My DC have are spouting xenophobic shite. Should I ask the school to address it?

(18 Posts)
AngiBolen Sun 20-Oct-13 15:30:08

I was called in to speak to the HT after school last week as DS had had an altercation with some other boys on the playground. Apparently a boy had punched DS in the face as he's wanted to join in a game, but a group of boys didn't want him to - the boys happened to all be of the same nationality, and shouted at DS in their mother tongue. DS retaliated by telling this boy (who is Polish) he should respect people in this country, and if he can't he should go back to Poland.

I was shock and burst into tears blush. My DC certainly aren't getting this attitude from home. (Both DH and I have parents who were immigrants,and I thought we were quite hot on educating our children about peace and love towards others). Obviously DH and I have discussed with DS why what he said was wrong, but he seemed to be adamant he was right.

Then, on Friday when I collected DD from school she said; "Mummy there are a lot of Polish people in my school."

(There are a few - at least 20%. I'm not sure how I could find out what % of children are EAL, without directly asking the HT)

I said "Yes, that's fine"

DD said "No it's not Mummy. They speak Polish to each other and I don't know what they are saying. I don't like it when I have a Polish person for my talk partner because they don't talk to me properly." I pointed out out all the Polish children in her class speak English perfectly well. hmm

Will DSs comment be recorded as a "racist" attack? (The HT said it was racist)

There seems to be a "them and us" attitude beginning to form in the school. I've no idea why, and I'm not sure what the school could do to address it....but I do think something needs to be done.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 20-Oct-13 15:38:31

Your son is partly right though - they shouldn't be shouting at him in their mother tongue. They shouldn't be shouting at him at all, but if they are, they should be communitcating in the languge they all share. It's bullying and intimidating for a group of them to gang up and shout at him in a langage he doesn't understand.

It is also rude of the children in your DD's class to speak in their mother tongue when your DD is working with them/around them - especially if, as you say, they speak English perfectly well.

I can see why your kids are fed up.

The school sounds like a bit of a nightmare and it needs to be addressed. Your DS's comment about them 'going home if they don't respect England' is going to get him in trouble, but their attitude needs addressing as well.

K8Middleton Sun 20-Oct-13 15:41:02

How old are these children? It sounds like a massive over reaction. I would be more concerned about the hitting and shouting.

Yes it is not a great thing to say but when you are under 12 it is logical if not excusable.

AngiBolen Sun 20-Oct-13 15:43:07

DD is 8, DS is 10.

Chocotrekkie Sun 20-Oct-13 15:46:21

If my child was punched in the face and shouted at in a foreign language I would be looking for a serious conversation with the teacher/ head too.

I would want it documented too.

If he is being excluded from a game because he is not polish I would expect the school to deal with this. It's getting into bad territory here.

Yes he shouldn't have said what he did but I would be amazed if a young child made up those words himself - that's been overheard somewhere.

In terms of working out the esol (English as second/other language) you might be able to get it from the league tables.. Google the school name league table and it might be there. It will only be the figures for end of yr 2 and 6 but it's a good indicator.
Governors get it but I don't know if the public/parents can.

K8Middleton Sun 20-Oct-13 15:49:44

I think it is worth raising the issue of integration with the school. No child should be excluded or isolated because of their nationality whether it be Polish or British or anything else.

It is possible that you Ds was excluded from the game and then assaulted because he was not Polish. If that was the case then I would consider that to be racist and bullying behaviour. It would also mean that he will feel a huge sense of injustice for being punished for what he sees is tackling discriminatory behaviour.

He is not able to articulate himself as well as an adult and that is something you and the school will need to teach him, but the school should be working towards an environment of inclusivity and if the scenarios your children describe are common they are failing and need to do something.

So yes, there is a problem but I think it's a problem with the adults.

AngiBolen Sun 20-Oct-13 15:55:47

The incident has been documented - the lunchtime supervisor has written her account of the incident (I'm presuming this will go in DS's school file?). However, this account says DS punched back, which DS says absolutely did NOT happen, so I am going to have to raise this with the HT anyway.

AngiBolen Sun 20-Oct-13 15:58:35

The HT also said both boys would choose their punishment (I don't have an issue with this). I think the HT must have been busy on Friday, as this didn't happen.

SharpLily Sun 20-Oct-13 16:04:49

This isn't 'xenophobic shit', it's perfectly reasonable on the part of your little boy, It sounds like he was rather polite about it. Whether the other kids are Polish, Chinese or Martian is irrelevant, they are at school in England and should respect basic rules of behaviour. Of course it won't hurt to have a chat with your children to make sure they understand that inclusivity is in essence a good thing, but if the head teacher insists on penalising your child I'd be tempted to mention a racist bullying charge of my own against the other kids.

K8Middleton Sun 20-Oct-13 16:09:01

Well I wouldn't say reasonable but I can see how it would be said by an 10 year old who lacks the skills to articulate himself properly.

SharpLily Sun 20-Oct-13 16:10:37

I've been an ex-pat most of my life and wouldn't dream of allowing any child of mine to behave the way these other kids are.

AngiBolen Sun 20-Oct-13 18:25:55

Any advice as to what my next move should be?

pixiepotter Sun 20-Oct-13 18:41:19

Sorry , have I got this right? iour DS was punched in the face and he is being punished?
WTF !! Get into school now and sort this out for your DS and if they won't back down go to the papers!

Trifle Sun 20-Oct-13 18:56:00

You need to listen to your children, they are telling you the facts as they are in that:

There are a lot of polish in the school
The polish kids are ostracising others by deliberately excluding them and becoming verbally aggressive.
Your dd is struggling to understand her talk partner as their command of English is not good.
Your ds is absolutely right, the polish kids should respect this country.

I fail to see how either of your children could possibly be punished and I'm baffled as to what you 'burst into tears' about. No wonder your ds is confused, he did or said nothing wrong.

AngiBolen Sun 20-Oct-13 18:57:51

OK - didn't mean to drip feed.

Was called into heads office. I was old DS had been punched in the face (DS is fine) and was told DS retaliated (DS is very firm he didn't) DS then said what I've put in OP. Apparently DS was then very angry - crying and red in the face. He went into school and got his drum sticks out of his bag, and said he was going to use them on the boys. (Not sure how!) Lunchtime supervisor had obviously talked to DS about anger management strategies, because at the end of the statement it mentioned DS had said he had a punch bag at home and played loud music when he was angry. (Both not true. DS never gets angry - yes he does cry when frustrated, and as I pointed out to HT, he's a 10yo boy, and I would rather he cried then held in his emotions).

The lunchtime supervise is also a TA, and maybe aware DS1 had anger issues when he was at the school, and yes we put strategies in place at home for DS1 to deal with his anger, but DS2 is a very different child, and can be placated with a pat on the back and a kind word -- or a chocolate biscuit--.

DS has wanted to join in a game which was being organised on the playground by a playground person from the council (not sure of official name, nothing has been in the newsletter about it). This person had got out the ball, then popped off, which is when the incident happened. DS says the boys had whacked DS with their jumpers, and he whacked them back, just before the boy punched him.

There have been issues on the playground at lunch time..I've told the HT I haven't been happy with the level of roughness and was told "we have children with issues in this school." I replied, "Yes, and things need to be put in place for those children, like they were when DS1 was here." (DS1 was one of those children with issues - we chose the school for it's pastoral care)

As I said, I didn't mean to drip feed. I think it's all there now.

This is a very socially mixed school. Quite a few of DC will go to selective grammar schools, and independent secondary schools...quite a few EAL children, and about average free school meal children. About 10% of children left the school last year (some blatantly saying it was because of the high % of Polish children).

AngiBolen Sun 20-Oct-13 19:01:19

Sorry, that was garbled. DS whacked back with his jumper.....seems to be a jumper whacking thing going on at school atm. hmm

strruglingoldteach Sun 20-Oct-13 19:31:16

Hmmm, you definitely do need to see the HT and clarify the inconsistencies in the story. It seems strange that the lunchtime supervisor was discussing anger management strategies with your DS- unless the individual concerned also has a more pastoral/learning mentor type role.

It seems to me that the school has a lot of work to do with all the children about inclusion, playground behaviour and kindness. And if I were you, I would be talking a lot with your DS about how to respond appropriately if these boys are unkind- he needs to know that it's ok to walk away and get adult help- he doesn't have to accept them shouting at him.

QueFonda Sun 20-Oct-13 19:43:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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