Wouldnt you expect to be contacted if your child is injured at school by a bully?

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Casual scribe

Wouldnt you expect to be contacted if your child is injured at school by a bully?

Hi everyone,
I realise this board seems to deal with mainly teenager issues, and my issue is with a primary school, but Im hoping to get some replys from other parents , and how they would react to this situation.
Im unsure where to turn and am struggling through bad anxiety to try and deal with my childs school.
My 6 year old (grade 1) has been bullied by a grade 5 boy, she was punched in the arm with enough force to knock her sideways, smacking her head into a pole at school. She attended the school sickbay for around an hour whilst my older daughter informed the school of the drama that had unfolded earlier on the bus when the bully seemed to start a meltdown of sorts.
My issue is..the school never informed me, or even my daughters grade one teacher...that the incident occured at all.
All day she was sitting in class with the teacher having no idea to be on the look out for dizzyness headaches etc.
My husband went to the office in person to discuss it, and was told to put his concerns in writing. Which he did and sent to the email address provided to him.
Three weeks later and we still have no response.
How can a school possibly expect "parents and teachers" to work together regarding bullying, if they do not even advise the parent or teacher when a incident has occured?
I have contacted the dept of education now and managed to talk to the grade 1 teacher, who seemed equally concerned she herself was never "informed of a student in her class with a prior head injury".
What do other parents think about this?
Im fuming..but dont know how much is from my anxiety, surely there are others that find this unacceptable?

Community Manager

Re: Wouldnt you expect to be contacted if your child is injured at school by a bully?

Hey @AnxiousMum, this sounds very worrying and sounds like you are doing all the right things. Every school has anti-bullying policies, procedures and strategies that should specificy what action they should take, they might publish them on the school's website. Getting yourself a copy of these could help you hold them accountable.

Did you contact the principle directly? They are responsible for your daughter's safety and taking the proper actions following an incident...

Sounds like a very stressful situation, are you looking after yourself in all of this? Is someone supporting you as you support your daughter?

Really glad you found us.
Community Manager

Re: Wouldnt you expect to be contacted if your child is injured at school by a bully?

Hello @AnxiousMum and welcome to ReachOut Parents. As you mentioned this is a forum for parents of teens but bullying is something that can impact kids at any point during their schooling years, so I'm sure we'll have some parents here with experience they can share. 

 

Understandably you're fuming about this situation and I hope you're daughter is doing OK. We do have a fact sheet on our main site about bullying, it is directed towards teens, but there might be some helpful info in there that is relevant for your daughter. We've also had some discussions about bullying on the forums here and here

 

 

Casual scribe

Re: Wouldnt you expect to be contacted if your child is injured at school by a bully?

Thanks so much for the replies. I have read through so many bully policies..from local schools to dept edu etc, but no where does it ever mention the requirment of the school to notify parents..let alone an obligation to report injury. I have spoken to other schools and posed the simple question "Do you advise parents if their child is injured, especially in the case of a bullying incident?". The responses were, "of course" and "thats a no brainer". What IS consistantly mentioned, is parents and schools working together, and the need for the parents to notify the school.

It seems in this case the policy was actioned for the bully, an interview with his parent and behavior managment etc, a threat of suspension, (info from my daughter thro school.friends etc) just no contact or thought to the victim or notifying the family or any followup whatsoever on that side.
I was shocked enough originally in the first week when I recieved no contact, and so started looking onto other schools. I have her enrolled in another now, so options were open to leave if they didnt respond appropriately. I was hoping and expected, the school would get around to doing the right thing, maybe after diciplineing the bully or the several talks I heard they managed with "his" parent.
After finding out yesterday that her own teacher was unaware..Im really wanting to take this as far as I can now. I guess I just needed reassurance that others find this appalling too.
Community Manager

Re: Wouldnt you expect to be contacted if your child is injured at school by a bully?

Sorry to hear this has been so terribly mismanaged. I can really understand your anger at the situation. Good on you for taking the right steps quickly and looking at your options. 

Prolific scribe

Re: Wouldnt you expect to be contacted if your child is injured at school by a bully?

I absolutely get how frustrated you would be. I would be livid if I found out my six year old had a head injury and I wasnt given the option of taking her to get checked out ASAP. Very negligent of the school. I would be looking at other schools too if I were you. Good to hear you are keeping your options open. It should be a duty of care for a school body to inform parents of headd injuries.Are there kther schools close by that you could transfer to?

 

 

 

Contributor

Re: Wouldnt you expect to be contacted if your child is injured at school by a bully?

Yes it is unacceptable that the school did not contact you. I would put it in writing. then they have to respond. I hope you don;t have to take your daughter to a new school.  Does she want to leave or does she prefer to try and move on from the incident? On the positive side, they managed the bully well by the sounds of it.

 

Send them a letter and simply ask for an explanation on why you were not contacted.

 

Looking forward to hearing how you go.

Super contributor

Re: Wouldnt you expect to be contacted if your child is injured at school by a bully?

Hi @AnxiousMum

 

How did it go with your daughter? Did you get an appropriate reesponse from the school?

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Wouldnt you expect to be contacted if your child is injured at school by a bully?

Hi @AnxiousMum, that's a really tough situation your are going through with the school. I can understand why you would be so frustrated as it sounds like you feel nobody is taking this bullying seriously. I would feel the same, it seems astonishing that you were not contacted.

 

I think you've done the right thing in putting it in writing. That gives you a record of contact with the school. Seeing it's been three weeks with no word, I would suggest maybe calling the school and following up.

 

I hope your daughter is ok and the bullying hasn't continued for her.  

Prolific scribe

Re: Wouldnt you expect to be contacted if your child is injured at school by a bully?

Hello

How are you going with this issue? I'm sorry I missed it, but hope that you are doing okay. I'd be furious too - in fact I am on your behalf! Did you watch the ABC bullying series yet? It's unacceptable that some schools do not take this more seriously.

My youngest is in primary school (grade 6). Though bullying hasn't been an issue for us, there have been many times in the past, when I have had unheard complaints. It's simply not okay. 

As a result of one major issue (my son's kinder teacher was physically abrupt with him in front of me, inapproriate handling of his separation issue at the time) I decided to move house in order to access a better school. Not ideal, but sometimes easier than butting up against a wall alone!

I chose this option after recognising that I didn't have a community or department behind me, but had I either of these, it would have been a very different story. 

Are there parents in your community that you can share this with? Any one teacher or staff member in the school that might have some empathy?

I would also encourage you to get in touch with your local state schools authority and see if you can get any support.

Do let us know how you are going!

 

 

 

eyintas/Empowering Youth in Tasmania