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to be pissed off with the school

(98 Posts)
welshbyrd Sat 27-Nov-10 13:01:39

My DD is 12. Always on time for school.

However, yesterday, due to the icy conditions, she arrived at 9am instead of 8.50am.

I had an car accident 4 weeks ago, and since have become a very nervous driver, hence her being late,

I received a letter this morning, from her school saying that as she was late yesterday, she had done a 10min lunchtime detention for arrivng late to school that morning

Im tamping, if she was late regular id understand, but she is never late, the weather was far from ideal, and the fact im still trying to get my driving confidence back,

The letter states, please speak to your daughter regarding this issue. Please contact such and such a person should i wish to discuss the matter further.

The problem is, i don want to discuss it further, as im really upset about it, however, not matter how much we discuss it, the fact she has already done the detention, means even if they do see that this is a one off, and usual circumstances, beyond her control,they cant stop or undo the punishment because she has already done it

AIBU to think they should have discc=ussed it with me first, before discipling her?

EvilTwins Sat 27-Nov-10 13:05:52

YAB a bit U. School have to deal with this - and often with something like lateness, the only way of dealing with it is to use a one-size-fits-all appproach. Otherwise, every child who is late could explain it away and therefore not have to have the 10 min detention.

Whilst it may seem unfair, if the school had to call every parent to discuss it before dealing with the lateness, then they would have to employ a person full time for that specfic purpose.

I'm a secondary teacher, and lateness to lessons is an absolute pain in the arse.

If I were you, I would phone the school anyway - at least that way you'll know you've had your say, but you're right - it's already dealt with.

Try not to let it get to you.

pooka Sat 27-Nov-10 13:06:32

I'm torn really. On the one hand if can appreciate how irritating it is to be treated like a repeat offender. On the other hand, given that you know you are a mercies driver and road conditions more dodgy, you should have set off earlier to compensate. We leave 5 mins earlier than usual at the moment because that is how long it takes to clear the ice from the car.

If I was late because of that I'd fume at being reprimaned and the dd detention. But only inwardly iyswim.

pooka Sat 27-Nov-10 13:07:26

Blardy spellcheck - NERVY not mercies.

onceamai Sat 27-Nov-10 13:10:41

Six of one and half a dozen of the other with me here I'm afraid. You say that reason she was late was your fault - well you're not happy about it are you and I suspect you won't let it happen again. You may be upset because you feel as much as anything that you are the one who deserved the detention.

I think I would be minded to write a very gentle letter stating that on this occasion your dd was late because of your concerns at present about driving not because she was at fault. Say you were disappointed that she got the detention because it wasn't her at fault and that you will try to make sure it doesn't happen again. That way you have dealt with it and explained it without any anger in the equation.

onceamai Sat 27-Nov-10 13:11:42

PS - and it was only 10 minutes at lunch - not an hour after school which is what I'd expect for a repeat offender.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 27-Nov-10 13:12:04

That seems well over the top for just one incidence of lateness. If had been a regular thing, then fair enough. Is lateness generally a problem at the school? Maybe they are trying to clamp down but in your daughter's case it seems way too harsh.

I think policy should be that in cases of unavoidable lateness, an explanatory letter from you the next day should suffice.

onimolap Sat 27-Nov-10 13:15:58

I don't think either you or the school is being unreasonable here. It sounds like they have a standard policy of losing from lunchtime the amount of time missed because of lateness. Of course they apply it to all pupils who are late.

But as it was force majeur which caused it, not your deliberate action, I can see why you are cross.

I suggest you do reply to the school: something along the lines of "You will know that DD has an excellent attendance record and is always on time. The sole reason for her lateness on (date) was the icy conditions which led to unavoidable delay en route. Under these circumstances, there is no need for further action with DD as it was not her fault."

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 27-Nov-10 13:17:28

I suppose I would just seethe inwardly for now, and then if she were ever late again, if I were you I would go into the school and explain to reception the reason for lateness, or phone them up to explain.

ALeo Sat 27-Nov-10 13:21:20

I'm with Onceamai. A polite explanatory letter should be sufficient.

SeaTrek Sat 27-Nov-10 13:38:39

I do understand why you are a little frustrated but I definitely wouldn't complain. I would be pleased that my daughters school was enforcing punctuality consistently and not waste their time further. In the winter you simply have to allow longer for journeys - saying the roads were icy is a fairly weak excuse when it was clear the evening before that it was highly likely.

welshbyrd Sat 27-Nov-10 13:47:06

Seatrek, if i had been prepared for the weather fine. However, the part of wales we are at, there was no weather warnings, and to wake up to mass of snow, was a shock to all.

Eviltwins, I do understand that late pupils are disruptive to class lessons,had my daughter been persistent with late arrivals, i would understand. My DD is in year 2,this has been the second time she was late, first time was a few months back when DD 16 months was sick in the car on route to school

I shall write a polite note in her school diary regarding this, thanks for all advice,

I probably would have made a very stern phone call to the school, and would have regretted it after

bossyboop Sat 27-Nov-10 13:48:41

I would be absolutley raging at this, as you were driving should you have a 10 minute detention too?

EvilTwins Sat 27-Nov-10 14:06:19

Sorry OP - in your OP, you said she was 12. In your later post you say she's Yr 2. If she's Yr 2 (ie 6 or 7 yrs old) then I think it's a bit OTT - at that age, I don't think it's every appropriate to punish a child for lateness, as they're not responsible for getting themselves to school.

If she's 12 (ie Yr 8 at secondary), then I guess the school is trying to instill that sense of personal responsibility into them - which, which unfair in this case as circumstances were beyond her direct control, is always a good thing IMO.

DOn't let it spoil your weekend though.

EvilTwins Sat 27-Nov-10 14:06:43

ever appropriate, not every. Doh.

Conflugenglugen Sat 27-Nov-10 14:09:17

With bossyboop. I don't want to get to a point where I believe that the school's reaction in this instance is acceptable.

YANBU. FFS.

welshbyrd Sat 27-Nov-10 14:22:44

EvilTwins - DD is 12, year 2 in secondary school
However, age 6, 7, 8 or 12, my daughters school is 4 miles from home, so isnt within walking distance, so she could not be responsible for getting herself to school

There are no school buses either,there is a more local secondary school, within walking distance, but its not a nice school, bullying is terrible etc, so I chose to put her into the school she is in. Making her transport to school my responsibility

BelligerentGhoul Sat 27-Nov-10 14:37:21

I think you're being a bit unreasonable tbh.

Schools have to treat pupils the same, or there is no point having any policies at all.

She sat inside for ten minutes at lunchtime. I'm sure that your dd has recovered already from this and it seems a bit churlish to complain. The letter is probably a standard one that goes out from a secretary for each late.

It was a one-off; it probably won't happen again. Nobody died.

onceamai Sat 27-Nov-10 15:00:50

Welshbyrd - you haven't said whether your dd was upset about the 10 minute detention. If not - I really think you need to move on and mark this one up to experience.

Dexterrocks Sat 27-Nov-10 15:02:41

I understand your distress but schools have to apply the same rules to everyone. They can't bend too much or there would be chaos, especially if it is a big school.
I doubt she will be that damaged by having to sit in detention for 10 mins. Infact, it may encourage her to appreciate the fact that you have taught her polite time keeping and have always got to school in time. She knows that you know she didn't do anything wrong. That should be enough.
Kids have to learn to cope with a little injustice in life, if only to learn to fight it!

MadameCastafiore Sat 27-Nov-10 15:03:20

She was late if that is the punishment for lateness then that is what she got. They obviously don't and shouldn't care about the reason she was late.

As for your accident I am sorry but leave earlier if you know you are going to be nervous and it is going to take you longer.

bossyboop Sun 28-Nov-10 12:45:53

I think under normal circumstances ok do whatever they do when they are late get the late police out, but when there is weather like this and its fairly obvious some children will be late I think its OTT, they should just be glad to get the kids through the doors at all in these weather conditions. Whether it seems trivial or not I would still get on the phone and blast the school for their pettiness. Where I am its taking 1 hour to do a journey that would normally take 10 minutes, taxis are only 1 every 3 hours so no matter how early you set off it is probably still not going to be early enough.

IloveJudgeJudy Sun 28-Nov-10 13:34:22

I think you're being completely U. It was just a lunchtime detention, not an after school. It's not even really considered a punishment by most secondary school children. You can't go getting yourself upset about such a small thing. You will be making your DD upset, too, if you don't let it pass.

Sometimes things in life aren't what you would consider fair. The school are taking a stand about lateness as it's exceedingly disruptive if pupils are late to lessons.

The upshot was that your daughter had 10 minutes less lunchtime break. It's really not the end of the world. I would just move on.

IloveJudgeJudy Sun 28-Nov-10 13:34:51

Oh, and I definitely wouldn't write to the school, either. Just let it go.

thefirstMrsDeVere Sun 28-Nov-10 13:43:19

YANBU. I would be annoyed too. But I would let it go TBH.

Its not fair but it wouldnt have caused your DD a great deal of hardship and life is like that sometimes.

But I still think its OTT.

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