to ask school to not let this parent helper work with my DCs? (long, sorry!)

(75 Posts)
WeAreSix Fri 05-Oct-12 12:58:50

Back history so I don't drip feed - 2 years ago I was good friends with one of the mums from school (friend A). She introduced me to her friend (friend B) and we socialised a few times together - only coffee after school runs and play times with our younger DCs.

We all shared a mutual hobby and agreed to meet up one evening, no concrete plans were made. One morning friend A asked if I was going to an arranged meeting at friend B's house that evening (to do with the hobby). I hadn't been invited by friend B - I felt a bit hurt that I'd been excluded but genuinely didn't make a big deal of it. Friend A knew how I felt and told Friend B that she'd hurt my feelings.

The reaction from Friend B was extraordinary. She went ballistic - to this day I cannot figure out why. Over the following weeks I was subjected to a torrent of abuse via phonecalls and text messages. Friend A 'sided' with Friend B and stopped talking to me. It turned into playground bully tactics - they would stand near me at the school gate and openly talk about me so I could hear them, I was followed home on a few occasions with taunts and name calling. They did this infront of two other friends, who were amazed at their ridiculousness.

In the end it got so bad that I spoke to the school about what was happening. These women were starting to behave like this infront of my DCs and accused my eldest of bullying (which she wasn't). For a good while I collected my DCs from a different school entrance so we didn't have to face this on a daily basis.

Eventually it fizzled out and they just ignored me (which was a relief!)

Fast forward to now - Friend B is helping at school. Rationally I know she won't do anything to my DCs. but I had to change my phone numbers because of her and had to avoid her every day to stop her abusive, toxic behaviour. I was really intimidated by her and my gut reaction to seeing her writing in my DCs reading record is that I don't want her anywhere near them or having any kind of window into our lives. I have had problems with anxiety in the past and her behaviour brought on panic attacks etc and I can't face feeling like that again. I'm not sure that this feeling is to do with the anxiety, if its because I've been feeling low / anxious since giving birth 3 months ago or because it is actually rational to react like this.

AIBU to ask school to not let this person read with my DCs (they are unsupervised doing so and I am worried about what else she will say while with my DC), or to have any involvement with my DCs education? (I think she may also be starting this term as a TA but not 100% sure).

Please be gentle....

WeAreSix Fri 05-Oct-12 13:30:04

BonaDea yes, I think so. They were all saved on DH's old phone so should still be there. I will speak to school this afternoon and offer for them to see them.

nannyl Fri 05-Oct-12 13:30:43

YADNBU

sounds awful

ChaoticismyLife Fri 05-Oct-12 13:36:27

Do you still have those texts and calls?

If so I'd show them to the head so s/he knows that it's not just a case of a clash of personalities.

YANBU I wouldn't want her near my DC either.

ChaoticismyLife Fri 05-Oct-12 13:36:55

x posts

BlueberryHill Fri 05-Oct-12 13:52:35

Agree with everyone that you should speak to the school, I would not want someone who had done that to me to be reading to my children. If she is a volunteer, the school should respect your wishes and manage it sensitively.

It should also be handled confidentially. So teachers should not be telling Parent A and B tales, to do so would be to breach that confidentiality, FB friends or not.

wheresmespecs Fri 05-Oct-12 14:07:07

This is slightly off topic, but would anyone else in this situation have been to the police before?

I'm not criticising the OP at all (and I would be extremely unhappy about this person working with my children after that behaviour).

It's just following someone and shouting abuse in public (which is what name calling and taunting is, right?) is something I would feel so intimidated/harassed by, I would have gone to the police for advice.

obvs something like someone talking about you loudly to wind you up is NOT a police matter, to be clear.

I just thought - it would be easier to act now if there was some sort of official previous record of a problem with them. But would anyone else have gone to police, or do you think that's an over the top reaction?

ElectricMonk Fri 05-Oct-12 14:23:32

You are not being remotely unreasonable - in fact, I think you would be irresponsible to allow this woman to influence your children's learning and development in any way.

In your position, I would start by meeting with the assistant head who knows the background (taking evidence with you, either in the form of messages or your DH as a witness). Make it very clear that what she did constituted harassment, and that it only stopped when you threatened to involve the police. From your perspective and the school's, surely that alone should make it a child protection issue?

I would be seeking the following outcome: confirmation in writing that this particular volunteer will not work with your children under any circumstances and that the matter will remain confidential, signed by the assistant head and the class teacher (and the head, if deemed necessary). A copy for you, and a copy on file smile.

Speak to the school, bring with you the phone so you can show them the texts.

In a big foyer in between a load of class rooms leaves a sneaky person lots of chance for the odd little poisonous word to your DC.

You do need to put a stop to it and it sounds like you have reasonable grounds to do so.

Noqontrol Fri 05-Oct-12 14:37:10

YANBU. I would not want a person like that working with my child. Tell the school, follow it up in writing, and tell them what happened. But you don't have to put up with this. The woman sounds like a psycho.

gordyslovesheep Fri 05-Oct-12 14:41:41

NO YANBU - she sound very very odd and I wouldn't want anyone who had treated me, an adult, like that within 37837389793 miles of my child

I had a similar situation and the woman in question was not allowed to work with either of my children's classes.

(not bullying of me - her child behaved sexually and aggressively to my dd in school - ss got involved, she started a vendetta against me and my ex - usual stuff - evil looks, muttered comments, etc)

Pippa6774 Fri 05-Oct-12 15:48:05

i am actually wondering what it was that friend A actually told friend B to provoke this extreme reaction.Not that it excuses their shocking behaviour.It is a shame you didn't go to the police with it.
I would be horrified to think someone like that was influencing my DC and I think she has no place working with children and parents.
I think you have to tell the school what happened and then they can make a decision on it.i don't know whether they will want to start on the slippery slope of ' I don't what member of staff x working with my child' ,
She is either suitable to work with all children or unsuitable to work with all children IMHO

GoldenSeptember Fri 05-Oct-12 17:09:02

Good god she sounds fucking deranged! hmm

YANBU at all - speak to the assistant head and explain the situation. Is this woman's child in the same class as yours? Otherwise can she not be put in a different class to help out?

WeAreSix Fri 05-Oct-12 18:54:41

Thanks everyone

It's nice to know that I'm not going crazy :D Unfortunately the Assistant Head wasn't available after school but I can see her first thing monday morning. I will be insistent that this is confidential - the last thing I need is a repeat performance, or the friendship groups between staff / parents getting hold of it and making a big deal of it all.

Pippa6774 I have no idea what was said. Or why I ever deserved what I got for feeling left out... maybe if I'd been a drama queen about it all then I could understand her having a go at me, but no way did it ever need to escalate the way it did. I agree with what you're saying re: suitable or not.

gordy I'm sorry you have been in the same situation, it is awful.

mamma That is my concern, and she really is poisonous. I've asked some discreet questions and my DC says they only talked about the book. And what she has written in the record is pleasant, to be fair.

golden Unfortunately our DCs are in the same class and seem to be striking up a bit of a friendship hmm

Kaida Fri 05-Oct-12 20:28:50

OP, YANBU. I'd not want her working/volunteering in the school full stop tbh, and would factually tell/remind the school what a loon she is and what she did, and raise the question that do they really think she's a suitable person to have access to children and such?

letseatgrandma Fri 05-Oct-12 20:46:58

What on earth did all these texts say? You were upset because you weren't invited to an event-so was she saying, 'you're being ridiculous for being upset' repeatedly? Or was it something else?

I probably wouldn't want her working with my child either, but obviously she is going to have a story to tell as well-what would that be? Did you reply to her texts? If you go and speak to someone-it's likely to drag it all up and she will have a story to tell.

If she's a volunteer in a big school-she can probably easily and quietly be directed to a different year group. If she's employed as a TA in a small school and is friendly with some of the teachers-it's unlikely to be kept very secret-someone somewhere will be told what's happened and people will know things.

I'd play it differently if she was a parent helper than if she was a TA there, I think.

lydiamama Fri 05-Oct-12 20:53:48

I think you have all the rights to do not want this person never ever any close to any of your children or yourself, and make sure you tell the school this, as they already know about the problem, it should be more than understandable to them. Good luck with this, and I hate this kind of person, arghhh

WeAreSix Sat 06-Oct-12 21:00:44

letseatgrandma One of her biggest problems (I think) is that she never got a rise out of me. Until her and Friend A started making accusations about my DC then I grew a massive pair of balls and didn't put up with it. I can't defend myself particularly well, but when it comes to my children. Well.... it wasn't going any further. Which is when I involved school further.

I have spoken to DH and my DMum about the way I feel and they both agree with many of the responses here.

I'll update on Monday when I have spoken to school.

Thanks again to you all for the support - I can't tell you how reassuring it has been!

Bobyan Sat 06-Oct-12 21:07:25

I think showing the school the messages is a great idea. As a parent I wouldn't want her anywhere near my kids.

Bobyan Sat 06-Oct-12 21:07:51

Good luck!

sudka1 Sat 06-Oct-12 21:15:54

I think you are doing the right thing talking to the school. Show the texts etc. and you might want to mention that there are teachers on FB with parents-it is totally against school policy at our school. Best of luck!!

ShutTheFrontDoor Sat 06-Oct-12 21:19:25

Also don't ask if they want to see the messages, just show them cos they might say no if you ask them and they need to see them.

Inaflap Sat 06-Oct-12 22:29:07

I think there should be some policy about not reading with children in the same class that their kid is in. Schools have to guard against mummy one upmanship and also duty of confidentiality. I also worry about her being a FB friend of some staff. As a teacher, I would never do this as I feel this blurrs the professional boundries too much.

steppemum Sat 06-Oct-12 23:22:36

yanbu
at dcs old school there were 2 parents who had history, some very bad stuff had gone on, as far as I know one parent was very much in the bullying position. The nasty parent offered to help out with swimming, with nice parent's child in group. Nice parent went in, explained situation to head, and head arranged it so said parent didn't help out with swimming. I have no idea how head did it, but it the situation was known. I imagine after meeting mum head asked her staff and got confirmation.

I would not want her near my dcs, but also wouldn't want a fuss, which may kick things off again. I am sure that you can ask for her not to work with your child

steppemum Sat 06-Oct-12 23:23:37

sorry, some punctuation would have made that easier to read1

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