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to think teachers shouldn't tell children not to tell parents

(14 Posts)
Narnia72 Fri 20-Jan-17 22:15:30

A little boy in my child's primary school class was apparently sent home yesterday for repeated bad behaviour.

The children in my child's class were apparently told explicitly by a senior teacher not to mention anything about it to their parents, and they would be in big trouble if they told.

Another child in my child's class told a couple of parents, and our children were really shocked, and said "but X will get into big trouble for telling".

Now, I assume the teacher didn't want the inevitable gossip about what had happened by the parents, but surely, teachers should never tell children not to talk to their parents about what has happened at school. It just seems so out of keeping with all safeguarding policies I've read.

I'm not sure what to do about this. I know the head quite well, and am not sure whether to have a quiet word. I hope it wouldn't backfire on my child, who was very worried that they would get into trouble if anything was said.

I feel very uncomfortable about this. In general, I'm really happy with the school and trust the teachers and the administration. This seems very out of keeping with their normal method of communication, which is open and transparent. The kids could have got it wrong, but all 3 seemed to have the same story, and they're not hysterical kids.

The boy who was sent home is often quite naughty, and it wouldn't have been a particularly exciting story for the kids to tell their parents, in fact they probably wouldn't have thought anything of it if the teacher hadn't said this. It all seems very odd.

Witchend Fri 20-Jan-17 22:43:42

When our teachers told us not to tell our parents, looking back, it was always done as reverse psychology, they wanted us to say. wink

CripsSandwiches Fri 20-Jan-17 22:47:03

Are you sure the kids didn't get the wrong end of the stick. I very much doubt that any teacher in their right mind would genuinely rely on a bunch of primary school kids to keep a secret. Perhaps they were just being encouraged not to gossip about it and the kids got the wrong end of the stick?

Helloitsme87 Fri 20-Jan-17 22:49:13

Teacher probably didn't want judgemental parents gossiping about what the 'naughty' child had done yet again. Yabu

chitofftheshovel Fri 20-Jan-17 22:56:52

At primary we were asked not to let our parents know what songs we were singing in performances or such like, so as to keep them as a nice surprise for them at the shows.
However, We weren't told to keep "secrets" - and yes, as a parent hearing that a trusted adult had asked my kids to keep a secret, that would not sit right. If that's what happened.
I would 100% believe my DD aged 9, probably would have aged 8 and 7, but at 4 perhaps not so much.

chitofftheshovel Fri 20-Jan-17 22:58:23

So really I'm asking - how old are the children involved?

mambono5 Fri 20-Jan-17 23:00:21

Fine for a teacher to tell kids not to gossip among themselves. Completely unacceptable to order them to hide something to their parents.

It's one thing that I have been telling my children from a very young age: they can tell us anything at all, and they should never feel threatened/ bullied/ scared/ shy to tell us something, from anyone at all. The reason why we try to get that message across is obvious. I would be ballistic if a teacher was threatening them to keep quiet. That said, I would first of all check what has been said exactly...

Funnyfarmer Fri 20-Jan-17 23:01:16

I would mention it to the head! It would play on mind if I didn't. Maybe it was request from the boys parents that they didn't want the other parents knowing and judging and gossiping. How old are the dc in the class? I can't see why the other dc would know the details of the boy being sent home anyway?

llangennith Fri 20-Jan-17 23:04:03

Tell the headteacher. Thats a really inappropriate thing to ask kids.

Narnia72 Fri 20-Jan-17 23:04:29

Kids are 8/9 and pretty reliable about information.

I think that, if that's what really happened, they have made it into a bigger deal than it was if nothing had been said to the class.

This boy does often get into trouble, it's sort of unremarkable in a way. It's now more "gossip" worthy because the school have made it into a secret.

I'm annoyed because I don't want the school telling the kids (IF that's what happened) not to tell their parents stuff like this. I don't give a monkey's either way about the boy, and tbh, most of the parents in the class would feel the same. As I said, he gets into trouble a lot, and he is disruptive in class. The mum is lovely, and we are sympathetic to her, but he disrupts our children's learning a lot.

Chit - I would be fine about them asking to keep details of a performance secret.

MuseumGardens Fri 20-Jan-17 23:07:26

Could you email the class teacher and enquire about it? You could ask "Have the children been told to keep something secret from the parents as I have been told this." That way you give the teacher a chance to explain and no chance of your son getting into trouble as you haven't said you heard it from him.

RhodaBorrocks Fri 20-Jan-17 23:16:34

Teacher probably didn't want judgemental parents gossiping about what the 'naughty' child had done yet again. Yabu

This. At my DS' school they are explicitly forbidden to discuss who has been 'good' or 'naughty' according to their class reward chart. Amongst themselves or with parents. But of course they do. I've witnessed kids running out if school yelling "Mum, mum! You'll never guess what Billy* got in trouble for today!"

And of course, Billy was the naughty kid that all the Mums stood around gossiping about at DS' birthday party. I asked DS to be kind to Billy. DS has ASD, Billy confided he has ADHD but his parents don't want him to tell anyone. DS feels very sorry for him as we are open about DS ASD and he's stopped being thought of as the naughty kid now we're honest about it apart from the one parent who marched into school and told the head that "Kids like [DS] shouldn't be allowed in normal schools" .

At DS school if a child is ever excluded, internally or externally, it's not up for discussion with anyone. I like it because I know that should anything happen with DS it is not discussed with all and sundry. I would expect this is similar. DS says they have regular reminders in assembly that the behaviour of others, if it does not directly concern them, is none of their business.

chitofftheshovel Fri 20-Jan-17 23:20:15

narnia yes, that's the point I was trying to get across. There are some things it is totally acceptable for a teacher to ask pupils not to tell parents, and others where it is just not.

Lemon12345 Fri 20-Jan-17 23:24:08

Could it be that the teacher said she doesn't want to hear any more about it and if any of them talk about it any more they will be in big trouble?
That's what I'm hoping.

I get the this will be a surprise thing for plays and such but most teacher I worked with have said it's a surprise but never said don't tell your parents. I think it's drilled into most to never say anything like that, regardless. Saying surprise is fine, as that's one word the kids can take away. Saying don't tell... just sounds iffy.

I'd go straight to the head. And I'd make it clear to your DS that he can tell you anything, He's done well to keep a secret but we only keep nice surprises as secrets in 'this family/house/whatever' and we can tell each other things that upset us or that we want to talk about. And that you will be telling the head that, and I would tell the head exactly that.

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