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To ask who should pay for replacement guitar?

(175 Posts)
SoldierKatnissEverdeen Thu 14-Mar-13 18:55:33

Just want to canvass your opinions on the following situation...have tried to write the post without letting on which side I am coming from to get an unbiased opinion.

Today at school a guitar got broken. The child who owns the guitar is very upset. The child who broke the guitar is also upset. Both children are in yr 5 so aged 9 or 10.

The guitar was broken by a child doing that thing that boys do, of running, dropping to his knees and skidding. Didnt have enough control to stop himself and ended up falling forward with his full body weight on the guitar snapping it where the neck meets the body. It was a complete accident rather than a malicious act. The child apologised without any prompting.

The guitar was in the designated place, which tbh wasn't a great place. There was a teacher in the hall at the time, who didnt see it happen. I expect she was dealing with other children at the time.

The teacher does not know what the sch policy is for this type of situation and the head was unavailable.

My query to you wise lot, is who should pay for the guitar to be replaced?

Tabliope Fri 15-Mar-13 14:29:39

The parents of the boy that broke it should pay. They're 9 or 10. He is old enough to know running inside the school is against the rules never mind running and sliding along the floor.

bangwhizz Fri 15-Mar-13 18:28:54

If I were the boy's parents then I would feel morally obliged to pay.I think legally though the responsibility rests with the school.I think you would have to take them to small claims court though and even then the court might want to know why you hadn't taken out insurance for situations just like this

Groovee Fri 15-Mar-13 18:59:39

What happened with the head?

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 15-Mar-13 19:28:40

This is a very interesting question. Like a poster upthread, DD takes cello and man would I be cross having to replace one of those and absolutely furious with DD if she had harmed someone else's.

When DD started the lessons, we never had a letter from the school saying that the instrument is being brought into school "at our own risk" for example. That's where she has her lessons. Which is, again, interesting. I am wondering if you did OP or if anyone else whose children play intruments on this thread has. Although I guess I would assume it is. I will be asking on Monday where DD's cello is stored for safety before and after the lessons.

If I were the school I would be paying for this as a one off. I would be examining storage locations and ensuring that suitable places were offered to put items such as these. And I would be noting that anyone who didn't use them was therefore doing so at their own risk. I think if the school is going to have lessons on their premises they do sort of need to plan for stuff like this to happen and mitigate against it.

If it were me I would probably just offer to pay for the guitar - but I would absolutely be expecting the school to work out some sort of better ongoing solution. Stacked up against a wall doesn't sound great. As someone else said it could easily have fallen forward too.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 15-Mar-13 19:31:29

I mean - the kid who brings a full Bass in to DDs school. That would costs hundreds of quid. Oboes can go for £500. Seriously. I don't think that these are things that the school can just decide they have no involvement in ensuring they are cared for.

I didn't even know I could ensure DDs cello blush. I mean: really? would n't the just go: she's 8, she's not totally housebroken yet, your fault.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Fri 15-Mar-13 19:34:05

sorry: no involvement as long as they encourage you to take lessons through the school, on their premsies, and sponsor things like string group, orchestra, etc.

SoldierKatnissEverdeen Fri 15-Mar-13 23:18:07


Hi all. I went straight to dd's teacher this morning. Her first question was if dd was ok and not still distraught. She had been in contact with the music teacher last night about the situation and they had discussed the value of dd's guitar. He had emailed some links of equivalent guitars to her. There was no question in her mind that the boy should be responsible for the cost of replacing it.

While I was talking to her the head came along, in the process of investigating the situation. He asked me to wait in his office while he asked the relevant parties what had happened.

When he came to the office he apologised for the damage and told me the boy took full responsibility, and should not have been doing the running slide. He had yet to speak to the boys parents but assured me the cost would be covered. The boy needed to learn that there are consequences to breaking the rules.

He then wanted to speak to the boys parents and said he would phone before the end of the school day to discuss the best way to proceed.

Within 20 minutes he phoned. The cost will be covered. Suggested that I take dd shopping for it, in an attempt to redress the emotional upset. Find one of comparable value/quality. Once we know what guitar she is happy with I am to let the sch know the details and they will order it, and not have to pay the vat.

I am happy with the outcome of this so far. I am not sure if the school may be contributing to the cost, but as far as I am concerned I think the school have handled it well. And dd will have a guitar. Just hope it won't take too long to come through. I will however look into getting a solid case for the new guitar as I cant risk it happening again. If I am expecting the boy to learn from it, then I too can learn and it needs a solid case as we travel a fair bit with it. hopefully it wont cost too much.

I have to say thank you for all replies. I was very worried last night that it would have to come out of my pocket. Of course I would have replaced it if the boy or school didn't, but as a single parent every penny is tightly budgeted for and some other essential would have been sacrificed. Your replies last night were so unanimous that it put my mind to rest that what I expected was not unreasonable. I was prepared to do battle today, but I am pleased with the outcome and it has restored my faith in the school.

Thank you vipers. wink wink

sneezingwakesthebaby Fri 15-Mar-13 23:21:12

I am glad that you didn't end up out of pocket! Great update smile

LindyHemming Fri 15-Mar-13 23:34:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

INeverSaidThat Fri 15-Mar-13 23:45:14

Brilliant result. I bet you are glad that you don't have to deal with the parent of skidded parents. I think the school has dealt with it really well.

A solid case sounds like a good idea grin

OhTheConfusion Sat 16-Mar-13 09:00:10

A great result, really well handled from the school. I know the boy was naughty but he has been nothing but honest throughout and if that way my child after the initial upset I would have been quite proud of his honesty.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Sat 16-Mar-13 09:24:32

Brilliant - good on that boy and his parents! And the school, for handling it so well.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 16-Mar-13 09:46:50

Excellent news and school.

My ds aged 3 at the time broke a school window by putting a stone through it. We paid the full cost of the repair - there was no question that we wouldn't.

The only thing that really "stuck in my throat" was the comment from the good Church going headmistress who told my husband that "the next time "myboysarebonkers" wants to do her Angel of Mercy act, she should take her children with her".

I was attending to a fellow parent who had fallen and badly injured their leg just outside the school gate - hence I had taken my eyes off my own child for that time.

ZZZenAgain Sat 16-Mar-13 12:12:18

that's good news. Glad that it is sorted out.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 16-Mar-13 13:49:29


TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 16-Mar-13 13:52:04

Jolly, plenty of shops have signs saying "breakages must be paid for" - a supermarket might not charge you for a dropped bottle of vodka but they certainly could - it's just better customer relations for them not to do so sometimes.

Glad it's sorted OP.

ll31 Sat 16-Mar-13 14:23:26

good result, am a little taken aback tho at the shock about a child playing in a school hall....

pingu2209 Sat 16-Mar-13 16:20:02

My school has a policy whereby if your child brings in expensive items then it is at their own risk. Any toy or instrument or phone or whatever that is lost, broken or stolen is the risk you take if you let your child bring that item into school. This is both a primary and secondary ruling.

It can't be the school to pay. How many times have expensive blazers or bags or PE kits been stollen or ripped by children messing about. The whole education system would be broke or uninsurable by now.

I do not believe it is for the boy who broke the item either. It is just life - life sucks and things get broken.

SoldierKatnissEverdeen Sat 16-Mar-13 17:53:25

Yes things get broken but that doesn't mean that people can go around not having respect for rules and other people's property.

Are you honestly saying that if I crashed into your parked car while driving recklessly, (radio blaring, laughing with mates, on my phone) that you would not hold me responsible? That you would be happy to say, 'never mind, life sucks, I will just go and buy another one'? hmm

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 16-Mar-13 18:26:10

Wow, the school sounds amazing. Glad its getting sorted now.

Altinkum Sat 16-Mar-13 18:30:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 16-Mar-13 18:32:12

We have a lot of students that play instruments, they are expected to bring it in a suitable place and we arrange appropriate storage.
I think your school did everything that they could have done, including considering your daughter's state of mind. I'm also pleased that they dealt with the other parents and the child without you having to confront them.
Sounds like a good school with caring staff.
Worth buying a decent case and checking up on insurance though. smile

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 16-Mar-13 18:34:09

Accidental, but he was not behaving responsibly.
So the consequences are his and not the school's. Y5 is old enough to be expected to manage without being a prat.

maninawomansworld Tue 19-Mar-13 09:58:23

Wow, common sense seems to have prevailed! Good on the school, and good on the kid for owning up. I know he shouldn't have been sliding about but you've got to give a 9 year old credit for putting his hands up and taking responsibility.

ooer Tue 19-Mar-13 10:14:53


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