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Should I tell school that I accept their account of events?(12 Posts)
I'm being deliberately vague over where in school this happened, the lesson and other details in order to avoid outing.
DD is 9 and is recognised as being an intelligent, well behaved pupil. As far as I am aware, she has a good relationship with all members of staff.
When DD came home from school the other day, she told me that a member of staff (call her Ms X) had pushed her twice, very deliberately. That was pretty much it. She wanted me to send an email in to school. I had to drag the rest of the details out of her over the course of the rest of the afternoon/evening because she wasn't that forthcoming. I asked her why she thought Ms X had pushed her, and she said she thought Ms X had thought it was a bit of fun. I told her that she might need to speak to a senior teacher at school about what happened, and she said she would be happy to do so.
I decided to report what she had said to the school's safeguarding lead, who took it very seriously, undertook an investigation and has now come back to me with Ms X's account of events, which is well-contexted. School says that my child can sometimes become quite emotional at times of difficulty, and I agree that's true. The explanation given seems very possible, in that essentially Ms X had put their hands on my daughter to comfort her because she was already upset about an aspect of the lesson that was going on. However, Ms X also says that they can see why they thought DD was being pushed. I suppose if DD was highly emotionally charged then it may have come across as a push, although it does seem a bit strange.
I thanked the safe guarding lead for investigating this and said I was happy with the action she had taken. However from her pauses on the phone, I think she wanted more from me than this and for me to say that I fully accepted the school's account.
It makes no sense that a well-established member of staff would have pushed my child. And yet, as nobody else saw what happened, I don't want to doubt my child's account of events to the school either. I will talk to my child later to see if she can concur with the account now given, but if she doesn't then I don't want to break her by But I do appreciate how devastating it is for anyone working with children to have a false allegation made against them.
Are there any Mumsnetters out there who have any helpful insights into such a situation?
correction to final paragraph:
... I don't want to break her by refuting her account of events to the school.
I think you can just remain neutral on it.
You don't need to take further action with the school but hopefully the teacher will be more careful about how she interacts with your daughter.
You can talk to your daughter and state that you do believe her but maybe discuss ways of managing these emotional situations better at school.
Why did no one see? Did the teacher need to remove your child from the class?
It doesn’t make logical sense your daughter whilst distressed would think the teacher pushed her for fun
I'd reassure your daughter that you absolutely believe her account and what she felt, and that you would want her to tell you anything else. That's the main thing, which it sounds like you have done. Re. the school, I don't think you need to do anything more. Now you and the school are aware, and most importantly, your daughter feels listened to.
As someone whose primary aged child with additional support needs was not protected by safeguarding, I would be cautious about doing anything right now other that supporting your child, letting her know you believe her and making her feel she can talk to you. You haven't told school you don't believe them, you don't need to tell them you do either at this stage. You've been polite and thanked their actions, that is enough. In my experience, if something else comes to light, they will use that against you if you do provide them with a statement saying you accept it!
Personally I think involving safeguarding procedures is well over the top for a “6 of one and half a dozen of the other” case. Your DD might well have embellished or misinterpreted what happened. The teacher could well have done absolutely nothing unacceptable. You seem to err toward the version of the school.
No witnesses usually means nothing unusual happened. It wasn’t noticeable to anyone else. I would accept the investigation results.
I would explain all of this to DD. I don’t see it as black and white in terms of you believing her or not believing her. The circumstances have been explained. You have believed your DD and reported it. If was investigated. She was believed. However that doesn’t mean she was correct in the circumstances.
I think the bigger issue is what you actually thought would happen to the teacher. What did your DD think would happen? How does DD feel about going back into this class? Why does she get emotional? How can this be prevented? These are the bigger issues because trust has been eroded. The teacher will presumably steer a wide berth! Your DD might be looking for any fault in the teacher. There’s no evidence of grooming or other illegal behaviour so I would now consider how your DD and the teacher move forward. The teacher might now be very cautious and feel under threat. I would ask the school to give you some indication as to how the teacher and your DD move on.
do you have details on the nature of the push? one hands two hands? on the arm? sitting or standing? did it make your daughter move backwards? just trying to help to get your head around how it could be interpreted differently by your DD and the teacher?
Thank you everyone for your replies.
I have gently gone over the incident again with DD again, but she is sticking to what she originally said. She is still being a vague as to the order of events, and I am still inclined to take the view that school's explanation is very believable.
TigerorFizz of course I thought about what could happen to the teacher. But, to not report what DD had said but to instead tell her not to be at the very back, and to literally 'watch her back' would not have been right either. Far better to bring the situation out into the open so that the school could investigate. And now, as you say, I err towards the school's version of events.
*@WhereIsMyGlasses*, I am sorry to hear of your experience. The particular curriculum area that DD experienced whatever it was she experienced is run by separate staff as what seems to be a bit of a boot camp. Hence, although I don't think 'Ms X' did anything wrong, your last sentence sums up why I don't want to actively tell the school that I accept every last word that they are saying.
What exactly do you want to happen now? Keep the dialogue going about who did what for what reason? So you don’t lose Dave with your child? Are you telling the school you don’t trust them, or the teacher? By keeping this open you must think about the outcome of doing this. If anything further happens, this complaint is still on the records. So I really cannot see why you don’t accept the investigation snd move on. Does your DD want to keep the complaint going? What’s her view? What does she think should happen next?
If she gets emotional I would be inclined to find out why and deal with this. Why is she emotional at school? Does she have SEN?
Your child got emotional about an aspect of the lesson and the teacher went to comfort her ? Is that it ?