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DS2 (6) undergoing assessement fined for breaking a paintbrush

(21 Posts)
KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 07-Nov-12 18:32:52

Home/school book says 'Unfortunately DS karate chopped a paint brush today and broke it in half. [Hi Ya grin] As this was not an accident I have asked if he would make a small donation to go towards replacing it.'

My immediate reaction is 'go fuck yourselves'. Is this too harsh?

Ineedalife Wed 07-Nov-12 18:33:58


Strongecoffeeismydrug Wed 07-Nov-12 18:41:03

Gosh I would be skint sad

ABatInBunkFive Wed 07-Nov-12 18:42:57

I don't see anything wrong with asking, i wouldn't feel bad saying no either. wink

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 07-Nov-12 18:47:54

What would be your reasons for saying 'no' (keep it clean grin)?

ABatInBunkFive Wed 07-Nov-12 18:50:14

Well i'd be more likely to send him in with 20p as a contribution but if i wasn't so inclined i'd just ignore the request.

madwomanintheattic Wed 07-Nov-12 19:03:43

It's unlikely to serve as any sort of plausible deterrent, is it? It isn't as though you give him 20p a week pocket money for him to buy fags and suddenly he has to go cold turkey as he can't afford them.

It is going to mean absolutely nothing to him. Far better they came up with an alternative 'punishment' (or had done so at the time) which would have immediately linked behaviour and response to it.

Asking you to make a contribution is a pathetically administrative response tbh, they must break paintbrushes all the time.

It's punishing you to have the temerity to put the kid in their school.

I don't have any particular strength of feeling against being asked to pay for stuff that sn kids break (I have to do it all the time, hence dla) but as a response to an incident it's a bit pathetic.

I'd be asking to see a copy of the current IEP, and to discuss supervision and behaviour plan, and to ask what they intend to do if the behaviour continues. I'd focus on their response to the incident, tbh.

mymatemax Wed 07-Nov-12 19:04:53

TBH I would support the school & send DS in with a small donation from his money, IF he has the level of understanding to grasp the concept of - You break something - consequence is that you pay for it.

My ds2 has ASD, learning difficulties & autism but understands consequence even if he doesnt have the same level of control & reactions initially.

Strongecoffeeismydrug Wed 07-Nov-12 19:13:19

Well DS doesn't understand money so It wouldn't teach him anything,loss of computer time would be more inclined to stop him (I would pay up tho)

AgnesDiPesto Wed 07-Nov-12 19:28:48

DS (ASD, age 5) understands the concrete concept of something being broken but I don't think he understands that people care that things are broken. For eg he has never cried when a toy is broken - there is no emotive response.
My NT children, you would think someone had died if something is even slightly damaged - that whole 'its mine' thing
I think if your DS does not understand the concept of breaking things on purpose being wrong / upsetting to others / wasteful etc then punishing him for breaking something is not going to make sense.
DS might give me a broken thing and tell me to 'fix it' even if its well beyond being fixed - he does not have the understanding of what he has done and that it can't be undone.
So I suppose a test would be to show a picture of a sad child with a broken toy - if your DS can tell you why the child is sad then he understands the link - if he can't then they would be better teaching him that breaking things makes people sad rather than asking you to pay.

auntevil Wed 07-Nov-12 19:45:52

I would probably say that from a school's perspective it was an un thought reaction to the incident.
Resources are scarce, and I often find that I tell the DCs that if they don't look after 'x' and it breaks, we will not be able to but another one - it is a fact. So in frustration the teacher may have said - 'you'll have to buy a new one' and then carried on with that line of punishment.
I would be sorely tempted to be the bigger person in this. Don't give money, get another paintbrush (then they can't buy what they want!). When you take it in, apologise and say 'here's a replacement. Unfortunately, as you know, DS is being assessed and part of this means that he has no concept of the consequences of some of his actions. In particular, he has no concept of money and its relative value, so this sanction was entirely lost on him - but not my purse. If there are any future incidents, please try to use a sanction that will have some meaning to him and be more effective in trying to achieve the outcome that we all want' - add a simpering smile. Its a nice way of saying ,'try this again you witch and i'll take it so far over your head that you will be the next person to leap from space!'

zzzzz Wed 07-Nov-12 19:58:03

Does he understand that wanton paintbrush chopping is beyond the pale? grin

badgerparade Wed 07-Nov-12 23:58:36

Ds broke a tiny bulb accidentally. He was excluded that day and one of the reasons given was for 'deliberately damaging school property'. We went to school and handed the HT a tiny bulb in bubble wrap so school didn't suffer.

starfishmummy Thu 08-Nov-12 07:52:14

I think the issue here is how do the school normally handle things like this? If making a donation or replacing an item is the normal sanction when something has been deliberately broken, then I don't think the teacher is being unreasonable.

WofflingOn Thu 08-Nov-12 08:00:20

I agree if it's the norm, then he should pay a contribution even if he doesn't understand yet.
Action = consequence, in the same way that my Aspie didn't understand 'Thank you' for years but still had to say it.
He got 'please', you said it and then someone gave you something, but what was the point of 'thank you'? He understands it now.
Having been a primary teacher for years, in a number of schools, snapping pencils and paintbrushes in half is not a regular occurrence precisely because it is heartily discouraged. But there are always a number of parents that say 'Fuck you' when told. Your right, the school cannot enforce their wishes on you.

WofflingOn Thu 08-Nov-12 08:01:58

Oh, and exclusion is a ridiculous response to damage that hurt no one, badger.
If he'd jammed the bulb in another child and broken it, maybe.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 08-Nov-12 08:53:22

I would pay/replace as a one off, IF the request was in writing.

If it becomes a pattern I would be asking for a behaviour plan and/or supervision.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 08-Nov-12 09:30:00

Thank you for the excellent suggestions. smile

I have spoken to DS2 this morning and he tells a completely different tale. He claims that an NT child used a paintbrush as a barrier to block his access to the painting aprons. He wouldn't stop and DS2 smacked the paintbrush down and it broke in the process. The CT did not observe this. The NT child ran and told the teacher that DS2 broke his paintbrush on purpose whilst he was innocently sitting at his desk. Outcome was that CT accepted the NT child's account which fits with what they wrote in DS2's book. If DS2's account is true then I am being asked to pay for/replace a paintbrush that another child was using inappropriately and broke in the process!

This used to happen to DS1 and when stressed he talks still about events that he felt were unjust and unfair and led to teachers having a false view of him that happened years ago. I can still remember feeling profoundly misunderstood at primary school and unable to understand why I was being punished and why teachers seemed angry with me.

woffling I would never use such coarse language in RL - I'm too terribly, terribly polite and repressed - it would be frowned upon and make DH's position on the BOG rather difficult. Legally this board may be a public arena but it is not RL. Here I am free to swear like a trooper. There may seem to be an unreasonable amount of 'bile' directed at teaching staff and the LEA but it is not personal, just like it wasn't personal when teaching staff punished DS1 for years and refused to accept that he has an ASD, SpLD, ADD, APD resulting in school phobia. I can express my displeasure that DS1, I, my career, DS2 and DH are having to pay the price (DS1 is signed off and at home) for the casual mistakes of others.

Ineedalife Thu 08-Nov-12 15:48:15

Surprise, surprise keep The other child involved sounds delightfulhmm

Your poor ds probably didnt even get the chance to explain his side of the story.sad

Feel free to swearsmile

mymatemax Thu 08-Nov-12 16:03:51

keeponkeeping, its a hard one isnt it darling little tarquin has obviously gone moaning to the teacher who has belived him & your ds has been harshly punished.
One of the hardest things to teach a child (& even more so when ASD) is that somethings are unjust we have spent many many hours trying to help ds2 (&ds1 the NTone) keep things in perspective.
I dont think that ds2 will ever get the concept, or why soem people break rules & it is upsetting for him but thats life, teachers do get it wrong.
Maybe a reminder to the teacher to allow your ds the time & space to explain his version of events is needed in future.
As the saying goes, pick your battles.. if you think this one is worthy then go for it personally i'd pay up with a few words to the teacher at the same time.

mymatemax Thu 08-Nov-12 16:05:33

sorry Keeping, just read the last paragraph of your last post. I can understand why you feel strongly.

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