To be pissed off with parents who believe all rules should be bent for their little darlings?(218 Posts)
I am a teacher. In the last few weeks I have been told that some children in my school are allergic to their school uniform, suffer with extreme cold and so need to wear coats in class, have to keep jewellery on because it is sentimental, should be allowed to use staffroom facilities to microwave their own lunch....don't even start me on phones.
DH works with much older DCs - adults, essentially - and has put up with a whole range of shite from parents recently too, making excuses for why their (fully grown) offspring should take precedence over the needs of every one else.
Of the last 20 tales we have been told between us, I reckon 1 is true, 1 is half true and the rest are absolute bollocks.
Either front up and be honest about trying to bend the rules, or just fucking accept it.
I work in the out-patients department of a hospital and the amount of parents I get phoning up wanting to know about their adult children's test results, appointments etc. Unless they are the next of kin, I cannot divulge that. Some of them get really shirty with me "Oh but Felicity can't possibly ring you, she's away at university". Well tough, Felicity is 20 years old so will have to make time
It would also be nice if teachers bothered to read medical evidence submitted and did not assume that if 9 out of 10 excuses are bollocks that means any one child they are speaking to has to fall in the 90% category and not the 10%.
I still haven't forgotten the meeting where the hospital paediatrician explained dd's painful medical condition in great detail to a meeting of school staff and afterwards the only question put by a member of staff was "but how can we know that she is in pain?". (Because if x % of children lie, that then that has clearly got to mean they all lie. ) The paed's facial expression was absolutely wonderful; she could have sat for the emoticon.
We were also repeatedly told (often in dd's hearing) how much trouble it was to have a child like dd in the class.
The school never passed on any information to supply teachers, new subject teachers etc, with the result that every new teacher supposed dd was just in the silly excuses category.
And the head stopped me every time I referred to (wheelchair using) dd as disabled; apparently, there is some mythical Register of the disabled you have to on to be allowed to call yourself disabled.
(The only one I can think of is the blue badge, but as we didn't have a car, naturally we didn't have a blue badge either)
I am a university teacher myself, I know all about silly excuses. But the day I assume that any one student in front of me is making up excuses because some of them do will be the day I need to leave that job.
Cory, I kind of think that too.
And about medical staff as well, okay lots of people lie but that doesn't mean the patient sat right in front of you now is lying. If you assume they are when they aren't they might not get the right treatment, and how us that fair? That they are punished because other people lie?
When you treat everyone like a liar, instead of at least considering the possibility, it's time to do something else.
Wolfie I wish you had been his teacher!
He is in a SN school now. I honestly think mainstream schools could learn a lot from the SN model.
Small classes, differentiated work for each pupil, person centered planning and full integration.
Of course none of that is possible without the 'smaller classes'. With the best will in the world and the nicest teachers, you just cant do it in a class of 30. I don't know how teachers manage to do as much as they do!
I always approach teachers, social workers and medics with the expectation that they will treat me like a grown up. I always feel incredibly let down when they do the eye rolly, huffy thing. Doesn't matter how many times it happens.
I was at college with a girl who got a three week extension for an essay due to a 'family bereavement'. It turned out that her cat had died. This is not a joke, the head of the course told me himself. He sounded very resigned when he told me - he would have gone mental at anyonme else pulling such a stunt (daddy was some well-known gobshite-or-other, so I suspect he was making his presence felt).
When you treat everyone like a liar, instead of at least considering the possibility, it's time to do something else.
None of the teachers here have said that they would ever dismiss a legitimate concern, especially if presented with medical evidence, and a workable solution by the parent. The issues that teachers are talking about are the unreasonable requests. "Little Susie can't wear the school jumper because the red clashes with her hair colour, she'll need to wear purple instead."
I would NEVER dismiss legitimate concerns for parents, as I want my students to succeed in class. But I am not pandering to parents who think that their five year old should be allowed to have a mobile phone switched on all the time in class (yes, have had this one) or tells me to remind their ten year old to eat all of their sandwich at lunchtime before they can go and buy something from the tuckshop (had this one too). These are very specific cases of children without special needs. Children with diagnosed special needs are a completely separate issue.
There's only one school rule I wish we could change, and that's the one that insists on boys in trousers in the summer, on the rare days it is really hot.
I'm sure we could do a smart uniform that allowed shorts. Nephew's in Australia look smart and comfortable in their shorts uniform, I'm sure we could do it too.
My middle DD had a nightmare time in secondary because of the pain that she was in, as she has PCOS. She had time off and the head just didn't believe her.
She had the cheek to say infront of me "yes well i'm sure all of the girls are tired", when my DD said this after heavy blood loss for four months solid. She never said similar again, after my reply.
The consulatant did not want to over treat her until she was 16, so she had to suffer.
In terms of work, i have intervened when a manager of a Children's Centre (where she is on placement) said to her "that you cannot have PCOS at 16" and you could not have been diagnosed at 14, when she needed time off for a medical appointment.
She also told my DD "to be honest, she wasn't a carer to my mother", who has Lung Cancer (she has moved in with her, to care for her).
The manager wouldn't have dared to say that to a regular member of staff and you are allowed an advocate at grievence meetings.
I am the best person to represent my DD because i attend all of her appointments and it is what i do as part of my job role. My Dd left, as she has operations coming up that she knew she wouldn't get support for.
We have threads on here about bullying and i have found that if given the oppurtunity to, a bully always will target the teen girl.
The stuff that i have had to pull schools up on in my work has been shocking.
Birds, I remember a friend being diagnosed with PCOS back in the early 90s, the doc was very surprised that she had it as she was only mid-20s and she was given information (that the GP obviously believed) that PCOS was rare in women under 40! There is some very bizarre misinformation out there about PCOS, hopefully now completely out of date and superceded by real information.
Your poor DD!
The sad thing is that although we don't have the blanket 'broken leg? Get running, that'll fix it and don't make a fuss' mentality of my school days, there ares far more parents willing to 'challenge The System' (like the parents who went to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the uniform of their daughter who fancied waring trousers - not for any allergy/religious etc needs, or the parents who were raring up to do similar at the greek school who didn't allow a muslim girl to wear a headscarves - hello, the "Staint' in the school name may have been a giveaway there). They are vocal, can be bloody petty and 'know their rights'. They must also have far too much time on their hands.
Far too many parents with children with genuine needs are busy battling to get proper diagnosis and treatment for their kids, using any spare their energy and funds on their children, to be arguing with their school.
Schools must be fed up with all the red tape and time wasted with 'wants' rather than 'needs' being addressed. So, you don't like the colour of the school shirt/length of trousers/school shoes? Well then, write to the Governors, your MP and Cherie Blair! Alert your lawyer! Sue someone!
It would drive me mad to have to deal with timewasters on a daily basis, and I'm not sure after years of this how I would deal with requests.
Stories like Birds make me very sad, when I see the sad horsey-faces in the newspapers with the headline "School Bans Sally for Having The Word 'Fuck' Shaved into her Hair. Parents To Go To THe Court of Human Rights"
Our problem was that because dd had a fluctuating condition, teachers automatically assumed that she had to be lying when she said she couldn't do X at lunchtime because they had seen her with their own eyes doing X in the morning or the week before.
We did try to explain again and again about it being a fluctuating condition, but were just put down as unreasonable parents trying to pull a fast one.
Midnite I didn't say that any of the teachers on this thread were like that, they have all seemed perfectly reasonable!
However I have met a few people in education/healthcare etc who have that kind of "every parent/patient/child is a liar" attitude and it really stinks. I particularly didn't like the Dr who decided that because I happened to be on my period when I came into hospital with severe abdominal pain I was lying/exaggerating/making a fuss about nothing. He did apologise after my appendix exploded (to my parents, not me ), but I lost half my bowel because I was treated as a liar. And yes that still upsets me.
Cory the list she may have been referring to could be the register of disabled children that some local authorities have and your name has to be on it to get certain LA concessions like the short break payment scheme.
Moomins why in this day and age shouldn't girls be able to wear trousers?
Check out the 'banned from a trade show' thread for the perfect example of what I think the OP was referring to- unbelievable!
I'm all for girls wearing trousers - this particular case was a mum getting shirty because the uniform was, well a skirt. She knew that before the child went to school. She kicked up a fuss later when the child wanted to go into law and it was all very contrived - plus a huge waste of time/money to go to the court of human rights. I get annoyed when human rights is used in such context - she wasn't born into slavery, or sold, or abused.
Our son detested wearing shorts to school - probably because he was always falling over when he was little. It was the uniform, so he wore them. His knees recovered with no lasting physical or emotional damage. I never thought to tell the school that he had to wear trousers because he has his mums crap balance and to save on band aids.
Bearbehind- just looked at the trade fair thread. It was like Bingo!
Victim speak- tick.
Overblown use of of words like "banned" and "bullying"-tick.
Refusal to accept well publicised rules- tick.
Of course if the school had of just said "oh yes that's a bit not on these days lets inc trousers in our uniform"
Then none of that would have happened.
But yes daft thing to shout human rights about.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.