what the most hilarious and groundless parental complaint you've ever fielded?(338 Posts)
I have heard of one parent complaining a member of staff wasn't singing in a parents assembly.
Know this is an old thread but some of you teachers deserve a medal.
Best one I've come across was an irate email from a parent expressing disgust over us offering pony rides at a fundraiser. Even though the stables were coming equipped with shovels to remove any poo, the mother was concerned that "remnants of faeces" would contaminate the playground and that her little angel might catch something. She demanded we write a risk assessment for it, and would only be placated with several reams of academic weblinks showing that the risk was negligible. The fundraiser was on Friday, it rained ALL weekend and she was still into the Head on the Monday wittering on about the "dangers" of particles of poo.
When I was doing my newly qualified year I taught ict. I was called to a meeting with the mum of a yr9 girl. I duly attended wondering what it was about the Oct lessons that were worrying her. Mum told me 'she's picking her option subjects and I don't know what to put, you need to fill in the form"
I asked if her dd wanted to work in ICT? She answered no, she wants to work with animals. I felt obliged to point out that I wasn't her form tutor or a careers teacher. Yes, Mum knew that - please just fill in the form cos it's nearly the deadline.
I felt out of my depth but did it. Apparently she works in kennels now, so all's well...
One of our boys was late to registration every morning so I called his mum. She suggested his form tutor collect him from the car park every morning and couldn't understand my refusal to ask his tutor to do this. He was 17.
Wowsers, getting a tattoo at school what are the parents thinking
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This happened at the school my mum works at:
Class were studying healthy lifestyle choices, and this particular day has been provided with the ingredients to make a vegetarian pizza in class. I remember doing the exact same thing when I was at the school almost 20 years ago, taught us a bit of basic cooking and got us all to try some vegetables. So this year, a parent of one of the children complained that, as a meat-eater, she was being discriminated against, and complained to the local paper.
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Parent who had removed their child from another local secondary school because 'they don't support her' and brought her to ours. Girl (15) has attendance of 55% at other school and a record of awful behaviour. She quickly starts being absent at our school and behaviour is dreadful. No SEN.
Parent asked to come up for meeting and says it would help if I (and only I would do because the othet staff 'don't support her') went to every class 5 minutes before the end of the lesson and walked her to her next lesson and stayed with her for the first 5 minutes to make sure she was there and settled.
I am a Curriculum Leader, look after a year group of 200+ and teach 22 lessons. She told me I was being 'unreasonable and unsupportive' to say that was not something I could do. She said I was 'a selfish person with no humanity' and she wrote to the local authority about me and moved the girl to another school- where the girl did not attend either.
A recent one. "Little Darren has a sore leg. He is not to run around in the playground under any circumstances and you will probably have to stop him because he forgets that it hurts." When I suggested that he might be better staying in, "He has a right to fresh air. He is to go onto the yard!" Mum wasn't best pleased when I pointed out that the best person to stop him running was him (Year 6). Incidentally, his leg looked perfectly fine when he was using it to kick lumps out of the other children.
Others from this year include:
Can I make up the lunchtime pot noodle?
What am I going to do about the missing pencil from Cornwall?
What am. I going to do about the nit problem in my class?
Can I ring every morning to try and get Timmy to get up and come to school on time? When I declined, I was apparently very unreasonable and obviously didn't care about his education...
I'm not a teacher
thank fuck it sounds horrendous and you must have the patience of saints but I do enjoy a peruse of the minutes of the class rep meetings with the head from school.
My personal favourite: apparently the French teacher is not French enough. An ability to speak fluent French is not sufficient for some parents in year 4, they require her to actually be born and bred in France too.
This thread is comedy gold! Glad it's not just my school, think I've dealt with most of the complaints on here (often come via solicitors, nice area)
Personal favourite is probably the parent who responded to being issued with the 'Persistent complaints and harassment' leaflet (after a 4 year bullying campaign against a member of staff) by..... Making a complaint!
Parent left message on voicemail to say child had been ill and was going to be off school. 10.30am and child and mother turn up 'he didn't want to miss spellings and he's feeling much better now'
Ok then says I and proceed to take child through to class. Meanwhile, parent is signing child in and says 'oh yes x is feeling much better now, he was last sick at 1.30 this morning so he's fine now' errrrr sorry? 9hrs ago? Child has to be retrieved from class and sent home for 48hrs.
Few hours later phone call received from other parent complaining how dare we send child home and actually they had got times wrong and it was 1.30 previous morning
Funny how child had disclosed 'Mummy will be so angry - told me i HAD to be back at school by Wed as she has to be at work'
As this has been bumped, I'll add one in.
I'm a "leader" or a "youth organisation" shall we say.
We were off on a week's trip when a Mum pulled me to one side. Apparently year 6 DC "Doesn't eat Vegetables". I looked surprised at her.
"No, not only DC not eat fruit or vegetables, I don't want anyone to even put them on his plate or suggest that he eats them"
Safe to say that both parents are morbidly obese and DC is inevitably going to end up the same way.
Another parent came on camp and complained about the food, having eaten everyone else's portions and 2 of us went without one meal because of it....
Talking of... why do people assume we are paid? I've been told more than once that "I should be earning my pay".
This didn't happen at school but was still a bizarre and unrealistic parental complaint.
I was one of the organisers of a childrens' Easter Egg & Spoon "race" that took place after a very silly, costumed race for the adults. Every child got to take the chocolate egg they were racing with home and the whole thing was just intended to be fun. Which it was.
Until immediately afterwards when a parent came over to me and loudly insisted that the winner must be disqualified and stripped of their medal. Apparently, he'd been watching the winning child and was insistent that said child must have placed her thumb over the egg to hold it on the spoon. His reason being that the winner was only 5 and couldn't possibly have won the race without cheating. His child (who came second) was the rightful winner and he demanded that I call "the adjudicators" (whoever they might be!) in to enforce a disqualification.
No adjudicators were involved and no children were disqualified.
Just found 'the classics' and need to add my bit!
15 years ago, a Y2 child was seemingly 'behind the times' in class - answering questions asked 15 minutes previous and had been sucessfully answered etc, not making eye contact etc. I brought up my concerns with parents who then challenged me in the playground a few days later and said my accent confused her. I replied immediately that I had 29 other children in the class who didn't have an issue.
A year later a parent came in screaming and shouting and threatening to remove her child because her child had been reprimanded for telling a very big lie which resulted in the dismissal of a dinner lady (child said dinner lady had sworn; she had not). Parent said her child doesn't lie. (The entire class and the child retracted their statement!)
13 years ago I was teaching Y4 (brand new school, we had our ups and downs - mainly our downs) and a mum came in and complained that her 9 year old daughter should not be using scissors (they were the coloured handled child scissors that aren't sharp enough to cut through skin!!!)
Another parent (dad) had a go at me because I said it was not appropriate for his 9, nearly 10 year old son to throw a paddy because his rounders team didn't win by throwing the baton across the field, sulking on the grass and refusing to come into school. He said "Who said it isn't appropiate?" I said "Society!" Boys mum wanted to curl up and die - she was a TA at the school!!!!
Only 4 years ago I had a little girl bring something for show and tell. (Y1) I immediately played down the shocked expression on mine and TAs faces as I took the item to the office and explained that mummy would have to collect it after school. It was a vibrator! She never did collect it. Same parent only a year before wanted a YR boy removing and police called because her daughter and the little boy were found in the same cubicle having a wee. She claimed her daughter had been 'violated' by a 4 year old. It was truly innocent (boys and girls share toilets in YR) and she had gone in before the little boy had removed himself. It had come about because the little girl had went homeand said she had seen xxxxx tiddler in the toilets!!!
Another mum berated me and wanted to make an official complaint because her daughter wasn't a 4C in Y4. Apparently I had said she was a 4C and that it was on her report from Y3. I told them to go ahead with the complaint after 30 minutes of arguing as I knew their DD wasn't a 4C and that they were mistaken becauase at the time grades in years 1, 3, 4 and 5 weren't reported. She had mistaken DD's report with that of DD in Y6 in the previous year.
Another girl's mum complained to the head because I wouldn't share the results or compare her daughter's friends optional SAT test results with her daughter's (friend was girl of loony 4c parents).
Strangeglue that is the dunniest thing I have read all day
Parent wanted playground treated to 'remove the bacteria' ... Head had to explain that's not really possible.
During my first Ofsted inspection as an NQT, I caught two of my Y5 (!) boys smoking in the hedge alongside the school field. Not wanting to cause a scene in front of inspectors, I gave them a discrete bollocking, confiscated the cigarettes and told them I would deal with it later.
At the end of the very exhausting and stressful day, the mother of one of the boys stormed into my classroom and gave me both barrells about stealing her son's property and demanded I gave her the fags back... all in front of the open-mouthed inspectors!!
Thankfully, I don't work in that school anymore!
FudgeCake, are you sure that child doesn't have sensory problems? Has she been assessed by an occupational therapist?
DS brand new coat reception class nothing great just a plain warm black coat.
DS came out of school minus coat was taken back in to find coat.
4 years later coat has never been found
Yes, it is truely shocking. I expect kids to leave things at school and come out wearing wrong cardigans and jumpers. To a five year old they all look the same. Its the eagle eyed thieving parents that then decide to rename the stolen item and keep it that gets me. Stealing from a five year old, wtaf?! My dd has come home in someone elses jumper a few times, and I washed it and sent it back every time thinking that was the right thing to do. The best about it, it wasnt any special expensive coat, just 7quid in sale, reduced from 20. No expensive brand either. It was just clean and looked after. Absolute ming of a coat they tried to give us instead. I ended up using her bright red duffel instead. Spot that badboy from france its that bright. And because these people try to rub out or write over another kids name, I used big black permanent marker and wrote full name all in the back, then turned out each sleeve and wrote it in there as back up. I have taken school bag, all cardies and jumper and pe kit to a local shop who charged me a fiver to sew her name on the front of all stealable items. Im gonna make those parents work harder for their free stuff.
Sorry for the rant
Tahunny happened to us too.
Really don't get why when your kid comes home in someone else's jumper (obviously just picked up by mistake as kids are only five) you would then write your kids name in it? But not do anything about the ironed in label?
This is what happened with DTS jumper. Really pissed off as I thought the mum was a friend!
tahunny that's happened to me twice.
First time the coat came back via lost property after 3 (THREE) years when my back-up namelabel the label-snipping thief missed was given more credence than the name of another child scrawled elsewhere (benefits of being known around school), second time again thanks to a hidden second name-label and the fact that the label-snipping thief's name washed out of their far more visible iron-in label. The cheek!!
For high-value items I now label inside the collar in inch high letters in permanent marker. And multiple labels since they've served me so well.
Wasn't making a complaint but did happen to mention to DS's reception TA that was a bit disappointed as DS's reading book had been changed so I hadn't got to hear the end of the story - I remember it well (DS is nearly 12 now!) It was a Biff Chip and Kipper story about a knitted scarf. I then went back to her the following day and said how ridiculous I must have sounded, she did hunt out the scarf book for me! I said I appreciated how busy they were and how much the teaching staff did and could I be of any help. I then spent many happy years of volunteering in the school.
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