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.


Nehru Sun 05-May-13 23:40:52

oh find something else to worry about


thenightsky Sun 05-May-13 23:41:07

Its so complicated these days confused

<old gimmer>

Rockinhippy Sun 05-May-13 23:44:30

Nehru jog on & find another thread to bitch wink

Old gimmer here too thenight - perhaps that's why I'm just not getting it confused

Purpleprickles Sun 05-May-13 23:44:56

I guess the schools point is that they have given a punishment which in their eyes is effective and suitable to the behaviour so there is no need for the child to be punished twice. If you look at it that way it's the school looking out for the child in a sense.

Or you could choose to look at it as the school over stepping the boundaries and telling parents how to parent.

AgentZigzag Sun 05-May-13 23:47:30

Even though I tend to do the same and not discipline DD more than a bit of a lecture and <disappointed face> if she's been punished for something at school, it's not for the school to think they've got the authority to involve themselves in whatever the parents think is a reasonable way to deal with their DCs bad behaviour.

LooseyMy Sun 05-May-13 23:48:29

Actually I agree. I never bollock ds for something he's already been bollocked for.

Littleturkish Sun 05-May-13 23:49:15

I'd worry about what had happened for them to come up with such a rule!

TigerSwallowTail Mon 06-May-13 00:07:15

I agree with you OP, the teacher was definitely overstepping the mark, she shouldn't be undermining your friend like that.

juniper9 Mon 06-May-13 00:36:15

I've had parents tell me that they're going to smack their kids over things that have happened in school.

My school's policy is that we don't tell parents unless there are two incidents in one week. Otherwise we keep it in house. If children want to tell their parents then fine.

DrCoconut Mon 06-May-13 00:37:11

I have never got unduly stressed by golden time to be honest. DS never understood it due to his SN and went most weeks having lost most if not all of it because of his ASD behaviour (no one recognised it for years and he was not even in the system for diagnosis for years). I would say a one off that has been dealt with is not worth sweating over. Repeated bad behaviour is a different matter.

Machli Mon 06-May-13 00:45:15

I agree with the school.

Booyhoo Mon 06-May-13 00:51:04

the teacher definitey shouldn;t have said that to the child.

however i agree with the school. the parent punishing at home undermines the schools authority. a bit like a father coming home from work and upon hearing about his child's bad behaviour punishes them again even though mum already dealt with it. it undermines her authority and re-inforces the 'just wait til your father gets home' thing.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Mon 06-May-13 00:51:21

I agree with the OP.

AgentZigzag Mon 06-May-13 00:59:11

What I choose to do with DD about her behaviour is my business Booy (although I agree the dad would be undermining the mum in that scenario, but you're talking about two equal parents, parental authority isn't equal to a schools authority, not by a long shot).

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 would take issue with the fact the school thought it could put it's authority above mine, in my own fucking home!

I don't think so.

Agree totally with you op - my view is that it is totally inappropriate for this teacher to make judgements about the parent's disciplining of their child anyway but to voice them in this manner in really not on.

Dominodonkey Mon 06-May-13 01:06:02

Yanbu - how dare they?

The school should be pleased parents are backing them up.

uncongenial Mon 06-May-13 01:14:10

It would depend on the crime, I think. But I do think the teacher ought not to have communicated his/her thoughts to the child.

And I've never liked the idea of Golden Time anyway, and the withholding of it as punishment.

Startail Mon 06-May-13 01:25:08

This is a very tricky one.
All I know is we had a bright, but very naughty boy in a Y3 class I helped with. The school discipline system was that parents were told if their DCs got 3sad in a day. His mum got told this a lot.

As a lowly works experience student DCs sometimes chat rather than read and from what he told me be couldn't see any point in behaving as he was always in trouble at school and his mum had run out of privileges to withdraw at home.

What he desperately needed was time, understanding and support to use his brain for school work not being the bright leader of the trouble makers. This was never going to come from his hassled single mum trying her best in a very deprived inner city area.

For him and her what happened in school staying in school would have been a good start. Lots of corny catching him being good would have been even better.

LittleMissLucy Mon 06-May-13 01:30:22

YANBU but I wouldn't bother contacting them, its clearly policy. Just ignore it and carry on as you see fit. It makes no difference what they say or recommend if you don't want to put it into action - and what you decide is your business, not theirs. If that makes sense (sounds garbled, sorry).

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 06-May-13 01:50:18

I usually wouldn't punish if whom ever was in charge at the time already had, but its up to me to decide based on the behaviour how is been dealt with and its frequency.

I'm pretty sure if parents thought that whilst in school nothing at all to do with dc's was their problem and spent time telling kids that the teachers were wrong and they would have to write them a letter to tell them off for doing certain things, it would be a problem.

Teachers should teach and parents should parent.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 06-May-13 02:41:13

I agree with the school re. no need to punish a child twice.

She shouldn't have said it to the class though.

I'd punish if the issue was big enough to call me in for, if not I'd let the school deal with it.

It's the same as them being naughty, not big time, at a friend or grandmas. If they were naughty enough for it to be mentioned to me upon collection I would punish, of friend or grandma was happy to pull them up on their behaviour and reprimand them then I wouldn't do it over again.

But teacher should not have said this infront of children, maybe sending note in book folder would have been more appropriate.

Nehru Mon 06-May-13 07:10:17

The teach parent thing overlaps. You have no clue

Jinty64 Mon 06-May-13 07:31:08

I agree with the school. The teacher may have been better to have said nothing in front of the child and phoned the mum later but the child should not be punished twice.

Perhaps in future she should call the mum to collect the child and punish him at home. That would save the school the bother and everyone would be un happy

Vivacia Mon 06-May-13 07:32:59

If you're concerned you should ask the school A) if it's true, did the teacher say this and, B) why do they have the rule.

rainbowslollipops Mon 06-May-13 07:55:43

If a child got punished in the morning at school does it make sense to you to then bring it all up again at home time when really it's been dealt with, punishment has been done and child won't do it again.

pouffepants Mon 06-May-13 08:04:09

My dc have never been remotely bothered by school punishments. Nobody cares if they lose 10 mins of golden time, or have to tidy books or whatever. But if they know there's a chance I'll find out about a misdemeanour, then there's a chance that they won't go swimming or whatever.

This only applies to major infringements though, little stuff I would hope the school would deal with, and not tell me.

noblegiraffe Mon 06-May-13 09:40:36

At secondary we're usually really pleased when the parent backs up the school and thank them for their support!

Morloth Mon 06-May-13 09:48:32

Even if it is policy, the teacher should not have said anything to the DC.

I think actually I will decide whether to continue/add to a punishment if I decide it is necessary.

Snort at school punishments, I was a royal PITA as a kid, teachers didn't scare me, my Mum though, she was the business.

I can remember being canned at school (am old) and it wasn't the actual canning that worried me, just what Mum was going to say when she found out.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 06-May-13 09:55:04

This is a difficult one and I don't think there is a right or wrong way of doing it. Different approaches are better for different children.

Some schools like to save telling the parents as punishment for the bigger misdemeanours, which is fair enough, but only works if parents are supportive of the school.

I am one parent who would prefer different approaches for each of my children, although I understand that is extremely difficult for the school.
I once had a situation where my ds who has Aspergers was put in the behaviour book for hitting another child, and I didn't find out about it until weeks later. I'd have preferred the school to tell me, because my ds is the rare sort of child that couldn't really care less whether he is in the behaviour book or not. I was annoyed at not being told because I could have taken him out that afternoon for ice cream or given some other treat, which I certainly wouldn't have done if I'd known. He needs a punishment that actually matters to him, and losing a treat (which golden time isn't with a child who hates less structured school time) would do that. I was very upset to think that I could have given him a treat when he very much didn't deserve one, because in his very black/white way of thinking, he effectively got away with it.

FWIW, my ds is usually very well behaved and the behaviour book thing would work with my other ds.

BigBongTheory Mon 06-May-13 09:56:08

I wouldn't have got involved and am always delighted when parents back me up as a teacher. I think cohesion between parents and teachers encourages the best behaviour.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 06-May-13 09:56:24

The teach parent thing overlaps. You have no clue

Not to the extent of sending letters home to tell a parent off about normal none abusive discipline outside of school it doesn't.

I have never come across anything even like this not with the 14 children from my household over the years who have attended schools nor from any of the schools I have worked with.

Should a parent have talked about something like this within our advocacy groups we would have raised it as an issue with the school, whilst the sentiment may be fine the way it was done is not,and it is not the schools call.

rainbowslollipops Mon 06-May-13 10:01:00

So what if there was an incident involving your child and some others and although your child didn't do anything they were punished for being involved because another child said they were? You'd get told about it, punish your child after school when the punishment has already taken place and then later after home punishment find out that your child wasn't involved? You've punished a child for something that happened when you weren't there. Why punish for a moment when it's been dealt with already? At most just let them know you're not happy to have heard about it and move on from it. Why bring it back up at home if you weren't there?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 06-May-13 10:01:07

They certainly shouldn't be saying that to the child. That is undermining the parent and it's not on. Working as a team (or being seen to!) is very important. I am sure the teacher would not like the parent to undermine them!

I remember clearly when I was a kid that if you got into trouble at school you damned well knew you had it coming at home too! I can see that the punish once and move on is a good thing, but not like that. Not said to the child.

Maggie111 Mon 06-May-13 10:04:00

I guess the major problem is the teacher completely undermined the parents to the child. If that was school policy, or she thought the kid was being disciplined too severely then surely she should speak to a parent, not tell the kid it was "unfair".

For talking in class or some misdemeanor I don't think it's worth being punished 'twice' but for something like fighting I can understand why any parent would want to enforce it at home too.

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.

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.


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.

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 10:19:57

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

tiggytape Mon 06-May-13 14:57:24


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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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

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 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

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".

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.

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

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.

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