Bullying, Assault and the Police


Last Friday was the day after my birthday. We were having a family gathering at our house in the evening.

The plan was for me to leave work at 4pm, pick up my son (J) from his school and then head back home as soon as possible to help out with the food.

Shortly before 4, I got a phone call from J’s mum. J had been attacked outside his school by a kid who had a history of bullying, I bolted out the door and made my way to meet him.

BullyingWhen I got there, he seemed pretty shook up. J is 13, but he’s the smallest kid in his year. He’s strong willed but you could knock him over with a feather. As far as bullies go, he’s an easy target.

He tells me what happened. J left school and was on his own. This kid comes up to him and pushes him over and pulls things out of his bag and tosses them into the road. He pushes J into the road, then kicks him in his arm and stomps on his ribs. J’s in tears as he tells me this. I wanted to tear this bully apart. I’ve calmed down now, but at the time, seeing my child so upset? Well, I imagine its how anyone would feel.

J tells me that he was jumped on by the same kid the previous night, but he had a friend there to help him. I didn’t know about this. J lives with his mum so I often don’t find out about things until later on. This bully was meant to be kept back behind class but apparently he just stood up and left, which makes it sound like the school can’t manage him.

Police

I’ve heard of this kid hassling J before, though. Name-calling, mostly. The school know about him but he still hassles kids. I’m thinking enough is enough, and, pretty shaken up myself, I take J to the Police Station.

This decision isn’t made lightly but something keeps going round my head. My son hasn’t just been bullied (which is horrendous enough). He has been assaulted. If an adult was knocked over in the street and kicked / stomped on, would it seem so unreasonable to report it? He’s my son, and I needed to do something to protect him and the school is closed for the weekend.

We’re interviewed by two policemen. They couldn’t be nicer. They encourage J and listen to everything he’s got to say. They let him check out their handcuffs and offer him a tour of the station. Then they take me aside and explain the options.

Bullying

They say there’s three ways this can go. Firstly, criminal proceedings. That would require an official statement from J and then they would take it from there. The second option is that J gets a VPR registered. I believe that stands for a Vulnerable Persons Record. The purpose of this is to have an official record of events which can be tracked and also it’s accessible by the school. The third option, they explain, is for me to make a suggestion on how it can go.

I pick option two. I want to give the school a last chance to manage things, but I also want them to know that I’m serious about this. I’m also concerned that, because J’s friend weighed in to help J on the Thursday night, he may end up in trouble. Don’t want to go there.

J is happier with this option too. He didn’t even want to go to the police. He was under a lot of pressure, worrying about what other kids would think. It sucks to be a school kid. He’s happy now to know that he’s done the right thing, but that he doesn’t have to be involved with more statements or courts.

J’s mum spoke to the school on Monday. They appeared to take it seriously. I’m sure that every school nowadays has a bullying policy but they have to be prepared to honour it.

My son is a confident kid. I hope he doesn’t lose that. I don’t want him to have to change one iota because of the behaviour of some violent kid. Every kid has the right to attend school without being afraid of another child.

7 Comments

  1. 11 June 2016
    Reply

    I can’t believe this happened to your son, I hope he’s ok! You definitely did the right thing taking him to the police. If that was my daughter I don’t know what I would do but I would be so mad.

  2. Rosemary Szuster
    11 June 2016
    Reply

    Bullying should never be tolerated anywhere, but especially not in schools, where children are supposed to learn how to fit into society. I hope the school excludes this boy until he learns how to behave towards others. His parents should be ashamed of themselves, allowing this behaviour or are they the type of people who believe their child can do no wrong? There seems to be too many parents like this these days.

  3. 11 June 2016
    Reply

    Let’s hope the school does its role and helps protect your boy from the bully. Let’s hope they also deal with the problem and turn the bully around, he’s a child too and I would be livid if it happened to mine but I would also want the bully “helped”.

    • 11 June 2016
      Reply

      You’re absolutely right. I’d like to think that there’s the possibility of this kid developing and having his issues addressed. Let’s hope so.

  4. 12 June 2016
    Reply

    Oh bless him, unfortunately there is always a child who thinks the world owes him something. I had this with my son and at one point he was suicidal, luckily he is now a strapping 28 year old with a fantastic career. I really hope J manages to overcome this horrendous behaviour x

  5. This is so annoying. I hope the school steps in and handle this because it must be frustrating for you and your son. Bullying should be a crime.

  6. 12 June 2016
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing such a personal story. Someone who was also bullied most of my primary school I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end. Good on him and good on you – fight them and let the school fix this for the last time and if not then it’s time to take things further. It is frustrating and unfortunately so common.

    Alina | DIY home blogger UK

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