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to be thoroughly sick of the double standards

(318 Posts)
teaandakitkat Mon 27-Mar-17 13:42:39

My son aged 10 is in a class of 25, 23 averagely well behaved kids, and two nightmare boys. They have both joined the school in the past year because they were permanently excluded from their last school.
I know they have crap, chaotic home lives, I know they are unhappy on the inside, I know all the other kids have way more advantages and are really the lucky ones. But I honestly am so sick of the double standards.

The teaching staff pander to them all the time. They can't control their behaviour. All normal sanctions don't apply to these kids . They have Golden Time free play on a Friday, if you misbehave during the week you lose it. Apart from these boys who never lose anything despite their behaviour. I honestly think the teachers are scared of them and scared of their reactions, they do anything to keep them quiet.

I'm a parent helper in the school and am often in the classroom. One of them called the teacher "a fat shit" and the teacher said "X, we don't speak like that in this classroom. Please don't speak for the next 5 minutes". The kid gave her the finger.
I've seen her send other kids to the head teacher and lose all their golden time for less than that. One of the kids challenged the teacher's blatantly unfair decision and she lost golden time for being cheeky!

There is half an hour on a Thursday where the kids are allowed outdoors if they have all their homework finished, if not they stay indoors and finish it before going out. Apart from these two boys, they have never done homework and are always outdoors.

Now I get that they need extra help, I get that they have no support at home with homework, but the blatant double standards are causing trouble. These kids know they are untouchable and brag about it to the others all the time. The others are getting seriously frustrated and I can see some of their behaviour getting worse as they try out more silly behaviour to see what they can get away with.

Last week my son and his friends were not allowed to take part in a school swimming lesson because of some stupid behaviour earlier in the week. Fair enough, I have no problem with that. But x and y were allowed to swim, despite one of them repeatedly kicking a football at a window until it broke earlier in the week. I was in school, I saw it. The teachers were scared to go up to him and stop him.

The head teacher is the only one who seems able to handle them but she's got an entire school to run, not spend all her time with this pair. If they are put out the class they go and spend the time with the head, helping her with whatever she's doing or sitting on a seat outside her door playing on the school iPad. (Again I've been in school, I've seen this on many many occasions, and heard them bragging to the other kids about the youtube videos they've been watching during class time)

I have mentioned it informally a couple of times but I think it's time for something more. It's not fair. If they need to make exceptions then surely they have to be more subtle. I know 3 other parents went to see the head teacher together but were just fobbed off with a story about 'inclusion' and the school's duty of care to everyone.

I'm not sure what sort of solution I'm looking for though. There are difficult people in all walks of life and that's part of life learning how to deal with them, right?

Would it help if they troublemakers were in different classes? I don't know why they were put in the same class in the first place, my instinct would be to split them up. Or will they not be able to separate them now because it would stigmatise them or something?

There is an extra teaching assistant in their class, not specifically assigned to these boys I don't think, but I'm sure she's there to support the teacher.

But at the end of the day why is it ok for one kid to call a teacher a fat shit in front of the whole class and have no sanction at all, or smash a window and get to sit outside the head's office watching YouTube? That can't be right.

So now I've got all that off my chest I'd be keen to hear if anyone has any practical suggestions for what I can do. I don't want to just go into school with yet another complaint. I feel for the staff, they're in a rubbish situation. But it's really really not fair on the others. Can anything be done?

Saltedcaramel2016 Mon 27-Mar-17 13:45:42

I wonder if the headteacher has told the teacher to only send them to him/her if they are extremely out of line as maybe they would be there all day long if they were sent for everything they did wrong. I know it isn't right but I'm wondering if this is the reason.

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Mon 27-Mar-17 13:47:16

We were in the same situation with our 3dc.
My dd8 was actually kicked /tripped over /spat on by a boy in her class (dm a known alcoholic and df trying for full custody) nothing ever happened to him. Dd was poked in the eye with a pencil and had to see a specialist every other day for ten days to determine any damage (non thankfully) he had no punishment whatsoever.
I told a friend who told his df and I got pulled into school and 'told off' I was 43 and a school governor ffs!!
We moved them school. .

teaandakitkat Mon 27-Mar-17 13:50:01

I've seen them be sent to the head several times. One swaggers out like he owns the place then stands just outside the door making faces through the window, the other just refuses to move until there's been a ten minute stand-off about it. No wonder the teachers don't want to rock the boat. It's awful.

armpitz Mon 27-Mar-17 13:51:29

What would you have the teacher do?

Lochan Mon 27-Mar-17 13:52:00

I'm not a teacher but I would assume that the staffs' approach to these boys is part of an overall behaviour management plan to focus on particular things even rather than picking them up for every infraction.

Don't assume as a parent volunteer that you are privy to everything that goes on.

Unless these boys are hurting or bullying your son it's none of your business.

Focus on your own son's behaviour and learning.

Life isn't fair. It really isn't. If your son is 10 he is well old enough to understand that concept.

He (and you) need to focus on his journey and not on whatever is happening to these boys.

WhatWouldKeanuDo Mon 27-Mar-17 13:54:12

You either accept it or move your child.

teaandakitkat Mon 27-Mar-17 13:57:27

Well that's the thing armptiz, I don't know.

That's why I posted looking for advice on what I can say to the teacher. I don't want to be just another parent moaning about bad behaviour.

I would like the staff to be brave enough to discipline them like other kids. If the staff are afraid to discipline them then maybe they need to be taught in a specialist unit somewhere.

I would like them to be taken out of the class, or even better out of the school, and sent to cause their trouble elsewhere that doesn't affect my kid and his friends. But I don't suppose that will happen.

I don't want to have to move my kids out of school, that's not fair. What happens then, 23 kids move to another school and these two get a whole class to themselves?

Porpoiselife Mon 27-Mar-17 13:59:00

I have no suggestions but the exact same scenario you are describing happens here. It makes zero sense and the teachers simply don't want to deal with it. Because apparantly dealing with it will make them worse shock.
A recent episode saw one boy swearing at the teacher and pushing over furniture and the teacher asked him to see her in the class next door which was empty, so she tried to get him out of the classroom because of the disturbance. He told her to F* off. So the solution was to make every single other child leave the classroom instead. Its nuts. The kid still got his 'playtime' on friday. Everyone else had their lesson disrupted yet again.

There may be crap going on at home, but I can't see how excusing behaviour like this in schools helps the child. Plus its disrupting other children who may equally be going through crap time at home.

I think schools just need to get much tougher on behaviour. There should be zero tolerance for swearing and verbal and physical abuse towards others. At the moment they just seem to allow it and bide their time until the kid leaves at end of year 6.

Birdsgottaf1y Mon 27-Mar-17 14:00:06

The problem is, that there isn't an answer.

If the thresholds aren't being met for removal, or it's waiting to go to court, then the children will continue with their behavior, unchecked.

The psychological services needed, aren't funded, neither are a lot of the projects that used to be and children have to be educated. Unless you want the old style borstals re-opening.

Looked After children get similar privileges and I think it does them no favours, because dispensations won't be made forever.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Mon 27-Mar-17 14:01:16

No it isn't fair op. I'm not talking about children with behavioral issues such as ADHD, but. You do get children who are just badly behaved, and teachers pussy foot around them,and if they're good for 5 minutes. They get all kinds of stickers. Yet children who never cause a problem. Don't get any recognition. It makes me mad.
When I was in school. We had no choice. We had to behave.

ParadiseCity Mon 27-Mar-17 14:03:23

I agree about inclusive and being compassionate. BUT I would let the School know if it is affecting your child.

I did this for DD. A child in her class was so volatile DD was unhappy about going to school. It was a sad environment for all the children to spend their time in. I basically emailed saying how it was affecting dd, I had every sympathy for the child causing it and did not know what the answer was but as Dds parent I thought I should tell the School that she was not feeling happy/valued/fairly treated/safe there. In the end the child moved school.

soapboxqueen Mon 27-Mar-17 14:04:25

Do honestly believe the teachers are happy with this situation? If the answers were simple, they'd already be doing it. I suspect they are hanging on by the skin of their teeth as it is.

If the children have already been excluded once (that you know of) and are basically being poorly managed at this school, it sounds like they need a specialist setting. However, not every LEA has one, the ones that do are over subscribed and there is no money for new ones or extra places. 'Tis a shit storm

If your child reports behaviour that is troubling, email or complain to the head. A paper trail of complaints could help the Head to confront the LEA. Be careful about reporting what you see as a helper unless not noticed by staff. Only because most will look poorly on that and probably ask you not to return.

With regards to your own child, you need to explain (which I'm sure you already are) that not all children can cope and sometimes things might seem unfair but would they really want to be in the same position as these children?

Birdsgottaf1y Mon 27-Mar-17 14:04:38

""I would like the staff to be brave enough to discipline them like other kids. If the staff are afraid to discipline them then maybe they need to be taught in a specialist unit somewhere.""

How would that work, when they still won't respond?

teaandakitkat Mon 27-Mar-17 14:07:28

I'm not a teacher but I would assume that the staffs' approach to these boys is part of an overall behaviour management plan to focus on particular things even rather than picking them up for every infraction.

I know the staff can't give personal details but it would make me feel better if the head teacher would say "we know certain pupils are causing difficulties, please be assured that we have a behaviour management plan in place to deal with it. We appreciate that it appears these kids get away with more, but we are concentrating on certain aspects of their behaviour at a time." Or something along those lines.

As a parent, and as someone who is regularly in school, it seems to me that they have no plan at all apart from trying to keep things calm, and then they will be off to high school in just over a year and they will be someone else's problem.

It' such a shame because it's been a lovely school up till now. Maybe we've just been really lucky.

Do you think I am able to ask the teacher if they have plans they are following? Or is that too personal? I don't want to know the details, but I might feel a bit better if I knew they had some sort of vague plan.

randomer Mon 27-Mar-17 14:12:16

sickening.....a small minority getting all the attention while the oher kids plod on.

shovetheholly Mon 27-Mar-17 14:12:43

I don't think this is "double standards". The kids come from different places. Yours are lucky to have a loving, organised home. These children are not so lucky. The school is reflecting that in their responses to their behaviour, presumably with a view to gradually helping them to adjust.

Your own children will grow up to navigate a world in which things are not equal. The rules for woman and men are different, there are racial divides, class divides, gay/straight divides. Things are not 'fair', however much we might want them to be so. This is an early lesson in which they can learn to start navigating that.

How do you think things will work for the naughty kids when they leave school? Do you honestly think they'll have the same chances and opportunities as your kids? Is there not, therefore, some merit in simply getting the best that is possible out of them in the circumstances? And is not their plight, in some way, a social responsibility that the school is rising to?

QueenOfTheCatBastards Mon 27-Mar-17 14:12:45

I would rather have five children with complex needs in the school my children attend than one parent volunteer like you.

The reason you don't know what's going on is that it's none of your business. If you don't like it find a new school for your sanctimony. Good luck with finding one that matches your delightful preconceptions of what a school should be.

teaandakitkat Mon 27-Mar-17 14:13:16

And in answer to a few posters, I am only doing this because of the effect it's having on my own child. I wouldn't bother if it wasn't bothering him.

He is unsettled in school in a way he wasn't before, he is finding the unfairness that he sees very hard to deal with. He tells me (and I see) how much teaching time is being wasted on discipline issues. I think his behaviour is

I think he's a bit afraid of these kids too, although their aggression is directed at staff and the buildings.

It's just rubbish for everyone, all the kids and the staff. And I can't think where it will end. But sadly these two kids are not my problem or my priority, much as I feel sad for them.

goldenlilliesdaffodillies Mon 27-Mar-17 14:14:22

I have taught children like this. They probably have individual behaviour targets with much smaller steps to allow them to take part in activities. However I completely understand your frustrations and it isn't fair on the others.
This sort of behaviour seems to be more common these days. As a teacher if you complain, then often you are told it is your behaviour management, rather than the individual child's behaviour. I don't know what the answer is though!

Birdsgottaf1y Mon 27-Mar-17 14:15:36

""Do you think I am able to ask the teacher if they have plans they are following? Or is that too personal? I don't want to know the details, but I might feel a bit better if I knew they had some sort of vague plan.""

All plans and CP information is on a Need to know basis. If you haven't been made privy, then you won't be.

""but I might feel a bit better if I knew they had some sort of vague plan""

If they have a plan, it won't be vague. The plan might be to keep them in that school and little else, though.

BeyondThePage Mon 27-Mar-17 14:16:00

Can I suggest you stop being a parent helper.

Because with the best will in the world - you are not allowed to talk about these things on a public forum. You have a duty of confidentiality, of not talking about stuff that happens in school when you are there.

Trifleorbust Mon 27-Mar-17 14:20:28

This debate sits square in the badlands between SN and desperately poor behaviour. Very, very difficult. If you raise and equalise expectations for all children, this will benefit most of them, but it will seriously let down a minority who genuinely cannot jump a higher bar.

I am not sure what the answer is.

soapboxqueen Mon 27-Mar-17 14:22:45

OP if this is affecting your child, focus on that. Contact the head and explain the issues your child is having. You are not allowed to know information about other children, even if you want it to be vague.

rumblingDMexploitingbstds Mon 27-Mar-17 14:23:31

Children with needs like this can lose their golden time, play times, swimming time, and every possible privilege for the week between nine and nine thirty am on Monday morning. They get increasingly angry and upset, often have difficulty with cause and effect thinking so get very resentful and have nothing left to lose so what incentive do they then have to make the effort to control and change their behaviour?

It's usually not as simple as thinking if they tried or if teachers were tougher they could manage their behaviour and make the same good choices as most children can within those same sanctions. Yes, it's not nice for your child to see but it's about explaining what inclusion is and what privileges come with being lucky enough to have good mental health, development and not have experienced severe trauma.

If a child is getting aggressive and their behaviour is on the edge of getting dangerous to themselves or other children and they won't leave the area you can either physically restrain and remove the child and hope no one gets hurt in the process, or you can remove the other children safely. It's very slow and difficult to find specialist placements and to meet the criteria when a child can't safely be managed in a mainstream classroom and when a school can't manage a child it can be about maintaining them as safely as possible while the beaurocracy happens.

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