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AIBU to think teacher and possibly school way out of line and WWYD?

(340 Posts)
AstoundedandConfounded Mon 01-Apr-19 10:57:01

Name changed in case I somehow out myself!

I was mistakenly sent an email by a teacher from DS's school, which said about me "Don't you just wish you could tell her to piss off. It's clear where DS gets it from."

Just to clarify DS is in 6th form and I've emailed the school 3 times in his 6 years, so I'm not an annoying helicopter mother.

I am not happy about any of this, to say the least. I've been in touch with the head, shared the email and said I want to discuss it and received an apology back.

I have a meeting set up for this Thursday and am struggling to know how best to handle it. The issue I originally emailed in about was handled so badly that I think that is still my priority but I'm really hacked off that teachers are bad mouthing me and my DS (who is a good pupil) in emails.


Soontobe60 Mon 01-Apr-19 11:00:10

I'm a teacher, and if I did this I would expect to be given a verbal warning. It doesn't matter if what the teacher says is true, and you're a terrible parent. They have been extremely unprofessional!

Hollowvictory Mon 01-Apr-19 11:01:42

Forward it to the Head teacher and Head of Mat if applicable .
Who is the meeting with?

AstoundedandConfounded Mon 01-Apr-19 11:05:30

What is Head of Mat? Meeting is with the Head.

LLOE7 Mon 01-Apr-19 11:05:49

Is the meeting with the head, the teacher, or both?

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Mon 01-Apr-19 11:06:52

Concentrate on the issue that needs sorting - they will be so mortified by that email and so aware of how utterly unprofessional it makes them look, that they will be more inclined to fix your issue in the hope you don't pursue this further.

I don't think I'd be able to resist a dig though about how if they addressed concerns effectively in the first place, you wouldn't need to phone and then they wouldn't need to tell you to piss off! But I am childish like that. Bring super dignified will make them look and feel even worse, while getting your concerns for D's addressed, do aim for that

LLOE7 Mon 01-Apr-19 11:09:20

Cross post sorry! I personally would request that the teacher would also be there so that you can explain to them both how you would like the original situation handled, and the reasons why you are unhappy with how it was handled. I would then approach the subject of the email- that is absolutely shocking! I would worry that if that's how the staff feels about you and your son, then your son may not be treated appropriately and fairly. So unprofessional!

MT2017 Mon 01-Apr-19 11:13:22

@AstoundedandConfounded MAT is multi academy trust.

Bet they were absolutely horrified when they realised what they had done shock

GreenEggsHamandChips Mon 01-Apr-19 11:17:48

Dont go in with complaints. You've made the complaint (successfully) go in now with outcomes.

What outcome do you what for the original incident? What can the head do to sort this? Is it realistic? is there an alternative more solution prefered by the school. What works about it what doesnt

What outcome do do want from the complaint? Written apology from the teacher in question? Verbal warning to the teacher.

Go in prepared to listen to alternative outcomes. Be prepared to accept them if they are fair or to explain why they arent if they arent.

BarbieJellyBabyBrain Mon 01-Apr-19 11:22:36

Woah, what a clanger on their part, I'm cringing just thinking about it!

Yes, I would expect this teacher to get a verbal warning, and will probably write to you and apologise. And I guess all staff will need more training on being careful when slagging off pupils and parents online!

noblegiraffe Mon 01-Apr-19 11:22:54

OMG. shock

I would expect a personal and fulsome apology from the teacher who sent it. I’d like to think that I would then gracefully accept the apology and say ‘moving on, what are your proposals for dealing with X?’

You’d hope that they’d be so mortified and keen to keep you from kicking off massively that it would get sorted super efficiently.

AstoundedandConfounded Mon 01-Apr-19 11:50:01

Yes, it is the outcomes that are important and sorting out the original issue.

I'm definitely worried that they think badly of DS. He's bobbled along fine but the head of 6th form really took a dislike to him, although I'm not entirely sure why.

He does well academically (although in a normal kind of way, he isn't a genius), is involved with sport, drama events and all that kind of thing. He's a bit opinionated in a justice warrior kind of way and I think he is probably a bit annoying sometimes as he challenges some of the teachers. I have said to him that if he has a point that may make a teacher look stupid, he should raise it separately rather than in front of the whole class. However, he is only 17 and has a lot to learn!

FizzyGreenWater Mon 01-Apr-19 11:50:40

Who was the email intended for?

Because whoever it was, the teacher clearly felt able to come out with 'it's clear where he gets it from' and receive a sympathetic audience.

I wouldn't want either of those teachers around my child. And if the email was to the Head, you have a big problem.

This certainly isn't a situation where handling it with a pissed off comment at the meeting is appropriate. It's far more important than that - fine for teachers to think all sorts about their pupils and their parents inside their heads, verbalising such thoughts to another teacher indicates a culture at the school which needs to be addressed.

I don't know how I'd handle it at the meeting, I'm not even sure if the meeting is appropriate at the moment - the two seem potentially relevant to one another. It sounds very much like your initial concerns may have been addressed poorly because of the attitude of these teachers - that you were fobbed off.

If you were to go to the meeting, I would stick to outcomes for the problem itself. And I would show absolutely no interest in discussion with the teacher(s) involved in the email. The meeting would be with the Head, and I would be clear that I saw no value in discussing a solution with someone who had shown themselves to be unable to behave professionally. I don't know if that's something you could do? Email the Head and calmly say that the email is a problem in itself and you do not wish to discuss that as you are taking external advice on how best to address the issues this raises for your son's welfare (they will shit themselves at that). At the meeting, you wish to discuss how to get a positive solution to the problem originally raised, and now that you have a new perspective on the attitude of this particular teacher, you see no value in them participating and you don't wish to have contact with them in the wake of their comments about you and your son. You trust that this situation will now be taken completely out of the hands of this person and dealt with by the Head.

AstoundedandConfounded Mon 01-Apr-19 11:53:17

Fizzy the email was between the head of 6th form and unbelievably the head of pastoral care. The email was from the head of pastoral care to the head of 6th form.

I like the suggestion that I will be taking external advice!!!!

AstoundedandConfounded Mon 01-Apr-19 11:54:20

Sorry, I've explained that badly. The email that was accidentally sent to me was from the Head of Pastoral Care and I presume she meant to send it to the Head of 6th Form.

FizzyGreenWater Mon 01-Apr-19 12:00:34


That is REALLY bad.

Honestly? I'd be cancelling the meeting and getting in touch with the education authority. Head of 6th form to head of pastoral care? Neither of them should be in those jobs, and at the very least, both should now be receiving a written warning.

If you go to the meeting, I'd be very clear that it is to be with the head, that the head of 6th form is to be nowhere near, and that all you want to do is get some answers on what they intend to do about x problem. And make it very clear that as far as the email is concerned, it's out of their hands.

NotWhatWhat Mon 01-Apr-19 12:02:35

Sounds really unlikey. Are you sure someone isn’t teasing you?

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Mon 01-Apr-19 12:05:42

Gosh. I'm surprised at these responses. I would not have got in touch at all, it clearly wasn't meant for you and sounds like someone just having a moan. I would have read it, thought 'well, well well', imaged the squirming the teacher must be feeling now (I'll bet she realised her error the minute she pressed send) and resolve to keep an eye on the situation.

People want jobs to be lost because of this mistake? But then I guess the perfect princesses on MN have never made a mistake, and clearly don't think that the staff probably bitch about parents and kids all the time amongst themselves when they're having a bad day.

NoSquirrels Mon 01-Apr-19 12:08:55

The head of PASTORAL CARE sent that? Good lord.

AstoundedandConfounded Mon 01-Apr-19 12:10:31

Weeping I have never said I want anyone to lose their job. I want a resolution to the original issue, which was handled really badly and was the reason I got in touch. I'm no perfect princess and I'm sure that teachers get exasperated with pupils, but surely they shouldn't be emailing each other about telling parents to piss off?

I must be missing something NotWhatWhat, how would someone be teasing me? The two attempts to recall it would suggest it wasn't intended as a joke.

Macaroonmayhem Mon 01-Apr-19 12:11:42

Two points from me (not a teacher but I have personal experience of a similar situation...)

They are absolute idiots to be putting that in writing, no matter who they intended to send it to. However, I think it’s unreasonable to expect them not to have an opinion of you and anyone who thinks teachers don’t think this about some parents is needing their eyes opened.

However, you now have ALL the power here. I would be befuddling them by being super nice - don’t threaten them with anything, this is the best chance you’ll ever get to get something fixed to your satisfaction because they will be terrified. So, don’t mention it directly, don’t threaten them with what you could do, just focus on getting them to fix the original problem. They will be well aware of how out of line they are, no need to hammer it home.

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Mon 01-Apr-19 12:13:31

OP, I said I was surprised at some of the responses.

BirdieInTheHand Mon 01-Apr-19 12:17:50

To clarify you're seeing the head not either the sender/intended recipient?

What were you trying to get resolved in first place? The original issue clearly needs satisfactory resolution? Were you emailing in follow up because it hadn't been?

SandyY2K Mon 01-Apr-19 12:18:29

Are they so stupid to not realise that emails are subject to disclosure in an FOI request?

From the head of pastoral care as well. Absolutely ridiculous and unprofessional.

I'd want to know what action is being taken against the person who wrote it. If I didn't get any joy, I'd take it further to the LEA. They won't lose their job over it, (I've sat on many disciplinary panels for teachers) but if they did, I wouldn't care.

Believe me there are people who piss me off in the workplace, but I'd never ever put it in writing.

The fact that it was written to the head of 6ty form shows this isn't a one off IMO. They probably do it a lot.

Wolfiefan Mon 01-Apr-19 12:19:01

That’s really awful and unprofessional.
But you do admit he may be annoying and seem to be downplaying how his behaviour could impact on a whole class. At 17 he should be able to understand that the classroom isn’t the time to be a “justice warrior” (whatever the fuck that is?! confused) When he has a degree in the subject he can go back to school and start correcting the teacher. hmm

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