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My son is beaten and bullied by an older boy at school, what should I do?

Q: My 8-year old son is being constantly beaten up both in and out of school by an older boy. I have informed the school and the police. However, I am told that significant damage needs to be done before anything other then a telling-off can be done. He's been kicked in the stomach and back, punched in the face, strangled and shoved into walls etc. A week ago, he was shoved very hard into a metal support strut at school and as a consequence he had terrible back pain over his left kidney. I took him to the doctor who checked that he didn't have a broken rib piercing a lung and advised me to continue with Brufen and paracetamol. However, over the weekend, he was in such pain that I was in despair. I took him to a local A & E to get him checked. The spine x-ray fortunately shows that there is no damage and the swelling and pain is due to extensive soft tissue damage. He has excessively high Ph levels in his urine as well as blood. I have been told to continue with paracetamol and brufen. I am concerned about the Ph and blood in his urine. Does it mean a lot of damage? I am worried about him and the possible consequences of constant beatings and intend to keep him from school if it doesn't stop. But the boy concerned lives only 7 doors down from us.

A:This is serious. I think you should protect your son and keep him out of the range of the bully. Can you not get some collective action in the community, to warn off the older boy? For the present, let your child stay at home and take some rest. School attendance is not so important. If the school authorities take no notice of your sons injuries, it is time to change schools. Do that after you have spoken to the Principal one more time. It seems to me that they should be worrying about getting the other boy counselled as his aggressive behaviour has crossed the limits. Please consult a doctor who will spell out the details of the treatment, even if it means changing doctors. Talk to your son and find out why he thinks he is being victimised. The treatment to date seems to alleviate physical pain, but not to go to the cause of the problem. Your child's physical and mental health are matters of top priority. Take the best course of action, at the very earliest. I think your son has taken it too long. Consult elders in the family, colleagues at work and teachers in the school (if they are available) and kind neighbours. Come to a decision soon and act on it.

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