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Is my sixth form treating me fairly? (threats of getting kicked out) Watch

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    I stormed out of a meeting with my head of sixth today, crying, because they were basically threatening to kick me out.

    I've been dealing with some racism online from students in my sixth (a guy that won't stop using the n word, and this other one later on who was islamaphobic and anti-hindu because I'm apparently automatically both of these religions as a brown person), and I've sent all the screenshots to my college and basically done what I'm supposed to do when reporting stuff.

    My head of sixth, and other teachers, keep telling me that they can't do much as it's online and 'off school grounds', but from what I've found, their own policies recognise cyber-bullying as a form of bullying, aka it's under their anti-bullying policy which details that students can be punished for it. On top of that, I've gone on citizens advice about problems at school, and it says that 'the Government Guidance says that schools should discipline pupils who bully, whether inside of outside the school premises' under bullying, and 'head teachers have the power to regulate pupils' behaviour off school premises if this is reasonable' under racial harassment and race discrimination at school.

    They're also telling me that I have to send them every single message and exchange on the fb chat groups where the messages I have a problem with were written, and that they 'can't do anything' otherwise. I don't know what this means, it's like they're accusing me of not showing bad stuff that I might've done? Anyway, I've left and/or the groups have been deleted (by the racists themselves), so it's like setting an impossible standard they know I can't fulfil.

    But the actual issue today was an email I had written to my form tutor. I had a meeting with her the day of and she was trying to convince me that the school was doing something about the issues by having 'meetings', and that people can be 'banned off social media' forever (they can't?) and how it was my responsibility to file a report with fb so they could 'pull the chats' (??) or give them digital 'warnings'. She spoke about contacting my mother, to which I told her not to - she knew that I was in an abusive situation with her due to a bunch of issues that happened the previous year that my old form tutor told her about. I mentioned somewhere in it that the stress was taking a toll on me and that my legs had given out on me randomly earlier on that day, but otherwise, I didn't really think too much about that meeting.

    I came home and my mum had all these missed calls from school, and I knew I was really fcked at that point. I thought they would've stopped calling during the evening (I was planning on emailing/speaking to my form tutor to ask her to stop the next morning) but they didn't, and my mum proceeded to scream at me and I cried for hours.

    In the aftermath of that I emailed my tutor to ask why she'd put me in such a bad situation like that, knowing full well that I had told her not to. I also complained about the whole printing all the messages off thing, and how I felt that the school was doing a bad job in handling my situation, since they've mishandled before (they let a student president candidate and his friends to rip down my posters and replace them with his, and also harass me, for multiple days in which one particular teacher had to speak to him twice and my head of sixth did too, and then he got the position, and then the head tried to convince me I had mis-remembered everything and it didn't matter because she had seen one of my posters still up near her office, and my previous form tutor scolded me on not being a good enough candidate, I sure do love being gaslighted).

    So today, my head pulls me into a meeting during lunch. She spouts most of the usual talking points, and she's addressing me really weirdly in all of this. She tells me that they had to contact my mother since I'm under 18, but as someone over 16 and in no immediate danger, it wouldn't make sense for them to contact my mother, especially since I told them specifically not to. Apparently they wanted to know how I 'was' in contacted my mother, even though they saw me every day and I had literally just told them how I was doing?

    She also asked me if I had cut myself and written 'fck this school' in one of the toilets in my own blood, which frankly felt like sort of an offensive thing to ask - weirder though, following up in this assumption that I was that mentally affected by the racism and the handling on it to do something like that, she said the most shocking thing of all -

    'That email you sent, if this were a job you would be fired, if this were university you'd be kicked out'.

    Momentarily, I though she was talking about the racist comments the boys had made and how it wouldn't be tolerated anywhere else - but then it hit me like a tonne of bricks.

    She was seriously telling me that I was facing the prospect of being in deep trouble or getting kicked out. For an email where I was complaining about the school. Where I hadn't said anything offensive at all. Where I was just voicing my opinion after the school explicitly went against my wishes and became the reason why I was getting screamed at by an abusive mother. In what world was that unacceptable or rude? She, and the other assistant head who was in the room also, really had the gall to threaten me with getting thrown out while two racist students were allowed to go about their merry way, with no actual repercussions (the school website also said that if a student had behaved badly enough, it warranted a suspension of a day or two, which I had so naively guessed at least the guy who was explicitly racist towards me would deal with). So I expressed my outrage at the horrific levels of irony, and left the room.

    I don't really know what's going to happen tomorrow. I ended up missing two lessons since I wasn't in the state to be trying to do classwork. Does anyone know how to handle this or some other organisation I could go to? They honestly don't even have the slightest reservation in straight up lying to me and treating me like some sort of monster, so I'm never going to get anything resolved. Our sixth isn't part of NUS or any student union so no student rights people to complain to either.
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    Are you prepared to leave that school, friend? Do you have another sixth form college in mind? Because it seems that there's not much TSR can do for you but pat your back and tell you to leave or take legal action.
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    (Original post by uniisscary)
    I stormed out of a meeting with my head of sixth today, crying, because they were basically threatening to kick me out.

    I've been dealing with some racism online from students in my sixth (a guy that won't stop using the n word, and this other one later on who was islamaphobic and anti-hindu because I'm apparently automatically both of these religions as a brown person), and I've sent all the screenshots to my college and basically done what I'm supposed to do when reporting stuff.

    My head of sixth, and other teachers, keep telling me that they can't do much as it's online and 'off school grounds', but from what I've found, their own policies recognise cyber-bullying as a form of bullying, aka it's under their anti-bullying policy which details that students can be punished for it. On top of that, I've gone on citizens advice about problems at school, and it says that 'the Government Guidance says that schools should discipline pupils who bully, whether inside of outside the school premises' under bullying, and 'head teachers have the power to regulate pupils' behaviour off school premises if this is reasonable' under racial harassment and race discrimination at school.

    They're also telling me that I have to send them every single message and exchange on the fb chat groups where the messages I have a problem with were written, and that they 'can't do anything' otherwise. I don't know what this means, it's like they're accusing me of not showing bad stuff that I might've done? Anyway, I've left and/or the groups have been deleted (by the racists themselves), so it's like setting an impossible standard they know I can't fulfil.

    But the actual issue today was an email I had written to my form tutor. I had a meeting with her the day of and she was trying to convince me that the school was doing something about the issues by having 'meetings', and that people can be 'banned off social media' forever (they can't?) and how it was my responsibility to file a report with fb so they could 'pull the chats' (??) or give them digital 'warnings'. She spoke about contacting my mother, to which I told her not to - she knew that I was in an abusive situation with her due to a bunch of issues that happened the previous year that my old form tutor told her about. I mentioned somewhere in it that the stress was taking a toll on me and that my legs had given out on me randomly earlier on that day, but otherwise, I didn't really think too much about that meeting.

    I came home and my mum had all these missed calls from school, and I knew I was really fcked at that point. I thought they would've stopped calling during the evening (I was planning on emailing/speaking to my form tutor to ask her to stop the next morning) but they didn't, and my mum proceeded to scream at me and I cried for hours.

    In the aftermath of that I emailed my tutor to ask why she'd put me in such a bad situation like that, knowing full well that I had told her not to. I also complained about the whole printing all the messages off thing, and how I felt that the school was doing a bad job in handling my situation, since they've mishandled before (they let a student president candidate and his friends to rip down my posters and replace them with his, and also harass me, for multiple days in which one particular teacher had to speak to him twice and my head of sixth did too, and then he got the position, and then the head tried to convince me I had mis-remembered everything and it didn't matter because she had seen one of my posters still up near her office, and my previous form tutor scolded me on not being a good enough candidate, I sure do love being gaslighted).

    So today, my head pulls me into a meeting during lunch. She spouts most of the usual talking points, and she's addressing me really weirdly in all of this. She tells me that they had to contact my mother since I'm under 18, but as someone over 16 and in no immediate danger, it wouldn't make sense for them to contact my mother, especially since I told them specifically not to. Apparently they wanted to know how I 'was' in contacted my mother, even though they saw me every day and I had literally just told them how I was doing?

    She also asked me if I had cut myself and written 'fck this school' in one of the toilets in my own blood, which frankly felt like sort of an offensive thing to ask - weirder though, following up in this assumption that I was that mentally affected by the racism and the handling on it to do something like that, she said the most shocking thing of all -

    'That email you sent, if this were a job you would be fired, if this were university you'd be kicked out'.

    Momentarily, I though she was talking about the racist comments the boys had made and how it wouldn't be tolerated anywhere else - but then it hit me like a tonne of bricks.

    She was seriously telling me that I was facing the prospect of being in deep trouble or getting kicked out. For an email where I was complaining about the school. Where I hadn't said anything offensive at all. Where I was just voicing my opinion after the school explicitly went against my wishes and became the reason why I was getting screamed at by an abusive mother. In what world was that unacceptable or rude? She, and the other assistant head who was in the room also, really had the gall to threaten me with getting thrown out while two racist students were allowed to go about their merry way, with no actual repercussions (the school website also said that if a student had behaved badly enough, it warranted a suspension of a day or two, which I had so naively guessed at least the guy who was explicitly racist towards me would deal with). So I expressed my outrage at the horrific levels of irony, and left the room.

    I don't really know what's going to happen tomorrow. I ended up missing two lessons since I wasn't in the state to be trying to do classwork. Does anyone know how to handle this or some other organisation I could go to? They honestly don't even have the slightest reservation in straight up lying to me and treating me like some sort of monster, so I'm never going to get anything resolved. Our sixth isn't part of NUS or any student union so no student rights people to complain to either.
    jesus christ wtf, what kind of school is this, i bet you if you keep like a recorder or something in your pocket to record your encounters then i bet you, you can use that to your advantage. you can point out inconsistencies to them, and ask them if they were harassed constantly would they stay to be harassed? if not then why would you stay in those chats to be bullied then?


    it seriously sounds like a job for the police though, i'm sure it's not an offense to record a crime
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    Write a formal letter of complaint details your concerns about the handing of your situation. Be factual and not emotional. Send it to the chair of governors and a copy to the headteacher. Be sure to label it a child protection issue - they aren't allowed to sweep that under the carpet.
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    Your school hasn't handled the bullying properly but they do have a few points.

    1. You should ALWAYS keep a record of every incident of harassment, that means if you have a chat you should screen shot every problematic comment. They need this for evidence and, as you said, to prove that this is bullying and not just an argument (i.e. one way rather than 50/50). You also need to have proof if yo're going to punish someone. So that really wasn't unreasonable or trying to trip you up.

    2. Colleges can exercise a bit of leniency in calling home but they're not obliged to listen to you. in this situation they probably should have done in all honesty but they were also right that it's not really appropriate to write emails *****ing at them. I don't know the content of the email but I'd guess it's not crazy to say you overstepped a line a bit.

    It is also very hard to deal with cyber bullying and most schools doe have a policy that what happens outside school (including on social media, if it's not posted from school grounds) is not their business. They should try and it does sound like they are - meetings and discussions are always the first solution to these things. It's best to resolve it amicably if possible.
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    (Original post by doodle_333)
    Your school hasn't handled the bullying properly but they do have a few points.

    1. You should ALWAYS keep a record of every incident of harassment, that means if you have a chat you should screen shot every problematic comment. They need this for evidence and, as you said, to prove that this is bullying and not just an argument (i.e. one way rather than 50/50). You also need to have proof if yo're going to punish someone. So that really wasn't unreasonable or trying to trip you up.

    2. Colleges can exercise a bit of leniency in calling home but they're not obliged to listen to you. in this situation they probably should have done in all honesty but they were also right that it's not really appropriate to write emails *****ing at them. I don't know the content of the email but I'd guess it's not crazy to say you overstepped a line a bit.

    It is also very hard to deal with cyber bullying and most schools doe have a policy that what happens outside school (including on social media, if it's not posted from school grounds) is not their business. They should try and it does sound like they are - meetings and discussions are always the first solution to these things. It's best to resolve it amicably if possible.
    On the first point - I think you misunderstood! I've screenshotted everything problematic, but they're asking for every single message that was ever sent on the fb chat.

    Maybe they found the email aggressive? I was still respectful in it, but I made sure how much emotional distress they'd put me under. I was still sobbing when I wrote it so I guess I might've not sugarcoated it well enough for them haha

    And for the last point, they have never shown me this supposed policy, and the only thing I could find in their policies was about bullying on social media, which they categorised as bullying and viable for punishment. Like if they're trying to look like they're doing something about this situation they're doing all the things wrong. It's not even that they have set meetings with me where they update and tell me about what's actually being done, I have to go out of my way to even know that they're having 'meetings'.
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    (Original post by uniisscary)
    On the first point - I think you misunderstood! I've screenshotted everything problematic, but they're asking for every single message that was ever sent on the fb chat.

    Maybe they found the email aggressive? I was still respectful in it, but I made sure how much emotional distress they'd put me under. I was still sobbing when I wrote it so I guess I might've not sugarcoated it well enough for them haha

    And for the last point, they have never shown me this supposed policy, and the only thing I could find in their policies was about bullying on social media, which they categorised as bullying and viable for punishment. Like if they're trying to look like they're doing something about this situation they're doing all the things wrong. It's not even that they have set meetings with me where they update and tell me about what's actually being done, I have to go out of my way to even know that they're having 'meetings'.
    OK well that should really be enough. If the other students were saying that you'd said X and Y in response then they need to prove that. They can't realistically ask for your private message history, that's a total invasion of privacy.

    It's impossible to say about the letter without reading it. TBH they have a point that sending *****y 'you've upset me' emails at work or uni wouldn't be tolerated (although I sincerely doubt anyone would be fired/kicked out over it immediately unless it was really bad) but this isn't work or uni, it's school and they should show some respect for the fact you're younger and at school.

    Every school has policy that what happens outside isn't their business - otherwise they'd be policing and punishing every kid who smokes, steals chewing gum, swears in public etc and it's just too much work. Social media bullying is a relatively new thing and schools are still struggling to work out how to deal with it - when it concerns things like pictures taken on school ground then it's clearly their responsibility but when students are just sending nasty messages it's very hard for them t control but it's also (for most people) their responsibility to try and help since this is a huge part of bullying now.

    I'm sorry this is happening. All I can say is try and wait it out a bit longer. The 'meetings' might actually end up helping.
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    Honestly, leave.
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    (Original post by Hasib_332)
    Honestly, leave.
    I seriously wish dude
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    (Original post by uniisscary)
    I seriously wish dude
    If you don't mind me asking. What's stopping you?
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    (Original post by Hasib_332)
    If you don't mind me asking. What's stopping you?
    No other sixths I could go to do like....any of the units I've studied and the thought of trying to catch up with that much work sounds horrific. I guess I'm being lazy but I don't think I could handle something like that. Just wish none of this had ever happened and I could've just kept my head down and gotten in and outta there as quick as possible.
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    Your sixth form sounds awful. Clearly they don't care about their students, and no in a workplace or university you would not be fired/expelled for such an email.

    As a FE provider, legally they must take action on students who cyber-bully as you rightfully said it's a form of bullying and the protection of students is what's most important. I don't know why your mother isn't supporting you in this situation, but as a parent she should take action and write a formal complaint as others have mentioned.

    In such a situation I would only say leave and go to a sixth form or college that cares about their students welfare. The catch up will be worth it when you realise how much happier you'll be.
 
 
 
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