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 ??

LouiseSmith Tue 07-May-13 10:39:47

It would depend on what the child did wrong. But as a parent, I will discipline my child, how I see fit. If I don't think a loss of play time is enough, I will ground, take away toys.

Rockinhippy Tue 07-May-13 10:11:44

Does that not invite a bit of a "might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb" sort of thing

Good point CarpeVinium (loving that username BTW) I'm actually quite shocked to find out they do it that way, but it does answer a lot of puzzles - DDs friend thumped the same much smaller boy twice, on 2 separate days in one week & loses 5 minuteshmm - if I were the DM of the boy he hit I would be mightily peed off & very grateful to his mum for dealing with it more effectively - especially as it seems they are getting to that age where they are literally fighting for the girls attentions, which seems to be what's sparked this attack between 2 boys who usually get on wellsad

Also though I would never usually voice it to DD, if I'm honest, in a school where they make sure learning is fun for the DCs, which really is great & sees them mostly very enthusiastic & loving school, losing a little bit of another fun activity isn't really such a big deal, especially with the orders DCs who have a better concept of time & realise 5 minutes is no big deal

I'm all for backing the teachers, but feel I've been put in a situation where I've had to undermine her & remind DD that the teacher is not in charge at home - I am & surely that's not good.

Spot on Agent

I've been thinking about this & I realise why its peed me off so much, apart from the fact I think is overstepping the mark & telling us parent how to do our job, when I don't doubt they would be pretty peed off if it were the other way around - & rightly so. My DD was the victim of a long term on going bullying campaign - subtle girly ganging up under queen bees lead & exclusion & bitchy stuff at the hands of what had one of her one time good friends, for all the schools actively trying to put a stop to it & supporting my DD & they were trying & were good - the DC concerned just sneered & carried on -

until I spoke to her DM, who initially just chatted to her, which TBH did little good, but after my DH talking to the Dad (they are old friends) & the DM getting called to the school a few times & then the pair of them upping the anti with punishment for her DD at home too, its now stopped - missing golden time didn't do that - her parents getting involved & doing as we would do & bing her into line at home too, did

AgentZigzag Mon 06-May-13 22:51:37

It's up to schools to have a system that incorporates each unique system/techniques the different families use, that's part of what school is for, to bring some uniformity to childrens behaviour so they can teach lots at once and roughly fit in to a work environment.

They can give advice to parents if it's asked for, but trying to micro-manage them is overstepping their role.

CarpeVinum Mon 06-May-13 22:39:47

DD tells me if the incidents are linked - ie a DC attacks the same DC twice, even on separate days, then that's seen as one incident, so they still only lose 5 minutes

Concurrent sentences. Interesting approach grin

Does that not invite a bit of a "might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb" sort of thing ?

I doubt my son would liked to have lost five whole minutes of something so fun, expecially since in our schools fun is a bit of a dirty word. But it's still knowing he would have me to face that has long been be the overriding movtivation not to incur teacher wrath.

Here it's kind of different. The kids get punished with a "note" in their diary. Where the teacher details their wrong doings for parents to read.

That is a great motivator for the kids who know they'll be in for the high jump when a parent opens their diary that evening. Doesn't work so well when the parents reaction is typically a shrug or a "boys will be boys".

Rockinhippy Mon 06-May-13 22:13:47

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

Agentzigzag THAT pretty much sums up my take on it too - I think we know our DCs better than anyone else, therefore we know what works to instil that good behaviour in them - mine is a good kid, but is strong willed & feisty as hell & she would laugh at losing only 5 minutes Golden Time as a punishment for anything big - she knows I would always back the school though & she knows better than to mess with me

Rockinhippy Mon 06-May-13 22:06:39

Oh I should have added, AFAIK we only get told of the more major incidents & prior to this, with older DCs especially, I would have taken having been told, as they would welcome back up from us parents

Rockinhippy Mon 06-May-13 21:59:45

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the replies - excuse me not replying to individual questions, but its been a long day & I'm now just knackered, so hope I make sense & please excuse typos etc confused

Turns out I did misunderstand DD a bit - though the real version - which is 2nd hand - not 4th hand is probably worse as the teacher in question was addressing the whole class when she did this - I thought she was just asking the small group of DD & her friends - DD is also very mature for her age & not prone to gossip or lying, she actually thought the teacher was in the wrong & it upset her as she usually has a lot of respect for this teacher

Golden time is sort of school activity clubs, various teachers & parent volunteers run them & its half hour of everything from arts, to cookery, to sport & more, the kids get to choose an activity they want to do & go to that club - any that get caught misbehaving then get docked 5 minutes Golden time - DD tells me if the incidents are linked - ie a DC attacks the same DC twice, even on separate days, then that's seen as one incident, so they still only lose 5 minutes - attack 2 different DCs they lose 10minutes - I only learnt this bit today & I've got to be honest with goid reason I'm more than a bit hmm over it.

I think this system probably works okay with the younger years, but according to DD who is older, seems with some if the older DCs its become a bit of a badge of honour to lose it, she says some even compete at times as to who can lose the most, thinking it makes them look "cool".

I totally agree with those of you who wouldn't punish at home for things at school in the younger years as it just wont make sense to a lot of younger DCs, unless of course ongoing & really bad, with no hint of SN

I also agree for one off, or infrequent minor incidents such as chatting when they should be paying attention etc, but I think for things like stealing, bullying & attacking & hurting other DCs then its up to us & I personally, just like DDs friends mum would come down hard on her & had thought as some of you say, that I would backing the school in doing so, as it was reinforcing their message that such behaviour is unacceptable & will be punished - I firmly believe that the reason DD doesn't get into trouble at school & prides herself on not breaking school rules is because she knows she would never get away with it at home either -

the boy who was in trouble this week, hasn't been in any real trouble before, I suspect for the same reasons that my DD doesn't get into trouble - his DM supports the school & came down hard on him with sanctions

Hope I've covered everything & made sense

sarahtigh Mon 06-May-13 21:33:53

i do not undermine teachers authority and i do not expect her to undermine mine

it may in some cases be wrong to punish again in other cases it may well be right

the teacher was completely out of order to say to a child your mum is being unfair i'll have a word with her

I agree that most teachers do a fine job in difficult circumstances but you can't have your cake and eat it, complain about lack of parental support for discipline and then undermine that very support

i might consider some offence more serious or indeed less so than a teacher does and therefore you reserve right to either go along with punishment as appropriate and nothing more needs to be done to think she was perhaps unfairly or harshly treated as teacher did not know background or perhaps for same reason treated it more lightly than I would have done

yaimee Mon 06-May-13 21:24:54

I agree with the school but would be fuming id they had said this t my son.
You're right, it directly undermines the mother. To write/speak to her about it wouldn't have BU but to mention doing so in front of her son was!

cory Mon 06-May-13 21:17:40

Teacher and parent are as bad as one another in this case: seems neither trusts the other to deal with discipline without interference.

CarpeVinum Mon 06-May-13 15:14:14

I think schools and parents need to have a deal. Parents don't get to interfer in how school chooses to deal with trangressions, within reason, and vice versa.

Frankly this intruiging sounding Golden Time would be the least of my child's worries if it came to my attention he had been misbehaving at 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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

KansasCityOctopus Mon 06-May-13 11:36:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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 10:15:48

"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.

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.

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.

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