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How do you reply to this? Private school hatred.

(632 Posts)
Elec Thu 25-Oct-12 09:19:11

Ds goes to swimming, in the class is another boy who he likes. I was chatting to this boy's mum, who I have not spoken to before. She asks me what school ds is at so I tell her. It's a private school and she replied - I don't agree with private schools.

What should I have said? I cannot believe how socially acceptable this sort of prejudice is, she just said it in earshot of plenty of other people so clearly she didn't mind who heard.

I imagine if this had been the other way round and I asked her what school her ds went to and then said, well I don't agree with state schools (not my view obv!) that she would have had a go at me and probably so would people overhearing!

StrawberrytallCAKE Thu 25-Oct-12 09:21:55

I would have said 'that's nice' and smiled. Sometimes people say strange things, it may have just come out as something to say...I often talk absolute bollocks when I first meet someone. If she did mean it then...meh...no loss.

cocolepew Thu 25-Oct-12 09:22:32

I would have said 'so?' and would have gave her a look. I'm great at giving looks. hmm <-see?

usualsuspect3 Thu 25-Oct-12 09:22:32

Lots of people don't agree with private schools.

JakeBullet Thu 25-Oct-12 09:22:41

Actually she was bloody rude. All you could do is say "oh don't you, never mind" and leave her to it.

usualsuspect3 Thu 25-Oct-12 09:23:15

It's not prejudice either.

BeckAndCall Thu 25-Oct-12 09:24:28

You may find you face a lot of this down the years. Not quite so 'in your face' usually but people you thought were friends making comments behind your back, and you just have to ignore it - no amount of reasoning or pointing out tht we each make our own decisions will alter her opinion, so let it go. Your boys can be friends in the pool, but otherwise, you just don't speak to her apart from 'hello'.

MoreBeta Thu 25-Oct-12 09:29:24

Elec - there is nothing you can do. You wil get that comment all the time on MN. My DSs go to private school and we have had similar. Not quite so overt but definitely there as an undertone in a conversation.

MoreBeta Thu 25-Oct-12 09:31:28

The other way round this it is to take your DS to swimming lessons at a private school. Lots of commercial swimming schools are run on Saturday in the pools of private schools.

Elec Thu 25-Oct-12 09:33:38

Usualsuspect, you're right, a lot of people don't agree with private schools. Obviously I know that. That doesn't change the fact that it's a rude thing to say in the context above.

iseenodust Thu 25-Oct-12 09:36:06

"Each to their own".

Sonnet Thu 25-Oct-12 09:36:42

I am afraid you will have to get used to itgrin you will come across it a lot over the years (voice of experience)

tiggytape Thu 25-Oct-12 09:37:02

I think she was rude (like commenting on anybody's choices would be rude) but some people are rude so there's not a lot you can do about that.

She doesn't know anything about you or your circumstances or why you made the choice you did - some choose it because they didn't get allocated a state school near home so are waiting it out until a place comes up, some people have grandparents or employers who pay and feel it is silly to say no, some people choose private because need specialist SN provision that they cannot get elsewhere. I am not saying any of those reasons apply but she doesn't know that.

There again, I've heard people do this about state schools too - not a private v state comment but openly question somebody's decision not to go to church to get the 'better' faith school. Along the lines of "but that's an awful school to choose - why wouldn't you just go to church to get him into the good one?" People are just rude sometimes.

coppertop Thu 25-Oct-12 09:37:37

She was incredibly rude but I'm not sure that not agreeing with something means that you hate it.

I'm not sure that there was anything you could have said that would have made any difference. I would just smile, nod, and leave her to her rudeness. I imagine the other people within earshot were probably as surprised as you were by the woman's behaviour.

PedallingSquares Thu 25-Oct-12 09:37:50

I would have just said 'Oh right' or something like that. What can you say really?

She's completely entitled to think that if she wants to just as you are entitled to choose to send your child to private school if you want to. What I don't understand is why she said it then.

Does she not want your son to be friends with her son now? confused

How did the conversation go after she said it?

cazboldy Thu 25-Oct-12 09:39:33

I think I would have said "well don't send your children to one then!" grin

how rude of her!

TiAAAAARGHo Thu 25-Oct-12 09:41:37

I'd also have gone with "So?".

She can have her opinion, you can have yours. If she allows her opinion to bleed into how she treats you/your DC - that's the point there is a problem.

redskyatnight Thu 25-Oct-12 09:43:27

I think it's all in the tone really. It's either rude or just stating an opinion. I don't agree with private schools and have told many parents of private going children this - generally with the aim of having a discussion or keeping the conversation going.

Plenty of people where I live think my DS's (state) school is awful and when I mention where he goes will say "oh, I wouldn't send my children there, I hear it's x, y and z". Normally they are genuinely interested in hearing about my experience.

Eglantyne Thu 25-Oct-12 09:47:25

My dcs are at a Catholic school. I get that sort of thing all the time, including on here. And when I tell people that they are vegetarian, well I'm not even going there. Smile and wave, smile and wave...

KitKatGirl1 Thu 25-Oct-12 09:48:19

It is an oddity. I have never heard people comment (to my face) on any of the other choices I have made in my life except for the recent one to send my (AS) ds to an independent secondary school.

People are just rude. Ignore her or kill her with kindness!

tiggytape Thu 25-Oct-12 09:49:21

Stating a negative opinion uninvited is still rude though. In a two sided conversation where you are both offering opinions on things, that's fine.
But to ask someone a factual question and then react negatively to their answer is rude!

Where do you live?
Station Close
Oh I know that road, those houses are so ugly.

Are you having a boy or a girl?
A girl
Oh that's a shame. Boys are just so much more loving than girls.

Where does you child go to school?
St Anythings
Oh - well I don't agree with faith schools / private schools / single sex schools

KitKatGirl1 Thu 25-Oct-12 09:53:53

tiggytape - you've reminded me of the one other topic people seem to feel their duty to comment on (not to me; I have only one dc): the number of children they should have or the sex they're hoping the next one will be. Have to say; it's usually people saying they hope someone is having a girl: 'they're so much easier' etc etc.

You hardly ever hear parents of two girls being told they ought to hope for a boy next time but always parents of two boys are asked 'Hoping for a girl?' There is such negativity towards boys in our current society.

So, yes, schooling choices and numbers/sex of children: apparently a complete stranger/bare acquaintance's concern...

tiggytape Thu 25-Oct-12 09:58:09

That's very true KitKat.

And allergies is another one: I've heard one parent (rather nosily) ask another parent why her son hadn't eaten something they made at school. The mum explained briefly her son has a milk allergy. "Oh I don't believe in all that allergy nonsense" said the first mum and flounced off. I mean - how rude is that? Maybe she does have deeply held opinion on the over diagnosis of allergic conditions in children but if someone doesn't ask for your opinion, you don't offer it - especially a negative one.

KitKatGirl1 Thu 25-Oct-12 10:06:09

I love opinions that start with 'I don't believe in...' as in, if I don't 'believe' in them, they can't exist!

My ds must not be real with the number of people who 'don't believe' in autism, allergies or private schools...!

tak1ngchances Thu 25-Oct-12 10:07:51

I would just say "oh I see". Which says a multitude really

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