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Bullying at school

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Casual scribe
OldSkool

Re: Bullying at school

We went through this (does everyone!) when my kid was in Year 10. We had to move her to another school because it wasn't getting better.

What I discovered was that no matter how informed the school is they can only do so much. And the girls doing it just got clever. How do you punish kids for things like having a party and not inviting someone (my kid) and then talking about it over and over in front of her. It was so hard not to go down there and yell at them.

 

It worked for us. She went to a new school and made some good friends and was able to focus on her studies. She ended up getting a great mark and we all felt good about the decision to move her. I know it doesn't go like that for everyone but maybe having an end point in mind might be helpful. Like a timeframe where you go - if it's not better by ? then we'll make this ? change.

Mod
Maggiemay

Re: Bullying at school

An update on my daughter.  So things really declined both at school and home.  The bullying escalated especially over social media.  This was a really difficult time for both my daughter and our family.  Her attendance at school significantly declined and so did her health both physically and mentally.  The only thing that didn't decline was our determination to keep e lines of communication open and continue to support her.  We had lots of long conversations and about the use of social media, the pros and cons of it. We continued to contact her school who unfortunately we not very supportive.  

 

So so at the end of last year my daughter decided that she was going to leave school.  We attended some open days at the local TAFE and she is now enrolled to do her Certificate II in Early Child Care.  She is fantastic with young children and has decided that she wants to be able to work with kids with disabilities.  She is really looking forward to this new start and will hopefully meet some nice people and start to form some healthy friendships.

 

As for the social media that side is also starting to get better.  We are still monitoring her use of it and who she is adding as friends.  We talk a lot about "feeding the beast, starving the beast". When you reply to bullying you feed the beast.  When you don't reply the beast is starved and has no fuel to keep them going.  

 

Her physical health has improved however the impact on her mental health is still a work in progress.  The scars the bullying has left on her self worth will take time to heal and unfortunately she is not open to the idea of seeking professional help at the moment.  

 

As a family we will continue our unwavering support and encouragement of her.  

 

Frequent scribe
seaglecc

Re: Bullying at school

Hi Maggiemay, we too have experienced severe bullying in our family in which the school (catholic) turned a blind eye. My son 15, has ADHD/ODD and is on the spectrum. He has always endured bullying and we've had no option but to change schools. In November we changed again. He refused to go to school, he was being physically abused, teased, set up and his belongings were being stolen and broken or thrown into the rubbish. My older daughter started at the school in April and wished she had never left her previous school. She watched her brother get abused daily and was forced to step in. The last straw was on my younger sons orientation day for high school when from a distance he saw his older brother who was sitting minding his own business eating his lunch get hit in the back of the head and his lunch fall out of his mouth. He said there was nothing he could do to help him, on the same day, one of the bullies attempted to bully my younger son, not realising he was more resilient and verbally fought back. When I brought it to the attention of the school principal, he was more worried about putting my son on a detention for something silly than deal with the bullying. In the 8 months my daughter was a student at the college, she was asked for oral sex, abused with gestures and insulted repeatedly. Again these were ignored. I repeated them words the students were saying to my children and the principal asked me to stop or leave, so we left.

This was not our first experience, we've dealt with cyber bullying, where photos of my son were taken during class with iPads, edited and put on social media.

This is a sensitive subject in my family, I wish there was an answer and a solution, but there's not. My son is in therapy, and with our help and constant reassurance I can only hope he will build resilience.

I hope you and your family get through this. It's not easy. Can I ask, have you and your daughter daughter counselling? What is your relationship like with her?

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Mod
Maggiemay

Re: Bullying at school

Hi @seaglecc thank you for sharing your story.  It is so sad to hear that with all the education and information available about the negative impact bullying has it is still happening at a school level.  

 

I hope your son is benefiting from the help he is receiving.  Can I ask what impact the bullying had on your other children witnessing their brother being in this situation?  It would be hard for them.  I know my older son gets extremely frustrated about how little the staff at my daughter's school did to support her and he doesn't attend that school.

 

My daughter has received some counselling which does help however once the sessions are over she tends to regress.  

 

Our relationship is pretty good.  Like all families we have our disagreements and where she will withdraw.  All I do then is to let her know that I am there when she wants to talk.  I have learned that when she does start to open up I am best to sit and listen, ask for clarification of what she is saying when needed and not try to problem solve for her.  

 

Super contributor
Ngaio-RO

Re: Bullying at school

Thank you so much @Maggiemay and @seaglecc for sharing your stories. They are so heart breaking.

I think you both did, and do , incredibly well, to stay present and available for your kids and their needs and not spin off the edge of the universe in a state of rage at the schools and especially the other kids.

 

Can I ask, did it help to try and find some compassion for the other kids or was that not even nearly on the agenda?

 

*We have topics on bullying behaviour scheduled over the next 6 weeks. Starting Friday the 20th January. I'd love to see you there to share your insights. More info to come!

Scribe
freddo22

Re: Bullying at school - unite4right

Lots of great posts and ideas here, good luck with trying to tackle this disturbing issue. I'm just wondering if anyone feels that an anonymous forum whereby parents could reach out to other parents whose children have faced the same bully/ies could be of help. Perhaps some children or parents are afraid to 'put their neck on the line' so to speak... If so it may be worth having a look some online options.

 

 

Best,

Fredo

Super contributor
Ngaio-RO

Re: Bullying at school - unite4right

Message contains a hyperlink

Hey @freddo22 thank you so much for your reply. I had to edit it a tiny bit to keep it within the guidelines.

They are here if you want a read but please just ask if you have any questions about why I did it or what the guidelines mean.

 

I think your idea is a great one. I noted this comment:

I'm just wondering if anyone feels that an anonymous forum whereby parents could reach out to other parents whose children have faced the same bully/ies could be of help.

Please feel free to use ReachOut for this purpose. We are a growing community (with plans to help that growth in the immediate future - stay tuned!) so the more support we can offer parents right here, the easier it is for them. 

Regarding a campaign, if you start a topic on the idea, which you can do here, and get some momentum behind it, I am very happy to look into how we could make the campaign happen while maintaining our anonymity etc.

 

How does that sound?

 

Frequent scribe
hashtagmum

Re: Bullying at school - unite4right

These stories break my heart! @Maggiemay, I hope your daughter is going really well in her TAFE course.  There is such a demand for early childcare educators that she should have no trouble getting work and can always go back and apply to uni as a mature age student later down the track. 

Frequent scribe
hashtagmum

Re: Bullying at school - unite4right

And @seaglecc, really sorry to hear about your experiences too.  I actually belong to a really good online support group for parents of children with ADHD (many have more complex profiles as well).  I am new to this board so not sure if I can PM the details for you.  If not, maybe one of the admin could advise on a way of passing on this information? 

Super contributor
Ngaio-RO

Re: Bullying at school - unite4right

Hey @hashtagmum  Thank you so much for asking!

It's a great opportunity to let the new members know the processes around this stuff.

 

So the only way to contact other members is like this, in a post. 

For safety reasons we can't encourage meeting up in real life so that means we don't share details of groups we belong to either. Some online support groups are ok, but the best and easiest thing is just to flick an email through to forums@reachout.com and ask.

 

Hope that's ok. It's one of those unfortunate things that only makes sense when you look at it from the perspective of safety and security. Thanks!!

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