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Horrendous bullying by pupils

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by JodiP, May 23, 2019.

  1. JodiP

    JodiP Occasional commenter

    I work in a PRU and the level of daily abuse I am receiving from the pupils is relentless and reducing me to tears during the school day. I am phoning my husband in tears at break. I am dreading each day at work. The personal insults are relentless and I have been physically assaulted more than once. I am recording every day what is happening for my own records. I have spoken to my line manager more than once about this. My role in school has completely changed and I am not doing the job that I was empoyed to do - they cannot tell me when it will revert back,. .I have looked at resigning and going on benefits or doing supply but we cannot afford it. I have already had time off with stress. The head has already said that if I go off sick then him and HR will concoct something to suspend me (I have this conversation recorded) I have a new position for September but cannot bear the thought of another 8 weeks. What can I do?
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You're ill!

    Don't go into work. Get a doctor's appointment. Self-certificate in the meantime.
  3. JodiP

    JodiP Occasional commenter

    Will this affect my new position? As it is a PRU the head knows all of the other heads in the area and I am worried that he will say something to the new school
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Has your reference been taken up? Was it a firm job offer? Was it conditional upon anything? They're going to concoct something to get rid of you when you're leaving in July? Nonsense. That would be far too much trouble.

    You secured a new job despite having already been off with WRS? It's a PRU. Are you going to another PRU? What's the new HT going to think if s/he gets a malicious call? "Sheesh, she's leaving a PRU to come and work here. Who wouldn't be stressed? I'm glad I don't have to work in a PRU!"

    Take the threats with a pinch of salt. Your records? Have these assaults not been recorded at work? In the accident book? Even the most superficial injury. A bruise. A tiny cut.

    Fight fire with fire. You're leaving? Well, you can make trouble too. You can talk about going to the police etc etc. The HT won't like THAT.
  5. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    This sounds a horrible situation. It often seems that when there is an exit planned, the situation seems to become even worse.
    So, I agree with @grumpydogwoman. Ensure that ALL injuries and attacks, however slight, are documented thoroughly and officially at work. Take half term to breathe and then consider going to the GP for support. Eight week feels like a lifetime when you are in such a situation, but you will soon be able to look back and be glad when it's over!
    Take care.
  6. JodiP

    JodiP Occasional commenter

    The HT made that threat when I said that I was first looking for another job.

    I was off last year and the new school don't know - it wasn't on my reference.

    I am going back to mainstream - I will never touch a PRU again.

    The last assault is in accident book - I had to go to A&E and was signed off and had to wear a splint.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Well, the HT didn't follow through and you GOT another job so the HT can go do something very impolite. The PRU is reconciled to your leaving. They gave you a reference that didn't prevent you from getting a new job.

    You aren't well. Unless the splint-incident could realistically be deemed an accident (e.g. a fight amongst pupils broke out and you got pushed and hurt yourself rather unfortunately) you can still go to the police. Not with a view to having the students punished but to hold it over the HT's head as a stick with which to beat her/him. Most embarrassing.

    Don't let them bully you. Don't let them intimidate you. Where are the unions in all this? What about colleagues? Are they suffering assaults too?
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I am aware that some things are different in a PRU.
    The pupils who are doing this are being done a grave disservice, if they are led to believe that this sort of behaviour has no comeback, because in wider society, it will land them in massive trouble.
    I would be talking to my union rep. If I had landed in A&E, I would be talking to the police.
    Your head has a duty to ensure a safe working space - others will provide the exact wording. They are not doing this at the moment. There should be zero acceptance of physical assault, and no verbal abuse.

    You have a difficult and thankless job. It wouldn't suit me. Your head obviously wants to keep you in post for the remainder of the half term. What sort of a workplace is it if he has to resort to bullying to keep you there?
    One and a bit days until half term!
  9. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Lead commenter

    So glad you have managed to secure a new job. One day at a time. The insults are words- imagine you have an invisible shield- the words won't penetrate it. Your head sounds vile( is this a PRU thing- speaking from experience it IS) but they are not powerful enough to stop you going and having a better life.

    Sending hugs.
  10. JodiP

    JodiP Occasional commenter

    It was a deliberate assault recorded on camera. The girl received 2 dayss FTE. She has now left. Staff are regularly assaulted but this is accepted as the status quo
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    So sorry you're going through this.

    See your GP.

    New school - tell them you ended up in hospital and school were still letting pupils abuse you on your return. What excuse could PRU give for this?

    Job is making you ill. You need to protect yourself.
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I was just wondering if you maybe had a bit of a "down" on yourself if others appeared to be "coping" or not assaulted and whether you were blaming yourself. people do, you know! And that's encouraged by some managers. "Oh, well. Your de-escalation techniques aren't good enough."

    But I hope this isn't what you're thinking to yourself.

    Oh, and the classic! "Nobody else complains. Only you. What's the matter with you?"

    Do not listen. Go home. Self-certificate. The HT will be all talk. Nothing will happen to you except that you get a rest from it. Sick. off you go.
  13. JodiP

    JodiP Occasional commenter

    The others babysot because it is easier - films, games, etc. I teach - or at least attempt to hence the high levels of abuse. You are the only one who doesn't put films on.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Ah, I see.

    In which case I would encourage you to follow their lead.

    I'm just about to start supply at a primary PRU (having plenty of previous SEBD in other establishments) and I know you can't reach them when they're not ready. it's the classic Maslow pyramid. They're not properly fed or rested. They're overstimulated by 'phones and gaming. They don't know if they're going home to shouting and fighting or neglect or ....

    I know you want to teach and we all know that, without skills, they're not going to get anywhere. Until they're ready.

    Putting a film on may seem like the easy option but there's a lot to be said for learning to sit quietly and feel safe. That's actually a "win". It's softly, softly, catchee monkey in the PRU-sector. Well, that's my opinion anyway. Time was when I'd have soldiered on with my planned lessons but I no longer think it works. Not for some kids. Games sound good. But you're on your way and it's not your preferred sphere so good luck with your next role! In the meantime? Sign yourself off.
  15. JodiP

    JodiP Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your advice

    This is a secondary PRU and they are meant to be going back to mainstream from here.

    As tomorrow is the last day before a holiday can I be signed off - but the thought of being in here for any longer is literally bringing tears to my eyes
    agathamorse and senlady like this.
  16. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    did you go to the police? Would that be an option for you now?
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  17. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    That's the definition of being unwell then.

    I know they're supposed to be going back to mainstream and we all know that they'll just "fail" again. I wish all kids observed the proprieties and were well-behaved but they don't and they're not. If it's the sort of PRU that operates on a short-term kick-up-the-backside before you go back to mainstream? Often 6 weeks or so? Well, they don't have great success rates on the whole because there are no easy fixes.

    You don't have to go to the doctor. Just make an appointment. SELF-certificate! Ring up tomorrow morning or later this evening.

    "Dear HT, sorry I won't be in on Friday but I'm feeling terrible. I've made an appointment with my GP and will see if I can get better before the end of half-term. But I'll keep you posted whatever happens."
    agathamorse, phlogiston and senlady like this.
  18. princesslegend

    princesslegend Occasional commenter

    I don't have anything to say really except please see your doctor and if you're unwell - don't go in. Please.

    Look after yourself, darling xxxx
  19. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I have worked in a Pru environment and have seen what an unhealthy dreadful place it can be. I did a year's contract and another stint in the same place. The only regret I have is not leaving much sooner.

    Get signed off with exhaustion or stress. Don't return. Your mental health comes first. My colleague was signed off with depression because of the work environment in that Pru. He was off continually. He would come in for a few days then leave because it really affected him. I just muddled through. Awful management and no regard for staff mental health whatsoever.
    agathamorse and senlady like this.
  20. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    The PRU i worked in had a HT, who when appointed as Senco on their way to the top, stated how pleased they were never having to go in a classroom again!
    There are some dreadful managers out there.
    For what it is worth you cannot start to teach what you want to teach until you have a basic trust/relationship with the students.

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