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Worried about DD's school

(42 Posts)
Mousing Mon 08-Jun-15 20:23:34

My dd will be starting in reception in September. Since we found out which school she will be going to I have started volunteering there.
This afternoon I was listening to readers in the back of the year 2 classroom. There is a very difficult boy in the class. Today he punched another child totally unprovoked during a lesson. He missed going outside at lunch time and had to sit outside the head teacher's office instead. During afternoon play he spat at another child so he was brought back inside and was sat in the classroom for the rest of playtime. After playtime he was rude to the teacher and then sat under a table and started kicking the chairs out. He then started shouting that he needed to go to the toilet. The teacher ignored him shouting and said she would not speak to him until he got out from under the table, put the chairs back and put his hand up to ask properly. He stayed under the table and kicked the wall and eventually wet himself. His mum asked me what had happened and is angry that the teacher didn't let him go to the toilet and she thinks he was being naughty because he needed the toilet. I told her I couldn't talk and had to rush home but that I thought she should ask the teacher.
Did the teacher do the right thing?
I'm worried about dd going to this school but I also think there will be naughty peers in any school. WWYD?

MM5 Mon 08-Jun-15 20:30:54

Right thing?

Even though you were in classroom, you do not know the whole story. You don't know if he has a behaviour plan, what his specific social and emotional needs are or if things are happening at home that is impacting his behaviour.

If the child was behaving this way, there is a much bigger story that you shouldn't judge a school by.

Mousing Mon 08-Jun-15 20:46:07

Can it ever be the right thing to not let a child go to the toilet when they've asked? He was asking in a bad way but he obviously meant it.

TheTroubleWithAngels Mon 08-Jun-15 20:54:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Stripysecrets Mon 08-Jun-15 20:57:45

She didn't stop him, she simply gave him a choice. He chose not to do it. Sounds like he was being stubborn. If he wanted to go that badly he coul have picked up the chairs and asked nicely! As the poster said above, you don't know the full story. This could be the tactic the boy uses to get out of things or leave the room (but on this occasion he actually needed the toilet).
And yes there will be children like that in any school and you can't predict who will be in her class or have behaviour issues at some point in their lives.

gamerchick Mon 08-Jun-15 21:01:17

Here we go.

Wellthen Mon 08-Jun-15 21:04:11

What was stopping him from going? I think its unlikely that a child who kicks and spits and removes themselves from lessons (by going under the table), has any qualms about leaving the classroom without permission to go to the toilet. Unless he was physically prevented from going, my reading of the situation is that he wet himself deliberately to regain control. Now the teacher will never be 'allowed' to not let him to go the toilet and he knows this.

This doesn't mean he didn't need to go, just that he chose to wet himself when he could have left the room or, even better, made the right choice and asked properly.

The accident is a red herring that the mum is completely falling for - yes its unfortunate and the school need to have a plan in place to ensure it doesn't happen again but it is not the issue here. A child who repeatedly behaves badly despite punishment, over the space of a few hours is not a child who is behaving badly 'because they need the toilet'. Something serious needs addressing here.

Its impossible to tell if the teacher did the right thing but based on your account I think she did. In future she might be better to ignore rather than place a further challenge (not until you ask nicely) in the child's way.

I would have no trouble sending my child t this school. It sounds like the are responding quickly to some quite serious bad behaviour and doing the best they can.

MythicalKings Mon 08-Jun-15 21:08:33

OP, never, ever allow yourself to be drawn into a conversation with a parent about what happens in school. It's not your place. Always refer the parent to the teacher.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 08-Jun-15 21:11:03

If I were the mother of the child who had received the unprovoked punch I would be seriously asking questions about why this boy was in the school at all.

CamelHump Mon 08-Jun-15 21:16:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AsBrightAsAJewel Mon 08-Jun-15 21:16:55

I had one child in my class last year with EBD and every time there was something they didn't want to do they demanded the toilet (and hen decorated the place with toilet roll, blocked the toilets with hand towels and stuffed the sinks with hand towels and flooded the basins. For those concerned that the child's behaviour was because he wanted the toilet I would ask you to look at the information he has been rude to the teacher and placed himself under the table before the toilet demand was made, not that he was upset because he wasn't allowed to go so he played up. So yes, there are times when it is OK to not let a child go to the toilet.

I'm sure there is a behaviour plan in place and there are strategies for dealing with this pupil that the OP knows nothing about. I would think the child has additional needs not is a "naughty peer".

If your child hasn't started at the school I am curious why you are having conversations with the mother? It is not as if you have children in the same class. If you are going to carry on spying helping in the school you are going to have to think how to maintain confidentiality by avoiding these conversations with parents in the first place.

Wellthen Mon 08-Jun-15 21:19:20

Because be has every right to be amothersplace. He sounds like a difficult child but 'an unprovoked punch' could mean a lot of things. Its not like she said he broke his nose! Lots of children lash out, especially at this young age and I doubt the victim has any lasting damage.

Children who are permanently excluded receive the message that they are not wanted in society and the statistics for their future are bleak - arrests, drug use, suicide. We avoid it whenever possible. The welfare and happiness of ALL children is paramount, not just the 'nice' ones.

Mousing Mon 08-Jun-15 21:32:58

I'm suprised at how anti-volunteering MNers seem to be. The school are really greatful for volunteers because they don't have TAs in the afternoons. I did avoid speaking to the mum in question. When she had explained what she wanted to ask me I told her I was in a rush and couldn't stay to talk but said that she should speak to the teacher. I'm not sure what else I could have done.

TheTroubleWithAngels Mon 08-Jun-15 21:35:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MythicalKings Mon 08-Jun-15 21:36:04

You did the right thing but another time explain that you are a volunteer and she should speak to the teacher.

BabyGanoush Mon 08-Jun-15 21:37:12

amothersplace, kids like that are in schools (and not kicked out) because they have a right to education.

and there are virtually no "special" schools.

MrsNextDoor Mon 08-Jun-15 21:41:47

Mousing MN is NOT anti-volunteer...many of us volunteer....I do. However it really is NOT your job to discuss children's welfare, behaviour or ANYTHING they've done in school.

If it's something minor or fun...of course discuss if they ask...for eg. "Did Finley enjoy the trip?" or "Has Lucy eaten her sandwich today?"

But academic progress, friendships or behaviour...not your place.

MrsNextDoor Mon 08-Jun-15 21:42:47

Another schools are a mirror of society....there are all kinds of children in it. Some well behaved others with issues. That's life.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 08-Jun-15 21:44:33

Don't worry, that's exactly what you should have done OP. You could have explained that you couldn't say anything, but 'I'm in a rush and can't stay to talk' is probably an easier and less confontational way of dealing with it. Hopefully the parent won't try and bring it up again.

soapboxqueen Mon 08-Jun-15 21:46:01

I wouldn't be judging the school on this one child. Every school has them to a greater or lesser extent and if a school doesn't they are either very unusual or have made damn sure they don't have them. The latter being a major red flag imo.

With regards to the wetting himself;

-he might not have been able to comply with the instructions given (no matter how simple or obvious) and therefore wet himself.

-he might be very stubborn and just didn't realise how desperate he was.

-he may well have urinated on purpose either to regain control or because of extreme anxiety and distress.

It sounds as though the school are at least attempting to help and you did the right thing in directing the parent to the teacher.

Mousing Mon 08-Jun-15 21:46:22

MrsNextdoor I didn't discuss his welfare, behaviour or anythign else. His mum told me she wanted to ask me something. She is my neighbour so I couldn't have just refused to speak to her. When she told me what she wanted to know I made an excuse and left and told her to speak to the teacher. How else could I have reacted?

finallydelurking Mon 08-Jun-15 21:46:57

I'm surprised a school would allow you in to volunteer without making confidentiality very clear to you and explaining under no circumstances should you discuss with parents what has gone on during the school day. Possible SEN aside I'm not surprised that a child with a mother so eager to excuse actions and blame the teacher behaves like this.

Mousing Mon 08-Jun-15 21:51:42

I can't understand how this became a thread criticising me for volunteering. I was asking whether or not I should be concerned about sending my dd to the school based on what I saw. The answer seems to be no and I'm glad about that.

finallydelurking Mon 08-Jun-15 21:58:10

I don't think anybody's criticising you for volunteering op, it"s a good thing. Schools are massively underfunded and need all the help they can get, good volunteers are worth their weight in gold. But it causes huge problems when volunteers start gossiping about snapshots of things they've seen that they don't fully understand. Your neighbour should not have put you in that position, she needs to speak to the school not you.

Ferguson Mon 08-Jun-15 22:53:03

Mousing - I was a TA for twenty years, but started as a 'parent helper' when our DS started primary school. It can be a very rewarding activity, as some children may not get much educational support at home.

One of my first 'readers' turned up seventeen years later in another school, when she was in her final year of Teacher Training, and SHE needed to direct ME in the classroom.

Virtually every school will have a minority of children who cannot control their behaviour; the important question is how effectively staff and other pupils deal with situations such as you saw. So, Yes your child should go there, and doubtless will be happy and successful; but you cannot shield her from every unpleasant experience (as I'm sure you realise) and maybe seeing other children who don't cope so well in school, is all part of the learning process.

So, continue volunteering if you can, and should circumstances allow, even consider employment in some capacity. As a TA I ran recorder groups for ten years, and other activities, so If you have any special skills or experience see if they can be used in school.

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