Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bullying and the Eleven Plus

Parents worry about their child being bullied.

Before you do anything about it you must make a written record of what you know are the facts. Leave the interpretations until you have heard the other side.

“He started it,” are going to be the most likely words of explanation that you will receive from your child.

You would obviously expect the other child, or children, to use exactly the same words. “It wasn’t me. He started it!”

Try to explain to your child that it not usually a good idea to fight back. Urge him or her to try to escape from the circumstances surrounding the bullying and report what is happening to an older child or the nearest adult.

I remember when I was bullied at school by Tys Grevenstein and Ignatius Ferreira that I was told not to be silly and say: “Sticks and stone may hurt my bones but words will never hurt me.” I remember the names of these two boys because they never let up on their verbal bullying. They went on and on about my name and the nicknames they chose for me. I was in a hostel at the time and my parents were thousands of miles away.

While you are making your record of the events try to include as many of the actual words your child has said. This will add weight to your record. If your child is being picked on for name calling – it is obvious that he or she may also have used unpopular words.

Take the written record to the head teacher. Often a few chosen words in assembly can bring the name calling to an end.

Often a head teacher will encourage an older pupil to monitor what is happening in the playground. After all the children chosen to be school prefects and monitors are very likely to be responsible and upright members of the school community.

There will always be a member of staff on duty in the play ground. It will be their job while they are on play ground duty to distinguish between a playground argument, a fight and sheer bullying.

Finally hand your written account to the class room teacher. There will always be two sides to the argument. It may be that your child may have initiated the events leading up to the fight or sustained bullying. The classroom teacher is in the perfect position to watch out for signs of a problem in the classroom.

Children at the Eleven Plus stage sometimes feel very vulnerable. They are expected to do well academically. They are expected to develop, grow and work without answering back. If they feel that they are being bullied you must hope that they share all their worries and concerns with you,

No comments: