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To call school out for racism

(174 Posts)
Wtaffuming Thu 12-Sep-19 00:32:10

Dd5 is mixed race. Her biological father is of Indian descent. It was an abusive relationship. I left at first opportunity. I have full custody of dd, he has supervised access.
My dp has brought her up from 9mo. He is white like me.
Today DP went to collect DD from school and new teacher refused to hand her over as she didn't believe he was 'Daddy'
School is aware of the issues with bio dad and court orders.
My aibu is... If bio dad turned up would new teacher have handed her over because of the colour of his skin? Dp takes her to school everyday and has done since reception

Rubyupbeat Thu 12-Sep-19 00:34:13

Its not racism at all, the teacher was being cautious and should have been better informed.

cauliflowersqueeze Thu 12-Sep-19 00:35:16

You don’t know it was because of that. They have to be so incredibly careful. Far better they refuse and are wrong than allow and are wrong. Give them a break. Nobody is trying to offend you.

Broken11Girl Thu 12-Sep-19 00:38:50

hmm at previous responses, YANBU, yes that was racist.

BadBehaviour Thu 12-Sep-19 00:40:39

My baby is mixed race, if someone tried to collect my child the school had not seen before or genetically couldn’t be the father I would probably be impressed that the school is willing to put themselves out there (a possible situation) to protect my child.

Teddybear45 Thu 12-Sep-19 00:41:41

I think you need to talk to the school. It’s a massive red flag that a teacher stopped someone who has collected their child from school regularly (and is presumably on the list of parental contacts) because of the colour of their skin. I have no doubt that if the bio dad / Indian looking guy did turn up they would probably not ask too many questions when giving her up.

BadBehaviour Thu 12-Sep-19 00:43:23

Apologies Op, didn’t read the last bit. Think the school needs better communications. They just wanted to protect your child

SunshineAngel Thu 12-Sep-19 00:47:06

If the class teacher hasn't seen someone before, I think it's quite comforting that they don't just let anyone pick the child up. You don't know it was because of the skin colour, but in fairness, they were right, it WASN'T her biological father (though of course being a father and being a dad are two different things).

I'm sure you would rather caution than her being taken away by potentially some random who the school don't know from Adam.

SunshineAngel Thu 12-Sep-19 00:47:37

So sorry but I didn't see the very last sentence for some reason. I'm an idiot. Apologies x

Wtaffuming Thu 12-Sep-19 00:50:24

He's on her emergency contact list and takes her to school every day. Her fully white older brother was handed over to dp no problem

pinkdelight Thu 12-Sep-19 00:53:57

But if he's taken her every day that still doesn't mean this individual knew him. Unless you're saying she does know him and is purely being perverse and vindictive pointing out that he's not her bio dad? Because otherwise surely she's just not releasing dc to a stranger (to her) which is a standard precaution. It's odd that she didn't know him but doesn't necessarily follow that she's being racist.

pinkdelight Thu 12-Sep-19 00:56:27

X-posted. So was it the same teacher who handed the brother over? And she doesn't know the kids are siblings? weird.

Wtaffuming Thu 12-Sep-19 01:00:44

To clarify. I've only picked her up once this year. My, white, father has collected her twice. Her white aunt, who has learning difficulties, has collected her 3 times. Dp takes her every morning

ArcheryAnnie Thu 12-Sep-19 01:06:29

If the school need proof that your DP is connected to your child, then the school is being reasonable - but it seems that this isn't the case, as he's an emergency contact and takes her every day.

If it's because of the colour of her skin, YANBU. There's a million reasons why parents and children aren't the same colour, and indeed siblings, too.

I've been accused of being my own child's nanny before. It wasn't fun.

LikeABucket Thu 12-Sep-19 01:30:17

Better safe than sorry.

Topseyt Thu 12-Sep-19 01:38:52

You need to ask the teacher why she didn't believe that your DP was "daddy" and on the list of emergency contacts when he has dropped her off daily for so long.

Who/what convinced her to finally let DD go with DP?

Topseyt Thu 12-Sep-19 01:46:30

As it is a new teacher (new school year) then I would guess that she still hasn't fully worked out your family situation so was being cautious rather than racist. Probably another member of staff who is familiar with your DD's usual arrangements intervened to reassure her?

Communication at the school perhaps broke down a bit, but the new class teacher still needs to learn to recognise the children's permitted carers and the regular arrangements for each child. I'm sure that takes time.

ILearnedItFromABook Thu 12-Sep-19 02:21:09

Seems like a simple abundance of caution. Personally, I'd prefer this to a teacher handing a child over to someone when she wasn't sure he was a parent or approved caregiver. Now that she knows your partner and children, it should never come up again.

EmeraldShamrock Thu 12-Sep-19 02:34:56

I am not sure if it was racism more misinformed. I would definitely contact the school as the teacher was unaware of the circumstances around your ex that is concerning.
Under other circumstances IME the Teacher usually asks the DC if they know the person,.
Has the Teacher not meet your DP at drop off? I am not sure what way it works in your school, in ours at that age the parents usually wait until the teacher arrives to collect the line.
I would write a strongly worded letter to the head reminding them of the situation.

Stephminx Thu 12-Sep-19 02:36:46

My nursery refused to hand my daughter over to my mum the other day, despite her dropping off/collecting previously and being on the emergency contact list and having the security password. My daughter also recognised her and knew grandma was collecting her.
The member of staff didn't recognise her, but another passed by who did and then she was allowed to get her.
Everyone involved was of the same ethnic group and we all look quite similar (feature wise).
It was a security concern for the member of staff, who acted in the best interest of my child. Which I would prefer to the alternative.
Unless there is done some sort of drip feed coming, why have you immediately claimed the whole school is racist, rather than it simply being a case of one member of staff not knowing/recognising your partner and acting in the best interest of your child to keep her safe (especially if the member of staff is aware there are some issues with the child's biological father, but might not know/remember the full details) ?

Lentilbug Thu 12-Sep-19 02:39:55

It's not racism (I am a non white person). I think the school was just trying to be careful.

lyralalala Thu 12-Sep-19 02:45:12

It entirely depends how it was handled.

We had a similar issue when my DDs were 6. The teacher spoke to DH and I later, apologised for the hold up, and said that in the moment she knew there was an issue with their father, but for a moment couldn't remember the exact detail so asked the girls to wait while she double checked. She was thrown because one of the girls was in a phase of calling DH 'Dad' and she was sure they weren't allowed to be collected by their father (which was correct)

I think as long as it's handled quickly, sensitively and with discretion it's much better overall if the teacher double checks. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about.

SaraNade Thu 12-Sep-19 02:57:19

You are not being unreasonable, that is definitely racist imo. What if the child was Chinese and adopted, would the teacher refuse to give the child to the legal adoptive parents? It is judging by skin colour (which in today's day of mixed race families, is racist. I have to be honest, I would be marching down to that teacher and read her the riot act. Because, if he is listed on the contacts, she could have checked, and then there would have been no need for that awkward moment.

A similar story from a mother who is of Indian heritage and who lost her child in a supermarket is here; and like the teacher, the store manager judged on the colour and judged that Nama could not possibly be the boys' mother (putting aside what that insinuates about adoptive parents and what they most go through).

^ There was the time I lost Winston in a shop, when he was two years old. As I was heading to the front desk to get his name called out, they announced they had a child waiting in the manager’s office.

But when I went to claim him, they wouldn’t let me see him. “He’s not your child,” the manager told me.

I remember looking around and thinking, well, no one else is claiming this kid, and I have a missing kid, so…

“Please let me see him,” I implored.

“This child is not yours,” was the repeated response. “He doesn’t look like you.”

Almost hysterical by this point, I darted into the office – and of course, there was Winston. Another time, when Winston was about five, he flew off a flying fox. I was consoling him in the dirt, letting him wipe his snotty nose on my top, and a random dad came up to ask Winston directly, “Where’s mummy? Do you want me to find your mum?”

Seriously, dude. Do you think I’d be sitting in the dirt letting some kid’s bodily fluids smoosh into my shirt if I wasn’t legally obliged to do so?

There was also the time when we were checking in on an international flight and despite our passports, the airline lady insisted on calling her supervisor right in front of us and explaining her concern that we didn’t look like mother and son.

That was one of the scariest experiences of my life: our relationship being questioned like that when we were travelling. I was so worried they were going to call the authorities; luckily, the supervisor was satisfied by our passports.

But to be honest, the damage was done. Winston was old enough at the time to understand what was happening, and it’s something he’s never forgotten, either. He was also old enough to understand when someone asked me at the shops if I was helping him find his mum, and when a waiter in a restaurant asked if I was his nanny.

He also remembers the time a lady who sat next to us at the movies, asked if he was adopted – and I answered, “no, but he’d be even more treasured if he were.” And hopefully, because of them, more people will accept that, especially in 2019 and into the future, family isn’t defined by pigmentation or superficial appearance, or race.

So please, next time you see a family that doesn’t look like the ‘typical’ family, take a moment to think of me and my son who may not at first glance look like I made, but whom I most definitely did.

I even have the C-section scar to prove it." ^

Monty27 Thu 12-Sep-19 03:30:19

When my DC's were at school they had a list of people permitted by me to pick them up. Their estranged df was on that list as he had access on alternate weekends. My cm and sister were on that list too.
Any deviation from the list I would have to give advance notice.
It's about child's protection laws to which the school had responsibility to adhere to custodial parents' lists.
The school has done nothing wrong imho and its zero to do with racism hmm

Sunflowers211 Thu 12-Sep-19 03:41:51

Oh ffs that's not racism but a teacher doing her job.

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