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aibu to want this teacher to apologise to my son.

(508 Posts)
wfrances Mon 04-Jul-11 21:37:57

ds age 12 takes a packed lunch to school,during 2nd lesson he notices drink has leaked in his bag {all of it}his lunch is ruined,and now has no drink.
he tells his teacher who says "i dont care, its not my problem, sit down."
im fuming, he didnt eat all day,no drink and what a wicked way to respond to a child.
phoned head of year straight away ,who totally agreed with my reaction.
but i think she should apologise to him-what do you think?

oohjarWhatsit Mon 04-Jul-11 21:41:02

not necessarily, but she should be made aware of the correct procedures to follow in future and I think her HT should have a strong word

maddy68 Mon 04-Jul-11 21:43:18

It depends on the 'whole' version of events. It happens on a daily basis in a school and I am sure if your child had put his hand up and explained the situation he may well have got a different response. He could well have been making a big fuss, disturbing the lesson etc.
as for him not having a lunch, your son is 12. They would know who to go to in that situation to be lent dinner for a school lunch. If he had nothing to eat he should have sorted it out

HSMM Mon 04-Jul-11 21:44:12

I sort of agree with you ... but then I would expect my DD's Yr7 teacher to say the same. She would be able to get tap water during the day and she would be starving when she got home (although she would probably get some food off her friends). She would make sure her drink wasn't going to leak next time.

At Primary school, I would expect some help from the staff, but I don't think I would now she's at Secondary.

My DD would certainly not want me demanding an apology from one of her teachers .....

worraliberty Mon 04-Jul-11 21:46:06

Yes it depends on the whole story.

Why didn't your son sort his lunch out? I mean why didn't he see whoever he had to see to get one or ask the school to contact you?

HSMM Mon 04-Jul-11 21:46:19

and yes ... like maddy68 said ... she would know who to go to to get help (I think it's called the House Office).

TattyDevine Mon 04-Jul-11 21:46:31

Gosh, I probably had a cruel gothic upbringing in a private school but that was a pretty standard way to get spoken to "in my day"

What would I have done - borrowed some money off a friend for lunch or gone to the school office to ask to borrow money (sort of official process, gets logged, get your parents to pay them back, etc etc, organised for kids who's parents forgot to give them lunch money etc and flags up a "hazard" if the same kid does it too often)

What is reasonable today though is not something I'm so familiar with - just thought I'd say, that was normal for me and we survived, but it doesn't mean its acceptable now...

Midge25 Mon 04-Jul-11 21:49:46

Hmmm. Agree not the greatest of responses from the teacher, but not sure what the apology would achieve. Presumably, if head of year agreed with your concerns, the teacher will have been spoken to already, privately? Unless the teacher's reaction has resulted in lasting consequences for your son (eg. placed on report, some sort of note on his record) that needs clarifying or correcting, my initial response is to let this one lie. I might get flamed for this, but teachers are human too and don't always manage pitch-perfect responses. It may be s/he was distracted by something else going on in the room, or misunderstood? Would water not have been available for all the pupils? I think calling the response 'wicked' is a bit strong....

TattyDevine Mon 04-Jul-11 21:51:17

In fact, I used to borrow money off my friends for nice stuff even if I hadn't had a problem with my lunch. Or if I'd spent my lunch money on fags. I'd give them fags, they'd give me lunch grin

Bit older than 12 that though.

In fact I used to borrow lots of money off my friend, she had a job I didn't, never quite paid her back. Till she also moved to the UK (we are expats) and she broke up with her boyfriend and I was honoured and very pleased to be able to put a roof over her head and help get her back on her feet.

captainbarnacle Mon 04-Jul-11 21:51:23

"i dont care, its not my problem, sit down."

Therefore, your son was standing up in the middle of the lesson going off on one about his leaked drink. That sounds pretty disruptive and not the best way for him to get support from the teacher who was obviously trying to do their job and teach. I guess it was a subject lesson (maths, science, history etc) and the teacher was just his subject teacher and not a form teacher or someone who had pastoral responsibility.

Your son should have put his hand up and waited if he needed assistance. He should also have gone to pastoral support (form tutor, HoY, student services) to get help to replace his lunch and drink.

It was not the subject teacher's responsibility.

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Mon 04-Jul-11 21:51:32

yabu to expect an apology and, although it was fairly harsh, it actually wasn't the teacher's problem; she had started her lesson and Y7 can be quite difficult to settle if you let each one of them interrupt with their (unrelated to the lesson) problems.

It's been acknowledged by the HoY that it was a bit of an unreasonable response but not worth taking it further really. She wasn't going to be the one organising the replacement meal after all and once his bag was soaked it was going to stay soaked (unless you think he should have had the whole lesson off to dry his bag and nip to sainsburys for a replacement meal?). There are procedures in most schools for borrowing money for lunches in emergencies - from Heads of year for instance. Was this not possible?

mumblechum1 Mon 04-Jul-11 21:53:03

It's the sort of thing ds's teachers would say, too.

Your ds could have borrowed a couple of quid from the office, or his friends could have shared bits of their lunch with him.

I think asking for an apology is ott tbh

PrincessJenga Mon 04-Jul-11 21:57:00

I also think you need the whole story. Kids' drinks leak over their bags all the time. If they calmly and sensibly tell me their drink has leaked and ask for help I let them out of the lesson to go and try to sort the bag out and/or let them put their books along the window ledge to dry (whichever seems the most practical at the time) but tbh, if they're making a fuss & disrupting the lesson then I treat it in the same way as any other attention seeking behaviour and tell them to quieten down and sit sensibly.

I've never been asked about the lunch itself though (only about salvaging pens/books etc) and wouldn't think to check if they had any blush

Having said that, on the occasions I've realised a child has no lunch then I've always sent them to the school office to ask for a loan to buy food or escorted them to the canteen and asked the manager there to provide them with something. I'd've thought most 12 year olds were sensible enough to sort something out themselves though (by going to school office, borrowing lunch money off friends or asking their form tutor for help)

bellavita Mon 04-Jul-11 22:00:26

There will be a water fountain, he could have got a drink at break or lunchtime. At 12 he is old enough to have gone to the Pastoral Office or where ever they can make phone calls home. I am pretty sure if he would have done this, the would have phoned you to see if you can bring some more lunch in or some money so he could buy some. Failing that, they would have fed him and you could have sent the money in tomorrow. They are obliged to feed your child.

It is secondary school not primary. Yes, maybe the teacher was harsh in how they spoke to your son, but imagine if he is mid flow doing a lesson and your son is disrupting it. A quick hand up, "sorry sir/miss but my drink has leaked over everything, can I go wipe my books and sort it out and make a phone call home" would have been far better.

wfrances Mon 04-Jul-11 22:01:28

well it broke my heart to hear he had been spoken to like this .
and even head of year agreed that she should not have spoken to him like that,and should have directed him through the channels.
he has issues following tasks so needs constant would not go and see anyone unless he was directed to.
its the cold heartless teacher im fuming about,shes in the wrong job.
ive never known him to tell a lie ever, i dont think he knows how to,
he suffers with black and white logic thinking....

Fifis25StottieCakes Mon 04-Jul-11 22:03:13

You have made the school aware, i would leave it at that. They should have offered him a school dinner

mumblechum1 Mon 04-Jul-11 22:03:32


So he has special needs by the sound of it?

bellavita Mon 04-Jul-11 22:04:32

So if he has special needs then would there not have been a TA with him?

You drip fed information OP....

wfrances Mon 04-Jul-11 22:06:49

sort of ,lack of oxygen at birth .meant his understanding of language isnt wired up right,

SoupDragon Mon 04-Jul-11 22:06:51

This was the second lesson so what... 10:30am?? He disrupted the class over something that didn't need sorting then and there, I'm not surprised the teacher wasn't interested. Perhaps she could have phrased it better but, OTOH, your DS should have asked her what to do at the end of the lesson, not in the middle.

fit2drop Mon 04-Jul-11 22:06:59

broke your heart.hmm

oh dear.... he is going to be spoken to a lot harsher than that in the future

i'd save the "broken heart" for something more ermmm deserving than your boy being told to sit down .


glassescase Mon 04-Jul-11 22:07:11

He was probably disrupting the lesson. The teacher was probably trying to TEACH the class; she is not his social worker and this sort of thing happens all the time. Don't break your heart or start a vendetta against her.

captainbarnacle Mon 04-Jul-11 22:09:36

Your son should treat this as a lesson learned.

fit2drop Mon 04-Jul-11 22:09:59

if his understanding of language is not wired up right, how can you know for sure thats exactly what happened. Surely its just his interpretation of what he understood?

or am I missing something

Indigojohn Mon 04-Jul-11 22:10:57

Oh please.

Expecting your teacher to apologise to your son sums up so much that is wrong with some parents these days.

And why so many brilliant teachers are leaving the profession in droves.

At twelve does he not know who he needs to see in that sort of situation?

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