To think school would act in confidence?(14 Posts)
I complained about a child in DS class, let's call him bob. Bob was teaching swear words and two fingers, they're 6 and 7. At the time I was fobbed off. Bobs got an older brother...
Bobs mum was being overly friendly and quite pushy for a play date. I agreed for bob to come to us, so that I could supervise. Did not let DS go to bobs house. But lots of messages were swapped and I tried to maintain a friendly front. I don't want DS to be friends with Bob but I will never say that or try and stop them playing together. I just want Bob to behave when he's around my DS.
There were 2 more incidences where I asked school to step in. They involved damage to property and a serious incident that was missed by staff. I provided photographic evidence of severe bruising. Bob jumped with both feet on to my DS ankle. I got a barrage of texts from Bobs mum telling me to stop complaining to school blah blah. I stood up for myself and DS, did not apologise and stood my ground. It blew over.
Recently, another lad in class is having a hard time. Bobs mum has moaned to one of my friends that this other boys mum has complained about bob. She's sick of him being painted as the naughty kid in class.
Another mum told me she was very upset but not going to complain. Bob made racist comments to their child. There are only 2 non-white kids in the class and she did not want the risk of confrontation from the mum.
AIBU to think school should be able to involve parents in behaviour management, whilst also protecting the confidence of the parent that complained?
I get that if Bob punched Bill in the face, then parent gets told Bob punched someone in the face - it's quite easy to know who complained. How should school be dealing with this?
It’s impossible to preserve anonymity in that situation- because in the example given, he jumped on your son’s feet, and the teacher didn’t see it. Therefore:
1. The parent has to be the one who reported it
2. Bob will obviously know whose feet he jumped on
3. Therefore they can work out you complained
It just isn’t always possible to know who it is. Also, part of what the school should be doing is encouraging genuine apologies from Bob to the kids he has hurt. Therefore the mum will know who the kids are.
If it were possible to keep it anonymous, then I’m sure the school would. But in most scenarios it is easy to work it out- not like in nursery when the children aren’t verbal yet.
So that has lead to a parent feeling unable to complain about racist abuse. That's my issue.
Parents who don't want to have to deal with the fall out, abusive texts etc or who are fragile in other ways. Those unable to manage the inevitable confrontation from the other parents. It's bullying both generations at the same time.
It's tricky because, as the poster above has said, children talk and will feedback to their parents. The school need to be much better at managing the child's behaviour. I'm not sure how this works in reality, but I would also hope the school would explain to Bob's mum that it's not appropriate for her to be approaching the other parents directly, sending texts complaining etc.
The mum who doesn't want to complain due to possible fall out needs to talk to the school. She doesn't need to ask for any action taken, but just to let them know so that the school staff can keep a closer eye on Bob. I'm surprised that Bob jumped with both feet on your son's ankle and for a teacher (or other staff member if at break/lunch play) not to have been made aware at the time, so First Aid at the very least could be administered and a sanction issued to Bob without any parent involvement required.
Instead of Bob's mum complaining about the school or other parents, she needs to work with the school in helping Bob make better choices in his behaviour. (Although I'm guessing Bob, his older brother and mum are on schools radar and there may be interventions in place already, which of course you may not be aware of and why Bob's mum is defensive).
The school will not name and shame but doesn't stop the child telling their what they did and who they called.
I manage large teams of people, entry level admin and customer service roles. It feels like school at times. One person is shit at their job and everyone else complains about having to fix all the problems they cause. No one will give me tangible examples to work with and address the issues. No one wants to be the grass or deal with the conflict. I get it.
I try to gather at least 3 examples. Yes, that person can see who brought the examples to me, but they can't be angry with all of them when the evidence of their own poor performance is widespread.
Back to school. Shouldn't the teachers be approaching it in a similar way? Bob has been unkind to Jim, played to rough and hurt Bill, Eric and Ian, and has been overheard using racist language. Focus on Bob. Not the other individuals who are all having issues with him.
I'm guessing school are well aware of the family, I don't suspect there is anything more untoward than crap parenting and refusing to acknowledge the impact of the behaviour. It seems to be laughed off as boys will be boys, or he must get it from his older brother. So that's ok then.
What makes you think that isn’t what the school is doing? How do you know how many examples are given? Plus- what should they do, wait until more kids have been hurt before broaching problems with him?
This isn’t someone a bit crap at their job, this is a violent child.
Everything needs to be recorded, and hopefully they’ll have enough evidence to get this child some behaviour intervention to stop him behaving in this way.
There is nothing here to suggest that the school had named complaining parents. More likely bob got in trouble for jumping on your sobs ankle and, having only jumped on one ankle that day, was able to tell his mother who made the complaint.
The only way to deal with it, is how they have done and the Parent goes to the Police, if there is any come-back.
This is why the, whole class parties, everyone having each others numbers, being over friendly from day one, doesn't work.
If you have a complaint to make about a child, then block the Parents number, especially if it's for something like violence or Racism.
Our child's old school sent a letter out to parents following a serious incident where our child was hurt. The parents response was to blame us as the whistleblowers as they managed to guess the identity of our child. The Head didn't stand up to the parents. Our child's position at the school was completely untenable because of the whole mess and she ended up transferring from the school. Neither the parents, their children or the staff faced any consequences at all. The whole thing was the most stressful thing we have ever been through. Our daughter is still being treated for PTSD over a year later.
"Focus on Bob. Not the other individuals who are all having issues with him."
Is that what you feel the school are doing? Can I ask why?
I'm guessing the older brother is also not a shining example; if he also went to the same primary, then they'll know the family. There is only so much a school can do though; sanctions, behaviour management strategies and try and engage the parents. Maybe even Early Help will be involved. Police won't be interested as they're under 10, and unless it's serious neglect/abuse Social Services won't get involved. It's a tough one, and IME one that isn't really solvable unless school take a tough stance with mum and Bob and make it so uncomfortable they move schools.
Bunch of parents clubbed together to group complain about a nasty boy in my kids class when she was in year three. It was a shite school but with so many parents turned up they had to be seen to do.something. we all went sttaight to the head. And together.
@adognamedhog I'm so sorry you experienced this. It's totally shit, and to think no one has even learned a lesson on how to improve.
Thanks everyone else for your replies. I'm going to see how it goes, I just felt a stab of guilt for the mum who felt she couldn't complain.
My DS is starting to distance himself from Bob, I don't like the idea of knowing the problem exists but it's not my problem now. Bob's moved on to cause pain to someone else. I find it hard to just look away, but I suppose that's all I can do.
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