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bullying in second year

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭✭ Shiksha


    Hello all,

    I am a mother to boy who is in second year. He has been bullied by a gang since first year. Earlier in the year he was punched in the face by one, in the school. It was unprovoked and this was caught on camera, the boy who did it suspended. However, the bullying went on. Lots of taunts, insults, challenges. Eventually (obviously without my knowledge) he agreed to meet one of them to be challenged to a fight. They all jumped on top of him, he was badly assaulted, again this was filmed and the film distributed. I have the film and it is horrible. He wasn't badly injured just bruises.

    Then, last Monday after they came back to school from lockdown, he got chased and called me from the school to say he was hiding in some toilets. So I came to pick him up.

    Does anyone have any advice on what I can do? I have spoken to the school, numerous times. Other than suspending one pupil because there was no other choice they haven't done anything. Oh, they did do one thing - after many, repeated requests the school reluctantly changed his class, but he tells me when they told him it was being done, the teachers were very cross and seemed to be blaming him.

    His self-esteem is at rock bottom. He has very few friends as his peers are being told to stay away from him. I recognise that he is not a saint, but still, I want to help my son and I am hitting brick walls everywhere. I am looking into changing his school but I would be worried that the bullying may continue in other ways. I should add that there is a gang of about five boys, its a very large mixed school.

    Does anyone have any advice?
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Comments

  • #2


    What you’ve described is very serious abuse.

    If it was me I’d me in the school Monday morning banging on the principal’s door and refusing to leave until there was a plan in place to solve the issue. If the response from the school isn’t satisfactory I would be going to the guards as my next step. You have footage of the assaults so the guards will have to take it seriously.

    Is there a parents group at the school? Contact them also and make them aware of the situation.


  • #2


    Shiksha wrote: »
    Hello all,

    I am a mother to boy who is in second year. He has been bullied by a gang since first year. Earlier in the year he was punched in the face by one, in the school. It was unprovoked and this was caught on camera, the boy who did it suspended. However, the bullying went on. Lots of taunts, insults, challenges. Eventually (obviously without my knowledge) he agreed to meet one of them to be challenged to a fight. They all jumped on top of him, he was badly assaulted, again this was filmed and the film distributed. I have the film and it is horrible. He wasn't badly injured just bruises.

    Then, last Monday after they came back to school from lockdown, he got chased and called me from the school to say he was hiding in some toilets. So I came to pick him up.

    Does anyone have any advice on what I can do? I have spoken to the school, numerous times. Other than suspending one pupil because there was no other choice they haven't done anything. Oh, they did do one thing - after many, repeated requests the school reluctantly changed his class, but he tells me when they told him it was being done, the teachers were very cross and seemed to be blaming him.

    His self-esteem is at rock bottom. He has very few friends as his peers are being told to stay away from him. I recognise that he is not a saint, but still, I want to help my son and I am hitting brick walls everywhere. I am looking into changing his school but I would be worried that the bullying may continue in other ways. I should add that there is a gang of about five boys, its a very large mixed school.

    Does anyone have any advice?

    I am sorry to hear about the bullying.
    The school are useless with these things.
    I would always say stand up to the bully but that's difficult given the number of them so although my view may be unpopular personally I would give the parents one friendly warning before arrangements are made for someone to "have a chat" with those involved.


  • #2


    Shiksha wrote: »
    Hello all,

    I am a mother to boy who is in second year. He has been bullied by a gang since first year. Earlier in the year he was punched in the face by one, in the school. It was unprovoked and this was caught on camera, the boy who did it suspended. However, the bullying went on. Lots of taunts, insults, challenges. Eventually (obviously without my knowledge) he agreed to meet one of them to be challenged to a fight. They all jumped on top of him, he was badly assaulted, again this was filmed and the film distributed. I have the film and it is horrible. He wasn't badly injured just bruises.

    Then, last Monday after they came back to school from lockdown, he got chased and called me from the school to say he was hiding in some toilets. So I came to pick him up.

    Does anyone have any advice on what I can do? I have spoken to the school, numerous times. Other than suspending one pupil because there was no other choice they haven't done anything. Oh, they did do one thing - after many, repeated requests the school reluctantly changed his class, but he tells me when they told him it was being done, the teachers were very cross and seemed to be blaming him.

    His self-esteem is at rock bottom. He has very few friends as his peers are being told to stay away from him. I recognise that he is not a saint, but still, I want to help my son and I am hitting brick walls everywhere. I am looking into changing his school but I would be worried that the bullying may continue in other ways. I should add that there is a gang of about five boys, its a very large mixed school.

    Does anyone have any advice?

    Very sorry you two are experiencing this. I wish I had good advice. Certainly boosting his self-esteem in whatever way possible and avoiding any conflict at home, which will be likelier if he’s unhappy. I think you’ll get better responses if you post in a different sub-forum - relationships, maybe, or try reddit.com.

    Hope things get better.


  • #2


    first, all teachers and management have school emails, they have to and they have to give them to you if asked. if they are awkward you can usually guess them.

    Request a meeting with year head, physical meeting

    if refused get it in writing via email or letter

    then same with principal.

    Schools are legally responsible to sort out bullying in the school, the principal has to report all bullying to the BOM at every meeting (I was a parent rep on a BOM) . if your son tells a teacher they become legally responsible to follow it up and to fill out a form that the principle must keep. GDPR/FOI for access to these forms ( ask for any other names to be redacted) .


    Also find out who the parents reps are on the BOM and contact them.

    If its a vol school and this is a nuclear option but use email to do all your communication and Bcc the head of the particular body in the emails or in the case of ETb, the CEO. the one thing a local principal will not want is his/her boss on the blower.


  • #2


    Sounds like the school has a really poor policy. Suspensions never stopped or lessened bullying.


  • #2


    Secondary teacher here , as someone who was bullied in first year as well many moons ago, this upset me to hear of your troubles. As someone said you really need to rattle the cages of year heads and principal and perhaps BOM on this, the two aforementioned people are getting big money and should have this cleared up or at least give it a genuine effort.

    Actually this week myself and another teacher have put in place a simple mentoring session between TYs and First years at lunch time to help them settle back in to school, they do games and activities and just basically get to know each other, i feel its good that first years have a familiar face in the older years to talk to if they need it.


  • #2


    I am extremely sorry to hear this, I am a teacher and a lot of my students tell me about similar experiences that they have had in past schools. It is the school's duty of care to make your son feel safe in his learning environment which they are failing to do.

    Are you aware of any cyber bullying? If so Coco's law has been passed thanks to the incredible strength of Jackie Fox. I know that you should not have to do this but have you thought about changing schools?

    I would call for a final meeting with the school, remind them of their ethos which will clearly state that bullying is not tolerated. I would tell them how they are not providing a duty of care for your son and ask for the name of the educational welfare officer in the area. I would then contact the ewo and express your concerns.

    I hope this helps and I hope your son can get through this, life is hard enough for them these days without all of this added pressure.


  • #2


    Hi everyone,

    thank you for the support and very useful suggestions.

    I have strongly considered changing his school and I have a place in another school. I am told that this group of boys bully other kids but they seem to have really gone overboard with my son. Over a period of 18-20 months he has been called every name under the son and challenged to fight. One of the boys whacked him, in school while the other ones filmed it (the culprit was suspended). They then tricked him into coming out ostensibly for a scrap with another boy and they then all jumped on top of him, kicking and punching him. That was also filmed. Strangely, the boys who did this are not ashamed that five or six of them attacked one person, indeed they are boasting about it and sharing the footage. Because this took place outside of school hours and off school property, the school say they have no role in this.

    At this stage it is clear the school don't want to take action against this particular group of boys. So I am left with very little option except to change his school. His self esteem is at rock bottom and he has become quite negative and withdrawn some of the time. I don't know what goes through these kids' heads, I really don't.


  • #2


    I would involve the police. Every single one of them lads need their doors knocking on. Now some parents might not give a **** but a few might. Might be enough to break the chain.

    He was lucky this time. Next time could be worse.

    I am so angry reading your post so can’t imagine your anger and helplessness. Keep both yer chins up. In a few years it will be forgotten.


  • #2


    Shiksha wrote: »
    Hi everyone,

    thank you for the support and very useful suggestions.

    I have strongly considered changing his school and I have a place in another school. I am told that this group of boys bully other kids but they seem to have really gone overboard with my son. Over a period of 18-20 months he has been called every name under the son and challenged to fight. One of the boys whacked him, in school while the other ones filmed it (the culprit was suspended). They then tricked him into coming out ostensibly for a scrap with another boy and they then all jumped on top of him, kicking and punching him. That was also filmed. Strangely, the boys who did this are not ashamed that five or six of them attacked one person, indeed they are boasting about it and sharing the footage. Because this took place outside of school hours and off school property, the school say they have no role in this.

    At this stage it is clear the school don't want to take action against this particular group of boys. So I am left with very little option except to change his school. His self esteem is at rock bottom and he has become quite negative and withdrawn some of the time. I don't know what goes through these kids' heads, I really don't.

    If you do decide to change his schools which you shouldn't have to,If you can get this footage you speak of go to the gardai with it.
    Don't interact with anyone at the school anymore. It's obvious they don't give a damn.
    report it as assault which it was, take it as far as you can and if nothing else it might frighten the **** out of the little scum bags. They deserve to be punished in some way .
    How many of them are there?

    Also get on joe duffy if you have the neck a lot of people don't like him but in Lots of ways it does work.


  • #2


    Primary teacher here . My two cents : your poor boy has been assaulted . The school has a duty of care to him. They really, really need to step up. “ Contacting a parent group” is pointless, a PTA has no power to act , you need to make formal contact with the principal and the board of management.
    Joe Duffy? Seriously?


  • #2


    Primary teacher here . My two cents : your poor boy has been assaulted . The school has a duty of care to him. They really, really need to step up. “ Contacting a parent group” is pointless, a PTA has no power to act , you need to make formal contact with the principal and the board of management.
    Joe Duffy? Seriously?

    Yes seriously. This kind of story has been on the air before. It wasn't long stopping after it.

    Wouldnt you do anything you could to stop your son being bullied. I would.
    Anything.


  • #2


    Yes seriously. This kind of story has been on the air before. It wasn't long stopping after it.

    Wouldnt you do anything you could to stop your son being bullied. I would.
    Anything.

    Going on Joe Duffy won’t help.May well hinder.


  • #2


    Yes I wouldnt go near Joe Duffy you will get a name among adults of school as a shhhit stirrer. Can i ask is it an all boys school? only i ask as i was treated quite rough as a student in an all boys school , i left and attended co-ed after junior cert, the change was dramatic and a whole new world, i cant over emphasise just how different two school environments can be even in the same general area, it can be massive. It just goes to show the part staff and management can play, but also the part or role having girls in a school can have with boys it can really take the edge off things. I found everyone was so placid and relaxed in the co ed school i attended after junior cert, never a fight where there was one every day in the boys school, lads wanted to act cool and caring in front of the girls in the co ed school. they were also more interested in hanging around chilling and chatting in groups more than playing sport which was a downside. that school was a little odd though in its make up and a rare occurrence now for some reason as it was a convent of mercy school that was co ed, and had a 70-30 to 65-35 female to male ratio, which i think set it up really well regards the social climate.


  • #2


    Move school, I did, was best thing I ever done.

    I was bullied from playschool upwards, worst thing was that ones in playschool were then of course in same school and some in same class, this then continued on till I left secondary at the end of 3rd year.

    Worst thing on my part was I very rarely stood up for myself and I would definitely do things differently now if I could go back....

    School and pre school were the darkest days of my life and I near ended it a few times over it but luckily pushed through.

    Bullying and kids can be such complete and utter dirt bags, evil pr1cks.


  • #2


    Is this bullying race related, if so it's a hate crime and police should be involved.


  • #2


    Schools and employers for that matter harp on about bullying and how they take it very seriously. Unfortunately when push comes to shove and it’s reported very little is ever done about it.


  • #2


    JPup wrote: »
    What you’ve described is very serious abuse.

    If it was me I’d me in the school Monday morning banging on the principal’s door and refusing to leave until there was a plan in place to solve the issue. If the response from the school isn’t satisfactory I would be going to the guards as my next step. You have footage of the assaults so the guards will have to take it seriously.
    If it was my child I'd be bringing the guards to the school with me.

    This could have serious repercussions as they get older


  • #2
    whodafunk wrote: »
    Schools and employers for that matter harp on about bullying and how they take it very seriously. Unfortunately when push comes to shove and it’s reported very little is ever done about it.

    That's because it is Ireland, All talk no action. I remember two Irish lads starting work in a chicken factory in the Netherlands and they started slagging people off like they would over here yet immediately it was challenged and they were told in no uncertain terms that they would be walking across the polder to get to their accommodation and back their bags if it did not stop. It stopped.

    Bullying is endemic here I had it myself from my own mother and brother, typical toxic street angel house devil stuff. The issue too is one of following the crowd, a bullied person tends to become marginalised as others don't want to suffer the same fate.


  • #2


    No idea what school that is but thats shocking behaviour from them, a kind of kids will be kids attitude.

    My son was bullied in primary by a ethnic minority that was fcuked out every school in the area, school did nothing as they were terrified of the ethnic minority. I nearly had to fight the Da to end it.

    In secondary he was bullied again by local scummers (meek introverted kid, long hair etc) and the school fcuked out every single person involved literal 0 tolerance for this. I was shocked at how they went about it, literally brought in the parents and told them they had 2 weeks to stop it (wasnt just my kid) they didnt and everyone of them expelled after 2 weeks.

    In my area a lot of kids killed themselves over bullying either in school or by social media. Oddly one of the bullies killed himself and the parents blamed the school for expelling him :confused:


  • #2


    The school must a policy to deal with bullying, or a positive code of behaviour.

    It will state what steps should be followed.
    Without even reading their policy, from what you have said the school management has to be in breach of it.
    If the principal is not dealing with the issue you need to write to the board of management/etb depending on the school.

    I would hint at contacting the children's ombudsman or perhaps a personal injuries claim for failing to take adequate steps to protect your son from bullying. As others have suggested the Gardai may be an option to consider also if some of the incidents are from outside school. Legally it is tricky for a school to deal with what happens outside the school gate.

    Ideally, the school should have escalated their actions against the bullies aa their behaviour has not stopped.

    In the short term i would contact the school monday morning to ask that your son see the school guidance counsellor as a matter of urgency. He/she might be able to give him some coping skills to get him through to summer.


  • #2


    Hi OP,

    Reading your OP was heartbreaking and genuinely brought a tear to my eye. I’m a 30yr old girl, and reading your OP really hit a nerve for me as I was very badly bullied in school, also. The bullying has left a life-long impact, and really changed me as a person. One poster said “it’ll all be forgotten about in a few years”. This is so untrue. Bullying can leave a life-long impact, trust me.

    As a child (from birth to about the age of 12), I was extremely happy. I was the class clown, and would definitely have been regarded as “Miss Popular”. I laughed at everything, and I found it really easy to make friends. Then, puberty happened, and the dynamics (and my fellow female classmates) changed.

    The bullying started when I entered 1st year — I was 13 years old. It got so bad, that my parents decided to move me to another school. Sadly, the bullying continued in this school, also, as I had little to no confidence and children/teenagers take complete advantage of this. I moved school again (but this time to a mixed school) at the age of 17 (5th year). I finally found people who welcomed me into their group.

    I guess my advice to you is, you can complain and complain and complain to the school, but I don’t think anything will change. My parents lodged a frightening amount of complaints to both schools, and nothing ever changed. The culprits may receive a slap on the wrist, but once the teachers backs are turned, it’s almost “payback time” and the situation can actually get worse. This was my experience.

    Your son has endured awful treatment and my heart really goes out to him - the poor guy. If it were me, I would be taking him out of his current school, and transferring him to another (a mixed school, ideally, and not one which is in close proximity to the other). I really feel like this is the only option at your stage.

    Edit: On a side note - I wouldn’t allow the school to get away with this. I would 100% be reporting this behaviour to the gardai, and I’d show them the evidence which you have. Furthermore, I’d be contacting the Minister of Education, also. I know if I had a child, I would do everything in my power to keep them safe and to hold the culprits accountable. If people don’t speak up, it will continue and someone else’s child will fall victim to these horrible bullies.


  • #2


    OP, best of luck with whatever you do to try and resolve this issue.

    As a side note, I would suggest you getting your son into some boxing, marital arts etc type training in order for him to defend himself. From my own school experience, teenagers pick on weaker kids but not those who they know can/will stand up for themselves.


  • #2


    Hi Op i was just wondering if you end up moving your son to another school , you could try to have a word with some teachers who may be willing to help him integrate into a group to help him settle and adjust. I know i have helped a mother with this a few years ago, a very shy boy who had been bullied came into the school and needed protection from any further bullying. Myself and another younger teacher used two prefects and few other boys and girls (about 5 in total) that were very popular in the school to integrate this student and get him into their group. It worked very well and he thrived in school, it was one of the most rewarding times i ever had. Now these students were mature and popular and took on this project with great zeal, they student never copped, never had a days trouble. The potential bullies were in a different peer group and wouldnt dare slag or bully soemone from within the popular group.I cant say it will work but i find if you have good , mature teenager they really love to help someone like this.


  • #2


    UPDATE: So, the bullying hasn't stopped. The gang of boys are still calling him names, giving him looks, even though he's moved class. You could live with that I suppose. Only, when he was in a class where there is practical work, he was pushed and shoved and in the process was burnt with a tool. He has a euro sized, deep burn on his hand as a result. He tells me it was an accident...he doesn't want me complaining as he is already being called a rat and a grass.

    I emailed a parent who is on the Board of Management, outlined the situation and asked if the Board had a role. This individual emailed me back, wanting to know where I got their email address and telling me he had reported my email to the principal. I felt the tone of the email was hostile and unhelpful, but perhaps I am getting paranoid at this stage.

    It seems to me that in the school he is in, there might be an overall problem with lack of respect/discipline. My son tells me that teachers have been told to f---off in class and nothing happens. This seems outrageous to me, or maybe I am just out of touch? The thing is, this school is in what is considered to be a good area of Dublin, I am told it is highly thought of.

    With regards to the kids bullying my son, apart from one individual assault, none of them has been subject to any sanction, punishment or consequence for their behaviour. So, they conclude, rightly it would seem, that they can do exactly as they please. So on it continues.

    So, I have sought and received a place for my son in a local all boys school (this school is mixed). And that is where he will be going in September. It is a very disheartening and sad feeling to know that my son's well-being doesn't matter at all to the people who are supposed to be looking out for him, it really is.

    In the interim period between now and June 4th, I am notifying the school of every and all incident that occurs, in writing. And also hoping and praying that this never happens again to him. He has been warned to keep a low profile in the new school.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and support. Bullying really is an awful thing.


  • #2


    This is such a sad thread, bullying is such a soul destroying problem. No child should suffer it. I don't have anything to add - you'd have done all that I would've. I would help your son work on his self esteem as a next step, as it's probably feeling quite battered now.

    I hope your son thrives in their new school.


  • #2


    I hope the new school works out for him. Can I suggest that you get him some counselling, as his self esteem and confidence are probably shattered, and this may make him an easy target not just in school, but unfortunately also work.


  • #2


    Meeoow wrote: »
    I hope the new school works out for him. Can I suggest that you get him some counselling, as his self esteem and confidence are probably shattered, and this may make him an easy target not just in school, but unfortunately also work.

    +1 here as a former victim of bullying and a teacher i would say you may need to change something to make sure hes not a victim of bullying again. I would look into finding out other students attending this school, contact maybe a parent whos local that you might know from GAA or mass or something or find out who are the "alpha " students , if you could get your son to hang out with these lads or get to know them this may help integrate him into their group and he will be well protected. I often notice bullies are not ususally the popular kids cower down in front of this peer group. So maybe get a bit of homework on whos who iin his new school. Usually GAA or sports lads are well able to look after them selves so think about getting him in with these lads.

    My post may sound negative but you need to protect yourself and outside of fighting back this is the cutest way to go about it.


  • #2


    Shiksha wrote: »
    UPDATE: So, the bullying hasn't stopped. The gang of boys are still calling him names, giving him looks, even though he's moved class. You could live with that I suppose. Only, when he was in a class where there is practical work, he was pushed and shoved and in the process was burnt with a tool. He has a euro sized, deep burn on his hand as a result. He tells me it was an accident...he doesn't want me complaining as he is already being called a rat and a grass.

    I emailed a parent who is on the Board of Management, outlined the situation and asked if the Board had a role. This individual emailed me back, wanting to know where I got their email address and telling me he had reported my email to the principal. I felt the tone of the email was hostile and unhelpful, but perhaps I am getting paranoid at this stage.

    It seems to me that in the school he is in, there might be an overall problem with lack of respect/discipline. My son tells me that teachers have been told to f---off in class and nothing happens. This seems outrageous to me, or maybe I am just out of touch? The thing is, this school is in what is considered to be a good area of Dublin, I am told it is highly thought of.

    With regards to the kids bullying my son, apart from one individual assault, none of them has been subject to any sanction, punishment or consequence for their behaviour. So, they conclude, rightly it would seem, that they can do exactly as they please. So on it continues.

    So, I have sought and received a place for my son in a local all boys school (this school is mixed). And that is where he will be going in September. It is a very disheartening and sad feeling to know that my son's well-being doesn't matter at all to the people who are supposed to be looking out for him, it really is.

    In the interim period between now and June 4th, I am notifying the school of every and all incident that occurs, in writing. And also hoping and praying that this never happens again to him. He has been warned to keep a low profile in the new school.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and support. Bullying really is an awful thing.

    One positive for your son in this terrible time for him is the school will now close for summer on May 28th.
    The department have brought forward the end of year by a week to allow teachers time to work on finalising the accredited grades for Leaving Certs.


  • #2


    Dickie10 wrote: »
    +1 here as a former victim of bullying and a teacher i would say you may need to change something to make sure hes not a victim of bullying again. I would look into finding out other students attending this school, contact maybe a parent whos local that you might know from GAA or mass or something or find out who are the "alpha " students , if you could get your son to hang out with these lads or get to know them this may help integrate him into their group and he will be well protected. I often notice bullies are not ususally the popular kids cower down in front of this peer group. So maybe get a bit of homework on whos who iin his new school. Usually GAA or sports lads are well able to look after them selves so think about getting him in with these lads.

    My post may sound negative but you need to protect yourself and outside of fighting back this is the cutest way to go about it.

    I couldn't agree more with you. While this is the 1st time this has happened to my son, I cannot rule out that there's something in his personality that acts as a magnet for bullies. That mixed with the failure on the school's part to address bullying in general may be the reasons behind this situation.

    He is sporty, but so far not contact sports, just running and swimming. As a result he's fit and strong. (something that stood him in good stead when he was attacked). So I guess it's time to make a serious effort to introduce him to gaa, school he's going to is into it in a big way.


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