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To Think This is a Step Too Far - School Related...

(61 Posts)
Rockinhippy Sun 05-May-13 23:39:22

DD was chattering earlier - tells me her friend was in trouble in school last week for fighting - twice losing it & hitting & hurting other boys in class - he's usually a good kid & not often in trouble, but as a result lost a bit of "Golden Time" - which is standard punishment at DDs school.

She then goes onto to tell me that he was grounded by his Mum for getting into trouble at school - I would have done exactly the same thing - at some point the teacher had asked what he was going to be doing that evening & he'd told her he was grounded -

The teacher, whom I usually have a lot of respect for, apparently replied - "oh no, that's not on, I need to write a letter to your Mum, you have lost Golden Time, we deal with punishment in School, your mum shouldn't be punishing you at home too" shock -

I have seen similar - "reminders to parents, that we deal with misbehaviour in school, further punishments at home are not required & are to be discouraged" in school news letters.

TBH it didn't really register properly with me at that point, but hearing about DDs friend today brought it home - to my mind, the school are completely over stepping the mark, especially directly undermining DDs friends DM directly to him - if it were me I would be fuming.

AIBU ??

Vivacia Mon 06-May-13 07:32:59

If you're concerned you should ask the school A) if it's true, did the teacher say this and, B) why do they have the rule.

rainbowslollipops Mon 06-May-13 07:55:43

If a child got punished in the morning at school does it make sense to you to then bring it all up again at home time when really it's been dealt with, punishment has been done and child won't do it again.

pouffepants Mon 06-May-13 08:04:09

My dc have never been remotely bothered by school punishments. Nobody cares if they lose 10 mins of golden time, or have to tidy books or whatever. But if they know there's a chance I'll find out about a misdemeanour, then there's a chance that they won't go swimming or whatever.

This only applies to major infringements though, little stuff I would hope the school would deal with, and not tell me.

noblegiraffe Mon 06-May-13 09:40:36

At secondary we're usually really pleased when the parent backs up the school and thank them for their support!

Morloth Mon 06-May-13 09:48:32

Even if it is policy, the teacher should not have said anything to the DC.

I think actually I will decide whether to continue/add to a punishment if I decide it is necessary.

Snort at school punishments, I was a royal PITA as a kid, teachers didn't scare me, my Mum though, she was the business.

I can remember being canned at school (am old) and it wasn't the actual canning that worried me, just what Mum was going to say when she found out.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 06-May-13 09:55:04

This is a difficult one and I don't think there is a right or wrong way of doing it. Different approaches are better for different children.

Some schools like to save telling the parents as punishment for the bigger misdemeanours, which is fair enough, but only works if parents are supportive of the school.

I am one parent who would prefer different approaches for each of my children, although I understand that is extremely difficult for the school.
I once had a situation where my ds who has Aspergers was put in the behaviour book for hitting another child, and I didn't find out about it until weeks later. I'd have preferred the school to tell me, because my ds is the rare sort of child that couldn't really care less whether he is in the behaviour book or not. I was annoyed at not being told because I could have taken him out that afternoon for ice cream or given some other treat, which I certainly wouldn't have done if I'd known. He needs a punishment that actually matters to him, and losing a treat (which golden time isn't with a child who hates less structured school time) would do that. I was very upset to think that I could have given him a treat when he very much didn't deserve one, because in his very black/white way of thinking, he effectively got away with it.

FWIW, my ds is usually very well behaved and the behaviour book thing would work with my other ds.

BigBongTheory Mon 06-May-13 09:56:08

I wouldn't have got involved and am always delighted when parents back me up as a teacher. I think cohesion between parents and teachers encourages the best behaviour.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 06-May-13 09:56:24

The teach parent thing overlaps. You have no clue

Not to the extent of sending letters home to tell a parent off about normal none abusive discipline outside of school it doesn't.

I have never come across anything even like this not with the 14 children from my household over the years who have attended schools nor from any of the schools I have worked with.

Should a parent have talked about something like this within our advocacy groups we would have raised it as an issue with the school, whilst the sentiment may be fine the way it was done is not,and it is not the schools call.

rainbowslollipops Mon 06-May-13 10:01:00

So what if there was an incident involving your child and some others and although your child didn't do anything they were punished for being involved because another child said they were? You'd get told about it, punish your child after school when the punishment has already taken place and then later after home punishment find out that your child wasn't involved? You've punished a child for something that happened when you weren't there. Why punish for a moment when it's been dealt with already? At most just let them know you're not happy to have heard about it and move on from it. Why bring it back up at home if you weren't there?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 06-May-13 10:01:07

They certainly shouldn't be saying that to the child. That is undermining the parent and it's not on. Working as a team (or being seen to!) is very important. I am sure the teacher would not like the parent to undermine them!

I remember clearly when I was a kid that if you got into trouble at school you damned well knew you had it coming at home too! I can see that the punish once and move on is a good thing, but not like that. Not said to the child.

Maggie111 Mon 06-May-13 10:04:00

I guess the major problem is the teacher completely undermined the parents to the child. If that was school policy, or she thought the kid was being disciplined too severely then surely she should speak to a parent, not tell the kid it was "unfair".

For talking in class or some misdemeanor I don't think it's worth being punished 'twice' but for something like fighting I can understand why any parent would want to enforce it at home too.

ryanboy Mon 06-May-13 10:05:21

I agree with the teacher's sentiments , but it is not her place to interfere with parenting.

lljkk Mon 06-May-13 10:10:16

It undermines the school's strategy for dealing with these things if punishment isn't coordinated with what happens at home. Plus the school has a full picture of what provoked the bad behaviour, which the parent doesn't properly know about (sounds like).

Not saying never right for parent to act, but they should coordinate with school at very least.

What if child misbehaves at home & parent demands that the school punishes the child for it during school time, is that appropriate? Why not? It's the same problem, about boundaries.

yabu.

Booyhoo Mon 06-May-13 10:15:48

"Whether her school would think I'm undermining their authority doesn't come very high up in the check list I've got of how to encourage good behaviour in my DD."

i completely understand that. however, when you send your child to another adult for so much of her day and expect her good behaviour to continue whilst there then it's important that she knows the school has the authority to discipline her while she's there. and that she's not just thinking "as long as mum doesn't find out i'm ok" and will then push it a bit.

phantomnamechanger Mon 06-May-13 10:17:04

In the old days if you were in trouble at school, or the village bobby had cause to tell you off, you'd get it in the neck again at home .....

then we went to the "you can't do anything to me teacher, I'll tell me mum" era, when loads and loads of kids could run riot at school and the parents would not hear a bad word against them let alone back the teachers up....[I have heard parents say - why should I ground/stop priviledges because my child called you a f**** b****. You should be able to control them]

now we have this, "we have punished your child for doing X.... there is no need for you to add your own punishment, in fact, we insist that you do not and the children have been told this in assembly"....Haha! Maybe the parents themselves will get lines/detention for imposing extra punishments??

Booyhoo Mon 06-May-13 10:19:57

btw i'm not saying parents should just leave it all up to the school. parents definitely should be involved and back up the school if it's serious enough to require the parent to know.

Morloth Mon 06-May-13 10:36:13

Then you apologise to your DC rainbowlollipops.

Hard to believe I know, but sometimes I get it wrong when I am parenting.

There is no shame in admitting that to your DCs and apologising when it is the case.

I am not overly harsh with my kids, neither was my Mum in hindsight. I don't need to use physical discipline with them, there is nothing I would use as a punishment that could not be 'taken back' with an apology.

The problem here, isn't the policy precisely (which I would ignore in any case), it is the teacher presuming she can tell a parent not to do something and saying so to the DC.

My DS1 has had some lovely teachers so far, a couple of them have been quite wishy washy, which is nice for little kids, but I am pretty sure that we had very different ideas on how children should be raised, and I would not have taken kindly to them undermining me to my child as this teacher has done.

If DS1 has been up to no good then depending on what has happened, I believe it is my responsibility as a parent to reinforce the idea that the behaviour is unacceptable. That is my call to make, not the schools.

I expect the school to sort out the silly day to day stuff but 'hitting and hurting' is actually a little more than that I think.

im with the op, i dont think removal of golden time has any effect.. it certainly doesn't for my DS.. and if he's been bad enough that the school feel the need to inform me at the end of the day then i will then deal with it how i see fit at home... be that a severe talking to or loss of privilege... its none of the schools business.

stopmovingthefurniture Mon 06-May-13 11:42:40

I think schools have a huge ego problem these days. I can see their position though, because many children have so little stability at home/see their parents so little that the school is effectively raising them. But I will certainly not be paying any attention to their bossiness with my own DD.

longingforsomesleep Mon 06-May-13 12:14:19

Totally agree with the school. As a parent governor I have heard of some parents being completely abusive towards their children in "disciplining" them for something they have already been punished for at school. I know that there are some students that the school treats with caution when handing out detentions etc as they are aware of what implications there will be for the student at home.

I think as the school acts in loco parentis through the day and has its own rules about behaviour and punishment, the school should be allowed to judge when bad behaviour is serious enough to be brought to parents' attention.

Whenever my kids have had a detention or such like it would never, in a million years, occur to me to punish them again when they got home.

And before people get on their high horses about what the teacher said, remember it is reported speech (fourth hand? teacher says to boy, who says to girl, who says to mum, who says to Mumsnet......!) I for one wouldn't trust a young person to report something back directly word and tone perfect but by the time it's gone through a few people it's probably been changed and embellished significantly.

Nanny0gg Mon 06-May-13 12:22:49

Tricky. I remember a child who would be told off for something at school, and punished if necessary. He then always told his parents, who came down on him like a ton of bricks - even for quite minor issues. Poor kid was a nervous wreck.
I think if the parent needs to be told, they should back the school up (if justified; I know it isn't always!) and then talk to the child at home. Be disappointed. Talk about future consequences if it keeps happening but don't use a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
If a child is punished umpteen times for the same situation then they start thinking they might as well earn the punishment IYSWIM.

However, yes, the school is stepping over a line if it tells parents what they should and shouldn't do.

AgentZigzag Mon 06-May-13 12:32:45

How would you feel longingforsomesleep, if the school was sending letters home telling you your DC should be punished in a specific way when they got home for something they got detention for at school?

Saying you're wrong to not to take it up with your DC further?

That they know better than you how you should parent your child at home?

Would you be OK with that?

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 06-May-13 12:32:57

What is golden time?

Secondly, I get that the schools dealt with this in house, but this isn't Las Vegas. Poor behaviour should be highlighted to parent if removal of something or exclusion from something has happened. I would probably then choose my own way to back that up, chat or grounding dependant on details.

I find the idea the school doesn't want backing up contradictory idiotic and ridiculous.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 06-May-13 13:00:24

If the parents are going to abuse a child then there are processes in place to deal with that and the school should be using them.

So what if it is the school policy you cannot have a school policy that is enforced outside of school.

tiggytape Mon 06-May-13 14:57:24

YANBU

The school has a point that a double punishment for a long forgotten misdemeanour may be of limited or no use in reinforcing good behaviour.

However a teacher has no right to directly challenge a parental decision of any kind with the child. If it happened just as you have been told then that would be hugely unprofessional.

And the school in general should not be lecturing parents on how and when it is appropriate to discipline their own children (assuming normal, non abusive discipline is being used).
Many children do not respond well to school punishments and don’t care a jot about losing golden time. And many misdemeanours at school (pinching, chatting, whatever it might be) form part of a broader pattern of undesirable behaviour that the parents are already tackling at home. It isn't up to the school to decide when a double punishment / reinforcing of the rules is appropriate.
If they suspect such episodes lead to abuse, there are separate ways to deal with that.

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