We've been dealing with this situation at school since just a few weeks after school started back in August, and I am reaching the end of my rope.
Ds1 started 4th grade this year, at his request, after being homeschooled. He's never had any social problems - he's a very outgoing and confident kid. Things were fine at first and then we started hearing the reports about being excluded and teased on the playground. It was hard for us to get all the info - it can be difficult to get coherent information out of ds1 sometimes - but we basically figured out that it was one particular kid, J. According to ds, it started when J asked ds to be in his club, and then one day ds wanted to do something else at recess and J told him if he missed a meeting he was out forever. The teasing by J started then and has never stopped.
Ds at first was telling the teacher or yard duty every time it happened, but yard duty ignored him, and the teacher told him not to be a tattle tale. I met with the teacher about it, and she again complained about ds being a tattle tale, saying that these were things he had to figure out how to solve. We talked with ds a bit, he tried not reacting/ignoring the kid, but it just continued. I had another conversation with the teacher, even though she seems pretty exasperated with me in general. This time her solution was that the boys were to stay away from one another.
Great, but this pans out in one of two ways: ds is left to sit all by himself because J is part of the wallball group that ds wants to play in, or ds is playing with a group of kids and J comes and joins, and again starts mocking/teasing ds. When he tells J to leave him alone, J repeats him in a mocking/sing song tone.
I went in yet again right before Christmas break to talk to the teacher. She said that she talked with both kids and J says that ds is the one teasing him. Now, I am not a "my kid is perfect" kind of parent, but I just don't buy it. Ds has other faults, but never, ever, have I ever heard him tease another kid. It's just not his style. She said she talked with other teachers and they've never had any trouble with J. She said she hoped things would "reset" over xmas break.
Back in Sept/Oct ds started having a lot of nightmares, he has developed a twitch with his eyes (I actually took him to the eye doctor to check it out), and every single day after school this is what we deal with - the reports about J.
Dh and I went in to talk with the principal just the other morning. It was a quick meeting as she was on her way to a meeting, but we laid it out for her and she said she'd talk to the teacher and get back to us. She also said she'd talk to ds alone and hear the story from him. She did, however, go on and one about what a sweet kid J is, and how she basically doesn't believe that he would be mean.
Yesterday I picked ds up and he was livid. He said that J was calling him a dork, and told him that his middle name was stupid. The principal wasn't in her office, but I called when I got home, She said she hadn't had a chance to talk to the teacher yet but would get back to me. 20 minutes later she calls me and tells me that she went looking for the teacher and J was in the classroom with his tutor. She went on to say that J says it's all ds - that J's parents are very upset about ds but that "they aren't the type to complain." She said that J said that ds calls him stupid and makes fun of him. Her solution is to call both kids in to her office and have them come up with a behavior contract that both of them had to sign.
I asked if anyone had ever talked to J's parents since we had been complaining about this since the beginning of the year, and we feel like we're the only parents trying to solve this, and she said that no, they hadn't talked to them, but it wasn't necessary because "they're good parents, no worries there."
I feel like the school is biased towards J because they know him and don't know ds's history. I know 100% that ds is not the one teasing J. If they told me that ds was throwing a fit because he didn't the like rules of the game, I would believe them. If they told me that he was being a bad sport I would believe them. Teasing? No. There's no reason for it, and it doesn't make any sense. When he's on the defense, when someone is attacking him, yes he will tell him they're stupid or try to otherwise defend himself, but I've never seen any inclination towards initiating this kind of thing. His whole reason for wanting to go to school was to make more friends! He knows he can come home at any time, but he really wants to stay in school and have this go away.
So, what do I do? It's a he said/she said issue at the moment. I've drafted a letter to the Superintendent spelling out what I've said here, but haven't sent it yet. I suspect all hell will break loose if I do, and I'm not sure how to deal with it. I could really use some advice!
Thank you for reading this far!