to want the school to admit some responsibility

(336 Posts)

Phonecall from school last night. 14yo DD "stormed" away from PE lesson after minor altercation with teacher, didn't return to lesson, an hour later a pupil asks DD something and DD hits her. School want to put DD in isolation for a day. All sounds reasonable, penalty for bad behaviour - and I am not condoning it at all. HOWEVER, DD is by nature the kindest, gentlest, quietest 14 yr old you could ever imagine (won't even put up her hand to answer a question in class because she is too shy) and the ONLY time I can remember her lashing out in the last 4 years or so is when her blood sugars have dropped suddenly - you see she is a Diabetic. To me, the whole incident is typically symptomatic of a moderate/ severe hypo, and I feel strongly that the teacher should have flagged that her "storming" away from the lesson was not "normal" behaviour for DD, she should have followed her/ got first aider to find her and check that she was ok. She sat alone for an hour in corridor, where no-one knew she was before the incident with the other pupil. Not being dramatic, she could have fallen into a coma. The school now want a meeting to discuss her behaviour, so AIBU to raise my concerns. I am honestly, not trying to belittle the fact that she hit another girl, but I don't want either my DD or anyone else getting hurt because of another incident like this. I am worried that it sounds like I am excusing her behaviour, and I suppose I am in a way. WWYD?

ILetHimKeep20Quid Thu 17-Oct-13 08:06:10

I think it's your daughter that needs to take responsibility. Does she not recognise herself when feeling like this?

YouTheCat Thu 17-Oct-13 08:06:14

That is terrible.

Yes, the teacher should have checked up on her or at least got her to check her blood sugar. And as this is a common symptom of a hypo, I don't think she should be in isolation either.

Sounds like the staff require more training.

Howsuper Thu 17-Oct-13 08:06:47

I understand what you're saying and how you feel. I'm sure your dd is a great kid.

But schools/teachers have hundreds of children and hundreds of situations - some of them flaring up out of nowhere and some the teacher hasn't been fully witness to - and they have to make dozens of micro decisions.

They did the 'right' thing because your daughter hit someone. If you were the other girl's mum I'm sure you'd agree.

All you can do is speak to the relevant staff at school again to make sure they understand dd's condition and triggers/signs. And talk to your dd about trying to take more responsibility for knowing if she is going into a hypo...

Hope you are both ok.

VeloWoman Thu 17-Oct-13 08:07:00

YANBU - they should have made sure she was not hypoglycaemic and then punished her for the bad behaviour or delivered first aid depending on the outcome.

Do the school have an action plan for her diabetes?

lunar1 Thu 17-Oct-13 08:11:20

Actually I think the school should have taken full responsibility. Diabetes is a serious illness and the teachers involved need some education fast. Your dd should never have been alone in this situation.

CaptainBinker Thu 17-Oct-13 08:12:16

As a teacher I have a couple of diabetic children in my classes and we have been expressly instructed to prompt them to check their levels if they behave uncharacteristically. This has happened a few times; it was always sugar levels. Sometimes even the most responsible teen misses it themselves and needs reminding.

kilmuir Thu 17-Oct-13 08:14:39

No, think main responsibility is on your DD. surely she knows signs of going hypo? And she hit someone, so yes isolation seems appropiate

nennypops Thu 17-Oct-13 08:15:05

YANBU. Schools really need to have systems in place so that pupils like your daughter are flagged up, no matter how large they are; they are responsible for her safety. It's not good enough to say she should recognise when she is going into a hypo, they can be very sudden.

BrokenSunglasses Thu 17-Oct-13 08:15:11

YANBU to think that the school should ensure your dds safety, but I don't think the school deserves more blame than your dd here.

If your dd stormed off, did she go to check her glucose levels? That has to be her responsibility at 14 years old, and even if she did have low blood sugars, the school cannot excuse a pupil storming out of lessons, and they certainly can't allow her to go unpunished for actually hitting someone else. There just isn't an excuse for that, even if it is because of your dds sugar level. I'm sure it didn't hurt the other girl any less because your dd is diabetic, and she deserves to see that the girl who hit her is punished for it.

The teacher may not have been able to follow your dd or contact anyone else if they were out on the field or somewhere for PE without leaving the rest of the class unsupervised.

You need to support the school in giving her the isolation punishment, and make sure that your dd is checking her blood regularly.

kilmuir Thu 17-Oct-13 08:15:48

But i agree the meeting would be a good chance to raise awareness of hypo signals with school and with DD

NotYoMomma Thu 17-Oct-13 08:16:22

well was it caused by her diabetes? I dont know I mean she is 14 - if the storming out was in context (disagreement for example) I would think she needed to cool off some steam, I wouldnt have necessarily thought diabetes would do that blush ignoramus

what did she actually hit the other girl for?

Unfortunately my DDs blood sugar control is not as good as it could be, the school are aware of this. I have reread my OP and realised that I didn't make it very clear that I was supporting the school in their wish to put her into isolation, if only to impress on her the need to "go to First Aid" regularly, and to keep a close track of her blood sugars. I have no issue with that at all. I am worried that if I then raise the issue of the teachers "neglect" it sounds like I am just trying to excuse the behaviour, whereas it is a real concern to me. (can't think of another word than neglect - although that might be a bit harsh)

Sthingmustbescaringthemaway Thu 17-Oct-13 08:17:21

Oh goodness - diabetes can make people behave very out of character with even a tiny variation from the regular food, drugs routine. And I'm sure being a teenager doesn't help. Your poor daughter. You must both be feeling rather shocked.

I hope you can persuade the school to be more aware of this. Though its difficult for them to watch closely over every child (or member of staff - because exactly the same thing can affect them too.)

Dawndonnaagain Thu 17-Oct-13 08:17:32

Ilethim It is common that diabetics do not realise they are going hypo/hyper, more so in young adults, and it's very common after physical excersize.

OP I really think the school needs to take some responsibility. I would be reminding them that they are 'in loco parentis' and asking for a written plan to ensure that this doesn't happen again. There should also be a county nurse who will go in and talk to staff about how to check her sugar levels and when.
I hope she if feeling better now.

RedHelenB Thu 17-Oct-13 08:19:16

At 14 years she should be managing her own condition. When she came home were her bloods showing this? teenagers have a load of hormones swirling around in any case, listen to the staff as to what happened. Then raise the point about her diabetes, if you feel it is relevant.

NotYoMomma Thu 17-Oct-13 08:19:19

I wouldnt say neglect! I would say 'lack of awareness of her condition' or some such.

I would approach it from a needing support to ensure checks are made angle rather than a 'well this is neglect' angle

RandomMess Thu 17-Oct-13 08:19:29

Hmm I'm a bit on the fence.

How does it work in a secondary school, how do teachers get informed of medical needs - is there a huge list up on their wall somewhere?

Is to "common" knowledge that a significant change in blood sugars can cause a dramatic change in behaviour - and is it the same for all diabetics or just some.

Realistically what mechanisms can be in place for all the various medical needs of all the dc that one teacher sees each week...

I do think at 14 your dd needs to be taught to be more self aware, also is there any reason why her blood sugars dropped suddenly - had she skipped eating or something?

I'd like to think that any dc acting massively out of character would be a warning flag for a teacher to act on (could be for any number of reasons) but potentially they could experience someone storming off most lessons?

Urgh I def think you need to discuss the whole diabetic issue thing with the school as it is why it happened and what mechanisms they can put in place but from your op it's unlikely to happen again in the next 4 years...

RandomMess Thu 17-Oct-13 08:20:39

X-posts

lunar1 Thu 17-Oct-13 08:21:15

I don think some of the posters understand hypos. They can be sudden with no warning and when they happen all rational thought can out the window.

The last time my first husband sat in the front of my car he put the hand break on when we were on the motorway doing 70mph. He had no warning. He was unconscious by the time the ambulance got to us despite me giving 2 im injections to raise his blood sugar.

BrokenSunglasses Thu 17-Oct-13 08:22:58

Have you been able to work out whether it was down to low blood sugar? What was your dds glucose level when she tested either before of after the incident where she hit someone?

I can imagine it must be awful having to trust your teenager over something so important when she's not with you, but hopefully having to suffer a punishment will help her to realise how essential it is that she checks regularly and eats if she needs to.

Howsuper Thu 17-Oct-13 08:24:13

Yes I'd word your conversation carefully - no point using provocative or inflammatory words such as 'neglect'. Keep it friendly, informative, helpful - you need the school to be onside. They in turn need to really take you seriously and work with you and your daughter. Good luck.

NotYoMomma Thu 17-Oct-13 08:24:33

thays just it though.

lots of people dont understand hypos, has OP had a meeting before to discuss needs with school. the pe teacher will generally see the kids once a week / twice at most.

what about getting your dd's friends over for a chat too OP or getting dd to explain to them what to look out for too?

they can then help prompt her to check or express concerns to the teacher (alongside dd and staff too)

Random she was only diagnosed a year ago, it could happen again quiet easily. The "4 years" was to say that she is naturally gentle. She does need to take more responsibiltiy for doing regular blood sugar tests. I can't categorically put this incident down to low blood sugar as it wasn't tested, which is what I am impressing on her - she has no grounds for complaint, as she would have done if her testing was done properly. However, i do believe that this is what triggered the incident and I want to know that in a case where she is acting "out of character" she is not allowed to dash off unsupervised and alone for an hour. In response to teh comment about the teacher being unable to leave the class unsupervised, she could have, at the least, sent someone to find a first aider/ another member of staff.

SoupDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 08:27:06

Are the school actually aware that this sort of behaviour is a common symptom of dropped blood sugar levels?

I think you just need to flag it up with them rather than raising concerns or mentioning neglect.

I also think you need to get your DD to control her levels better and take responsibility - is she having trouble dealing being "different" to her friends in this respect on top of normal teenage angst in this area?

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