Advanced search

Please help - meeting with head teacher today - very very upset by whats happened at school this week

(25 Posts)
mysweetboy Fri 26-Jun-09 10:30:15

Have name changed for this. Anyone from same school will recognise the situ. Would really appreciate advice - sorry long.

Ds (yr 5) came home on wed very distressed. One of children in class had brought in photo and it had been scribbled on on purpose. Parents very very annoyed and complained to school.

Children in class said to teacher they thought either Ds or one other boy done it.

I said to DS that it was very important that he told truth. i would be much more cross if he did it but didnt tell me. Asked him to go away for fifteen minutes and havea think about it before we talked about it again. After 15 mins he promised me he hadnt done it.

very distressed - said what if no one admits it1 I promise it wasnt me mum. (hes a good boy generally. can sometimes be a little monkey, but usually honest, teachers always praising him for being very helpful and kind, lots of friends etc.)

Next morning DH saw teacher - said how upset DS was and asked for us to be kept in the loop. teacher said no problem for DS - just trying to find out what happened.

Picked up DS yesterday to find him very upset again. Had been taken out of class to see head teacher. Did you do it. Whoever did this - if they dont tell the truth will have to leave the school.

Other little boy also had to see head.

At the same time all children in class asked 'who do you think did it'.

Bearing in mind none of them have acually seen anyone do it - this is all based on guesswork - and it almost seems to have become a game to the children. 'I think its so and so etc'.

I am really cross with how this has been handled. Why werent we called to school. Why is it all based on speculation from chidlren. All seems to have got completely out of hand.

DS terrified that hes going to be suspended for something he didnt do.

School said they were going to deal with it next week - but ive insisted on appointment with head today because i dont want it hanging over DS head.

Hope this all makes sense. Any thought / advice anyone?

Thanks x

edam Fri 26-Jun-09 10:35:24

Oh dear, poor ds. Seems to have been handled very badly - the threat about expulsion is so OTT it is ridiculous!

Very unfair to blame ds without evidence.

Scribbling over somone's photo is horrid but if people WILL bring prize possessions to school they are likely to get damaged. And the parents will have the film/digital images anyway.

Tell headteacher you are concerned that ds is being blamed unjustly, that the threat of expulsion is extreme and that there is NO evidence ds is involved. What sort of lesson is this teaching the class - getting someone else into trouble is really easy? Don't own up if you've done something wrong because you'll be expelled?

hobbgoblin Fri 26-Jun-09 10:37:03

I don't think there's much you can do to stop the rest of the class speculating. The school have to investigate the matter and they are. Schools do like to make mountains out of molehills as it makes life more exciting here and there I find and adds to the sense of authority and power for a lot of Histrionic Heads. wink

However, you also have to bear inmind that your son may be guilty. Not sure why school have talked about exclusion for something like this. That seems OTT.

I'd be the antithesis to the school's drama if I were you and wait and see what happens. Making that appointment will probably just heighten the sense of 'major incident' thrill for everyone.

mrsmortenharket Fri 26-Jun-09 10:37:49

oh sweetheart, i do think you are right in insisting on seeing the headteacher. it is not fair on you ds.

tbh, i also think that you should've been notified before your son was sent to the head teacher.

not sure what to suggest apart from just being calm and rational when you in the meeting, if it's left til next week, it won't be dealt with properly. good luck sweetheart x

throckenholt Fri 26-Jun-09 10:39:57

tricky. It sounds like it has been handled badly - threatening exclusion sounds OTT.

To the whole class they should have stressed respect for other people's property and honesty if you make a mistake and do something you regret.

I guess your DS must be very scared - if he did it - he is probably too scared to admit it (not a good lesson) and if he didn't then it must be awful.

I would talk to the head - and remain calm. Admit that you have no idea what happened because you weren't there - obviously you don't condone it - but feel that the way it has been handled has made it even harder for whoever did it to own up. See if you can get some agreement of how to deal with it from now - to get the best out of it.

Berrie Fri 26-Jun-09 10:40:52

Some thoughts...

The school is reacting to the complaints of the photo parents. If they hadn't been bothered I doubt it would have got as far as the Headteacher and been dealt with in class.

DS might have misunderstood some things regarding comments about suspension.

I wouldn't have asked the children in the class in that way (am a teacher)if it had already been established that no-one saw.

I'm very surprised it's dragging on so long. The phot parents must be making a huge fuss. What exactly do they think will happen to the culrit should he/she be discovered?

edam Fri 26-Jun-09 10:45:47

Photo parents are nuts, surely they have the film or digital image? And if not, why on earth did they allow their child to take the photo in?

mysweetboy Fri 26-Jun-09 11:04:18

thanks everyone for thoughts.

It seems that parents of photo child partic croos and have have a put a lot of pressure on head to sort out which is why become such big issue.

I was very careful when talking to DS to make sure that he knew that this was his opportunity to tell me the truth if it was him - and that nothing major would happen and that I would fully support him etc. (My mum also did the grandma - you can tell me anything sweetheart line etc).

Im as sure as can be that he didnt (although almost impossible to be 100%) Although to be honest it feels like its gone beyond that now - and im more concerned about how its being handled.

hocuspontas Fri 26-Jun-09 11:06:46

Well, we ask children to bring in photos of their grandparents if it's relevant to a topic so they could quite easily be precious photos. As a parent I would assume that the photos would be in the care of the teacher.

I would be concerned that the accusations are coming from other children if it is true that no one saw any one do it? Why would they blame DS - has he done anything like this before?

Surprised if people think you should be notifed if your child is going to be sent to the head! Also the fuss wouldn't necessarily be coming from photo parents. I would get it from the 'horse's mouth' with regards to the 'leaving' threat. Sounds OTT to me.

Hope you get it sorted.

edam Fri 26-Jun-09 11:10:32

They might blame him because the whole witch hunt is exciting and they want to take part. They might blame him because they are settling a score. They might blame him because they want to please the teacher by identifying the wrongdoer. They might blame him to be part of the crowd or to follow their best friend. Some of them might be blaming him because they know perfectly well who did it and want to protect them. And at least one of them might be blaming him to cover their own tracks.

stillstanding Fri 26-Jun-09 11:17:32

When I was about 10 years old someone's jumper got a rip in it and suddenly there was this massive witchhunt to find the culprit. We were all made to line up outside the classroom and one by one went in where two teachers grilled us and were asked who we thought would have done it. Almost all of us (including me blush) named this one poor little girl who was generally unpopular in the class for no real reason. Even now when I think about it I cringe. I knew at the time that what was going on was totally unfair and now as an adult can't believe that the adults allowed this to happen let alone instigate it.

It sounds like the school is handling the situation rather badly and am so sorry you and your DS are going through this ...

cat64 Fri 26-Jun-09 11:22:37

Message withdrawn

shouldbeironing Fri 26-Jun-09 11:23:22

It sounds like it has been narrowed down to 2 children - possibly the last ones seen with the photo or something like that. Which doesnt mean that either of them actually did this - but you do need to ask what the facts are - the teacher may well have some reason for narrowing it down this way. You can challenge them if you think it is just hearsay, but check first.

Questioning the 2 children is fair enough if there is good reason for it - but intimidation and threats are not acceptable. You need to ask if these threats are genuine - if not it is not acceptable to make them.

If they are genuinely threatening suspension and it is really so serious as they say (seems OTT but perhaps the photos very precious or obscene drawings on them or something) then you should point out that they are treating it almost like the police and parents ought to know what is going on and be allowed to be involved. And that if there is no real evidence, this treatment is totally unjustified.

I hope it is a storm in a teacup and you get it resolved so you can enjoy your weekend.

mysweetboy Fri 26-Jun-09 11:42:16

wouldnt normally expect to be told in advance if head teacher speaking to child - but we had spoken to teacher that morning to say how much affecting DS and could we please be kept notified. Teacher agreed that she would do this. Didnt hear anything from school.

Really useful to get these different view points thanks.

Edam - your post about why children may blame others rings very true.

mysweetboy Fri 26-Jun-09 11:52:38

nothing obscene on the photo - it was scribbled on in very childish way (no words etc. Just scribbles.) i have seen because I was in the classroom sorting out things for an after school thing when the teacher was talking to the child about it.

The teacher has already told us that there is no evidence from anyone that it Ds (or indeed any other child). No one saw it happen etc.

fircone Fri 26-Jun-09 12:13:34

Very upsetting for you and of course your ds.

We have been asked on occasion to send in photos of grandparents, ourselves as babies etc and these old photos cannot be easily duplicated. If a photo of my parents was scribbled on I would be furious, even though I know I should not have sent in an original. So I can see the photo parents' point of view.

I don't think you can get some children to crack and confess. I saw some research which said that children as young as, I think, 2 know when and how to lie. It's a protection mechanism and a sign of intelligence! I'm not implying your ds did the deed, but at this stage and with all the fuss, I'm sure no child would fess up.

I'm sure with no evidence/proof, the school will have to let it go. If I were you I'd be calm and neutral, agree that spoiling the picture was awful etc, but just stress that you are concerned about your ds being upset.

mysweetboy Fri 26-Jun-09 12:17:37

i agree that at this stage its unlikely that anyone (including DS) would confess because its become such a major issue.

I do think though that 2 days ago it was much easier for him to say if he had done it - he is normally very honest and willing to face to up to consequences. (even if uncomfortable for him at the time.)

Weve always been very 'its much worse to lie' with DC's from tiny - and seems to have rubbed off over the years

mysweetboy Fri 26-Jun-09 12:19:51

planning to be very calm and collected - just dont want to cry hmm how ridiculous is that !!!!

Metella Fri 26-Jun-09 13:15:49

mysweetboy, hope it all goes well. I had something similar recently with ds2 (also Y5). The other parents made a huge fuss, the class teacher mis-handled the whole thing (including asking the whole class who had done it etc etc) and it took the HT to calm everyone down!! It's so horrible, though.

cory Fri 26-Jun-09 13:26:03

well, whether it was your ds or somebody else, somebody is being intimidated into lying

and with all the emphasis on this, will probably go on to think of themselves as a liar, a permanently bad person

totally unnecessary- very badly handled by the school

mysweetboy Sat 27-Jun-09 15:10:23

Hi everyone - thanks for all your thoughts on this.

Had meeting at school.

As expected did fail to remain totally calm blushbut result is that head has accepted that mistakes were made with way handled. Is going to come up with list of recommendations for future situations and these will be fed back to me next week.

So very pleased that i was taken seriously and feeling much happier about the whole thing now.

Thanks again x

Metella Sat 27-Jun-09 19:19:47

Glad you had a good outcome, mysweetboy!

hercules1 Sat 27-Jun-09 19:26:21

Your poor boy. If he were mine and had done it I'd still be defending him as the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. Hope he's okay.

mysweetboy Sat 27-Jun-09 21:05:14

thank you x

hellywobs Sun 28-Jun-09 19:13:41

Frankly if nobody saw who did it, and nobody will admit it, the matter has to be forgotten. I hate tale-telling and hearsay - we don't live in Stasi Germany. Glad there was a good outcome from your meeting.

And lesson for future: never send anything precious into school.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now