To pursue this complaint with the school?

(44 Posts)
molmurpha Mon 18-Nov-13 11:05:40

My 9 year old DD goes to our local school, which, up until now, I've been extremely happy with. My older child went there and I have a younger child at the school too.

DD is a very well behaved girl. Parents' evening reports are always glowing. She's very mature for her age, well behaved at home 99% of the time, and very sensible. She likes to do the right thing, and takes school and learning very seriously.

On Friday she came out of school in tears. When she got into school on Friday morning someone had written DD's name on the back of DD's chair in marker pen. DD told the teacher that the writing was there and the teacher decided that DD had done it herself. DD told the teacher that she hadn't done it but the teacher said she didn't believe her. DD said she then started to cry, and her teacher said it was a sign of guilt and that she must have done it.

DD says that she then got told off about it in the afternoon again, and was made to clean it off her chair, in front of the whole class, which DD found humiliating.

I went to see her teacher after she came out of school in tears and the teacher said it must have been DD because it said DD's name. I asked if it looked like DD's writing and the teacher said she 'didn't know because the writing was in marker pen on the back of a chair so it could have been anyone's'. She agreed that it wasn't the sort of thing DD would do but that as it was her chair and said DD's name she had had no choice but to blame her. I feel as though she's gone for the easy option tbh, and I pointed out to her that obviously if a child is defacing something they are not going to write their own name on it.

I'm not happy with the teacher's attitude at all about it really. She more or less said they didn't know and couldn't prove who did do it but DD would have to take responsibility as it was her chair. DD has been very upset about it all weekend. She has an unblemished school record and is always known throughout school for being sensible, helpful and friendly. She wants to go for house captain in year 6 but to do this you have to have a good record of behaviour at school, and she is worried that this will affect that. Also, all of her classmates think she must have done it as she had to clean it off!

I have phoned the school and asked to speak to the headteacher this morning but as yet haven't been called back. I want to clear DD's name and want them to a) at least try to find out who did to it and b) acknowledge that DD didn't do it and that she wasn't lying.

Am I expecting too much? I am normally very easy going about school but I feel I need to pursue this as it just isn't fair on DD.

Morgause Mon 18-Nov-13 11:07:41

I doubt they'll be able to find who did do it but the least they can do is accept there is no proof your DD did it.

kelda Mon 18-Nov-13 11:08:16

YANBU. I back you totally.

molmurpha Mon 18-Nov-13 11:09:11

I agree that it's very unlikely they'll find out who did do it, but I think it's important for DD that they at least try to get to the bottom of things

DaddyPigsMistress Mon 18-Nov-13 11:09:16

Yanbu.
I think it was very badly handled

Unexpected Mon 18-Nov-13 11:12:40

In general, I'm not a great believer in storming in to school to complain about individual incidents but in this case, I probably would. I can't believe the teacher thinks even a 9 year old would be naive enough to write their own name on their own chair and then report it to the teacher! Even if the teacher has initially blamed your daughter, revisiting the issue in the afternoon, still blaming her and making her clean the name off is just horrid.

What did the teacher mean "she had no choice but to blame her"? Of course she had a choice, she just went for the easy option! It's unlikely that she will be able to find the true culprit but that doesn't mean she gets to blame the person who in this case seems least likely to have done the damage!

CaptainSweatPants Mon 18-Nov-13 11:12:41

I feel sorry for her
but if you go in with what you've posted you could be seen as precious
'my dd who is perfect is worried about this incident & she might not be made head girl next year because of it'
You see what I mean ??

BatmanLovesIckyBarry Mon 18-Nov-13 11:12:52

As a teacher who has to deal with all sorts of parental doodah, I would say you are right to pursue this. I wouldn't feel comfortable blaming a child with no evidence just because it is their chair. I would do the whole class talk, opportunity to own up etc etc. Children are usually pretty good at ratting each other out anyway...

You are not expecting too much.

mrscog Mon 18-Nov-13 11:15:30

YANBU - I would drop the 'who it was' aspect but as there's no proof as to who it was your DD's teacher certainly owes her an apology.

Equally, it is also a good lesson for a 9yo that sometimes people are a bit rubbish and as a result unfair decisions get made and it's much better to just suck it up and move on rather than dwelling on it for too long.

molmurpha Mon 18-Nov-13 11:16:10

Captain, maybe I will be seen as precious but I don't particularly care what the teacher thinks of me. I don't think it's fair for DD to have to take the blame for something that she didn't do.

molmurpha Mon 18-Nov-13 11:16:59

Batman, that's what I'd have hoped the teacher would have done; spoken to the whole class and at least tried to see if anyone else knew what had happened

molmurpha Mon 18-Nov-13 11:18:05

mrscog, I'm all for kids learning to suck things up and move on, however I feel that this incident is just too unfair and unjust to expect DD to do that. Yes, life isn't fair, but I feel it's up to teachers to at least try to conduct things fairly and make sure classroom life is reasonably fair.

MTBMummy Mon 18-Nov-13 11:21:26

Chase it, and back your DD

I had something similar happen when I was 12, and my mum refused to accept I was responsible. After the school pulled their finger out and looked into the event it turned out it was obviously another child, but the teacher had at first taken the easy option and threatened me with suspension as a result.

MTBMummy Mon 18-Nov-13 11:22:02

PS - meant to add, I never forgot how my mum defend me and stood in my corner.

Felyne Mon 18-Nov-13 11:23:27

I would follow it up. The very least that will come out of it is that your daughter will feel reassured that her Mum is on her side and doesn't just brush her feelings off. Sure, life isn't fair, but she shouldn't be learning that lesson from someone who is supposed to act as a role model.

Felyne Mon 18-Nov-13 11:23:51

(By which I mean the teacher is a role model)

Nerfmother Mon 18-Nov-13 11:25:47

At school years and years ago, a girl asked me to hold her folder while she went to the loo. Another girl ran past me, caught the folder and everything fell out on the floor. The teacher saw the folder not the running, and went ballistic. I tried to explain and had to STAND ON MY CHAIR and explain to the class what an idiot I was.
The other girl didn't confess and the humiliation was excruciating. If you think your dd is being honest, please chase this up.

kali110 Mon 18-Nov-13 11:25:48

I actually did write my own name in the back of my chair when i was younger.

maras2 Mon 18-Nov-13 11:25:48

Poor kid.That shitty attitude reminds me of why I hated school.Fight her corner all the way.

kali110 Mon 18-Nov-13 11:26:01

On not in

Shallistopnow Mon 18-Nov-13 11:29:16

I'd be absolutely furious. Your DD sounds very similar to mine and I hate the thought of her being treated like this. And the teacher telling her off twice too - what a nasty bitch! I think there is a certain breed of old-school teacher who thinks that that kind of treatment is somehow 'good' for children. Bastards.

Ring the school again at lunchtime or something and if no luck, go early at pick-up time and make an appointment with the head.

soverylucky Mon 18-Nov-13 11:31:31

Your dd sounds like my dd and I feel very sorry for her.
As a teacher I think you are right to complain. When I suspect a pupil has done something and I ask them out right and they deny it I have to accept this. It is very important that children tell the truth so when I say "did you do x?" and they answer no, if I have no proof otherwise I have to accept this. The teacher is wrong to punish your dd when there is no proof and your dd has denied it. You know your child better than anyone. I know that my dd would not lie to me when given a face to face serious discussion. I always say to pupils something along the line of " telling the truth is important. You have told me you didn't do that and I accept that." This sometimes provokes them to shuffling about a bit, looking uncomfortable and then owning up. Sometimes it doesn't because the kid is a good liar and sometimes it doesn't because they are telling the truth and my suspicions are incorrect. If your dd has an unblemished school record it seems very strange for the teacher to act as she did.
IMO the teacher needs to talk to the whole class about honesty and telling the truth. The teacher handled this badly.

moldingsunbeams Mon 18-Nov-13 11:35:04

I think YANBU
This has happened at dds school, usually by the class bully on school rubbers/rulers/workbooks and such. The bully would get the biggest kick out of seeing dd clean it off and get in trouble in our case and dd would be devastated.

I think it was handled very badly and something like that for us would be final straw.

Shallistopnow Mon 18-Nov-13 11:51:18

Agree with the*soverylucky*.

molmurpha Mon 18-Nov-13 11:51:45

The teacher is normally really nice; when I spoke to her I got the impression that she was exasperated at the end of a long week and this event was just something she couldn't be bothered to deal with properly. She was quite dismissive with me but seemed to agree with me when I pointed out some of the reasons to her as to why it wasn't DD that did it.

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