My DH has been accused of hitting a child

(19 Posts)
Kettricken Fri 18-Oct-13 18:39:22

DH is a teacher, I'm not so don't know how this works. A pupil told their parents that DH hit him, of course he didn't do it. Just had a text from DH to say the union is now involved and he has had enough.
He's not the sort to talk to me much so I don't really know what's going on but I am extremely worried.
Does anyone have any experience of a similar situation and can tell me what is likely to happen? DH says he has marking to do so he's not suspended or anything. I don't know how to support him through this, he's so unhappy sad

Cynderella Fri 18-Oct-13 23:57:09

Never had anything like this but have had a kid say, "She said ..." even though she (I) didn't. In the end what's important is attitude of school. In my case, SMT backed me and I arranged meeting with parent and child who crumbled. Had I been 'guilty', I like to think school would have said, OK, these things happen, I'd have apologised and we'd have locked together to put things right.

An accusation of hitting a child is obviously more serious but I'd hope school will believe your husband. That said, there must be cases where something similar happens and it is the teacher who is lying. So, schools have to take accusations seriously and the union is there to advocate for your husband - the school can't take sides where there's a child protection issue.

It's made more difficult because your husband will feel people are talking, kids are gossiping, parents are wondering ... if it were me, I'd probably want to talk to friends at school. My husband would be sympathetic but, really, he doesn't understand the world of school. At home, I'd want to forget about it, but that's easier said than done. I can only suggest a real break at half term and anything that helps him to take a break from thinking about school. It's a one-day-at-a-time thing and it's worrying that he's unhappy and doesn't talk to you much - at time's like this, you need someone to tell you it's all OK. he's lucky to have you smile.

Kettricken Sat 19-Oct-13 14:07:08

Thank you cynderella, that makes me feel a lot better. I don't think the school is on his side, he doesn't get on with the new head teacher which is why he's not been happy there for a little while. It makes sense though that the school have to take the child's side where there is a potential protection issue. He has arranged to speak to someone from the union tomorrow. As you say, one day at a time.

ravenAK Sat 19-Oct-13 14:29:21

I had a student accuse me once of dragging her down a corridor & ramming her against a wall.

She didn't make an actual complaint because it was bollocks, just went round loudly telling anyone who'd listen that this is what had happened.

When I got wind of this I went to the HT & asked him to investigate. He viewed the CC footage & saw: a fight break out on a corridor, one of my colleagues trying to separate the lads involved, & myself & a number of others moving on bystanders/eggers-on. He watched me take light hold of this girl's upper arm & attempt to guide her away from the scene (she was one of those excitedly cheering on the fight); whereupon she easily pulled her arm away, shouted at me to take my fucking hands off her & stormed off down the corridor.

At this point he called the student to his office & asked her if she would like to make a complaint about me, as several staff had repeated her allegations to him. She said yes, she jolly well did. HT invited her to view the CC footage with him.

She decided that actually, umm, maybe I hadn't dragged her or shoved her at all.

If it hadn't been for the CCTV I have no doubt that the whole business would have been far more protracted.

Sorry if the circs. are entirely different & none of that lengthy anecdote is relevant! I'm just thinking that if I were your dh I'd be thinking about what evidence exists re: what actually happened - assuming he did have some sort of encounter with this student - if it's not likely to be on film, any witnesses? & if it IS likely to be on film, arrange for it to be viewed before it's taped over.

Kettricken Sat 19-Oct-13 18:56:12

Thanks raven, that's something I'll ask him, useful advice.

VideoEtTaceo Sat 19-Oct-13 19:20:30

Not to derail but ravenAK - were there any repercussions for the student who had spread such a potentially damaging lie? As well as swearing at a teacher?

Wishing your husband all the best Kettricken - hope the Union gets it all sorted quickly.

ravenAK Sun 20-Oct-13 00:56:55

Hi VideoEtTaceo (good name!),

...there wasn't much come back for the student, no.

When I initially collared the HT about it, his response was 'oh but raven, no one believes a word of it! We all know what [student x] is like. There were six staff members there who saw what really happened. You've nothing to worry about - she hasn't made an official complaint.'

He was quite taken aback when I said that actually, I wasn't prepared to laugh off a student publically claiming that I'd assaulted her - she had the right to have her allegations addressed seriously, even if she wasn't making them through the proper channels, but equally, if they were unfounded, school had a responsibility to make it clear to her that she couldn't be allowed to continue slandering staff members.

I honestly don't think she did it out of malice, or calculation - just a story to impress her mates that grew in the telling.

I wasn't particularly cross with the kid - it was the HT's jovial 'oh what a fuss about nothing!' attitude that grated more, tbh - I'm glad to say it wouldn't be the response I'd get from him now - as a school we have effective procedures in place these days to investigate allegations made against staff or peers by students.

She will have had a severe letting off for swearing, though. wink

Had she said: 'Take your hands off me, you fucking cow' - that would merit exclusion, but 'Take your fucking hands off me' is not directly swearing at a teacher, & so only incurs a reprimand.

Hope it gets sorted quickly Kettricken...

Kettricken Mon 21-Oct-13 20:12:34

Not getting sorted quickly, he had a meeting at 4 today, arranged for Union rep to be there then the school cancelled because they weren't ready. Meeting is now on Friday. DH has now said once this is all sorted out he's going to look for another job, I'm glad! Hope it's all cleared away on Friday and doesn't drag on until after half term.

MezleyM Tue 22-Oct-13 14:53:09

This is the DfE guidance
www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/statutory/g0076914/dealing-with-allegations-of-abuse
It makes it pretty clear that the school must be impartial, and that if the student is lying, they must be sanctioned for it.

Kettricken Wed 23-Oct-13 18:23:53

Thanks very much for that link, very interesting reading especially the part about a quick resolution! Will ask DH later if he has seen it.

manyhands Thu 24-Oct-13 21:30:57

He may find he gets lots of support and advice on TES under the workplace dilemnas forum.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 24-Oct-13 21:40:00

My dh taught music in schools for a while, in the most awful rooms, store cupboards etc. He always said he felt vulnerable as quite often there was nobody within ear shot.
At this one particular school the heads office was adjoined and a girl who didn't want to carry on lessons accused my dh of screaming at her and throwing a music stand. She told her mum who told the HT who when my dh turned up the next week refused him entry to the school shock
He went to the head of music services who wouldn't back him up, the child eventually told the truth, but no apology from anyone.
That was the day my dh gave up teaching in schools.
Sorry OP, I hope your dh school is supportive and the union helpful. I know they have to take accusations seriously but I feel they are often weighted on the side of the accuser and not enough support given to the innocent accused.

Kettricken Sat 26-Oct-13 16:50:37

So DH had his meeting, he's heard exactly what the accusation is, the union rep thinks it's rubbish. He's put his side of the story forward and now has to wait 10 days for the school to consider the evidence and decide who they believe. As it's half term now I don't suppose there's going to be much considering going on until November.

RandomMess Sat 26-Oct-13 16:58:06

That's shambolic isn't it sad I hope he manages to switch off to it over half term at least.

Kettricken Fri 15-Nov-13 18:11:32

So the 10 day wait turned into a 10 working day wait which took us to today. DH has been told there is no case to answer so it's all over finally. He is going to start looking at other jobs but is worried that he won't get a good reference as the head seems to have it in for him. Thank you so much to all those who gave me advice, it really was very helpful.

FourAndDone Fri 15-Nov-13 18:23:16

You and DH enjoy a couple ofwine tonight. You must both feel very relieved!!smile

LuvMyBoyz Sun 17-Nov-13 23:06:27

So relieved for that this is over. It could happen tp anyone.

Euphemia Tue 19-Nov-13 21:49:21

What a relief!

blueemerald Wed 20-Nov-13 22:13:43

That must be a great relief for you all. Any news on sanctions for the student involved?

On a slightly more cynical note: if the head is not keen on your husband s/he may write him a good enough reference to move him on wink

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