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Old 09.09.2013, 23:12
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school bullying

hi everyone
we just moved to Switzerland and our son started the school
he doesn't speak any German
by pure coincidence we found out that a boy 2-4 years older than him is beating him. This happened at least 4 times - a few times in the school during breaks and a few times in the neighbourhood
he is kicking our son in the stomach, back. When he tried to cry for a help this boy closed his mouth
I am really shocked
my wife will talk to the school principal tomorrow about it. Any advice? is it normal here?
thanks for your advices,
arbus
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Old 09.09.2013, 23:31
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Re: school bullying

Very so sorry to hear this. You are right to speak to the school, however the best approach that others have advised in the past, is to go into the school and ask for their help/advice in resolving this, rather than be "on the attack" as the school will then become defensive. Does that make sense?

If your child is receiving language support, ask the language teacher to teach him the sentences to say when he is unhappy/needs help.

Please join Swiss schooling yahoo group and you will find specific support there too.
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Old 09.09.2013, 23:32
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Re: school bullying

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hi everyone
we just moved to Switzerland and our son started the school
he doesn't speak any German
by pure coincidence we found out that a boy 2-4 years older than him is beating him. This happened at least 4 times - a few times in the school during breaks and a few times in the neighbourhood
he is kicking our son in the stomach, back. When he tried to cry for a help this boy closed his mouth
I am really shocked
my wife will talk to the school principal tomorrow about it. Any advice? is it normal here?
thanks for your advices,
arbus
No this is NOT normal here at all.

Your wife should contact the teacher. "School principals" here are irrelevant.
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Old 09.09.2013, 23:39
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Re: school bullying

thanks for your advices
the idea was to talk to some school representative and to ask them maybe to talk to this boy parents
I guess the subject is not easy and unfortunately we don't speak German either
so we didn't plan to blame school at all. This boy lives somewhere nearby and it happened not only in the school but near the apartment block

ok she will talk to his teacher but the other boy is not from the same class - he is a few years older (maybe 3-4)
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Old 09.09.2013, 23:46
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Re: school bullying

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thanks for your advices
the idea was to talk to some school representative and to ask them maybe to talk to this boy parents
I guess the subject is not easy and unfortunately we don't speak German either
so we didn't plan to blame school at all. This boy lives somewhere nearby and it happened not only in the school but near the apartment block

ok she will talk to his teacher but the other boy is not from the same class - he is a few years older (maybe 3-4)
The teacher knows what is to be done and who is to be contacted
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Old 09.09.2013, 23:58
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Re: school bullying

ok I see - makes perfect sense
we don't want to make too much noise but beating a small boy seems very bad (especially pushing him and then kicking when he is on the ground)
my wife will talk to our son's teacher as you advised and will see from there

it is quite hard for him to start the school without any language and such things don't help at all

thanks for your advice and support
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Old 10.09.2013, 00:16
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Re: school bullying

Also consider having him checked by a doctor, so you have documentation to back up your claims if necessary, and of course to make sure he's not got any hidden injuries.
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Old 10.09.2013, 00:21
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Re: school bullying

No, not normal at all. As Wolli says, the school structure in CH does not have a Headmaster/principal or deputies- so the teacher is the first port of call. Thinking of you, and hope it can all be resolved as fast as poss.

If you feel the problem is not resolved, find out from your Gemeinde who the Councillor in charge of the education service is, and ask to speak to him/her to seek further support. Do report back, please.
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Old 10.09.2013, 00:30
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Re: school bullying

thanks I will
I really hope it will be resolved quickly and easy. Usually it should be enough just to talk to other boy' parents
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Old 10.09.2013, 04:56
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Re: school bullying

Is not normal but it is a very comun problem at the schools here.
My son was bullied when he just started school when living near Luzern, (I posted about it here, if it helps you reading it) the problem was "solved" lets say, by talking to my son's teacher and sending a letter to the principal (there is always a person in charge of the directive that regents the school) I wrote a long letter about what was going on and asking the school to make safe for my son to walk to and from the school every day.

When we moved to Zurich a year ago, there were again problems with other children and up to now from time to time we still have issues, with the same kids. I take there is a lot to do with the parents and the way they educate their children. Some of them have no control or so ever of their children's whereabouts and what they do, so it is better to try to handle this with the teacher's help and always keep a record of what happened to your son and when, so you'll have your facts straight if there is a meeting with the other parents.

Good luck with this and I hope everything turns out well for your little one.
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Old 10.09.2013, 08:13
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Re: school bullying

How old is your son ? And the one who is said to have done the harm ? Do you actually know the older child ? Did anyone else witness what happened and was their physical evidence or is your son old enough to really articulate himself ?

My experience is that actually bullying is taken quite seriously and the school does have quite a bit of power to make changes - my daughter was bullied in her classroom by a boy, who was moved to not just another class but another school to give both sides a 'fresh start'. She wasn't the only victim, he was developing quite a reputation as a ringleader with other children causing trouble...
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Old 10.09.2013, 08:46
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Re: school bullying

our son is 6.5 and he can explain himself well enough but not in German
I don't know the other boy but he seems to be a good few years older
other boy doesn't speak any English

there are other children who saw it but no adults
for evidence it is hard to say. he has some bruises but I would not know whether they are from beating or just falling off the bike etc
we live in Pffafikon SZ. I have been told that our school is good so I hope as well that it is not gonna be a major problem. I am just shocked a bit and didt expect such things to happen in the country where people follow rules and are law obedient to the extent that they call a police if someone takes the shower after 12 pm. Plus the fact that boy is much older. I remember being a child ant it was no way to fight with someone 2 years younger than you
anyway. lets see today what teacher will say
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Old 10.09.2013, 08:48
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Re: school bullying

Quote:
No, not normal at all. As Wolli says, the school structure in CH does not have a Headmaster/principal or deputies- so the teacher is the first port of call. Thinking of you, and hope it can all be resolved as fast as poss.
Ours does. All three of the schools my son has attended have had a head and the two most recent ones have deputies too.
Having said that there is a clear order of doing things if there is a problem. Now he's in secondary the first port of call is the teacher of the subject in question, followed by the class teacher followed by the headmistress or one of her deputies. Each deputy is responsible for a certain age group so we would contact the one responsible for our son's class if necessary.
Fortunately we've never had to do this but in my experience around here they take bullying very seriously.

It depends on the age of the OP's child but I'm assuming primary or kindergarten so the class teacher would be the person to contact first here.
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Old 10.09.2013, 09:19
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Re: school bullying

The important thing is your son is not afraid to speak up when there is a problem rather than just letting it simmer.

Just after our son started kindergarten, he got attacked another boy from his class - and ended up being bitten quite hard. My wife took a photograph of the bite mark and had a quiet chat with the class teacher. The teacher had a general chat with the whole class about attacking each other not being acceptable.

We had one other incident when some kids from another kindergarten were throwing stones at the kids going to my son's kindergarten - we guessed there was a problem when he went from happily going by himself to wanting to be accompanied to school. Eventually we got the truth of the matter out of him. We were planning a word with the teacher but then our son told us he had spotted one of the stone throwing boys with his mother and told the mother of her son's antics. The stone throwing stopped.

In all cases it is important to be reasonable in your approach but firm in your aims - i.e. that the undesirable behaviour must stop.

For what it's worth, my son has no language barriers at school and is physically big for his age - but he knows to use his brain before using his fists.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 10.09.2013, 09:27
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Re: school bullying

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the school structure in CH does not have a Headmaster/principal or deputies
They do here.

Tom
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Old 10.09.2013, 09:48
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Re: school bullying

I had a similar experience of children bullying my child when first we moved here. My daughter was 3.5 years old and was allowed to play around the house. She didn't speak German at that time. One day I heard her screaming as she was running home. She told me that two girls were chasing her and spraying her with water.

I initially assumed that it was just kids playing around. Once she was fine, she went outside and continued playing. It happened again, this time I saw it with my own eyes as she ran towards the house. They were targeting her as their "object". I once again didn't think much of it until it happened again.

After the third time my daughter refused to leave the house alone and I decided that I had enough of my child being the target of their ridiculous play. As I didn't recognize these girls and didn't know my neighbors yet, I went searching for them. I found them at a local playground with the spray bottles. I went up to them and spoke in a very stern voice (in English) and took their water bottles away. I decided that since their parents don't bother knowing what their kids are doing, they can come to me for explanation.

The girls were visibly shaken by my reaction as I suppose they were not used to strangers telling them how to behave. Few days later I met their parents simply by accident (its a small neighborhood) and told them what happened.

My child was never a target of any type of bullying since and all the kids in the neighborhood obey me.

Also one of the girls involved is now my daughter's best friend.

My word of advice, I would not wait another minute and find his parents. You cannot allow your child to be afraid of the "German" speaking kids because of one kid.

Best of luck.

Last edited by monigue; 10.09.2013 at 09:52. Reason: update
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Old 10.09.2013, 10:01
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Re: school bullying

Your first approach should be the school, but please be aware they may not do anything if these incidents happen outside of school, which is often the case. Have the incidents well documented by dr. and the like, and if necessary you may need to involve the police.
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Old 10.09.2013, 10:23
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Re: school bullying

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Your first approach should be the school, but please be aware they may not do anything if these incidents happen outside of school, which is often the case. Have the incidents well documented by dr. and the like, and if necessary you may need to involve the police.
nothing is documented as we found out only yesterday
it happened during breaks between classes in the school garden as well
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Old 10.09.2013, 10:34
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Re: school bullying

Our son was bitten on the way home from school. The teacher took it very seriously.

The boy concerned also threatened to kick my son one time. My son told the boy he would kick him back even harder. My son is about a head taller than the other boy so the problem stopped there.

He and the other boy are now friends.

Cheers,
Nick

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Your first approach should be the school, but please be aware they may not do anything if these incidents happen outside of school, which is often the case. Have the incidents well documented by dr. and the like, and if necessary you may need to involve the police.
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Old 10.09.2013, 10:52
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Re: school bullying

There is a reason why I believe that contacting his parents right away is very important.

As this second story happened to my neighbor's child, I don't want to step over by boundaries by writing about it on English Forum.

Please PM me offline and we can discuss the details of what happened and actions that were taken.

cheers

Last edited by monigue; 10.09.2013 at 10:52. Reason: correction
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