to complain about the school play shambles?

(94 Posts)
jazzmin Sat 25-May-13 21:40:06

My year 6 daughter got the lead part in the KS2 play (she is year 6, small school). Another girl cried. And cried. Her mum went in. Three days later my daughter was asked in an intimidating way(by a teacher) to give her part up to the other girl. My daughter just shrank and said nothing, she is extremely polite and likes to please the teachers. The next day she was told the other girl would be lead in one show, she would be lead in the other. She was paraded in assembly as being kind for giving up her part, then came home and crumpled. She hasn't stopped crying since. I can't believe a girl can cry and cry and get her own way, and my daughter is being punished for it. She was shouted at for being upset about it, and told if she continued the whole play would be cancelled (though the other girl cried for 2 days and got the lead part!?) I am a primary school teacher myself, I have never known this in 15 years of teaching, now it is half term... what should I do?

Euphemia Thu 06-Jun-13 22:10:27

Good grief! What a palaver! All's well that ends well though!

MrsMelons Thu 06-Jun-13 21:58:15

Glad it is all sorted!

jazzmin Thu 06-Jun-13 21:43:38

Just to update - unbelieveably the other mum was mortified - didn't expect her daughter to be given the part, just wanted support for her to deal with it. The other girl came back after half term and said she wasn't going to do it any more! I have one very happy daughter again!

Scruffey Mon 27-May-13 21:02:13

Don't complain to the school. It won't solve anything because they can't backtrack again and are unlikely to apologise. Instead use it as a lesson in life for your dd. presumably if y6, she is about to leave this school anyway? I would sit down with your dd and just say that she was great and did nothing wrong and that she was been unfairly treated and bullied into doing what teachers wanted. They have the power to give and take parts and they misused it.

Tell her to do her best with the play and be the bigger person.

Catmint Mon 27-May-13 20:48:00

This thread has reminded me of when I was 11 and shared the part ( made clear at outset) of Plain Jane in Hans Christian Andersen with another girl. The teacher had a big discussion with a colleague, in front of the entire cast about doing something to make the other girl plainer, as she was so pretty...not a word about me. I am 41 now.

These things matter.

jazzmin Mon 27-May-13 20:34:05

Thanks again - the previous couple of posters ( and others of course) have hit the nail on the head. It is about being promised a part and having it removed due to another child's hissy fit. I promise you my daughter is not a diva - (and it may surprise you to know the other mum is lovely normally!) I guess we all fight for our child to be happy! Will keep you posted on how it develops - and thanks to all for the support- or not- it has helped me keep it in perspective!

nightingalefloor Mon 27-May-13 01:04:07

Haven't read the whole thread, but I'm completely outraged on your DD's part! What on earth is that teaching children, that screaming and wailing gets you what you want, and behaving sensibly makes you a doormat? hmm Imagine the chaos if every child who didn't get the part they wanted tried that one! I don't blame your DD for being upset about the whole 'solution' though, any child of that age would be. What isn't age appropriate behaviour is an 11 year old throwing a tantrum because they didn't get the part they wanted.

I was working professionally at that age. Any 11 year olds going for professional work who tried something like that would be laughed out of the room and never picked for anything else with that company ever again. It's just ridiculous, 11 is old enough to understand you can't have everything you want in life and to be happy for whoever else gets a go. Rant over!

manicinsomniac Mon 27-May-13 00:52:04

What an appalling way for the school to behave. I'm surprised some posters think this is a fuss over nothing - can't you remember being 11? Any child worthy of a lead in a play will view a school play as a major deal. I can remember every single part I ever played at school, lead or not, and would have been devestated to lose one (even if it's 'only' the loss of half the performance time it will feel like a loss to a child).

The school should never have given way to the other child, it's weak, unprofessional and sends a very bad message to the children.

After the auditions for the last school play I directed a parent came to complain that their child's (3rd largest part in the show) part wasn't big enough and to say that the child was hysterically upset about it. When I refused to give the child one of the only two bigger parts (which had already been given to other children!) the parent withdrew the child completely and, as it was a curriculum time play, I had to find the child 'useful jobs' to do in all play lessons for 5 weeks. It was crazy. But I couldn't back down.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 26-May-13 21:36:48

Well done! It totally isn't about 'two girls fighting over a part', it's about one girl being able to cry until she gets her own way and the other having something taken off her for no other reason than 'girl A wants it so you can't have it all anymore', and the having her own completely justified feelings being invalidated by a teacher in front of the class.

Great way of making your girl feel like her feelings don't count and she isnt as important as the other girl, and whereas when girl A cries, she gets what she wants, when your girl cries she gets told off. Such a fair responsible message to give to young children.

Please tell us what they reply - fingers crosses something sensible!

jazzmin Sun 26-May-13 21:02:14

Thanks again all. I have written today to say my daughter will be accepting the decision with grace, and also said it was not on for the teacher to shout at her 5 mins after finding out, when the other girl had cried for two days (given part on 3rd day, not that is particularly important, but seems to be for some of you!) I've been practising her lines with her today to make she goes back confident! :-)

TheFlipsideOfTheCoin Sun 26-May-13 20:11:31

Mixed up the colours in that last post, woops

TheFlipsideOfTheCoin Sun 26-May-13 20:08:13

A similar thing to this happened to my sister.

When she was at primary school she was forced to wear another child's jumper for a school photo. All of the children wearing grey jumpers had to go to the back of the photo and all of the children wearing grey jumpers had to go to the front. DSis was wearing a red one but another grey cardigan child cried and cried and DSis was made to swap with her. If you look at the photo you can see DSis looking very sad at being moved away from her friends and the other child looking very happy to have got her own way!

I think schools just like making it easy for themselves sometimes. They're sending a completely wrong message though.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 26-May-13 18:30:08

Terribly badly handled, hope you can get an apology and an understanding that this is not the way to handle things. Telling off your daughter really takes the biscuit and this would be my main conplaint.

MrsMelons Sun 26-May-13 18:18:45

YANBU, we had to always autdition for parts both at the theatre group I was part of and at school. Sometimes there were more than one set of leads but we were told this at the time.

I am so surprised that people think its ok for the school to act like this, what sort of example does this set. Your DD does not sound like a diva at all and has been treated badly.

Children have to learn they cannot be the lead all the time etc, I was often the lead at my theatre group, they held auditions for every show and had a biggish panel of 'judges' but at school less so as often it was the pushier children who got parts but I was fine with that (well upset when I knew they weren't that good but never publically) I would never have dreamed of crying to get a part, how embarrassing, in Y6 she should know how to behave better.

Floggingmolly Sun 26-May-13 18:09:18

Second mum. First child was given the part and then forced to relinquish half of it due to another child's tantrum; second child wasn't chosen in the first place - presumably along with the other 28+ members of the class.
What if they'd all thrown a hissy fit?
It's really weak management on the school's part.

EduCated Sun 26-May-13 18:06:00

What deeper issues are you trying to imply?

As far as I can see, OP hasn't suggested that she is going to 'rush to the school', just that she is thinking of speaking to them and letting them know that she is not happy with the situation.

BackforGood Sun 26-May-13 18:05:36

It seems s if the school have handled it very badly indeed.
How nice of the other parent to go in and say this, even when it didn't directly affect their child smile
I think I would go in calmly, make it clear I wasn't making any threats or having any tantrums, but expressing my disappointment with the lessons they were teaching everyone in the school - that you get your way here if you scream and shout enough, and that's it's OK to make the poor girl who has just had the part taken away from her feel guilt tripped into not saying anything about it shock

lljkk Sun 26-May-13 18:05:28

This story is so weird.
I sincerely hope DD has the most unimportant part possible in her y6 play.
What a pahlova over nothing.

HabbaDabba Sun 26-May-13 18:00:58

Flogging - are you referring to the first mum or both mums?

Assuming that there are no special needs involved, a mum rushing to the school because her DD is upset because she had to share the lead isn't that much better than a mum rushing to the school because her DD is upset because she didn't get the lead.

Floggingmolly Sun 26-May-13 17:55:55

Oh, don't do the special needs thing, Habba! hmm. It could reasonably be the case that every time she cries for whatever length of time, Mummy runs to the rescue and demands that her every whim is pandered to.
If anything isn't quite normal; it's the mum of an 11 year old dashing up to the school to do battle for her child over a part in a school play.

EduCated Sun 26-May-13 17:45:40

Like what, Habba?

HabbaDabba Sun 26-May-13 17:27:03

It is not 'normal', assuming that the OP isn't exaggerating, for a 11year old to be crying for a couple of days over something this minor. Hasn't anyone considered that there might be deeper issues involved here than merely a spoilt child throwing a tantrum?

MoominMammasHandbag Sun 26-May-13 14:02:43

I honestly think that the best thing you can do is to teach your daughter to take it on the chin and bounce back.

DD2 is a quiet, studious kid, always with her nose in a book. The big parts in her school play went to the loud show offs more confident children in the class and her part was a bit rubbish. We just told her to give it her best effort and played down her disappointment.

During the rehearsals it became evident that DD was actually quite good and her part was enlarged. Come the performance quite a few of the lead children froze, mumbled and forgot their lines and were generally poor. DD absolutely shone.

She does drama as an out of school activity now. Everyone gets a chance to shine and it's really helped her confidence.

LIZS Sun 26-May-13 13:31:44

They should either have decided form the outset to have 2 kids in each lead role or cast it and not given in. But drama teachers are notorious for being less than level headed . We had one cause ill feeling by selecting certain children to take what was originally a double cast/all yr 6 show to a festival which ultimately never took place - the children chosen didn't even play the same roles as in the original production. Sounds like the school has created a monster and they should certainly not blame the children for the fall out. However you do sound as if you may be encouraging this a little by suggesting your dd is being punished. Accept it in good grace , as they won't backtrack now, but if your association with the school ends this term make a complaint about how poorly it has been handled.

Hulababy Sun 26-May-13 13:17:30

School went about it entirely wrong. Girl who cried should not have been given into to.

However it is often the case that lead roles are shared in many schools. We are doing Charlie and the chocolate factory with y2 and we have 2 Charlie, 2 Wonka and 2 of some of the other principal parts. We have 90 children to fit in and there are a lot of lines to learn. We are only doing one show and the characters change half way through the show. It will be made clear on the programme that his is occurring. It's quite normal though ime

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