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Teachers can be bitches too, God help our sn kids

(82 Posts)
mamadadawahwah Sun 06-Mar-05 10:50:03

Just read a thread about one mothers experience regarding child's school and negative reaction she got from an obviously twisted administrator.

When i was young we moved a lot due to father being in the forces. I distinctly remember a grade two teacher (in the U.S.) who pulled me in to her class at the age of six because every time i passed her class i looked in the doorway.

On this day, i was just passing and doing my usual nosy at her doorway and she forcibly grabbed me, put me in front of the class and said now what do you see!! I started to wet my pants cause everyone was afraid of this teacher. (this was in the mid 60's) She then made me stand in the corner facing the wall while the whole class of grade two kids (i was only grade one) looked and sniggered. After 15 minutes she told me to go to the principals office and explain what i had done. Instead, i beaked off school and ran home to my mother who was absolutely flabbergasted. The rest is history, but i wonder what effect that would have had on an SN kid.

My point being is that there are mentally deranged teachers out there even today. Ok, its not as easy to do what that teacher did to me, but inappropriate treatment by a teacher might be much more secretive and insidious than it was 40 years ago. How would a special needs child know what to do if they can't communicate effectively?

Im not saying there are lots of teachers like this but they are part of the general population and like everyone else, have their quirks.

My son is too young for school, and I am so worried he wont get the treatment he deserves. Do parents out there with SN kids visit the school often and what reaction do you get if you do this??

many thanks

mamadadawahwah Sun 06-Mar-05 10:55:17

Oh i should add another incident. A year later at that school a teacher, the same teacher put me up in front of the class and asked the entire class "who likes Lucy". I swear i am not making this up and my mother insists i do not tell this story cause she turns blood red at it to this day"

Anyway, the teacher asked who likes Lucy. All the kids in my own class had to put a piece of paper in the waste paper basket and write yes or no. The teacher pulled out all the pieces of paper and it was a resounding NO. I know this wasnt true cause I had a lot of friends, most of which lived close to me.

She did this to other kids too, not just me. I dont know what she was thinking, but the harm she did was immeasurable. I cowered away to my seat after this. Cant remember exactly how i felt, as it was so long ago, but i will never forget her name or the pieces of paper coming out of the basket. She should have been institutionalised.

happymerryberries Sun 06-Mar-05 10:56:50

Well, we have no problem in letting parents into school, but they cannot just wander around. The reason? Parents have assaulted teachers in the past. So just like there can be 'mentally deranged teachers', there can also be 'mentaly deranged' parents.

I am sorry that you had such a crappy time in school. However I would say that the way in which teachers (in general) treat their kids has changed beyond recognition in the last 40 years.

In the school where I work two younger boy have set upon an older boy, beating him so badly that he needed hospital attention. Should I treat all the kids I teach as potential criminals, of course not. The same is also true of teachers

mamadadawahwah Sun 06-Mar-05 11:00:40

Apart from the crazy bitch in primary school, i had a great time in school. I didnt leave school till i was 27!!!

JaysMum Sun 06-Mar-05 11:09:19

It only took one comment from a teacher to undo all the hard work that hubby and I have invested in J.
The ammount of times we went into school to have a quiet word, soon had the head hiding from us. My husband made a comment that the lack of eye contact we ever got from the head would possibly lead him to be presumed to be on the spectrum......only we know he is to ashamed to look us in the eye after the way he had treated our son.
I could list a whole catalogue of incidents....but wont because they are all in the past.
School have us marked as trouble makers...over anxious parents....neurotics. But it doesnt matter anymore since we took J out of mainstream school in Oct 04 and are now home educating.
The only satisfaction we have now is that we have sought legal proceedings against the LEA....negligence and disability discrimination all caused by the head teacher.
This was the man who made our son stand up infront of his class....he called him a retard and then asked him to repeat it in front of everyone.....
He told J that if he didnt stop his stupid and silly behavior then J's LSA would be removed and he would be left with no support in the classroom....J should think himself lucky to have an LSA. WTF....our son should think he is lucky to have SEN and specific learning difficulties??????
This is also the same man who stood up in front of the whole class and told our sons class mates that J had wet the bed....and did anyone else do that at home???????????????????????
We had 4 years of comments like this....head teacher physically restrained our son so tightly he had bruises the size of oranges on his arms and legs....he even hit him once to "bring him to his senses".
We know we would have liked to hit him a few times......but he will get his just desserts when we get to expose the man as a danger to children in court.

alux Sun 06-Mar-05 11:15:26

Here, here, hmb. The pendulum has swung so far in the other direction these days, it is more often a case of children and parents physically and verbally bullying teachers.

I vaguely remember being slapped in the face by a nun in the 70's when I was about 6 because I could not remember my lines for a play. It did not turn me off to nuns. In the early 80's my husband, at 15, was punched in the face for swearing, not aggressively but to express incredulity, at his mate. He still trusts the judgement of teachers over that of a child to give a fair representation of events. And these days both incidents could get a teacher permanently removed from teaching.

Listen to your child but remember that children have a limited capacity to put an adult's behaviour and his own into context. So formulate open ended questions then approach the school to find out more about what is going on. Children can communicate one off events but staff can put one incident into a bigger picture. Usually you will find that staff want you onside as it makes their job easier.

Schools want parents to be involved in their children's education. You these days need an appointment to visit like anywhere else for a variety of reasons.

mamadadawahwah Sun 06-Mar-05 11:16:47

As i suspected then, it goes on and probably quite regularly. Shock dosent even describe what I think about what you just said. Nor does horror. Just plain white anger!!! I think my husband would indeed assault any teacher who treated our child in that way, and in my mind, the teacher would most readily deserve it.

Obviously this is not the norm, but as someone who h as experience teacher abuse, i am more ready to accept that teachers are not infallible and despite codes of practice some slip through the net in their terrible treatment of children. Lets face it, the vulnerable are most likely to suffer if there is "evil" about.

My heart goes out to you and your child. What a terrible terrible unfathomable story.

coppertop Sun 06-Mar-05 11:16:48

At ds1's school parents of the younger children (up to Yr2 I think) are allowed to take their children into the classroom each morning to help them settle in. This is usually when I speak to the teacher if there is something that might be important, eg if ds1 has had a bad night and is likely to be tired etc.

I have to say that so far I am very impressed with the teachers and general staff at ds1's school (with the exception of the Head but then there are very few people who get on with her). Ds1's teacher has a knack for knowing when ds1's behaviour is related to his ASD and when it's just typical 4yr-old boy behaviour. She is wonderful with him and I sincerely hope that she is still at the school when ds2 starts in a couple of years.

When ds1 went to the school disco recently a number of teachers came over to ask him if he was okay. Some of them had only been at the school for a couple of months and he isn't taught by them at all.

Sometimes I need to go into school at other times, eg IEP meetings. As hmb says, parents are not allowed to wander freely around and to me this is a good thing. I like the fact that strangers aren't allowed to wander on the premises. I check in with the secretary and wait in the entrance hall until someone comes to meet me to take me to the relevant room.

The lunchtime staff are also excellent at keeping an eye on him. Ds1 is apparently a favourite of theirs. Despite not officially having someone to watch him at playtimes, on the occasions when he's had an accident etc there has always been someone who witnessed what happened.

I think schools have really changed since I was a child. IMHO ds1's school is far nicer than mine ever was.

Mud Sun 06-Mar-05 11:19:19

well I remember haveing my legs slapped for getting all my sums wrong at the age of 5 or 6 (because I didn't listen to the teacher when she was explaining how to do it cos I was reading)

and you know what? I never ignored her again

(I am NOT saying we should revisit corporal punishment but this 'oh I'm a poor victim and anyone in a position of authority is there to do me harm' mentality has got to stop)

Mud Sun 06-Mar-05 11:20:21

just realised this was under special needs ... sorry was not meaning anything by that in terms of the requirement for special resources for children with special needs

happymerryberries Sun 06-Mar-05 11:21:23

It is far from the norm. that does not for one intant excuse it ever happeneuing, but please do not do into every discussion with a teacher expecting the worst, (or best) just be open minded and even handed

lou33 Sun 06-Mar-05 11:24:07

i had a book thrown at me for getting one sum wrong in maths when i was about 8, ran home from school during lunch and cried my eyes out, too scared to go back.

aloha Sun 06-Mar-05 11:26:45

Jaysmum....how dreadful. I hope you are indeed able to stop this man. I feel so sorry for your son.
I had a fair number of loony teachers too. Including one vile old bat who used to hit primary kids with a hymn book - I really do hope things have changed. Anyone who makes fun of my boy will get to hear about it in no uncertain terms.

mamadadawahwah Sun 06-Mar-05 11:29:46

Right i knew this thread would start a debate which is good.

My concern is not for nt kids, its for sn kids who cant express themselves. I have worked with abused kids in the past and one of our centre's teachings is to remember that if you feel an adult may be intending harm on you or you feel you are in danger, remember that authority of adults is not always correct and you have the right to question that authority. Basically, not all adults are good.

Kids who are vulnerable get hurt. That is a fact. Adults who are vulnerable get hurt too.

If history is anything to go by, rules dont make a blind bit of difference if someone wants to hurt your child. School is probably the safest place for our kids to be. But for SN kids we still have to be vigilant. I would NEVER want what happened to me, to happen to my son.

No one is saying it is common, but it dosent appear to be uncommon either. I dont see my child as a victim of anything, just bringing up the point that abuse does happen in school, just like everywhere else, albeit occuring at a far less rate.

happymerryberries Sun 06-Mar-05 11:31:02

please, things have changed! Most of these are examples of things that happened in the past. They way i work with my kids is quite different from how I was treated 30 years ago!

lou33 Sun 06-Mar-05 11:35:06

That's good to hear hmb

happymerryberries Sun 06-Mar-05 11:41:38

I'm probably going to get flamed for this but what the hell.

First thing, yes there are still bad teachers. It is unforgivable to mistreat children in your care. They should be removed from the profession.

However can I put in a huge plea from all the resonable teachers out there? Please don't go into every situation with teachers expecting them to be mosters, most of us are not. This attitude will do almost irreperable damage for the relationship between the child and teacher if you do.

Whan I was growing up it was the norm for parents to hit their kids, it was the norm to bottle feed, it was also the norm to let children as young to play out on the streets, often playing, literally , in the gutters. These are my honest memories of parenting in the 60s.

Do I know that parenting standards have changed for the majority of parents? yes.

Things have changed for the vast majority of children, both at home and is the school. Not all, but most.

lou33 Sun 06-Mar-05 11:44:03

hmb, can i have a gold star for always going in expecting a teacher to be reasonable?

happymerryberries Sun 06-Mar-05 11:48:26

Naw just a hug

I'm not saying expect them to be reasonable, just go in with an open mind, undecided either way.

Just like your expect from the teacher I suppose

stitch Sun 06-Mar-05 11:56:11

i am shocked by this story. i hope your son j is not permanently affected by this awful awful situation he was in.
but i am shocked that this head was able to get away with this sort of behaiour. didnt anyone else in school notice it, and finger him so to speak? i dont understand how this could continue to happen.
in my kids school, there are always parents in the classes listening to children read, helping with arts and crafts bits etc. they would notice anything like this, and it would be nipped in the bud pretty quick. during teacher training, one of the things we were taught was to never be alone in a room with a child, for your own protection, as in the worst case scenario, the child could accuse you of god knows what, and you would have no witness to disprove it.
sending our kids out into the big bad world is scary.

Amanda3266 Sun 06-Mar-05 12:41:02

This is really sad.. Is it partly to do with the fact that too many sn children are being expected to cope in mainstream schools without those schools getting the correct funding and additional support? (I'm not counting Jaysmum's son in this as what that teacher did was unforgivable whatever the support etc). But is the closure of schools for sn children causing more problems then it is creating. I like the idea of a fully inclusive society with every person being treated equally and I agree that mainstream schooling can help with that - but not if the funding isn't there and the praise for small achievements and the support.
My DH works in schools for a large part of the time and usually finds that teachers are fine people who work hard. He has seen sn children being positively and supportively included in all aspects of the day (he's a "Living History" re-enactor) by wonderful teachers. Like every other job though there are good and bad - the bad need weeding out. Good luck to Jaysmum with persuing her case against one of the bad ones.

lars Sun 06-Mar-05 13:30:52

Just read this thread and jaysmum experience. I am so sad this happening to childen all over the country.
Jaysmum if your out there get in touch. I do feel I may have to go down a legal route. And your experience may be of great interest to me.

larsxx

KarenThirl Sun 06-Mar-05 13:47:34

Blimey, Jaysmum, I'm absolutely horrified at what your son experienced. Can't wish you enough luck with the court case - this man needs his come-uppance. Should be working in an abattoir rather than teaching young children, something more in keeping with his level of sensitivity. How far along the legal process are you?

Davros Sun 06-Mar-05 14:29:50

Jaysmum, that man seriously needs to be dealt with as that is a shocking story. I don't really have experience of m/s teachers since I went to school 30 years ago and hated it! But I have to say that all the teachers and staff I've ever come into contact with at special schools have been committed, patient and kind. I don't like the title of this thread at all, teachers like everyone else deserve some respect, at least until they do or say something unreasonable. Parents also deserve respect but I've met plenty of unreasonable and rude parents. So where does this get us?

donnie Sun 06-Mar-05 14:30:38

obviously the experience of Jaysmum is awful and I can truly say I have never met a teacher like that in my 12 going on 13 years of secondary school teaching - the man sounds deranged.But the profession is actually very closely monitored so cases like this are thankfully rare. I am intrigued, however, as to why you choose to label teachers ' bitches' mamadadawahwah - is it just female teachers you hate or both genders? after all, ' bitch' is quite a gender specific insult isn't it?

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