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Dealing with Bullies

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  • 01-02-2012 12:50pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭


    I've been reading this whole thread with a lot of interest and thank you all for your great thoughts and opinions so far. I don't mean to change the subject or topic from women to children but this whole 'subtle' type of bullying is very tender with me right at this moment.

    Sadly, I feel that when women behave like this, it maybe a trait of their character that may have begun when they were much younger. My 11 year old daughter is going through a particularly traumatic time right now, with exactly this type of bullying. The principle has stated that in her 26 years in this profession, she has never seen something like this so bad. For that statement alone to have been made, its as clear as you can get .... its bullying of the worst kind.

    Two other 11 year old girls decided that my daughter was not the flavour of the month, and somehow managed to convince the rest of the class, including her best friends, that they were no longer allowed to be friends with her. These two along with her best friend surrounded her in class and listed to her face all the things that they did not like about her. The teachers never saw a thing, even though there were two of them in the room. A few days later, after the class had been spoken to about bullying and how the school would deal severely with anyone caught bullying another child, these two bullies then decided that my daughter was no longer allowed to have a name and instructed the other kids to call her 'she who shall not be named'. Repeated minor incidents have been ongoing until they had stripped her completely of her confidence, and then decided to take her name from her. My once confident, self assured daughter, broke underneath the pressure of it all and is now in counselling.

    I've been told, she's too soft and needs to toughen up.... NO ! Thats my answer to that, she is who she is, soft and gentle. She should not be the one to change, ever.

    I've been told, she needs to just walk away and ignore them. This she has done always but when your best friend stands with two bullies and tells you that they don't like you to your face, you begin to think, maybe there is something wrong with me. Self doubt is torture.

    I don't care how old you are, 4 in the playground, or 104 in a nursing home, if your feeling excluded by the actions of another, no matter how subtle it is, its bullying. Having thicker skin might soften the blow, but it still wears you down eventually.

    Sorry for waffling on, but I'm literally waiting to hear the results of a board of management meeting about what action the school are going to take about the 'subtle' bullying my daughter is suffering today.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,485 ✭✭✭✭Ickle Magoo


    Hey Fea.

    There's a Parenting Forum which includes a teens and pre-teens sub-section which I'm sure you'd find some helpful past posts and would be able to give you some first-hand experience and support - if you want me to move your post over?


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭Fea.


    Sorry, I probably shouldn't have posted that here. Please place it where you think is best xxx


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,485 ✭✭✭✭Ickle Magoo


    I've moved from tLL...not because you shouldn't have posted - but because it's a horrendous situation to be in and you can get some valuable advice and support from some experienced parents here.

    All the very best.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,807 ✭✭✭✭Orion


    Fea. wrote: »
    I've been told, she's too soft and needs to toughen up.... NO ! Thats my answer to that, she is who she is, soft and gentle. She should not be the one to change, ever.

    Sorry for waffling on, but I'm literally waiting to hear the results of a board of management meeting about what action the school are going to take about the 'subtle' bullying my daughter is suffering today.

    You're absolutely right. She should not need to change. The bullying needs to stop.

    And there is nothing 'subtle' about this type of bullying. Bullying does not need to be physical. It is a regular, repeated type of abuse - mental abuse in this case. The BoM do not need to be the last resort - there are legal avenues available if they do not take action. I presume you have a copy of their policy related to this - if they are not following that policy precisely they are on very shaky legal ground.


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭Fea.


    To be honest with you I'm exhausted even thinking about it, and if I'm this bad, I can't imagine what my daughter is going through. The teacher and the principle have been very good, understanding and supportive, but at the same time, this type of behaviour is still going on and to the kids having to live with it, it seems as if there is nothing being done. She still has to go in there everyday and dreads what will happen next.

    What broke my heart is hearing her tell the counsellor about how she has developed coping mechanisms to avoid one bully in particular. She plans her route through the desks so as not to go near her desk, she won't face the board if the bully is in her line of sight (because of the glaring and mouthing of verbal insults), she stands behind certain other girls because she knows they will hide her better than others. The teachers are all aware of this but cannot catch her in the act.

    As for other avenues, I honestly don't know what they are. If the BoM come back today and we are still in the same boat, I have no idea where to turn next or what to do.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 81,310 CMod ✭✭✭✭coffee_cake


    While running away shouldn't have to be an answer, if things are that bad, is it an option for her to switch schools? Homeschool for a while in an interim, etc?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,128 ✭✭✭cynder


    Just wondering are the girls parents involved?



    You made the first port of call with the teachers which is a start but if its not working i would be thinking of and i I know it wouldn't be the best solution but if it were my girl coming back telling me how kids in her class were treating her, i would grab hold (not physically) off the parents in the school yard or at the gate and mention it too them. After all the years the kids have been in school together you should know the girls parents as least to see.

    A different tactic would be to invite a few of the girls in her class around for a sleepover or videos and popcorn or to the cinema to get her bonding with the rest of the girls in the class (not the bullies). Arrange play dates with one girl every week, build up her confidence and stop the bullies control over the other girls. If the other girls in the class stand up with her the bully has less control.

    These are things i would do, not sure how it would work in your daughters situation. At least she can talk to you about it and isnt bottling it up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,137 ✭✭✭artyeva


    hi fea

    i'm not a parent, but i was very struck by your post. i was in exactly the same position throughout school as your daughter is in now. that form of bullying started for me in primary school, probably around 1st class, and continued in one form or another right up until i was in leaving cert. the coping mechanisms that your daughter's developed with certain bullies - yup, all sounds familiar. it's a devastating situation to be in at that age because it just makes no sense to you how friends can be friends one day and ''enemies'' the next.

    the difference between us though, is that you're listening to your child and doing something about it. my mother didn't. i too was told to toughen up, ignore them, etc etc... but... well... in my case that didn't work. if it hadn't been for a teacher confronting one of the bullies on my behalf when i was in 6th year i don't know what i'd have done.

    i know you must feel frustrated with the school for their slowness in dealing with the bullies, but please do take some comfort that you're doing right by your daughter in listening to her, allowing her to feel safe enough to come to you with the problem in the first place, and setting the wheels in motion to get it stopped. so i'm afraid i don't really have anything useful to say other than you're being a fantastic parent, and i hope for your daughter the bullying gets stopped in its tracks soon. xx :o


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭Fea.


    She has already missed two days of school in the past couple of weeks because of whats been happening recently. She was able to cope (though she shouldn't have to) with the one bully but then when two got together and came at her at once, it was just too much for her to take. The main problem is this one girl, its like as if this girl just adores attention, even the worst kind of being taken out of class daily to be told off by the Principle that her behaviour is unacceptable. The minute she returns into class, all the other kids are asking her what happened. of course, she's loving being the centre of attention.

    As bad as it is for my daughter right now, she absolutely adores her teacher, she really likes most of the kids in her class, she gets along with everyone and a few of her previous teachers have referred to her as the 'peace-maker' of the class. So keeping her out of school Bluewolf, to me, seems like the most unfair thing I can do to her. It shouldn't be her missing out on what she loves. Plus, my daughter informed me that there are only 80 days left in school, I didn't realise she was counting down the days. (then she moves up to secondary)

    As for the parents of this bully, her mum has been in the school on a weekly basis and more than likely on they are on the phone to her daily. Frustration Artyeva is really an understatment but yes, you are most definitely right. Thank you so much for your kind words, you really have been through the mill yourself. Why are kids so cruel to each other?

    The good news is, she's just come home from school and told me that the bully has said nothing to her today but still kept glaring at her in class. And also that three different teachers came into the room to discuss the bully problem with their class alone.

    The BoM meeting I presume is being held tonight at some point. I'm like a hen on a hot plate here trying to keep everything together.


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭Fea.


    She has already missed two days of school in the past couple of weeks because of whats been happening recently. She was able to cope (though she shouldn't have to) with the one bully but then when two got together and came at her at once, it was just too much for her to take. The main problem is this one girl, its like as if this girl just adores attention, even the worst kind of being taken out of class daily to be told off by the Principle that her behaviour is unacceptable. The minute she returns into class, all the other kids are asking her what happened. of course, she's loving being the centre of attention.

    As bad as it is for my daughter right now, she absolutely adores her teacher, she really likes most of the kids in her class, she gets along with everyone and a few of her previous teachers have referred to her as the 'peace-maker' of the class. So keeping her out of school Bluewolf, to me, seems like the most unfair thing I can do to her. It shouldn't be her missing out on what she loves. Plus, my daughter informed me that there are only 80 days left in school, I didn't realise she was counting down the days. (then she moves up to secondary)

    As for the parents of this bully, her mum has been in the school on a weekly basis and more than likely on they are on the phone to her daily. Frustration Artyeva is really an understatment but yes, you are most definitely right. Thank you so much for your kind words, you really have been through the mill yourself. Why are kids so cruel to each other?

    The good news is, she's just come home from school and told me that the bully has said nothing to her today but still kept glaring at her in class. And also that three different teachers came into the room to discuss the bully problem with their class alone.

    The BoM meeting I presume is being held tonight at some point. I'm like a hen on a hot plate here trying to keep everything together.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,128 ✭✭✭cynder


    Is it a big school, in my kids schools the have 3 of each class, if severe bullying occurs they mix the 3 classes, ensuring bully and victim are separated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 747 ✭✭✭qwertytlk


    Omg i am shocked. That is so cruel. Your poor little girl. And you. I dont even know how i would cope or react if when my child is school going age this was hapening to him. Its a disgrace. Do you know how the bom meeting went yet? Hopefully they can do something constructive about this. Its awful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭Fea.


    Well its 4.20am and I got fed up tossing and turning in the bed.

    Grindelwald, its a small school, only one 6th class so moving her out of the room isn't an option either.

    Qwertytlk, no word yet from BoM, praying for something today xxx


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,239 ✭✭✭KittyeeTrix


    Hi Fea, so upset for you!!! I've never experienced this myself or even with my children so am a bit short on the advice.
    I can only imagine how distressing it must be for you both:(
    The only thing I'd say is to keep at the school like you have been doing. I do hope your daughter will be happy in Secondary school :)

    Let us know how you get on...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,559 ✭✭✭Daisy M


    This is so distressing for your daughter and you. It does sound as if the teachers are trying to take action and as if the main culprit in this case is relentless. Have you seen the schools anti bullying policy is the school adhering to it? Has there been any suggestion of suspension for the culprit? Just to add have you considered secondary school and what will happen then, do you have a choice of schools? If not and your daughter ends up attending the same school as this girl let them know of what has happened and request that they are not in the same class and ask for an eye to be kept on things. We had to do this when our oldest started secondary school and it wasnt a problem.
    Best of luck to you all I hope this gets sorted soon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭Fea.


    Your all so good xxx thank you so much, it means so much to be able to come here and just voice my frustrations.

    I spoke with the Principle this morning and to put it bluntly, our frustrations continue.

    To answer a few of the questions already:

    Fluffyorganic1, thank you, she is looking forward to Sept to starting in a new school where her older brother and sister are now. Thankfully, she won't have to worry about this one particularly bully attending the same school. In her own words, no other bully will be as bad as this one.

    Daisy, again thank you to you too. I seriously cannot fault the teacher or the principle in all this, they are trying their hardest and are ontop of this problem everyday. Sadly, they do not have the same backing from the parent of this bully, apparently her mum understands all is happening because of the behaviour of her daughter, but is unable to control her child.

    The school have gone out of their way to talk to the class daily about bullying and all things to do with it, they have organised workshops starting next week to show the children that not only bullying directly can have devastating effects on other children but also they want to teach the children on how to come forward and not be scared or intimidated by a bully. This I think is paramount in this class alone, its not just my daughter is the one being effected so badly, its just that its her turn now while apparently others had their turn before.

    As for the BoM meeting which took place last night, this matter was brought before them with all other school business. I was not aware (perhaps others were) that for regular BoM meetings, the Chair Person is not required to be there, unless there is an urgent matter to deal with...??!!?? Our Chair Person was not present, so no decision was made.

    I was asked to write a formal letter of complaint requesting his attention be drawn to the matter immediately, which I replied, had I known this, they would have had me and my letter attend the meeting too !!

    I do understand the school having to follow their own strict guidelines in relation to policies and procedures, I too have been really trying hard to play by the book and do everything correctly, but at the end of the day, my daughter had to walk in there again this morning distressed and it looks like she will have to continue doing just that until the Chairman is notified.

    I have given the ultimatum to the Principle, even though it was against my wishes, that unless something drastic happens as quickly as possible, I will be left with no alternative but to keep my daughter home from school. I refuse to hand her over into their care for 6 hours a day if they cannot keep her safe. I do realise that this is another awful decision to make, by keeping her home, am I not further isolating her? Which is better, isolated, lonely and safe or being educated and bullied?

    One final thing, I genuinely do feel sorry for the Principle. Her heart must be broken trying to deal with all this. This situation is extremely rare, the child at the centre of this whole problem is a child who is in trouble too. As horrible as she has been to my daughter, and the damage she has inflicted mentally on so many children around her, must go towards proving, that we are not dealing with a normal child by any standards. Most children will show fear at one point or another, not this girl. Example: My daughter was picked up by her nanny two weeks ago during the height of the bullying, her nanny knew exactly what was going on and went into the school to bring my daughter out personally. Nanny put her arm around her and walked out with her and the bully came up behind her and kicked her, Nanny saw nothing ! This is what we are up against, this child has no fear.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,239 ✭✭✭KittyeeTrix


    Fea. wrote: »
    Fluffyorganic1, thank you, she is looking forward to Sept to starting in a new school where her older brother and sister are now. Thankfully, she won't have to worry about this one particularly bully attending the same school. In her own words, no other bully will be as bad as this one.

    .

    I'm very relieved to hear that this will not be following your daughter to her new school.

    I was worried somewhat when my eldest son went to Secondary School 25 miles away. I was terribly worried that he may fall victim to bullying as he didn't know anyone going into the City school and they would've all know each other from previous primary schools.
    He joined the Rowing club which saw him make instant close bonds with the other 7 lads in his 8's crew so that was great.
    I was much less worried when my 2nd son joined the school 3 years later cos I knew his older brother would have his back just in case,,,,:)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 79 ✭✭Julie London


    Throw a huge party for all the kids in her class except the bullys. Make it the coolest party imaginable for kids in her age range. Totally single the bullys out and make them feel like crap.
    sorry if i seem immature! i just hate bullies. And i feel so strongly about making them suffer. Your child sounds like a lovely girl, I would be sick to my stomach if she were my child. I hope it gets better for her


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,559 ✭✭✭Daisy M


    I just cant get my head around the fact that the bullys parents are involved and seemingly helpless. Has this child special needs or something else? I am no expert but I would believe if the parents are involved and there are no extenuating circumstances then they are at fault. Its hard to see how parents would be unable to have enough influence on their child to stop this behaviour. I know I dont have all the facts but this child sounds like someone whos parents have never put their foot down and told her no as it was too hard for them to deal with her reaction. If this is the case they have badly failed their child.
    At this stage I think I would be tempted to call to her house and ask the bully and her parents when its going to stop and tell them next time she touches your child you will be pressing assault charges and contacting social workers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭Fea.


    A little bit of good news ! I'm so grateful for anything, I thought I would share it here too.

    The Principle informed me this morning that she is setting up a meeting for me with the Chairman to speak with him directly myself. Doubtful it wil be today as its Friday so hopefully Monday.

    Another piece of good news for my daughter which is tiny to most, but to my daughter is a major mountain, she came home from school yesterday and told me there had been another incident when the bully said something nasty and my daughter told her to 'shut up'. This is a first ! I was thrilled and told her as much and that she would never get into trouble with me for ever standing up for herself. Then she said, "yeah but she didn't hear me!" Ok so next time, I hope she raises her voice a tiny bit more lol but one step at a time....


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,508 ✭✭✭Ayla


    OP, just like Artyeva, I too was just like your daughter. Although I was always picked on, I had a good enough circle of friends when I was very young, but within weeks of going to middle school (in the States - I would have been 12) my very best friend joined in with the bullies and I was completely alone.

    I remember well the anxiety of going to school knowing what I'd have to face, and my parents were tortured. They looked into transferring my school but since we lived in the sticks the only option was a private school which we couldn't afford.

    I also remember planning my day to try to avoid the bullies (the cafeteria during lunch was the worst!) and I was afraid to go to the toilets. It should be mentioned that no one ever laid a finger on me - all the bullying was verbal/emotional/mental, but I almost wished someone would touch me because then the administration/teachers could actually do something. I was good in my classes but learned to stay quiet so I wouldn't draw attention to myself. It was - by far - the most hellish time of my life.

    The only reprieve came the following year when a new girl moved to the area & she was as much an outcast as I was, so we formed a friendship. From that point on things got easier, but I will never forget the sadness, the humiliation, the fear, the hatred that I experienced before then.

    My heart goes out to you & your daughter. I hope this passes quickly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭Fea.


    Ayla, thank you so much for sharing your story. You are describing exactly what my daughter is going through, thankfully she can still talk to me and tell me these things so that we can work through them. I really do feel for your parents, this has to be the most frustrating thing I have ever gone through. To hear all the right words from the Principle and her Teacher and see them putting in such an effort to deal with the problem, yet at the same time having to hand my daughter over to them every single day knowing that they can't keep her safe.

    Today, lets hope that they have set up this meeting with the Chairman *fingers crossed* xxx


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭Fea.


    Meeting is set for Friday morning. God that seems so far away.

    On another note, a really strange thing happened today and I have no idea what to make of it. I was doing my daughters hair this morning and discovered a clump of white hair behind her ear. It definitely wasn't there a few weeks ago, its about 3 inches long but not the full lenght of her hair, which is about 12 inches long. Googled quickly this afternoon which suggests vit B12 deficiancy but to have it checked out by a doctor just in case. What more can go wrong with my poor little girl! this seems so unfair!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,859 ✭✭✭m'lady


    As a mother of an 11 year old girl my heart really broke reading your story. Its so hard watching your child being hurt and feeling powerless. I am sorry I cant offer you any additional advice to what you have also got here, but I did want to sympathise with you and your daughter.

    I really hope the meeting on Friday goes well, you are in my thoughts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭Fea.


    Final Update !!! We have had success. My daughter can now go to school and not ever have to go through what she has had to endure for too long now.

    The meeting went fantastic this morning, we have been given the full backing by everyone involved and we have been assured that this will not happen again. They have put in place a behavioural plan for the girl responsible for the problems, one incident, no matter how small, she is immediately removed from the classroom for the rest of the day. Another incident, her mother is contacted and she is removed from the school immediately, sort of like an unoffical suspension. Any other major incident such as those that happened recently, the BoM are presently giving the power to the Principle for immediate suspension.

    To say that we are thrilled and relieved would be an understatement! This is the best possible outcome we could have hoped for. Expulsion is definitely not an option, especially not at this late stage of the year, it would take months of negotiations between the Education Officer, Social Workers, the school and the child and her family before that would ever happen.

    My little girl is one happy little girl today knowing that so many adults took her side and believed her. I just kept telling her, I'm Momma Bear, your my cub, its what I do hun...

    Phew !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,239 ✭✭✭KittyeeTrix


    Fantastic result Fea........ Great news:D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14 Leztanelly


    Hello all

    Firstly, I'm so sorry pester you all. I've been trying to figure out how to start a thread/sub forum. Similar to this, but off the topic chat for toddlers-schoolies. How they are progressing & how we parents are doing. You know handling the continuing challenges. This would be of course just like this sub forum, a safe place to laugh at our little one's adventures, cry with them when they are sad and even let of some steam when things can sometimes get a bit rough.

    I originally started a thread and few people responded saying it would be a great idea to start a sub forum for this category. I realize this is for teens-pre-teens, but I figured some of you may have more than one child one of which are this category or about to enter it. If your nodding your head with me, along with others how have also said "yup great idea". Here's the thing I have no idea how to create a sub forum....

    Hence me pestering you. So on that note I leave you all with your teenagers/there a-bouts (I will be visiting again when our turn comes too) and hope you can help me? Do any of you know how to create a sub forum?

    Thanks again


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭Fea.


    Hi Leztaney

    I'm sure if you contact one of the mods they will only be too happy to help you out. I have to say, they are the nicest bunch ever on here, very obliging.

    Theres also this forum http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=1339
    On the top of the page theres a link for 'new thread'. Just post in that and you'll be up and running lol

    I'll keep an eye out for your thread and hopefully might find one or two things to add in but my crew are well beyond the toddler stages lol

    xxx


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