Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
To feel physically sickened about what happened today? DD's 'father' (who she's never met!) is one of the staff members at her after school club!(176 Posts)
I'm still in shock, so sorry if this turns out to be a bit of a ramble. Not spoken to anyone in RL about this yet today, as every time i mention him to friends/family, they just rant and name call, whereas i need a sensible, outside perspective.
DD (just turned 5yo) has started going to a sports club in the gym hall after school for an hour on Thursdays.
Today was the first session.
When i went and picked her up, i noticed my ex - dd's father - was one of the sport coaches/staff members. He was dealing with the register and ticking off the kids' names as parents came for them. I didn't even recognise him for a moment. I called on dd then turned to tell him her name (so he could mark her off the register) and that's when we both seemed to recognise each other.
He looked terrified. Looked at me, then dd briefly, then turned away to another parent who was telling him to mark her child's name from the register.
I grabbed dd and bolted home with her.
She had no idea who he was. He, it would seem, had no idea who she was until he saw me and put two and two together. They'd spent an hour together not knowing who each other was.
I'm now sickened and in shock. I can't believe this has happened.
He is a vile, horrible man (well, he was to me anyway). He was abusive in our relationship, mostly emotionally, would force/blackmail me into having sex with him, called me names, hit me twice, trashed my flat one time because i was delayed amswering the buzzer to him (i was vaccuuming so couldn't hear it).
When dd was born, his anger problems worsened. I begged him to get help, he didn't. He'd invite his friends round to my flat, get drunk, while i was expected to look after newborn dd.
He was drunk one night and almost dropped her down the stairs when she was 3 days old. I burst into tears and he got angry with me for crying and 'making him feel bad'. He shoved me against the wall while i was holding her.
He left. A few days later, he was round for a visit (trying to make excuses for his behaviour/apologise etc). Stupidly, i agreed to let him stay the night on the sofa. DD was not sleeping through. She was crying all night. Partner stormed upstairs yelling at her to shut the fuck up, picked her up and started shaking her, screaming 'you've been fed and changed - what the fuck else do you want?'
I told him to leave. Only when i threatened to go to the police did he finally go.
The police visited me in the morning. They said it would be hard to press charges as it would be my word against his. I had taken dd to the docs that morning too and she was fine, no marks etc. He only shook her a little, not enough to leave physical evidence.
Anyway, never saw him again after that. He never made contact, and i never bothered to look him up. I changed dd's surname back to mine when she was 18months old, and gave her a new middle name, hoping this would stop him being able to locate her easily (e.g. seeing her name randomly in the local newspaper etc).
So today is the first time i've seen him since dd was a few days old.
What do i do? DD has autism, and her father's brother has it too. I can remember ex and his vile mother calling the brother horrid disabilist names, slapping him, telling him he's an idiot, teasing him about how he'll never have a normal life etc.
This man is an animal. No matter how much i complained in the past about his antics, it was always my word against his, so he has a clean police record. He was very clever.
Due to dd's autism, she finds social situations difficult. When i read the info pack for this sports club i thought it would be the making of her! She has been looking forward to it for weeks. She'll be heartbroken if i take her out of it for no (apparent) reason.
I'm so confused. This man shouldn't be teaching in schools He shouldn't be around kids. Especially mine. But i'll look like a maniac if i go into the school and reveal his past when i have no proof.
What if this makes him suddenly decide he wants to be a part in dd's life? What if he tries to make contact?
I feel scared about taking her to school tomorrow. After i'd left, he could have went and spoke to the Head about dd for all i know. He could request to see her school record etc. I feel so powerless. How can a man - a stranger to dd - be allowed to just waltz back into her life so easily?
DD is desperate for a father figure. I've never had another relationship since her father (who was my first). I think she notices she's the only child in her class with no dad. SHe constantly quizzes me about him. I try to give honest, neutral answers. 'He didn't want to be a dad' 'He and Mummy didn't get on very well.' 'Your very lucky because you have a mummy, and some people don't have mums or dads at all.'
If she ever got wind of that man being her father, she'd be all over him like a rash.
My stomach is in knots.
Told you this would be a ramble.
Mosman she's not saying she'll go in "sobbing and distressed-looking", or making demands, she's just asking if she should inform the head.
"The OP didn't say at first the "father" was on the BC which rather changes things."
Do also agree now that the OP should talk to the head? (Note, I said talk to, not go in all guns blazing.)
Just the fact that he is an absent parent (evidence being that your dd has no idea that he's her dad) is going to show them that something is not right.
This is true. Plan what you are going to say carefully so nothing is missed, and back it up in writing.
Just try and look objectively, OP i'm not saying I don't believe you but others were suggesting the "evidence" would be an upset mother, well no head teachers see plenty of those.
If he is on the BC then yes I would mention to the head that he is her father but doesn't know her because I believe - happy to be corrected that in the absence of a court order this guy can take her from the school and the school can't stop him but could alert the OP immediately or try to delay until she arrived.
You could talk to the head and be extremely reasonable. Say "He's my DDs father but hasn't seen her since he abused her when she was a week old. We went to the GP [the head will then realise this means there's an official record without you having yo be specific] Therefore I'm taking her out if the after school club. I'd appreciate it if you could remove any of my contact details from the lists given to the people running the club"
Any Head/person with a brain will understand what you're saying, plus be watching him with a jaundiced eye.
I think even if you said he was a great father but dd has no knowledge that he is, then the head would still want to know. Whether they can request he doesn't come to the afterschool club I wouldn't know.
I would go in, stick to the facts: He is the father, there was domestic abuse and physical abuse of her at a week old so you didn't chase him for maintenance when he walked out, you changed her name, he recognised her only when he saw you.
That way if he comes to the head and asks, they are ready. But, on the basis he looked terrified, it may mean he has turned his life around, possible has another family, and may be not wanting anything to do with you.
I would also have something ready to say in the unlikely event that he says something, say to another parent, and it gets back to your dd. Just in case she comes and says "XX at school says that YY's my dad". It would be better to have decided whether you say "yes, but he's not very nice", or say " no, he's not".
I think you have to say something to the head. If you do nothing it will torment you. I don't know what the head will do with the info but it's a starting point. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this.
What's really odd is that to run a club like this he would have had an enhanced CRB check. So even though he has no convictions, the information that the police should have had would have come up. That's the point of the enhanced ones.
Oh dear. Just had the morning from hell. Totally went around this the wrong way.
Was five minutes late with dd this morning so had to take her in via the main entrance. Guess who was there.
Ex and his colleagues, dressed in their work clothes, setting up gym equipment in the main hall.
I signed dd in at reception and asked the office lady why the sports club were there again.
Apparently the infants are having an exercise and healthy eating workshop with the club this morning. DD supposedly was sent home with an info letter about it yesterday, but didn't give me it.
Office lady was getting shirty about dd being late, so i let her go to class. I stayed and asked to speak to the Head. But i was told she's on a course. So i had to wait til half 9 to see the depute (who i cannot stand! She's very old fashioned/perfectionist - openly told me at dd's enrollment that she didn't know what autism was and said kids with SEN would cope better in special schools).
I told the depute that i realised yesterday that dd's 'father' is running the sports club. I explained i wasn't happy about this as he has previously been violent to both me and dd.
She said, "I can assure you Miss ScaryWary, we wouldn't allow anyone into the school without the relevent checks.'
I explained no charges were pressed due to no witnesses. She just smiled and gave me a little patronising look. Again repeating that they wouldn't let anyone into the school without checking them first.
She said, 'So what do you want me to do? The infants will all be going to the gym hall in ten minutes for the workshop. Would you rather dd remained behind at class?" She then gave a hefty sigh! 'Hmm, that might cause issues due to her... temper.'
I said that i understood. And i'd be happy to wait in the class with dd to keep her calm. Then she said she couldn't allow that because i don't have a Disclosure! (Scottish equivalent to CRB).
So we sort of sat there in awkward silence for a moment, with her looking at her watch. She then said 'why don't we just carry on as normal, i'll keep an extra eye on dd, and we'll sort it properly when Mrs Head Teacher comes back?'
So i sort of agreed, feeling totally stupid, like i'd overreacted. I then mentioned my fear about him having PR - equal rights to me - just like Mosman has talked about. She then just gave a little nod and said, 'well, he is her father...' She noticed me getting upset, so she quickly said 'Let's just wait on Mrs Head teacher coming back, okay? Now i really have to get on, the infants will be going to the hall just now.'
I left, feeling quite numb. Sneaked a peek in the gym hall on my way out. The kids were all in there (couldn't see dd, but i'm sure she was there as i could see some classmates and her teacher). Ex was standing at the front of the hall with two other sports coaches, leading the children in a silly warm up dance routine. He was laughing and smiling, looking totally carefree.
I just can't get my head round this. My parents are off on holiday for a week. I have friends coming round for dinner after work later. But i can't see what use they'll be. They just get angry and call him names whenever i mention him, nothing useful.
I feel so powerless! I have no idea what's going on with them this morning. Like Mosman says, he has PR. Automatically has the same rights as me. I have no residence order - nothing court related - so he could simply pick her up from school at hometime, and take her to his house house to stay if he liked! This was my fear when she started school. I saw a lawyer about it back then because i was so paranoid it would happen, and he advised me there was no point pursuing it because ex was absent. It would have been a waste of money.
I can't stop shaking. The depute thinks i'm a loon, they're probably playing football or something right now. I just don't know what to do.
Agree that you need to speak to the head so that school has a record of the issue.
Talk to head in the calm way described. Mosman is a poster who is very often not with the majority in her/his views.
oh shit xposted with your update. Bugger bugger bugger and I have to go to work now. Thinking of you, I'm sure some sensible kind advice will be alone v soon.
Agree with others that you need to tell the head - and as others have said, I think this should be the case even if it was a 'positive' split, & there was no history of DV.
It's important that they are aware that dd's estranged father is on the premises. In case he asks 'innocent' questions of other members of staff, or in case he tries to talk to your dd (although agree with others that is highly unlikely based on your comments to date).
And if you think he may have been to the head already (although I doubt that myself) isn't it even more important that they hear your side of the story?
If you don't feel you can talk about it without getting distressed (& I don't blame you), I would write the head a letter. Stating that you have removed your daughter from x after school club as it is being run by dd's estranged father. She has not had contact with him for over 5 years, and there were (reported) incidences of DV and child protection issues. You would therefore like your child carefully monitored when he is in the building.
Simple, to the point, protects your dd.
Oh op. I'm sorry. Wait until the head gets back and thrash it out then. That women sounds like a complete cow, I'm fuming on your behalf.
Scary if the deputy is not taking you seriously I would go straight back to the school & take your daughter out until such time as you an have a sensible discussion with the Head.
actually I think I would do this too.
Writing that out i've realised the depute was totally wrong, right? Not me?
Like you're saying, even if he was a saint, the fact it's dd's absent father should be highlighted. TBH i think the depute just went into panic mode. This workshop was all set up and ready to go, and she didn't know what to do. But she should have taken me seriously.
I have documents, but nothing substantial. All of it boils down to my word against his.
The letter to the Deed Poll people - how does anyone know what i have written in that letter is the truth?
Doctors records - again, just my word that ex shook dd. No marks.
Police - just my word. All i gave is a statement. Nothing happened after that. I don't think i was given a case number. I can't remember.
I would speak to the head, and I would also be mentioning the Deputy's unprofessional manner in dealing with me.
On a separate note I'd be questioning how well this school provided for an autistic child if the Deputy feels fine to come out with that kind of rubbish about autism. How do you rate the school otherwise?
Oh, so sorry, x-post. How utterly, utterly awful for you - and school are (imo) handling this REALLY badly.
Don't be fobbed off by the deputy, talk to the head.
Write down what you have told us, tell the school that. I suspect that you can not ask for your daughters father not to work at the school. You can expect the school to safeguard her & remember that 'every child matters'. Ask them what they CAN do - they MUST appreciate that this is a difficult situation - what do they suggest?
An enhanced CRB check would show up any dealings with the police and that is what he will have had to have. There are other adults in the hall so your dd will be safe, particularly as the deputy is keeping an extra eye on her.
Look on the bright side - he could have changed & now enjoys being with children & your daughter could have some form of relationship with her dad.
My god op sounds like a nightmare and the deputy was completely out of order. Yes he may be crb checked but we all need to remember that it will only show up convictions charges and not anything unreported. He's obv a very sly man and has managed to do things in such a way not to be charged in the past so obv he won't have a police record. I'm a teacher and urge you to speak o the head. Really stress how he treated you and dd in the past and history he has of violence. It may have been a while ago but you need to be taken seriously! Is there anyone that can go there with you? The head teacher really needs to hear this because not only is he having contact with your dd who you obv are concerned about but other children too and whatso say he won't loose it with one of them whilst no ones around. The school need to take this seriously and support you,! He may be a council employee but obv he shouldn't be if that is his true character. I hope you have better luck with the head but please see them and talk it over. Out it in writing too as they have to act on it then, also concerned bait deputy's attitude so stress that too.
Wish I could help more
My goodness what a nightmare op . I would definitely take your dd out of that club and find another one. T is not in her best interests for her to be there whilst he is working there. I would just tell the head what you have mentioned here. I would never trust dd in his care alone. If he wanted contact h should go through te courts and it should be supervised in a contact centre
Join the discussion
Please login first.