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I need help with a bullying issue?

By Worried_Mum - 23 May 2013 126

Hello fellow rioters. I thought I would throw the question out here to see what knowledge you guys have.

I am not a wordsmith by any means so apologies in advance if this is disjointed and or confusing, I will do my best and apologies for any spelling and or grammar issues.

I have a dilemma on my hands where by my children are the constant target of school bullies. It has escalated to the point of having a protection order against the main ring leader, and we need to go back to court to increase that to some of the others in the group.

The majority of them are in my daughter’s year, so throughout the day she is constantly barraged with name calling, pointing, laughing and dirty looks, the constant threats that they will be waiting for them after school and that they are going to bash her.

Then there is the end of day torment where the above kids, their cousins and 18 year old boyfriends are waiting for my children to assault them, they will block the way for my girls to walk home so that they have to take another path home, but each path always intersects at the same under pass where they generally converge and wait for them.

When they are waiting out the front of the school the teacher on duty will tell them to leave, which they will then just wait across the road so they are not on school premises and the teachers cannot do or say anything. The teachers will hold my children back some times up to an hour after class until they seem to leave ( or go down to the second waiting point).

If the girls see them waiting at the underpass they go back to school and call the police or call me to come and pick them up, which is not a sustainable thing to do. This is how they attacked another student at the school and gave her concussion. This child now hardly attends school due to all the issues and the family is looking to move interstate.

There have been over 10 breaches of the protection order, but only given a case number in 9 – 10 instances to date now.

Most times I am told that nothing has happened and refused a job number. I now insist on a job number, but then that doesn’t guarantee that someone will attend.

Then we get to the wonderful rafter of reasons as to why nothing will be done:

  • We are happy with the explanation from the other party, so no further action will be taken
  • Too hard to prove that a breach has occurred ( let’s just overlook the fact that there have been numerous occasions that teachers and other witnesses have been willing to give statements and these have not been taken)
  • Her mother has said that she was not in the area at the time of the alleged breach ( regardless of the fact that teachers have seen her)
  • Because the respondent has not used your child’s name she could have been saying those things to anyone ( lets overlook that she is looking my child in the eye and is almost in her face)
  • Because the respondent has only used your child’s first name she could have been referring to anyone with that name (what are the chances of someone with my child’s name walking the same way my children walk home and them also having problems with this group of kids)
  • Because your daughter made a comment in her statement about not caring about the words used, she was therefore not threatened or intimidated ( I think the fact that she has called people including the police shows she really does care and she is trying to be tough and not show emotions)

Then there is the ever so helpful advice and comments from the police:

  • Change schools
  • Get them to find a new way home
  • Let them catch a taxi home every day
  • The respondent is free to stand and wait where ever she wants its public space
  • Doesn’t matter if they are threatened, nothing has happened
  • She is only pointing and laughing, that is not a breach of the order
  • We have 15 – 16 year old’s with 150 counts of burglary against them and they have not seen the inside of a cell, so this kid will never see the inside of Bimbirri.

Then we have the schools aspect. They say their hands are tied; they have put requests into the department of education to have something done as the ring leader has protection orders from about 5 different children now and the others in the group are slowly reaching the same point.

The school were suspending these kids when they breached the orders, but they are no longer allowed to do that as they can only suspend these kids when they breach the school rules and a court order does not come under school rules.

Even when these kids are suspended they still make their way over to do the after school saga, then when they return to school they are on half days and still manage to cause issues and breach the orders continuously.

These kids have no fear as they have seen that they can get away with whatever they want and the police and school will not do anything besides a stern talking to and get a couple days off school to chill, drink, do drugs and other cool things.

My daughter comes to me and asks “mum what can I do she is constantly breaking the order, I am always having to think of how I can avoid her and she just doesn’t care and no one seems to want to help me” What answers can I give my child as I have none.

This is a bright kid who loves school and wants to get an education, yet she is starting to not want to attend school due to the constant bulling, taunting and fear that something is going to happen to her or her younger sister (who has been assaulted by this girl already in an attempt to get my daughter to fight her).

She is not sleeping well, her attitude at home is changing due the frustration that she feels, She puts on the brave face and tries to act strong for everyone and in front of everyone, and this has been to her detriment, because she tried to be tough and made a flippant comment to the police that she was not threatened by comments or didn’t care about what words were said to her, this child is let off again. She was obviously feeling threatened, otherwise she would not have called for assistance and the police would not have been called out to attend. She puts on the brave face and tries to fool people, but those close to her can see the truth that it is destroying her on the inside. No child should have to live like this.

She does not want to change school as she feels that she has a right to stay there and learn and if she leaves this does not fix the problem, and give the bullies a sense of power that they have destroyed another kid.

Being that she is 1/2 way through year 9, she is worried about her school certificate if she was to move and not be able to continue with her planned classes. She is completing  two majors and is aiming and on track to graduate with a distinction, despite all the goings on.

I worry that my daughter will be the next unheard statistic of suicide due to the bullying or she herself fed up with the non-action will snap and take matters into her own hand and then find herself the one who is in trouble.

My daughter was offered counselling once when this first started, no one has followed up and I have called the school and requested that she be spoken to by the counselor. This happened last week and my daughter came home saying that the counselor didn’t help she just said to look at them as cute cuddly baby animals that need a hug.

Things I have done so far:

  • I have begged and pleaded with the police and school to do something
  • I have asked to speak with the station sergeant ( I am still waiting for him to call me as apparently he only works 8 – 4)
  • I have requested the contact details for who I can escalate this to, so I can assist to have everyone’s hands untied
  • We have gone back and forth to the court system at the request of the police,
  • I spend most days either at the school/ police station/ court house or on the phone to one of the aforementioned.
  • I have called CPS and listed my children at risk
  • I have called the Salvation Army to set up counselling as we are still waiting to hear from the youth counselling service through the police
  • I requested counselling through the school
  • I have written a plea for help to the Minister for education, Youth, Policing, and their shadow minister counter parts. I only receive two responses that this will be looked into and that was about 2 weeks ago
  • I have sent my plea to the Canberra times highlighting the case of the 13 year old girl in Sydney who took her life a few weeks ago
  • I have even written to the likes of ACA.

I am hitting brick walls everywhere and it seems that everyone is just happy with burying their heads in the sand and hopes that it will all go away.  Or something will be action when it’s too late and they have been assaulted further or dead.

How can I get people to stand up and listen and take action rather than these add hoc groups about anti bullying or the one punch groups that make the news every now and again when we lose another person to this senseless stupidity of bulling behavior?

Any further ideas on where I can turn or anyone I can ask for help.

Thanks in advance

One troubled mum

What’s Your opinion?


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126 Responses to
I need help with a bullying issue?
dungfungus 11:13 am 23 May 13

Approach a private school to see if they can help. Despite all the s*** some people and governments throw at them they are run by compassionate people and under certain circumstances they will accept students at concessional rates if you are financially stretched.
Having said that, I wonder what’s in the Gonski plan is to combat bullying. Unless bullying on this scale is eleiminated then getting “a well funded education” will be academic.

obamabinladen 11:12 am 23 May 13

Enrique sorry mate but that advice is bloody disastrous!!! For kids to act like this can you imagine what the parent would be like? I say parent on purpose because i guarantee atleast one parent is in gaol or non existant.

Scumbag kid equals scumbag parents. This person sounds like they’ve exhausted their options and now they need expert legal advice!!!

hawker 11:09 am 23 May 13

The schools really are in a hands tied position. It sounds silly when they tell you that. But everyone is against them. Don’t expect to hear back from the dept of education. Or if you do it won’t be helpful.

I understand your daughters frustration. But realistically she needs to change schools. And somewhere well away from that area. I agree, she shouldn’t have to change, but in this day and age, they won’t budge. At the end of the day this kid will grow up, assault someone and end up in gaol, but that doesn’t help you now.

It’s a stupid situation and something that shouldn’t happen, but it does. You think we’d be in a position to do more, but we’re now in a society where most of the time the guilty have more rights than the innocent. I’m sure people will say that isn’t so, but it is. It’s also a bad situation for the legal system. The gaols are full, instead of building more they’re made to look into diversionary programs, but these don’t work for most people.

That doesn’t help you, but it points to a sad state of affairs in the system. Get your daughter out of that school.

Postalgeek 11:00 am 23 May 13

enrique said :

It’s not easy – that’s for sure. Especially if you’ve had past issues with them. But keep trying – turn up with an olive branch a few times (a gift, a bottle of wine) let them know you are genuine about wanting to resolve this in friendly manner. Anticipate that they may be horrible to you the first few times since they’ll be defensive and may be expecting you to be angry yourself. For the sake of your kids, keep at it, don’t give up because it is hard.

If all that fails, then I tend to agree with ‘bundah’s comments… relocate. Get on with life somewhere else. There’s no point staying in a situation that is damaging to your mental and physical health.

Honestly – I hope it goes ok for you.

I have to say the suggestion that she ingratiate herself with the bully’s parents with gifts makes me cringe.

Personally I’d want to rock up and have a quiet unfriendly word, but good on you for wanting to maintain the peace.

benita_449 10:58 am 23 May 13

Hi ‘worried_mum’, I was incredibly distressed reading you and your family’s ordeal thus far and want to help.
First I wanted to say congratulations for all the trouble you have gone to with all the mind-numbingly pathetic excuses for ‘help’ you have gone to so far. And snaps for still not giving up and even coming here for help! Your kids are lucky to have you 🙂

A couple of suggestions in case it helps:
1. If your kids haven’t yet got the counselling help they need, go directly to a GP (any) and get them a mental health plan and ‘vouchers’ to see a psychologist. If you need help with suggestions of GPs/psychologists feel free to contact me.

2. I’d second the suggestion of ‘Dilandach’s’ to get the kids into self defence class. Not because you want them to beat the others up, just because they will feel even slightly better knowing that they ‘can’ if they should ever need to defend themselves. I’d find a way to incorporate that into their school curriculum (i.e. get out of the useless P.E. class they are doing and get credit for the self-defence class instead!) There are ads on radio at the moment for self-defence classes where the whole family goes together. Maybe you could go too…might be fun for you all together!

3. Look up this article: Bully cases pass to private eye – – KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE
Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia) – Tuesday, May 21, 2013. If there is one thing that bullies WOULD be scared of, it would be a threat from someone more menacing than them. It sounds as though the police could use some additional evidence of their criminal behaviour. This needn’t be the behaviour of bullying your kids: Documented evidence of the other crimes they are no doubt committing on a daily basis would eventually mount to something the police would have to take notice of. Hell, even post the evidence on a separate Riot Act post…. the hive-mind here would have an absolute field day with it.
I’m not working at the moment….. if you want to hire me to help I’d consider it my most valuable work thus far in my career…!

4. And as an extension of No. 3, I echo the suggestion of http://australia.bacaworld.org/ or similar. Bullies only understand one language. They will continue their actions for as long as there is a pay-off (i.e. feeding off intimidation). It needs to be stopped. Now.

5. I also echo the suggestion of lawyers. If the school/police/others are constantly using the ‘rule-book’ to say they’ve done everything they can to help, and the problem isn’t fixed, it sounds like they need to get a big smack upside the head with the real rule book. It’s about time someone showed these institutions something about accountability.

6. Finally, a tip for your kids. I’d sit them down and have a proper ‘heart felt’ talk about what impact this is having on them. If it is as serious as you dread it is, they need to share those feelings with the GPs/Psychologists as above. If it came to it, they would be better getting away from that school and delaying their Year 9/10 or even doing it at CIT so that you are only with students who actually WANT to be there.
Having said that: don’t just run away. If it came to having to leave the school, the SCHOOL needs to provide the means and $$$ for you to pursue another avenue. Hence the previous suggestion at No. 5…. we all need to be accountable for our actions – or lack thereof…

I hope you feel the support through this and the other suggestions that Riot Act users will post for you. Above all, I genuinely hope you get through this with your head held high and feel a sense of accomplishment for whatever outcome you achieve.
You deserve it.

P.S. My offer at point 3 is genuine.

enrique 10:40 am 23 May 13

Dilandach said :

enrique said :

I’m wondering whether or not you have approached the parent(s) of the bullying children and what people think about that as an option.

What would happen if you went over and had a quiet and friendly conversation with the other parents and started to build up a relationship with them?

Its rare that you’ll actually get a parent who is shocked about what their kid is doing in these situations. They’ll either take the ‘get behind me johnny’ while delivering a verbal spray about how their little angel could do no wrong or they’ll straight up acknowledge it and let loose with a display on why their kids are so bad.

You could try but I wouldn’t expect anything but a demonstration of poor social skills.

Agree with what you are saying here.. the first few times you’ll most likely see the other kids parent(s) in defensive mode.

So instead, don’t go over there on the attack. Just turn up and say you’d actually like to get to know them a bit better and hopefully build up a friendly relationship. Let them know that you are aware that the kids may not be getting on so well at the moment but that you’re not there to pick on that… instead focus on the fact that you genuinely want the adults in the situation to be happy with each other.

Honestly, sort out the adult issues first in order to give the adolescent/undeveloped minds an opportunity to learn from it in a positively reinforced manner.

Dilandach 10:25 am 23 May 13

enrique said :

I’m wondering whether or not you have approached the parent(s) of the bullying children and what people think about that as an option.

What would happen if you went over and had a quiet and friendly conversation with the other parents and started to build up a relationship with them?

Its rare that you’ll actually get a parent who is shocked about what their kid is doing in these situations. They’ll either take the ‘get behind me johnny’ while delivering a verbal spray about how their little angel could do no wrong or they’ll straight up acknowledge it and let loose with a display on why their kids are so bad.

You could try but I wouldn’t expect anything but a demonstration of poor social skills.

enrique 10:14 am 23 May 13

Really sorry to hear about this horrible situation for you. I hope it can be resolved.

I’m wondering whether or not you have approached the parent(s) of the bullying children and what people think about that as an option.

What would happen if you went over and had a quiet and friendly conversation with the other parents and started to build up a relationship with them? It might be a bit confronting and uncomfortable at first but over time/a few sessions you may even be able to get your children and their children in the same location while you and the other parents have a series of quiet friendly interactions together…

My thoughts here are as follows… children don’t yet have the mental capacity to fully reason with their own thoughts and actions and as such they tend to follow/mimic the lead of their parents. If the kids see that the parents are getting along then they might start relaxing themselves and mimic this…

I’m basing my suggestion here on personal experience in another context, somewhat similar but not so full-on as yours. When different parents have overtly positive and friendly interactions that the children observe, it is very powerful and permeates down to the kids own thinking. It’s amazing the changes you observe, you can literally see the stress drain away from them.

It’s not easy – that’s for sure. Especially if you’ve had past issues with them. But keep trying – turn up with an olive branch a few times (a gift, a bottle of wine) let them know you are genuine about wanting to resolve this in friendly manner. Anticipate that they may be horrible to you the first few times since they’ll be defensive and may be expecting you to be angry yourself. For the sake of your kids, keep at it, don’t give up because it is hard.

If all that fails, then I tend to agree with ‘bundah’s comments… relocate. Get on with life somewhere else. There’s no point staying in a situation that is damaging to your mental and physical health.

Honestly – I hope it goes ok for you.

BelcoMan 10:13 am 23 May 13

This is beyond serious and makes my blood boil. NO CHILD should have to endure this. It is easy to call for vigilantism (sp?) when the system is failing you but there are other more structured methods eg. http://australia.bacaworld.org/

The power to these little s**ts is that they, and their families, think they are only dealing with you. That is not the case. Their behaviour is unacceptable and there are times when the community needs to stand up to support you in this process.

Please don’t feel alone. I can see how this can make you feel.

Dilandach 10:13 am 23 May 13

Speak to a MP too, federal or local. Anyone who will listen.

Tooks 10:02 am 23 May 13

I despise bullies and I feel for you, but protection orders aren’t the magic forcefield some people would like them to be (not saying that’s what you think). Breaches of these orders can be difficult to prove. Would you mind telling us the conditions of the order (without going into any specifics of course)?

The thing with orders is that people – even young kids – are quite clever and know they can technically breach an order or walk that fine line, without police being able to prove it. Frustrating for you, your daughter, and police.

Dilandach 9:56 am 23 May 13

Another thing to note is that if you or your daughter were to retaliate physically, all the actions that you’ve been hoping the school and the police to take… they’ll take them against you. Another way that they victimise the victim all over again is playing the victim themselves, they’ll cry and scream and bitch to anyone and everyone. They end up using the very support services designed to help people against you.

The bullying experts you see on TV or writing books, seldom are. Common-sense eludes them.

Again, My advice is to turn the screws on the school but I wouldn’t dismiss relocating to a different school/service. I’d also remind your daughter that while these kids are the kings of the school now, thinking they’re the top of the food chain. They end up as the housing commission residents of tomorrow. Basically ending up as the human trash they really are. They peak too early in life and highschool is it for them.

The sweetest day was one of the people who bullied me in school, emptying the bins in my office.

obamabinladen 9:52 am 23 May 13

Omg this is a horrifying story but if i was you i’d speak to Kamy Saeedi. Kamy is the best criminal defence lawyer in town in my opinion. Im no expert but he should be able to help you bring charges against the school, the police, the education department and the scumbags who are tormenting your children. Kamy is the best and doesn’t come cheap but when its your kids lives in danger you can’t afford not to and he is also wonderful guy and would definately be able to help.

bundah 9:45 am 23 May 13

Given the circumstances and that your daughter is not prepared to stand up to the bullies then i would think it’s probably best to relocate her. If you confront them it would most likely only inflame the situation.The only other unpalatable option would be to have someone threaten them with GBH if they didn’t leave her alone.

Dilandach 9:42 am 23 May 13

Fairly distressing reading this. I’ve been there although my parents didn’t put anywhere near the effort in that you have. I commend you for that. You’ve done everything right.

Not that I’d want to concern you further but something worth checking into would be seeing if there is another area that the kids are being bullied in. Facebook, SMSes etc.

I’d strongly recommend to get your kids into a self defence class, it will do wonders for the situation.

I’d also start looking at getting very serious with the school, let them know if they want to take the apathetic approach then there will be consequences. I’m not a solicitor, so see one and what they say.

In my personal experience and of others I know, despite what ‘bullying experts’ say along with others who just say ‘talk it out’ they have absolutely no clue, no idea. I can tell you exactly what the bullies would be doing when confronted or encouraged to talk it out. They’d straight out deny it or say they were sorry and assure whoever it is that it won’t happen again. Basically saying whatever the sucker sitting in front of them wants to hear. After they’ll just chuckle about it and go back to whatever got them there in the first place

The only thing that people that are doing this to your kids understand is the language that they communicate in.

You’ve done everything right, you are not the problem. Your kids are not the problem. It is the school and whatever you do, don’t buckle. Just don’t.

On another note, suspensions would have to be the most ridiculous ‘punishment’ ever thought up. “Hey, you’re doing the wrong thing! here’s a few days off school.” Yes, I’m sure the kids are really thinking about that one when they’re down the mall catching a movie or playing games all day. Yeah, sure showed them.

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