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Random person pretending my son is their son to prank call school?! School day it's a safeguarding issue?

(28 Posts)
goldiepoxxie Fri 31-Mar-17 06:05:52

DS won an award 2 years ago and it has his name on the Twitter with a picture "congratulations to..." kind of thing.

Never once caused a problem.

His school has received phone calls of a man stating "his son X won't be in school for this this and this" and he is using my son's name. I can only imagine it's some kind of prank? It happened the first time and when DS turned up it was just shrugged off as a mistake, when it was the second time they got the person to clarify who his son is and described him.

This is when I realised it has to have come from the Twitter picture, surely?

They have taken the photo down but have called me in and said that it's a safeguarding issue? I don't see how it's a safeguarding issue. If they thought it was some twat who had seen the photo (they clearly do as they removed it) then why is it a safeguarding problem?

It doesn't make much sense and I'll be contacted today by safeguarding officer. I've not slept all night. Do you think they're suspicious about our family or something?

Char22thom Fri 31-Mar-17 06:09:53

Safeguarding issues relate to any issue regarding the safety and privacy of your child. Potentially your child is known to strangers by name because of the twitter photo and that puts him at risk of (potential) harm so it is very much a safeguarding issue x

Bue Fri 31-Mar-17 06:10:02

By safeguarding issue don't they mean they are concerned about your son's safety? I don't think they're implying you have anything to do with it.

feesh Fri 31-Mar-17 06:12:44

Who put the pic on twitter? I'd be hugely annoyed with anyone posting a photo with a name of either of my children on twitter!

LucyFuckingPevensie Fri 31-Mar-17 06:13:51

Oh no, I doubt they think it's anything to do with you.
Safeguarding is a massively broad term.

goldiepoxxie Fri 31-Mar-17 06:18:37

feesh the school put it on the school Twitter.

So it's definitely not because they have some weird suspicions about us as a family!! I'd hate that.

VintagePerfumista Fri 31-Mar-17 06:30:20

It won't be a random. It will be a mate of your son's playing tricks.

If you didn't want the pic etc going on social media then surely you should have said at the time? You presumably signed the usual blabla photos may be used by the school bla bla?

if you didn't, then I'd have a moan about that.

feesh Fri 31-Mar-17 06:35:52

I'd be really annoyed at the school for that!

TheoriginalLEM Fri 31-Mar-17 06:40:12

I'd be more worried about some random pretending to be my child's father than what yhe the school thought about me tbh.

CrohnicallyPregnant Fri 31-Mar-17 06:44:00

I presume the safeguarding is if this person phones again, you don't know, and no one notices that your son isn't in school when he should be.

Could you use a password in future? So something agreed between you and office so that if you genuinely phone up about your son to say he won't be in, they know it's you (or someone instructed by you). Then they can safely ignore (or even report, if they feel it's crossing into harrassment) anyone who doesn't give the password.

Depending on child's age, it might be appropriate to use a password for pick up as well (many nurseries use this system). Just to be on the safe side, prevent any possible 'your mum asked me to get you...' scenarios.

Lessthanaballpark Fri 31-Mar-17 06:48:02

If you didn't want the pic etc going on social media then surely you should have said at the time? You presumably signed the usual blabla photos may be used by the school bla bla?
OP obviously didn't foresee some idiot playing a prank like this did she? FFS, way to be sympathetic.

OP, it's not about you at all. They'll be calling you in to discuss ways of keeping your son safe and maybe finding out who this guy is.

Optimist1 Fri 31-Mar-17 07:28:52

I'm not convinced that the Twitter picture is necessarily the cause of this - there must be lots of people who know his name and what he looks like in your circle of friends/acquaintances/service providers. It's certainly a weird prank to be pulling, though, and I imagine that the school will be asking if there's any light you can shed on it (no blame whatever attached to you) and arranging a password as a PP has suggested.

apotheke Fri 31-Mar-17 07:37:36

It's usually policy in schools to publish photos with first name only.

That's really strange. I too would agree a password between you and the school for all future communications and make sure they have spread the word to all their admin staff.

DustyMaiden Fri 31-Mar-17 07:43:11

What would be the motivation of a person wishing the school to think your son would not be attending?

How old is he?

Do you take him to school?

KateDaniels2 Fri 31-Mar-17 07:46:23

They may not want to edge their bets that it definitely is the twitter picture.

They have probably taken it doen just in case. But from their point of view (as safeguarding one) they may want to work with you to make sure he is safe.

I don't think they are worried about your family. But what if he was in touch with someone online, who was/is testing how easy it would be to get him out of school. Or seeing how easy it would be to get another pupil out.

It could be twitter but it could also be anyone who knows your son.

00100001 Fri 31-Mar-17 07:49:48

It is a safeguarding issue.

This person knows your sons name, what he looks like and which school he goes to.

What is to stop them ringing school saying "Morning, James Smith is ill today and won't be in. "

Then this person waiting for your son and kidnapping him?

Yes the chances are slim to zero.

But that is why it is a safeguarding issue.

Floggingmolly Fri 31-Mar-17 07:49:58

Is it definitely an adult making the calls? It most certainly is a safeguarding issue, I'd be extremely concerned.

00100001 Fri 31-Mar-17 07:50:54

Sorry the school wouldn't look for James when he didn't turn up I'm the morning. And you might only find out when he didn't come home that afternoon?

TinfoilHattie Fri 31-Mar-17 07:52:57

Very much doubt it would be Twitter.

Far more likely that it's a disgruntled friend who is pisssed off that your child has won an award or has just fallen out with him. Teens make prank calls all the time, and can sound a lot older than they are. Or they ask an older sibling to make the call.

Just ask school to set up a password, or if they receive a similar call in the future to call/text you to confirm.

TinfoilHattie Fri 31-Mar-17 07:54:16

Then this person waiting for your son and kidnapping him?

Oh FGS get a grip. Stop scaremongering and being ridiculous.

FanSpamTastic Fri 31-Mar-17 07:56:53

It is possible that the school has failed its own policies on pictures and needs to address that. There will be policies in place with regard to identifying pupils. For many schools this will be along the lines of - don't use full names in captions, if child is named in the photo, don't use the photo etc.

NormaSmuff Fri 31-Mar-17 08:02:01

do they have cctv?
hopefully the school can take this further in that case

NormaSmuff Fri 31-Mar-17 08:03:24

unless of course the man didnt go in to the school <<bangs head on table>>
glad they are taking the picture down.
there are nutters out there obviously

TinfoilHattie Fri 31-Mar-17 08:08:26

CCTV of a phone call.... that would work.

Do people seriously think that "kidnappers" are spending hours trawling back through TWO YEARS of a school's Twitter feed to identify a victim, make prank calls and then lie in wait to abduct the child?

Or what's the more likely scenario - that they child has annoyed or fallen out with a classmate, who is making prank calls?

00100001 Fri 31-Mar-17 17:41:59

tinfoil I'm was just explaining why it's a safeguarding issue confused

OP asked, I answered.

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