I can really empathize with both your story and some of what your son must have felt, ---- having experienced abuse at secondary school myself when I was only slightly older, ---- 12-15.
If there is something good about your story it's that your son told you, and that you and you changed his school.
Unfortunately, I find it all too easy to believe that your son's old school doesn't want to even admit there was a problem.
When "eventually" I told my parents about the bullying (though not about the Sa), they took me out of school three months before I would've finished at age 15.
incidence had been going on at an escalating rate by that stage for roughly three years, but at that point it'd got to the stage where things were happening weekly.
The school however attempted to actually take my parents to court for contributing to truancy, ----- which was absolutely rediculous being as half the school didn't bother turning up. Sinse the school was on verge of closure though, the exec staff absolutely wanted to avoid any kind of hastle.
Expelling the perpetrators would've been far too public a gesture, ---- pluss, in my case there were sort of a few of them, ----- five or six regular ones and various hangers on.
The teaching staff even contributed directly to the hole abuse situation by absolutely refusing to allow me space inside the school during lunch time and insisting that I went outside unsupervised where most of the abuse happened.
four years later, when i was 19, we actually looked at directly suing the school, ---- primarily just to get the school to recognize what had happened, ---- and perhaps get an apology, but sinse it transpired the legal procedure would've taken up a considderable amount of time and energy, ---- and because I myself wasn't ready to deal with things then, we let the matter dropp.
I don't know if I can really give advice, however it does sound as if you and your son are very in tune, and if he says he's happy at his boarding school, ---- I'd just go along with it, I'd go along with that, but be there for him if he there for him, ---- as has already been said.
Before I went to secondary school I had a pretty awful boarding school experience (nothing Sa related but lots of immotional abuse), and my parents actually fetched me home from that school two nights a week, rather than have me board for the full monday-Friday.
Part of me stil wonders, ----- and probably won't know why I never mentioned to my parents what happened to me at school, but i'm fairly certain if i had they'd have done something pretty serious such as changing my school as well.
As for the community bad feelings thing, one story I later heard was that during the three months I was out of that school before I left for good,my mum had many conversations with the exec staff.
They accused me of either lying about or causing the problem myself, threatened legal procedings against my mum and were exceptionally vile.
Her response was to be amazingly intransigent. she was fairly persistant about my truthfulness, and when it came to the legal procedings was down write obstructive.
she "did not recieve"" the first notification they sent requesting a meeting with the truency board, "lost" the second, rescheduled the third meeting for three weeks in advance then was "called away for an urgent appointment" lost the next appointment letter and so on.
She was able to utterly frustrate them for three months, by which time I'd left the school and things didn't matter.
So, based on this I'd say believe your son, stick the community, and if anyone tries to do anything officially bad, fight them tooth and nale, afterall, you can always find new neighbors, ---- but not a new son.
I really hope you can work things out, and I'll be thinking of both you and your son.