Schooldays.ie - Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education in Ireland

Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom

re : Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom           reply
21/10/2013 13:09 - Bullying
-----------------------------------
As I perceive it there are three problems here:
1) Your daughter been bullied. There are multiple strategies to deal with this on the net, but your psychologist probably has taken you through them, as I perceive it, the core idea is for your daughter to determine whether she is going to allow herself to be bullied or not. That is,the world is determined as to how you perceive it. This means her standing up to the bully or bullies and saying no. Not an easy road to go and I am not a psychologist so best to go back to her/him check this out.
2) The school is not acting responsibly, the Principal and teachers. There is a duty of care towards all children (including the bully and/or bullies) within the school and it’s the responsibility of the school to look after the needs of all the children. From the information you have supplied both the Principal and teachers have fallen down in this. You should find out the correct procedure to make a compliant regarding the school, however, if you want to ring me I can provide you with various contacts within the various organisations.
3) This issue shouldn’t really end up going to the BoM but as it has, BoM members often have no training in the areas they are working in, in this case Child Protection. Most of them are non-elected and the Parental Representatives are not there to Represent Parents, an oxymoron. Its only when a Parent has an issue does one realize how dreadful the present school management is. In particular, you, as Parent are not entitled to a say in the education and welfare of you child. The chairperson for the Ombudsman, Ms. Emily Logan has highlighted problems in this area of many years.
Finally, the Minister of Education has correctly pointed out that he doesn’t have responsibility for what happen in a particular school. The Minister and the Department determine Policy but it’s up to the Patron, Board of Management, Principal and Teacher whether this Policy is implemented and there is the crux of your problem. I would suggest having a look at the 1998 Education Act. If the School Patron happens to be the local Bishop, I sincerely wish you good luck, because I have highlighted a number of issues at a local National School without success.



re : Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom           reply
15/07/2014 21:28 - Bullying
-----------------------------------
Hi folks, it´s been a while since I posted, well the good news is that the Ombudsman for children has been in contact with the school about their handling of my complaint. This came about when I made contact with the chairperson and insisted that the letter of complaint and our solicitor´s letter be put on the table and discussed openly with the bom I then received a letter from the school´s solicitor which I sent with all correspondence to Minister Quinns office. They sent information on who and how to make formal complaint of the teacher in question and also a complaint to Ombudsman for children with regards to the school´s handling of the situation. While making the complaint of the teacher it came to my attention that the person of whom the complaint is to be addressed regarding teacher is also on the bom, not surprisingly the complaint was rejected, protecting her friend, I then made contact with Ombudsman for children and within three weeks they had made contact with the school resulting in a new board of management being set up.This is set to start end July. They also encouraged the school to reopen dialogue with myself and daughter but it was suggested by the school I take further problems to them rather than speak to principal ( teacher involved in my daughter´s problems with the school) Don´t know how that can work if child is assaulted once more, again it would seem the teacher is the one being given protection. While things are not perfect they are a whole lot better than they were some months ago.
The important lesson learned for the school is they are answerable to a higher power, this realisation will hopefully give a little protection to mine and all children in the care of these people. Sad that this action was needed against a group of parasites we are expected to look up to. It was most certainly a case of small town politics in my village.
I would like to extend much gratitude for the support given through your site, and for the pm´s, each and every one of them were so helpful and encouraging. To those of you unfortunate enough to have to fight the battle I had to for basic protection for my child, I urge you to keep pushing for fairness and one day soon changes may be made for a better honest school experience for our children.



re... : Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom           reply
21/10/2013 19:21 - Bullying
-----------------------------------
I would agree with all said in schoolday.ie post, however, I find the process is frustrating if not infuriating, as far as I can determine, I have followed all the process as suggested.
The NPC - National Parents Council have no say in schools as such they are on a number of Boards but are there in a consultative role. Hence can only advise, see my comment about Parents on BoM.
The OCO - Ombudsman for Children will only deal with a case provided you have two letters in reply to a complaint made to the school Board of Management. Its improbably that the Board will provide you with the second letter, or at least this is what they have done in the case of the local National School.
I did contact the TCD (ABC) via email regarding the issue of bullying without success, I don´t particularly know why. I assume that they don´t get involved with individual case but study the problems that bullying create.
I believe bullying is endemic to society (2007 - 7.9 % claimed they were bullied in the work place - Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation) and its about power and control and due to this it can be very difficult to get any action taken on it.
However, this is your daughter and if it were mine, I wouldn´t rest until action was taken. Good luck.



re... : Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom           reply
21/10/2013 17:21 - Bullying
-----------------------------------
Thank you Ted, you are perfectly right on the bullying and how our daughter needs to deal with it. The first words her psychologist said to her was ´ there has always been a***oles in the world and always will be and I´m going to give you the tools to deal with them and he has indeed given our child back to us. The change in her is amazing, but the issue is how the school dealt with it or rather didn´t in our case. What really infuriates me are the blatant lies told by both principal and later the Bom concerning a very troubled child. We are in the process of once again making contact with the minister for ed for all the good it will do. I will point out the differences of their responses in the hope he can see just how these boards are actually used against our children. It´s frightening to come to the realisation that someone with no compassion can be made a charge of 600 plus children . Thank you



re... : Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom           reply
21/10/2013 20:38 - Bullying
-----------------------------------
Hi Schooldays.ie, the bullying has stopped at moment only because the student hasn´t struck out at our daughter yet this year. It was never sorted by the school as such. When the chairperson can angrily ask a parent what exactly they are looking for ´ your daughter was given exceptional care at a high cost to the school, yet seemed unaware that she had self harmed serious enough to need A&E treatment after a particularly bad day concerning this same bully and was receiving long term medical care and was mentally unable to function is infuriating to say the least. She had taken this view from the report the secretary / teacher whom the complaint effects, and the injured party had no representation what so ever. Turns out the board members are mostly made up of local business folk, all know each other very well, what hope have we got. Would be good to have an independent body to deal with on going board issues as this board is no stranger to this behaviour, sad thing is parents usually take their child and find another school. On the recommendation of our daughters psychologist it is important not to remove her from the school. Hopefully it will be sorted this time round. Thank you for the information. WM



re : Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom           reply
21/10/2013 18:16 - Bullying
-----------------------------------
Hi there worried mother
I’m not totally clear from reading your post as to whether the ‘bullying issue’ has been resolved and your concern at this stage was about how it was handled in the school or whether you have an on-going concern about the safety of your child in the school. Depending on your concerns at this stage there are a number of steps you could consider:

If you are concerned that the bullying remains an on-going issue, it is important to document your on-going concerns and write to the BOM asking for details of the procedures that are going to be put in place to address the concerns and ensure you are supplied with a copy of the Schools’ Anti-Bullying Policy and procedures. You can view a copy of the new Anti Bullying Procdures issues by the Minister to all schools in September 2013 here. http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/Anti-Bullying-Procedures-for-Primary-and-Post-Primary-Schools.pdf

If you feel that there is a child protection issue, i.e. if you feel your child has been phycially or psychologically damaged or is at risk, and you are not happy that the issue is being addressed you can bring such a complaint directly to the HSE. There are also a number of support organisations with whom you could discuss the matter including the National Parents Council (NPC) and the Anti Bullying Centre at DCU.

If however your concern is the manner in which the School handled the complaint, you do have the option to appealing to the Ombudsman for Children. The Ombudsman does not have the power to look at the individual incidents of bullying but can, if it deems appropriate, examine the administrative actions of a school recognised with the Department of Education and Skills, provided the parent has firstly and fully followed the school’s complaints procedures. The key criterion for any intervention by the Ombudsman for Children is that the action of the school has had a negative affect on a child. The office can be contacted at: Ombudsman for Children’s Office, Millennium House, 52-56 Great Strand Street, Dublin 1; tel: 1800 20 20 40 or (01) 865 6800. Visit the OCO website for more information

I hope these avenues may be of some help to you. I´ve included some links below which I referenced above.
http://www.npc.ie/
http://www4.dcu.ie/abc/index.shtml
http://www.oco.ie/




re... : Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom           reply
22/10/2013 12:39 - Bullying
-----------------------------------
Sorry for this subsequent posting, but I was thinking about this issue.
It seems to me that what happened here was that your daughter and yourself became the problem not the bullying. (It’s very likely this is/was happening to other children but they are/were afraid to speak out, hence well done to your daughter as she knows what is right from what is wrong.)
This is often what happens within organisations who focus on the person not the problem, therefore in no way unique to schools, bom etc…
This is an assumption, therefore could be incorrect, but I believe it explained the behaviour of Principal & BoM.



re... : Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom           reply
07/10/2014 15:20 - Bullying
-----------------------------------
Hi. I´ve just read your post. My 12yr old was bullied in school this past school year, by his classmates, and also others from the class above. The teacher (also the principal) was contributing to the bullying herself, and also allowing the boys in the classroom to alienate my son in the class. They did not speak to my son in the class and the teacher never made us aware of this fact. Because she was bullying my son also. She has been rude, abrupt and so many other things, I´d be here all day. Our issue was put to the BOM, but rejected, the BOM is very incestuous. They seem to be buddies. The OCO is now involved, and we are waiting. What bothers me most, is they have tarnished my child, a child who is good, clever, caring, and the bullies are laughing. I hope the OCO can do something positive.



Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom           reply
18/10/2013 10:58 - Bullying
-----------------------------------
Hi folks, I´m new to your site and would really like to hear your views on our daughters experience with her school. She has been physically assaulted several times while attending school. It was brought to principals attention, first time was handled swiftly. However the second more serious assault was any thing but handled well. It had taken eight days before the bully was suspended for a day, where as my daughters friend who was also assaulted in the same incident was suspended the following day for hitting back in self defence This has an enormous effect on our child to the point where she has started self harming. Resulting in a dash to A&E after a particular bad day where this same bully had been verbally abusing our daughter. She has since been receiving care with a brilliant psychologist but we were extremely nervous sending her back to school. So I spoke to a member of the Gardai who advised we sit with the principal of her school and ask how he intended to protect our daughter through this year, we did this and this is where all common sense is lost. Our daughter was put into same class as the offending student, while we had no problem with this overall, it soon emerged that he had failed to inform the teacher of the history between the girls, which led to the teacher unknowingly putting our daughter in further danger. We then felt we had to bring our case to the Board of management. Turns out the same teacher is secretary of the board, resulting in an arrogant response and later at board level another response of the same saying ´ the board has asked him to continue with his exceptional care´ The minister for educations response is it has to be handled at local level. We brought our case to our solicitor who wrote to the school, and 17 weeks later and only after I personally rang the chairperson we got a reply from them. They take full responsibility for the way the issue was handled saying it was they made the decision and and not the principal. We have written responses from that teacher saying otherwise. Sorry for length of post, would really like to know your thoughts on this. Thank you from a truly frustrated parent. Ps she is attending community school, where all roads lead back to the same Bom



re : Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom           reply
16/07/2014 09:50 - Bullying
-----------------------------------
I think you did everything you could and I really do applaud you for that but in my opinion your child doesn´t need a psychologist.Ya your child got bullied and that´s something horrible for any mother or child to go through.It is something that I wouldn´t wish on my worst enemy let alone a child.The psychologist is right.This world is full of a**holes and it will always be but self harm isn´t the way to deal with it.It´s hard to look at this situation from a different point of view as a parent when your watching your child go through a terrible thing like this but the bigger problem here is that your child was self harming and was brought to A and E.As terrible as the bullying was self harm is not an excuse and I think your child needs to know that.What will happen in five years time or ten years time if something happened like this again?I know this post was a year ago,but to any parent out there who has a child that is being bullied,sit down and tell them the truth.The real truth :This world is full of a**holes but that´s life.Just because someone says something to you that´s mean or hurts your feelings it doesn´t mean you can allow your whole world to crumble to the ground.You have to move on,as hard as it might be.If you ignore a bully I promise you they will go away because if you don´t respond after a while,it will be boring for them.Yes there is always bullies in this world and I´m not saying bullying is an excuse but it´s all apart of growing up and sometimes these horrible situations make you grow up and help you later in life.These words might seem harsh to tell your child,as a parent,but take it from someone who has witnessed and has been a victim of bullying nearly all their life.I wish someone had told me this earlier in life because the whole time was wasted making a mountain out of a molehill when I could have been working hard and studying.As hard as it is to watch your child being bullied,tell them to forget about the bullying and to study and work hard.If you don´t I promise you you´ll regret it because your child only has one chance at the Leaving Cert.Work towards that and worry about the a**holes later in life.You have the rest of your life to worry about them,as you know as an adult but unfortunately children don´t realise this,that´s why you should tell them!Best of luck to all parents!



re... : Could you advise please on bullying issue badly handled by principle and Bom           reply
22/10/2013 18:04 - Bullying
-----------------------------------
Hi Ted, yes other parents have backed off when they received the type of responses we did. One parent was whose child had been suspended for wrong doing on a day she had been ill and hadn´t been to school, even produced a doctor´s letter, voiced her objection and was told by the principal to ´bring it on, I´m on the board´ other parents have taken their children to another school. We didn´t have the luxury of running with our child as she needed to face her fears. Thankfully she is improving day by day, no thanks to the system. Hse were just as unhelpful, refusing to have our daughter seen by a psychologist as requested by two professionals, their reply when questioned about it was ´we don´t do it that way here adding that the school handled it well in the end, and that was before she was placed in class with bully and the teacher not informed. When Ruari Quinn´s office sent it back to hse, they replied back saying the case is closed. So we find ourselves going around in circles. If I met a stranger who told me of this experience I seriously would have doubts that something so ridiculous could happen in a school environment, crazy crazy system.




discussion forum terms & conditions