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School Punishment?

(24 Posts)
user1485205108 Mon 23-Jan-17 21:16:45

Just a quick post for some advice.
My 8 year old nephew was punished today in school.

He's having a hard time with bullying and often spends a lot of time on his own. Today he went and played nicely with his sister (10) on the school yard at lunch. A teacher came over and told him that he wasn't allowed to play with his sister.

He ran off crying and when my niece asked why he couldn't play with them they said 'He needs to make his own friends, because you're leaving for high school soon.'
So not only is my nephew alone on the play ground... he's now being isolated from his sister! (it's nice that they were playing together because at home they're a typical little brother to sister pair)

He was upset by this clearly, so didn't want to take part in his PE lesson.. so the teachers decided to send him to the corner of the room to look at the wall as punishment.

Am I right in thinking this is some sort of breach of his rights as a child?
under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?

Along with this, he was told today in front of his class that he is 'the biggest taddle tale she's ever met'

I'm going to the school tomorrow to speak with his teacher because he's being isolated and treated differently every week now! I don't want his education to suffer any more because of it, he's a bright young boy.
(I have him every Friday and It's heartbroken picking him up while he's upset)

Wondering if anyone has any advise to what I could do? sad
I'm sure he's not the only child, did anyone else have any problems the same? how did you solve them?

BetweenTwoLungs Mon 23-Jan-17 21:45:35

Im really sorry to hear your nephew is struggling. I'm a teacher and we don't encourage children to play across year groups - it's true that they need to develop friendships in their own year groups. The interests of children are often very different in different year groups, and if your nephew began playing all the time with your niece she and her friends may not be so accommodating. Are there any other children in his year group he could play with?

Your nephew was wrong to refuse to participate in PE as he was upset - we do not allow children to refuse to participate. Up to this point, I don't feel the school did much wrong. However, the punishment seems cruel and inappropriate, and he should not be humiliated in front of the class like that.

However, there is no way that as a teacher, I would discuss these issues with an auntie that picks up once a week. It is not your responsibility and I would be telling you to ask mum/dad/carer to speak to me if they were concerned.

Lindy2 Mon 23-Jan-17 21:58:41

At our school the children play with all year groups, reception through to year 6. The older children are in fact encouraged to make sure the little ones are ok and have someone to play with. My children in different year groups often play together when out in the playground at the same time. Simply being told not to play with his sister isn't going to help him make new friends. His parents should ask what positive action the school is taking to help friendships. Their actions all seem quite negative at the moment.

RubyRedRobin Mon 23-Jan-17 22:08:36

Never heard of dc being told they can't play with other Year groups, not at ds's school anyway.

user1485205108 Mon 23-Jan-17 22:16:34

I'm going to the school with the mum, because I have additional information to do with the child to feed to the teacher.
and i'm a qualified practitioner myself so have background in school behavior policies ETC.

Gooseygoosey12345 Mon 23-Jan-17 22:21:45

Glad my daughter doesn't go to your school, between confused
I don't have any advice, just hope you can find a resolution. The teacher sounds like she's entirely out of touch with children, and kind of a bully. Good luck flowers

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 23-Jan-17 22:31:16

The primary schools I know all encourage them to play between year groups. Bit weird to only have friends of your age. He does also need to make friends with his peer group too. Is this still the right school for him? If his sister is old enough to get to school herself I would look for a different school. It sounds as if both students and teachers are bullying him.

user1485205108 Mon 23-Jan-17 22:48:06

I've spoken to his mum, and we've both agreed if the problems arent resolved tomorrow we'll be swapping schools as there are another 3 in our area he could easily get to.. and taking his younger brother to.

The school admitted that they know he has been bullied but hasnt put anything into place to stop it, and hasn't helped him gain friends (I know kids wont play because of stigmas and worries that they'll be bullied to)
But a teacher could easily set up a buddy session between him and another class... most schools encourage older children to look after younger children too so I dont understand why his sister was a problem. If it stops him being alone...

I've looked at the school behavior policies and it says they will include a 'time out' as practice to stop bad behavior. I'll be asking the teacher tomorrow what practices this includes and I bet she won't answer standing facing the wall in front of your classmates.

thatdearoctopus Mon 23-Jan-17 22:49:03

I'm going to the school with the mum, because I have additional information to do with the child to feed to the teacher.
I can't see that your information needs to be communicated in person. Surely your sister is perfectly capable of relaying the gist of it?

and i'm a qualified practitioner myself so have background in school behavior policies ETC.
That's just going to piss them off!

thatdearoctopus Mon 23-Jan-17 22:51:38

I've spoken to his mum, and we've both agreed...

Aren't you stepping outside your remit a bit here? Surely it's your sister's decision (and the boy's father) where he goes to school?

irvineoneohone Tue 24-Jan-17 07:08:57

At my ds' school, they all play together, regardless of year groups, if they prefer. Also yr6 children has assigned duty to look after younger kids if they are alone.
I agree, he needs to make his friends within year group as well, but school needs to help him do this, rather than just separating him from her sister.

JanuaryMoods Tue 24-Jan-17 07:13:37

Does he often refuse to participate in lessons? That would be a big concern for me.

Maybe you should leave it to his mother to deal with.

ninenicknames Tue 24-Jan-17 07:18:08

I find it really strange children are not encouraged to play with other ages! In fact really quite strange

youarenotkiddingme Tue 24-Jan-17 07:25:57

It's quite usual to take someone with you to a meeting at a school - and someone who knows the way things should work so the OP going is not unusual at all.

The issue is that they stopped the boy playing with his sister. Unnecessary.
Perhaps playing with older children will give him the social skills and self esteem he needs to build friendships with his own peers. Isolating him teaches nothing.

Refusing pe is not ok. But under circumstances the school need to look at the bigger picture.

amammabear Tue 24-Jan-17 07:58:36

I'm a bit bemused at the people saying the op shouldn't go in- there's absolutely nothing wrong with having someone else go in with you, it's often incredibly helpful!

A near identical situation was one of the reasons I changed my kids schools, the new school is amazing. The problem is that even if the current school do start making an effort with him, the existing opinions of the other children are not so easy to change.

JanuaryMoods Tue 24-Jan-17 08:28:45

I got the impression that the OP intended to lead the discussion rather than be there for support. Not her place.

amammabear Tue 24-Jan-17 08:31:56

If that's what they're both happiest with, it's entirely reasonable

JanuaryMoods Tue 24-Jan-17 08:48:16

The teacher may not think so. No point in being antagonistic from the start, surely?

FineAsWeAre Tue 24-Jan-17 09:11:44

I don't want to sound too negative but go in with an open mind, children are prone to exaggeration and it may not have happened exactly as they said. I can understand that they want children to mix with their peers but there are advantages in mixing with different age groups too so I'm surprised. What do the school say about the bullying? Do they have a buddy system or anything? At my son's school, they have 'playground friends', if a child is feeling sad or has nobody to play with they can go sit on a special bench and one of the 'friends' will talk to them and either play themselves or find them someone else to play with. Just don't go in all guns blazing until you've got both sides x

picklemepopcorn Tue 24-Jan-17 10:01:44

It's also worth being open minded to the possibility that he has some behaviours that need addressing positively and proactively. If he is constantly interrupting the reacher to tell her that Johnny just picked his nose, bill is sticking his tongue out at me etc, then that won't help him in any way. The teacher did not address the behaviour appropriately though...

mouldycheesefan Tue 24-Jan-17 10:04:29

Well if there are three other schools he could go to that has to be worth considering. Does sound like the tattling etc could be an issue in making friends anywhere. Find a school where they have social skills focus e.g a lunchtime club they can go to, there is one at my school for such children where they learn social skills and practice them.

bojorojo Tue 24-Jan-17 10:38:41

First of all, you are pefectly OK to go with your sister to the meeting and advocate for her if she feels she needs you. The school should welcome this and it is perfectly OK. I think many people on MN do not understand that not all parents are strong advocates! Just try not to take over and make sure you understand your sister's concerns.

Regarding the bullying, make sure you are famiiar with their policy. What should they have done? Is a taddle tale a "tell tale"? A story teller? If this is correct, I think it is wrong of teachers to humiliate children in front of other children but I am not sure this is a heinous crime. It should, of course, be avoided in future. Was it said with a degree of humour? Children sometimes miss the nuances of what is said.

The school do not seem to have taken the friendship issue seriously and this needs to be explored. What are their policies regarding play and making sure children thrive in the school? If he seeks the company of his sister I cannot see anything wrong with that and I do not see why anyone should have intervened. However, it does seem they held the view that they were trying to steer him towards making friends with his own age group, but clearly did not expect the extreme behavioural outcome. Most playground supervisors would have taken him under their wing and introduced him to another game with children his own age.

I think you are right to ask about the isolation as punishment. The Behaviour Policy may say this but usually it does not involve a child facing the wall. How did they keep him safe? Often a child that is upset needs company and someone to talk to. Who is responsible for this? Often it is the Head or a Deputy.

I think you need to keep a cool head inthe meeting. Also ask about how they plan to handle his emotional behaviour because it is clearly a problem. However, I would explore other schools immediately.

user1484226561 Tue 24-Jan-17 19:20:18

Am I right in thinking this is some sort of breach of his rights as a child?
under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?

errrr What?

um, no,

his rights have not been breached under the UN convention on the rights of the child

what a ridiculous hysterical thing to say

CripsSandwiches Wed 25-Jan-17 20:36:30

There are all kinds of benefits (to both younger and older children) to mix between year groups. It's not natural to only socialise with children who happen to have birthdays within the same arbitrary period of time. I can understand them wanting him to build relationships with other children but they should support him in doing this, not tell him off for playing with his sister.

I can understand that he isn't allowed to opt out of PE but making him face the wall is humiliating and totally inappropriate. It does sound like they're taking a punitive attitude towards him when he actually needs support. I think it's great that you're attending the meeting with your sister you sounds like a great advocate for him.

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