Stenhouse Primary School let down bullied son

Dale Dow feels that Stenhouse Primary staff didn't do enough to protect her son. Picture: Jon Savage
Dale Dow feels that Stenhouse Primary staff didn't do enough to protect her son. Picture: Jon Savage
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TEACHERS at a primary school have been criticised by city investigators over their handling of a bullying case in which a P6 pupil was “strangled” in the playground by another youngster.

Dale Dow, mother of a P6 pupil at Stenhouse Primary, who has since moved schools, accused staff of failing to protect her son, and said he had been the target of continuous verbal and physical assaults.

In their judgement, investigators appointed by education chiefs agreed there were shortcomings in the way teachers had responded to the situation and said a complaint filed by Ms Dow over her son’s treatment was found “in the main to be upheld”.

They also made a number of recommendations to senior staff over how details of meetings with parents are recorded.

Ms Dow said: “My child has suffered an awful lot.

“He became quiet, he had no friends, he would cry in the car saying he didn’t want to go to school.”

Ms Dow said she had been left particularly angry and afraid after an incident last month when her son returned from school to tell her that another child had tried to strangle him.

“By the time the playground assistant came, my son was red in the face and struggling to breathe – had it been a few more minutes he could have been unconscious and, in the worse case scenario, brain damaged or dead,” she said.

“I was not telephoned regarding the incident and my son was emotionally distressed upon his arrival home, where the whole situation was revealed to me.”

Ms Dow said she became even angrier when she went to school to discuss the attack – and was told her son’s attacker had been punished with a one-hour detention and playground ban. “I wasn’t satisfied with that as a response to someone being attacked in that manner,” she said.

“I could not keep my child in that school after I found out he still wasn’t being protected from the bullies – even after the incident last month.”

She added: “I strongly agree with the Ayden’s Law campaign – which would make bullying in schools illegal, and there would be action taken against a school if it allows bullying to happen. Then schools would have to knuckle down and really try to stamp it out.”

City education bosses said all complaints about bullying were taken “extremely seriously”.

A council spokesman said: “Following concerns raised, a thorough investigation was carried out and a number of recommendations have been made for the school to implement.

“The council always aims to work with parents to achieve the best possible educational outcomes for their children.”