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....

TheMonster Wed 10-Oct-12 18:10:23

Sounds like a good outcome.

steppemum Wed 10-Oct-12 10:23:44

op - I am so pleased to hear how the school handled it. We get so many threads on here when the school don't get it right. This is exactly what I would expect the school to do. Very well handled, understanding confidentiality, getting the point straight away.

So pleased you and your dd can relax. Don't worry about fall out. The school will find a way to do it subtley.

I want to encourage you to keep a copy of the texts (maybe print them out with dates etc) and if it ever starts up again, tell them (or write to them) and say you will be contacting the police because of harrassment

WeAreSix Wed 10-Oct-12 10:12:58

Thank you all for the lovely, supportive replies.

Vickles Its awful, isn't it? I began to believe that it was me and I was imagining what was happening; everything she did was so sly and clever. She's done it to more people than me, I'm sure.

I spoke to the lovely Asst Head this morning. I asked her if she remembered helping me with a difficult situation a while ago, she looked very concerned and asked if I was OK (as if it had started again). I explained that she'd only seen the tip of the iceberg, and although nothing is happening now that it had all lasted for a long time. I told her that bitch Friend B was parent-helping in DCs class and it was unwanted contact. She was very understanding and said of course that contact wasn't to happen, leave it with her and she would sort it. I offered for her to read the texts and she said she didn't need to, had no reason to doubt me. I also explained that there were teachers with friends of hers on their Facebook (I can't see if Friend B is on their friends list as she's blocked) and she pulled a shock hmm face and said that she would have to look into that one.

So, its all sorted and she understood the need for 100% confidentiality because of the potential repercussions.

Phew. And now I have to hope that there will never be any fall out because of this.

MephistophelesSister Tue 09-Oct-12 20:50:30

OP, YADNBU, and though my DD is only in reception, I really dislike the whole parent-volunteers-for-reading thing already. Parents with no training, very often an agenda, and little supervision, are doing a job that imvho should be done by trained staff, accountable to the school.

My DD has not yet read to her class teacher, despite having been at school for weeks. How they are judging her ability level, I have no idea. I have an appointment next week when I will be (vociferously) raising my concerns.

Meanwhile, your situation sounds hell, and I feel for you - good luck!

marbleslost Tue 09-Oct-12 20:37:42

That's awful Vickles. There really are some vile people out there. Coincidentally the two people I've had problems with are both prominent figures on the PTA. Which makes you feel you can't be involved in your dc's school.

Mine wasn't nearly as bad as op's situation. I do think she should say something.

I really hate this form of bullying. Grown adults should be past all this.

TheMonster Tue 09-Oct-12 20:19:13

If you had called the police and she had been charged with something, she wouldn't pass a crb and wouldn't be working with kids, so yanbu.

Vickles Tue 09-Oct-12 20:16:33

Oh, forgot to say, I was pregnant with my third baby when all of it went on... And I suffered from panic attacks and anxiety. They really did a good job at making what should've been one of the happiest times... Really really bad.
(One of the reasons why I'm pregnant now with no 4!)

Vickles Tue 09-Oct-12 20:12:11

OMG! OP, this was me 18 months ago.
Two against one... They were always very clever, and saved the worse abuse on the way to and from school.
We sold our house and moved across town, and pulled my daughter out of the school.
I feared this happening, what you're explaining now, as the main toxic one was on the PTA, and I knew she was listening to reading, and had been heard making comments to other parents about children's reading levels.
Beware of any back lash.. If you show the texts. I think you should tell the school everything.

(I did, when I told them we were leaving... We had no other choice to move, as the toxic pair lived either side of us on a quiet cul de sac... So there was no getting away from it. It was living hell for 18 months.. And they never stopped, and like you said, I never reacted infront of them.... I just took it! Thankfully, most of it went over her head, bless her. But, it was mostly aimed at me.)

18 months on... Life is amazing. It has all worked out brilliantly, and everything we went through, was oh so worth it. Better area, better house, better school, better everything!

give us an update on how things are going. Feel free to message me if you like. Sooooo weird hearing your story, so many similarities! X

helenthemadex Tue 09-Oct-12 19:52:24

I would not want such a vile person anywhere near my child, I hope you have managed to speak to the school and have sorted something out

onedev Tue 09-Oct-12 18:32:07

Any update Op?

PickledFanjoCat Mon 08-Oct-12 23:01:41

I don't think your overacting and just echo having a chat with ht. at least it's noted if there is any nonsense.

bubalou Mon 08-Oct-12 22:52:10

I haven't read the replies but u poor thing! I wouldn't hesitate in letting the school know how unhappy you are with this woman coming into contact with your child. Don't ask them - you tell them!

Give them clear reasons - don't get into deep playground stuff & just explain you do not feel comfortable with this woman spending any time alone with your DC.

Grrr - would love to be at your school - I would give her a quick shove when walking paste wink

Nanny0gg Mon 08-Oct-12 22:21:34

My school has had, more than once 'issues' between parents. Whilst these parents didn't help in school, the HT did all they could to minimise contact and help ease the situation.
I hope yours is as sympathetic.

breadnjam Mon 08-Oct-12 00:15:09

Take this further, you were intimidated, had to change your number, and use a different gate because of this person, with that character she should not be working with children. Schools nowadays try to "engage parents", especially these "hard to reach" type that they will possibly keep her on, but they need to be reminded of her behaviour and hopefully they will keep a closer eye. I def would stipulate that you don't want her working with your child but this may make her target you and even your child again...if the school keep her, and I was feeling intimidated or worried, I would change schools, I just wouldn't feel comfortable with someone like that being in a position of responsibility with my child, sitting in staff rooms, and access to meetings which could involve my family/ child.

breadnjam Mon 08-Oct-12 00:11:13

Take this further, you were intimidated, had to change your number, and use a different gate because of this person, with that character she should not be working with children. Schools nowadays try to "engage parents", especially these "hard to reach" type that they will possibly keep her on, but they need to be reminded of her behaviour and hopefully they will keep a closer eye. I def would stipulate that you don't want her working with your child but this may make her target you and even your child again...if the school keep her, and I was feeling intimidated or worried, I would change schools, I just wouldn't feel comfortable with someone like that being in a position of responsibility with my child, sitting in staff rooms, and access to meetings which could involve my family/ child.

hellymelly Sun 07-Oct-12 23:48:13

I agree with Pippa, in that I wonder what A said to B to prompt such vitriol? I think it was obviously the key to all this.
Agree with you not liking her contact with your dcs, tbh i wouldn't want someone like that near my dcs at all and I wonder why the school have employed her at all- they do need to know about her harrassment of you asap.

yummumto3girls Sun 07-Oct-12 23:33:22

As she started making accusations about your DC then it is highly inappropriate for her to be in in contact with your DC, I'd be fuming and be letting the school know my feelings ASAP. The teachers being friends with parents on Facebook is also highly inappropriate, as someone else has mentioned. The Teachers Apraisal standards have been changed this year to include professional expectations and Facebook behaviour would certainly fall in to this, they should be very careful!

deleted203 Sun 07-Oct-12 22:03:30

I think I would ask to have a confidential chat with the head teacher and explain that you have concerns about this woman being in contact with your child as there were occasions when she was abusive to her in the past. You could always say 'I'm aware that I may be coming across as over-protective or interfering, but I do actually have very genuine concerns about this woman, based on my past acquaintance with her, and would be most unhappy at her having contact with my child when I am not present'. At least you will have expressed your views to HT and should this woman be a problem in the future then this will have been logged.

mertin Sun 07-Oct-12 20:42:43

YANBU but what do you do?

I have a similar situation. A woman from our NCT group seemed to target my dc and was really inappropriate with her. She made nasty comments about all the dc, behind their parent's back. And occasionally flipped - shouting in their faces that they were horrible little girls/boys if they could read better, didn't agree to play her ds's choice of game. But my dd she particularly hated and I stopped contact as a result.

She thinks she'd be great as a teacher and has recently applied to do reading at the school.

I'm horrified about the thought of her coming anywhere near my dd - but how do you get that across without sounding like a loon yourself?

1Catherine1 Sun 07-Oct-12 02:18:20

Well I think you were being unreasonable to not phone the police to begin with. They had you so afraid you used a different gate? They followed you home? Shocking! I think the school needs to know the details and in writing. She shouldn't be allowed near anybodies children.

I think if I knew that someone who had done this to someone else, was working with my DD, I would be furious and frankly scared for my own daughters safety. If I were you, I wouldn't want her in the same room!

perfectstorm Sun 07-Oct-12 02:01:48

YANBU at all. For the record, I wouldn't want someone capable of such behaviour anywhere near my own child, and I wasn't the victim of her behaviour!

I hope this gets sorted out. And in addition, I am so sorry you were subjected to that. It's criminal harassment and quite extraordinary from supposed adults.

deleted203 Sun 07-Oct-12 01:51:55

YANBU - I would not want this nutter anywhere near my child. Go into the school and tell them this woman was aggressive to you, stalking you with threats and abusive language. Tell them that you had to threaten her with the police before the harassment stopped. You have every right to insist she has no contact, even supervised, with your child.

Seenenoughtoknow Sun 07-Oct-12 01:22:42

I agree with BonaDea - show some of the (worst) messages to the school to demonstrate what she is capable of. Definitely let them know how she behaved.

onedev Sat 06-Oct-12 23:41:49

YANBU - I'd be in there like a shot. Hope it goes well.

GhouliaYelps Sat 06-Oct-12 23:34:53

How awful. Well don't for getting through it.

What did she say in her texts? I mean was all that really over a missed coffee morning confused

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