Teacher humiliated my son in front of classmates and parents!

(296 Posts)
FrayedNerves Tue 18-Jun-13 02:07:02

My son (6) was found swinging on a low tree branch at school during pickup time last week and (I was there but didn't see him doing it as i was dealing with my other lo) a teacher screamed at the top of her voice for him to get down... He of course immediately stopped what he was doing and came to her. Now this is where my problem is... She proceeded to humiliate and intimidate him by shouting in his face in front of all his classmates and parents. She was about 2' away from him and RANTED at him for an unnecessarily long time. He didn't cry (god knows I would have) but told me afterwards he was scared of her and felt his knees shaking.

The next day he didn't want to go to school and was upset several times in the night (nightmares). My issue is not that she reprimanded my son but that she proceeded to humiliate and intimidate him in the process, she just went on and on like she was trying to make him cry... I was so shocked and upset I couldn't say a word to her and just grabbed my children and left, if I had confronted her at that time I would have ripped her head off and would have been way too emotional. I now feel like I should have stepped in and I have failed him, I can't stop crying with the guilt! and I can't sleep.

I have reported this teacher to the school and when they asked what I wanted to achieve from my complaint, I said I wanted her to apologise to him for humiliating and intimidating him... They just looked at me like 'you want what?!' am I being unreasonable to request that from a person in a position of trust? My son has long term confidence issues of which the school is aware of and this incident has been very damaging. I don't think they will do anything about it...

Any advice on what else I can do? This teacher has been reported before. Thanks so much.

What was she saying during her rant?

What did you report the teacher for on the prev occasion?

Now, your child, does he have form for inappropriate behaviour at school or was this a first offence kind of thing?

FadedSapphire Tue 18-Jun-13 06:54:39

I think with your son maybe it was a sledgehammer to crack a nut situation. I think if school asked me what I wanted to achieve I would say just for the teacher to adapt 'crossness' to each child. Maybe some children would need lengthy ticking off though does sound ott. Would not expect apology to child [don't think] but would expect school to reassure him about coming back to school. Was it his class teacher?
Also was tree swinging very dangerous? Maybe have word with ds about what is ok and not ok to play with. May have all been told in assembly not to swing/ climb on tree.
Hope he feels better soon about school as at his age should be a joyful place.

claraschu Tue 18-Jun-13 07:03:01

That is terrible, and she is way out of order.

Someone who is such a jerk probably won't have the inner confidence to see that she is wrong and apologise. Still, it might be worth talking to her 1 to 1 and explaining about how upset and frightened he was- you never know, maybe she will think twice before doing it again.

burberryqueen Tue 18-Jun-13 07:18:51

some primary school teachers enjoy this, IME/O - complain away but ready for that question 'what do you hope to achieve'? Also, if you are complaining about the same teacher I would hesitate to go back to the head as they will have you down as a troublemaker. she sounds like a cow btw.

feelthis Tue 18-Jun-13 07:23:32

Of course she should apologise -she is a teacher , paid to do a job like you and me are. Her workplace is a school not an office. Can you imagine going into the office and screaching at length in a colleagues face!

Imo teachers and heads are no different to anyone else at their place of work- they should not be held in awe and are not unchallengeable and their school is not a little dictatorship where what

In most cases they are paid to do a job by the council and have a number of reporting lines up to the equivalent of the Head of Education.
. It just so happens their place of work, aka a school, is a self contained unit so people forget who they work for.

Porka Tue 18-Jun-13 07:28:31

Frankly even if your son was doing something dangerous ( not that swinging on a tree branch is necessarily dangerous but it may have been in this case for some reason); or was causing damage to the tree, I wouldn't expect a rant to a six year old. It sounds like the teacher lost it completely. Have you spoken to any other witnesses though ?

I do not think though that you are going to get anywhere by trying to make the teacher apologise. If the relationship has irretrievably broken down and the school support the teacher, I would put your child in another school.

exoticfruits Tue 18-Jun-13 07:36:55

You have to help your DS get over it- he will meet situations like that throughout his life. From the response it is fairly clear that your DS will not get an apology. If you are unhappy with the school in other respects you need to consider changing, otherwise you help him brush it off. You have to pick your battles, and this isn't one if them.

MadeOfStarDust Tue 18-Jun-13 07:52:46

Our school is like this - sometimes the kids run "feral" round the playground waiting for parents to arrive - the "fierce" teacher is the one sent out to deal with it - whoever is misbehaving/breaking the rules - (don't climb or swing on trees... don't run around like an idiot, as it can hurt the little ones etc....) will get shouted at.

He broke a rule and was shouted at.. hopefully won't break the rules again, or you will keep him closer... kids break rules all the time at school and are disciplined for it - a shouted rant will stop 30 other kids breaking the same rule... just happened to be your son who got it this time.... didn't he know he was doing wrong?

exoticfruits Tue 18-Jun-13 07:55:32

He must have known that you don't swing on trees in the school playground. I bet he didn't do it at playtimes, I bet he never saw DCs swinging on it at playtimes.

burberryqueen Tue 18-Jun-13 07:57:07

didn't he know he was doing wrong? that is not the point, normal, effective teachers are quite capable of telling off a child without screaming at him at length and humiliating him

battlestarB Tue 18-Jun-13 07:57:37

why on earth can't kids swing on trees now?

burberryqueen Tue 18-Jun-13 08:01:57

oh goodness the hoo hah at primary schools if boys do anything boyish is incredible these days, just incredible. IME before anyone starts!

learnandsay Tue 18-Jun-13 08:07:29

If you have a reasonable complaint escalate it through the normal channels. Personally I suspect that what we're discussing is a personality clash. I think this teacher might have a bit too much of the Miss Trunchball in her for your liking. But there is not necessarily anything wrong with being like Miss Trunchball.

I personally would deal with a Miss Trunchball by yelling more loudly in her face than she was yelling in mine. It wouldn't fix anything but it might make her think twice before shouting at me or any member of my family again.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Tue 18-Jun-13 08:07:31

Is it just me that thinks if you don't want your child to be told off by a teacher then you supervise them on school property?

I was so shocked and upset I couldn't say a word to her and just grabbed my children and left, if I had confronted her at that time I would have ripped her head off and would have been way too emotional. I now feel like I should have stepped in and I have failed him, I can't stop crying with the guilt! and I can't sleep.

OP is the humiliation and guilt more your sons or yours?
I your other lo hardwork? It seems perhaps you have your hands full, and perhaps this is where your guilt is stemming from?

MadeOfStarDust Tue 18-Jun-13 08:12:37

At our school they can't swing on trees because the trees are young and still setting in - they have killed one of them already, so they would be shouted at. It is part of taking care of their environment.

Some teachers shout, it is not nice for the kid being shouted at, the kids witnessing it will not want to be shouted at and will not break the rule.... this is the real world - every school I've experienced has "the" teacher - the one who breaks up fights, the one who shouts, the one who kids get sent to if they misbehave in class.... i.e. the one responsible for discipline - the one kids listen to...

exoticfruits Tue 18-Jun-13 08:14:08

A small tree in a school playground won't have a low branch for long- it will be damaged! It is nothing to do with children swinging- everything to do with caring for the environment.

GibberTheMonkey Tue 18-Jun-13 08:14:42

My ds was treated to ridicule ina pe class by a ta. He ran out of the school and I had to collect him from nearby woods.
My experience is that though you can complain and the lea will say they've been reprimanded, you won't be allowed to see any evidence of it and the school may close ranks. She was made to apologise though.
My ds has since moved schools

exoticfruits Tue 18-Jun-13 08:18:17

If you want a resilient child you help them over it! I would make a joke of it - in a laugh with you sort of way.

I have failed him, I can't stop crying with the guilt! and I can't sleep.

He's 6, he was doing something he's probably been told not to do a dozen times already. Yours seems like a huge over-reaction, and it would be better if you built up resilience in you son, instead of constantly crying over it. He will be picking up your reaction.

exoticfruits Tue 18-Jun-13 08:19:10

If there are more issues than that consider a change if schools.

exoticfruits Tue 18-Jun-13 08:21:19

You have failed him if you can't sleep! How can he be resilient against life's little knocks if you can't? Set an example. If you can cope with the small things you are stronger to cope with the big knocks you will get in adult life.

AuntieStella Tue 18-Jun-13 08:25:13

Well, the "screaming" may have been necessary to be heard - spoken instructions don't carry across a busy playground.

Length of time she adminished him is subjective, I doubt you'll have a complaint upheld about that.

Shouting at a child once you standing by him is awful, assuming he had come down and was paying attention by that time. I'd focus on this if you complain. Were there any other witnesses?

exoticfruits Tue 18-Jun-13 08:27:40

I really wouldn't start a battle about it. You lost in the first round - I can't see you winning on the next round if you go on.

iwantanafternoonnap Tue 18-Jun-13 08:36:15

There was another thread about a tree and a child being humiliated a few months back. The teacher/playground person paraded the child through the school. Wonder if it is the same school??

Still not accepatable IMO

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