Just need a few other opinions on teachers' comment to boy...

(332 Posts)
LadyOfTheFlowers Fri 04-Oct-13 17:45:59

DS2 has long hair. About 3 inches below his collar, shorter towards front - can tuck behind his ears.
For PE it was requested he had a sweatband. I bought 2 he lost them, I forgot about it over summer.
PE has resumed and the PE teacher got mad, telling him 'If you don't have a sweatband next lesson I will cut your hair off!'
Now the boy is 7 and truly believes his mad PE teacher might chop his hair off.
It is my fault he doesn't have a sweatband. Why didn't he shout at me? I see him around school enough.
I am annoyed. DH is seething.
AIBU to want to complain? How do I address this?
Apart from get the sweatbands this weekend obviously.

Tinlegs Fri 04-Oct-13 17:49:17

Cut his hair?

(Sorry. Joking.). At High School they keep elastic bands for children who need their hair tied up. (HE, Tech, PE etc).

Go into school and give a cheap box of elastic bands to his teacher with his name on it.

cakebar Fri 04-Oct-13 17:50:48

Why can't he put it in a ponytail? If I was the teacher I would give him an elastic band, same as I would to a girl who didn't have her hair up.

The teacher shouldn't say he would cut his hair off, he should do whatever they normally do when a kid repeatedly does not have their kit.

cakebar Fri 04-Oct-13 17:51:29

x posts smile

Sleepyhoglet Fri 04-Oct-13 17:52:48

Cut your child's hair. It is too long.

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 17:53:12

Complain about his threatening behaviour. Simples.

CeliaFate Fri 04-Oct-13 17:54:38

YANBU. The teacher could have said "If you don't have a sweatband I won't allow you to take part in P.E." but he's obviously making his personal preferences known and that's none of his business.

LeoandBoosmum Fri 04-Oct-13 17:55:12

I personally would cut your son's hair (if he were mine) but the teacher was out of order. Kids that age can take things very literally. The teacher sounds a bit of a dick.

natwebb79 Fri 04-Oct-13 17:55:12

His hair is too long?? In whose opinion? Would you say that about a little girl with long hair? Have we gone back to the 30s?? End of questions. grin

SingingSands Fri 04-Oct-13 17:55:52

I wouldn't complain, I would get him.a haircut or a sweatband.

I know you're annoyed, but I doubt the comment was made in any other context than a joke.

It's Friday. Don't waste your weekend stewing over a throwaway comment.

natwebb79 Fri 04-Oct-13 17:56:04

And as a teacher I can categorically say that your DS's teacher was very unreasonable!

VoodooHexDoll Fri 04-Oct-13 17:56:15

Do both box of cheap elstic bands and complain about his comment to the head as he was threatening to assult your child.

natwebb79 Fri 04-Oct-13 17:56:44

... unless he said it in a jokey manner...

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 04-Oct-13 17:57:04

I expect the PE teacher, deep down does not like hair this long on boys, hence what he said (I doubt he'd say the same to a girl). I also do not like long hair on boys but I can see it was wrong of him

Put your son's hair in a ponytail on PE days. I would not expect the teacher to have to do it

jennycoast Fri 04-Oct-13 17:57:21

What are the rules for girls? Most girls of that age have hair longer than that. Does the uniform policy say boys must have short hair?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 04-Oct-13 17:58:02

Possibly he said it in a jokey manner but the problem is that many 7 year olds take what teachers say very literally, so they have to be sensitive

VoodooHexDoll Fri 04-Oct-13 17:59:00

I also agree why the fuck should the boy cut his hair if the girls are also not made to cut theirs?

Im sure your ds has lovly hair and there is nothing wrong with it, just a stupid PE teacher.

Floggingmolly Fri 04-Oct-13 17:59:23

Who wants his hair that length, you or him?

kim147 Fri 04-Oct-13 17:59:59

He wants long hair - he can have long hair. It's no one else's business.
He just needs it tying back. Most teachers would help (or a TA) to tie it back with a band.

Sounds like the perfect age to explain to him what jokes are and that people don't mean things literally all the time.

Wuxiapian Fri 04-Oct-13 18:01:02

Surely it would be easier all round to cut the boy's hair.

No more forgetting sweatbands/having to pack sweatbands and no more cross PE teacher and upset child.

Fragglewump Fri 04-Oct-13 18:02:06

I would tell his teacher that your ds is very concerned that he may carry out his threat and so could he please explain to your son that that is not the case. Then agree what happens. If he was in my class I would give him an elastic band and tell him to tie it back for the pe lesson!

WorraLiberty Fri 04-Oct-13 18:03:35

You're really going to have to explain about learning to not take things literally OP.

Otherwise everyone he comes into contact with, will have to tread on eggshells.

I lost count of the amount of times my teachers used to threaten to chop my tongue off, if I didn't stop talking.

At no point did I think they actually would.

spanky2 Fri 04-Oct-13 18:03:52

Ds1 ended up getting his long hair cut as he refused to have a pony tail for tennis at school . grin

spanky2 Fri 04-Oct-13 18:06:30

Ds1 has beautiful hair. I think it's his hair he can have it how he likes . Ds2is growing his hair too. He shouldn't have to get his hair cut .

FlapJackOLantern Fri 04-Oct-13 18:06:45

I'm surprised that, so far, no-one has screamed 'that's abuse'.

I'm with Worra.

WorraLiberty Fri 04-Oct-13 18:07:19

Do both box of cheap elstic bands and complain about his comment to the head as he was threatening to assult your child.

Oh please hmm

Is it any wonder some kids take things so literally when adults are saying things like this?

Threatening assault indeed.

BoundandRebound Fri 04-Oct-13 18:07:33

Talk to teacher - it may not have been said or meant - your 7 year old might have misread tone

Not the best thing to say but could easily have been said in jest and I could see a lot of kids taking it as a joke if meant as one

If teacher is embarrassed or apologetic shrug it off

Not worth going OTT about

And tell DS if he keeps losing his hair bands you'll cut it yourself

WorraLiberty Fri 04-Oct-13 18:08:23

The thread's no doubt headed there FlapJack grin

PenelopePitstops Fri 04-Oct-13 18:09:55

Oh fgs it was a joke

lunar1 Fri 04-Oct-13 18:10:36

Don't the have a uniform policy about long hair being tied up? Is he not prone to nits if it is lose all the time?

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 18:11:58

Wixiapian. Why the hell should they cut their hair if that is what they want?

SayMyNameSayIt Fri 04-Oct-13 18:12:45

What singing sands said. It was probably said as a joke or maybe the teacher was just fed up with kids, boys AND girls, turning up for PE with no means of tying up their long hair.

Your DS may have been the straw that broke the camel's back, particularly if he has had a week of it.

(However, I have to admit that I really really hated long hair on boys. Why would you want your DS to look like a girl???? That's just my personal opinion.)

PeriodFeatures Fri 04-Oct-13 18:13:02

I'm really surprised at the response to this. Threatening to cut a childs hair?!! That is bloody awful. I'd be furious. He is 7 for gods sake. If he was 15 then perhaps inappropriate but in context maybe less horrid than it seems. But he3 is 7

To the people telling OP to cut the child's hair.....wow! You are not nice people. I hope I don't know you in RL.

SayMyNameSayIt Fri 04-Oct-13 18:13:28

Hate- present tense
Not past tense. I STILL hate it!

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 04-Oct-13 18:14:01

3"below his collar is long hair that has to be tied up for PE, boy or girl. A sweatband doesn't really do the job, ot should be a proper elastic band. Maybe DS won't forget his hair band now.

And it's not "threatened assault" FFS

(And BTW I love long hair on boys!)

PeriodFeatures Fri 04-Oct-13 18:14:40

However, I have to admit that I really really hated long hair on boys

Why would you want your DS to look like a girl????

Glad that's just your personal opinion because it is bollocks. smile

Wuxiapian Fri 04-Oct-13 18:17:10

Exactly, ILoveMyself. The child is 7 - it's more likely they - his mother and father like his hair long.

There will be a policy WRT hair in school.
If he's 7 yo he's Yr 2 / Yr 3?

Should have his hair tied at all times (that applies for girls too)

And personally, I think long hair looks bloody Stupid on boys .
On 14+ fair do (though I still hate it)

My own opinion.
Flame away, I care less than nothing <<shrugs>>

Perissa Fri 04-Oct-13 18:18:01

DS has longish hair but not past his collar at the moment. I don't think he looks like a girl. My dad also has very long hair, he definitely doesn't look like a girl.

By the same token, would you say that a woman with short hair looks like a man?

would you say that a woman with short hair looks like a man

Some do Perissa

goldenlula Fri 04-Oct-13 18:21:08

At my children's school he would be required to tie his hair back in the same way as the girls are every day. It is also possible that the teacher said it as a joke, but may well have been saying to your ds since September that he needs to get the bands and is slightly frustrated it hasn't happened yet.

SayMyNameSayIt Fri 04-Oct-13 18:24:01

To those who are saying the teacher or TA should tie it back for him, strictly speaking, they are not allowed. Just as they are not allowed to remove earrings if the child can't do it themselves.

What if the teacher gets it tangled and accidentally pulls his hair???? Hurts him??? You'd moan about that!! There would be a thread, "The teacher/TA tied my ds's hair back at PE because he didn't have a sweatband. AIBU to be really annoyed that he touched his hair, he ended up getting it all tugs and it really hurt. "

Or if he had not been allowed to take part because his loose hair might have been hazardous, "AIBU to think my DS shouldn't have been excluded from PE because he didn't have a sweatband?"

Bowlersarm Fri 04-Oct-13 18:25:55

You should supply a lot more headbands if he keeps losing them. Much easier all round to have shorter hair.

Feminine Fri 04-Oct-13 18:29:00

Why haven't you cut it?

That is way too long for a boy. Mainly as you are not taking care of it as a girl would (with that length)

You can't just leave it you know?

Are you trying to make a statement? grin

Feminine Fri 04-Oct-13 18:30:23

My dh has very long hair BTW, so I'm not against it. I just don't think it can be left

7 yo can tie their own hair .
Or tie it before he goes to school if you/he insist on long hair.

LadyOfTheFlowers Fri 04-Oct-13 18:31:45

Thank you for the valued opinions. smile
The boy LIKES his hair long, as do I, DH doesn't, for what it's worth. He looks nothing like a girl. :roll:
I have offered countless times to have it cut, including today when he told me this, and he says he doesn't want to.
My beef, is that the bloke couldn't just speak to me. It is not my son's fault I have bigger fish to fry than a sodding hair band to keep his hair (which has never caused him to injure himself or anyone else) in check, though I appreciate if the girls have to, he has to, health and safety etc.
I shall speak to the PE teacher on Monday, armed with the hair stuff and see what he says.

Floggingmolly Fri 04-Oct-13 18:33:11

If he keeps losing the sweatbands, he can't actually manage long hair and I bet it's not his choice either

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 18:34:10

Of course no 7 year old will have their own opinion Wixiapian. And they never want to be like mum or dad.

And comments about boys with long hair! If I said women with short hair looked like a man I would be called a sexist!

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 18:35:26

Floggingmolly. Did you not read what the op says. He likes his hair long!

LadyOfTheFlowers Fri 04-Oct-13 18:35:41

Flipping heck! I'm quite laid back - hence allowing the boy to have long hair. I'm not going to start going on about them hurting him if they did tie it back.
I think his choice of words was wrong.
I couldn't give a sod if he doesn't like long hair on boys and was making his views known.

Jinty64 Fri 04-Oct-13 18:35:44

Could he tie it up for school on PE days. He could let it down once it was finished.

I like long hair.

armed with the hair stuff and see what he says

I suggest you look at your schools Uniform Policy before you go up, or you might end up making an idiot of yourself.
You need to sign and adhere to the Uniform Policy at our schools (Primary/Junior/ Secondary. Mine are Secondary now)

Just get his hair tidy and suck it up.

Floggingmolly Fri 04-Oct-13 18:40:08

So he'll have to learn to manage it, Ilovemyself

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 04-Oct-13 18:41:27

You should cut his hair. I really don't think seven year old boys should be going to school with hair below the collar.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 04-Oct-13 18:41:39

If, as you say, OP, you have "bigger fish to fry" than provide your DS with a hairband to keep his unusually long hair in check (which, let's face it, is hardly an arduous task), maybe that's the problem rather than the PE teacher venting his frustration.

SayMyNameSayIt Fri 04-Oct-13 18:42:13

I've lost count of the number of boys I've seen who DO look like girls because their hair is so long. Makes them look very effeminate. If that's how people want their DS's to look, it's up to them.

Lots of times, I've been out with my boys, age 5 and 6, and they've asked me (embarrassingly loudly), "Mummy, is that a boy or a girl???"

And I have never put that thought in their heads or made any comment out loud about my dislike of boys with long hair.

When boys are still very young eg 7, they can still have quite rounded features and it can be difficult to tell at times.
When I see a boy with long hair, to me it's like the parents are trying to make a statement about how middle-class and non-conformist they are.

And I've seen plenty of girls with very short hair who look like boys. Women, too. Though I think that's on purpose.
When I was a young girl, I deliberately kept my hair short as I enjoyed being mistaken for a boy!! Didn't possess a skirt, apart from a school one, till I was 11. Then I grew my hair long as I no longer wanted to look like a boy.

That doesn't mean I think all girls should have long hair! Just a hairstyle that suits them. Ditto boys. IMHO, as I said, it's just my opinion, long hair on boys looks girly.

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 04-Oct-13 18:42:16

Amazed at the sexism on display here. I had no idea there were so many people opposed to long hair on boys. I really thought this would be a non-issue in this day and age. Profoundly depressing. Sadly it seems the pe teacher is equally backward in his thinking, which is why what he said is unacceptable. If it was a joke, it wasn't funny.

LadyOfTheFlowers Fri 04-Oct-13 18:42:49

Classic mumsnet.
Maybe my initial post wasn't very clear on what I was upset about.
Peoples opinions on hair or any other aspect of my children worries me not.
I did not think it was right for a man to threaten to cut a 7 year old boys hair off - angrily. Not jokingly, angrily according to my son and until I know differently as I trust him, I will assume angrily.
Thanks for useful answers in both directions. smile

HenriettaPye Fri 04-Oct-13 18:44:03

I'm sure it was meant as a joke, I told my DS today if his nose didn't stop running I would chop it off. TBF I would expect most 7 year olds to take it as a joke.

I also think you are expecting a bit much, expecting the PE teacher to personally come to you himself. I'm sure he sees countless students every day- the mans only human, he can't think 'oh I must remember to tell x's mum about this' ,'I need to remind y's dad about that' Its much easier for him to tell the child and for the child to pass it on. I'm sure there was no offence meant.

LadyOfTheFlowers Fri 04-Oct-13 18:44:13

Oh gees. Not as in I can't manage to provide the hairband, rather than it's such a tiny worry on my mind that I forget.

Floggingmolly Fri 04-Oct-13 18:44:56

Profoundly depressing hmm. Hardly, impecunious. You sound in need of a real issue to focus your mind on.

floatyflo Fri 04-Oct-13 18:44:57

I say bugger off to all those posting about whether they like boys with long hair or not. That wasn't what op asked was it?

I know a little boy with long hair down to his bum! He wants it that way, and doesn't want it cut. I highly admire Mum and Dad who allow him to make that choice, and not chop it off just because society thinks boys should have short hair.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 04-Oct-13 18:46:09

OP, the two things are connected.

There would not have been a problem if his hair was manageable or if you didn't feel it such a hardship to give him a hairband.

natwebb79 Fri 04-Oct-13 18:46:46

"Long hair makes boys look like girls"?? Oh give me strength! (and a time machine...)

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 04-Oct-13 18:46:54

And how many people seem to think 7 year olds have ideas or agency of their own?! My 5 year old is extremely clear on what she wants her hair to look like (not that there's much option for her as it has barely grown at all her entire life), so I'm quite certain a 7 year old would have their own ideas. If such children come from hippyish middle class families, that's probably because, it would appear from this thread, the boys from non-hippyish mc families would not allow their child that freedom of expression, even if they wanted to.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 04-Oct-13 18:49:47

Why is it that if a child has long hair they are considered to be enjoying "freedom of expression"?

Maybe some parents just cba to cut it.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 04-Oct-13 18:49:50

I think that teachers should be aware that at 7 children are (and some more than others) very literal minded. Refraining from letting out your frustration in the form of a joke is professional.

I work in a school and I wouldn't make this kind of joke unless I was absolutely sure it would be understood as such. Teachers should be more sensitive than the average person

SayMyNameSayIt Fri 04-Oct-13 18:50:11

You have bigger fish to fry , so does the teacher, like getting on with the lesson!

Was he supposed to put the lesson on hold while he went to phone you to ask where the sweatband was??? Was he supposed to call you in to discuss it??? You'd be complaining about that, "AIBU to think this is a fuss over nothing??? Why on earth did the PE teacher ask to see me/phone me because my DS forgot his sweatband!!!!"

RedHelenB Fri 04-Oct-13 18:50:16

On PE days his hair needs to be in a pony tail or plait, simples!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 04-Oct-13 18:50:50


JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 04-Oct-13 18:51:34

I agree RedHelen

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 18:51:47

Suburbanrhonda. Would you being saying the same if it had been said to a girl. I don't think so.

Can't believe the amount of claptrap on here about the fact people think his hair length is an issue. Perhaps you are the ones that should suck it up, not the op.

The teacher was wrong to use a threatening comment to the child. He should be asked to ex

Murdermysteryreader Fri 04-Oct-13 18:51:47

Get some sweat bands and tie backs and leave it at that!

BratinghamPalace Fri 04-Oct-13 18:51:59

Loads of elastics in the PE kit. If your son wants it long then he has to remember to tie it up. It is for his own good after all. Nothing worse than missing a ball or something because of the hair. Back up the teacher - teachable moment and all that!

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 18:52:12

Oops. Bloody iPhone. Explain his comment and apologise. Simple as.

misskatamari Fri 04-Oct-13 18:53:42

Oh my god it was obviously a joke. I agree with other posters saying its a good time to talk to your son about not always talking comments literally!

usualsuspect Fri 04-Oct-13 18:54:06

Just make sure he has his sweatband in future.I wouldn't make a fuss about the teachers comment, unless he continues to say stupid things about your sons hair.

Oh and ignore all the judgements about his hair on here, I don't recall you asking for opinions on the length of his hair.

HavantGuard Fri 04-Oct-13 18:54:14

Is it possible it was exasperation? How many PE lessons has your DS had so far this term? I'll bet he's been told every time that he must have a sweatband.

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 04-Oct-13 18:55:32

A real issue, molly? Like concern for my transgender friend who has been pushed close to suicide by society's attitude to people who dare to transgress gender boundaries. If people react like this to the entirely insignificant matter of the length of a small boys hair, what chance does she stand? Yeah, I hold my hands up, my life is empty of real causes of concern.

I bet you reckon people complaining about shops selling nurse and beautician costumes to girls and doctor and astronaut costumes to girls are in need of greater concerns too.

That aside, I always appreciate the irony of people sitting faffing on mumsnet telling other people faffing on mumsnet that they should have more important concerns in their life!

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 04-Oct-13 18:55:52

OP, you say you're very laid back and wouldn't complain if the teacher had tugged DS's hair putting it into a pony tail, but yet you're concerned that he threatened to cut his hair off in an angry voice confused

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 04-Oct-13 18:58:08

Gah, doctor and astronaut costumes to boys

SayMyNameSayIt Fri 04-Oct-13 19:01:06

Exactly what I was thinking. Rather contradictory.

Bowlersarm Fri 04-Oct-13 19:01:48

Oh and ignore all the judgements about his hair on here, I don't recall you asking for opinions on the length of his hair

Usual, you are a veteran on Mumsnet. You know there will be a stampede of many thoughts, opinions and comments on something that is central to the thread, but which the OP specifically does not invite comments about.

Especially on a Friday evening smile

floatyflo Fri 04-Oct-13 19:03:47

Of those telling op to cut her sons hair, or offering up un-asked-for opinions on how they dislike long hair:- I wonder how many of you are on the numerous kinder egg threads exclaiming disgust at the gender stereotypes.


thebody Fri 04-Oct-13 19:03:49

he is 7 and he actually belived the teachers comments.

have a chat about it as that's a bit sensitive for his age, I expect he was embarrassed.

it's really your/ his job to fix his hair and use a swear band or elastic band not the teachers. you should probably put his hair in a pony tail for P.E days.

LadyOfTheFlowers Fri 04-Oct-13 19:03:57

If they pulled his hair tying it back because I'VE forgotten his sweatband, that's my fault. They are doing me a favour by just doing what I should have done.
I just didn't think it was right to threaten to cut it off.
I'm sorry.

SayMyNameSayIt Fri 04-Oct-13 19:05:42

DS1 had a little pushchair for his teddy that a friend bought him when he was about 2. She bought it because he loved taking teddy for a walk in his own pushchair.

It was pink. DH was aghast. I was perfectly happy for him to play with it and if he wanted to take it out with the garden, well, that was fine, too.

But I still think boys look stupid with long hair.

And I can just imagine how exasperated the PE teacher was.

LadyOfTheFlowers Fri 04-Oct-13 19:06:01

That's all I was trying to find out. If others also felt it was wrong. I know I should have provided the stuff. I know Howe to rectify it. I don't care if people think his hair is too long. I wanted to know if others felt the comment was wrong. That's all.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 04-Oct-13 19:06:43

The boy can't control his sensitivity, he's 7. The man can. I really think that

HavantGuard Fri 04-Oct-13 19:07:44

Boy or girl, hair not tied back properly when they're running around means they can't see what they're doing peoperly or who is around them.

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 19:08:09

Miskatamari. Yes it was obviously a joke ( to you who weren't there) but to a 7 year old boy that likes his long hair it obviously seemed very real. Yes explain about literal comments but the teacher shouldn't have joked about it.

Havantgaurd. If the teacher can't deal with children of that age without making stupid threats he shouldn't be teaching.

Impecunious. I am with you. I am not transgender but get comments about my long coloured hair. I am big enough and ugly enough to tell them to get a life, but for a young child it is frightening and gender stereotyping.

Familiessharegerms. It's obvious. Of the teacher pulls the lads hair whilst tying it back it is being done whilst putting the situation right. To shout and threaten a small
Child when you are in a position of authority is not acceptable at all

CeliaFate Fri 04-Oct-13 19:08:18

And welcome to AIBU on a Friday night. It's up to you and your ds how long his hair is.

Anyone else can shove it.

The teacher should not have said that, but he/she may have said it in a joking fashion which hasn't been relayed to you.

Thymeout Fri 04-Oct-13 19:08:37

ofgs - of course it was a joke. Do you seriously think any teacher would take a pair of scissors to a child's hair? In this day and age?

Not a joke because it was said 'angrily' - according to the 7 yr old. Well, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he was a bit exasperated. This is obviously a long running problem.

And it was your fault, not the child's, so he should have spoken to you?
You were not there. How much time do you want the teacher to waste getting in touch with you to remind you, yet again, to provide a sweatband? If ds is old enough to choose his hairstyle, he's old enough to deal with the consequences of his choice. Remember the sweatband, nag you for a new one.

Bet he remembers now.

SayMyNameSayIt Fri 04-Oct-13 19:11:56

If it was said today, after a long week of similar forgetfulness and subsequent time-wasting, the teacher probably meant it as a joke but perhaps had an exasperated tone.
They're human, too.
This type of low-level disruption is very very wearing. And impacts on the rest of the class. Impacts on the teacher too who is probably fed up of reminding pupils about PE kit and tying their hair up, etc.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 04-Oct-13 19:12:12

I've been thinking about this. I was one of those saying she doesn't like long hair on boys. Which is unfair and sexist. I'm not sure I really like it on girls either - if it's messy, straggly, potentially nitty, they can't really look after it themselves etc.

I think I need to think about why I like it less on boys - maybe it's because I sometimes assume it's an expression of the parents beliefs not the child's (which isn't true, either)

All in all I think IABU. Sorry for any offence caused

HavantGuard Fri 04-Oct-13 19:12:24

It's not a threat.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 04-Oct-13 19:14:11


Of course it's not intended as a threat. But it might be perceived that way by a small child

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 19:17:11

Haven't guard. The child has taken it as such. There is NO need whatsoever for a professional to make threats in the workplace.

If it happened to you at work you would be up in arms about it, but it's ok to you because it is a so called professional teacher talking to a child.

Do you use threats, no matter how idle, to children.

HavantGuard Fri 04-Oct-13 19:17:14

It sounds like he didn't like it that his teacher was 'angry'. If he truly believes that a teacher would cut his hair I think he needs it explaining to him.

I'm still wondering how many PE lessons he's had this term.

Turniptwirl Fri 04-Oct-13 19:17:18

I'm sure it was a joke

You need to make sure your child's long hair is tied back for school but especially on pe days regardless of the child's gender

goldenlula Fri 04-Oct-13 19:17:36

Op you may not mind if they did tie it back but there would be plenty who would and staff in a school need to air on the side of caution! The teacher may well have told your ds in every lesson he has had so far this term (possibly 8 so far at 2 a week) so may well have been a bit exasperated with him and if that is the case then maybe he thinks your ds has not been passing the message on.

Johnny5needsinput Fri 04-Oct-13 19:17:55

I couldn't give a stuff if it's a male, female, or a transgendered person. If the rules say tie it up for PE then he ties it up for PE.

What's the big deal? Get him a packet of hair elastics and be done with it. The teacher was making a dramatic point - good time to teach your child about a joke/dramatic licence.

Norfolknway Fri 04-Oct-13 19:18:28

Totally over the top.

Forget the comment from the teacher, he's not really going to do it.

Assault?! Crikey! Why so serious?

LadyOfTheFlowers Fri 04-Oct-13 19:18:48

Thanks. I think I have gleaned from this what I needed to.

Jengnr Fri 04-Oct-13 19:19:04

Losing sweatbands mean he can't manage hair? Ffs. My hair is almost waist length and I'm forever losing bobbles.

This is about the teacher not liking boys with long hair. But it's not that big a deal. Buy him some bobbles and be done with it.

HavantGuard Fri 04-Oct-13 19:20:23

Ridiculously exaggerated threats are often used to children and adults.

NB I have never actually meant that if you touch that again I'll chop your fingers off. And I won't really glue your lips together if you can't keep quiet for two minutes. Or glue your bottom to the chair if you don't stop wriggling.

PansOnFire Fri 04-Oct-13 19:21:13

Oh come on, as if the teacher threatened to cut his hair off - obviously he didn't, it was a comment - you know, one of those things that people say without malice or intent behind it. Your reaction is ridiculous and your DH being 'seething' is unfathomable, in the process of this massive overreaction you're teaching your DS to take everything literally and to report every last little comment. You're creating a problem!

I'm guessing by your reaction you'd be one of the first to scream 'neglect' if your child hurt himself in PE because his hair was obscuring his view, I guess that would be the teacher's fault too?

This is not a debate about whether boys should have long hair or not, or a debate along the lines of 'the teacher would never had said that to a girl' etc, etc. you were told to provide a sweatband to keep his hair out of the way. Forgetting about it over the summer is inexcusable, if you allow your child a hairstyle which requires management then you have to manage it - end of.

Now get off the teacher's back for being exasperated, I'm sure most people would be by this point. The kids have been back about 4 weeks so I'm guessing this isn't the first PE lesson it's happened in this year. Sort it out.

goldenlula Fri 04-Oct-13 19:21:24

Op you may not mind if they did tie it back but there would be plenty who would and staff in a school need to air on the side of caution! The teacher may well have told your ds in every lesson he has had so far this term (possibly 8 so far at 2 a week) so may well have been a bit exasperated with him and if that is the case then maybe he thinks your ds has not been passing the message on.

Johnny5needsinput Fri 04-Oct-13 19:23:25

Plus, it's October. Not the first week back. You've had at least 4 weeks to get hair bobbles.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 04-Oct-13 19:24:57

Which post of mine are you referring to, ilovemyself?

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 19:25:38

What's that LadyoftheFlowers? That there are many here that think it is fine to make a threat, even an idle one to a child that can't tell the difference. Nice bunch of people.

Go and ask the teacher what he said to your son, and tell him if he threatens your son again, even as a joke, you will take it further. And make sure that this conversation is logged with the school so they can't say they didn't know there was a problem.

You never know, this teacher my have form in which case the school needs to know.

Pickle131 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:26:44

As Thymeout says, the teacher shouldn't have to speak to the parent. Age 7, a good teacher would expect the child to take responsiblity for having the right kit. I've heard an excellent Head telling a Year 4 pupil not to blame his mother for him being late for school. Of course teachers know it's a little harsh sometimes to blame the child but they do it to get the child to take ownership, which is exactly what they should do. It hardly matters about the threat, provided your child never makes the mistake again. I'd support this teacher 100% if it were my child.

Bumpotato Fri 04-Oct-13 19:28:52

...or one of those donut shaped jobbies that are fashionable just now, that will really cheer the PE teacher up.

He's too young just now, but when he's older, your boy can have a bit of fun with this teacher with some hairstyle wind-ups.

At my kids' school boys must not have hair below the collar and girls must tie long hair up. My brother went to the same school and his mate was asked to leave due to him refusing to get his hair cut.

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 19:29:10

Rhonda. I was referring to the comment about long hair being a freedom of expression.

marriedinwhiteisbackz Fri 04-Oct-13 19:29:23

Week four of term. Your son has probably been reminded for three weeks and nothing has been done about it. Why didn't you replace the sweat bands? They are part of your child's PE kit and he should have taken them - end off. My DS would have been sent home from school at 7 if his hair had been 3 inches below his collar. End of. But we knew the rules when we accepted the place.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 04-Oct-13 19:30:36

WTAF, ilovemyself?

"Form" for what, exactly? Applying the school's uniform policy?

Pachacuti Fri 04-Oct-13 19:30:38

" Wuxiapian Fri 04-Oct-13 18:17:10

Exactly, ILoveMyself. The child is 7 - it's more likely they - his mother and father like his hair long."

Bollocks. DS is 8. He likes his hair longish. I like it shorter (not SHORT short, but shorter), DH likes it shorter, the GPs like it shorter . He's just had to have it cut for school (they have a "not longer than collar length" policy and I wasn't prepared to make him a test case) and is sulking. I think (a) he looks quite sweet, and (b) he doesn't particularly want to look sweet (plus (c) he's going to grow his hair long at the first chance he gets, although that won't be for a few years).

FrogsGoWhat Fri 04-Oct-13 19:30:53

I'm a science teacher. I insist that all students with long hair tie them back during practicals. Get much more resistance from boys on the whole who don't like having a pony tail.
Anyway, the teacher should have a box of hair elastics for such occasions like I do. And then parents complain that I made their child have a hair elastic previously used by some one else, so you can't win!

HavantGuard Fri 04-Oct-13 19:31:33

I find that kind of rule about boys' hair length as outdated and offensive as those that insist on girls wearing skirts.

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 19:33:02

Why are people commenting on the fact that to"their school" would have sent the child home?

The school obviously doesn't have an issue in general ( or the op hasn't mentioned it if the do)

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 04-Oct-13 19:33:05

Ach, pickle, I hope the Head had good reason to know that the year 4 pupil was genuinely the one responsible for being late...I think such tactics to get the child taking ownership can be fine, but they can seriously backfire. I remember a girl in my class at school who'd have had strips literally torn off her if she'd dared to challenge her parents about getting to school on timesad

HavantGuard Fri 04-Oct-13 19:33:39

The school I went to offered ordinary elastic bands if you forgot to bring a hair band. It really helped people to remember.

Johnny5needsinput Fri 04-Oct-13 19:34:02

If you had a girl who had to tie her hair up what would you do? Would you expect every parent of a girl to march into school with super special sparkle bobbles just for their child and hand them to the teacher to mind carefully and remember to tell their special sparkly child to put on their special sparkly bobble?

Don't be ridiculous. The teacher doesn't have time to be doing that for all the other (mostly female I'd guess) children in the class. You can't hand the teacher a bobble specially for your child and expect him to supervise your son putting it on - PE would be over by the time he did that for all the girls (and any other boys who had long hair) as well.

Your child needed sweat bands and/or bobbles.

Why didn't you just put a supply in the kit bag? Or nag the child in the morning "it's PE today did you remember your joggers/trainers/sweatband/mouthguard/whatever?

SuburbanRhonda Fri 04-Oct-13 19:34:04

My comment was in resist to impecunious' comment that allowing boys to have long hair was about allowing them freedom of expression.

I thought that post was bollocks, hence my post.

Feminine Fri 04-Oct-13 19:35:58

My boys have/had long hair. The problem is many parents don't take care of it. They just leave it, hanging there...all over the faces ...in the food blah blah...

It needs to be groomed, it needs to be safe .For PE a hair elastic is imperative!

Just like the girls have to. wink

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Fri 04-Oct-13 19:36:22

Sound like tongue in cheek to me... Can't believe people would seriously complain rather than just explaining to the child that it was banter... Fuck me, is no-one allowed a joke on anymore??

HavantGuard Fri 04-Oct-13 19:38:07

I think it's about equality. If you allow girls to have long hair then boys should be allowed to have it too. If you allow boys to wear trousers then girls should have that option too. If hair over a certain length must be tied back, then that apples to all the children. It also makes PE safer, art cleaner and when they're older, avoids Bunsen and acid incidents.

babybythesea Fri 04-Oct-13 19:38:16

Actually, the thing that first crossed my mind was that the child was from a religion which doesn't cut hair.
My friend's son is 6, and is Sikh. So he's never had his hair cut. It's coming up for waist length. My friend and her DH explain why, but have decided that he'll be able to make his own decision once he reaches his teens - they figure that way he'll be old enough not just to take the looks into account but also the religious aspect.

So having thought it was a religious thing, I was quite shocked when people started saying "Get it cut" as the solution. And offered "I don't like long hair on boys" as a reason. Thank goodness for a free and equal society where yes, everyone is free to express an opinion and yes, no-one is judged on appearances.....hmm

I think if he does have long hair then you need to treat it as part of the get-dressed-for-school routine to get it sorted out properly in the mornings, and allow the extra time for putting it in a ponytail of similar. If you do that, it also doesn't rely on him remembering to find the bands at each PE lesson and get his hair sorted himself (on top of the scrimmage to get to the pegs to get the PE bag and haul out the clothes and get changed along with everyone else!).

Noggie Fri 04-Oct-13 19:38:49

School rules often say hair to be tied back if below collar.

Floggingmolly Fri 04-Oct-13 19:39:13

Make sure the conversation is logged with the school, Ilovemyself?
The one where op explains why she is unable to either tie her son's hair back herself (in line with school policy) or teach him to do it himself, because, in her own words she "has bigger fish to fry"?
Sounds like fun.

Johnny5needsinput Fri 04-Oct-13 19:39:37

See, this is the bit I don't get. The dichotomy.

My son has long hair. He must be allowed to have his hair any length he likes. The school cannot discriminate on the grounds of sex and make him cut his hair.

Fair. Absolutely agree.

My son has long hair. He must be allowed to have his hair any length he likes. The school cannot discriminate on the grounds of sex and make him cut his hair. But he should not be expected to adhere to the same rules as the girls with regards to tying his hair up for PE.

Why? You can't have it both ways.

GreyGardens Fri 04-Oct-13 19:40:08

He either needs to tie his hair back or have it cut, exactly the same scenario as it would be for a girl. This is a complete non-issue. My 6 year old dd has a short petit filou type bob and still has to have it clipped out of her eyes for school. Any longer and it must be tied back. Not remotely a big deal...

GreyGardens Fri 04-Oct-13 19:42:02

And clearly the teacher didn't mean it literally...

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Fri 04-Oct-13 19:43:41

Good lord ilovemyself - are you serious?? You'd be demanding i was sacked in an instant... This week I've 'threatened' 3 sweary teens with washing their mouths out with soap and 1 with taping a pen to his hand if he forgot it again. Sue me now!!

WowOoo Fri 04-Oct-13 19:44:03

What about a thin alice band?
A plain one to keep it off his face.

My nephew wears one for football. I got them from Claire's accessories.

I'd say the teacher was annoyed at the amount of trivial stuff that he has to deal with and your son happened to be one more annoying thing. I can't say I blame him, but I don't know him at all obvs!
Perhaps he just wanted to get on with PE.

You won't let your son forget again, will you?!

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 19:45:44

Rhonda. Form for being unprofessional and threatening towards students. I don't know and you don't know the situation. But if he is aggressive and threading to other students for other reasons as well then it needs dealing with.

fifi669 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:46:09

Parents are quick to complain about teachers when infact I think that parents and teachers should show a united front.

The teacher in this case made a throw away comment and it should be treated as such. You know he has no intention of cutting his hair so why make it into something it's not?

YABU if you want to have it out with the teacher IMO

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 04-Oct-13 19:46:31

Suburbanrhondha Why is it that if a child has long hair they are considered to be enjoying "freedom of expression"? Maybe some parents just cba to cut it.

But that's not the case here, is it? The OP's son wants to have long hair. So that's him enjoying freedom of expression - isn't it?! What else do you call it?

And if there really are parents who cba to cut their son's hair hmm, you honestly think a 7-year-old with long hair who really wanted short hair wouldn't find a way of doing something about it?! It isn't that hard to get access to scissors...

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 04-Oct-13 19:47:01

oops, sorry for extra h in your username

wonderingsoul Fri 04-Oct-13 19:47:39

my ds2 has chin lenght hair..
it suits him him. #i love it

i can also tell the differeance between a boy and girl... even if they had the same length hair... because funnly enough its not a hair style that makes you look liek the sex that you are!

cos i is clever liek that!

Whereisegg Fri 04-Oct-13 19:48:01

If you allow your child (of either sex) to have hair long enough to put up, then it is your responsibility to put it up, or provide the child with a hair bobble/band and ensure they can do it themselves, for lessons where it will be an issue.

If you are in the uk, this can't be the first pe lesson he has had since the start of term, surely?

The teacher has probably reminded him twice weekly for a month.

If you do have better things to do than provide your son with something required by the school, then actually, getting his haircut should probably be one of those things IMO.

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 19:49:49

Paperclips. You sound like a right barrel of laughs. Perhaps you should attend anger management or find a less stressful job. You are worse than those you are trying ( poorly) to control and as you can't carry out the threat you will be looked at by the kids as an idle threat maker so what good does it do you?

Oh, and threatening is typical bully behaviour - that's good for a teacher isn't it!

DameFellatioNelson Fri 04-Oct-13 19:49:57

Would they make a little girl with a bob that was too short to tie back wear a sweatband? I very much doubt it.

Pachacuti Fri 04-Oct-13 19:50:59

Johnny5needsinput, that's not really the argument. The OP doesn't say that her DS shouldn't be subject to the same rules as the girls with long hair -- she says that (a) it was her fault, not his, that he didn't have the right equipment with him so he shouldn't be shouted at (and at 7 I have some sympathy with this, although it's at the top end of the scale -- by 9 I would expect children to be taking responsibility for their own hair and TBH at 7 they ought to be at least thinking about it) and, implicitly (b) a girl who hadn't brought a hairband wouldn't be shouted at and told that the teacher would forcibly cut her hair if she forgot the hairband one more time (which I think is probably accurate).

Pachacuti Fri 04-Oct-13 19:52:53

"This week I've 'threatened' 3 sweary teens with washing their mouths out with soap and 1 with taping a pen to his hand if he forgot it again."

So not seven-year-olds (who can still be very, very literal), then?

Johnny5needsinput Fri 04-Oct-13 19:53:01

Pach - I disagree.


ll31 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:53:53

Yabvu, teach him some common sense ie aability to recognise when things aren't meant literally and leave teacher alone.

And consider cutting his hair if u can't remember to tie it back when needed

NonnoMum Fri 04-Oct-13 19:55:01

My opinion...

all little kids should have shortish hair (boys and girls). Less hassle for PE. Less chance of nits.

Too many 5 year old girls walking round with waist-length hair. Yuk.

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 19:57:42

Nonnomum. Are we talking stepford children here?

UniS Fri 04-Oct-13 19:59:44

I think your 7 yr old needs to learn a bit of common sense.

My 7 year old has been told by his teacher ( in my hearing) that "I will have to chop your thumbs off" if he keeps sucking them. the 7 year old grinned and took it as it was meant, as a threat that would not ACTUALLY take place , but he will be told off for thumb sucking.

jamdonut Fri 04-Oct-13 20:00:17

Do you want to report him for the remark?

He probably shouldn't have said it ,but he did,and of course it was in jest.

I don't see a problem with the length of your son's hair, as long as it is properly tied back for school,just in the way girls are advised to.

If nothing else he runs a greater risk of picking up head-lice than those with shorter hair.

And teachers and TA's will tie hair back, if asked to do so by a child. They won't forcibly tie it back - children ought to be able to do it themselves with hair scrunchies or covered elastic bands.

But we don't like doing earrings because those can really hurt when they get stuck or the back gets put on wonky. However,taping them with micropore is a pain too , as children get their hair stuck in it!! The children have to be able to do those themselves.

babybythesea Fri 04-Oct-13 20:03:03

I think that's a bit rude, Ilovemyself.
I say these things all the time. To my own dd. I say "If you keep talking while I am trying to tell you to do something then I will put sellotape over your mouth to keep you quiet for a moment." I say it with a big grin on my face and she grins back and carries on talking.

Nowhere does Paperclips say that she says it in a threatening manner. She may also say it with a big grin on her face, to a teen who knows full well she doesn't mean it and couldn't do it even if she did mean it, and responds with a sheepish grin back at her. If one of my teachers had said that to me, I'd assume it was a joke. I wouldn't assume she couldn't cope with the job. I would think she'd found a funnier way to remind me to bring my stuff/watch my language than "I DO NOT expect to hear any of that sort of language in my classroom again, understand?" which is far more threatening. The teachers in our school who had more respect were the ones who could joke a bit with you. Life must be very scary if you assume everyone means, literally, everything they say.
(Not commenting on whether the OP's son believed his teacher or not, just on whether Paperclips is able to have a bit of a joke with her teenage students while also telling them off, which certainly works well with most teens I know).

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 20:03:36

Floggingmolly. It is reporting a bully. Teachers can be bullies too - the fact he uses threats no matter how idle shows that. Let's face it - threats are a bullies stock in trade

Bowlersarm Fri 04-Oct-13 20:08:32

Christ almighty ilovemyself it could have been a one off flippant comment. We've all made them. Unless you are so superior you haven't.

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 20:09:30

Babybythesea. Where does Paperclips say they say it jokingly. The implication is that it is not in a funny way or they would have said so - or they just want to argue.

There is no excuse for threatening angrily in any work place , schools included

SuburbanRhonda Fri 04-Oct-13 20:11:30

Sorry, went off to have my tea.

impecunious, do you really think choosing the length of your hair is about freedom of expression? In a 7 year old? Do you think they actually understand what freedom of expression actually means at that age?

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 20:11:37

Paperclips. There is one thing "joking"
With a teenager. A 7 year old though?

nkf Fri 04-Oct-13 20:12:10

Well, tell him she won't cut his hair and buy a load of cheap bands and put them in his PE kit. You can buy about 50 a pack in Poundland. And tell your husband to stop seething. I mean, honestly.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 04-Oct-13 20:12:50

ilovemyself I think you need to get yourself a sense of perspective - and fast,

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 20:13:07

Bowlersarm. Equally the teacher could be a bullying arsehole. If everybody ignored it he would be a bullying arsehole for ever.

TooMuchRain Fri 04-Oct-13 20:13:08

I can't believe some of the comments on here, why on earth would you care whether a child looked like a 'boy' or a 'girl' or be embarrassed about not knowing if a child is indeed a 'girl' or a 'boy' - what sodding difference can it possibly make? (sorry OP - for what it's worth I think the teacher was OTT but no need to take it further, just buy lots more bands).

nkf Fri 04-Oct-13 20:14:19

I didn't read the whole thread, but I take it it turned into some daft old freedom of choice/gender politics number. Friday night on MN. I must get a life.

OldRoan Fri 04-Oct-13 20:14:41

The comment was foolish, but I get so frustrated by parents on MN saying "why couldn't they have spoken to me at home time?" Because the teacher needs to say something at the time - it isn't as simple as saying "I'll talk to mum at home time, get on with the lesson." Other children, in my experience, see that as the child being let off and think it is hugely unfair, particularly if they are as literal as your DS.

Teacher has a duty to 30 children - rightly or wrongly that means sometimes a comment will be misjudged in the heat of the moment.

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 20:15:16

Suburbanrhonda. If your boss made threats to you would you be happy. Even if they were idle ones.

Why should children put up with it? All it does is teach them that you can threaten people as much as you like.

babybythesea Fri 04-Oct-13 20:17:29

Ilovemyself - That's just it though. She doesn't say "I shout aggressively in their face that I will wash their mouths out" either. She just said:
"This week I've 'threatened' 3 sweary teens with washing their mouths out with soap and 1 with taping a pen to his hand if he forgot it again." Note, the threatened is in inverted commas. No indication as to how it is said. You made an assumption that is was aggressive. So I made an assumption it was done in a jokey way. You then went on, based on your assumption and not on what she wrote, to tell her she was no good at her job. Which is why I said you were being a bit unkind.

nkf Fri 04-Oct-13 20:18:24

You think a seven year old and his teacher have a relatonship similar to an adult and his/her boss do you? Says it all.

mameulah Fri 04-Oct-13 20:18:50

If you were a PE teacher you would probably have contact with approx. 150 children a day. Your children may easily have been the 20th kid that week that caused a problem before she started teaching the curriculum to which you expect a report on his progress. What would you say? It is fair enough that s/he was annoyed. It is annoying.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 04-Oct-13 20:27:04

ilovemyself, it's not the same thing at all, and you know it.

Stick to the OP.

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Fri 04-Oct-13 20:27:32

Oh dear ilovemyself... If you insist on typing silly things i will simply have to glue your fingers to he keyboard ;-)

Of course i said it jokingly. I teach (quite well according to my 13 years worth of graded observations but thanks for your 'constructive criticism, i may bring my anger issues up at my next appraisal) in a behaviour unit - i'd get nutted if i said it in anger!

My boss

zeno Fri 04-Oct-13 20:27:38

I am so surprised at the number on this thread saying they frown upon long hair on boys. Someone up thread saying it looks stupid. Really?! Still?! I thought we'd moved on from that about 20 years ago. Do keep up people.

GreyGardens Fri 04-Oct-13 20:29:15

Hardly a threat fgs

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 20:29:48

Babybythesea. If Paperclips responds by saying it was said in a jokey way to a bunch of teenagers I would, of course, rescind my comment.

If it was said in an angry or aggressive manner I stand by what I have said.

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 20:34:37

Paperclips. I take it all back.

I just get annoyed that anyone thinks that threats or bullying are acceptable behaviour. I am sure you have to deal with it enough with the kids.

And you don't say your age, but even if you are a young teacher I bet you have seen teachers that think it is fine to bully or be on a power trip.

Have a glass of wine on me by way of an apology. :-)

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Fri 04-Oct-13 20:36:13

Thanks for the wine - I'm 35!!

sweetiepie1979 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:40:37

Let it go it ess obviously a joke maybe he will stop flooding his sweat bands now

Ilovemyself Fri 04-Oct-13 20:41:42

Ok. So you probably have been teaching 10 years or so. I guess the bullying teachers are more from your school days lol.

I remember my worst one actually hit me with a crutch after his knee op for a reason I can't even remember lol

Enjoy the wine.

kim147 Fri 04-Oct-13 20:49:22

OMG - a boy who looks like a girl. To look like a girl is possibly the worst thing that can happen to a boy. They might catch the gay and everything.

But it's ok for a girl to look like a boy. confused

neontetra Fri 04-Oct-13 20:53:31

Of course it is revolting for an adult to threaten, even in jest, to forcibly cut a child's hair. I would be livid if any adult made this threat to my daughter or (had I one) my son. Think please for a second, those of you who claim this is ok, about other contexts where hair has been forcibly cut/ shaved. Then tell me this is an ok or humorous threat.
As for those of you airing your views about the inappropracy of boys having long hair, do you not feel, if it weren't so tragic and awful, that you holding this view, and even airing it on the internet, would be a little bit comedic? Laughing at you, not with you, obviously.

Floggingmolly Fri 04-Oct-13 20:56:44

Catch the gay, Kim? No. It looks stupid. It just does.

LittleMissWise Fri 04-Oct-13 20:59:07

I would say the teacher had had enough of asking where the sweatband was. It was week 5 since they went back to school here so I should imagine he has been asked quite a few times.

It is obvious it was a joke, and it's had the right effect because your DS has remembered to ask you about a sweatband.

For your son's sake you need to explain jokes and not taking everything literally.

TooMuchRain Fri 04-Oct-13 21:06:47

No. It looks stupid. It just does.

Beautifully explained.

kim147 Fri 04-Oct-13 21:10:39

"For your son's sake you need to explain jokes and not taking everything literally"

There are people who do take things literally. Especially at a young age. Teachers need to be aware of how they come across.

MidniteScribbler Fri 04-Oct-13 21:11:54

Male or female, loose long hair is a pain in the arse at school. I detest hair flopping in the eyes, and I hate when kids spend half their time pushing their hair back and having to tuck it behind their ears which then escapes five seconds later and has to be pushed back again. If you want long hair (again, I say male OR female), it needs to be tied up for school and off your face, for all classes, not just PE.

neontetra Fri 04-Oct-13 21:18:04

Threatening forcible hair cuts? What other forms of abuse are you in to, guys?

Have never heard so much ignorant, nasty, pernicious rubbish in my life ( and I have heard lots). It is not funny or entertaining to pretend this is ok. Please think, all of you, for a second about what you are advocating.

Xmasbaby11 Fri 04-Oct-13 22:01:03

If he's not able to tie it back himself, cut his hair. It doesn't sound very practical.

Floggingmolly Fri 04-Oct-13 22:08:26

Don't be so bloody silly, neontetra

For PE and also general school safety (don't they make him tie his hair back when eating? They do at m school!) either he goes to school with a sweatband around his wrist, and a few spares in the schoolbag (cheaper hairbands) for when he needs it tied, or he should get it cut. I presume the girls have to have their hair tied back too.

Otherwise- to a 7yo, I think unless it was obviously jokey, it's at the in between age where SOME kids will take it literally, but some won't. So you'd be careful. I wouldn't report or do anything, but maybe mention on Monday that he had taken it a bit literally. It was a heat of the moment thing and probably won't happen again, and probably after a few weeks of him having no hair tied back and nagging the 7yo about it. Yes, speaking to you would be nice, but at 7 I'd expect him to relay basic information and I would write a note and put it in his school bag too, if he forgets the first time, to make sure, but I would expect that by 7 he is starting to remember more and be able to talk to you and relay simple information better, even if a note might be needed to remind him when he goes through his bag.

NonnoMum Fri 04-Oct-13 22:28:44

No - not Stepford children. More like communist children.

maddy68 Fri 04-Oct-13 22:37:26

Bleedin hell I day flippant comments to kids everyday. It s a joke!!! He's not going to really do it is he?

Opalite Fri 04-Oct-13 22:52:57

Oh my fucking god, I am shocked by all of the sexism on this thread

MikeOxard Fri 04-Oct-13 22:55:45

He's 7, so he's been at school 2 years or so now? How long were you expecting to act as intermediary between your child and his teachers? Yabu. They will speak to him directly when he doesn't have his shit together, even though it's your fault. Get his shit together or cut his hair or stop worrying about stupid comments being made to him.

You sound very oversensitive to have such a reaction about this, and if ds' reaction was similar he is oversensitive too. You overreacting will enforce and encourage this, you should be doing the opposite and working up his confidence and rationality imo.

Nombrechanger Fri 04-Oct-13 22:57:01

What Worra said..

Don't take things so seriously.

Jesus, get a grip.

SatinSandals Fri 04-Oct-13 22:58:29

I think you are over sensitive, it was a flippant remark and not intended to be taken seriously.

Mumsyblouse Fri 04-Oct-13 23:13:02

My dd got told off this week for the exact same thing. She was all huffy and defensive (and she got properly told off by an exasperated teacher not some lighthearted remark). The difference was that I was mortified, her bob had grown too long really and we tied it back in bunches for school this morning, as all children with longer than collar length hair are required to do at their school, not just in PE.

The idea of going into school to complain about this remark when you are in the wrong for not having bought more bands/ensured you work together to remind him to use them is just absolutely ridiculous.

Clearly your child's hair is a stance which to you is more important than following the rules for all the children in the school and you would rather encourage him to be quietly defiant (losing his bands, having you defend him). I am really quite astonished by this.

Teachers are allowed to be annoyed by children. The teacher certainly didn't mean he would chop of the hair (really, you really thought that?) but he may have been annoyed. I get annoyed with my children quite often when on the 100th time of asking they don't do something, and teachers are allowed to express a range of emotions including firmness and annoyance, within limits.

Mumsyblouse Fri 04-Oct-13 23:25:20

My dd is also 7 by the way.

I find it interesting that both you and his dad immediately took umbrage instead of coming in behind the school. I apologized to my dd for not having been more proactive about the hair thing and we fixed it properly this morning.

My basic stance is always support the school unless something truly terrible is wrong with what they have done. Child gets told off- I support the teacher. Child gets more homework than they think is fair- we do it anyway. Child forgets important piece of kit and has this pointed out- that's how they learn to take responsibility for themselves. That way you will really have presence when you go in if there is something genuine to complain about. I start to feel sorry for teachers when I read OP's like this in all honesty.

goingmadinthecountry Fri 04-Oct-13 23:48:10

I buy hair bobbles out of my own money. Children with long hair (girls or boys) need their hair tied back for safety in PE so that's what happens - same as earrings, either out or tape over them. No difference between girls and boys.

SayMyNameSayIt Fri 04-Oct-13 23:58:04


I DON'T want my DS looking like girls.
Equally, if I had girls, I WOULDN'T want them looking like boys.

Why would I????? I have boys, they should look like boys. That doesn't include having long hair. If I want them to look like girls. I'd grow their hair, put ribbons in it, and put them in dresses.

SayMyNameSayIt Fri 04-Oct-13 23:59:56

Got it in one
It. Looks. Stupid.
End. Of.

usualsuspect Sat 05-Oct-13 00:03:45

What looks stupid?

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 00:06:52

I couldn't have said it better myself.
Wish there were more parents like you.

Opalite Sat 05-Oct-13 00:09:41

SayMyNameSayIt why do you want to apply gender stereotypes to your kids? Genuinely curious

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 00:11:09


Long hair on boys looks stupid. IMO. Said it a while back, stand by it now. My personal opinion, however.

usualsuspect Sat 05-Oct-13 00:23:30

Your opinion is stupid.

HavantGuard Sat 05-Oct-13 00:24:10


usualsuspect Sat 05-Oct-13 00:25:48


olgaga Sat 05-Oct-13 01:25:42

I think you should have apologised to your son for failing to send him to school properly equipped. If you want him to have long hair you could at least make sure he knows to tie it back like the girls have to.

Throughout DDs junior years there were always one or two boys with long hair in each year. Everyone was polite enough about it but my DD would occasionally talk about the comments made by other kids, which could be quite comical - such as the boy with long blonde curls who would be called Shaun (the Sheep).

The PE teachers always had plenty of pink ponybands to hand out if anyone forgot theirs.

By the time they moved to secondary school they all had their hair short, presumably having had enough of the humiliation, and finally old enough to insist on a haircut..

Nobody blamed the kids for their wayward hair, they would occasionally wonder why the parents would put their kids through that experience.

SatinSandals Sat 05-Oct-13 07:21:05

OP should take note of Mumsybblouse's common sense approach.

whoop Sat 05-Oct-13 07:57:51

Op should make sure her child had correct stuff for school, including pe kit, lunch, drink, school bag, correct uniform etc. She shold also ensure on PE days he has his hair up. It's not rocket science.

Yes the PE teacher shouldn't of said that.
Mum or Dad should have made sure child was equipt for school.

frumpypigskin Sat 05-Oct-13 08:02:58

You're being far too precious. Get a grip and a hairband.

Mumsyblouse - the voice of reason.

Fgs OP do your son a favour and cut his hair.

MissMalonex2 Sat 05-Oct-13 08:25:14

My daughter's hair is that long - she would love to wear it down for school but is not allowed. I don't get why your son doesn't have his hair tied up for school and only has to wear a sweatband for PE? Or does the same rule apply for the girls?

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 08:38:09

Nice thread. Boys with long hair look stupid. Boys should have short hair. Secondary pupils taking the piss out of boys with long hair and offering them pink hair bands,

What next? Boys should't do anything "vaguely feminine" because it's stupid and not traditional. It's ok to bully boys who want to express their individuality. Boys should do what every other boy does.

Maybe boys with non - traditional hairstyles actually fucking want to express themselves. So why is it acceptable that they get picked on and told they look stupid.

I can't believe the sexism on this thread. People complain about women and girls being told how to behave - but it's perfectly ok to tell boys what to do - or society will police their appearance.

So a boy has long hair. So fucking what. It does not affect you and your life. If a child was being bullied because they act gay or effeminate, people would be defending them. But long hair - it's so different. Cut your hair to fit in and be what a boy is supposed to be.


PenelopePitstops Sat 05-Oct-13 09:00:51

How many times OP.... THE COMMENT WAS A JOKE!
Lighthearted yet got the message across. Sort your kids hair.

marriedinwhiteisbackz Sat 05-Oct-13 09:06:17

FGS. A sweat band was part of the boy's uniform for PE. He was sent to school without it for four weeks. The teacher was at the end of his or her tether. At my DC's schools a letter would have been sent home after week 2 and at week 3 the child would have been sent home until he was sent in with the proper kit/uniform.

When people complain about dc having to put up with bad and dysfunctional behaviour the Mnet message is that's part of life. Well having someone call you out brusquely is also part of life. I've more time for the teacher who was dealing with persistent non compliance than I have for the children who are persistently non compliant.

Ilovemyself Sat 05-Oct-13 09:14:56

Wow Penelopepitstop. I didn't realise you were there so can be sure it was a joke.

And isn't that a line bullies use when caught threatening - I was only joking.

olgaga Sat 05-Oct-13 09:25:22

Kim read my post again will you. You've got it completely ass-upwards with the junior/secondary school context.

Point remains that OP is BU. Any child with long hair has to have it tied back for most of the time at school.

You might like long hair on boys but don't expect everyone to like it - especially when the rules are that it has to be tied back.

And what's wrong with pink ponybands anyway? grin

spanky2 Sat 05-Oct-13 09:29:26

Isn't it fashionable for long hair on boys ? Been there first time around in the 90s!

usualsuspect Sat 05-Oct-13 09:30:46

The OP asked for opinions on the teachers comment.

Not a load of sexist comments about boys with long hair.

And as for schools humiliating boys with long hair,words fail me.

5madthings Sat 05-Oct-13 09:31:23

the teacher probably was joking or maybe they said it in a really exasperated, pissed off tone and so it didnt sound jokey? no-one can no bevause they werent there.

ultimately if this was my son i would just make sure he had headbands/hair bobbles in future! and explain to him that perhaps the teacher was joking. i would also apologise to a 7yr old as it is your fault that you didnt send him with appropriate kit.

my ds1 (14) has long hair, really long, much longer than ops son. he always keeps some hair bobbles on his wrist and in his bag so he can tie it up for pe, science, technology and any more practical lessons where he needs to.

its his hair, as long as he washes it and brushes it and ties it back when necessary he can do what he likes with it. thankfully i dont seem to live near any of the idiots on here who think boys shouldnt have long hair! he has never been picked on or called names because of it.

my four boys have all gone through periods of having long or middling length hair and ds2s is now very short. ds3 and ds4s varies,depending on what they want.

they dont look like 'girls' not that there is anythinh wrong in looking feminine anyway.

pathetic judgemental attitudes expressed towards a childs hair on this thread, some peoole are just being nasty for the sake of it.

Hulababy Sat 05-Oct-13 09:40:05

Was he really cross and shouting or was it said as a joke? If former than regardless of reason it was inappropriate and not very professional.

If latter - well, I see no issue tbh. A child of 7, unless has sen, can usually take a joke ime. I told a 6y boy this week his hand might fall off as he'd do e so much writing - clearly a joke and taken That way. Happens all the time.

Also he need a to have his hair tied or held back. In my school that would be all the time, for for girls and boys with longer hair. Not just pe. With practise at home he would be able to drag it back to a pony tail be himself. It doesn't need to be tidy if just for pe. Else tie it back in a morning for him.

spanky2 Sat 05-Oct-13 09:44:06

We have talked about this while eating breakfast. We have decided that boys should be allowed to choose their own hair styles . Ds1 long hair aged 9 and Ds2 aged 6 who is growing his hair . Tying hair back is sensible . A lot of sexist attitudes out there.

YouTheCat Sat 05-Oct-13 10:00:45

Have I walked into the Daily Mail lounge area by mistake? confused

There is nothing wrong with people having their hair how long they want it. So long as OP gets her child sorted with hairbands for PE, I can't see the problem. And I think the PE teacher is a knobend and should have spoken or written to the OP.

ebwy Sat 05-Oct-13 10:21:17

If I were to comment "boys with short hair look like thugs" it would be wrong, yes? Other people's hair length is their business, not anyone else's.
And it isn't related to what genitals they have.

Tying it up for certain lessons is just what you do if it's long.
I would have been told to tie it back and offered an elastic band to use, I expect the same for my children as it's a safety issue.

aderynlas Sat 05-Oct-13 10:27:34

Teachers cant write to every parent whose child constantly forgets something for pe. There would be no time for lessons. Let your son have his hair long but also remind him he has to take his hairband to lessons.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 19:22:29

I genuinely don't think I want to conform to gender stereotypes. I just don't want my boys looking like girls. Boys and girls are different. IMO they should look different.

I have no problem with girls wearing jeans etc, I certainly don't think they should all be in dresses etc. Whatever suits them.

But if I had a girl, I wouldn't want her to look like a boy. And I don't want my boys looking like girls. In any way at all. I wouldn't let them wear a pink top or shirt, even though it seems quite trendy just now. To me, pink is a girl's colour. They wouldn't wear it anyway, and would say it was a girl's colour.

Even though I've never made any comment about such things to them, or in their hearing. In fact, I've asked them why they say that and they say, "It just is a girl's colour."

maddymoo25 Sat 05-Oct-13 19:29:53

I think again.. leave hairbands with teacher.

Ihatespiders Sat 05-Oct-13 19:34:55

In my class, anyone with hair long enough to tie up MUST have it tied up for PE. A sweatband is not adequate. Anyone with long hair not tied up is offered one of my supply of spare bobbles or they do not do PE. My supply of spares are vile lurid neon colours to encourage remembering of proper kit.

Gender does not come into it.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 20:01:46


That's my opinion. I'm not asking anyone to agree with me. Stupid to say "your opinion is stupid ".

We are all entitled to our own opinion. The OP can have her DS's hair any way she likes. Doesn't alter the fact that I think long hair on boys is stupid. I didn't say SHE was stupid. She is entitled to her opinion too re her son's hair.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 20:10:12

I'm sorry , I just saw your post where you said IMO.
Perfectly entitled to your opinion.

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 21:03:28

So how long should boys' hair be for it to be acceptable to you?

Do you have a requirement for girls' hair as well?

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 21:16:14

Girls can have hair as long as short as they like, but I don't like it so short that they look like boys.

I don't have a particular length in mind, but if it'song enough to tuck behind a boy's ears, it's took long. Anything girly-looking, in fact.

I don't like very short haircuts on boys, I call that the nit haircut i.e. cut so short cos they got nits, and practically shaving it makes it harder for nits to take hold.

What's wrong with boys looking like boys and girls looking like girls? Or should we all be androgynous??? Do away with the sexes altogether.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 21:16:55

If it's long enough
It's too long

quoteunquote Sat 05-Oct-13 21:27:57

So many of the boys at my son's school have long hair, it's quite the norm,

Has there been a time slip into the 50s? really odd attitudes.

As for telling a child you are going to cut their hair off, just pathetic, get the head to send him on an equalities course.

Imagine forcing girls to have long hair, how you wear hair should be an individuals choice,

How gender could be relevant is beyond me, unless someone worried about a penis getting caught in the hair which is bonkers.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 21:45:06

Boys and girls can wear their hair as they like. However, others are entitled to have an opinion about it. As they are entitled to have an opinion about anything. It's called free speech.

I don't, however, go about saying or telling boys who have long hair that I think it looks stupid. I --share that with my DH--keep that thought to myself. Though I reserve the right to express it on an online forum.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 21:46:08

That strike through didn't work! Must be my 'phone!

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 21:53:25

Do you think it looks stupid because you are used to seeing boys and men with short hair so that's what you expect?

If you had been brought up seeing men and boys with long hair, would you think short hair looks stupid?

I think you've been conditioned by society.

nickelbabe Sat 05-Oct-13 21:58:38

I have to say, I'm fucking furious at all the posters saying "cut his hair" and "I get it's not his choice to have long hair"

bors can and choose to gave long hair.
you would never say about a girl "cut her hair" you would say "she should have it tied/clipped back for school/pe/woodwork"

so, that is the only correct and not sexist comment that is appropriate.

the boy shoud have his hair tied back in a bobble and any short bits clipped with a clip.
at 7, he is old enough to learn how to do this for himself.

fifi669 Sat 05-Oct-13 22:02:28

saymyname you missed the space at the end....

NonnoMum Sat 05-Oct-13 22:06:29

Actually I would say to a girl, cut your hair.

I wish both boys and girls would stop all this flouncy hair nonsense.

It might end the nit problem... (bitter experience emoticon).

NonnoMum Sat 05-Oct-13 22:07:19

By asking both boys and girls to cut their hair, I am not being sexist.

Just sensible communist.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 22:14:35


I understand what you mean, but I have to disagree. I grew up in the 70's when longish hair was very common on boys. Maybe that's why I don't like it now, now that I think about it.

I just honestly don't like it. I suppose I do like quite "masculine" looking men, though I can think of some that I find really attractive although they don't seem typically masculine-looking to me. I'm thinking of Wentworth Miller in Prison Break, a fine specimen!

I also really liked Sawyer in Lost, Josh something , his surname evades me at the moment. He had quite long hair on Lost but conversely, I really liked him because he WAS very masculine.

That doesn't mean I think boys should be macho. Not at all. I encourage my 2 DS to be loving and affectionate and to cry if they want/need to. I never say oh be brave or don't cry. I pick them up and cuddle them, comfort them.

I teach them to express their feelings and I acknowledge their feelings, eg I will say, "you're feeling very frustrated and cross right now, aren't you?"

I've been told by their nursery and school teachers that they have a very extensive vocabulary, and understanding. My 5yr old will tell me about a bad dream, for example, and will say, "oh mummy, I was so anxious in my dream".

I don't believe in gender-stereotyping, I think boys particularly need to be encouraged to express their feelings and be able to talk. The rate of suicide among young men is very high. I'm very conscious of that and that's one of the reasons why I make sure my DS know how to express themselves, and to feel happy being cuddled and loved.

But I still don't like long hair on boys haha!!!!

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 22:15:43


With the strike through do you mean?

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 22:16:58

I think I see it now! Thanks. Got to go and get my 2 into bed now! So I can sit down and drink wine relax.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 22:17:23

Ah! That worked! Thanks fifi669.

ravenAK Sat 05-Oct-13 22:28:54

If I didn't like long hair on boys, I'd make a mental note to have short hair when next reincarnated as a boy.

I probably wouldn't go out with any longhaired men.

Or I might insist my ds had his hair short - although, actually, not even that, given it's not my bloody hair.

I think it's a bit much, however, for some posters to decide for all the boys in the world that they should get it cut...OP's ds likes his hair long. OP doesn't mind. This is all fine.

Having said that, ffs get down the pound shop & buy him a big pack of plain black hair bobbles, OP. PE teacher is perfectly within his/her rights to insist that all students tie hair back, & 7 is quite old enough to shove it into a bobble.

YouTheCat Sat 05-Oct-13 22:31:34

I grew up in the 70s too and well remember my old Grannie saying 'Eee look at them. You can't tell if they're boys or girls these days' all whilst hoiking her substantial bosom. But she was born in 1901 and I'd expect her to have some outdated views.

Ilovemyself Sat 05-Oct-13 22:32:47

Saymyname. How can you say you don't like gender stereotyping and then say you still don't like long hair on men. Doesn't make any sense

monstermissy Sat 05-Oct-13 22:36:50

It's mothers like some on this thread that explain to me why my 11 yr old is being taunted in yr7 about having long hair. (It's just touching his shoulders). Maybe if people weren't so judgey their kids wouldn't be either. My ds loves his hair but why should he be made to feel shitty everyday just because some kid thinks he knows better! ( but that's a whole other thread for another time)

He never had to tie it up in primary either, although he knows he will have too if need be in high school. I would just tie it back on pe days.

jackstini Sat 05-Oct-13 22:52:58

This post just brought back a horrible memory for me - a teacher did cut my hair when I was 7

It was falling in my eyes as my bobble had snapped. Teacher gave me an elastic band but I said my mum had told me not to use them as they rip your hair out.

So she cut a straight fringe across my one length hair hmm

My mum went mental and it took forever to grow out

Over 30 years ago and I still shudder at the thought...

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 22:59:14


Yes, I realise when I read it back that it sounds contradictory. Shouldn't be trying to reply whilst I should be getting boys to bed!!

I think what I was trying to say, not very well, is that I don't adhere to "typical" gender stereotypes eg boys must play football and girls can only play netball etc etc, you know the type of thing.

I encourage my boys to take part in whatever they like. For a while, they were going to gymnastics and there was a period of time when they were the only boys there. Ds1 did remark on it and said he didn't really want to go because if was just girls there. I told him not to be daft and to look at the gymnasts at the Olympics.

If either of them wanted to do ballet, I'd be absolutely fine with that. And if I had a girl who wanted to play football, well I would take her to football training etc but not early on a Saturday morning as I need a long lie

I do think boys should have boyish hair, not down to their shoulders etc My nephew, whom I adore, is 10 and has quite long hair now. I utterly hate it. But I would never say anything to him. Or my brother, his dad. Not my business.

I'm not sure if I can explain myself properly without sounding as if I'm really sexist. I just hate long hair on boys. But I don't expect all boys to do only "boys' things". Ditto girls. They can all do whatever they like, but I still think long hair looks stupid on boys. Just my opinion and I realise that I might not have expressed it very well.

Ok- boys can cry, play with dolls, become nurses, wear pink, whatever. Just don't do any of it with long hair haha!!!! ( that's meant to be lighthearted!)

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sat 05-Oct-13 23:00:44

I can't believe this has turned unto a slanging match about boys with ling hair - ridiculous!

Op asked about the teacher. I wish parents would take some bloody responsibility for their kids (and I'm impressed that some posters are behind school policies) but too many expect rules not to apply to their offspring. Teachers keeping special bobbles for little johnny / writing letters home... Really?

Put yourself in the position of the teacher - child falls and injures himself because his/her hair is in their eyes. Teacher blamed. Head teacher does an observation

MidniteScribbler Sat 05-Oct-13 23:02:19

leave hairbands with teacher.

Why should the teacher be responsible for a seven year old's hair? It should be tied up in the morning by his PARENT before he leaves for school if he can't manage it himself.

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sat 05-Oct-13 23:02:46

Head does an observation walkthrough - teacher is graded a 4 for failing to ensure H&S / uniform policy is adhered to... Unfair because a parent isn't prepared.

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:04:51

Head walks in and hears teacher saying he'll cut off pupil's hair.

Is there a tickbox on the sheet for that?

Child needs something for hair. Saying that to a 7 yr old child is not appropriate. There are more effective ways of communicating to a child that age. I know how DS would have felt.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 23:05:56

P.S. I discourage my DS from fighting, dummy-fighting, play-wrestling etc.

DS1 (6) will start talking about who is the toughest in his class and who is the best at fighting. I tell him swiftly and firmly that I don't want to hear if and I don't want him talking like that. He never spoke like that till he went to school!!! Though he's always been able to stand up for himself perfectly well.

My 5 year old loves loves loves his teddies. He's very cuddly and affectionate and would glue himself to me if he possibly could!

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sat 05-Oct-13 23:08:04

Teacher wouldn't have to say anything if the child had the correct and proper dress for gym. I could argue this all day. Parents responsibility. Parents fault. Teacher is there to teach, not provide bobbles.

YouTheCat Sat 05-Oct-13 23:08:51

OP quite clearly states that the teacher could very easily have had a word with her and that she is sorting out the hair back situation this weekend.

There really was no need for the teacher to behave like that at all.

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:11:38

Teachers are there to teach.
Not to lose their temper and threaten to cut their hair off.

Just like you would not threaten a child who forgot their kit that they would do it in knickers.

The child is being humiliated in front of the class. That's poor teaching.

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sat 05-Oct-13 23:11:42

Really? You expect him to go search out the mother to ask her to conform to uniform policy which she already knows about? I despair!

YouTheCat Sat 05-Oct-13 23:15:14

It is very poor practise. Totally agree with Kim. And the OP says she sees the teacher around school so it's not as if he would have had to search her out.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 23:15:23

Paper clips

I heartily agree with you.

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sat 05-Oct-13 23:16:55

We did gym in knickers - I'm not damaged by it.

Parents have 1/2/3 etc children to sort out P.E teachers have 100+. Searching out a parent over a bobbles won't be a priority.

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:17:13

Do people think it's ok to tell someone they'll cut their hair off at age 7?

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sat 05-Oct-13 23:18:21

if the bloody parent is in school so much why can't she have popped in with a bloody bobble???

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:20:48

I agree the child should have been prepared. But it's not over difficult to get an elastic band (or borrow a bauble that's left on a desk as happens in primary classrooms).

I agree that a message / reminder to the pupil was appropriate - like a quick note placed in the reading book.

UniS Sat 05-Oct-13 23:24:57

my 7 year old thinks that child was silly to be scared. They should have known teacher was exaggerating.

so, some 7 year olds "get" exaggeration.... and some don't.

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sat 05-Oct-13 23:25:01

If it's not difficult then the parent should have sorted it. I can repeat this in many formats.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 23:25:53

And if several children in each class had forgotten their hair bands/elastics?? Is the teacher to stand and write a note in every reading book??

Do you have any idea how long that would take?? And what are the other children doing while the teacher is doing this??? What are they learning as they stand/sit around while the teacher writes little notes to parents who should know better??

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:26:11

But what about what the teacher said? Do you think that was appropriate?

YouTheCat Sat 05-Oct-13 23:27:03

Parent is sorting it. Probably already has. There was still no need for the teacher to behave as he did.

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:29:15


I was at a school where 1/4 of the children had "forgotten" their PE kits.
I had to fill out 7 forms for the children. Plus record it on a sheet.

Same kind of thing for homework.

Teachers are used to paperwork where parents forget and children don't take responsibility.

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sat 05-Oct-13 23:30:52

I can't get worked up over it - i genuinely think it was said in jest.

This is why i have daily battles with teenagers turning up to classes without a pen - they expect me to provide. I've had no stationery provided this year because of cuts - i take 4 long classes per day - should i buy enough pens for all of them? Type reminders in their i phones?

Take some responsibility and teach your kids to too please

YouTheCat Sat 05-Oct-13 23:31:59

Teenagers are a whole lot different to a 7 year old.

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:33:02

But teenagers are different to 7 yr olds.

Some 7 year olds who I teach would take that literally, get upset and then tell their parents. And I would be in trouble.

MidniteScribbler Sat 05-Oct-13 23:35:19

that she is sorting out the hair back situation this weekend.

Why hasn't she sorted it out in the last four weeks? Every supermarket sells packs of hair elastics. Even petrol stations usually have a pack or two in the personal sections. It's a two second task that would have saved all this angst.

curlew Sat 05-Oct-13 23:36:55

I think a 7 year old should be able to understand that this was an exaggerated threat for effect. And if he didn't, he should once it was explained to him. I think complaining about it would make you look lik a loon.

Give your son a packet of hair elastics to keep in his tray. Or tie it back on PE days. Sorted.

And ignore the anti long hair on boys lot.

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sat 05-Oct-13 23:37:29

I KNOW that 7 year olds are different. I also know that the groundwork for being prepared, taking responsibility and sticking to rules should start as early as possible.

stottie Sat 05-Oct-13 23:41:22

Teacher is out of line l would be very upset if it was my son.

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:41:45

Teachers should not make exaggerated threats for effect - unless they know the class well, the pupils know the teacher well and they know it would not be done but is being done to make a point.

Especially if the tone is "not funny". We don't know the tone but I bet people on here would be mortified if a teacher said they were going to put tape over a child's mouth in an angry voice.

Tone and knowing your class - and them knowing you as a teacher - is everything.

curlew Sat 05-Oct-13 23:47:07

DS's year 3 teacher said that if he didn't stop chatting he would put him in the bin. H didn't - and he did. He's in year 8 now and he and his friends still talk about how awesome Mr P was.......

Mumsyblouse Sat 05-Oct-13 23:48:23

My 7 year old (and my 9 year old) massively over-egg the injustice of any telling off or remonstration or even a remark about the quality of their work, feeling it to be very unjust and unfair as 'everybody was talking' 'X had their hair down too'. I know the teachers and they are as mild and lovely as possible, and certainly don't get nasty, so when these tales of injustice of emerge, especially when there is clearly some guilt on the child's part (they were talking, they did forget it was PE day, they hadn't written that much), I am naturally very sceptical.

The little boy probably felt bad, so it's easier to tell a tale of a 'mad teacher' and the threat. Perhaps he felt genuinely threatened but far more likely, he deflected the blame away from himself. He probably did feel hard done by.

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:49:08

There was a teacher who was struck off for taping a child to a chair.

And teachers are not even supposed to touch pupils, let alone put them in a bin.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 23:50:55


I'm a teacher. I deal with this kind of stuff day in, day out. If you are too, then you will know how wearing and wasteful of time it is. Last week, it was at least 40 mins before my maths class were able to get started because of 2 boys who hadn't done/brought their homework.

Cue a search of their bags and trays (by them, not me), lengthy lies explanations as to why they hadn't done it, sending down to the auxiliary to get more copies made, going over it again to make sure they knew what they had to do.
Which they would have known if they'd listened in the first place. Like the other children. Who were thoroughly fed up at not starting something new and having to wait while I dealt with this recurring problem.

Cos I wasn't letting them off with it again. Unfair on the other pupils who had done it. Whose parents had made sure they'd done it.

So in that instance, I might have said, I'll keep you in every day at interval until you complete it. And I did. They were given the option of catching up at home or staying in and doing it. They caught up at home.

YouTheCat Sat 05-Oct-13 23:51:38

But that was a teacher with an obviously good rapport with his class. It makes all the difference.

I'm a first aider at school and regularly ask the children if they'd like a plaster or should I just chop it off? They know I am joking and it usually stops their tears and brings on a smile. I don't say this to all the kids because I don't know all of them as well. It's a judgement I have to make. I know a year 3-6 is going to giggle, a year 1/2 might take me literally.

I don't think the PE teacher knows the class that well by the sounds of it.

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:53:44

But that's not a physical threat - unlike cutting your hair off.

That's accepted teaching - they did not do their work so they have to do it in their own time.

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sat 05-Oct-13 23:55:46

Oh i miss the times where people could have a laugh and a joke...

I was a chatty child. My teacher threatened to cut my tongue out... I told my mum and she told me off for being chatty. YEARS later i did my 2 week teaching experience placement with that teacher - she offered me her tongue cutting scissors! Banter is a good life skill to learn.

Mumsyblouse Sat 05-Oct-13 23:56:01

So- in the worst case scenario, a minor misjudgement made by the teacher, so why on earth would the parents then encourage the thing further and all indignant when they were so clearly in the wrong? The DH who was also indignant- did he go and buy some hair bands immediately and make sure that his son knew how to use them?

Sometimes in life you just have to hold your hands up, this applies to adults and is a lesson children also need to learn, especially in a pretty benign context such as this.

kim147 Sat 05-Oct-13 23:56:09

TBH - wasting 40 mins of a lesson on 2 boys who had not done their homework is a waste of the other pupils time.

Why did you waste that valuable lesson time - rather than dealing with it at a more appopriate time?

YouTheCat Sat 05-Oct-13 23:57:31

Paper, there's the difference though. A teacher with a good rapport can say these things and the class will laugh and it's all in good fun.

Tbh, I've never met a PE teacher with that kind of rapport. I hated PE and realise this might taint my view slightly.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 05-Oct-13 23:58:17

I'm sorry, I don't think I answered your question about what the teacher said. (Tired now, long day with my DS(.

Perhaps it wasn't the most appropriate thing to say, but as I said way up thread, the teacher may have been at the end of his tether and quite exasperated. Equally, it could have been said jokingly.

Either way, the OP should make sure her DS is properly equipped. Or lift the phone herself when she realises her mistake. Or send in a note of apology. That's what I do if I realise I have inadvertently forgotten something important. But I don't forget several times in a row. Once or twice at the very most. And then I would be extremely apologetic.

And if someone said this to my DS??? I'd say, get over yourself. And let's make sure you're ready the next time.

kim147 Sun 06-Oct-13 00:00:45

I have been in trouble for saying something to the class at a moment of sheer frustration.

2 parents complained and the other 2 parents completely backed me up. I was frustrated and it was said in a moment of stress and sheer bloody frustration.

My head made me write an apology to the parents.

SayMyNameSayIt Sun 06-Oct-13 00:02:55


When exactly was I supposed to deal with it???? In MY lunch break??? Or MY interval??? After school, when the children leave directly and get buses etc????

As it happened, I gave the others revision work which a previous assessment showed that they needed, but I wasn't going to just let it go again. The other pupils were very disgruntled to learn that this pair had not been doing homework and they had!

kim147 Sun 06-Oct-13 00:05:40

That's what happens in primary.

Mumsyblouse Sun 06-Oct-13 00:05:51

But Kim- in your example, which sounds very understandable, wouldn't it have been better if the two parents that complained had just taken your frustrated comment as just that and realised you are human? What was gained by putting you through that, if you were (are?) an otherwise good teacher?

I hate any kind of bullying or aggressiveness in teachers, but unless there were reason to think the OP's description is part of something greater, I would chalk it up to a bad experience for my child but one they could learn from, if only that people do make non-literal jokes and that everyone in the family needs to work together to avoid breaking school rules.

YellowTulips Sun 06-Oct-13 00:06:15

If the boy wants long hair that's fine as long as it doesn't contravene the school dress code.

But the OP needs to teach him that that decision comes with the responsibility of not losing sweatbands so it can be appropriately tied back for PE.

I think the focus on what strikes me as a frustrated comment by a teacher that clearly wasn't going to be carried out is misplaced.

This isn't about the teacher, it's about the OP's misplaced outrage that her son at 7 should actually be capable of maintaining and not losing his PE kit....biscuit for the OP.

SayMyNameSayIt Sun 06-Oct-13 00:07:49

Yesterday, the aforesaid pair were first ready with their homework out. I praised them, gave them points for their chart, and when the HT and DHT popped in for something, I highlighted how pleased I was and they were equally delighted.

kim147 Sun 06-Oct-13 00:10:20

And I'm sure the OPs son will have his hair tied back for PE next week.

Just hope the homework was correct. grin

I know it's frustrating being a teacher. But I do think you have to be careful with what you say. And you have to know the children.

One of the parents didn't like me anyway.

SayMyNameSayIt Sun 06-Oct-13 00:14:41

What happens in primary???? I should spend my interval or lunchbreak sorting out kids who haven't done homework etc??????

Been there, done that.
Now??? Nope. I need my break in order to be physically and mentally ready for next lesson. That sometimes means I'm getting resources/photocopying etc

Yes, I've had complaints before. We all have. I'd NEVER write a letter of apology unless I actually wanted to. I've offered to say it, with the proviso that I didn't mean a word of it and was only doing it to keep the peace.

In writing?? Never.

YouTheCat Sun 06-Oct-13 00:17:05

Saymy, did you praise all the other's who regularly do their homework? Did they get points?

SayMyNameSayIt Sun 06-Oct-13 00:30:39

Yes, of course I did. And they got a (photocopied) note home in their homework thanking them and their parents/carers for always completing it and always having it signed, in on time etc.

I made a big deal out of homework being for everyone. I give them it on a Friday for the following week, so that they can organise it to suit them.

I'm a lot more lenient than others if a child has forgotten it or not done it; I say ok but you must bring it in tomorrow. The boys in question hadn't been doing any. And were notorious for never doing any. Age 12 now. So it was nothing short of a miracle that they did it at home!!!!

YouTheCat Sun 06-Oct-13 00:32:06

Great smile

SayMyNameSayIt Sun 06-Oct-13 00:33:40

Not being rude but I'm going to bed now. Goodnight all.

ExcuseTypos Sun 06-Oct-13 08:48:05

I cannot believe the blatant sexism on this thread.

It's really quite disturbing and perplexing.

Saying a boy shouldn't have long hair is exactly the same as saying in the 1920s that women shouldn't have short hair. Do you lot realise how old fashioned and rather stupid you sound?

I too grew up in the 70s. The vast majority of footballers and pop stars had long hair. Wtf is wrong with a boy having long hair???

OP put about 25 bobbles in your DS's PE bag. If he wants long hair he has to learn to deal with it. (I work in a year R class, we do tie hair up but I'm sure they wouldn't do that with a 7 year old)

I'd then speak to the teacher and tell him you wanted to let him know that your DS took his comment rather literally.
Hopefully the PE teacher will offer to have a chat with DS and to reassure him that he was joking.

Wuxiapian Sun 06-Oct-13 08:53:08

Long hair on men has always been naff, though, Excuse!

Feminine Sun 06-Oct-13 08:54:59

My dh looks fantastic with it excuse talk of the town!

ExcuseTypos Sun 06-Oct-13 09:04:04

Wux- Bob Marley, John Lennon, Brad Pitt, Johnie Depp, David Bowie etc etc.

All had long hair and managed to look rather nice IMO.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:08:25

Wuxipian. So why do men with long hair look naff? Because that's what society tells you to think.

Do you think the same about women?

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:09:28

Excusetypos. Spot on

daytoday Sun 06-Oct-13 09:10:45

I would complain. It's bullying behaviour.

kim147 Sun 06-Oct-13 09:12:00

I believe there were lots of criticism when women had short hair and wore trousers back in the 1920s.

ExcuseTypos Sun 06-Oct-13 09:15:14

I know Kim. I saw it all on Downton Abbeywink

Floggingmolly Sun 06-Oct-13 09:21:34

Bob Marley is the only exception on that list, Excuse, and that's only because he had dreadlocks. All the rest looked like wombles with long hair. It just doesn't work for me.

ExcuseTypos Sun 06-Oct-13 09:26:22

Well that's ok Flogging. Whatever floats your boat etc.

But just because it doesn't work for you or anyone else, doesn't mean men/boys shouldn't have long hair.

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sun 06-Oct-13 09:35:06

Saymyname i think we'd get along well as colleagues :-) although you're nicer than me. One of my GCSE classes had about an 80% homework hand in (given Thursday, expected in on Monday. I allocate myself an hour AT HOME to mark it on Monday night) if it ain't handed in on Monday i don't mark it.

HRHLadyG Sun 06-Oct-13 09:39:00

He was joking to communicate his frustration more fully;
1) Cut his hair!
2) Give the sweatband to the P.E Department then its always there when he needs it?.....
Explain to your child that the teacher doesn't really intend to cut his hair and to not over dramatise the situation! x

2tiredtocare Sun 06-Oct-13 09:43:02

Boys and girls should have long hair if they please but they should take responsibility for it and tie it back. I'd get it cut if they couldn't take care of it male or female

SHarri13 Sun 06-Oct-13 09:50:18

It's really quite simple. Establish of this was a statement he would make to a girl, if it's not then it needs to be taken further. Unless anyone can point out the rulez that say boys' hair must be short. That is such a fucking sexist thing to think, for goodness sake!

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 10:03:03

HRHladyg. I guess you were there to make that statement.

A 7 year old can't tell the difference between a joke and a threat - especially if the tone was angry. The teacher should joke like that with 7 year olds

Feminine Sun 06-Oct-13 10:14:55

flogging I don't agree with you, but your "wombles" comment was quite funny!

Men tend to have nicer hair imo.

I have women wanting to touch my DH's <boasting now>

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Oct-13 10:36:55

Just a couple of things:

I don't give a rats arse whether boys or girls have long hair or not BUT I make them ALL tie it back for my lessons otherwise it's a safety issue.

And if they didn't I'd certainly not be wasting my time sorting it out for them when I have other kids to teach.

And I'm sure this teachers comment was tongue in cheek - I can't believe the language of "assault" "aggression" etc. hmm

At 7 years old my kids would have known that was just a "hot air" jokey comment fgs.

Some of you need to go and lie down.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Oct-13 10:38:19

And I quite like men with long ponytails - if it's clean etc.

Josie1974 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:44:15

I think I'd ask to talk directly to the head teacher about this. Threatening to cut a child's hair off is quite serious I think.
Particularly at his age, a 7 yr old isn't going to be able to stand up for himself. I think it's quite bullying behaviour.

curlew Sun 06-Oct-13 10:45:54

"I think I'd ask to talk directly to the head teacher about this. Threatening to cut a child's hair off is quite serious I think."


Josie1974 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:49:56

If I were a pe teacher I'd keep a cheap pack of hair bands for kids with long hair. Can't see why you'd spend your life getting upset about it.

Really sounds like an underlying sexist attitude from the teacher coming out. Not good.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Oct-13 10:51:05

Jee whizz.

I can see its a very good thing that I'm not a primary teacher. I could not be arsed with all that preciousness. Thank god I'm secondary!

If I had a pound for every time I'd told a pupil I'd e.g staple them to the chair/Sellotape their mouth or something I'd be rich.

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Oct-13 10:53:38

Josie - underlying sexist attitude or being utterly fed up of chasing up kids with no headbands?

I know which one I think it is.

What a load of nonsense to get het up about.

curlew Sun 06-Oct-13 10:56:15

"If I were a pe teacher I'd keep a cheap pack of hair bands for kids with long hair. Can't see why you'd spend your life getting upset about it.

Really sounds like an underlying sexist attitude from the teacher coming out. Not good."

Is there any suggestion that he wouldn't have said the same to a girl?

When I was the parent of a long haired boy and girl I kept a cheap pack of Harland's in the car. Because I didn't think it as the teachers job. Any more than it would be the teacher's job to keep a bag of trainers under his desk for the kids who forgot them...........

curlew Sun 06-Oct-13 10:56:47

Hair bands. No idea what Harland's are!

Salmotrutta Sun 06-Oct-13 10:58:29

I thought Harland's might be the Rolls Royce of hairbands... wink

paperclipsarebetterthanstaples Sun 06-Oct-13 11:03:15

Josie - would you also keep spare running shoes for those who forgot, spare pens, spare sandwiches for lunch forgetters, spare phone credit, spare bloody everything??
How can u possibly know that it was sexist? I would only complain to he head for a very serious matter - eg that my child had been hit.

It makes me very sad that some of you are bringing dragging your children up to complain even though they were in the wrong.

The teacher could have refused to let the child do PE - would you all prefer that in a society where children desperately need physical exercise? He's probably been asking politely for 3 weeks and been ignored. He's using the 'threat' as a fun way to actually make the child remember.

I say probably because I'm guessing like everyone else!

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