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To disagree with whole class detention?

(67 Posts)
orangedaisies Mon 28-Nov-16 18:21:21

Dd has sen and is according to schools own words well behaved and a star in school. We have never had any behaviour issues in school ever.

She has only ever in Primary school had whole class detention where the teacher has kept the whole class in in an attempt to peer pressure the disruptive kids into behaving.

Now in secondary school a couple of children in dds class are consistently a pain in the backside. Today one of the teachers gave the whole class detention (I have checked this with another child too) because these kids were talking.

DD has sen and issues with organisation forgot to go. She shouldn't have but she does struggle with planning. When she remembered she went to apologise straight away and was told to go tomorrow instead.

So basically dd has detention on her own tomorrow for forgetting to go to the detention today in which she was being punished for someone else in class talking.

I am entirely wondering what the lesson learned from this for dd is.

I mean she will suck it up and do it but what a crock of shite surely?

Mishmashpotatoes Mon 28-Nov-16 18:31:07

There is no way in hell I'd be letting my DD do the detention.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Mon 28-Nov-16 18:32:39

YNBU. Why should all be penalised for the sins of one or a few.

JellyBelli Mon 28-Nov-16 18:33:06

I told the school I wouldn't support a whole class detention, they could punish my lot if they had done something wrong. Not otherwise.

IHeartKingThistle Mon 28-Nov-16 18:37:11

I'd be gobsmacked if the whole class were given a detention because 2 children were talking. I suspect there is more to it. That said, it is unfair on kids who genuinely did nothing wrong.

I had a very difficult year 9 class once and the reason they were difficult is because yes, there were a couple of very difficult kids, but when they played up the rest of them would guffaw with laughter. But then of course they had done 'nothing wrong' themselves. The only way I got anywhere was by dishing out punishments for those who misbehaved AND those who reacted to the misbehaviour. They were feeding it.

I'm not suggesting your DD was doing this at all! But like I said, I'd be very surprised if there was a perfectly behaved class sitting there working, two kids talking and that's how they ended up with a whole class detention.

WLF46 Mon 28-Nov-16 18:45:27

It's a classic punishment that is rolled out when the teacher doesn't know who is actually to blame for the disruption. Much easier to punish everyone rather than let the guilty parties get away with it.

There's not a lot you can do unfortunately, you are right that the innocent people get punished for something they haven't done (without so much as a hearing or chance to put their side), but this happens in schools all the time, and happens in life all the time.

In civil law, one only needs to be found guilty on the balance of probability, not "beyond all reasonable doubt" as is the case with criminal law. The teacher doesn't know for sure who is guilty, but is convinced that a large number of the children are, therefore while they know they are punishing some children unfairly, equally each individual is "probably" guilty.

Consider too the principle of joint enterprise. By being with a group of people (in this case in class), one can be considered guilty of a "crime" (talking), even if it is committed by someone else, by the simple fact that they were present at the time.

I sometimes think punishments like this are intended to turn the innocent children against the guilty ones, but usually it doesn't have that effect: much more likely it turns the innocent pupils against the teachers, against authority as a whole.

There's no solution though, until all children learn to behave. Can't see that happening in the near future! It's certainly not "fair" but as with much in life, people have to pay for the transgressions of others.

VioletRoar Mon 28-Nov-16 18:47:21

Argh I hate whole class detentions.

I sometimes think punishments like this are intended to turn the innocent children against the guilty ones, but usually it doesn't have that effect: much more likely it turns the innocent pupils against the teachers, against authority as a whole.

JacquesHammer Mon 28-Nov-16 18:48:25

I wouldn't permit my DD to attend a whole class detention. Very lazy discipline IMO

IHeartKingThistle Mon 28-Nov-16 18:48:34

Really? You think administering a detention of 30 kids is the easier option? Teachers do not want to give detentions!

Excuse me while I gringringrin


orangedaisies Mon 28-Nov-16 18:50:01

Yep no issue with those misbehaving and reacting to it too. I have been an HLTA and know how tough the classroom can be. I couldn't teach teens!

I would be surprised if dd was involved in the silliness as she usually gets annoyed by it and moans as she hates the noise and disruption.

I don't think she is an angel btw she can be a madam like any teen at home but I would be very surprised if she was joining in.

Apparently after asking the detention was given on Friday afternoon for today which explains why she forgot.

All they have done is make an enemy. DD is very literal on justice and holds huge grudges shock

lostincumbria Mon 28-Nov-16 18:50:06

It's the bollocks realm of a car teac

IonaNE Mon 28-Nov-16 19:13:37

Why should all be penalised for the sins of one or a few
Because then, hopefully, next time the "one or a few" start(s) mucking about, the good "all" will sort them out in order not to have to do detention, and thus discipline happens without teacher intervention, and the "one or a few" thus learn(s) that when you are the "one or a few", you'd better stop disrupting everyone's life.

ForalltheSaints Mon 28-Nov-16 19:15:49

We had a teacher in primary school who did whole class punishments, when the culprits were known. I still remember the feeling of injustice 40 something years later.


MipMipMip Mon 28-Nov-16 19:18:09

When I was at school whole class detentions ended up being banned because our class got so many. They are massively unfair and as we proved never had the required result.

I vote for telling the school your child will not do any whole class detentions but if given one for her own behaviour will attend. While it could be seen as undermining the teacher if enough parents do the same it will hopefully have the result that the school will have to start managing discipline properly.

orangedaisies Mon 28-Nov-16 19:24:08


But they DON'T learn that way. Was talking to my Mum earlier about this peer pressure punishment method. It didn't work in the 40/50s when she was at school. It didn't work in the 90s when I was at school either. The 'naughty' kids don't give a stuff if the good kids get punished because of them.

I still remember writing 100 lines of I must not talk when Q is on the board when I hadn't been talking age 9.

My Mum still remembers being 12 and writing 'empty vessels make most noise in the same situation.

It just made me dislike the teacher.

The problem with dd is due to her sn disliking them means she won't like the lesson and not liking the lesson means she will stop bothering to try her hardest. She works massively on praise.

MrsKoala Mon 28-Nov-16 19:34:41

To those saying you would not give permission for your dc to attend the detention etc. When I worked in schools (10yrs ago) we were told that technically the school day was legally till 4pm (or something) and that finishing at 3.15 was a choice of the school, but technically they could keep every child there till the legal time. Therefore they didn't need any parental permission to have the child attend the detention and any requests from parents for their dc not to attend would be declined and any refusal/non attendance would be an unauthorised absence.

Does anyone know if this is the case?

Willyoujustbequiet Mon 28-Nov-16 20:07:52

No I wouldn't support that. It's a lazy punishment and only demonstrates injustice is alive and kicking.

CancellyMcChequeface Mon 28-Nov-16 20:14:23

YANBU at all. I've worked in schools and know how difficult it can be to keep a class of 30 quiet, but punishing the children who were doing the right thing because it's hard to pick out which children were talking is plainly unfair.

I was a (too!) timid child and never spoke in class, and I still remember the feeling of injustice when I had detention because others were making a racket. It was wholly directed at the teacher, not my noisy classmates.

timeforachangeithink Mon 28-Nov-16 20:18:51

I have never heard of a whole class detention and am shock at this. I would be telling the school that my child will not be accepting punishment for the behaviour of others, absolutely ridiculous. I'd be fuming.

MipMipMip Mon 28-Nov-16 20:32:32

There's an article on the BBC news site about detentions, may be of interest

sugaredplumfox Mon 28-Nov-16 20:39:38

Definitely YANBU. When I was at a rough school I used to get whole class detentions even though I was practically mute and very studious. Only ten minutes after school but that meant that I missed the free school bus and had to walk miles home at least twice a week. Unfortunately despite parents protests individual teachers didn't pick and choose and I never got out of it

In the short term you should tell your daughter not to go and send her in with a letter of explanation in case she is asked

HeyOverHere Tue 29-Nov-16 01:03:44

What is "has sen" in this context? Sensory issues?

cansu Tue 29-Nov-16 05:55:53

If your dad was behaving well then it is highly likely she will stay 5 mins and then be let go. I haven't done a whole class detention in years but that is mainly because I have been able to work out the culprits easily. However I can imagine a scenario where kids feed off each other and generally chat too much despite being given several warnings. The teacher will have warned them that this will happen if they don't improve. I would be v wary of kicking up a fuss because the kids will learn that their teacher isn't able to discipline them because X's mother complained and this might mean the behaviour won't be good. Your ds will learn best in a calm, well disciplined class. If there are some tricky kids in this group it will be better for your d d if they are toeing the line.

MsJamieFraser Tue 29-Nov-16 06:26:44

My neice age 11 has just had this however refused point blank to write 200 lines of "I will not disrupt the class in lessons"

The whole class received the detention after school... dn went as she was told that she must attend or they would be consequences, however refused to write the silly lines, I don't blame her.

My sister was then called to the head for a meeting for dn disobedience and refusing to do "class work" hmm

My sister allowed him to sprout off, about behaviour, rules respecting the teachers etc...

My sister then asked for the date the dentition was given to the class, she then proceed to show the head Dn discharge form from the hospital when she had monitor surgery, she wasn't even in school, dn went to the detention however refused write silly lines.

My sister then berated the head for wasting hers and her daughters time and demanded all this could have been avoided, she also demanded her daughter get an apology by 200 lines.... and that her daughter would not be doing whole class detentions again.

HT apparently was not impressed apparently.

CauliflowerSqueeze Tue 29-Nov-16 06:33:13

I don't think they are OK.

However, schools do not have to seek parental permission for detentions, so while you can object if you wish, it is up to the school whether or not it happens. I'd be quite surprised if it's in their policy.

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