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To think it isn't the child's fault if they haven't got a nativity costume?

(162 Posts)
Onelittlebugbear Mon 16-Dec-13 14:55:44

I volunteer in a school and was in year1 today. Out of the class three children did not have costumes. One had tried to make herself a sheep mask (badly) and was obviously really upset that no one had bought her a costume. The area is really deprived and I can easily believe that money would be too tight for some families to buy sheep / angel / star costumes.

The teachers went on at these children 'why haven't you got a costume? What are you going to do now? The play is this week, we need to practice in our costumes.' Two children said their parents had outright said they weren't providing costumes at which staff sighed. All the children were obviously upset and two started misbehaving. All this was said in front of their costume wearing peers.

Aibu to think that at 5 or 6 it isn't the child's fault they haven't a costume? I know it's a hassle for the teachers because they have to try and find something for them but it isn't the child's fault no matter how frustrating it is for staff.
It made my heart a bit sad.

DontCallMeDaughter Mon 16-Dec-13 14:58:48

My dd isn't at costume/play age yet, but I can well imagine how angry I'd be if she'd been put through this.... I think its really awful that the children were told off at all, let alone in front of their classmates. This should be handled between the teachers and the parents only. Can you have a word with the head of year or something? If I had a 5 year old sheep/star/shepherd costume up my sleeve, I would post it to you. Sorry OP sad

YippeeKiYayMakkaPakka Mon 16-Dec-13 15:00:19

YANBU, at that age you can't hold them responsible.

BuffyxSummers Mon 16-Dec-13 15:00:35

YANBU. Some teachers absolutely boggle my mind with the things they think are appropriate to say to and about children.

NigellasDealer Mon 16-Dec-13 15:00:54

what horrible teachers, they really don't care about their pupils do they?

Tulip26 Mon 16-Dec-13 15:01:15

Don't they have spares available? My school did 20+ years ago as my costume my DM made was so bad, the school wouldn't let me wear it...

redexpat Mon 16-Dec-13 15:01:23

What did you do? I never got any help with costumes and so at school I always felt like a failure before we'd doen whatever show it was. DS will NEVER be without a costume as a result.

Onelittlebugbear Mon 16-Dec-13 15:01:25

One was really sarcastic about having to go on stage wearing no clothes. sad

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Mon 16-Dec-13 15:01:37

Of course it is not the children's fault. The teacher should chill out and make something for them her (him?)self.

JinglingRexManningDay Mon 16-Dec-13 15:02:46

Oh that's very sad. Its beyond some families budgets to buy costumes. A much fairer way would be to have masks and incorporate it into art time.

Allegrogirl Mon 16-Dec-13 15:02:52

YANBU. DD's school provides all costumes so this doesn't happen. Much less stress for parents and children. Same costumes used for all 3 classes per year and put away for next year.

SilverApples Mon 16-Dec-13 15:02:59

That's a daft thing to say at any school, and in a deprived area, I'd definitely expect the school to have a costume cupboard, and to make props like masks in school time.

offblackeggshell Mon 16-Dec-13 15:03:45


DCs are past that age now, but when they were that age, anything any more complicated than everyday clothes in a special colour were provided by the school. Plenty notice given so that ordinary things, but in a colour that might be out of season (white trousers in December not so easy to find) could be borrowed, or shared around.
Anything "fancy", like a mask was made in school, and costumes were often recycled year after year.

This was in a mixed, but fairly middle class area.

Tulip26 Mon 16-Dec-13 15:05:13

The school had spares redexpat. I wore a spare one and I was quite happy. I didn't even know until a few years ago when my DM confessed it made her feel like an awful parent. The kids should not have been told off, how dreadful. It's not their fault but at least there were three of them and not just the one.

Groovee Mon 16-Dec-13 15:06:27

One of our granny's asked the school if she could make them their costumes. They were made about 15 years ago and are still in fantastic condition. She went through the material cupboard and made them all for no charge and it was very much appreciated by the school.

If they want any school child to participate, I think they should provide costumes.

pomdereplay Mon 16-Dec-13 15:08:07

That is heartbreaking to read. Those teachers should be bloody ashamed of themselves.

In my opinion if schools are going to insist on costumes for plays, they should either provide spares or stick with something very simple that can be made at low cost in-school, like masks. Your post had made me feel so sad for those children. I hope something is done about those insensitive, thoughtless teachers.

MrsDeVere Mon 16-Dec-13 15:09:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

revivingshower Mon 16-Dec-13 15:09:49

That's awful, I feel really sorry for the girl in the sheep mask. And its so against the spirit of Christmas.

CiderwithBuda Mon 16-Dec-13 15:10:39

I couldn't let that go. I would talk to the head. It's not on for teachers to make children of that age feel so bad about something that is completely out of their control.

QuintessentialShadows Mon 16-Dec-13 15:10:41

You'd think that a school would be able to have a few sheep, star and angel costumes, it is not like the nativity play is a surprise !

What are you going to do about it, can you talk to the head?

BlackeyedShepherdswatchsheep Mon 16-Dec-13 15:11:06

some people have no compassion. children should not be punished for things that are the parents' responsibility.

HesterShaw Mon 16-Dec-13 15:11:18

Oh how awful sad

At the school I worked at, we provided all the costumes otherwise we knew that loads of the parents wouldn't have bothered.

Poor little soul.

ashamedoverthinker Mon 16-Dec-13 15:12:14

thats is terrible, insnstive and dowright unprofessional.

The school shold have there own costumes they can use year after year.

I'd have wanted to complain/object.

Tailtwister Mon 16-Dec-13 15:14:58

YANBU, that's awful! There's no way the teachers should be pressurising the children like that.

The school should provide costumes or supervise the children to make something appropriate. All children should be treated equally and it shouldn't be a matter of what their parents can provide.

I would be really angry about it OP. Can you speak to the Head like others have suggested?

MrsOakenshield Mon 16-Dec-13 15:15:26

is this a new things, children (or parents, rather) having to provide costumes? Don't they have a costume cupboard any more?

I would say something OP, that is dreadful to make these children feel bad about their families' finances!

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