...to expect year 2 children not to be physically violent

(35 Posts)
MimsyBorogoves Tue 18-Mar-14 15:13:13

I've posted about this in Primary Education too, but the traffic is slower there and I really need some other opinions today. This is my day for getting stuff done, and I'm writing a letter to my DD's school to let them know she's leaving for another school in September.

The reason she's moving schools is the physical hurt she gets from her classmates. Two of them have had it in for her since Reception and while I realise not all Reception children have learned not to hit, bite or kick, I'd have thought it would stop by Year 2. Am I wrong?

She comes home almost daily telling me she's been kicked, punched, or pinched, or had something of hers deliberately broken. In the last ten days, she's had her head forced to the ground and then farted on by two different children. I know farting is hilarious to 7-year-olds, but physical abuse is not funny to me. I hate sending her to school knowing she's going to get hurt there. She is swotty, and keen to learn, and all she's learned at this school is how to stand up to bullies.

(I'm glad she's learned that, but it broke my heart, seeing her at the low point she hit this time last year when she let it all out and we began to turn things around.)

I've drafted a letter to the school to say she's leaving, and in it, I've described the physical hurt she gets from the others. Is this too hankie-clutching? Do you expect your kids to get kicked and hit every day? Is it normal?

I have to ask because her school are really, really soft on discipline - a standard punishment for physical violence is "only getting one biscuit at break tomorrow" - so I don't know what other schools are like. I'm fed up with this one.

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 10:57:40

Sorry to hi jack your thread Mimsy...but I don't often talk about my own experiences of being bullied...but nearly everything that posters have said about it happened to me mostly by 2 girls. Physical...Stabbing by sharpened pencils....tripping, hair pulling and even cut off about 4in of my plait....name calling..(.I was 6ft at 13, braces, glasses, flat chested,) taking friends away..I had the s**t kicked out of me at break because I apparently' looked' at her boyfriend!!.anyway I am over it now but it rears its ugly head every now and then....bullying is soul destroying and very hard to understand if you haven't been through it. That is why I worked so hard on my 3 DCs ....and I think achieved it...they were neither bullied or bullies..My greatest achievement....As I said...get your LO out of there NOW.

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 10:38:10

Boaty ...that's so sad but exactly what my DS would say. My DS was told to ignore X as he cant help it and was encouraged to seek other friends...this didn't work because if he did then X would go over and ruin the game for them...then the other kids wouldn't want my DS in the game.( Witnessed by a playground supervisor)my DS was sitting in a bush all by himself..(that was sad on it's own).X came with another child...X kicked him hard in the back, other child then kicked him in face when he ran out of bush...now my DS can stand up for himself and he lost it....Who was punished?? even tho my DS was covered in blood....So So sad and such a difficult time. I just take a minute and now he's almost grown, 17, think we must have done the right thing as he is such a lovely young man, just about to leave home and join the Navy. And my main bully tried to get in touch with me when I joined FB....I ignored all 50+ of her requests...I have nothing to say to her...EVER.

Boaty Wed 19-Mar-14 10:23:18

The boy who systematically picked on my DS2 through primary school was excused his behaviour as he had 'problems'. My DS was told to stay out of his way and victim blamed. Bully was allowed free range to follow DS around!
He died suddenly aged 13 of a undiagnosed heart condition, my DS said 'I feel sorry for his family but I'm not going to the school service for him, he was a nasty person, why should I pretend otherwise'

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 10:21:50

And my DB are all lovely gentle men who play with their nephews differently to their nieces....just the way our family is.....not right or wrong..just OUR way. We are a lovely big close family and often have 'bundles' in the garden and it is a joy to watch my 6ft 6in brother being oh so gentle with my 5 nieces and my DD, then gently roughing up his older nephews and my DSs. (apart from my youngest nephew who is such a sweet little thing and doesn't like rough play.. he loves gentle tickles from his uncles.)

jellybeans Wed 19-Mar-14 10:19:28

Your poor son! Sounds like the best move was changing schools! I thought about it but luckily we got a new headteacher. One of the bullies of my DTs used to say 'it's not my fault,I have ADHD' and the teachers did nothing and parent excused it as 'he can't help it, it's the other kids faults'. Yet I don't see that as an excuse for violence and racial bullying. I have relatives with ADHD and all were punished for any violence and many weren't violent at all in the first place,it is a seperate issue that needs dealing with surely?

Gini99 Wed 19-Mar-14 10:17:09

Mimsy - we had an almost identical situation to this. Right from the start she had stones thrown at her, kicked, hit in the face with shoes, people wiping their nose on her clothes etc. This was a mainly leafy state primary (and the 4 children at the centre were from a complete mix of homes socially). The teachers were absolutely aware of it, I went in many times and they acknowledged that it was happening and witnessed it many times but seemed apathetic in dealing with it. There was a general sense of, 'well we've done another circle time on it what else can we do'. It was not helped at our school by the fact that the school went into special measures not long after she started there and the head went on long term sick so we had a series of temporary and part-time caretakers who were dealing with a crisis. Plus the teachers were demoralised, focused on results and I suspect there were issues with at least one of the children that were hard to deal with. The difficulty I found was that as it was my first child I had no way of calibrating whether this was to be expected from school at this age - that was essentially the message I got from the teachers' lack of effective action.

The last straw was when we went to parents evening (yr 2) and the teacher told us that DD had been whacked in the face repeatedly with trainers in the class room and that when the child had been removed she had run in and done it again and again. We asked how they were going to keep DD safe and they brought out circle time again. The next day we'd set up a trial day at the local prep and she moved a few weeks later. We were incredibly fortunate to have that option though I had to go full time to fund it. It was the best thing we ever did. She has become herself again and bounces out of school happily. Now I'm out of the situation I can't believe we allowed it to go on for so long because I can now see just how abnormal it is.

I would strongly recommend getting her out of there as soon as possible.

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 10:12:24

Jelly....I agree
One of the reasons that we moved schools was because of a terribly angry boy who (witnessed by teachers) would sneakily hurt my son who you all know by now can hold his own. I was sick of him being hurt and not being able to stick up for himself because' poor X cant help it,,,You should just ignore it!!' He was covered in bruises one day and little stabs from a sharpened pencil and lost it with X. He was punished, not X. (even tho teacher who saw all the incident tried to say that my child was sitting away from X and did nothing to him)...Water under the bridge now and poor X is in prison and my son is sad for him but so glad when we moved schools where incidently he was never in trouble again for fighting!

jellybeans Wed 19-Mar-14 10:11:33

Some schools have a stupid 'no blame policy' where the bully/violent child is not punished at all and the victim is meant to 'work with' the bully. Pathetic.

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 10:02:30

And why am I 'wrong'? Cant we just think differently? I was bought up with 4 DB and had my fair share of rough play...And I certainly got hurt because they were stronger than me and showed it ...often!! There is 8 years between us all. My DSs are now grown men and when they were having rough play with their sister..though she enjoyed it, I ..in no uncertain terms told them to tone it down...be more gentle... they are lovely men and play with their nieces, gently, as I chose to bring them up to do.

rollonthesummer Wed 19-Mar-14 10:01:12

a standard punishment for physical violence is "only getting one biscuit at break tomorrow"

I'm sorry but I find this extremely difficult to believe.

jellybeans Wed 19-Mar-14 09:56:51

In my experience sadly it is normal all the way up past year 6 if you have the misfortune of having children with severe behavioral problems in the class that are poorly supervised or excused for their behavior. My DTs had 2 in their class and all the prents were sick to the teeth of them'getting away with it' with their softly approach to bullying and of excusing behaviour for various reasons. Also the parents were useless in both cases so not much the school can do if they won't exclude them. Schools should get tougher on this and send violent kids to special units that have more 1 to1 help as why should the other kids suffer day in day out.

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 09:54:03

Then we shall beg to differ...My DSs could be very physical and were both BIG boys....I thought it was wrong and still do that they would play as roughly with a girl as they would with each other. Maybe tone it down a bit...but they both played rugby (not tag) with their uncles and I would not only be worried about a girl getting hurt...one of my childminded children (same age)was quite a little quiet boy and they were told to tone it down with him too.

BumpyGrindy Wed 19-Mar-14 09:45:34

Marylou No...you're still wrong. Children of 5 and 6 play together and girls aren't weaker than boys until they're quite a bit older I certainly do not expect my 6 year old DDs male classmates to avoid rough play with her "because she's a girl" if she wants to join in...which she does..she likes it.

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 08:49:42

And, without muddying the water, it is very hard to define bullying. What is normal childhood behaviour...not wanting to play with another child because they are bossy etc. My DD was called to HT for bullying...In can assure you I took it very seriously...That child said 'Its not that she's bullying me.. its just that I am very sensitive and when she wants to play with x it hurts my feelings'. They are 20 now and good friends. I have taught my 3 about other peoples feelings but they do not have to play with kids that they don't like.

Marylou62 Wed 19-Mar-14 08:39:38

Sorry Bumpy you are right, and on reading it back it did seem odd. What I meant is that boys can be rough at that age with each other and to involve girls is something that I told my boys is wrong. (even if they want to join in the rough play) Ie being rough with a friend who doesn't mind...rough play. But if a girl is being rough with another girl who is obviously distressed by it can be worse...hope that sounds better? And I might add that as someone who was seriously bullied for all my school life....I am proud that my 3 DC were neither a bully or bullied....so I must have done a good job and explained it better to them!!!?

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 19:48:59

op I work in a school and trust me this isn't normal at all. in fact never heard of this level of ignoring violence and ineffective supervision ever.

please can you say if it's a state or private school. and explain about the biscuits in your op as mystified.

Nennypops Tue 18-Mar-14 19:47:34

What has happened when you have raise this previously? Has the school got a bullying policy, and are they implementing it?

Waltonswatcher1 Tue 18-Mar-14 19:43:57

I haven't read the whole thread as I have just one message- take her out now and don't go back .
Escalate this to the goveners and LEA .
There will be others suffering like her .

NurseyWursey Tue 18-Mar-14 19:11:24

This has made me so sad sad

This is EXACTLY the sort of thing I went through primary school, and it was horrific. I was clever, an ugly ducking. I'd get spat on, kicked punched, whipped with sticks, my clothes and books torn, they'd make fun of my dad being dead... My mum used to cry sending me to school. Nothing ever got done, in particular because one of the bullies had ADHD and the school had no idea how to engage and teach him so left him to his own devices.

The thing is it changes you. Like your DD has had to get her 'super power' I had to change too. Shouting wouldn't stop them though it would egg them on. It was only when we went to the same high school and it continued that I snapped and I'm not proud of what I had to do but it's the only way it stopped them sad

It's NOT ON and it's ridiculous that the school aren't taking it seriously.I honestly applaud you for all the coping strategies and techniques you've taught your daughter. It must be tough. Can you take it higher, over the teacher's heads and report their pathetic excuse of a 'punishment'?

Are there any schools in the area she could go to?

innisglas Tue 18-Mar-14 19:03:25

One thing is rough play, which I loved as a child, and another thing entirely is this unbelievable bullying. You're poor daughter.

TSSDNCOP Tue 18-Mar-14 18:56:41

Nope absolutely not normal. In our school ANY behaviour such as you mention would put the child on "red": that involves a trip to the Heads study, whatever punishment she deems appropriate, loss of at least me playtime and the issue raised with parents.

Surely the school has to have a bullying policy? If they have why haven't they implemented it?

As to the biscuit thing. Well I'm dumbfounded. I've never known a school private or state to have anything except fruit for break snack.

BumpyGrindy Tue 18-Mar-14 17:55:00

MaryLou what on earth are you talking about?? Girls OR boys are equally wrong to bully.

OP...this is not at all normal...the school sounds dreadful!

PassTheSherry Tue 18-Mar-14 17:43:24

I have a dd in Yr2 in a mixed school and no, this situation is very, very far from normal. Being kicked, punched, held down and having her things taken from her is terrible, and the school has major problems if it is normalising that sort of behaviour, by not treating it as the very serious issue it is. Awful.

My dd's school has a very varied demographic, and the pupil population comes from very diverse socio-economic backgrounds - yet discipline and pupil conduct has never been an issue in the 3yrs she has been there. You go into the playground, and the children are happy, friendly towards one another, they call each other and wave if they see each other in the street, the parents smile and nod to each other too.

Thing is - it's not just about how the school reacts to incidents of bullying, but how it fosters a general atmosphere of co-operation and kindness, for all pupils, so that incidents of violence would actually stand out like a sore thumb. Seeing posts like this makes me realise how lucky we are!

Marylou62 Tue 18-Mar-14 16:30:33

I had two very physical boys but at no time would they have bullied a girl...and if its girls doing it, it's worse I think!! (I was bullied dreadfully all my childhood). We had a different problem with our DS and it got so bad that one day I just pulled him out of that school....no other school lined up...he'd had enough and so had we. Just rang the school and said he was not coming back. Luckily new school was amazing and I still get tearful when I think of the whole situation. He was a different child. If at all possible, get her out NOW. I really feel for you all and Good Luck.

MimsyBorogoves Tue 18-Mar-14 16:23:23

(She really enjoys shouting at her bullies now. I've told her that shouting, which she is good at, is her super-power, and she should use it for good. Now when anyone hurts her, she shouts so loudly at them now that they run away crying and she comes home exhilarated. I can't wait until she's in a school where she won't have to use her super-power so often, though.)

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