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Is the school BU? Sorry for length but don't want to drip feed.

(148 Posts)
WateryTart Tue 20-Jun-17 06:05:31

I think so but an outside perspective would be helpful. It's about my niece's child B.

18 months ago B was very unhappy in school. She had a friend D who was becoming increasingly demanding and making her very unhappy. D insisted on sitting beside her and being her partner whenever they had to pair up. If B wanted to play with other DCs D would complain to the teacher and the dinner ladies about being excluded and B was told to "be nice". But D didn't want to play with the others she wanted B to herself.

It came to a head when B asked another friend round for tea after school and D got very upset, screaming and crying in school. D's mum sent a very nasty text to B's mum about B being a bully etc. B's mum had had enough and went into school to try to sort it out. She made it clear that she was very unhappy that B was being forced into a friendship that wasn't working for her. She asked that B be moved and not compelled to sit beside D or always be her partner. Or that B be forced to play with her when she didn't want to.

This was met with resistance but B's mum insisted and B was allowed to move and play with others. She did sometimes play with D but D didn't like group games and B does, so not very often. D's mother still complains to the school but B is no longer forced into anything. Things have calmed down and B was happy in school.

The class is having a wonderful day out soon but D's mum has said that D "must" be paired with B or she's not going. B has already agreed to pair with another child and doesn't want to be D's partner because D will dictate the whole day. The teacher has put a lot of pressure on B and has said she "may have to insist" or D won't be able to go. They are 9 years old.

Niece is going in this morning and is very anxious. I've told her to stick to her guns. I was a teacher and I know these things can be difficult but this is very wrong, in my eyes. Is the school BU?

MrsJamin Tue 20-Jun-17 06:08:09

Yes they are, have they forgotten what happened in the past?

MyGastIsFlabbered Tue 20-Jun-17 06:13:13

School are BU. If D won't go unless she's paired with B, and B doesn't want to be paired with D, then that's D's choice. Is D NT? If so, I wonder what hold D's mum has over the school that she can dictate to them about this?

Poppet1974 Tue 20-Jun-17 06:18:38

No, I would have a word with the teacher, there's no way B should have to pair up with D if B doesn't want to.
Very odd of D's mother to ithat they're partners for the trip.

WateryTart Tue 20-Jun-17 06:25:58

I should have said in the OP, sorry, D isn't NT.

The mums used to be good friends but that has broken down because D's mum really seems to believe that B should do what D wants "because she's autistic and doesn't understand".

I'm glad people think the school is BU. They are looking for an easy way out of a difficult situation.

MrsJamin Tue 20-Jun-17 06:33:42

That piece of information makes more sense that the school and D's mum should act in that way but B should be able to choose who her friends are.

flumpybear Tue 20-Jun-17 06:40:15

What's NT?

WateryTart Tue 20-Jun-17 06:41:23

Sorry, again. That vital piece of information went in the edit, somehow.

MaisyPops Tue 20-Jun-17 06:42:16

The school are being unreasonable by forcing that friendship. What they should be doing is working with D to help them socially.

It seems like B is happy to play with D but not exclusively.It's totally out of order to expect B to not play group games and spend her school days being tied to one child.

It's also out of order that D's parent seems to think it's OK to accuse a child of excluding purely for wanting to play with other children. Equally, it's not the parent's place to dictate who children are paired with "or my child won't go".

I hate it when parents act like that at school. By all means calmly discuss concerns but all this demanding and slinging weight about makes me want to say 'fine.dont go.'

user1492287253 Tue 20-Jun-17 06:43:20

your neice is right. it is her job to advocate for her daughter. she should not have her life made difficult just because she is in the same class. there is a difference between kindness and sacrificing your own happiness.

DianneDionne Tue 20-Jun-17 06:43:42

The school are BU, it shouldn't be down to B to facilitate D's needs all of the time. There should be opportunities for B and D to have some space from each other to help their friendship, what the school (and D's mother) and doing is ruining their friendship rather than nurturing it.

All adults need to sit and have a meeting about how to move forward whilst protecting the needs of both girls. Maybe a compromise can be reached for the trip but it shouldn't be blamed on B if D doesn't go.

BikeRunSki Tue 20-Jun-17 06:45:43

NT = Neuro Typical

whatthehell33 Tue 20-Jun-17 06:46:47

So D is autistic and it sounds as if mum and school are relying on B to provide a support system for D. This is fair enough whilst B is happy with the arrangement but she's clearly unhappy and shouldn't on any account be forced into it. The emotional blackmail (D can't go unless B is her partner) is extremely unfair on B and your Bruce needs to stick to her guns and ask them to stop pressuring B.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Tue 20-Jun-17 06:46:56

It is not fair to B to basically cast her as D's keyworker. It sounds like she is D's source of security and adults are facilitating this. An actual adult needs to be in the role of keyworker to support D to both cope with out of routine events (trips etc) and to form more balanced friendships with a few peers, not just one.

I don't expect the school can afford this support though. sad

Siwdmae Tue 20-Jun-17 06:47:13

School is bu. You don't sacrifice one child so another can be kept quiet and her mother too.

peukpokicuzo Tue 20-Jun-17 06:50:14

D clearly needs more support to cope with a mainstream school environment. She has latched on to B as her support, putting a huge amount of pressure onto her that no 9 yo is equipped to deal with. The school would rather throw B's own wellbeing under the bus than face up to the fact that they need to do more to support D. The school is being very unreasonable.

tillytown Tue 20-Jun-17 06:53:25

Seeing as my nephew is autistic and has no friends at school, I can see why this woman is pushing for the friendship so hard. He wants to join in, but doesn't know how, and no one wants to waste their playtime with him, it's horrible.
I agree with pp that your niece shouldn't be made to do things she doesn't want to, but I feel awful for D. Doesn't she have a one to one to take her on the trip?

flumpybear Tue 20-Jun-17 06:53:28

Thanks bike
Yes I agree with others that the school need to back off, she's not your nieces aDD responsibility - she skis needs to explore friendships with other people and definitely if D is too prescriptive in the way the day pans out - perhaps they should suggest a teacher looks after D instead, or a parent

Joey7t8 Tue 20-Jun-17 06:53:43

School is definitely not being reasonable and it's unfair on B to have to take there burden of D.

It also doesn't teach B good lessons about relationships being a two way consensual thing.

FrancisCrawford Tue 20-Jun-17 06:55:40

School and the girls mum are being v unreasonable

They cannot dictate like this because it is akin to excluding B from the possibility of forming other friendships

The school are using a form of blackmail. B is not responsible if D decides not to go on the trip. B has already got a partner and she and her friend should not be punished

Sadly, the actions of the mother and the school are probably going to destroy any friendship

They should be helping D to form new relationships and fostering understanding and inclusion. But this goes both ways and B absolutely deserves Tobee treated in the same way

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 20-Jun-17 06:57:54

School are being very U.

What if B is off sick
What if B has to move.
What if B breaks their leg and has to stay in at break eye

At some point they are going to have to step up and support D. B is there to get an education and make friends she's not there to take the heat off teachers with more challenging children.

Sirzy Tue 20-Jun-17 06:59:22

Ds is autistic and has massive problems socially. However I would never try to force a friendship upon another child especially at the cost of that child's happiness.

School should be working with D to help her develop her social skills and build friendships which work both ways.

MaisyPops Tue 20-Jun-17 06:59:26

B has been happy to play with D.

She just doesn't want to be exclusively directed to play with D at the expense of other friendships.

Say this forced friendship goes on for years and then D moves school, B is left in a school with well established friendship groups but she's not part of them because adults decided it was appropriate to guilt trip a child into being someone's key worker.

youarenotkiddingme Tue 20-Jun-17 07:00:47

Interestingly my reply before I read the further updates was

My ds has autism and although i expect the school to support him to be included I would never expect them to stop another child's autonomy over their own friendships to do it.
When our on trips he had an extra adult so would tend to go in a group and if partners were needed they'd alternate so win win for everyone.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 20-Jun-17 07:02:28

I feel sorry for D, because my niece has Aspergers and has very few, if any, friends. She does try, but she tries TOO hard sometimes and many people find her very overwhelming. sad

I think that the school should actually try to ease the situation by suggesting that D join in as a 3 with B and her partner. Obviously from a coach-seating point of view, there would have to be some wiggling to deal with it, but in general, it should be ok for them to be a 3. Then, if D tries to take over, B will have her partner to back her up in standing up to D.

It would be a shame for D to miss out, and a shame that she has no one else; but B should not be made to be responsible for her At All, that's ludicrous and the school should not be pressuring her to do so.

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