Missing sports tournament for bad behaviour. Standard practice?(19 Posts)
There's a boy in DS's class (Y6) who has always been a little troubled and has angry outbursts, sometimes hurting other children. To my untrained eye his self esteem seems low sometimes, though at other times he acts like an arrogant bully. He's very good at a particular sport and my DS is in the team too. Recently there was an inter-school tournament, and they had a strong chance of winning it, which would have been a first for the school.
In the end though, the boy was told he couldn't go because of a bad behaviour incident, and inevitably the team didn't do quite so well as expected. My DS feels disappointed with his teachers for preventing the boy from going. Personally I think it would have been good for his self esteem.
Is it a standard sort of punishment? I'm not sure I see the benefit - surely it'll just make him more angry and disengaged if he's prevented from taking part in the things he's good at?
It is a standard response I'm afraid (speaking as a teacher).
Generally however, it's to do with risk assessments. If this involved a trip off the school site, a child known to have aggressive outbursts would be considered to be "high risk" and uninsurable for a trip.
I was recently not able to take a Year 1 boy on a trip because his behaviour made him too high risk.
Children we send to sports tournaments are ambassadors for the school, their behaviour reflects the standards we expect our children to show towards others. If a child cannot maintain the standards we expect, that will not reflect well on our school or on the children as individuals. So they will not be going! The fact that it might affect our chance of winning is neither here nor there.
It's standard practice in some schools (and tbh, one I fully support). I spend my free time coaching clubs and taking pupils to fixtures. I will not take poorly-behaved children to something, which will possibly show the team and the school in a bad light...and puts me in a bad mood. It's a privilege, not a right, to represent the school. (Luckily, most of mine would feel that the boy has let his team down,...not that the teachers should have let him go. They are very supportive in such cases, reminding these children of their responsibility and helping them steer clear of trouble, if needed.)
I have prevented one of my current pupils from going to matches. He is very good at the sport, but behaviour in class and around school can be awful. Ok, so we lost. It's not the end of the world. We've also won without him. Before that happened, there had been numerous warnings and support measures. It's important for them to understand that poor behaviour has consequences.
I've also attended fixtures against some schools, where this doesn't appear to be the done thing. Some of the behaviour I have seen, has been utterly shocking. I've seen 11-year-olds openly defying and arguing with their ref/teacher and then walking off in a strop, kicking equipment around and shouting abuse across the pitch. Honestly, I'd rather lose a match, than allow anyone, who behaves like this in public, to represent our school. I expect my pupils to follow instructions.(Anything else is incredibly dangerous, particularly when we are out and about.) I expect them to respect the referee and the other team. (They don't have to become best friends, but we don't allow arguing.)
Despite sometimes leaving someone behind, we are quite successful as a school. Additionally, we also regularly get comments about the fantastic behaviour of our pupils - both from members of the public and teachers/headteachers of schools we have been playing against.
"My DS feels disappointed with his teachers for preventing the boy from going." there in lies the problem it is not the teachers fault but the child who did not behave.
Perhaps a conversations with your ds about consequences of not following school rules, as the child involved would have been given several chances to amend his behaviour before he wasn't allowd to go.
FWIW the school my dc goes to at the end of SATS week get taken out for the day as a reward for doing well and good behaviour. This year 3 children didn't get to go.
Fair punishment, imo. Why should he be the star player in a team if he hurts the other children regularly? What example does that set?
I would be disappointed with your DS' attitude too. Time for a wee chat about doing your best and following rules- and just because you're extra good at something, doesn't mean you get not to follow them!
A fair few behaviour problems in school might be solved if the better-behaved majority brought influence to bear on the protagonists, rather than condoning the bad behaviour by supporting special concessions for them.
This is one of the reasons why I am glad my son who can have angry outbursts due to sn, is no longer in mainstream. At his school they are only withdrawn from trips out if it is better for the child not to go. This has given my son the opportunity to show he is capable of some things a lot of people previously wouldn't have thought possible. I can see all the reasons why a child may be left out (I used to teach in mainstream myself) but it still makes me sad. I don't think it teaches the child anything.
So if it was a lesser player they'd think it was fair enough they didn't go, but because he might have won it for the school you think he should?
Actually I think it is brilliant the school is consistant across all abilities on that sort of thing, and don't give in because it might mean a win for the school.
My ds is very competitive and can get very vocal at matches and I am clear to him that his behaviour is something that might stop him getting into teams because, as others have said, you are representing your school/county/team and it reflects badly on him.
Perhaps put to your ds that how would he feel if this boy had been the year above and behaved badly there so this year his school wasn't allowed to enter the tournament? Happened to a local school when I was at primary.
At the schools my DDs attended, the children whose behaviour could not be trusted could represent the school, but a parent was asked to attend. This happened on school trips too. I am not sure it is fair to ask all the other children to help a child who probably has SEN. Peer pressure is not a valid way to tackle these problems. I do think a mainstream school with SEN children ( and almost certainly this child is) should have better strategies for ensuring they can participate. Where does this policy stop? Does a Downs Syndrome child not go on a trip because they might run across a road? Do schools regularly, in effect, exclude children with behaviour difficulties from sports teams? It is worrying that no other options were considered. The op's DS just wanted to do well - and felt his teammate would have contributed to his. It is sad that you have to fail because of the needs of another child not being attended to. That is what they are: special needs.
For general poor behaviour, I think this sanction is perfectly valid. As pp have said their are issues to do with risk assessment.
However if this boy is known for his behaviour then the school may be missing a problem that this boy has. In which case stopping him from attending was wrong and they should be looking at what they can do to support him.
The OP says he has always been a little troubled and has angry outbursts. This is a SEN issue!!! Why does the school not deal with it more effectively? Should all SEN children be excluded like this?
It is worrying that no other options were considered.
And how exactly do you know that no other options were considered?
There are so many grey areas here, especially as it is not part of the curriculum and it doesn't sound like everyone got to go. And of course, nobody knows the full story!
It is much easier to make adjustments for physical disabilities than emotional difficulties, especially in a sports tournament. If the child, for example, loses his temper badly when someone else scores a goal or accidentally barges into him, it would not be safe to take him to a sports competition. If the risk of emotional stress (and therefore violent outbursts) is too high... what else can you do? Is it the class teacher supervising or another teacher? Is there only one member of staff going because it's a small group?
You cannot exclude simply because of SEN (e.g. booking a trip to a non-wheelchair accessible location) but that isn't what has happened here.
The win at all costs mentality rules in the PE department at DDs' school and I doubt they'd ever take a good player out of the team however they behaved (and there have been some pretty unedifying incidents in the past). Shame really
Please can we separate TRIPS from playing in the football team:
Trips (by and large) are part of a child's curriculum and schools should absolutely not be excluding children from them. They MUST NOT be used ad a punishment in the same way you wouldn't exclude them from maths. Only exception is if it would be unsafe.
Playing in the football team often means getting to leave lessons, standing up in assembly to be applauded and generally being encouraged and rewarded for their efforts. Its a priviledge and its one that not all children get. Most schools require some footballing ability to be on the team. This is therefore NOT an inclusive activity right from the start.
Whether it is fair depends on whether it was used as part of normal practice with this child. Any child with behavioural difficulties has SEN - yes ADHD etc are diagnosable but behaviour issues simply due to background are still treated as an SEN (though they wouldn't get funding under the new system).
If the child was warned 'if you do not meet these targets you will not be able to attend the game' then I think its fair. It doesn't matter what the SEN is, working children with BSED difficulties means setting and keeping to boundaries, adapted to that child's needs.
DS has been banned from going for similar reasons; he was glad to piss off the other kids who he felt had treated him badly. (I'm not saying I like any of this picture).
It's absolutely right that school discipline be applied irrespective of sporting ability.
And yes, it is normal that children who are under a sanction do not represent the school at anything.
professional sport, especially football, encourages attitudes like your child is now showing. its an ideal opportunity to counter the 'win at all costs, do what you want as long as you are good' message of some sports. have a good chat with your son about values, representing your team etc
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