Should I complain?

(34 Posts)
Ledkr Wed 09-Mar-16 07:34:57

Hi there.
I just waged other teachers opinions on this if you don't mind.
Dds is yr 9 and a pretty average student academically and no trouble. Gets good reports and has never had a punishment apart from two lunchtime detentions for homework.
Her head of house Is a man around 6ft 5 with a very deep voice.
When my ds was at the school around fifteen years ago he teased him during PE about being unable to kick a ball and his general lack of co ordination. He has cp and dyspraxia so I complained and it was taken seriously but before it went to the next level I was stupidly persuaded to settle for it being dealt with in school.
So now he is HOH and when dd was ur 7 had cause to speak to her as she had a very light tint in her hair which hadnt washed out after the hols.
He literally reduced her to a snivelling wreck. She described his shouting as terrifying and she was snotty and sobbing uncontrollably.
He continued despite her being in this state.
I e mailed him and told him I felt it disproportionate and unecessary.
He called me and we had a discussion during which he noted that she is quite timid and anxious so I again suggested he didn't need to be as shouty and frightening.
The next day he called her in and did it again for "telling your mum"
So yesterday he decided she was wearing too much make up (fair enough but not half as much as others) marched her to his office, screamed at her for ages during which she was again reduced to a sobbing mess. The other female teacher in the room looked uncomfortable and other teachers consoled her when she went to her next lesson a soggy mess. She was so upset and anxious that she couldn't work and the teacher didn't make her.
Now I'm right behind teachers. I'm a social worker specifically working with very challenging children and parent who are quick to complain.
I'm also a loud shouty person so dd is certainly not unused to loud adults.
After a nights sleep I am still pretty annoyed about this and wondered if anyone has any advice.
It's clear that simple discussion only makes it worse but I can't help feeling that this is inapropriate and bullying and also revenge for previous events.
I would be disciplined if I spoke to my clients in that way and I also don't need to as I feel you show a loss of control.
Any suggestions?
Thanks

Ledkr Wed 09-Mar-16 11:28:04

Bumping for the coffee break

fourcorneredcircle Wed 09-Mar-16 12:16:40

Is this the same daughter that you talk about in the parenting teenagers thread? If so is there any chance that some of the behaviours she exhibits at home (in your words defiance, cheek and entitlement) were displayed in this meeting in the office? If so I can see that it would anger the HoH. I can also see that she would tell you only her side of events.

I'm afraid looking from the outside in it would seem that she was in the wrong (hair, makeup etc.). If I had a phone call from a parent that implied I had been unprofessional I would be cross and I either would talk to the child again with a witness - you said there was someone else there - or I would ask SLT to deal with it.

I have had children arrive in my class upset from being told off, of course I comfort them but it doesn't mean they weren't in the wrong in the first place.

Sorry, just giving you the side of the story I see day in, day out at work.

FoxesSitOnBoxes Wed 09-Mar-16 12:19:32

I'd be really pissed off about her getting into trouble for telling her mum. That doesn't seem right.

fourcorneredcircle Wed 09-Mar-16 12:21:23

I suppose it depends what she told her mum.

If it was a truthful account then yup, it doesn't seem right.

If it was an exaggerated account then yup, the teacher would be pissed off.

thecatfromjapan Wed 09-Mar-16 12:24:44

Did he really tell her off for telling her mum"?

That's not OK.

I realise you said there was another female member of staff present when he had the second conversation about hair but was there another adult present when he had that conversation with her?

fourcorneredcircle Wed 09-Mar-16 12:33:26

Look, if there was another adult there then it's easy to get to the bottom of. Contact the school, ask to speak to whoever is above the HoH and ask them to investigate. If it turns out that yes, her reporting of the second conversation is correct then you have every right to complain and you can say you believe the first telling off was OTT as well. If it turns out that this isn't so then I'm not sure what you can do. In that case the chances are she has exaggerated the situation.

I don't want to imply that the HoH could't have done this but, unfortunately for your daughter, the majority of times children misreport to either get themselves out of trouble or to lessen the trouble they know they will be in by deflecting the focus to another.

It's not unreasonable for a teacher to want to talk to a child about what they have said at home if it's untrue. But, until you find out if this happened the way your daughter reported it then you can't assume the side of the story you have is correct.

Ledkr Wed 09-Mar-16 13:49:58

Thanks for the replies.
Yes absoluteky they tell you their version but shes literally terrified of him so I can't imagine she would be cheeky. When I spoke to him before he described her as timid and anxious, didnt mention any misdemeanors. She has never been in trouble for rudeness or defiance and although definitely pushes boundaries with us is a pleasure to everyone else.
It's the terrible shouting I struggle with tbh. Ok for a child who's been really bad, hurt someone or damaged property but for hair and make up? I don't allow her to wear too much make up, it's just a subtle foundation and far far less than many others.
Even that Id not argue with tho, it's the way he speaks to her.
She looked terrible this morning, tired, stooped and extremely anxious, got me to check her make up, literally dreading school.
Surely that's not right.

fourcorneredcircle Wed 09-Mar-16 16:54:21

OK, so ask your daughter the name of the other teacher present. Contact the school. Ask to speak to the person above the HoH. Explain what your daughter has told you and ask them to investigate as you feel it sounds overly heavy handed but you don't want to make a complaint without the facts. I wouldn't mention the incident in Y7 at this point. The school should (!) remember it. Only bring it up again if it turns out you have reason for complaint.

If you do find that the HoH was in the wrong, what do you expect to happen?

Ledkr Wed 09-Mar-16 19:26:53

I'd like assurances that he will not treat her like this again and other children too. Dd said he was doing the same to a year 7 boy today, apparently when he shouts everyone just stands there shocked even some staff.
My brother in law is a teacher and I have just spoken to him and he does think it's pretty serious particularly the shouting at her about talking to me. In my opinion kids should be encouraged to talk to their parents.
Dd has never had any discipline problems in school.
She has just had a glowing school report. Literally the issues he has with her were a very light tint on he hair and apparently too much make up yesterday.
I can definitely state that she does not wear a lot of make up. I would not let her. She wasn't allowed her ears pierced until she was 13. I don't allow crop tops or any inappropriate dress and certainly no heavy make up.
He even checked it today and said "still less tomorrow" and she hardly had any on as was too scared.
My concerns are that if he reacts like this for a relatively minor misdemeanour, what will he do if she ever seriously badly behaved.
Also I worry that he's not safe to be around children if he's losing it to this extent.
I'm going to speak to the head and ask for a meeting I think.
Thanks for all your thoughts.

Fedup21 Wed 09-Mar-16 22:04:46

I would tell her not to wear any make up to school at all in y9!

Is this a private school or state?

thecatfromjapan Wed 09-Mar-16 22:09:07

My dd's class wear make-up, in the main. Dd has been known to wear lip gloss and eye-liner.

It doesn't signal the breakdown of civilisation or an out of control school.smile

Ledkr Thu 10-Mar-16 06:32:31

Fed up that's not the point though is it?
I'm asking for opinions as to whether teachers are allowed to scream at children in a way which terrified them and reduces them to anxious quivering wrecks, not if she should wear make up. Most teenage girls wear make up these days which I do find quite sad really, however, I am not going to make her feel even by banning something and making her stand out.

Ledkr Thu 10-Mar-16 06:33:26

Even worse.

Iggi999 Thu 10-Mar-16 06:42:45

He sounds like a bully. Of course children can get really upset regardless of the intention of the teacher (you can say something quite mild to a student who then bursts into tears) but given this man's history with your son I'm not feeling like giving him the benefit of any doubts! Can't believe someone would mock a disabled child like that. I certainly wouldn't get into any more conversations with him about it, go over his head.
The make up is a grey area. What's the actual rule? Id be tempted to have a week without any to see if he gets off her back/or if he looks for something else to complain to her about.

Leslieknope45 Thu 10-Mar-16 06:44:33

I hate it when staff shout at students when telling them off. This all sounds very inappropriate and you need to get to the bottom of it.

SueLawleyandNicholasWitchell Thu 10-Mar-16 06:52:06

No - the make up is the point. If the school state that in year 9 they should not be wearing any, then every time she puts it on, she is defying the rules. If the rule is no make up, and she doesn't wear it, then there is no problem.

If the rules state she is allowed to wear make up, and he is telling her off about it, then she only has herself to blame for putting herself in that position. She can control this situation by keeping to the rules.

If you are saying that she wants to break the rules and have him have a quiet word every time, then I think that's unreasonable. If you did choose to raise this with him, I wouldn't tell her - her focus appears to be on making sure you feel sympathy for her being told off, rather than wanting to make sure she keeps to the rules.

SueLawleyandNicholasWitchell Thu 10-Mar-16 06:53:02

Sorry - second paragraph should state that if she is allowed to wear make up and he is telling her off about it then she has a point.

Fedup21 Thu 10-Mar-16 07:10:57

Sorry-I didn't make myself clear. If my DD had been told off very badly for doing something that she shouldn't have been doing-so badly, it really upset her, I would help her ensure she wasn't doing that same thing again.

She was told off for wearing makeup. The next day-she got you to check her make up?! I would be telling her that she shouldn't be wearing make up at all if they aren't allowed AND she's just been told off for it. I wouldn't be saying it's ok to just wear a bit.

Some schools are ok with make up-my daughter's school is not (until year 10 when they can wear a small amount) and clearly your daughter's school is not either. I presume you chose this school for a reason-you liked something about it? So I would suggest following the rules of the school. If she is doing all the things she should be and is still being told off, I might pursue things further with the school.

Ledkr Thu 10-Mar-16 07:22:03

Make up is allowed, they all wear it. Some girls extremely heavy. My daughter is been taught how to apply make up as part of her dance/theatre hobby and it really is extremely subtle.
That said, if she breaks any rule I will totally back up the school in any punishment they see fit, it's the extreme over the top, disproportionate, screaming at a sobbing 7 stone child by a six and a half foot man which I struggle with.
As I said previously, I work with some of the most challenging children and if I shouted at them like that Id lose my job!
I'm going to the head abd am hoping others have done too and he already has a reputation for this.

Berthatydfil Thu 10-Mar-16 07:29:49

He sounds like a bully. He has identified a transgression (make up) and has admonished her. He has acknowledged she is quiet and timid and he is aware she was very upset by the last telling off but continues to pick up the issue with her. It is possible (likely) that he is quite aware how much he is upsetting her and is enjoying it.
He should not have spoken to her about her having told you about their conversation, and it's not appropriate he shouts to the extent he upsets her.

I would be seriously considering making a complaint about his behaviour - particularly him speaking to her about your conversation. It's also inappropriate that he reduced her to a state where she was unable to participate in lessons.

You need to know the following - What exactly does the school allow wrt make up and make sure dd is compliant. Most girls her age wear some make up to school but you do need to be mindful of the school rules.

You also need the acceptable behaviour policy and anti bullying policy and safeguarding policy and the complaints policy to assist you but in the first place I would be speaking to his line manager - probably a deputy head to informally request his conduct is looked into.

SueLawleyandNicholasWitchell Thu 10-Mar-16 07:38:29

Tell the headteacher you are really confused about why she is being challenged over wearing make up when there is no rule about it. How well she applies it, whether or not others wear it, her and his heights and weights are irrelevant.

I am prepared to bet my mortgage that there is a rule and he's not going around commenting on make up when it's all allowed.

Ledkr Thu 10-Mar-16 08:11:24

Its definitely allowed but that unfortunately leaves it open to people like him to interpret what is "too much" I cannot stress to you how light her make up is! Me and her often eye roll at some of the make up we see on some of her mates.

Ledkr Thu 10-Mar-16 08:44:10

sur heights and weights are extremely relevant here.
He is an enormous loud mouthed bully with a history of also bullying s disabled child. He shouts at a small girl untill she is a sobbing mess and continues to do so afterwards, she is terrified of him.
If my husband did this to her or me Id boot his arse out of the door.
If a man spoke to a woman like that within a marriage it would be classed as domestic abuse.
It is extremely relevant and I have stated several times that MAKE UP IS ALLOWED so read the thread before you make any harsh judgements or big bets.

SueLawleyandNicholasWitchell Thu 10-Mar-16 19:54:58

You stated it once, and I missed it.

If make up is allowed then why is there any problem? They can go in painted like dolls and nobody should be passing any comment if it's all allowed. He sounds like he has a hell of a lot of time on his hands if he is going round finding kids who are doing what they are allowed to do, and telling them off for it. I've been a head of year and house in my time and I was run off my feel dealing with kids who were misbehaving, breaking rules and being rude. I can't imagine a situation where I would seek out a well behaved child and tell them off for a rule which they were not breaking.

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