what to say to school tomorrow

(43 Posts)
IWantToBeAUnicorn Wed 04-May-16 00:07:12

Braving AIBU for traffic
I am currently going through a divorce so acrimonious I can't even begin to explain. I'd get called a troll!
For various reasons, allegations of assault, emotional abuse etc the stbxh parents are not allowed contact with my son who is 8. This is not court ordered but agreed between me and ex (albeit reluctantly on ex part for obvious reasons )
When it all kicked off with the parents a couple of months ago, I went into school and explained the situation. We don't yet have court orders in place so hands were tied as regards to ex picking up my son, but we agreed that it was only either him or me. And that if they got a call to say dad couldn't get him they would always ring me. Only if I couldn't get him could someone with the NEW password collect him. So with all the facts and limitations in front of them this was the solution we agreed. I gave them the new password, but have never had a need to share it with anyone else at all. Not even ex. At the same time I removed all details for the grandparents from the records. The changes were specific to the ILs, but in the interest of fairness I also removed anyone from my family as well. So only his dad and I with authority.

Skip to today, ex was being an arse as usual and couldn't collect. I went to get him at half five, and his grandad had already been at 4pm, given the old password and been allowed to take him shock. They said they had spoken to dad and he said it was ok.
I was terrified as they are going away for a week, and have wanted to take him with them for a while.
I called them and my son was there, I told them I was on my way and to have him ready. That they have no right to take him, and if they didn't return him I would call the police.
When I arrived exfil was outside and laughed in my face and said you aren't having him. I said I would dial 999 of he didn't return my son. He continued to taunt me, so I called the police. Whilst I was on the phone my daughter (15) went to ask her grandad for her brother. I turned around to see him holding both her arms and pulling her into the house. Bizarrely he then hit her with a walking stick in the stomach! He doesn't walk with a stick btw, so it was there in advance. 2 cars and a van turned up, lights and all. Went into the house, and my son wasn't there any more. He had been there literally 5 mins before, I spoke to him. The police tracked him down with my ex and recommended in the circumstances he return my son to me, which he did about 8pm.
So grandad is now being charged with assault (he is counter alleging that she kicked him and he will drop charges if my daughter does) and they have been told in no uncertain terms that they are not to collect him again as they may be charged.
I spoke with the manager of the after school club who has in turn spoken with the school head. We are meeting first thing tomorrow.

I'm so mad that this whole situation escalated because they allowed someone to use an old password. Their reason is that it remained valid as the exes password. Wtf was the point of changing mine if they were going to leave another on file, and then ignore the written request that the password is for emergencies only if both parents can't attend.
What should I expect from the meeting tomorrow. Should I be thinking about Ofsted. This time I got him back, next time (for me or another family) it could be worse.
Any thought appreciate right now, I'm completely overwhelmed with everything and not thinking straight.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Wed 04-May-16 00:17:36

I wouldn't send him tomorrow.

a) He could well be stressed and shaken up by the drama.

b) You can't trust the school with him.

c) You're stressed and shaken up. You need a few days to chill.

Get an agreement in place before he goes back.

VimFuego101 Wed 04-May-16 00:17:44

that sounds terrible. I would escalate to the governors if you aren't happy with what the head says tomorrow.

mummyto2monkeys Wed 04-May-16 00:20:31

I am not surprised that you are not thinking straight! They sound like ILFH! I would be going through the school tomorrow and making it clear the trouble that they have caused. Why on earth would your EXFIL assault his own granddaughter and threaten to press charges.

I would be going above the head teacher and the manager of the after school club. I would also consider alternative arrangements for after school care as they clearly cannot be trusted. In Scotland we would complain to the QIO (Quality Improvement Officer aka the boss of Head Teacher), I'm not sure of the procedure elsewhere.

I would also look into a court order and a restraining order to prevent your ExIL's from having contact. If your ex husband refuses to comply, demand that he have contact via a contact centre. Where on earth was your ex husband taking your son?

Barmaid101 Wed 04-May-16 00:27:25

I wouldn't take him back into school before talking with the school. They put him in danger! What is the point in putting anything on file of it is ignored!
You need to see a SHL and get ex to have contact in a contact centre and get an injunction out against the inlaws! Do not let your daughter drop charges.
I think I would complain to the governors and the head and if you are not happy then go to ofsted.

blondieblondie Wed 04-May-16 00:34:40

You must be so stressed! I'd keep him off tomorrow and take it as far as possible.

The head of my sons school once let my son go home with another parent (due to their cock up by telling his AS care that he wasn't in school when he was, so they didn't collect him). I knew the other parent, but the school didn't call me to check, even when the other parent questioned whether that might be best. Just let him go, at age 5. I wish to this day I had taken it further than just a meeting with her.

HandWash Wed 04-May-16 00:34:44

The school messed up, but were in a difficult position.

If you and ExH are equal parents then he can give permission for whoever he wants to pick them up, just the same as you can. However they most definitely should have called you and not let your DS go without speaking to you.

They then could have said to GDad "Mum has said she is coming to collect and not to let him go".

IWantToBeAUnicorn Wed 04-May-16 00:35:42

Thanks for replies. I had already thought I would remove him from asc, but I work and struggle with wrap around care. I thought about asking them to hold the place for no fee until I can get a court order in place. I can't afford to pay it and not work, and places around here are like gold dust.

I think FIL was hoping I would be goaded into pushing my way into the house, and settled for my daughter. He is looking for leverage against me in anyway he can. They are very much of the 1950s mentality and can't comprehend that the house isn't just their sons. In their world, the man owns and the woman does as she is told. If I had a criminal record I couldn't work. They think that I would then just move out and hand the kids over to ex.
A few weeks ago my stbxh assaulted me and when I called the police, surprise surprise he counter alleged. During that time the in laws repeatedly called my daughter on her phone. When she returned the call they rang the police and said she was harassing them. 1 call! With several missed calls from them. They claimed pocket dial, and that they called the police because they were afraid. Obviously it didn't go anywhere, but they did offer to drop the non charges if they could see my son. Daughter is 15, very switched on and sees it for what it is. They also asked her to come for tea and spend the night, and when she said she had plans they said they would withdraw her university fund shock daughter just said, no worries, I can't be bought and will make my own way in life.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Wed 04-May-16 00:38:20

Your daughter sounds really cool.

Head screwed on.

I expect you're really proud of her.

smile

blondieblondie Wed 04-May-16 00:40:16

What a pair of twisted individuals. So sorry you're going through all that .

leghoul Wed 04-May-16 00:43:03

tricky but grandparents have no right to just turn up and access DC. If not immediately addressed escalate to governors. Write to head tomorrow? Your ex has parental responsibility but you've expressed clear safeguarding concerns and they do not have to release child to other people.

springydaffs Wed 04-May-16 00:44:00

this would be better off in relationships op.

sounds horrendous. I would be on the absolutely fucking warpath about this. As you say, what is the point of a password if they ignore it angry

leghoul Wed 04-May-16 00:45:32

sorry read again - governors. Sorry you're going through such a stressful time.

queenofthepirates Wed 04-May-16 00:46:14

I think I might advise you to harness your anger and go in there and scream at the staff. I know that's deeply unprofessional but their grasp of the seriousness of the situation is scant and dangerous. A proper 'do you have any bleedin' idea of how bleedin' fecklessly you behaved?' may be enough to get them to pull it together in these somewhat unusual circumstances. That or you'll scare the dickens out of them and it won't happen again. Either way, you'll get a result.

I feel for you, you shouldn't have to be going through this xxx

IWantToBeAUnicorn Wed 04-May-16 00:46:19

If school had called me I could have been there in less than five mins. I was working from home today.
I get. That dad can give permission too, but if that was the case the entire conversation and meeting we had was pointless. They should have told me it wouldn't actually change anything!
Tbh, from speaking to the manager I think they are shitting it a little bit as one person already said they didn't check the password, then said oh we did but we have two on file.
It is a good school and he is happy there, so I want to be balanced but also want to ensure he is safe obviously
The grandparents have laughed in my face before and in front of both children called me a whore (ex is convinced I cheated as I had a fling fairly quickly after ending the marriage). They have said that they have enough money to take me to every court in the land to get court ordered access to my son. They also called my daughter and asked if she knew what I was. Dd was confused and they said "your mother is a dirty whore and a junkie. She rang your dad from bed with another man and made him listen to them having sex"
Clearly that didn't happen, but to think ringing a 15 year old to say that is normal is beyond comprehension. For the most part I don't bother defending myself, it's pointless as people believe what they want to believe. It's a lose lose situation. Ignore, it is because they are right, deny, it is because I'm guilty. Hey ho!

Oh and just to add the grandad is 6 foot 4 and seventeen stone. A big burly bloke.

leghoul Wed 04-May-16 00:48:11

I'd complain fully through all school based channels as well as have the meeting. I'd leave the threat of escalation very firmly in mid air.
I'd want to know exactly how they will safeguard your son and if they can't tell you the failings and what has been done to address them, think about further action ie removing him from the school. This is a very serious safeguarding problem and their attitude is completely woefully ignorant of your situation. You need to explain police involvement fully as well.

leghoul Wed 04-May-16 00:51:32

are you in touch with women's aid?
they won't get access to your son it's clearly very far removed from his best interests. I'd press for non molestation order against ex as well but I know it can seem easier not to antagonise such characters.

bloodyteenagers Wed 04-May-16 00:52:46

How was the school in a difficult situation.
People were taken off the agreed pick up list. Passwords changed.
New passwords have to count.
The fil had no right to take the child because he was no longer on the list.
You don't need court orders or injunctions to stop grandparents, as they have no rights in the first place.
Op was lucky this time.

Put it this way. Old password still counts. Dad has an order to say he cannot get the child from the school so he sends in another
Person with the password. And walks into the distance with the child.

Not everyone in a school knows about court orders, hence passwords or other systems.

leghoul Wed 04-May-16 00:58:32

sorry brain asleep already - personally would definitely involve governors - at the meeting if possible - and get full confirmaiton of how they will stop this happening again. Unnecessary and horrible flowers

IWantToBeAUnicorn Wed 04-May-16 01:02:21

I am very proud of dd. she gets a raw deal, but just gets on with being herself. She is currently doing her GCSEs so really doesn't need this. She was distraught when she thought they might take her brother. They bicker like siblings do, but they adore each other.

I have been in touch with women's aid briefly and I know I should call them back but it's just too hard to explain. If the above situation was out of ten, it would be a two or a three compared to some of the things they have done. I am completely isolated and have no adult contact from one week to the next. There is not a single person in my life he hasn't told his tale of woe to, he is very good at playing the victim. He left in September and had a girlfriend by the November. But didn't tell anyone because that wouldn't fit with the role he is playing. The girlfriend has messaged my daughter on Facebook ( root of all evil) and threatened her on more than one occasion. At 4,5 am. He has told his gf that my daughter was going to beat up her daughter. Since we didn't know she existed until the first message I'm not sure how that works. But we (dd and I) just keep on keeping on!
I received the divorce papers last week and he has claimed that I physically abused him for the entire marriage. Kicked him, slapped him scratched him. And then added that my daughter had done the same. He named his own daughter in the divorce papers hmm. I think he is trying to get legal aid by claiming domestic violence. In our entire marriage (17 years) I slapped him in the face once. It was when I was pregnant and I caught him cheating on a stag night. It was a very dramatic Peggy Mitchell slap, out of order yes, but a one off isolated incident. He on the other hand was a little more forthcoming with the aggression.

bloodyteenagers Wed 04-May-16 01:06:00

Are you reporting all these threats aimed at your dd from her dad, his gf and grandparents.
You need to log everything and start legal action to get it all stopped

TeatimeForTheSoul Wed 04-May-16 01:13:36

School should be worried about your response as thus is a MASSIVE safeguarding failure that has resulted in harm which could have been far worse.
Really feeling for you IWant flowers

If there is any further contact can you use your mobile to record G'dad's threats? Or you can get great little digital voice recorders, for dictation, that pick up voices really well and fit snugly under a bra strap (family issues here too but I now have a bit of evidence against the two-faced ... so-and-so)

IWantToBeAUnicorn Wed 04-May-16 01:17:37

I have some notes about it all, but tbh I can't bring myself to write it all down. I can't afford to use my solicitor as a therapist, so I know I need to get it all written down, but I also need to be in a state of mind where I won't break down. There are some days I literally can't stop crying. It's like a tap, I just can't stop.
Ok, one of the worst things...my mum left us when we were five and I had no mum growing up. When I got pregnant with my daughter she came back into my life. Against my initial instinct I started to build a relationship with her which had got to at least friendship level, with a hint of maternal.
I have three sisters, and at some point in the last 15 years they have all broken up with long term partners. Without fail, each time my mum has maintained an inappropriate level of contact with the exes. Eg, my sister lived in Scotland, when she split with husband she came home to live with mum devastated, she was greeted with a full a4 size photo frame of her ex in the front room because my mum was sad and wanted a reminder of the son she had lost hmm. My ex knows this is what my mum is like, but also that rightly or wrongly I wanted a mum. He has been going around to her house, offering to do diy jobs for her, and has now convinced her that I was abusing him. This is despite her hearing him scream and shout at me (at my brothers funeral no less) and saying that, that kind of abuse was one of the reasons she left my dad (and Us By default). I called her a few weeks ago, and she told me she never wanted to speak to me ever again. True to her word, nothing. No Easter eggs for the kids, no birthday card. She was always one for the boys!

Sorry I'm rambling now and going off topic. My head is all over the place and I have no one irl to talk to. blushflowers

leghoul Wed 04-May-16 01:19:26

your ex sounds very abusive and so do his family. keep written evidence and document other incidents - harassment - take it to police
do get back in touch with womens aid - abusers are often wonderful actors and terribly charming and convincing when they want to be, but slowly courts are, I hope, realising a bit more and the law is catching up - eg the relatively new offence of coercive control
I think whatever you do won't be an overreaction in the circumstances, but I'd hold off on ofsted for the time being if you really want him to stay there, and make the gravity of the problem very clear to them again.

leghoul Wed 04-May-16 01:23:23

I'd cut contact with your mum while she's behaving like that. Sorry OP. Classic vile behaviour from your ex - and probably utterly convincing to any willing audience. You've done so well to get out of that relationship. Put you, DD and DS first and cut the rest of them out/ block them through legal channels
If exhausting and awful to write everything, just write down bullet point word/two here and there - but frm now on keep a really good record of anything. Police shoudl act reasonably quickly re, ,harassment at very least but this is a major concern re DC safety

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