DS just started in year 7 and is already the subject of homophobic abuse.

(30 Posts)
Spidermama Mon 23-Sep-13 21:31:59

On the taster day last term he was called 'gay' and teased and it meant he was a bit quiet and reticent all summer holiday.

Now some ignorant tosser is shoulder barging him and calling him gay and poking him in the back etc.

He's 11 and doesn't know whether or not he's gay but we've thought for a while that he probably is/will be.

He has an older brother and and older sister at the school and they tell me they'll have a word with this boy tomorrow.

Any tips or advice would be gratefully received meanwhile.

mumofthemonsters808 Wed 25-Sep-13 22:01:43

My DD started at secondary three weeks ago and we had a settling in meeting last week. Her form tutor asked if she was happy, had made friends, were there any issues etc. Does your school not have a similar thing ?, as this would be the ideal opportunity to discuss this matter.

I'm sorry that your boy is experiencing this because it is the last thing he needs when trying to adapt to a new school.

Chunkamatic Wed 25-Sep-13 21:40:36

Your poor DS. No advice but just wanted to say I so feel for him. My heart breaks to think of the fact our kids have to someday realise the harsh reality that some people are arseholes!

Sounds like he has a good family to cover his back though.

Wigeon Wed 25-Sep-13 21:38:23

You should absolutely speak to his HoY or form teacher, explaining that your DS doesn't know you are speaking to him/her. I would hope that they would be able to handle it very sensitively. Has it occurred to you that almost certainly the children calling your son gay are also calling other children gay?

My DH is a secondary teacher and always always picks up pupils who use "gay" as a derogatory term (eg "that's sooo gay"). If he heard a pupil calling another pupil gay he would be down on that pupil like a ton of bricks. His school are strong on zero tolerance of this kind of thing. They have a system where teachers who teach a particular pupil are alerted to be on the look out for this kind of thing, and it's always made very clear if there are any sensitivities, like not making it obvious to the pupil concerned if you are taking action.

Spidermama Wed 25-Sep-13 21:29:00

Hi Nell. He kind if begged me not to. His brother had 'a chat' with the boy. Also ds says he has now 'put up his defences' which he tells me he's learned to do over time.

FuckyNell Wed 25-Sep-13 15:25:45

Hi spider did you speak to the school?

Spidermama Mon 23-Sep-13 22:42:49

Thanks MrsDevere. Sorry to hear your five year old son gets a bit of this. I
t's pretty pernicious. My DS liked 'girls' stuff at that age too but didn't really get teased for it so young. If anything a couple of parents and one particular pre school teacher were a bit uncomfortable with me letting him wear pinks stuff and play with pushchairs and dolls etc.

I don't understand what bothers people I really don't.

MrsDeVere Mon 23-Sep-13 22:29:22

My DS gets a bit of this.
He is FIVE.

He likes pink and playing with girls and My Little Pony.

So they have started on him already. Not a problem in reception but in Yr1 they are mixing with the older children.
He is not telling me much. I am picking up bits here and there. I am monitoring it but am pretty sure I need to go in.

But its harder with an 11 year old. Its ok for mums to sort it out when they are five.

I hope you can get this stopped spider

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 23-Sep-13 22:28:02

Don't call them "teasers" call them what they are..."Homophobic bullies" and you know...this is not allowed by law and they can get in BIG trouble for it. Speak to the Head asap and don't tell your son. It needs to be stamped out NOW and hard.

poppingin1 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:24:29

I agree that physical conflict will not help but will rather escalate he situation.

Very angry for your son OP. Homophobia is abhorrent and it saddens me to think that a very young man in the UK would bully someone else over their sexuality.

meditrina Mon 23-Sep-13 22:14:52

For heaven's sake, don't get him to fight this physically. Unless of course you're sure he has enough fighting experience to take on an unknown opponent and win. For if he loses, his situation will be much more miserable than just about any other possible outcome.

Is this definitely homophobic? The word 'gay' is in such widespread use amongst teens that it simply doesn't have the same resonances to a year 7 audience (it just means "lame").

This is why you need the school to tackle it. Talk to HOY, form teacher or someone with pastoral responsibility. Point out the problem with both the word and the early signs of bullying. Find out what they intend to do to prevent both repetition and escalation.

StupidFlanders Mon 23-Sep-13 22:14:44

Ring up the school if you don't want to go in. The head of year could talk to the bully as thoughit had been reported by a number of witnesses and let the bully know that behaviour which would be deemed criminal outside of school will not be tolerated.

Spidermama Mon 23-Sep-13 22:11:22

I only found out late into the holidays about the taster day experience. It's an enormous school. He didn't know the name of the teasers on the taster day so I didn't report it.

OK I will have a chat with the HOY tomorrow. I'll have to do it without telling him though as if I tell him he'll try to stop me.

ProphetOfDoom Mon 23-Sep-13 22:10:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iwaswatchingthat Mon 23-Sep-13 22:09:31

This made me so sad. Your poor boy. Speak to HoY so it can be stamped now. Make it clear you don't want them to know you have been involved but just to make it clear to these boys it will not be tolerated.

alpinemeadow Mon 23-Sep-13 22:06:43

you may already have some of these, but there are a number of books like 'bullies, bigmouths and so called friends', which suggest strategies for dcs to follow. But if you speak to the hoy, people won't necessarily know it was you - as previous poster said, anyone could have seen this and reported it? So i wouldn't let that put you off,

What happened after the taster day - how did the school address it then?

Spidermama Mon 23-Sep-13 22:05:31

When I was a young teenager I saw a boy dressed like Boy George being beaten up on a bus. I really didn't think that nearly four decades later this would still be a problem.

Gay people can marry now and are supposed to have full equality in law but I fear the battle for hearts and minds is still a long way from being over and it breaks my heart. I'm so sad, particularly, for those young kids who don't have the support of their parents AND are being bullied at school for being gay. I can't imagine what they go through. sad sad

smugmumofboys Mon 23-Sep-13 22:05:10

DS1 has just started at the school where I work. During one of his taster days in the summer another boy had a pop at him - calling him names etc. I spoke to the HoY and the boy's mum was phoned. DS has had no problems with the boy since.

We have several boys who are effeminate, some more openly gay than others and some girls who are quite boyish and I can honestly say they get very little grief because homophobia isn't tolerated.

poppingin1 Mon 23-Sep-13 21:59:49

There was a boy in my school who was bullied relentlessly for being gay even though he had never said so himself.

It started much in the same way as your son seems to be experiencing and soon the whole school had decided for him that he was gay.

He was quite effeminate but that was it.

Years later I found out from another school friend that after he had left school, he had struggled with his sexuality even though he hadn't been gay at all. He had started to wonder if the fact that everyone bullied him for being gay was because he was, but hadn't realised it himself. It really messed with his head, self esteem and identity.

Whether your son is gay or not, lets hope a word with the bully will stop him in his tracks. If not, find another way to nip it in the bud before it potentially gets worse.

Spidermama Mon 23-Sep-13 21:59:22

What about DS? What should he do? It doesn't look strong or credible to have your mum sort your problems out for you.

alpinemeadow Mon 23-Sep-13 21:58:02

You don't have to go in to the school though (which yes i can see might embarrass him, though you could always be vague about why you're going in, esp as you have two other dc at the school) - you can e mail or call without even mentioning it to ds.
The problem with getting his dsis and bro to handle it is that you can't predict how things will escalate if they speak to this boy - and they may well not be best placed to handle that. Also if it doesn't 'work' then they may end up feeling bad that they haven't managed to sort out the problem - when really that is not their role.
Good luck! Your poor ds, this sounds very upsetting,

Littlefish Mon 23-Sep-13 21:53:07

Please don't advise your ds to punch anyone. That is really poor advice from other posters.

Chottie Mon 23-Sep-13 21:51:20

If you are going to advise your son to give the other boy a punch, I would tell him to check the teacher isn't looking first. Your son doesn't want to be seen as the aggressive one.......

I would also speak to his teacher immediately, this is bullying and all schools should have and follow a bullying and harassment policy.

Littlefish Mon 23-Sep-13 21:51:16

My experience is with primary age children, so please feel to ignore it. This kind of homophobic behaviour needs to be dealt with swiftly and clearly and through official routes, so it is recorded. You said that your ds is already a little reticent about his new school because of this child's behaviour. If your son or daughter get involved, you have no record of the incident and no chance to follow it up officially.

Unexpected Mon 23-Sep-13 21:49:54

I disagree that a couple of good hard punches will sort anything out! I also don't think your ds and dd should get involved. You could email his HoY and ask him to intervene without making your ds aware that you have spoken to him/her. After all, if this horrid lout is physically bullying your ds, someone else could easily notice and have reported it.

smugmumofboys Mon 23-Sep-13 21:47:39

Speak to HoY. That needs nipping in the bud now. It would absolutely not be tolerated at the school I work in.

It's sadly not an uncommon scenario.

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