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Is this bullying?

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#1 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:14 PM

DS 2, 11 and in Yr 6 has been having issues with a boy in his class.  It started maybe third term last year, with teasing and influencing others to follow suit.  It has progressed to excluding him from games whilst including his friends or targeting him in games where there is an opportunity to get him out, like four square out or to be it in tiggy.  I have been addressing it with the school since it started occurring and as yet there has really been no action.  A couple of weeks ago there was an incident in which some girls in his class even told him they were sick of the boys ganging up on him.  

On Monday this boy gave out his birthday invitations to all the boys except DS.  Not at all bothered that he is not invited to the party, but I am bothered by the message it sends.  The party itself is not a school issue, I understand that.  The inference of the exclusion and influence it has on the other boys is a school issue in my mind, especially given all the past behaviour.  He has even invited two other boys that he doesn't even like and regularly teases. DS has had to stand up for them from time to time.

Once again DS has to get past it and focus on the future according to his teacher.  I am sick of DS having to modify his behaviour and the other boy just prancing around as if he is king of the castle and can get away with whatever he likes.  DS is consumed by this.  He is always angry about it, cries regularly and switchex between wanting to harm him and kill him.


Edited by yabbadabbadoo, 08 May 2013 - 02:16 PM.

#2 qak

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:22 PM

The teasing, exclusion from games,targeting etc in your first paragraph - I would call that bullying.

Not being invited to a party (even though he is the only boy not invited) - I don't think that would constitute bullying.

#3 lucky 2

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:23 PM

I'm so sorry to hear this is happening, it concerns me as my dd gets this to a lesser degree in middle primary, I hate to think how it could be in later primary.
If he is always or even sometimes crying or wanting to harm/kill the other boy then this is a big problem imo. Do the school know he feels this way? How are they addressing it?
I think it sounds like your boy needs more help than he is currently getting but whether that comes from school or privately (a psychologist) I don't know.
All the best.

#4 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:25 PM

Thanks qak.  The party thing in isolation I agree is not bullying, but combined with all the pother stuff, I believe it was a deliberate act to make DS feel uncomfortable, so goes some way to supporting my bullying argument.  I haven't yet used this word with the school but am leaning towards it and in some ways this backs up my case.  At least I thought it did.

#5 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:27 PM

Lucky 2 he is seeing a psychologist and DH and I constantly come back to the point that all the issues he is seeing her about are school related, so whilst he is highly strung at times, when it is school holidays he is the happiest kid in the world.

#6 EsmeLennox

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:31 PM

Yes it is. If the school has done nothing I would push harder with the school and raise some hell. A formal letter to the principal, cc'd to the district director(or whoever the principal's boss is) would be a good start.

#7 *Beeker*

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:33 PM

I don't have a lot to add except my sympathies. My 12 y.o DS is in a similar situation. I feel we are just treading water this year when this boy he has issues with will be off to a different high school. Whilst I wouldn't call my sons situation bullying, he is definitely excluded at times & has had such a bumpy start to the year with this boy taking away everything that matters to him (ie: best friend, taking over responsibility of things that mattered to my DS & made school bearable for him etc). I too have a teary, sad boy who struggles to muster the courage & strength it takes to get through the day at times. He too is happiest during holidays. It's a tough gig being a mum & seeing the hurt in your child's eyes. This year has been awful for us.sad.gif I hope things improve for you. We are seeking help for my son to build resilience & help him cope with school. Best of luck.

#8 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:40 PM

Beeker, I can only empathise with you.  We too are counting down time until next year.  Unfortunately they will still be at school together as it is a P - 12 school, but we are pretty sure this boy won't be able to wield his power as much in middle school and we have already asked that they be in different classes.  DS 1 will be there in Yr 9 too, so that should help.  This kid only does it because he gets away with it and they are in each others faces all the time.  There are only 10 boys in the class and one class.  Once they can have some space from each other, I am sure it will resolve itself.  The middle school is much better dealing with this sort of stuff anyway from what I hear.  In the mean time, it is getting harder and harder to get DS to school.

#9 opethmum

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:44 PM

Yes it is bullying and you need to do something to help him and get the situation looked at and I think that it is a sad indictment of the school that they are doing nothing. You should also look at some counselling for your boy too because thinking about killing and doing things to harm others does not bode well with me, it is just screams to me that he might need to hash it out and express in a safe way how he is feeling but in a safe therapeutic environment.

I think that boys are psychologically abusing each other more and more because it is something that can be got away with and is "all in their heads" for the victims.

#10 Alina0210

Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:55 PM

Yep at my sons school everything you have written is classes at Bullying...

#11 2020selfcare

Posted 26 May 2013 - 11:28 PM

My daughter went through similar experienced, the school did notmuuch so we pulled out and put her in another school best thing we did,  I know of .any parents that went through similar and they pulled the''re kids out too,  life is to short

#12 Marge10

Posted 28 May 2014 - 05:07 PM

I am so sorry you are going through this.

A hurt to a child is magnified a million times to a parent as we always want to protect them and shelter them from the hurts in life.

I agree with a lot of the posts here and I would call the party invitations bullying too. Exclusion is bullying.

The best champion for your child is you. I remember my son complaining of bullying (some kids older than him were stealing his lunch and taking his clothes, throwing his hat in the tree and as there was a no hat no play policy he wouldn't be able to play).

We didn't tackle it properly, we didn't keep communicating with the school, and I wasn't assertive enough in talking to the school about it. When he complained about losing his stuff (I am very sad and ashamed to admit this now) I wondered if he was just being careless and lying to me about it because he was scared of getting into trouble with me.

He started walking around with his head down and his shoulders bowed. He looked like a whipped dog.

In the end we moved schools, and yes it was the best thing we did for him. Apart from him being extremely happy, suddenly he was no longer losing his stuff. If I had wanted evidence that he hadn't been lying to me this was it.

Also the school has a duty of care. Knowing what I know now, I would keep escalating it until I had a response; take your husband with you as two parents show you mean business. Talk to the teacher, then talk to whoever she reports to, then talk to the principle. usually schools have an anti bullying policy. The highest escalation will be if you put things down in writing to the principal then the school would have to respond.

After my son changed schools, we talked a lot about walking around with your head up, your shoulders back, looking confident, looking people in the eyes. Bullies target kids who lack self esteem and are not confident (and don't look confident). I took my son to swimming training as he was good at it, it had the beneficial side effect of building up his muscles too, and it did wonders for his self esteem and confidence. Sport also releases endorphins and he would get rid of his "grumpies" by swimming laps. Always came out a little sunshine.

If there's one thing in my sons childhood that I regret though, I wish I had camped at the school when he was being bullied and protected him from what was happening.

I guess I comfort myself that he now has heaps of confidence. He's at uni and the president of the committee for the degree that he's doing (he's doing engineering) and he has heaps of friends who voted for him to get this position. So maybe that experience about looking confident helped him.

(And maybe I am just trying to make myself feel better because of my guilt. Oops.)

Just a suggestion, but could you invite one of the nicer boys around to your house for a play date?

There is a pack mentality with bullying. Kids follow the leader, partly through fear of being bullied themselves. Maybe if you systematically invite kids over one at a time you can build up a friendship support group for him, as he must feel very isolated and alone.

I used to do contract work. I remember one year I took a contract over christmas, and I wasn't invited to the office xmas party as only permanent staff were invited. I must have been the only contractor (I was covering someone on parental leave) and I sat in this empty building while everyone went off to their nice lunch. Phones were going off everywhere, echoing on different floors,  and I felt absolutely awful. Not being invited to a party is pretty miserable even for adults! We all crave acceptance and want to belong to the group.

Edited for typos, sorry.

Edited by Marge10, 28 May 2014 - 09:10 PM.

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