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Just been told off by headmaster AIBU?

(34 Posts)
Lovingthepink Fri 18-Jul-08 15:21:44

Long story but- it was sports day yesterday at ds1 primary school which I went to with ds2 (3) and dd (1). Nice day and all. We watched year 6 "fun" race which included some spray water bottles for fun. I have no problems with the water at all - thought it was a great idea BUT... some of the bottles were washed out kitchen cleaner bottles with the labels still on. I thought this was a bit silly at the time. Kids spraying what looks like dettol struck me as a bit irresponsible.

I got home, cleaned the kitchen top and ds2 grabs bottle and sprays me with it laughing. I therefore decided to write to the headmaster mentioning the above and the fact that I thought it was "a concern that they had not thought this was inappropriate" I ended the letter offering to be "chief label remover next year" my husband read it last night and didn't think it was OTT or too forceful etc.

Have just had a call from headmaster saying there were no bottles with labels on and a really "shitty" headmaster basically making me fee like I was 2cm high IYSWIM.

AIBU, I have never complained at all before and felt that if I wrote it would contain my thoughts between the two of us rather than blabbing it all over the playground. Perhaps it would have been better to speak to him but I was worried that it would sound bad and that other parents would hear it and that would start people thinking. Maybe I am over reacting and I shouldn't even be worried about the bottles. I feel a bit stupid now for even thinking about it. blush

Lovingthepink Fri 18-Jul-08 15:28:39

feel (not fee!!) lol

fluffyanimal Fri 18-Jul-08 15:29:37

I can see where you are coming from but I bet your ds was influenced to spray you by the shape/type of bottle rather than the label on it - in other words I bet he would still have thought it a good idea to spray you even if there had been no labels on display.

However it is a bit rich of the headmaster to treat you as if you were lying. He could have dealt with you more courteously, so YANBU to be upset with the way he spoke to you.

pinkmook Fri 18-Jul-08 15:30:45

YANBU - sounds like an arse of a head IYSWIM grin

FabioUnblogged Fri 18-Jul-08 15:31:18

Not the school's fault that your ds2 grabbed the bottle to spray you with. He might have seen you spray the surfaces with it and been copying you.

PuppyMonkey Fri 18-Jul-08 15:31:32

What did he actually say to you?

Lovingthepink Fri 18-Jul-08 15:34:23

Yes, I regret writing to him now. Should have just left it, I have turned into one of those mothers who has too much time to think!!! lol. But I do think it was a stupid idea to have at sports day.

unavailable Fri 18-Jul-08 15:36:01

I'm afraid I do think you were BU. The school staff no doubt went to a great deal of effort to make the day a success and what you quoted of your letter did sound a bit snotty. At the end of a long school year the head probably despaired of nit picking parents and you got the brunt of it. Maybe you should give it a day or so the next time something erks you before writing, just to be sure you have whatever it is in perspective.

rowrowrowyourboat Fri 18-Jul-08 15:38:55

The Head sounds like an arse to be honest.

Especially as I remember the H&S inspector at college having ago about not relabling jam jars and the like that were being used for glue and varnish. If a uni student can't be expected to tell the difference between strawberry jam and white wood glue why expect a school kid to know the difference between water and cleaning fluid?

Even if you HAD been in the wrong he should have been professional about and not ranted at you.

Bumdiddley Fri 18-Jul-08 15:39:08

YANBU - The reason for the letter is irrelevant.

You sent a letter so you had time to calm down and gather your thoughts and your DH checked the letter. He should have responded by letter too. Calling you up and ranting is inappropriate.

Anna8888 Fri 18-Jul-08 15:41:09

You were not overreacting.

A friend of my partner lost his 6 year old DD when she drank from a bottle of Evian that actually contained killer industrial cleaning products.

Lovingthepink Fri 18-Jul-08 15:42:03

Sorry cross threads. I didn't write in my letter that ds actually sprayed me, all dramatic etc.

I was just surprised that the school did not think that it could be a problem. I am a teacher and we risk assess all the time. I would have vetoed the idea immediately.

He said that he had spoken to the staff and there were no labelled bottles and then he went on about that it was fun spraying the water and they would not have considered guns etc.

To which I said that he was missing the point. He said that all the children in the school knew that it was water and would never dream of spraying each other with the real thing. He didn't get that I was talking about the spectators. Usual man thing skirting the issues etc Unusually for me I just backed down and said I had made my point and thanked him for his call.

callmeovercautious Fri 18-Jul-08 15:43:10

If they were using washed out chemical containers then they were breaching H&S rules. If my DD had been squirted with one of them and it had got even a tiny amount of fluid left in it her skin would be red raw.

the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations includes not using containers for other substances.

You are not being at all UR and I am shock at the irrisponsible attitude they have taken.

unavailable Fri 18-Jul-08 15:44:28

Did he "rant at you" as someone else is suggesting? What did he say to make you feel so uncomfortable?

Lovingthepink Fri 18-Jul-08 15:44:47

unavailable. I did start the letter off saying how much I had enjoyed the day and that I appreciated all the preparation involved......but yes perhaps a bit snotty blush

Lovingthepink Fri 18-Jul-08 15:49:13

Not so much "rant" as go off on a tangent and not address what my letter actually said.

I would have handled it differently- something like, I see your point and appreciate you bringing it to my attention, it won't happen again. (even if I thought person was barking!!)

Lovingthepink Fri 18-Jul-08 15:51:29

He did speak to me like I was being told off,
thanks callmeovercautious at least I feel a bit that I am not being completely ridiculous.

ivykaty44 Fri 18-Jul-08 15:51:37

What a shame - your offer sounded good, the headmaster could have used this as an oppertunity. Instead he acted like a dork sad


unavailable Fri 18-Jul-08 15:53:19

He does sound overly defensive. Hopefully he'll have a good rest over the Summer and be more chilled in the Autumn.

cat64 Fri 18-Jul-08 15:57:53

Message withdrawn

edam Fri 18-Jul-08 16:03:01

Sounds like the head is an arse who has missed the point by a country mile.

You were quite right to point out re-using bottles that had contained chemicals is a VERY bad idea. As Callme says, they were breaking the rules. And setting a very bad example - I bet yours won't be the only child who tries to copy this with similar bottles.

plumandolive Fri 18-Jul-08 16:14:51

cat64- really great post.
I don't think lovingthepink is being unreasnable, but if it was easier to talk to heads/teachers on a casual day to day basis- as you say cat, in the playground, it wouldn't be an issue.
Our kids go to a small village school.There is a family atmosphere and we're very lucky. It has a wonderful head, who is always available, always in the playground first thing in the morning and at going home time. He goes out of his way to be available whenever he can, and is totally unofficious.

Consequently the parents, and kids love him.

VeniVidiVickiQV Fri 18-Jul-08 16:20:12


Some people think their position earns them respect. They dont realise they have to earn it.

Stupid fecker.

ivykaty44 Fri 18-Jul-08 16:25:53

I can remember the 70's advert on tv with a small child being rushed to hospital after drinking from a lemonade bottle - only the bottle contained chemicals. There was a whole campaigne to stop people changing what was in bottles.

Onestonetogo Fri 18-Jul-08 16:47:41

Message withdrawn

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