I’ve been chatting a lot on facebook about the Little Man and his school bullies. But I felt a blog post was in order.
Tomorrow my Little Man goes back to school after six days off following and incident last week. He had an eraser which was in the shape of a Monkey, and some boys asked him what it was and when he said Monkey they started on him. One of the boys was black and they accused him of being racist. He totally didn’t understand what they were going on about, his way of thinking is that a monkey is a monkey and it has no racist connotations.
Sometimes not being racist is not enough and we understood that we needed to teach him some things that could be construed as racist. In this case he was not being racist, but he still endured a beating for it. He was really upset and the teachers intervened taking the Little Man off to a room to cool off because he was crying. He was then left in this room, missing two lessons. The teacher was called away and the Little Man was left alone. When the end of the day came he stayed in the room because he thought he would be in trouble if he left without permission. This meant he didn’t leave school and we had his Dad and other teacher’s trying to find him. The teacher who had left him explained to us that he’d been called away to deal with another student who had become very unwell.
We were angry that our child had been bullied and that he’d missed out two lessons while his bullies had carried on with their day. We were also angry that he’d been forgotten about and left in that room alone.
We have been to the school before to try and deal with the bullying. Some things were tried but they didn’t work. One of the things tried was to sit him next to his bully in his form in the hopes that they might form some kind of friendship. That didn’t work!
My little man has been tormented verbally, sworn at ( he refused to repeat some of the words that had been used against him as they were ‘inappropriate’) punched, kicked and pushed up against a wall. He’s a sensitive boy and we thought that maybe he was over reacting at first, but hearing about all the things he’s been through is heart breaking. And it really shouldn’t be happening.
He was happy to give the names of the boys. He’s done this before and the boys and their parents have been spoken to. But, this hasn’t helped. A lot of children would be scared to name their bullies, but the Little Man is autistic and he truly believes that if he reports the incidents they will stop. Isn’t that what is supposed to happen?
De-registering Because of Bullies
We went into the school with the purpose of de-registering the Little Man and taking him away from the school and the bullies. It kind of feels like the bullies have won but we have to put our child’s health and wellbeing first. We have done this before at the same school. It’s an all through school so it goes from year 1 to year 11. The Little Man was being bullied in year 3 and we had a lot of trouble with the school so we removed him and I home educated him for a while until we found a new school. The difference in him when he went to this new school was extremely noticeable.
I was worried about sending him back in year 7 but we needed a secondary school for him. The school was a good choice because it’s closest to our home and his sister already attends. The Little Man also wanted to go there and we talked about it a lot. I was stupid to think that maybe his bullies would have matured a little. They beat him up regularly when he was just six years old and they started on him again five years later.
At first things were okay, he loved school and would get ready quick in the morning and come home happy. He made some friends and was getting along fine until the bullies started on him again. This year he started coming home looking sad but refusing to talk to us. Then he started not wanting to go to school and ‘being ill’ a lot. The alarm bells were ringing and we arranged a meeting with the school where they promised they would sort things and make him happy again. I think it lasted a week!
We wanted to de-register him again but with just 3 weeks of the year left we were talked into giving the school one last chance.
The Final Chance
The Little Man is going back to school. They gave him the option of removing students from his form or for him to move into another form. I’m quite astonished they would go so far as putting other students in another room to accommodate my Little Man, but he has decided that he would rather move instead. He’s been told to report every single incident, no matter how small, and they will deal with it. The students can be removed if they don’t improve their behaviour.
The school failed it’s last Ofsted report and is currently at risk of losing it’s funding and being closed down. They are trying desperately to improve things and it seems like they have some serious plans. They need to do something and quick.
My Little Man has four years of school left and I want him to be happy and educated. He has additional needs but they are not learning based, he is bright and learns quickly. He also gets bored quickly and that’s when he starts stimming or disrupting lessons. I’ve tried to explain that some things need to be explained more than once so that you can truly learn them and remember them. But he doesn’t need more than one explanation for most things, or at least, he doesn’t think he does.
We are giving the school one last chance to accommodate the Little Man’s needs and keep him safe and happy. Maybe it is possible, if not, I’m still applying to other schools to see if there are any places for him. We can decide if we get a place if he wants to move.
The summer holidays are almost upon us and I cannot wait to have this weight lifted.
I’m scared of sending my boy back to that school, but if he can get this sorted and be happy then that’s one less thing I’ll have to worry about. If the bullying doesn’t stop, we will remove him without any more hesitation.
EDIT: The Little Man was bullied on his first day back! He wouldn’t talk about it but rated it as a 3 out of 10 on the scale of how badly he was bullied. I will keep trying to get him to talk to me but he really wants to go back on Monday and try again. I guess it takes a while for things to get sorted. For me the next three weeks feel far too long to be feeling the type of anxiety I’m getting while he’s at school.