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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 74821
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Last April our 15yr old son was subject of an allegation

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Hi. Last April our 15yr old son was subject of an allegation “inappropriate touching over clothes”. The allegation was made through a 3rd party at school. Without speaking to our son the incident was escalated to MASH who in turn passed the allegation on to the police. My son was interviewed and provided a full statement. Afterwards the case was closed with no further action. The whole episode took about 6 weeks. This came during his mock exams and as well as effecting his grades had a big impact on his well-being.
Assistant: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Uk
Assistant: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: In this case. My son and the girl in question don’t share groups or lessons together. Otherwise nothing else.
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: However in the last 8 weeks my son has been the subject of threats of physical violence from some boys in his school
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
He is now being persecuted by a ring of children making and escalating false allegations and lies in an attempt to get other children to attack and beat him up.

We've provided the school with details of these incidents.

We've asked for updates and haven't had them.

For weeks my son was expected to sit in an isolated room when these other children attend classes as normal.

We removed my son from school until the school put adequate safeguards in place.

To us, the solution is simple, the children involved should be placed in isolation or removed from the school while our son is allowed to go about his studies. If this wasn’t possible, we proposed they invited all parents and children involved to a meeting to air the issues and resolve the situation.

The school anti-bullying policy states restorative actions should be taken under point 6, Section Procedures, but we don't believe this has been followed.

We have been asking for a restorative approach as described on Page 8 but there has been no evidence of this. The teachers stated they didn't want to bring the main protagonist into a meeting with our son because they didn't feel confident that the boy would make a convincing apology.

Their policy states "Do not minimise the “crime” of bullying – assault is an offence, harassment is an offence”. We feel that the school have tried to brush over the severity and impact of this bullying and are allowing this abuse to continue.

Today our son returned to school for 2 lessons which were set up to remove the risk of him being targeted. However he only attended one as the other lesson had a cover teacher.

However, during the day, the school brought 4 of the boys into a meeting to enforce that the bullying had to stop.

In their defence, the boys made an allegation about our son in relation to a girl. The school called us in to advise us that they were reporting the matter to MASH. The multi-disciplinary safeguarding team.

We asked what the allegations were and what was being reported and they said they couldn’t tell us.

We are 100% confident that there is no substance to the allegation.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
We do not believe the school have acted sensibly in either incident by not allowing our son to give his side of the story. The school has failed to meet his safeguarding needs. The children involved in the rumours and allegations are not held accountable for spreading lies.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Our son has now self-removed himself from school with no intention to return.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Do we have a case to pursue against the school?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Also, can we take any action against the bullies who have been spreading lies against our son?
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Yes please

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer. My name is Jo C, I’m a barrister with 12 years of experience and I am happy to help with your question today.

So, in short, the school have made a report to the police?

Is there any reason you think they shouldn't?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Not to the police. To MASH - multi agency safeguarding hub. The allegation against our son was made by a group of boys who have been bullying him for several months. No party has come forward making direct accusations. We feel the school should do more before escalating to other agencies. We feel they should have put a stop to the bullying. Spoken to other parties involved to see if there are any grounds for the allegations.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
They did this before and he had to be interviewed by the police before it was found he had committed no wrongdoing. This is all linked to that event
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
He has missed long periods away from school and his grades have plummeted

This is an allegation of sexual assault.

They have a duty to report it to the police.

I do realise that it might be a weak allegation but that is for a law enforcer not the school.

I do think it would be better if everything wasn't reported to the police but the problem is that is the modern way.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
The school claim their policy is not to investigate, but we don’t see that in their policy and the DoE guid suggest they should seek clarity on the situation

I also understand and appreciate that he has difficulties but Im afraid we all have to cope with the vicissitudes and unfairness of life.

I'm very sorry

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Well, it wouldn't be in their policy. It probably doesn't say that they don't investigate allegations of murder either but plainly they wouldnt

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Once he’s proved innocent again do we have any recourse on the school not managing the slanderous allegations?

No. They are not allowed to ignore allegations.

I'm sorry but they are just not.

Those days are long gone.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Ok. Thanks

You have a much better claim against the accuser.

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 74821
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Even if the accuser is a minor? There is nobody coming forward claiming to have been assaulted. Only rumours and gossip from four boys who have been prevented from beating my son up. They are all 15

Oh yes. The fact she is a minor is no defence.

The problem is that she will have no money but if all you want is to put on record that the allegations were false, she can still be written to by a solicitor.

Also, arguably you could sue her parents for failure to control her although that is a weaker legal claim.

But some solicitors' letters would change the game a bit.

Accusers need to be responsible for their claims.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Ah. Ok. No girl has made any allegation this time around it’s just gossip from the boys. But that’s very helpful. Thanks

Well, point still applies.