To pursue this complaint with the school?(44 Posts)
My 9 year old DD goes to our local school, which, up until now, I've been extremely happy with. My older child went there and I have a younger child at the school too.
DD is a very well behaved girl. Parents' evening reports are always glowing. She's very mature for her age, well behaved at home 99% of the time, and very sensible. She likes to do the right thing, and takes school and learning very seriously.
On Friday she came out of school in tears. When she got into school on Friday morning someone had written DD's name on the back of DD's chair in marker pen. DD told the teacher that the writing was there and the teacher decided that DD had done it herself. DD told the teacher that she hadn't done it but the teacher said she didn't believe her. DD said she then started to cry, and her teacher said it was a sign of guilt and that she must have done it.
DD says that she then got told off about it in the afternoon again, and was made to clean it off her chair, in front of the whole class, which DD found humiliating.
I went to see her teacher after she came out of school in tears and the teacher said it must have been DD because it said DD's name. I asked if it looked like DD's writing and the teacher said she 'didn't know because the writing was in marker pen on the back of a chair so it could have been anyone's'. She agreed that it wasn't the sort of thing DD would do but that as it was her chair and said DD's name she had had no choice but to blame her. I feel as though she's gone for the easy option tbh, and I pointed out to her that obviously if a child is defacing something they are not going to write their own name on it.
I'm not happy with the teacher's attitude at all about it really. She more or less said they didn't know and couldn't prove who did do it but DD would have to take responsibility as it was her chair. DD has been very upset about it all weekend. She has an unblemished school record and is always known throughout school for being sensible, helpful and friendly. She wants to go for house captain in year 6 but to do this you have to have a good record of behaviour at school, and she is worried that this will affect that. Also, all of her classmates think she must have done it as she had to clean it off!
I have phoned the school and asked to speak to the headteacher this morning but as yet haven't been called back. I want to clear DD's name and want them to a) at least try to find out who did to it and b) acknowledge that DD didn't do it and that she wasn't lying.
Am I expecting too much? I am normally very easy going about school but I feel I need to pursue this as it just isn't fair on DD.
I doubt they'll be able to find who did do it but the least they can do is accept there is no proof your DD did it.
I agree that it's very unlikely they'll find out who did do it, but I think it's important for DD that they at least try to get to the bottom of things
I think it was very badly handled
In general, I'm not a great believer in storming in to school to complain about individual incidents but in this case, I probably would. I can't believe the teacher thinks even a 9 year old would be naive enough to write their own name on their own chair and then report it to the teacher! Even if the teacher has initially blamed your daughter, revisiting the issue in the afternoon, still blaming her and making her clean the name off is just horrid.
What did the teacher mean "she had no choice but to blame her"? Of course she had a choice, she just went for the easy option! It's unlikely that she will be able to find the true culprit but that doesn't mean she gets to blame the person who in this case seems least likely to have done the damage!
I feel sorry for her
but if you go in with what you've posted you could be seen as precious
'my dd who is perfect is worried about this incident & she might not be made head girl next year because of it'
You see what I mean ??
As a teacher who has to deal with all sorts of parental doodah, I would say you are right to pursue this. I wouldn't feel comfortable blaming a child with no evidence just because it is their chair. I would do the whole class talk, opportunity to own up etc etc. Children are usually pretty good at ratting each other out anyway...
You are not expecting too much.
YANBU - I would drop the 'who it was' aspect but as there's no proof as to who it was your DD's teacher certainly owes her an apology.
Equally, it is also a good lesson for a 9yo that sometimes people are a bit rubbish and as a result unfair decisions get made and it's much better to just suck it up and move on rather than dwelling on it for too long.
Captain, maybe I will be seen as precious but I don't particularly care what the teacher thinks of me. I don't think it's fair for DD to have to take the blame for something that she didn't do.
Batman, that's what I'd have hoped the teacher would have done; spoken to the whole class and at least tried to see if anyone else knew what had happened
mrscog, I'm all for kids learning to suck things up and move on, however I feel that this incident is just too unfair and unjust to expect DD to do that. Yes, life isn't fair, but I feel it's up to teachers to at least try to conduct things fairly and make sure classroom life is reasonably fair.
Chase it, and back your DD
I had something similar happen when I was 12, and my mum refused to accept I was responsible. After the school pulled their finger out and looked into the event it turned out it was obviously another child, but the teacher had at first taken the easy option and threatened me with suspension as a result.
PS - meant to add, I never forgot how my mum defend me and stood in my corner.
I would follow it up. The very least that will come out of it is that your daughter will feel reassured that her Mum is on her side and doesn't just brush her feelings off. Sure, life isn't fair, but she shouldn't be learning that lesson from someone who is supposed to act as a role model.
(By which I mean the teacher is a role model)
At school years and years ago, a girl asked me to hold her folder while she went to the loo. Another girl ran past me, caught the folder and everything fell out on the floor. The teacher saw the folder not the running, and went ballistic. I tried to explain and had to STAND ON MY CHAIR and explain to the class what an idiot I was.
The other girl didn't confess and the humiliation was excruciating. If you think your dd is being honest, please chase this up.
I actually did write my own name in the back of my chair when i was younger.
Poor kid.That shitty attitude reminds me of why I hated school.Fight her corner all the way.
I'd be absolutely furious. Your DD sounds very similar to mine and I hate the thought of her being treated like this. And the teacher telling her off twice too - what a nasty bitch! I think there is a certain breed of old-school teacher who thinks that that kind of treatment is somehow 'good' for children. Bastards.
Ring the school again at lunchtime or something and if no luck, go early at pick-up time and make an appointment with the head.
Your dd sounds like my dd and I feel very sorry for her.
As a teacher I think you are right to complain. When I suspect a pupil has done something and I ask them out right and they deny it I have to accept this. It is very important that children tell the truth so when I say "did you do x?" and they answer no, if I have no proof otherwise I have to accept this. The teacher is wrong to punish your dd when there is no proof and your dd has denied it. You know your child better than anyone. I know that my dd would not lie to me when given a face to face serious discussion. I always say to pupils something along the line of " telling the truth is important. You have told me you didn't do that and I accept that." This sometimes provokes them to shuffling about a bit, looking uncomfortable and then owning up. Sometimes it doesn't because the kid is a good liar and sometimes it doesn't because they are telling the truth and my suspicions are incorrect. If your dd has an unblemished school record it seems very strange for the teacher to act as she did.
IMO the teacher needs to talk to the whole class about honesty and telling the truth. The teacher handled this badly.
I think YANBU
This has happened at dds school, usually by the class bully on school rubbers/rulers/workbooks and such. The bully would get the biggest kick out of seeing dd clean it off and get in trouble in our case and dd would be devastated.
I think it was handled very badly and something like that for us would be final straw.
Agree with the*soverylucky*.
The teacher is normally really nice; when I spoke to her I got the impression that she was exasperated at the end of a long week and this event was just something she couldn't be bothered to deal with properly. She was quite dismissive with me but seemed to agree with me when I pointed out some of the reasons to her as to why it wasn't DD that did it.
I'd go into the school too, that's not fair.
Omg, how daft. And how frustrating. If your DD did it in class, surely she'd have to come out of her chair?
-Well, we had a child at one school we taught at that we would never have believed could write on walls & certainly wasn't on the suspect list! Yes it's awful to be wrongly blamed but it is also quite unlikely someone would write someone else's name too.
When I was in Junior school.I was hauled up in front of the class accused of writing my name on the wall. It was only when I pointed out the fact that whoever did it (not me) incorrectly spelt it that I was let off.
The girl who wrote the grafitti was not only a bully but rather thick too.
Well, I've spoken to the headteacher who wasn't terribly understanding or supportive and was a bit put out that I wanted anything else done. He said as far as he was concerned the teacher didn't think it was a big deal at all. I said that in my eyes it is a big deal if my daughter has been reduced to tears at school and accused of something that she is adamant she did not do.
He's going to speak to the class teacher and ask her if she'd mind having a word with DD and listening to DD's side of the story.
I guess I'll have to leave it at that as it's not really worth pursuing any further. At least I've made my point and, as some of you have said on here, I've shown my DD that I will defend her and that I trust and believe her.
Get a spray can and write the teacher's name on her car. She'll have to admit she did it herself as it's her name.
A teacher should know that you can't always win in a 'finding out the truth' situation. She handled it wrongly.
I think this was very badly handled by the teacher. The idea that she did it because it is her name is silly and not worthy of a teacher who has worked with children for a while.
I'm not sure you are going to get much joy with this but I do think you are right to speak with the Head. I would do the same in your position.
Get a spray can and write the teacher's name on her car. She'll have to admit she did it herself as it's her name.
That made me laugh
I think you have done the right thing OP.
You're DD was treated very unfairly.
Even if the teacher doesn't apologise, at least your DD knows that you will fight her corner if need be.
Go back to the head and say you want you, the teacher, your DD and him to meet and discuss it calmly and rationally.
"Get a spray can and write the teacher's name on her car. She'll have to admit she did it herself as it's her name."
Quite clearly, this is the only way to respond.
What a disgrace. It's not unlikely that a child would write someone else's name, it is very probable. It would be completely stupid to write your own name! It was clearly done to get her into trouble and the school has allowed the culprit to get away with it. Why don't you ask the teacher what she thinks the culprit will try next, as this stunt was so easy to get away with.
hahaha @ spraypainting the teachers name on her car
did she have a chat with dd today?
Whilst I do think this needs to be looked into, you would be surprised at the amount of kids that write their own name on stuff.
Love the idea of spraypainting the car!
Hope today was a little bit better for your DD. For what it's worth I think you handled this correctly.
TiggyD you get my vote.
I hope the teacher has done something to make amends.
I remember writing my DB's name on something of my Dad's to get him into trouble. I did admit it when my Dad started to tell my DB off as I was surprised that my Dad thought my DB stupid enough to have done it himself.
YANBU and the teacher was out of order. However when you said your dd had been upset all weekend, this really reminded me if myself at that age. Things like that would really upset me and for a long time. I wonder if you can help her to be a bit less sensitive about things like this? I hope I don't sound like I'm planning any blame on you or her- it's just that my school days became much easier when I realised that it's easier to feel angry and then forget it than feel upset for days and days. Obviously there are plenty of things which you shouldn't let go but even then- it would be better if she felt a bit cross and thought the teacher was being silly than felt really really upset.
Back on the topic though, yanbu to follow it up if that's what you want to do. The teacher was really unfair. As a lovely hard-working girl, things will sometimes be unfair for your dd because some teachers might just assume that all children are naughty like the ones who take up so much more of their time. That teacher probably had no idea that your dd would feel so upset by it because some kids wouldn't care. So it's worth making clear that her treatment if your dd was totally unfair and she should avoid making assumptions based on a class as a group and actually think about the personality of the individual in question.
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