My son's bullying ordeal
PUBLISHED: 13:30 23 January 2006 | UPDATED: 21:39 28 May 2010
A MOTHER claims that her seven-year-old son was subjected to four months of bullying at a Fenland school which received a glowing report from Government watchdogs. She told the Cambs Times: My son went through hell. The final straw came when four childre
A MOTHER claims that her seven-year-old son was subjected to four months of bullying at a Fenland school which received a glowing report from Government watchdogs.She told the Cambs Times: "My son went through hell. The final straw came when four children punched him one day at the end of class when the teacher obviously had her back turned."That was it for me. He wasn't spending another minute in that school."Mother-of-three Julia Keil said her son Aaron repeatedly came home from the Lionel Walden School in Doddington with bruises, and she finally withdrew him after fearing for his safety.She claims that between March and July last year Aaron says he was:- Punched repeatedly during playtimes, coming home with new bruises each day- Pinned down on the floor and punched while other children chanted at him calling him a baby and a sissy- Slapped in the face by a bully- Set upon by four children who thumped him in a classroom Mrs Keil, 50, of Station Road, Manea, said Aaron, a bright and outgoing child, cried and pleaded with his mother not to send him to school.She said she persistently asked headteacher David Barron to deal with the problem, and he kept the offending child in school at playtimes after an incident had already occurred.She said: "I kept asking for help to stop the bullying, and being reassured it would be dealt with. "I kept on sending Aaron to school, but inside I felt as if I had failed him. I reassured him he was going to be safe when deep down I feared the bullying was just going to carry on."Mrs Keil said she first sensed something was wrong when Aaron became quiet and withdrawn.Her worries grew when he began reacting aggressively at home, which was totally out of character.She said: "I just wish someone could have helped. I felt as if I was just beating my head against a brick wall."When I saw The Cambs Times and read how Ofsted inspectors had given Lionel Walden a glowing report, I was outraged and disgusted."I would like to know why Ofsted inspectors do not visit schools unannounced in the same way that health and safety inspectors do, rather than giving notice of their visits for schools to be prepared."Mrs Keil said her family had been devastated by the episode, but that Aaron, now eight, was settled and happy in a new school.She said she hoped she could make education authorities realise that parents whose children were bullied needed more hands-on help, a mentoring or mediation service.In response to a formal complaint by Kevin and Julia Keil, the school's governing body concluded that:- Matters had been dealt with through meetings between class teachers and the head teacher- Incidents were met with action- Parents of one child were spoken to on two occasions - The headteacher had monitored playtimes and lunchtimes personally.A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman said: "The school has a robust anti-bullying policy in place, but the headteacher acknowledges that this was not immediately given to Mr and Mrs Keil."The chair of governors dealt with the complaint in a way which appeared at the time to be to the satisfaction of everybody concerned."The Keil family were given the opportunity to appeal against the chairman of governors' findings, but chose not to do so.