How do I deal with this crazy woman causing trouble with school?

(55 Posts)
blissfullytired Tue 25-Jun-13 10:02:44

Our neighbour has a child the same age that is in dds class, I do not really know her well as we have only been here a couple of years and do not really see much of her due to work.

Mum is the playground gossip, has to know everything about everyone and be in the thick of "ohh have you heard about x" , to make it worse she is best friends with the head.

If she hears anything to do with school I or dd says at all she runs to the head with it, dd has had an awful year with bullying and lack of support for her sen. So if dd is in the garden and says anything about S bullying her or the teacher or the fact she has not got star of the week for two years or the prize tub despite being really good in school and trying bloody hard but the clever children only seem to get rewarded the mum goes and tells the head what has been said hmm

If I tell dd off she will come over in the morning in the playground wanting to know why I told her off, I do not mean shouting and screaming at dd which she could be concerned by I mean just basic discipline, for example last week she heard me in the garden telling dd she was going to bed if she carried on being rude as I was sick of her attitude, straight over in the morning to try and find out what was said.

If I do not tell her she will embelish the truth to the head in a "oh I heard blissfully and dd having a right slanging match last night, you should have heard them" (I heard her say it) when no one had even raised their voices and yet I hear her screaming and swearing at her dd and they are often arguing drunk outside the pub on the other side while the child is there.

She actually caused major issue TWICE last year. First dd hurt herself minorly at brownies doing a household type task for a badge and mum heard dd talking about it to her dd and asked me about it so I explained she had done it at brownies and how, the next day I got called into school because she had told the head dd had hurt herself at home because I was making her do the housework and that she had seen dd doing it (complete lie).

To further this she asked dd one day over the fence why her dad did not live with us, dd said because he was naughty. Next thing I am being called in school again as apparently dd has told a teacher that her dad had stabbed a door. I speak to dd thinking she is making things up to look tough to stop the bullying, dd does not know what I am talking about, the teacher she has so called said it to was not even in for three days when she has supposed to have said it. DD has not even been spoken to, none of the procedures for a supposed disclosure have been followed. Head tells me if dds dad (who we have not seen in years and does not know where we live and he knows this) turns up at school he will ask dd to leave his state school.

When the teacher came back in I spoke to her to explain it had not happened and she told me dd had not spoken to her and she knew nothing about it, she checked with the other teachers who also knew nothing about it. I went back to the head but got nowhere, I was later told by a teacher that a parent had said it....

To be honest at the moment dd is hitting puberty and with sen and her lack of understanding it is hard work in addition to the bullying and school issues and I just do not need the added stress of this woman!

Swap schools.

Picturepuncture Tue 25-Jun-13 10:07:18

Is changing school an option? A school with a proffesional head teacher would solve these issues. Otherwise a letter to the CogG might be in order?

blissfullytired Tue 25-Jun-13 10:07:29

An example of the embellishment in regards to the you will go to bed comment she heard I said to dd she was going to bed if she carried on being rude as I was sick of her attitude.

She said next morning, oh what was up with dd last night, I answered nothing why, she said ohhh I heard you say "if you carry on with the attitude you little shit you will bloody go to bed"....

I had not swore at all.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 25-Jun-13 10:07:44

Your neighbour is not the problem. She is a busybody and a PITA, but tge problems are coming from the Head. He is behaving in a highly unprofessional manner.

Forget her (or just tell her to butt out) and deal with him.

MillyMollyMandy78 Tue 25-Jun-13 10:10:16

I'm afraid that i have no advice for you, but didn't want to read and run. She sounds absolutely dreadful - I find her behaviour completely shocking! Sure someone wiser will be along soon to help.

Scrubber Tue 25-Jun-13 10:11:15

I'd second talking to the governors. If that doesn't work change schools if you can.

Poor you!

pictish Tue 25-Jun-13 10:13:31

Wow...what a loony!! confused

Um...tell her to mind her own business in no uncertain terms?

blissfullytired Tue 25-Jun-13 10:14:50

Are the CogG the governors?

I am really worried the imaginary knife and household incident will now be one record at dds school sad

She only has a year left of primary and is finally getting the academic help she needs after years of fighting so I am loathed to move her to move again in 12 months.

MsGee Tue 25-Jun-13 10:19:48

I can understand you not wanting to move her at this point but I would refuse to engage with this woman. If she asks anything tell her that as she has twisted things in the past you think its best you don't discuss the kids.

Write to the Governors outlining the two situations above and your concern that a) the Head put you all through unnecessary upset (and lied) based on unfounded gossip from a parent and b) that you are concerned that this gossip is on DD school record.

Picturepuncture Tue 25-Jun-13 10:27:07

Yes, sorry I meant CofG- chair of governors.

Crowler Tue 25-Jun-13 10:29:42

Can I second the letter to the Governors, and may I suggest that you ruthlessly edit your letter to it's bare bones.

Your head teacher is being very unprofessional. I'm shocked that she is openly anything more than acquaintances with any parent at the school. Is this normal? At my kids' school, the head teacher openly discourages any informalities between parents and teachers.

blissfullytired Tue 25-Jun-13 10:30:48

Thanks, I got called in for three things in one week, that my dd had said her dad had stabbed the door, that she had injured herself doing the housework and that she was not allowed to have anyone over at the house or I "went mad" . The time that was said dd had had her out of school friend over for a sleepover the night before and he had played at our house the weekend before that.

blissfullytired Tue 25-Jun-13 10:31:52

Its a small village school, he lives in the village, he has been there a long long time.

MatersMate Tue 25-Jun-13 10:32:04

Wow. Firstly I would tell next door to piss off and mind her own business, also tell dd not to answer any more questions from her dd.

Then go see the head and explain if he/she continues in this unprofessional and frankly staggering manner you are going to the governor's.

Bring out the big guns op, this is ridiculous.

Also, ask for reassurance none of this crap is on your daughters record

burberryqueen Tue 25-Jun-13 10:32:59

what msgee said

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 25-Jun-13 10:34:38

And stop telling DD off in the garden....grow some plants up the fence on a trellis so this woman can't lean over.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

burberryqueen Tue 25-Jun-13 10:38:16

be careful, this could be building up to SS intervention.

As said, stop engaging with her and tell her why.

I would write out the incidences, so you can keep them to the point and factual.

He has behaved in an unprofessional manner and not followed procedure, if what you have put is true (the leaving the school bit).

It doesn't matter how big a village you live in, or how long he has been there. He has strict guidelines to follow and if you were under the threat of DV, he should be directing support to you.

MrsDeVere Tue 25-Jun-13 10:42:26

I would keep a very careful log of this information.
I would also (but I am possibly older and gobbier than you) confront the woman.

Not in an aggressive way but be very clear that you know what she has been doing.

'I am aware that you have said things about me and DD that are untrue. Because of this both the school and I have had to waste a great deal of time clearing things up. I have made a note of the things you have said and done so far. If you continue I will be forced to take things further'

blissfullytired Tue 25-Jun-13 10:42:32

Thats what I am worried about burberry to be honest sad

somanystripes Tue 25-Jun-13 10:43:06

The professionalism of the Head is staggering. I am also shocked that you were called in as you supposedly don't let dd have friends over - whether or not it's true (which it's clearly not) what business is it of the school what you do socially in your home? My mum wasn't keen on friends over when I was a kid (I suspect OCD tidiness issues at the root of it!) but we played out and went to the houses of others. No problem.

I support all of those that say to write to the Governors and set out your concerns about how this is being dealt with and the affect on you and DD. Do speak - politely and assertively - to the Head first, however, about the reliance on hearsay and half-truths in regard to your DD and let him/her know you are writing to the Governors or he/she could legitimately challenge you on why you didn't raise it directly.

It does sound like a perpetuation of the bullying behaviour by your neighbour and the Head, to be honest. I really feel for you. Just awful.

somanystripes Tue 25-Jun-13 10:43:36

The unprofessionalism is staggering - sorry, autocorrect!

burberryqueen Tue 25-Jun-13 10:44:14

yes well it could mrsdevere suggested, keep a log and be assertive!

imnotmymum Tue 25-Jun-13 10:46:13

Agree with Somany. That is appalling.

blissfullytired Tue 25-Jun-13 10:49:44

birdsgottafly that was my thought to, at that moment in time we had not seen exh for years and not lived with him for around six years. Heads comment was along the lines of not having a child in school who's parent could compromise the safety of his staff and if exh turned up he would have to consider her place at the school. When I said he had not been physically abusive, had not been seen in years and did not know where we lived he replied "he could find out"

I was too fuming about it all at the time but looking back what if I HAD been a parent currently experiencing domestic violence at home how the hell would that have helped them, they would have been even more likely to have gone to ground.

burberryqueen Tue 25-Jun-13 10:53:00

outrageously unprofessional - i would be onto to the education dept. and the governers like a shot.

MrsDeVere Tue 25-Jun-13 10:53:44

It sounds as if your neighbour has been really talking up your issues with your ex. Blowing things out of proportion.

I think I would be at the stage where I would be talking about formal complaints and logging incidents with the police. A chat about stalking and harassment with your community police officer.

This woman is not just annoying, she is causing you real problems.

She wants telling.

burberryqueen Tue 25-Jun-13 10:54:04

why is always single mothers who get treated like crap? it makes me so cross.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 25-Jun-13 10:57:41

Is there a professional body that you could report the head to? Surely discussing your child and your family situation with another parent is against some kind of code of conduct?

Keep a log of it, possibly speak to the police about harassment and look into speaking to the governors. She sounds like an absolute nightmare!

digerd Tue 25-Jun-13 11:09:00

As soon as the head knows his 'friend 'is telling lies and he is acting on these lies and getting himself into trouble, he will hopefully drop this trouble maker friend. She sounds a really nasty piece of work.

So sorry you have her as a neighbour.

cory Tue 25-Jun-13 11:11:39

MrsDeVere Tue 25-Jun-13 10:53:44
"I think I would be at the stage where I would be talking about formal complaints and logging incidents with the police. A chat about stalking and harassment with your community police officer."

This is what I'd be doing. And keeping a complete diary of every incident, both of things said to the school and of peculiar conversations with your neighbour at home.

burberryqueen Tue 25-Jun-13 11:14:26

yes and i would also build a very high fence.

NicknameIncomplete Tue 25-Jun-13 11:15:51

I would be careful if you did confront her that she turns nasty. She sounds like she likes the drama.

I would firstly right to the govenors as others have suggested and try & keep as much distance between urself and her. (hard obviously if u live next door)

YouTheCat Tue 25-Jun-13 11:16:48

I'd be putting a formal complaint in to the governors. Your domestic arrangements are none of the head's business at all.

Then a complaint to the LEA.

Don't worry about anything being on record from things the neighbour has said - I very much doubt it is. But if it was recorded then the head would be in even more trouble for not following procedure.

bochead Tue 25-Jun-13 19:05:13

MrsDeVere Tue 25-Jun-13 10:53:44
"I think I would be at the stage where I would be talking about formal complaints and logging incidents with the police. A chat about stalking and harassment with your community police officer."


pudcat Tue 25-Jun-13 19:12:26

No head should act like this on the say so of a neighbour. Is he for real? You need to go to the police. Also have a witness in your garden when you can play act a scene with your daughter and see what evolves the next day.

JRY44 Tue 25-Jun-13 19:14:47

I would not confront the woman as she seems to be a compulsive liar and who knows what she would say.

Report to C of G and inform them you have spoken to the local police about what to do, and that you have also contacted the local Education authority. They will have to do something then.

Keep a diary.

pudcat Tue 25-Jun-13 19:15:19

Just thinking that if the head was hearing all these things he would be following guidelines and getting SS involved.

minouminou Tue 25-Jun-13 19:36:22

The incident at Brownies....can someone back you up and say where it occurred? Or was it at home?

badbride Tue 25-Jun-13 20:07:52

Given the extremely serious nature of these allegations, I would seek legal advice ASAP--try your local Citizen's Advice Bureau if you don't have a lawyer.

Falsely accusing someone of a crime (child abuse) is illegal, and falls under the laws against defamation. If your neighbour has only made verbal accusations, then you can claim she has committed slander. A letter from a lawyer, threatening legal action, should make her think twice. Copy the letter to the school.

quietbatperson Tue 25-Jun-13 20:12:38

Write to the Chair of Governors and cc in the Head of Early Years at your local LEA. If it is a CofE school also copy in the Diocese.

I would also be seeking advice from the Police about your neighbour and whether her deliberate shit stirring is harassment.

maddening Tue 25-Jun-13 21:29:05

I would be tempted to catch her in her embellishment with recordings of what actually happened - and you would only be recording yourselves - then when you are presented with an altered version you have the actual event recorded.

I would also go to the govenors - the head is being unprofessional.

Another option is move house - if you rent it is an easier option?

MyBoysAreFab Tue 25-Jun-13 21:36:37

I agree you should seek legal advice potentially with a view to a lawyers letter being sent to the neighbour and the education dept. Good luck, sounds like a bloody nightmare.

jellycake Tue 25-Jun-13 21:46:26

Don't just write to the Chair of Governors, write to the Local Authority Education Department as well. make a formal complaint about the Head's lack of professionalism (and tell this woman to mind her own fricking business, in no uncertain terms!)

PavlovtheCat Tue 25-Jun-13 22:02:58

Heads comment was along the lines of not having a child in school who's parent could compromise the safety of his staff and if exh turned up he would have to consider her place at the school. When I said he had not been physically abusive, had not been seen in years and did not know where we lived he replied "he could find out"

I was too fuming about it all at the time but looking back what if I HAD been a parent currently experiencing domestic violence at home how the hell would that have helped them, they would have been even more likely to have gone to ground.

He would exclude a child, who, in his eyes, could be at threat of harm from a family member? He would rather send the problem elsewhere? You must report him to governors etc, and also think about who to tell about his attitudes to safeguarding children! You are right to think that's a big deal

You need to, as already said, keep a diary. Dates, times, conversations, even if they seem inconsequential.

WhirlyByrd Tue 25-Jun-13 22:04:47

I would get a lawyer's letter sent. You need to give this woman a real shake up.

plieadianpony Tue 25-Jun-13 23:27:27

I am absolutely fuming on your behalf...i'm almost tempted to offer to come to the fucking school for you and demand a meeting and rake the unprofessional, intrusive and oppressive * over the coals. Seriously. I am a professional in a related field and this is disgusting behaviour. You have every right to put a stop to this. Get some advocacy support from somewhere if you can. Parent Partnership might be able to advise you.

This women and the head teacher are unbelievable. What about your 'Right to Private and Family Life' I would be tempted to contact a Children and Familes Service. Perhaps a family support worker attached to the school that could advise you. what a bunch of ***

missingmumxox Tue 25-Jun-13 23:46:56

I have to put up with this daily in my job, he said, she said, they said, it is here say unless it is written down, the head teacher is an arse if they talk to you about it, (not least of all as it out of school) ask to see the written evidence, say you are happy if it is anonymous, because whilst people can report to social services anonymously they can not make vexatious reports.

if that doesn't stop it, then start asking for meetings with the head about her behaviour out of school, let see how far that goes?

Complain to the governors.

MidniteScribbler Wed 26-Jun-13 00:43:26

Gah this makes me so mad. I hate when other parents come trying to tattle on other parents. We spend all this time teaching children not to tell tales, yet some parents are shocking.

Complain as high as possible regarding the heads behaviour. They are well out of line to be listening to such ridiculous stories from another parent. I'd also be calling your local community policing team and asking them to speak to the nutjob neighbour and tell her to back off. Refuse to speak to her or engage with her, just completely blank her. If she persists, it might be worth getting a solicitor to write a formal letter to her to let her know that her behaviour is out of line, and to cease and desist.

To be honest though, I just couldn't live with that kind of stress in my life. I'd be seriously looking for a new house and new school. Life's too short to deal with that sort of crap.

Good luck OP.

sashh Wed 26-Jun-13 02:56:06

Nothing to add advice wise but wtf is wrong with some people?

MadonnaKebab Wed 26-Jun-13 05:18:19

Could you get a record from the brownie leaders about the incident & the date it happened, in case they can't remember exactly, when possibly asked in the future
Any other supporting paperwork, texts from mums saying the'll pick their DDs up from your house at x, could be useful in backing up your case

raisah Wed 26-Jun-13 05:57:55

How friendly is the head with the loony? Are they in a relationship? A letter to the CoG stating the two incidents and state v clearly that it is a breach of confidentiality for the head to discuss pupils with other parents.

If you dont get a satisfactory response report the head to the LOcal education authority & then last of all Ofsted. There is a chain of command that you need to go through when making a complaint about a school. Make sure you follow it so that it gets escalated up to the right people. Do yoi have a SEN link worker that you can discuss this with privately?

somanystripes Wed 26-Jun-13 16:49:06

Having re-read your posts, it does sound like a case of fairly systematic bullying and harassment. Having gone to a small village school I remember this kind of gossipy, in-group/out-group mentality quite well. The parents of kids being bullied at the school seemed to be the biggest targets. But, in no way is what is happening to you normal or acceptable in an educational setting.

Lots of good advice here about how to address it with the authorities. Please do it, for your own sake and DDs. They mustn't be allowed to get away with causing you such stress for no reason. The mention of SS intervention (completely unjustified from what you've said) must be keeping you awake at night.

I wonder if your local CAB could help you work out the best people to write to and in what order, and even perhaps help you with the wording (and/or access to a legal advisor to write it for you if that's a route you wanted to take).

Like another poster, I had thought myself of mentioning in the letter your 'right to a private and family life' set out in the Human Rights Act, and I do feel like this is being infringed upon through the Head's unprofessional and bullying behaviour.

When it comes down to it your neighbour is making things up - or at best badly twisting the truth - and then the Head is acting on it. Wrong on every level.

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