Help, sexual bullying in Y1

(174 Posts)
Lost4anything Sat 19-Jan-13 12:40:32

My DD, age 5, told me that boys from Y2 (age 6) surrounded her and one boy told her "You are my girlfriend, baby", pulled her tights down and put his finger in her bottom "to feel inside".

Boys' parents know about this culture (before this incident) but find it cute and innocent. I spoken with the teacher and her first response was that boys deny everything.

I am having trouble moderating my reaction between taking her out of school to calling social services.

How to get the school to deal with this? In case anyone wonders, this an outstanding oversubscribed school in very leafy rural area.

What to say to DD?

PaleHousewifeOfCumbriaCounty Sat 19-Jan-13 13:58:04

Had something a little similar myself. A boy cornered my wee lass when she was in yr 1 in the playhouse and pulled her pants down. Staff had a go at my lass, saying she didnt want to be 'one of those girls'. She obviously didnt have a clue what that meant and broke her heart when she got home. I went through the teacher, asking how dare she suggest my daughter had invited the unwanted attention.... Lets just say the feminist in me had a field day. Teacher retired that year... My advice is to pursue it through school. Your daughter has a right to a safe place of learning.

learnandsay Sat 19-Jan-13 13:58:16

The OP has to live in the area after she has implied that the parents of a large group of Y2 boys are fiddling with their kids. Doesn't this need some thinking about?

Early over-sexualised behaviour can be a sign of abuse, this needs to be taken seriously, I'd be fecking furious too.

Go to the head with your concerns.

BluelightsAndSirens Sat 19-Jan-13 13:59:15

The police can't do anything?

That is a serious accusation of sexual assault that is not being dealt with by the school, it raise questions in regards to the safety of all children involved.

SS would be the best first point of contact but the school should be dealing with their involvement.

Where was the child when it happened?

Smudging Sat 19-Jan-13 13:59:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Selks Sat 19-Jan-13 14:01:27

Your daughter was sexually assaulted and the school needs to understand that this is a serious safeguarding issue.

It is not ok for a class of mostly boys and a minority of girls to have any kind of a culture where boys feel it is ok to harrass and abuse the girls like this. What kind of message does it give the girls - and the boys - that this behaviour is tolerated? This may stem from playground messing around but it has crossed the line into inappropriate and abusive behaviour. What a horrible environment and atmosphere for the girls. And that you describe it as a culture within that school shows that the school is not acknowledging or addressing the issue adequately at all.

I would be unhappy with the school for not addressing the issues and if they don't do so properly I'd consider moving my child to a different school.

Smudging Sat 19-Jan-13 14:01:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Selks Sat 19-Jan-13 14:03:37

The school will have - or should have - a designated safeguarding lead professional. I'd see if I can find out who that is and speak to them. let them know that if the school doesn't deal with this properly that you will take it further. You could consider making a complaint to the local education authority and to ofsted. That will get them moving.

TidyDancer Sat 19-Jan-13 14:05:12

I agree completely with Smudging.

This is not something you can let go. It just isn't.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Sat 19-Jan-13 14:05:33

The boyfriend/girlfriend thing could be mildly inappropriate if it were a non-coercive jokey thing, but it sounds oppressive and threatening. I would wonder if some of these boys were getting things from inadequately supervised older siblings. The assault, however, takes things to a whole new level. That is extremely disturbing and goes far beyond 'silliness' or even 'bullying' - no 6yo hits on ideas like that by themselves. I would be very worried indeed about the boy in question.

My 7yo is in a class which is about 75% boys and there has never, ever been anything like this.

Head, SS, governors.

learnandsay Sat 19-Jan-13 14:06:24

No it's not sexual assault. Sexual assault is a crime and these children are below the age of criminal responsibility. This is a case of children inappropriately touching a young girl. The reasons why that happened need to be fathomed. (It may be innocent but wrong and school rules should be enforced if that is indeed the case.) It may cause by some defect in the boy. That may have to be investigated.

But there are clearly at least two aspects to this which need to be treated differently (a) the actions of the boy (b) the action/inaction of the school.

chimchar Sat 19-Jan-13 14:07:04

It is ringing alarm bells with me too. I work in a specialist school with an usually high (I would hope) number of child protection issues.

School have not dealt with this in an appropriate way. I would ask to meet with the head on Monday and tell that you are very concerned about 1. The incident and 2. The way that school have dealt with it.

I hope you and your little girl are ok.

hpsaucy Sat 19-Jan-13 14:08:53

pulled her tights down and put his finger in her bottom "to feel inside".

That's is sexual assault in my eyes!!!

elfycat Sat 19-Jan-13 14:12:38

The word assault doesn't belong to the legal system, so you can be assaulted (me by DD2 pulling my hair if you like) without the need to call the police,

So the term sexual assault is valid here.

And as for safeguarding, well that's a legal obligation and it's failed.. is that criminal enough for this situation?

learnandsay Sat 19-Jan-13 14:13:29

It's a similar looking behaviour as sexual assault but it's not the same classification because of the perpetrator's age.

twentyten Sat 19-Jan-13 14:14:53

This is serious.Write it down in an Email.Go and see Head.Ask for written reply.Take it further with governors if neccesary.
Good luck.

learnandsay Sat 19-Jan-13 14:17:53

Now might be a good time for the head to look at behaviour across the school. Who knows what else is lurking?

Write to the school informing them that their inaction has caused you to doubt their ability to deal with it and inform them that you have contacted SS.

contact SS immediately. There is a chance this boy is being abused. There is a chance that it is innocent curiosity.

Either way, the school is not treating it as a concern so go to someone who will.

teacherwith2kids Sat 19-Jan-13 14:28:23

As a parent, the most direct way to deal with this is to report it to Social Services, as it rules out the 'lost amongst the middle men' issue that may happen if you choose to address it only via school. Also, within SS you would hope that EVERYONE has the appropriate level of Safeguarding training and thus will know exactly how to respond to such a report.

In parallel, you need to put it in writing, and ask to speak to the 'Designated Person' for safeguarding in school (may be the head, may not be - I believe that mrz is the one for her school, for example. If it is the head and they say they are too busy, ask for the deputy Designated Person, as there must be one). Meet with them, and go through what you have written down, and why it rings alarm bells for you. Say something like 'I feel that this needs to be dealt with not only as a disciplinary issue within school, but also as a safeguarding issue wrt the perpetrator [and maybe the surrounding 'gang'], and therefore I have also reported it to SS'.

It may be precisely the 'green leafiness' that has made the school complacent on this issue. Having worked in both types of school, the 'green leafy' type CAN be a little 'well, we only have nice children and families, so we don't need to think about Safeguarding here' - a presumption of innocence that may well be misplaced. In schools with more 'obviously challenging' intakes, there is perhaps more 'vigilance' about such issues, and a culture [as there should be] of 'report and record everything - it may be that it is nothing, but it is better to over-react than under-react'.

The OP has to live in the area after she has implied that the parents of a large group of Y2 boys are fiddling with their kids. Doesn't this need some thinking about?

Yes, just let your DD be sexually assaulted in school for fear of upsetting the neighbours. Jesus.

OP, calling SS is not an overreaction in this case. Im so horrified for your poor DD. If it was me Im not sure I could have sent her back to that school, but I realise how she could translate that as being punished.

Lost4anything Sat 19-Jan-13 14:37:53

Thank you all for your words of support. I am obviously furious and am going to see this through. After initial reaction however I had a thought TBH that the parents would turn it around and say DD asked for it.

BonzoDooDah Sat 19-Jan-13 14:39:35

I (parent of a 5 yo in y1) am quite shocked that a 6 year old thinks this is appropriate "Boyfriend" behaviour. Where on earth have they learned this? (worrying) I'm with you on getting this in writing to the school and also speaking to social services, if only for advice.
I am really quite shocked as you obviously are!
I would demand that these boys are kept away from my daughter or the police will be informed. They have a duty to protect your child, especially as this is a second assault.

mrz Sat 19-Jan-13 14:44:19

For those who believe this is a behavioural problem news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6410909.stm It must be reported to Social Services and if the school hasn't already done so I suggest the OP does so immediately

mrz Sat 19-Jan-13 14:52:14

Lost4anything you say you are furious yet you seem more worried about what others think than the fact that your child has been the victim of a serious sexual assault! Do you believe your daughter? If so you must take action.

LadyCurd Sat 19-Jan-13 14:52:21

Friend of mine works in this area and told me about the brook sexual behaviours traffic light tool www.brook.org.uk/index.php?option=com_brookprint&view=printready&task=display&id=3&format=brookprint case you have described would be amber or red. School needs to intervene. DM me for more info/support from my pal. He isn't a mumsnetter!

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