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?

RiotsNotDiets Sat 25-May-13 21:43:33

I doubt you can change it now, don't let her know you're pissed off about it. Find something she'd love to do on the night she isn't in the play and say how lucky it is you're able to go to it?

HeySoulSister Sat 25-May-13 21:43:42

Complain! That's what you should do!


CalicoRose Sat 25-May-13 21:43:58

Your daughter isn't being punished, what an odd way yo view it.

They both get the lead role - like in a proper west end show smile

Why is your DD so upset that she has to share the role?

CloudsAndTrees Sat 25-May-13 21:45:29

Your dd isn't being punished, and she is still getting to be the lead on one of the nights. I'm surprised they didn't have two leads if they are doing two shows anyway, that is what schools have always done ime.

The school shouldn't give in to demands like this, they are showing themselves to be weak. But I also think your dd should be taking it more graciously.

HollyBerryBush Sat 25-May-13 21:46:13

It's fair to share.

So if your complaining gets the whole show cancelled , will you feel better? If you get the other girl cast out, will you feel better?

What do you want to happen? Because complaining for the sake of it without stating your case for a solution is pathetic.

So, what do you want to happen?

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 25-May-13 21:47:48

YANBU. I'd be livid. Mind you dd never gets given very much at school despite having performed professionally and being offered a place at a full time performing arts school.

She was really disappointed she didn't get a singing part in her Yr 6 play but just made the best if what she was given. She's have had short drift from be if she'd come crying about not having the lead.

Some children seem to be do entities and with parents who encourage this. They'll have a huge shock as they get older.

Iggi101 Sat 25-May-13 21:49:27

Sharing would have been fine if it happened initially.
I think, on the basis that your child is still upset, you should meet with someone from the school - their account of events might differ from what you've heard, or at least they might learn something for next year.

jamdonut Sat 25-May-13 21:50:51

God yes,make a fuss. That is diabolical!! I've never heard anything like it...apart from when at DD's school's talent show a year 7 decided to have a "breakdown" mid song (The sun will come out tomorrow). Previous years if that happened the person was applauded,but that was it.

Cue Mother going backstage and making a terrific fuss so that her little darling got a second chance! She then went on to belt out said song with no nerves at all! And,by strange coincedence, she also went on to win!! hmm

My daughter and others were furious,but the result stood. This year it was made clear...if you mess up,you don't get a second chance.

mummydarkling Sat 25-May-13 21:50:54

My son played the male lead in his school play a couple of years ago and had to contend with his leading lady being subbed at the interval! He has asd and did not raise an eyebrow when she gained several inches in height, I was so proud.

defineme Sat 25-May-13 21:51:46

It's the way it was done that's awful: other posters are being very obtuse op!

Obviously, if the original idea was to have 2 leads then op's dd would have been fine about it, but what actually happened was that a young girl was given something that she was very proud of and then it was taken away. She was scared by a teacher and praised for doing something that she actually was given no choice about.

Horrid behaviour by the teachers and I would be going in to complain.

I would also be explaining to dd that sometimes adults go about things the wrong way and it's crap that this was her teacher.

WorraLiberty Sat 25-May-13 21:51:52

Well I'd certainly get the facts from the teacher because it sounds rather odd.

jazzmin Sat 25-May-13 21:52:25

She was given the lead part. The other girl was given a small part. There are two performances. After 3 days of crying they caved in and gave the other girl the lead role on one night. What does that teach them? Cry to get your own way if you weren't good enough the first time?
My daughter feels she has 'lost' the role and is devastated, she was shouted at in front of the class that if she complained the whole play would be cancelled. Why should she have that pressure? It isn't like they said from the start the part would be shared. She got the part, then a performance taken away.

jamdonut Sat 25-May-13 21:54:14

Oh, and we've never had "shared" leads in any performances in senior or junior school. You audition - you get the part or you don't .End of.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Sat 25-May-13 21:54:47

If she's upset they'll cancel the whole play?

That threat would definitely have me complaining.

helenthemadex Sat 25-May-13 21:55:58

I would go in and talk to them about it, it does all sound very unfair and is sending out the message that if you and your parents make enough fuss you will get your own way, not on and not fair

cantbloodywellchoose Sat 25-May-13 21:56:05

I can certainly see the sense in having a different lead for each show to give more than one person the chance but if only that was the intention from the outset. If things truly happened as you say then the school should be ashamed of themselves for pandering to the pushy other mum.

myonlyfriend Sat 25-May-13 21:56:12

No op yanbu, it has just reinforced to the other child if she creates and kicks off enough then she will get her own way. Not at all fair on your dd.

cansu Sat 25-May-13 21:57:26

This thread illustrates why teachers sometimes think shows etc are more trouble than they are worth. Teachers shouldn't have caved in to first girl but they did and it is up to you now to make the est of this and help your dd to be the bigger person before the whole bloody play becomes a shambolic nightmare!

AgentZigzag Sat 25-May-13 21:57:52

Is this the other half of the story?

jazzmin Sat 25-May-13 21:58:31

I do appreciate all the comments, as I am emotionally involved I want to get outside perspectives. As a teacher myself, I never criticise my children's school in front of them. However, I owe it to my daughter to sort this out, as she feels a great sense of injustice. I found out a parent I barely know went to complain about it after school yesterday as her child had come out of school saying it was so unfair what had happened.
If a child is not good enoughh to be given a role, is it right they cry until an adult caves in? I would be embarrassed if it was my daughter.

WorraLiberty Sat 25-May-13 21:59:10

How do you know she cried for 3 days?

Who told you this?

Smartiepants79 Sat 25-May-13 22:00:10

Very badly handled indeed. School should not have given in to emotional blackmail. What if 3 of them had all gone in crying, where does it stop.
I think your DD has every right to be upset.
If she had been told from the start that the part would be shared then that's fine and I would expect a gracious acceptance. However that is not what has happened.
I would go in and speak to the teacher involved.
I would say that I understand this cannot be changed now but that you are extremely unimpressed by how they dealt with it. That my child is very distressed. And should not have been bullied into giving up the part that THEY gave her in the first place. Keep it calm but make sure that they understand how you feel and why.
I am a teacher too and I've never heard of anything like it.
That mother is setting her child up for a very big fall at some point in real life. Boss's in actual jobs don't change their mind because your mum goes in and complains.
I hope your DD can enjoy the rest of the play.

jazzmin Sat 25-May-13 22:02:51

AgentZigzag - no not the same! I am actually very good friend with the other girl's mum, haven't contacted her as mortified by the whole thing.

AgentZigzag Sat 25-May-13 22:06:43

They're a good fit for each other though grin

Hope your DD's OK smile

jazzmin Sat 25-May-13 22:08:29

WorraLiberty - because it is a village school - we are all close. My daughter came home upset because her friend was crying so much. i met other mums in the pub to organise the leavers party and they all said the same. Smartiepants - thank you. Your comments are probably what I would say to someone else and I appreciate your perspective.

HollyBerryBush Sat 25-May-13 22:11:45

I think the whole play should be cancelled. Far too many tears and histrionics.

kilmuir Sat 25-May-13 22:11:56

what a great lesson to teach the brat.
make a fuss, cry and generally have a paddy and you will get wheat you want whether you are right for the part or not.
Hope your daughter outshines her

kim147 Sat 25-May-13 22:12:19

I'm just shocked the teacher shouted at your DD and made public threats about the play. God knows the leaver's service is stressful enough but you don't take it out on the children.

I'm surprised the lead role is being shared out - just makes rehearsals twice as complicated. I've done my fair share of school plays and they are stressful enough.

I've also worked in a small school so understand the closeness of parents and the closeness with the school.

imaginethat Sat 25-May-13 22:18:04

If you believe that your dd has been shouted at, threatened and in general treated badly, you need to go into speak with the teacher. I would really like to know how it goes.

jazzmin Sat 25-May-13 22:18:51

I know - as a teacher I can't comprehend how they will manage double rehearsal time - it is Alice in Wonderland so Alice is a huge part - to double the audition time is crazy. Thanks again for the comments. I am going to encourage my daughter to make her night the best she can, and tell her I am proud of her. I am also going to complain to the school. Thanks again for all your perspectives.

kim147 Sat 25-May-13 22:21:33

Just to throw something in - is it being filmed?

HalfBakedCleverCookie Sat 25-May-13 22:22:29

That is very unfair, no wonder your Dd is upset. I would have a word with the achieve. It's the way they are punishing her for being upset that is worst.

JeanPaget Sat 25-May-13 22:23:09

I would speak to the class teacher and the head and basically repeat your second post.

I agree you should put a brave face on it for your daughter, and that it's probably too late for the school to change the situation, but I think the school have behaved really badly and should have that pointed out to them. I'd be furious.

NonnoMum Sat 25-May-13 22:23:51

Maybe there's something else to this... Perhaps the other girls has some sort of bucket wish list and there is some sort of secret disease she has... And this is her last chance to shine on this earth...

Or something...

thezebrawearspurple Sat 25-May-13 22:26:25

I would complain about her being shouted at and threatened. If the show is cancelled it is the fault of the teacher giving into an overly indulgent mother of a spoilt brat.

Shakey1500 Sat 25-May-13 22:29:29

Ye GADS I would be LIVID. Not in a precious mother type of way, but for the handling. As mentioned, where does it stop? I really feel for your DD and do you know what?

I would probably speak to whoever's involved, as emotionlessly as possible about the caving in AND I would tell your daughter that I believe they were wrong, to totally be on her side but that sadly there's little to be done so we'll be gracious in public and fume in private. Preferably with a massive bag of pick and mix.

teejwood Sat 25-May-13 22:39:33

I don't normally post on AIBU toochicken but you are DNBU, OP. I have seen this happen before - where a friend's son was given the lead role in a school play, then another child/mum kicked off and - no sharing here - the role was just given to the other child. I was bloody fuming for the poor boy (and his mum, who is waaaay too good natured forherowngood to complain), but this is typical of the 'queen bee'-type mum whose child wanted the role.

It sounds like you are going to be away from that school and away from that teacher soon enough. I would be tempted to complain about the crappy emotional blackmail/threats from the weak teacher in front of the whole class (and even then perhaps leave it until after the show, but put in in writing, address to the head, head of year if there is one etc). As for the rest of it, I would just tell your DD how much stronger she is as a person and as a performer to have got it by her own merits in the first place and that she can put all her efforts into delivering a stonking performance on her one special night. Hopefully the school she is going on to has an active drama department? Perhaps she can focus on that being her next step, to take her mind off this debacle?

Floggingmolly Sat 25-May-13 22:54:36

It's usually fair to share, certainly. But the role wasn't initially shared in this case, the second girl basically threw a tantrum til she got what she wanted. Why wouldn't op's dd be pissed off? I'd complain very loudly.

Floggingmolly Sat 25-May-13 22:57:25

Oh wow, agentzigzag! It's not, is it?

juniper9 Sun 26-May-13 00:45:36

When my school did Alice, they swapped the Alice half way through. Very confusing for the audience, but maybe it'd work best for the show? Then both girls would only have to learn half of the lines.

I agree, though, that they shouldn't have given in to tears. Maybe there's more to it?

theodorakisses Sun 26-May-13 08:43:38

I must be a terrible person because the concept of avoiding other mums and complaining to a school is so alien to me over children's squabbles. My life has enough going on without crying over who is in a play. However, if a teacher spoke in an intimidating or threatening way, I would call the police and sue their bullying arses. If you can prove that it actually did happen like that which I don't really believe.

HintofBream Sun 26-May-13 09:46:30

How come at 9.40 pm the other child had cried for two days, yet by 9.52 this had jumped to three?

HabbaDabba Sun 26-May-13 10:09:09

Two Year 6 girls crying for days over a part in a school play???

Sorry OP but it sounds like two divas in the making.

We usually split the lead parts so that each performance has a different set of leading parts. I see nothing wrong with this. It was what the school should have done in the first place IMO.

So, just because it took a non stop crying child to get the school to change their mind doesn't mind that you have cause to complain.

As for your DD being told off by the teacher, I suspect that the teacher at this stage was a bit sick and tired of a couple of diva children.

Apologies for being rude harsh but we are talking about a play at a small school and two Year 6 girls. Hardly something for either DD to be crying over. Neither is it something for either parent to go nuclear either.

Smartiepants79 Sun 26-May-13 10:12:03

Not sure why it matters how many days she cried for...
That's not really the point is it?
The point is that school have given into a pushy mother and emotional blackmail.
It has been badly handled and set a poor precedent for all concerned.
All these children and mothers have been shown is that if you moan loud enough you get what you want, even if you don't deserve it and it is at the expense of someone else.

HabbaDabba Sun 26-May-13 10:20:07

"at the expense of someone else"

??? There are two performances. The OP's DD is now staring in one performance instead of two.

IMO one DC crying over not getting the lead is only slightly more diva-ish than a DC crying over only leading in one performance instead of both.

I don't understand how posters can criticize one marathon crying child and one pushy mum and at the same support another marathon crying child and pushy mum number 2.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Sun 26-May-13 10:25:52

For those with a yen to tread the boards surely losing out on a longed for part is going to be something of an occupational hazard. That goes for both girls here.

However the school handled this poorly by not splitting the lead part from the off. Or conversely by sticking to their guns having decided one person gets it. Changing tack because someone threw a wobbly is pathetic.

I do find primary school shows to be a minefield of egos though and whenever I hear one is in the offing I massively play down the whole thing at home.

My dd was upset she didn't get a better part in one. I'm afraid I told her that's life (even though it does grate to see the same old faces in the main roleshmm)

VelvetSpoon Sun 26-May-13 10:28:28

Unfortunately this sort of shit goes on in a lot of schools, teachers are so spineless they are ruled by a few strong willed children/parents - normally the ones who are the leading lights of the PTA and whose kids can do no wrong, etc.

My Ds (and about 10 others) were deliberately left out of their leavers play last year, because we are all the ones who don't 'fit in' (different races, religions, single parents, FT working mums, parents who are quite vocal about complaining). 2 parents complained to the school, which achieved fuck all. Complaining never does, because you're not the priority, the other parents are - frankly I'm just glad neither of my DC go there any more.

lionheart Sun 26-May-13 10:35:47

I think it is unfair to say they are both divas.

The OP's dd was badly treated and had something taken away from her. Quite different.

EduCated Sun 26-May-13 10:36:28

It would have been fair if it had been agreed fom the start and OP's DD knew she would only be doing one night. To go about it in this manner is shocking.

Sparklymommy Sun 26-May-13 10:39:26

I think this was handled appallingly and I would probably make an appointment to see the head and ask what on earth is going on. Maybe hearing it from the school would put a different perspective on it. If it is as the op says though, I think it's horrific. Giving in to tantrum throwers is not good practise. I do agree that in the real world of performing arts there is a lot of rejection. If girls want to perform they need to learn that.

MummytoKatie Sun 26-May-13 10:39:50

The problem is not that the dd is only getting one show but that she earnt two (by doing the best audition) and then had one taken off her.

Imagine if at work you were told you were told you were getting a £5000 bonus for working every night for a month then someone else (who had only worked two evenings) kicked up a huge fuss about only getting £2000 so they said "ok - you can have £3500 each and if you complain then no-one will get a bonus at all!"

I may have been happy with £3.5k if I had got it originally but now I want my £5k that I earnt!

imaginethat Sun 26-May-13 10:42:10

I think this sort of shit goes on in workplaces too with staff literally stamping feet/crying to get their own way.

Floggingmolly Sun 26-May-13 10:44:13

Of course it's unfair. It's the equivalent of telling a toddler he has to share, every time another toddler snatches a toy out of his hands.
Extremely poor of the school to give in to the tantrum, both the girl's and her mother's.

Floggingmolly Sun 26-May-13 10:45:32

MummytoKaties example was better grin

musicposy Sun 26-May-13 10:47:45

It's unfair but does happen in the real world too shock.
DD2 was in professional panto (to be fair they have more than one of everyone). Within her group she was chosen for an extra role to go and do something with the lead actor. She was thrilled and we watched a couple of times - we were so proud. The director came up to us and saying how well she was doing, how pleased they were with her etc.
About a week into the panto run one of the other girl 's mums was chaperoning and kicked up a fuss, saying her DD was so upset about it, she'd been involved with panto for years, all her family were coming from timbuctoo etc etc. and basically threatened that her DD was so upset they would pull out hmm.
Instead of tell her to suck it up or leave they took the role away from DD and gave it to this other girl on half the remaining nights, which included the ones all my family had booked. The production manager said to DD "Jane is very upset so you won't mind sharing, will you?"
She had to take it on the chin and so did we but it was very annoying.
These things happen. They are unfair and it shouldn't be a case of he who makes the most fuss, but sadly it often is. DD lost a role recently to a child whose mother sucked up to the director like you wouldn't believe, homemade cheesecakes, you name it. It's a very unfair world I'm afraid, particularly anything to do with acting. You might think it would be different if it wasn't school, but it wouldn't be.
The best thing you can do as a parent - and I've been there- is try to emotionally detach a bit from your own disappointment. Once you get over the injustice yourself you'll be able to put it a bit into perspective for your DD. I always say to DD "this won't be the last thing you ever do on stage and it wont be yhe most important" which helps enormously.

EduCated Sun 26-May-13 10:53:14

I'm sure it does happen in professional drama. But this isn't professional, this is primary school and its blummin' sad if we can't treat children fairly there.

TheBuskersDog Sun 26-May-13 10:55:19

But even if the school had decided beforehand to have a different child play Alice in each of the two performances it still might not have been the crying child who got to share the part, it may well have been jazzmin's daughter and another girl.

HabbaDabba Sun 26-May-13 11:15:22

Mummytokatie - this is a year 6 play. This time next year none of the other parents will remember or care who played the lead. Bit silly comparing it to adults in a work situation where serious money is involved.

HabbaDabba Sun 26-May-13 11:22:27

lionheart - if there was only one performance then I would be most upset if it was my DD that got pushed to one side. But that isn't what is happening here.

The OP's DD was asked to be the lead in one performance and not two as originally planned. And this was enough to make her cry for days???

Did I misread the OP? I'm sure it said that the DDs are Year 6. That makes them both 11 years old right?

Catbert4pm Sun 26-May-13 11:40:11

Sounds like a badly handled situation which I can see could be upsetting. But I think the kindest thing would be to explain that these things happen sometimes and we just have to put on a brave face. And have a quiet word with the school to try to avoid such mishandling in future.

BUT I know how these things can really get to you. Every year in primary school the summer fete programme was populated by the same kids' drawings (offspring of the highest echelons of the PTA), and none of them were Picasso (I was a PTA member, but low ranking). DD noticed the pattern. Her disappointment got to me more than it should, so, for a giggle, in her final year, I pencilled a picture and DD coloured it in. I still smirk when I think about that year's programme.... with the drawing in it!

She's in middle school now, so easier to help get see that sometimes things happen which are hurtful, but sometimes you just gave to suck it up and remain dignified.

Bet she'll be the best anyway! smile

Catbert4pm Sun 26-May-13 11:41:03


mrsjay Sun 26-May-13 11:47:35

It is school plays galore on here this weekend nobody is every happy whatever happens confused it is all a bit divaish imo all this stropping about parents marching into schools sigh

mrsjay Sun 26-May-13 11:47:49


Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 26-May-13 11:48:13

I think it's terrible that a child can cry and cry until they get their own way. What is it teaching them? Stamp your foot and you'll get your own way in life. Great.

The school have made a crap choice by doing a play with such a big part for one child - and a part that only 50% of the class had a chance for unless they were going to be very progressive. I think that if they'd split the role at the start (which is what they should have done) they would be no reason for your dd to be upset BUT as it is she does feel she'd lost something and that's happened because of somebody else making a fuss. I don't blame you for being cross Op but there's bugger all to be done about it now. I agree make a big fuss of her on non-performance night.

GibberTheMonkey Sun 26-May-13 12:13:09

It's the shouting at ops dd for daring to be a bit upset that is the worst bit for me.
If they had comforted her and talked to her about how they had been a bit unfair not to let more people have parts and they're asking her to be grown up about it she would probably had her bit of disappointment and moved on. Instead they upset and scared her.
That would have been the thing to make me feel shaky and upset if I had been her dd, not so much the losing of half the part.

maddening Sun 26-May-13 12:17:23

I would complain about dd being shouted at for crying when they pandered to the other girl.

lunar1 Sun 26-May-13 13:09:44

I'm another one that would complain about your daughter being shouted at and basically bullied in front if everyone into agreeing. Disgusting behaviour from the school.

I would love to see what they would do if all 30 children sat crying until they got what they wanted, it just sets such a bad example.

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

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.

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.

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?

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

Like what, Habba?

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Mixed up the colours in that last post, woops

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! :-)

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!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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!

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

Glad it is all sorted!

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

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

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