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Advice needed: Download of some bad things. Class accused, narrowed to three pupils, police to be involved

(26 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Wheelycote Thu 06-Oct-16 19:03:25

Im livid.
DTeen came home Friday and said he was pulled out of class and asked in the corridor, 'Are you part of Isis' amongst other questions. Apparently the whole class that was in an IT lesson was questioned like this.

My DP went to the school on Monday and advised them that we understand, they have to investigate these things, that we would be supportive of them. However DID not appreciate an investigation (teachers words)carried out without parental awareness beforehand and certainly not to be pulling out of class and in a corridor asking inflammatory questions like that without anyone else being present.

Had we been notified this was going to happen, we could have checked our own computers and worked with the school.

The school agreed they may have gone about it in the wrong way and would keep us informed. I got a call and missed it - voicemail left. One sentence - it is school and we will be speaking to your DTeen again. End. I got home and told by DS that hes been told by the teacher that they've narrowed it to possible three people and that they will be involving police.

We haven't been told what was downloaded, what the schools policy and their protocol is in matters were things are downloaded that shouldn't be.

I want to go to the school and throttle someone. This feels so serious! and yet its being handled in a lax way. I could be wrong. But they are certainly not keeping us in the loop.

Do schools have protocols to follow in instances such as this, if so is it right they don't involve parents?

SaltyMyDear Thu 06-Oct-16 19:07:03

I don't understand.

If they've involved the police, it's not about violating the school's policy - it's about them being concerned that someone is being radicalised.

I think you should be more concerned rather than furious. If it isn't your son, it's somebody elses. Isn't that still concerning to you?

It's all part of 'Prevent' I think (new govt guidance on this type of thing.) Maybe googling that will give you some ideas as to what's up.

LIZS Thu 06-Oct-16 19:11:42

Yes there will be a Prevent policy in place. Have you checked the website, also for the IT policy as regards downloading material. If isn't there, you can request a copy. Unless he was being interviewed officially parental permission or presence would not be necessary.

RayofFuckingSunshine Thu 06-Oct-16 19:12:20

So there is a potential issue with links to a terrorist organisation and the school didn't involve the police immediately? Instead they decided to conduct their own investigation (potentially compromising any formal investigation and warning anybody involved)? I'd be furious too OP.

I don't know what formal procedure is in circumstances like these but I'd personally contact the school and insist that they allow the police to handle the matter.

ayeokthen Thu 06-Oct-16 19:13:13

I would feel very stressed out/hacked off at this type of questioning without speaking to me first, and without knowing the reasons why. I fully understand they need to clamp down on radicalisation, but if you've got parents who are supportive of the school and trying to work with the school it seems ridiculous to be so bloody vague!

WinnieTheW0rm Thu 06-Oct-16 19:13:25

It can be correct not to involve the parents, if there is a reasonable possibility that the parents might be complicit.

It's possible the school ought to have taken police advice before any questioning begins (again if there is risk of tip off - bit difficult to tell as the nature of the incident has not been described, but may be a terrorism offence).

But to your main question, yes, if school authorities believe an offence has been committed in their premises (including on their networks) then it is normal for them to conduct a preliminary investigation and to involve the police depending on what they find.

Wheelycote Thu 06-Oct-16 19:24:53

I know of Prevent, didn't realise it was out in schools also, but makes complete sense.

Lizs - Thank you, good to know and looking on website for IT policy

ROFS - Were on the same wavelength

SaltyMydear - Its because im concerned that im less than happy. Pull a 16yr old out of class and ask questions like that. What are they going to say but, No. And if it was true.....that Dteen then has had the heads up to clear any thing suspicious away, hiding it away. Handled properly - contacting the parents etc we could've checked all IT in the house etc to look for evidence. The school compromised finding anything truly out. Alternatively if my DS had said yes, then what would they have done whilst stood in a corridor with all his friends in the classroom wondering whats going on and a rumour mill starting. Cracking an egg with a hammer comes to mind.

QuackDuckQuack Thu 06-Oct-16 19:31:30

I would imagine that parents might well be complicit in clearing incriminating evidence from home computers in many cases, so the argument that telling you would help the school to investigate at home seems a bit illogical. But then I think perhaps it makes more sense to get the police involved earlier too, so that neither parents nor pupils can clear home computer evidence.

RJnomore1 Thu 06-Oct-16 19:34:08

Op I think you've named the school by mistake

Wheelycote Thu 06-Oct-16 19:44:52

The police should have been involved from the beginning.

Wheelycote Thu 06-Oct-16 19:53:54

Nooo Is there a way I can take the school name out without asking for the thread to be deleted anyone??

RJnomore1 Thu 06-Oct-16 19:54:45

Report your post to mnhq and ask them to change it. I'll do it too for you.

PresidentOliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Oct-16 20:15:23


Report your post to mnhq and ask them to change it. I'll do it too for you.

hi there
This is done...

Wheelycote Thu 06-Oct-16 20:15:56


Wheelycote Thu 06-Oct-16 20:17:27

Thank you

Have you discussed it with your son now? What does he say about being involved? Or knowing if others are involved?

I think right now, explaining to him that policies are in place for a reason and that the school has to investigate such matters under Prevent would be more beneficial than going to the school to 'throttle someone'.

Later, once this issue has been resolved, you might want to arrange a meeting with the head to discuss their policies, but right now I can't really understand why you wouldn't work with the school rather than against it.

LIZS Thu 06-Oct-16 20:29:07

You also need to be careful not to lead what he might say if questioned again.

Wheelycote Thu 06-Oct-16 20:33:55

After a bit of researching the schools policies....

theres lots about what the school will do to avoid situations but nothing really like a protocol about how they would handle a situation once it arose. Theres the safeguarding policy which may be applicable and a flow chart at the back to say they would put it to a police coordinator for them to consider if they would take further....

maybe that's what they mean by involving the police. Im not able to download the IT policy...its the only one where the link doesn't work.

Im just so blumin cross that I have no idea what this is all even about. Ive only been given a hint by the questions that have been asked

I agree it sounds terribly handled, but can you understand why they might not have involved you from the start? There are certain situations where schools absolutely shouldn't talk to parents before taking to pupils and/or the appropriate authorities.

Wheelycote Thu 06-Oct-16 20:41:06

ATUA - I want to work with the school that's the frustrating thing, theyre just not working with us.

We've had a talk with him and asked questions on Friday and then again tonight. He's really upset about it. I know its cliché but I genuinely believe him.

How do I approach it with school tomorrow without blowing my lid at them not involving us over such a serious matter. Ive got no faith them now what so ever.

Sorry, I'd somehow missed the timescale. I think I'd be feeling frustrated too!

If you've got a meeting tomorrow, I think you need to show that you understand their need to investigate/report, but that given this has been rolling on for a week now and you 'do' know about it, they now need to give you as much information as they are able to so that you're able to support your son.

Don't expect them to reveal what they found on the computer or the names of the other pupils involved (or not) but focus on your own son and his role.

What do you want to get from the meeting?

Wheelycote Thu 06-Oct-16 21:15:02

That given its obviously sensitive in nature that they are handling it properly and not half baked..with a clear plan on what they expect to get from each questioning with clear set of actions on what they'll do from there. A pathway if you like. Not this laxidasical method.

So that they are not needlessly causing upset, being woolly and treating everybody like they're under suspicion. Do you know if the school had said.....look, were doing this because of this and we couldn't involve you / had to limit your involvement because of x,y or z....Im not saying id be happy but at least its honest

Maybe im just venting

Wheelycote Thu 06-Oct-16 21:18:14

Thank you all for listening to my ramblings and your advice, its helped me cool down a little and given me focus for tomorrow

I hope it goes well. Is DS going to the meeting with you?

Witchend Fri 07-Oct-16 09:50:13

Had we been notified this was going to happen, we could have checked our own computers and worked with the school absolutely... and some parents would have taken the opportunity to remove anything on their own computers and worked against the school.

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