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  1.  (10721.1)
    My eldest daughter is being bullied at school. Persistently, and it's been going on for some time. A cabal of girls, not all in her class is ostracising her, threatening her, galvanising other kids and even dinner staff against her, and on occasion physically hurting her - she was dragged along a wall grazing her leg and has been shoved around a few times. The school appears to be doing bugger all, even though she's spoken to the teachers about it, and we've previously raised concerns about how she's integrating. She's really upset, a lot of the time, has lost enthusiasm for many things and has gone really introverted.

    The latest thing is that a group of them have all written to the teacher about her complaining that she's doing all the things to them that they're doing to her; clearly bullshit as a single small , slight nine year old can't really tyrannise a dozen...

    My partner told me that tonight - I've not had much sleep all week and am running on empty on all levels, but that's knocked me for six. I had years of that shit, years of it. As did my partner. If you're a bit different, or don't fit, the pack turns on you. So the idea of my girl going through what we did has made me angry and upset beyond belief, I can hardly speak I'm so fucking upset and hurt. I don't want her being crushed like I was, and I just don't know what to do - she's pleading with us not to kick off because she's petrified that it will make things worse and I'm scared she's right. I can just see years of emotional pain and physical fear for her and I want to protect her from it but I don't know how.

    On top of that, I'm angry with both my daughters' schools. Yesterday, American Evangelicals visited to talk about Jebus. Yeah - fine, they're Church of England schools, I accept that, what I don't accept is a seven year old being given a bookmark which says pretty much 'you're a sinner and only we can save you'. Listen America, these are YOUR pigfuckers, keep them over there yes ?

    Also lost my phone on the train Monday - it was on the way out, cranky and with a faulty usb socket - but I didn't want to lose it... Insured, so if it doesn't make its way to the railway lost property I'll claim, but bloody hell, did I feel like I'd lost a limb until its replacement turned up, it's frightening how much of a sucker I am...

    And finally, despite several hours of work on it on Saturday the power socket on my laptop has died so the battery won't charge properly.

    I got a new phone... Samsung Galaxy S3, love it so far... Managed to get a 20% discount on line rental through work, so am paying less than I was before, which is pretty cool. Also have ordered a new laptop - found a place selling Lenovo X201 tablets for about a quarter of what they were a couple of years back, I'd planned to upgrade in a couple of years, but nobody seems to be making high end convertible windows pcs any more at any kind of price I can afford, so bit the bullet now. I was going to buy suits and fix the car, but fuck it, that can wait, there's always gaffer tape and mending fabric...

    Also got holiday booked, so we'll actually go away this year, I'm pleased about that - although daughter wanted to go abroad, we can't afford that but it's pretty good we'll get a proper holiday

    @Vorn - glad the move's over, hope you can enjoy settling in and chill out during your time off... I'd kill for a three week break...

    @Steve Toase - thanks - I've made the effort this week to eat less and exercise more, and DO STUFF, which is paying off already...
    @Dextra - congrats on the job, hope it works out...
    EVERYONE ELSE - stay cool
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2012
    @JPCarpenter, would it help your girl to get in touch with adults who have had to deal with being bullied and are now totally awesome people? I bet a number of WCers would be happy to write her notes. I was never bullied that outright since I was in a small, small school where my dad taught, but I dealt with some other shit from people in my year & above, and I would be willing to bet some other people around here have too.

    If you wanted to start a thread, I would gladly contribute some stuff to it. If she doesn't want to talk about being bullied, would it help her to get in touch with people with similar interests who can give her a bit of mentorship/encouragement? I know you guys are probably doing a ton of amazing stuff for her, but sometimes non-parental adult encouragement can go a long way.

    Seriously though, that sucks a ton. Let us know if we can do anything. I can think of at least three people on these boards who would draw pictures of her as a superhero... It may not help her immediate situation, but at the very least, it might lift her spirits.
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2012 edited
    @The Boo: Still have problems with the tax return. Hopefully we can get it sorted out soon.

    @The Hurrah: I think I need smelling salts - I made it to Bleedingcool for the very first time!

    @JP Carpenter: I'm so sorry to hear your daughter is being bullied. I had bullying problems at school too, though never as severe as that.

    Well, the first thing I'd do is take your daughter out of that school and get some counselling for her. If you can afford it, homeschooling her might be the thing. Have you spoken to higher authorities, such as the school governors or education officer, or even the police? Somebody even went as high as the Pope when her son was bullied in a Catholic school. And wouldn't you know it - the Pope was the only person who did something for the boy; the others couldn't care less!

    And if the school isn't being effective in tackling the problem, how about asking your local newspaper to run a feature on it? Some months ago the local paper ran articles on bullying problems in my old high school and the difficulties the school was having in tackling it. Those articles aren't running now, so perhaps they did the trick.

    And your daughter can't be the only one to be suffering, so perhaps you and other parents of bullied children could get together to form a support and action group. A group would be more effective in getting action than individual parents.
  2.  (10721.4)
    @JP Carpenter: I lost my post, but I said pretty much the same things that dnewling said. So sorry to hear about what her classmates are putting her through.
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2012
    Boo (the sequel): The fire has gone batshit and is creeping down into Colorado Springs now. I had to evac last night. They didn't make it mandatory until today, but I couldn't breathe, and when I heard about houses in the next neighborhood going up in flames, I left. My roommates went back today before the evacuation was officially ordered and got more stuff. But the way the winds keep shifting, the fire could roll through my neighborhood in the next couple of hours, or it could miss it completely. There's just no way of knowing. People have lost jobs because of a major call center burning to the ground overnight. It's just breaking my heart.

    Huzzah: I'm just thankful that we're all safe, and I'm getting out to go stay in Denver with some loved ones this weekend. I just need to get away from the smoke.

    @JP - I went through something similar as your daughter when I was her age. We ended up having to get the authorities and protective orders in place to finally get it under control. Schools won't do jack.

    Also, we Americans don't want the pigfuckers either, but they keep multiplying...
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2012
    The Boo:

    I'm shopping for my own dishes & cutlery. For those of you that DON'T know, I have celiac disease which means that very small amounts of gluten, a protein commonly found in most foods (well, grains), gives me fucking awful stomach aches. Even very tiny amounts. It also does other things like damage my small intestine, make me unable to absorb nutrients, and maybe be infertile and get cancer if left unchecked, but you know, stomach aches.

    And the boyfriend and I don't have a dishwasher.

    This means that once in a very very very blue moon, I get a stomach ache from one of us not having washed a dish properly. One such day was tonight, when, after finishing dinner I got a horrible stomach ache and almost wanted to vomit and am now feeling lingering effects that could last up to a week.

    Therefore, I'm buying myself a set of bright red dishes, a colander, and separate cutlery to be washed with a separate dish brush/sponge. The boy is VERY good about washing but there's only so much one can do without a dishwasher. We basically already have separate pots and pans, so this is the next logical step. But still, fucking OY. DO NOT WANT TO SPEND THIS MONEY.

    The WOOOOOO!

    My college friends are getting married this weekend. This will be a really really fun time. And I might have an illustration gig short term.

    The Apple Compote:

    The above, and the YES DEX IS OUT OF HARM'S WAY!
    • CommentAuthorchris g
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2012
    @Dextra, glad you're safe!
    Also thanks for that advice, I will do what I can with it.
    I've stopped going to my job and have been stuck at home this week being a damn bed potato. It feels fucking miserable because in back of my head I'm thinking "Fuck, I wanna get out and work!" and I'm all worried and nervous a lot because money won't be coming in aside from waiting on my ebay listings to sell. Now I feel even crummier b/c my mom gave me a new digital camera the other day which I don't feel I deserve, but she thinks I do and maybe that was supposed to motivate me or something, but I don't know. Anyway, I just started painting each day to give myself something to do and take my mind off of my situation. I really hate this and it feels like I've wasted the last five years of my life and I'm back to square one, only older and with less time to do what I really want. UGH! Guess I've just got to hang on to that little bit of positivity I've got left because it's not the end of the fucking world. At least my cat still likes me but even cats can tell when you are going through a crappy time =\

    @JP - Sorry about your daughter, bullying is shitty and pretty serious.
    @Dorkmuffin - Wow, I wasn't aware of celiac disease. Sounds pretty serious if you need your own separate dishware to avoid it!
  3.  (10721.8)
    @jpcarpenter. The first thing is not to take your child out of the school. Set up a meeting with the class teacher and the head, without your daughter there so she doesn't feel like she is put on the spot. Bear in mind the other children might be very good at manipulating the situation so may be fogging the bullying from the staff at the school. Take in a list of points that you want to bring up, and give the teachers time to respond and address those concerns. Find out their anti-bullying policy too.
    It's understandable to be upset and feel the school is against you, especially if you feel your daughter is not being listened to, but given half a chance the school will work with the family to stop these types of issues.
    Go in, keep calm, agree a course of action and give that course of action time to work.
    Not a teacher, but there is one in the family.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2012
    @JP: Sorry to hear that, and what Steve said sounds like good advice. I may be wrong, but taking someone who is being bullied away from school can effect their self-esteem later in life. I don't know what it's like nowadays, but in my day you had to go through all that snitching stigma if you made too big a deal about it. Then you can be bullied for that. This comes frown a kid who was hung by the school fence for having crap clothes when he was a few days in infant school, which was nothing to the other stuff I had to work through. Anyway, I hope your daughter will be OK.

    @Dextra: I'm glad your out of harm's way also. Damn!
    • CommentAuthorSteve Toase
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2012 edited

    Also the school should have an anti-bullying policy in place. Here's an example from one of our local education authorities.You should be able to get hold of it either directly from the school or the LEA. If things don't change after the first meeting you can then calmly point out where the policy has been contravened and which steps you feel they should be taking next.

    York anti bullying policy

    Seriously good luck with sorting this.
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2012 edited
    @JP Carpenter: Another thing I'd do is keep a record of everything that happens and have your daughter do the same. So if you have to confront the head, teachers and other authority figures you've got something to refer to. Names, incidents, how serious they are and so on.

    @Daddy Si: Can you keep the sticky on this thread a while longer so we can continue to offer JP Carpenter advice and support?
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2012
    Hey, Chris G. Not just your cat. We still like you too.
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2012 edited
    @ Chris G: Here's a photo of my cat Henry. The places he finds to sleep on can give us a laugh even in crappy times. He just loves to get in front of the telly - especially when we're watching it!

    Henry the cat
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2012 edited
    *no kittys here, move along *
  4.  (10721.15)
    Thanks all for your kind words - haven't replied as I've been tied up for a few days. @Steve- yes, the school does have a policy and it's meant to be zero tolerance, we're wondering whether she's not been straight with staff what's been going on, as she's been picked on for snitching when she has asked for help;

    We're following the process - we've written a letter to the teacher copying in the head detailing the issues and asking to come in and discuss. I think it's now got to the point where only two girls in her class aren't ostracising her, literally turning their backs on her if she tries to speak to them... I don't think she helps herself an awful lot, as she keeps trying to reach out and be friendly to girls who seem to take pleasure in rejecting her, nasty little toerags. She's also hyper competitive and I can imagine she might wind people up, but this isn't helping her learn to do things right

    It just hit me really hard on Weds to know how bad it had got - we got her out of one situation where she was being manipulated and hurt by two other kids at her last school, and I'd really hoped she was through that. I think when you see your child hurting like that and you can't physically protect them, especially when you've been through it yourself, it cuts very deeply...

    Maybe a 'parenting' thread might be cool, as I'm sure I'm not the only one with spawn-related issues good or bad?


    got new laptop, new phone, am now SELF FACILITATED MEDIA NODE ROAD WARRIOR. And bloody hell do I love Android so far, coming from a dysfuntional symbian phone that needed rebooting every ten mins.


    @Dextra, for not being incinerated...
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd 2012 edited

    I'm not laughing at the moment, as this day has floored me. Yesterday, I woke up to find the hot water supply in my flat fucked, and I was hoping it was a temporary thing. I called on my neighbor today, to see if she had any problems with it, only to find out she has turned into a crack head. Some bitch-skank-gash-cunt from the next block (that's nothing compared to the horrible things I've been saying in my head), has been getting her into it. My neighbor, who is an OK person at heart, was letting a dealer into her flat as I called on her. The little shit walked in as if he owned her place, and I felt like smashing his face off a wall and throwing him over the balcony. I told her not to mention my problem to him, and I came back home full of fury. For a microsecond, bullshit desire was telling me to score, which filled me full of nausea and helplessness. Then the lady who's been helping me to get into rehab rang me, and the signal on my piece-of-shit phone kept going on and off.

    I went to the chemist to get my tiny dosage of buprenorphine, looking for an excuse to kill. I tried to cash a cheque, only to find it one-day-expired - more bullshit! I'd not even had a coffee by then, and when I got back indoors my head was rinsed with a cluster-fuck headache and a horrible static hiss. My jeans felt like grease on my legs, and all I could hear was the stereophonic wail of sirens from the street; fucking sides of my torso aching, as if dwarves have been kicking me in my kidneys as I slept.

    I dreamt I was in some foul Italian horror film last night, all stupid-seventies-cannibal-crap; being stuck in a pit with strange pygmy-people smashing in the heads of explorers, me riding on the back of this ox-thing which decided to get into a fight with a horse with cardboard false teeth...I don't know what Freud would say, but fucking Hell!!


    I suppose days like these are what is called real life, and I'll have to get used to them. Saturday was good, sitting in Kensington Gardens, absorbing rays with the New York mate and the Portuguese lithium kid. I got a bag of cheap comics, too!

    On Thursday I'm travelling to Weston-super-(night)Mare. Someone is going to meet me at the station for my appointment at the rehab, so I don't have to run around in a strange place like a nutter.


    @JP: I'm glad you sound a bit better, and that your following the process and have written a letter. Hoping it all gets sorted out.
    @dnewling and texture: Nice cats!
    There are a few people I miss seeing come on here, and I hope the're OK.
  5.  (10721.17)
    Next person who posts a picture of a cute cat gets a one way ticket to the sun's core.
  6.  (10721.18)
    The Good - I have a couple of cute kittens at home. Photo forthcom...ticket to where? But sadly am unable to post photos to the internets. I got a raise last week which was better than I expected, so it was an excuse to drop some cash on a pair of studio monitors. They sound amazing. Or at least were the best sounding ones in their price range and are a huge upgrade for me. I'm at the mixing stage of the album I've been working on for the last three years, so it was really time.

    The Bad - Right after I got said raise my car started acting up and then the check engine light came on. $600+ of repairs later, it's fine. But um... at what point is it more cost effective to replace the car? Doesn't matter, that bastard's going to last at least another two years.

    The Awesome - @Flecky - Hang in there mate. Hopefully rehab will be all sorts of helpful and at least give you some time away from the crack dealers of the world.

    @JP - Sucks about your kid being bullied. I don't really have any advice since mine's not old enough for that yet, but I've been giving some of this a lot of thought lately. You never want to see your kid suffer, but looking back, I wouldn't be half the man I am today without all those worthless shits who picked on me growing up. I'd still walk past them with nothing more than a little chuckle if I saw them bleeding in the street, but I do owe them. The problem is, that shit either makes you tough or completely breaks you. I have no idea how to help your daughter choose tough, but I suspect a supportive dad doesn't hurt. Does she have a constructive outlet for her emotions? If not, perhaps you could help her find one?
  7.  (10721.19)
    @sellmeyoursoul - thanks, at the moment she's choosing tough, which I'm really proud of her for, and I've told her that. She's got a sleepover at the school on thursday, she'll have to share a room with them, and she's refusing to back out and saying that she won't let them stop her doing stuff. Just worry that eventually they could break her... I can't really say that I found the experience of being picked on that formative (although I guess I did find a path of non-conformity in the end), it was just pretty shit, and I think that's what hurt the most. And also, at the moment, her non-constructive outlet for her emotions is us and her sister, and she can do rage with the best of them so yeah, I guess a better way of venting would be good...

    Re cars/raises... yeah, money has a habit of doing that. I got a raise and a reasonable bonus this year, and immediately the boiler packed in, I had to pay for the conservatory to be fixed, my phone packed in and my laptop died.

    @flecky - good luck man, the dealer next door sucks, but well done for walking away.
  8.  (10721.20)
    @ Dextra - That has been quite a dramatic turn! I'm glad it's been a happy ending for you. I can't even imagine what that would be like to live through.

    @ dorkmuffin - Egad, I'd no idea celiac could be so sensitive and dastardly!

    @ JP - I think it's fabulous that you are as concerned as you are. I was utterly friendless for years when I switched schools for the 5th Grade. However, quite honestly I think that to go through this really crappy time at an early age saves a person from later hurt. It gives a person the understanding that people can be utterly shitty, and that they can't always be trusted, and that real friends are hard to come by and to be cherished. It really never ever occurred to me that parents and teachers could have any effect on that kind of situation. Kids are often just cruel. Because they are people. And people are cruel. But then, I was an only child, so perhaps being alone was easier for me to understand?