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Saw a dad hit their child on the school run. Do I report it?

(324 Posts)
Moanyoldcow Thu 21-Sep-17 09:06:07

Please tell me if I'm over reacting. I'm extremely anti-corporal punishment, was not hit as a child and do not hit my son.

On the school run this morning there was a father and son who I see most mornings. They were a little late today and the boy was really agitated about it asking his dad to hurry. His dad was annoyed and kept saying they were very close (which is true) and to stop worrying.

The boy was obviously upset and pushed his dad. His dad responded by hitting him twice on the back of his head. It happened about 8ft in front of me.

I said (loudly but didn't shout) 'don't hit your child' twice. He turned to me and put his finger up to me like he was about to shout and I said again 'don't hit your child'. He was very angry but just said 'FINE' and we all finished the walk to school arriving about 1 min after the bell.

I know that parents can hit their children within limits so what he did wasn't illegal. I suppose I worry that if he'll do that in public, what does he do in private?

I would recognise him and the child so I could make a report - I just don't want to blow one incident out of proportion but if it's more I'd hate to ignore it.

What should I do?

Overstuffedburitto Thu 21-Sep-17 09:07:39

That's very tough. I would report it because if he's doing that to the child in public, what might be do in private. I would speak to the school office and see whether they will document and if not contact nspcc.

Changerofname987654321 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:08:11

If you ever have concerns you should report them. You don't have the bigger picture nor are qualified to make a judgement so it is your job to pass the information on to someone who does.

Noeuf Thu 21-Sep-17 09:09:11

The only thing I would do (and you will know if it was punishment or reaction so pitch the tone appropriately) is to email the school FAO safeguarding lead to let them know with a description.
Unless we are talking more serious assault?

knittingteapot Thu 21-Sep-17 09:09:24

You can report anonymously on the NSPCC website. I would suggest doing that.

Moanyoldcow Thu 21-Sep-17 09:10:14

Thank you. That was my gut instinct but I'm quite hot headed and sometimes need to be more measured.

thecatfromjapan Thu 21-Sep-17 09:10:18

If there is anything that concerns you, you really can just report it - way better than having it bug you.

You just go along to the school office and report (when there isn't anyone around who can eavesdrop).

It might be nothing, or it might be an incident that helps build a bigger picture. You don't know.

Schools are very discreet.

Don't gossip about it (I'm sure you wouldn't, anyway). Just report in a v factual way.

highinthesky Thu 21-Sep-17 09:10:46

I know that parents can hit their children within limits so what he did wasn't illegal. I suppose I worry that if he'll do that in public, what does he do in private?

Raise it with the school. Child protection policies are immune to parental anger. He needs help at the very least.

thecatfromjapan Thu 21-Sep-17 09:11:09

YY. Safeguarding lead.

That is who you report to. smile

redsquirrel2 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:11:15

Report it. It may come to nothing, but imagine how you'd feel if you find out later that this kid is being abused and you could have stopped it. All that's required for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing (slightly misquoted, sorry)

kaytee87 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:11:18

I might be wrong but I don't think you're ever allowed to hit your child on the head.

The sooner it's made illegal the better.

Bluntness100 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:11:24

How did he hit him? Was it a gentle cuff across the top of the head or was it a proper hit him type of hit?

WhoWants2Know Thu 21-Sep-17 09:12:03

They do take reports like that seriously. I know a woman who was referred to family support services because of a nearly identical incident. It actually did a whole world of good for that family because she just needed support and advice.

StarfishSeahorse Thu 21-Sep-17 09:12:29

Report to the school, I don't give two shits how legal it was this prick needs a talking too and his child needs support.

notgivingin789 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:12:42


Hoppinggreen Thu 21-Sep-17 09:12:45

Speak to school, they will have a safeguarding officer

Pengggwn Thu 21-Sep-17 09:13:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoosicalDaisy Thu 21-Sep-17 09:18:34

What would you do if someone came up to you and did that? It's assault. Report it.

MatildaTheCat Thu 21-Sep-17 09:18:55

I would mention it to the school. Well done for speaking up, though. Its actually possible that you will have given him a reality check by speaking out. If he'd sworn at you or worse I'd be more concerned still.

The school have the bigger picture and can take it forward if necessary. Obviously we don't know the full details of even what happened. A cuff is different to a punch. Neither ok but one legal and one not.

Iris65 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:21:41

Hitting is bad enough, but hitting around the head makes it worse. Definately report it to the safeguarding lead at the school.

Bumbumtaloo Thu 21-Sep-17 09:22:10

I once reported something I saw on the school run to the teacher. It was taken very seriously and reports were made to SS.

I will just add the family concerned in my report were already known to SS, although I didn't know that at the time I reported to the school.

LoyaltyAndLobster Thu 21-Sep-17 09:22:29

I said (loudly but didn't shout) 'don't hit your child' twice

OP you really had no right to say that, the child is question does not belong to you, and you've said that the child pushed his dad. I would never hit a child but what the boy did was unacceptable!

And I wouldn't report it, as it's none of my business.

RB68 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:24:03

I think if it was a serious slap and to the head I would report one hit never mind several - especially if it looked like a regular sort of approach to parenting - and particularly with that response as he obviously has anger management issues

But then I don't give a shiny shit for the male ego or a male with ego issues

RB68 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:26:17

Loyalty - of course she had a right to say it. It was unnecessary in chastising of the child whatever they did. Hitting to the head is a big no no

LostGarden Thu 21-Sep-17 09:27:36

The boy is not a "belonging" of the father.
If what the boy did was unacceptable how much more unacceptable was it for a fully grown male to hit a child around the head twice?
I think the OP had every right to do that, the father needs to know his behaviour is wrong, that people around him see it and don't accept it.

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