do his bullying. Your daughter does not need to have her life messed up by this needy child. It's too bad that schools sometimes don't monitor things like this better.

On another note, I enjoy reading about our life!

Stiggy said...

What a horrible thing for poor Jedi!

Personally I've had quite a lot of dealing with complaining to schools in my time - I would have to agree with 'Tattie'.

If you write to the school, they HAVE to address it - it stays on record for OFSTED to see.

Good luck - behaviour like that should definately not be tollerated.

The Dotterel said...

Good advice (having worked in a school for years and seen it from the other side). Put it all in writing (as you did in your post) and it already looks like an exclusion issue (permanent).

Eve said...

Reading between the lines I think from what you say this isn't a "bullying" situation, the boy involved has, as they say, "issues", at home and mentally. That said, however sorry I feel for the child, I would be complaining loud and long and hard about this, and recording everything in letters to the education department.

You may have ssen on my blog a referenence to something that happened to my daughter last year when she tried to finish with her do you think her attacker started? We have heard all the excuses about how he is educationally "different" and mentally "immature", but he is still a murdering B*****d in my book.

I applaud your balanced view and understanding of the situation, but I could not take your approach having been through the likely consequences of his behaviour ten years down the line. Complain until he is no longer anywhere near your children.

Adventure Mother said...

This is a terrible situation. Seems you have had some good advice from the other comments. I have had to deal with a similar situation with my oldest son which made him miserable for a while, but the bullying child soon moved on to someone else and although he is still in the school, seems to have much improved behaviour now.

auntiegwen said...

Like all the other teachers have advised put it in writing.

The school may have to address the boys problems with behaviour management training.