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Complaint to school

(281 Posts)
gwenig2 Fri 28-Feb-14 22:28:50

Yesterday my 10 year old was grab on the wrist in a attempt to force her from the floor to go to the headmistress office. This was a male teacher in her school. I did post on Facebook I was upset by this but did not name the school. The new headmistress TOLD me I had to remove this or she souls report to police for slander. I have removed post, but feel more angry now as they did not apologise or give any justification for the incident, which to me is assault. I have a meeting on Monday arranged after much foot stomping today. Need advice on how to handle as feel little overwhelmed and emotional.

WorraLiberty Fri 28-Feb-14 22:31:49

I think you need to slow down.

They won't apologise or give any justification for what your child says happened, until they've got to the bottom of it at the meeting.

I understand that you're upset, but I can also understand the Head teacher's point too.

How did she become aware that you'd put it on FB?

mrz Fri 28-Feb-14 22:54:08

If you are making an allegation of assault the school must follow set procedures to investigate which do take time. It's very unlikely that holding her by the wrist would be considered assault however.

First question why was she on the floor?
Next why was she sent to the head teacher?
Finally why did she need to be forced rather than go?

WorraLiberty Fri 28-Feb-14 22:57:11

All fair questions from mrz

This is why it will take time to get to the bottom of it. That's what the meeting will be for.

tethersend Fri 28-Feb-14 23:05:11

Legally, a teacher can restrain a pupil if:

-A child is injuring others

-A child is injuring themselves

-A child is damaging property

-A child is behaving in a way that is likely to disrupt good order.

Any physical intervention taken must be reasonable, proportionate and necessary.

This means that if a pupil is charging at another holding a knife, you are justified in rugby tackling them to the ground- if they are verbally abusing you, you are not.

As a teacher, you have a duty of care to keep children safe, and act in loco parentis.

Can you give some context to the incident? Was your DD lying or sitting on the floor? If so, where in the school? Is this something that she is known to do/has done previously? What happened after the wrist grab?

gwenig2 Fri 28-Feb-14 23:28:36

Another parent told her about the post. DD has been having some problems at school and this is linked to contact with ex husband. She has been acting up answered back etc which is what she said she did. She was sat on the floor and when the teacher said he was tired of her rude reply she told her to go to headmistress and he would follow. She said no and he held her wrist and tried to pull her from the floor we he did manage to do. She has a bruise to her wrist, (she bruises very easy) her wrist hurt and she oly told me follow her music lesson. We have both been through a lot with court and access rights just want to get everything back to normal as feel I have battles enough.

WorraLiberty Fri 28-Feb-14 23:35:30

I see, well the meeting will no doubt get to the bottom of what happened as you obviously only have your child's side of this right now.

To be fair if your child bruises very easily, was the teacher to know that?

I've often pulled my kids up by the arm/wrist and they've never so much as had a red mark.

Good luck on Monday but please keep an open mind and obviously keep your child's personal business off of your Facebook.

Tethersend's advice above is good, but I wanted to reply on this:

"The new headmistress TOLD me I had to remove this or she souls report to police for slander."

Too often schools will hide behind this kind of threat. They don't want parents spreading bad news about anything that happens in the school. If what you've said is accurate and fair, and you know that it's true, then feel free to stick to it. Other parents have a right to know what goes on at the school and facebook is a good way of telling each other.

As for Monday's meeting, keep your cool and let them do the talking to start with. If you have a partner or friend you can rely on, take them with you. Keep a notepad in front of you and note down points made. Know beforehand the questions you want answered, and don't allow them to give evasive answers.

Teachers are cool and professional, so however cross you get, keep the tone formal if you want them to take you seriously.

There's tons of advice on the internet about how to do meetings well, you could take a look at that too. Try to be dispassionate and not get hot under the collar because it's your child.

Best of luck, and let us know how you get on.

WorraLiberty Sat 01-Mar-14 00:40:29

Too often schools will hide behind this kind of threat. They don't want parents spreading bad news about anything that happens in the school. If what you've said is accurate and fair, and you know that it's true, then feel free to stick to it. Other parents have a right to know what goes on at the school and facebook is a good way of telling each other.

She doesn't know it's true, she's going on what she's been told by a 10yr old who had been in trouble for being disobedient hmm

Slander is a very serious thing and the OP is being very unreasonable to put this accusation out there in public, before it's even been looked in to.

Oakmaiden Sat 01-Mar-14 00:41:29

What did you actually post on Facebook? Was it "I am upset by an incident in school where a teacher pulled my daughter up from the floor by her wrist" or something similar to that?

Or was it "I am furious that the new teacher has assaulted my daughter, and left huge bruises on her wrist?"

If the former (and if it is TRUE) then you have every right to say it wherever you want. However, if the latter (or if the former turns out to be untrue in some respect) then the school or LEA may well take legal action - I know the LEA I work in would...

Only1scoop Sat 01-Mar-14 00:47:39

Probably best to keep your personal business of this sensitive nature off social media networks.

pineapplehedgehog Sat 01-Mar-14 00:49:12

I don't think she could report you to the police for 'slander', she'd have to take legal action. It costs a lot of money to sue someone for libel although I don't of course know what you put on Facebook.
As taken says, I wouldn't worry about this too much as a lot of schools try this it seems. I have also been threatened with libel for stating facts which were correct but were something the school didn't want anyone to find out about hmm.

northlondoncat Sat 01-Mar-14 14:17:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz Sat 01-Mar-14 14:23:55

If what the OPs daughter says it true then the teacher is within their rights to use reasonable force to remove her from the room

"Schools can use reasonable force to:
remove disruptive children from the classroom where they have refused to follow an instruction to do so"

tethersend Sat 01-Mar-14 15:01:32

The argument would be whether the amount of force was reasonable, proportionate and necessary.

mrz Sat 01-Mar-14 15:06:46

Holding the child by the wrist is the technique for removing disruptive pupils safely normally taught/recommended in training

givemeaclue Sat 01-Mar-14 15:12:35

I would be more concerned about my dd being rude and refusing to get off the floor and would deal with that as my priority. Can't see school did anything wrong and moaning about it on fb frankly very poor decision. This thread makes your family sound like something off shameless.

finallydelurking Sat 01-Mar-14 15:21:52

Give me a clue kind of has a point.......

LA are certainly toughening up their attitude to defamation on facebook (and other social media). The LA I work with would instruct a barrister if you didn't respond to a request from the head.

tethersend Sat 01-Mar-14 15:35:39

No training worth it's salt would ever advise pulling child by the wrist, mrz. If you've ever been trained to do that, I'd find another trainer.

Removing a child from a seated position safely requires two members of staff. Far better to verbally get the child to stand up of their own accord if at all possible, and issue a consequence afterwards.

I'm making no judgement as to whether or not the teacher was justified- he could well have been. He is likely to have been acting within the law, provided he can show that the amount of force he used was reasonable, proportionate and necessary. Personally, I would not have removed a child in such a situation unless they were a danger to themselves or others, or were sitting in a busy doorway/corridor; but it is legal for a teacher to make a different judgement call to mine, and remove them for exhibiting behaviour which is likely to disrupt good order provided the action they used was reasonable, proportionate and necessary.

mrz Sat 01-Mar-14 15:45:12

I didn't say pulling tethersend and the OP said the teacher held her daughter by the wrist

Floralnomad Sat 01-Mar-14 15:45:18

Sorry I must be missing something here ,your child was rude to a teacher and refused to do what she was told and you are cross with the school ! it's no wonder good quality people don't want to go into jobs like teaching anymore ,it must be a thankless task .

mrz Sat 01-Mar-14 15:47:16

The member of staff doesn't have to show that amount of fprce he used was reasonable

"When a complaint is made the onus is on the person making the complaint to prove that his/her allegations are true it is not for the member of staff to show that he/she has acted reasonably."

tethersend Sat 01-Mar-14 16:07:10

mrz, your response to the OP's statement that:

"She said no and he held her wrist and tried to pull her from the floor"

Was:

"Holding the child by the wrist is the technique for removing disruptive pupils safely normally taught/recommended in training"

You implied that the technique the teacher used was a safe method normally taught in training: it isn't.

Since you have been trained, you will know that the physical intervention used to safely remove someone from the floor is complex and involves two people, with no wrist holds of any kind.

I should have been clearer with regard to the teacher justifying that the amount of force he used was reasonable, proportionate and necessary- he needs to show the headteacher this, not the parent at this stage.

givemeaclue Sat 01-Mar-14 16:13:49

Think I would have rung the mother let her sort it, I bet she would have used more force than the teacher to get her off the floor

Floggingmolly Sat 01-Mar-14 16:19:02

Your child staged a sit-in in the classroom when admonished for bad behaviour (how is her behaviour linked to your ex?) and you then expressed your outrage at what you think happened on Facebook?
God almighty hmm. And you think you're due an apology from the school? confused

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