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Telling the kids that their teachers baby son has died.

(26 Posts)
DrNortherner Wed 13-Jul-11 13:32:50

Just thinking out loud here and would appreciate some other thoughts about the rights and wrong of this.

Ds's teacher (not main teacher but does PE and French and will be his main teacher from Sep) had a baby born very prematurely last week. The kids were told of this in Assembly and asked to pray for the family. They said prayers in each daily assembly following this.

Very sadly, the baby died yesterday sad

The kids were told again in school, and all parents sent a letter.

Ds is 9, and one of his best pals is dealing with loads at the moment as his Dad is severly brain damaged after a road accident a few months ago. His friend came out of school in tears after hearing the news about his teachers baby. His Mum ws in tears in the playground as she is dealing with so much at the moment and is ovbiously worried about her ds.

My heart goes out to the teacher and his wife, but is this the norm to advise the kids of the situation, who as far as I am aware had no idea his wife was having a baby.

Or is it totally unfeasable to keep this from the children?

Thanks.

EustaciaVye Wed 13-Jul-11 13:55:46

I think if they have gone down the road of praying for the baby then they have to be honest about the outcome.

Sad all round sad

youonlygetonelife Wed 13-Jul-11 13:59:37

I think in most school communities it wouldn't be feasible to keep it quiet. Someone would know, and word would slip out, perhaps in a less appropriate way that's actually harder for parents to deal with when their children find out. Also the teacher may need to take time off work, and better that parents are told the truth upfront otherwise the rumour mill will start working and I am always astonished how foul people can be.

I really feel for your friend and her son though; these situations always strike some people harder than others. Poor things sad

lovecheese Wed 13-Jul-11 14:00:47

Agree with EustaciaVye. Presuming its a faith school?

How sad, poor people sad

savoycabbage Wed 13-Jul-11 14:07:10

Our head teacher died suddenly last year. It obviously had a huge effect on the staff, parents and children.

Due to the shock, the school didn't talk about it to the dc as much as they could have done. Parents told their own children the best we could about what had happened and this led to conversations about heaven etc.

I would tell your dc as much as possible as if you don't someone else will. The rumours that were flying round our school were astonishing.

nokissymum Wed 13-Jul-11 14:12:20

My ds teacher told the class when she became pregnant, they followed her the whole 9 month journey, with ds excitedly telling me about the scan pictures, then they found out the baby's sex, she explained to them about maternity leave and they kept a class calendar counting the days.

it was very educational for the children, luckily all turned out well culminating in baby being brought into school to show the children.

Other teachers have also made any baby news known to the whole school by including it in the school's newsletter.

So i think this is what schools do and the children at your ds school would have probably known that the p.e teacher was expecting a baby, so it wouldnt have been a surprise, unfortunately this has ended sadly but i feel they are right in letting the children know.

Hulababy Wed 13-Jul-11 14:12:43

I assume it is a faith school, hence the praying.

I don't think keeping it quiet is the best idea tbh. That is how gossip and rumours start. This way the birth was out in the open and people weren't trying to second guess why said teacher was off school. But obviously once the baby died the children need to hear this too. I am sure the school told the children gently and in a non alarmist way. But yes it is said. It is tragically sad and it is okay for children to know that ist is sad and that the teacher will be upset and his friends (such as the teachers0 Will be too.

It is very sad for your friend's DS and his mum.

DrNortherner Wed 13-Jul-11 14:12:55

Yes it is a faith school.

True, I hadn't thought about the implications of not telling them and gossip and rumours flying around.

Hulababy Wed 13-Jul-11 14:13:06

Sorry, DS's friend and his mum

MavisGrind Wed 13-Jul-11 14:19:18

In the foundation unit of my sons' school they have lost three parents since Christmas. I know that the teachers have talked about it with the children however it hasn't stopped my ds asking which mummy or daddy will die next sad.

I think it's really important to let the children know - otherwise any rumours they here could confuse or upset them more.

BerylOfLaughs Wed 13-Jul-11 14:20:55

How sad. It's a tricky decision but fair enough for them to tell the children.
Personally I think children are sometimes shielded too much from real life. I didn't like it when DD (just 5) brought home a book about WW2 which mentioned gas and bombs but I realised I was being a bit oversensitive. Unfortunately it's all part of life.

Having said that, all parents got a text a couple of weeks to say the ex-headmistresses husband had died. WTF?! The current head is not new - at least 3yrs, possibly a fair bit longer!

swash Wed 13-Jul-11 14:28:04

Beryl, presumably a lot of parents would have known the ex-headmistress and some may also have known the husband. I think it is good for the ex-head to be acknowledged in this way - and I am sure she would have appreciated condolence letters.

tabulahrasa Wed 13-Jul-11 14:34:44

I think as well that you forget how close a relationship teachers and pupils have, especially at that age, the children in his class will have known his wife was pregnant, you do definitely tell things like that to your class - they tell you big things like that as well

Hulababy Wed 13-Jul-11 14:37:46

Beryl - presumably many of the parents at the school would have known the previous headteacher and some may well have known, or known of, her husband. I think it right that the school acknowledged this sad news about their previous headteacher.

DeWe Wed 13-Jul-11 15:00:40

There's also a thought for the poor teacher who has to deal with other people's children while still mourning her own, and (hopefully) stop any tactless parents asking her if she's planning on having children/expecting her to react with joy when they're pregnant/asking her what she had etc.

EuphemiaMcGonagall Wed 13-Jul-11 15:33:17

DD's teacher's partner died recently and the school sent a letter home to tell parents about it, which I thought was a nice touch as it left it to us to tell DD in a way that we felt appropriate.

It also stopped gossip going round the playground.

EustaciaVye Wed 13-Jul-11 16:39:28

MavisGrind - that's very sad sad

reallytired Wed 13-Jul-11 16:47:24

Poor teacher. I think the school did the right thing telling the children and parents. Teachers need to be treated with compassion as well. I think the OP is worrying too much.

Hulababy Wed 13-Jul-11 16:47:31

In the op It isn't the teacher who has been pregnant, it is the partner of the teacher. the teacher in the OP is the mae half if I have read properly.

Although my post still stands. Just think some people may have misread.

clutteredup Wed 13-Jul-11 16:49:32

This happened to DSs teacher- we were all given a letter with instructions not to open til we got home and in it we were told to choose how and if we wished to share the news with our DC. I thought it was a sensitive way of dealing with it. It's hard to find a way really and rumours always abound.

clam Wed 13-Jul-11 18:24:25

Many years ago, my friend had a stillborn baby boy. The parents were told in a letter home. On her first day back at work, some weeks later, a little girl (5yo) from another class asked her, very sweetly apparently, "is it true that your baby died?"
Dreadful time, all round. sad

issynoko Wed 13-Jul-11 18:31:03

My 3 young children have dealt with lots of deaths and I am pregnant now and anxious in case things don't work out. Their friends' mum at school died of cancer three weeks ago and another mum lost her baby at a very visible 20 weeks. I have celebrated the growing of my bump and their new baby sibling but have also said "Sometimes babies stop growing before they are big and strong enough to live outside their mummies' tummies and that is very sad but it's just part of nature." They know from the garden that some plants flourish and others never quite get there. I talk about human life in similar terms because they seem comfortable with that.

Galena Wed 13-Jul-11 19:44:12

As a teacher, I told my class the day before an Easter holiday that I was pregnant - I was beginning to show more and wanted to tell them before I came back definitely pregnant! I came back for one day after the holiday, went into hospital that night, DD was born a few days later at 27 weeks, and I never went back to teach. Luckily, DD was ok, but I know that the class (not sure if it was just the class or the whole school) took a letter home at some point saying that, as they were aware, I was pregnant and that the baby had been born early, and that the head was sure they'd like to wish us all the best.

I went back to see the class a few days before the end of the year with DD who had just come out of special care and was still only about 4.5lb.

Had the outcome not been as good, I would still have wanted the school told as then, it would have been slightly easier than having to tell everyone. As for your friend, clam, it's desperately sad that she was in that position. I think a 5-year-old asking that is 'easier' (if that's possible) than an adult asking the same question.

bruffin Wed 13-Jul-11 20:04:48

DDs year1 teacher lost a full term baby over the summer holiday. We had a letter home and the children were not told at school, they were only 6. There have also been a few parents die but they were told in school.
Dds teacher never returned as she wanted a fresh start.

Rosebud05 Wed 13-Jul-11 21:02:18

How awful and devastating.

It sounds like the school dealt with it well. In addition to what pps have said, the teacher did have a baby and would be impossible and very hurtful to her and her family to try to act as though this person hadn't been born into the world.

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