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To think headteacher was slightly insensitive?

(102 Posts)
StephensDW Wed 22-Feb-17 11:36:11

I realise this situation is potentially my fault. I shouldn't have sent her in.

DD is a well behaved, polite student. She is in Yr 10. Has never had a detention, etc.

Our family dog wasn't very well. He had been here since DD was 4. He is very much loved. They were extremely close (she does agility competitions, etc. with him).

I said I'd text her to let her know how he got on at the vets (he had to stay in for testing, but I was collecting him).

She skipped the lesson which is the time I was collecting him (she has never done this before). Anyway, she was found and taken to Head of Years, but they were either teaching or in a meeting with the pastoral staff, so she was sent to the head.

He said to her that it "was a stupid reason to miss a lesson and really not important enough". This has been confirmed (got a phone call).

Anyway, our much loved boy was PTS. She wasn't aware of this yet and I explained on the phone that it's best he doesn't mention it, but I said I'd come and get her because she was clearly going to be sit waiting for the news and I told her I would let her know. PE was last lesson and so it wasn't the end of the world. This is when he said it would be a ridiculous reason to come and collect a 15 year old. He really was quite snappy. DD was sitting in the office at this point and it was all a bit of a mess tbh.

AIBU? Apart from the other bits that I admit were my fault.

Charlie2017 Wed 22-Feb-17 12:05:27

I think that's really mean of them. My dog means so much to me. Really sorry flowers

Diemme Wed 22-Feb-17 12:06:00

Definitely insensitive and showed a total lack of understanding. I don't have a dog but know plenty of people who do and can see very clearly that a dog is a member of the family. Sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy x

xStefx Wed 22-Feb-17 12:07:26

He obviously hasn't got a dog. I have had my lovely boy for 17 years and would be hreatbroken and having time off work when he goes :-(

drspouse Wed 22-Feb-17 12:07:57

I also don't have a dog but I well remember how upset my mum and I were (both adults) when our cat was PTS. An understanding boss would let an adult go home if possible under these circumstances, the HT was being ridiculous. It's not like she wants to take a week off!

I have cried proper, snotty tears every time one of our cats has had to be put to sleep, and I am a full grown adult, so I don't think it is unreasonable for a 15-year-old to be upset about a seriously ill pet. Fifteen is a very emotional age anyway, never mind adding this on top.

I don't think it is a ridiculous reason to miss PE - I might have had a different opinion if it had been one of her GCSE subjects, and would probably have encouraged her to do the last lesson, and then I'd have picked her up afterwards to break the news.

And yes, it probably wasn't the best reason to miss a lesson, but the Head was a bit insensitive too. Please excuse me whilst I go and remove these fence splinters from my bottom

I am sorry about your dog - it is such a hard decision to make, even when you know it is the right one - they wind their paws round your heart, don't they?

BrownEyedLady Wed 22-Feb-17 12:08:34

Poor DD (and you)! You've lost a family member. I think people without pets din't realise the grief and impact that losing them has. Lots of love and my sympathies for you and your family flowers

Mrsglitterfairy Wed 22-Feb-17 12:11:06

Firstly, I'm so sorry about your dog flowers
Headteacher is being a twat to be honest. When I was 12 we had our dog (who my parents got just before I was born) pts and although I went in school the next day, I was so upset that my mum had to come and collect me after my first lesson. My school was a very strict all girls grammar and they were nothing but understanding.

NataliaOsipova Wed 22-Feb-17 12:15:09

Hmmm. I may get flamed for this, but - personally - as someone who neither likes dogs nor "gets" the "much loved part of the family" thing when it comes to pets - I would agree with the headmaster.

BUT - we are talking about a 15 year old here, who is obviously upset and not just skiving. So I think he could have handled it a lot better and just shown her a bit of sympathy when she was clearly feeling very upset. Things affect people in different ways and I think, with a child at least, it's only right to focus on the fact that she was genuinely upset and deal with that, before leaping to judgements about the reason. So, no, I don't think you're unreasonable to think that someone whose job it is to deal with children could have dealt with your child a bit more sensitively.

mainlywingingit Wed 22-Feb-17 12:16:13

YANBU

User543210 Wed 22-Feb-17 12:19:37

He should have been more sensitive but she shouldn't have skipped the lesson.

Why didn't she just ask to nip to the loo and check her phone then? That's what I would have done.

BipBippadotta Wed 22-Feb-17 12:24:54

YANBU, and flowers for you and your family. The headteacher sounds like a massive dick.

MrsArthurShappey Wed 22-Feb-17 12:25:27

When my beloved dog was PTS I was 18 and doing my A levels. Luckily I was on study leave when he died and not at school, because I was so upset, I could barely function for 2 days! She probably shouldn't have skipped a lesson, but he was an insensitive twat!

Awwlookatmybabyspider Wed 22-Feb-17 12:26:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

CoolCarrie Wed 22-Feb-17 12:26:33

What a sod the head was!
So sorry about your dog

AlexanderHamilton Wed 22-Feb-17 12:27:20

So sorry for your loss.

My dh is a teacher. His college sent him home on the day our dog was PTS.

Complete over reaction from your dd's head.

Lespritdelsietanner Wed 22-Feb-17 12:28:20

Possibly a bit harsh from the Head but I think I would have tried to engineer things so that DD wasn't really aware of the timeline of events with the dog ie I wouldn't have told her exactly what time he was going in to the vets, wouldn't have texted with updates etc. I would have tried really hard not to disrupt her school day with it.

Bluntness100 Wed 22-Feb-17 12:29:03

I think he probably doesn't have a dog. I cried for days after mine was put to sleep, I couldn't get my daughter, (it was her first pet and she was 18 when he had to be put to sleep) out of bed the next morning and got into bed with her as she was lying silently crying. I'd suspect he simply doesn't understand just how upsetting it is.

I'm sorry about your dog. 💐

Bluntness100 Wed 22-Feb-17 12:30:40

>>I wouldn't have told her exactly what time he was going in to the vets, wouldn't have texted with updates etc. I would have tried really hard not to disrupt her school day with it.<<

That's actually quite cruel. The dog had been kept in the night before, refusing to tell her the next day is s hard thing to do and I'd have done the same as the op.

OnionKnight Wed 22-Feb-17 12:30:44

The headteacher sounds like an absolute bastard, I remember when our family dog passed away one weekend, by Monday I still wasn't functioning so a very understanding manager sent me home.

Scottishchick39 Wed 22-Feb-17 12:30:44

YANBU
The head teacher is a twat, if it had been a gold fish then maybe but a dog (or cat to some) is a big part of the family. I was inconsolable at 19 when our dog was PTS and had to take a day off work.

BaconMaker Wed 22-Feb-17 12:31:31

Headteacher was being ridiculous - I know sometimes teenagers exaggerate ands any excuse to get out of lessons but that clearly was what was happening here.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 22-Feb-17 12:36:18

What an arse. But she shouldn't have skipped lessons. Personally at 15, I don't think it would be unreasonable for her to have been at the appointment when you Pts the dog so I would have tried to wait for the end of school so she could say goodbye. Then you wouldn't have needed to text. I understand you didn't tell her via text and I don't think it's something that I'd want my child to find out about without being with dh/me. For something so important I'd have been taking dd to the dentist. So I thoroughly understand why she felt she couldn't attend the lesson.

tiggytape Wed 22-Feb-17 12:42:50

I think some adults can be too harsh with children and young people in expecting them to carry on through events where, in the same situation, you'd cut an adult some slack.

A beloved family pet - been with the family for 11 years - is evidently very ill (even if she didn't know about her pet being PTS I bet it was playing on her mind as a possibility) so of course DD is going to be anxious and out of sorts.

If you were a model employee and a bit off or upset or unproductive for a day in the same circumstances, most colleagues and even most bosses would understand.

BarbarianMum Wed 22-Feb-17 12:44:46

I think sometimes you just have to keep it together until you get home, sorry. And yes ive lost and grieved for a dog.

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