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How should I handle this?

(25 Posts)
emmamama Tue 24-May-05 17:02:35

This goes on a bit, sorry.

DS is in 4 years 9 months and is in Reception class. When I went to pick him up from school this afternoon his teacher asked to me come into the classroom where she told me he had behaved terribly. He has called a girl in class 2 (6 years old) 'fatty fat fat' and upset her. When asked by the teacher why he called her that he replied, quite matter of fact 'because she is' and showed no remorse about it.

Therefore he has been moved to a different class (just next door) and has to spend all his playtime this week indoors. His teacher also said that she didn't know if she wanted him back in her class at all after the way he behaved ( I think this was for effect though).

So when we got home I asked him about it and he is upset, obviously, but I am starting to think that her punishment may be OTT. He is a lovely boy, who is quite shy, certainly not a bully and we've never had any problems with him before. I'm starting to think that maybe he didn't call her a name out of nastiness. I know it must be terrible for the poor girl who got called this and if that was the reaon he said it than I am mortified.

I really don't know how to handle it. Atm he is upstairs in his bedroom crying.

Any thoughts?

bundle Tue 24-May-05 17:05:19

i would explain to him that the sadness he's feeling at the moment is just how the girl he called names was feeling. i do think the teacher was a bit over the top re: the playtimes (though i don't condone what he's done, there are worse things)

Jimjams Tue 24-May-05 17:10:26

sorry I think the teacher has been way OTT. No he shouldn't have said it- and if he wasa grown man I would be horrified. But he's 4 ffs- he's still finding out what is acceptable and what isn't. To him calling her fatty fat fat is probably no different from calling her pooey face or something (whcih 4 year olds seem to revel in)- yes he needs to know that name calling is no acceptable, but making out that he's so nasty that she might not have him back in her class is ridiculous.

Does the teacher have kids herself?

WigWamBam Tue 24-May-05 17:14:13

I think this is really OTT. He's not 5 yet, for heaven's sake. Yes, he should know that it's not an acceptable thing to say, but to punish him all week for it, and to indicate that she doesn't want him back in her class seems very strange to me.

Is the head teacher approachable, and would you be happy to speak to her/him about it?

emmamama Tue 24-May-05 17:15:03

Well that's the other thing, his teacher is about 12 years old and this is her first class. I have heard other mothers in the playground say she can be a bit heavy handed at times and makes things worse than they are.

The more I think about it, the more I think he didn't say it maliciously. He is the youngest in his class and can be silly, but he is not nasty.

Thanks for your responses, it has helped. I will go and talk to him now, and give him a big cuddle too.

alexsmum Tue 24-May-05 17:24:13

yep- over the top completely.

its def a young teacher thing. my ds's teacher punished him in his first week of school aged 4 yrs 6 months for going to the loo without permission.

go to the head.

emmamama Tue 24-May-05 17:30:04

Bless him, he's exhausted from all the crying.

I will raise this issue, do you think I should see his teacher first? I want to make sure I have all the facts.

trinityrocks Tue 24-May-05 18:29:32

that teacher sounds like she needs more experience with that age of children
Give your ds a hug from me

darlingbud Tue 24-May-05 18:33:19

I must admit that at our primary school if we did anything wrong (and namecalling is wrong) we missed playtime too. maybe not all week but at least a day or two.
I think the bit about him not going back into her class is a bit OTT - she could just explain why it was wrong and make her apologise to her face.

bundle Tue 24-May-05 18:34:44

i think a day or so would be in line with the "offence".

Lonelymum Tue 24-May-05 18:35:48

I second everyone who has said that the teacher sounded OTT to me. Not that your ds should be allowed to get away with what he said, but for her to say she wasn't sure she wanted him back in her class (she said that in front of him?) and to punish him by missing all playtimes this week is way OTT to me (I am a teacher). He is only 4 himself FGS! Surely a bit of disapproval and being asked to apologise to the child would have been sufficient (and letting you know this had happened of course).

youngmama Tue 24-May-05 18:50:37

She has gone OTT for sure.Yes,he shouldn't of said it,yes,he needs to be told and made clear that it is not nice,but he is 4 years old.I think kids of 4 are just beginning to build up compassion for others,they don't always have full understanding of their actions and feelings of other people. I agree that he needed to be told and could understand if he had to miss one break time,but to miss all week. A week is along time for a kid,and I am not sure it will stop him(or any other kids)from calling others names.
And for th teacher to say she is not sure she wants him back in class,I think she needs to learn some compassion

emmamama Wed 25-May-05 11:42:45


Spoke to teacher this morning. Straight away she said she wouldn't change her mind, didn't even give me chance to explain!!!

I eventually managed to put my case forward i.e. yes, punish him for one playtime but not a whole week. She said she would think about it and I would get her decision tonight! But that he had to stay in all day today as he couldn't be supervised yesterday so did not miss playtime. I agreed and thanked her for reconsidering but she kept saying yes but I insist he stays in today and I am *only reconsidering*. I got the feeling that she will not back down as she sees it as 'losing face'. If she insists ds has to stay in all week, I am going straight to the headmaster.

Gobbledigook Wed 25-May-05 11:45:32

Not read other posts but I do think his teacher is being OTT - perhaps she should just have kept him in for playtimes for the next day but not the whole week and to suggest he didn't go back into her class is just utterly ridiculous. He's only 4 FGS!

I think a stern talking to about name calling and day inside rather than the playground is MORE than enough at this age.

Will read the thread now and probably find my post totally inappropriate!

Gobbledigook Wed 25-May-05 11:48:51

Oh good, I'm in line with everyone else! I agree with someone else who suggested he apologise to the little girl in person. That's all it needs.

Actually I'm getting really cross and upset about this now - just imagining my 4 yr old being treated like this in school makes me feel sick. God, I'd be going in all guns blazing, mother from hell!!

emmamama Wed 25-May-05 11:51:37

Thanks gdg, I'm not pretending ds is an angel, he's not. I'm just waiting for her to mention bullying and I will down on her like a tonne of bricks!

In fact I got so angry this morning and I had to go and buy some gorgeous shoes. I might send her the bill.

Gobbledigook Wed 25-May-05 11:54:37

PMSL!!!! So funny!!

I just think the punishment is WAY over the top for a 4 yr old who, like everyone else has said, is just learning about social graces!

sommer2000 Thu 26-May-05 15:50:11

I agree totally OTT.What happened in the end did she relent

bev1e Thu 26-May-05 22:02:48

Way over the top - but maybe she's done the poor little lamb a favour by having him moved to a different class if this is the way she is going to discipline her little ones!

NannyL Thu 26-May-05 22:06:37

I completely agree to puncih a 4 year old for a week for a moment where he probably didnt realsie what he was saying is MADNESS

comepletly rediculouse and TBH im completley shocked that this type of thing can happen in a schools in 2005

yes if he was a 10 year old or something but quiet simply hes not!

4 year olds need to be punished "now" then have the event forgotten about.... after a week hes not gonna be 'benifitting' from the punishment anyway.

He was obviously upset, and yes should probably say sorry (isnt that what we teach children.... say sorry and move on a 'forget' about it?, im sure in most otehr instances he would be made to say sorry, then forget about it.

I think you should go to the head teacher and explain WHY you think the punishment was inappropriate, and what are they going to do to ensure it doent happen again to him (or other 'innocent'4 / 5 year olds genuinely are not being nasty and just 'dont know')

If you dont get a satisafctory responce i would seriously consider removing him from a school where disciplinary preocedures are SOOO inappropriate to a child developemnt / understanding

Goos luck to you!!!

cupcakes Thu 26-May-05 22:16:28

I haven't read the whole thread so I apologise if I'm repeating anything but this is just like my ds - also 4 and in reception. 'Fat' seemed to be his new favourite word, especially in the phrase 'my big fat bum' (which he does not have!). Very weird and a bit annoying but I know he picked it up from other children in his class. I have heard a very nice girl whisper to ds 'tell your mum she has a big fat bum' . It just seems to be the word du jour. He also used it in place of 'big' - I guess 'fat' was just more fun to say.
I have had to tell him it is a rude word and that people don't like to hear it - he has kind of accepted this and rarely says it now. If he hears anyone else mention it (in a purely innocent way!) he is quite shocked!
This teacher has completely overreacted. I hate seeing boys being tarred with a 'bully' brush for no reason. It really doesn't seem fair. I bet if he had said it to another boy there wouldn't have been this problem. Your poor ds - I am so angry on his behalf.
Definitely go to the head - you can't punish a boy this age for this long, he'll hardly remember what it is he's being punished for.
At least it's almost the end of the year - hopefully he'll have an adult for a teacher in September.

swedishmum Thu 26-May-05 23:37:33

Agree with others. Also feel children need to run around and release energy at break. He's hardly doing that if kept in. I'm sure he school has a standard procedure for name calling - much less cruel nthan what your 4 year old is going through - I'd ask the Head what it is.

handlemecarefully Thu 26-May-05 23:44:10

it's good to see that the teacher takes this seriously (because like you, i feel for the poor girl, and tbh if I was her mother and heard about this I'd be desolate) - but heck yes she has been disproportionate. Being sent to another class for a day would have been more reasonable, not an entire week.

and certainly out of order to say to you that she doesn't know if she wants him back in her class at all given his behaviour.

emmamama Fri 27-May-05 10:26:08

Thank you very much for all your messages, sometimes you just need someone to look at it from an unbiased perspective.

Anyway I went to collect ds from school and was ready for a fight. His teacher let him leave and never said a word! So I marched over to her and asked her has she had a think. She said she wasn't going to change her mind, at which point I almost lost it! I said that there was no way she could keep him in all week, she then said 'oh he doesn't have to stay in for the rest of the week but he has been kept in today'. She completely missed the point!!!!!

She even said that she had been to see the headmaster who agreed that he shoudln't have said it! . I could only say so many times that that wasn't my main grievance, but she wasn't listening.

So, although she has really pi**ed me off, the result is he isn't being punished as much as she first decided. Just glad that she *hasn't had her contract renewed* .

Coming to a school near you soon ....Miss Jackboots. Watch out.

bev1e Fri 27-May-05 10:35:08

Maybe you should still have a conversation with the Head - I thought schools were supposed to work WITH parents!

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