Early intervention can stop bullying, says Sheffield mum

A Sheffield mum has talked candidly about when she learnt her nine-year-old son was being bullied.

Alison Riggott, a mum of three, found her eldest boy had been struggling in the first few weeks of term after sensing that something was wrong when he came home.

The year five pupil had been subject to name-calling and, when it began to turn physical, Miss Riggott contacted the school saying “enough was enough.”

She said: “What I didn’t want is for it escalate past the point of no return really.

“He loves school, he does really well, he’s academic, it’s his happy place, so for him to come home and be so upset was a bit of a wake-up call.” 

Miss Riggott published a blog for The Motherload, an online community for women and parents, in the hope it would create a space where mums can talk about their experience together.

While there are no official statistics for the number of people who are bullied, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) say there were over 24,000 Childline counselling sessions with children about bullying in 2016/17, with more than 16,000 young people not attending school because of bullying.

With secondary school just two years away for her eldest – her other children are aged four and 18-months – she wants to ensure he isn’t deterred and keeps the thirst for learning that has seen him succeed already.

Miss Riggott added: “You can’t be wrapping them in cotton wool, you’ve got to let them go.

“High school is in two years and while I wasn’t bullied at high school at all, apart from the odd name-calling, I know some have a really hard time.

“It’s made us talk to him and our other children about what the proper things to do are when you’re being bullied.”

Shef News has not named the child or the primary school, to prevent unwanted attention aimed at the family.

 

Adam May

I'm a trainee journalist and Head of Sport at Forge Press, the University of Sheffield's free student newspaper. Former Chelmsford City Press Officer and Non-League Paper match reporter.

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