11-07-2018 10:44 AM
My son is being treated for depression and he revealed to last week that he had strong suicidal thoughts. He told us he's been bullied at school by a few boys in his friendship group and recently the boys have picked on my sons girlfriend. My son very bravely decided to tell the school and as a result one boy has been suspended. The problem is despite the school's best efforts everyone knows it was my son who told on the bullies. My son is off school at the moment because of his depression but is now terrified to go back to school next week. Does anyone have any advice for me or been in a similar position. What can the school do to protect my son, can they protect him? He's in year 10.
11-07-2018 03:55 PM
Hi @Mum100 and Welcome to ReachOut!
I am really sorry to hear what your son is going through- no child should feel unsafe at school and I can that you are really worried for him right now
Your son is so incredibly brave and courageous to let the school know about the bullying. I'm sure that it would have been so hard for him to take that step and it sounds like there has been some action the school is taking.
I'm wondering if you have had this discussion with school about what they can do to keep him safe? It is understandably that your son would be feeling nervous about going back to school, and maybe letting the school know his fears can help them ensure his safety. Can I ask if this bullying has also included physical harm?
Is your son seeing anyone for professional support with depression and thoughts of suicide?
11-07-2018 05:11 PM
The bullying story is a bit long winded but basically a few boys from his group have been calling him a "**bleep** and a **bleep**got" because he is not physically strong and they have been trying to get him angry so that he will lash out at one of them. They have also punched him a couple of times "as a joke". Because this hasn't worked they then decided to get another kid (not in their group) to pick on his girlfriend to try and make him lose it. My son has told the school everything but the only complaint he has made official is what was done to his girlfriend. The result is the boy that picked on his girlfriend has been suspended but nothing has happened to the others because my son didn't officially complain about them - we all decided that a teacher would have a group discussion with them about the whole you have to be tough to be a man rubbish and address it that way. Unfortunately someone has told these boys that my son has infact complained about them. We are happy with the school, don't get me wrong and they keep reassuring us that the will not tolerate anything physical and they will protect my son but they can't be with him all the time, can they? We are in the process of trying to find a psychiatrist for my son (as advised by his doctor) but that is a slow process. We rang a youth mental health organisation today for help but they said because he is only talking about suicide then his current state is not considered "accute". Although the doctor has signed him off for 2 weeks he was planning to go back to school on Monday to get back into a normal routine but now he doesn 't want to go. I am worried sick for him.
11-07-2018 10:23 PM
Hey @Mum100 I would recommend telling your Son about Kids Helpline Web Chat which he can access here whenever he needs, or he can phone them on 1800 55 1800. This organisation has a tonne of info and strategies on chronic bullying. This is really painful and disheartening and no doubt as a parent one can feel very powerless. It will be an intense lesson in resilience for him and I just want to commend you in providing him with a supportive safe space to come home to. I am keen to get other member's view on this, @sunflowermom @Orbit64 @Schooner - have you had any experience managing bullies?