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Supply teacher slapped my daughter, not happy with head mistress' response

(62 Posts)
LillaW Mon 18-Jul-11 16:43:02

My 7yr old daughter was very upset after school on Friday and finally told me that her supply teacher had slapped her on the arm as she was trying to help up a friend who had fallen over. I went to the head this morning and calmly explained what had happened. Head's first response was "I dont believe Miss X would have done that", I explained that I really didnt doubt my daughter's version of events as it had taken a lot to get out of her what had happened as she was so shocked and upset by it. Head tells me she will investigate but I dont hold out much hope. Once I get a response, if I am not happy what should I do? Sorry if this has all been covered before.

MindtheGappp Mon 18-Jul-11 16:45:32

Don't believe everything your says about school and they won't believe everything she tells them about home.

IndigoBell Mon 18-Jul-11 16:45:48

If you're not happy with the response from the HT, you need to make a formal complaint to the board of governors.

Write a letter, addressed to the chair of the governors, and hand it in at the school office.

MindtheGappp Mon 18-Jul-11 16:45:55

*your child

IndigoBell Mon 18-Jul-11 16:48:16

Sorry - I didn't mean that you should complain, only that if you wanted to take it further that was the correct route for taking it further.......

Also remember, that some HTs think it is their job to protect their staff and will never admit anything negative to parents - this does not mean the staff member has not been told off. Just that the HT might not share it with you.....

I agree with MindTheGapps words of wisdom. If it is a one off incident, particularly by a short term supply teacher, I would let it go......

hocuspontas Mon 18-Jul-11 16:52:02

Of course she will investigate! What did you want? The teacher strung up without giving her side of the story? I agree with the HT, that you can't believe a teacher would slap a small child on purpose. What possibly happened is that the teacher was gesticulating 'get out of the way while I pick the child up' and she inadvertently caught her arm. Maybe she didn't realise, if she did I would have expected her to apologise. The HT will find out what happened, hopefully it wasn't meant on purpose.

LillaW Mon 18-Jul-11 16:56:43

Of course I dont want anyone strung up. I dont see where I have intimated that, all I mean is that I find it strange that the instant response from the HT (who knows my daughter very well) is to say she doesnt believe it. It gives the impression of taking sides rather than investigating fairly and getting to the truth.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Jul-11 17:10:30

All she can do is say that she will investigate. Are you sure that she wasn't worried that the DC who had fallen had fallen badly enough to do some damage and didn't want her moved? It is possible that in trying to stop her giving help she tapped her arm to stop it? Not saying it was-just that there are other interpretations. The Head will investigate-she will have to.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Jul-11 17:11:33

She probably knows the supply teacher well too.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Jul-11 17:12:10

People are brusque when worried.

DeWe Mon 18-Jul-11 17:17:10

Dd2 told me once that she was hit by a teacher at school. Knowing the teacher fairly well I was sure that it had not been a deliberate hit. Turned out that the teacher had been bending down to pick up something and dd2 ran into her hand. Dd2 was genuinely distressed and upset and believed totally that she had been deliberately hit. Doesn't mean that's the true case.

pozzled Mon 18-Jul-11 17:20:00

As IndigoBell says, take it to the board of governors if you're not happy. Try and get as much info as you can from your daughter about what happened. What had happened before the other girl fell- were some of the kids messing around and pushing and shoving? What kind of mood was the teacher in? Could it have been the teacher's intention to move your daughter out of the way rather than slapping her?

I'd possibly have a word with other parents as well, to see if their children were aware of it and how it was interpreted.

Something similar happened in a school I worked at (although that was an older child) and the adult concerned never worked there again, I don't know if it was taken any further but it's pretty serious IMO.

AMumInScotland Mon 18-Jul-11 17:24:58

I think you need to remember that two people can have a wildly different view of a situation, without either of them deliberately lying. Your daughter no doubt believes she was slapped, but the teacher may have caught her arm while also trying to help the other child, or have meant to keep her arm away in case the other child should not be moved. When two or three people are all moving quickly in a small space, bumps do sometimes happen without any intention.

skybluepearl Mon 18-Jul-11 22:28:24


exoticfruits Mon 18-Jul-11 22:31:16

police? hmm I think the Head needs to investigate first.

tinytalker Mon 18-Jul-11 22:44:10

My dd will sometimes say I hit her or pushed her when in fact in the mad rush to get 3 kids to school I might be a bit clumsier than usual. Kids are very 'black & white' about these things, an adult made contact with them therefore it is a hit. They don't read situations well or pay attention to the motions of others around them. I hope the school don't ring me to ask me to explain myself :{
Maybe try and ask other witnesses what happened.

exoticfruits Mon 18-Jul-11 22:51:55

Find the story. I bet supply teacher was worried-didn't want her to move in case she had broken something-just slapped her arm away and didn't realise that the DC saw it as hitting or thought she was in trouble.A responsible Head (or any responsible adult) can't take action until they have heard both sides and witnesses. If they did it would be like the lynch mob!

spiderpig8 Mon 18-Jul-11 23:07:17

I don't believe your DD's story for a minute especially as it took a lot of wheedling out of her.More likely she has been told off for something and rather than telling you that's the reason she's upset, has invented this cock and bull story.
The fact that you don't even consider your DD could be lying, makes me suspect your DD knows you will swallow anything!

exoticfruits Tue 19-Jul-11 07:26:58

As a supply teacher, a DC once said that I hit her around the head! It was so silly that I actually laughed. Luckily there were witnesses and she retracted-she was cross with me because I made her finish some work at break.
On another occasion I put my arm across a door and a DS pushed into it, I dropped it immediately but he said that I was strangling him! Again there were witnesses. I decided to join a union at that point.
I don't think that your DD is lying-just that she misunderstood the situation. A teacher can't slap a DC-not if they want to keep their job.

cory Tue 19-Jul-11 08:13:11

I am certainly not one to believe teachers can never lie (have had experience to the contrary sad).

However, that doesn't mean children can never lie or get the wrong end of the stick either.

Basically, there are three possibilities:

the teacher did slap her

your dd is not telling the truth

your dd misunderstood an accidental incident

The HT cannot possibly make her mind up about which one of these three is true without investigating. Though perhaps she could have worded it more tactfully: instead of saying, "I can't believe" she could have simply said "I will investigate". But you can't possibly expect her to condemn someone unheard.

spiderpig8 Tue 19-Jul-11 16:56:55

..and why would she slap her when she was being good.I would have been more inclined to believe her if she said she had been slapped while being naughty.

exoticfruits Tue 19-Jul-11 17:00:12

Which all goes toshow it was probably a misinterpretation! She was helping a DC up who had fallen-I guess the teacher was worried about moving her.

MigratingCoconuts Tue 19-Jul-11 18:41:14

why didn't you have the calm chat with the teacher first?

houseofheave Tue 19-Jul-11 18:49:20

It will be investigated as the HT has to investigate any complaints like that.

I'm not surprised by her response. Imagine someone told you someone you knew well had hit someone, a common first reaction is "I can't believe they'd do that." It doesn't mean that they won't take it seriously.

I can't imagine why a teacher would hit a child who was helping someone up. It sounds very strange. I'm with the pp who said that it would be more believable if it had happened when she was doing something naughty.

I'll go for misinterpretation.

CalamityKate Tue 19-Jul-11 19:01:27

I'd lay good money on your daughter having misinterpreted something. As someone has said, maybe the teacher caught your DD's arm by accident.

I find it far harder to believe that a teacher would slap a child deliberately than a child making an honest mistake.

My DS came out of school the other day accompanied by the HT - I immediately thought "Ooohhhh, what's he done....", only to be informed by the HT that she'd just poked him in the eye. By accident, obviously grin

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