What happens if a child is accused of hurting another at school?(6 Posts)
Sorry this may be long in order not to dripfeed.
DS is 7 (Y2). Since reception he has had an on/off friendship with another boy. On perhaps five or six occasions over the past 2.5 years we have been advised by the teacher that DS had been told off for hurting another child (usually the on/off friend). At no time was there any suggestion that this was any more than either normal playground games which got out of hand and therefore accidental but silly. Once it was retaliation in response to being hurt himself.
We had parents evening last week. No problems, apart from general games of "Tag" getting a bit rough - inc DS but not him in particular - and this was being dealt with by the school cracking down on the children as soon as it was occurring.
So, last night I had a call from the mother of the on/off friend. She stated that DS had been hurting her child and that this had been going on for some time. She said she had spoken to the teacher/school more than once but nothing had changed. She also said she had now written to the Head.
She was phoning to ask why it was happening, and what I was going to do about it. She clearly didn't believe me when I said it was the first I'd heard of it. (And surely the school would have been in contact immediately if there were any truth behind the allegations?)
DS is adamant that it is not true. He is aware that hurting another person is not acceptable, and is punished when he misbehaves at home (no treats / tv time etc) so knows that there are consequences to bad behaviour.
I don't believe that he is intentionally hurting this child or any other, but I fully expect he accidentally "causes" as many bumps/scrapes etc through playing that he receives.
I know that the friend hurts DS sometimes, (both accidentally and intentionally), and there are four or five other boys that are all playing the same games and presumably coming home with the same knocks and scrapes. But this mother seems to honestly believe that her child is a victim, and is identifying DS in particular.
So, what happens now? I've emailed his teacher and cc'd the Head to tell them that she had phoned me and why. The teacher confirms he will look into it and then come back to me, but is not aware of any on-going issues.
However, I'm really concerned that as the mother has decided that DS is deliberately causing her son harm and has presumably made a written statement to that effect the school will have to take matters further? I don't want DS branded as a thug or a bully on the say-so of one person?
Any words of advice please?
Your son won't be labelled as a thug because another parent is making accusations- I wouldn't give that another thought.
If I were you, when I talk to the teacher, I would make sure that I emphasise how much I condemn any kind of meanness or intentional hurting that might be going on. I would ask the school if there is anything I should be doing to make sure my son gets the message. I know you are already doing this, but show the school that you are very proactive in your anti-violence message. You could ask the teacher to talk to the other mum and assure her that her son is not being hurt at school, or not being hurt more than anyone else.
Just for comparison, I have 2 boys and a girl, all older teens now, and I never had a teacher tell me that they had caused any knocks and scrapes at school. They were all normal kids (not angels) so there is a chance that your son is causing involved in a few more scuffles than lots of the other kids.
Yep, Clara - point taken that he may be more "involved" than some other children. I will speak to the teacher after school today. Hopefully he will have had a chance to speak to the boys.
One of my DDs had an issue with another child. (That we never got to the bottom of satisfactorily). School insisted they play in separate zones of the playground for a while, and some older children designated to act as play buddies. Even though DD and other girl became friends again I never felt entirely happy afterwards
and was greatly relieved when later down the line other girl left
I think boys of a rough and tumble type attract! So, ask the school to keep them separated . Tell your DS to play with other friends. Over the years I had to tell my DDs to avoid certain children . Some will seek to get others into trouble , fairly or not. If he is not playing with this child , there can be no comeback!
Also, if this mum throws enough mud, some of it will stick. The Head will have to respond to this mum. She may ask the other boys for their account of okay times and the play supervisors at the school. Are they aware of the play where children say they are getting hurt?
Explain to your DS that rough and tumble play now has to end in school. Drop this other child from his friendship group and invite other children round to play,
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