Bullying,harrassment and a blind eye being turned

community

#1

Hi, I am looking for some advice if I may, my son is being bullied and harassed by a staff cadet (allegedly) at his squadron. This is not isolated to him and after multiple complaints against this individual nothing is happening. The CO of the squadron socialises with the family in question ( a parent is on the civilian committee and is present at every drill night.) There seems to be a culture of threats and intimidation at the squadron, ranging from threats of loss of rank to being removed from or never offered events such as flying for failure to follow the party line.
I have made complaints in writing to the squadron and have had a conversation with the co who asked me to park the complaints and that he would put them in a holding pattern so that if bullying continues he will re-investigate all issues, he then told me that if I didn’t my son would be suspended until a full investigation is completed.
Consulting my son he had already agreed to this with the CO and so I went along with his wishes (foolishly). At the next drill night my son was asked to write a letter of apology to the staff cadet in question! The staff cadet is now using adult instructors to come down on my son for offences that seem to be constructed for the purpose of harassment and infact the staff cadets mother has been allowed into presentations and been allowed in my view to ‘heckle’ my son in an attempt to derail the presentation he was given.
I have raised this to wing level and there is now an out of area officer appointed to investigate. Apparently there are terms of reference offering the officer guidance for resolution which I have not seen.But the email tells me that this is aiming for an informal conclusion.
My opinion is that informal has been tried and failed already, and that this constitutes safeguarding issues, bullying and harassment and quite frankly child abuse.
I have pleaded with my son to change squadrons but he refuses to on the basis that he has done nothing wrongs why should he be punished.
Can I ask should the staff cadet in question be left in a position that makes it possible to continue a reign of terror?
In the absence of the CO I asked the adult instructor in charge relating to adult NCO’s bullying my son by-proxy. He told me that he has had enough of the squadron and shares the concerns I have but is unable to say anything.(in a text)
I am assured that all complaints are taken seriously but I am also informed by other parents that I am not the first to complain about this person.
With that said I have very little faith that anything is going to happen and that this individual will continue unchecked.
Any help and advice gratefully received.


#2

The matter has already been taken up to Wing. I would suggest that you speak directly with the independent officer to discuss any concerns you may have.


#3

Gather the evidence and speak to the nominated investigating officer. Screenshots of comms are particularly useful.

If there are previous cases and records of such, the IO should be made aware of them. The parents will need to come forward and their children also (assuming they’re still Cadets) otherwise it’s hearsay.

The IO should be able to advise you on their actions and scope of investigation.

On a slightly separate note, I see no reason why your son should be threatened with suspension when he is the person making the allegations - policy is clear that in safeguarding situations, primacy of protection is placed with the alleged victim, the accused should be suspended without prejudice. If a quick investigation or resolution is not feasible or suitable, I consider bullying should be treated in this same manner. If you have evidence of this threat and where it came from, I suggest you use it.

We have various matrices that we use to dictate actions to take in disciplinary situations and these are escalating - depending on the seriousness and patternation of the behaviour in question. If the same accusations are being made, more serious action should be taken against the accused (if proven). However…

There is a zero tolerance policy on bullying, but it can be difficult to prove.


#4

The IO will have a specific TOR on the investigation, and one of the first thing that should happen is the complainant is interviewed to get the full picture.

If you get no where, escalate to Region!!


#5

I was under the impression when it comes to accusations of bullying the first action is that the accused should be suspended witbout prejudice whilst the investigation is carried out…correct me if im wrong


#6

Correct


#7

Thought so! God knows why the OC is suggesting to suspend the accusing cadet…sounds like the whole process has been a balls up from the start…like a couple of posts above…if you feel like its going no where keep escalating firstly to region!


#8

Its more than possible that the accused has made a counter allegation.


#9

thank you all for your replies… I now have the information that I require and feel this would be a good time to close the conversation


#10