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DS humiliated at school by headteacher - AIBU here?

(15 Posts)
bumblecupcake Tue 22-Dec-15 22:05:17

My DS Jake is 14 and told me this today...I am appalled!

On Friday he had a lunchtime detention with his headteacher (nothing serious, his head was just the only person available to do the detention). Jake's lesson before overran so was 5 mins late to the detention - headteacher was very angry. Almost immediately Jake asked to go to the toilet as he'd been so busy all day that he hadn't had chance to go for hours. Headteacher didn't let him and told him to wait. Halfway through Jake asked to go again, saying he was desperate. Headteacher refused again. At this point Jake was noticeably desperate - fidgeting in his seat and going bright red. Asked to be excused or there'd be a puddle on the floor. Headteacher said if he was old enough to get detention he was old enough not to wet himself. Well he was wrong there - Jake had an accident right there and then. I can't even imagine how humiliating it must have been for him. His friends weren't there but other kids were and saw the whole thing. Obviously Jake asked if he could go and sort himself out but the headteacher said no, and for his 'disruption' made him stay in detention in soaking wet trousers for an extra ten minutes.

Jake was in floods of tears telling me this (and he never cries!) so it must have been even worse at the time. He was absolutely mortified and could barely get his words out. I spent a whole afternoon reassuring him that it happens to the best of us, and trying to cheer him up with stories of me having little leaks during pregnancy. He's a bit better but doesn't want to go back to school because he's now scared of his headteacher and thinks everyone will laugh at him because of his accident.

AIBU to want to complain about this? Jake is 14, not 4, so to be forced to wet himself is beyond appalling. If I'm being reasonable how do I complain? He is the do I complain about him?

RueDeWakening Tue 22-Dec-15 22:08:13

You've use (I assume) your sons name throughout this post, you may want to report it and ask MN to edit it to remove so it's not so identifiable.

Sympathy though, I have no idea what to say.

IguanaTail Tue 22-Dec-15 22:10:53

I'm normally not in the "complain" camp but I would look on the website for the name of the chairman of governors and write a letter of complaint about this. I would also ask your son to write a letter explaining how he felt.

The governing body is is charge of the headteacher. If this is genuinely as your son has reported it (and at 14 I can't see how he could have misunderstood the situation) then it's utterly appalling.

You need to insist on a meeting with the chairman of governors before you consider whether or not your son can return to that school.

bumblecupcake Tue 22-Dec-15 22:11:41

I nearly used his real name and had to edit it last minute! Jake's not his real name but I had to put a name or else story didn't make much sense

amarmai Tue 22-Dec-15 22:14:08

this is abuse and the ht is a bully. Use the school's anti bullying code as a guide in writing your son's complaint Demand that the HT personally apologises to your ds and get a copy in writing. There will have been other incidents with this person as bullies need to keep on bullying. Also demand that a copy of your son's complaint goes in the ht's personnel file. Each school has a file on each teacher.

BeaufortBelle Tue 22-Dec-15 22:22:37

Formal complaint. Phone and ask for a copy of the complaints procedure and follow it to the letter. Whilst other children witnessing was embarrassing, would one or more act as a witness? That would put the,bastard on the back foot.

And teachers wonder why they don't have respect.

notapizzaeater Tue 22-Dec-15 22:23:13

That is shocking, what a bully. I'd be complaining like mad to the governors and to the LA. Your poor son :-(

UninventiveUsername Tue 22-Dec-15 22:25:44

Agree with everyone else, make a formal complaint. What a twunt.

LaceyLee Tue 22-Dec-15 22:26:56

That is totally not on. You must complain.

Beaufort cheers for tarring all teachers with the same brush, this is one incident and I have never heard of anything like this before. Totally unacceptable but hardly something all teachers are regularly doing.

Noteventhebestdrummer Tue 22-Dec-15 22:30:33

It's possible I suppose, that there may be another perspective on this story...what was the original detention for?

SirChenjin Tue 22-Dec-15 22:34:53

There is no other perspective. It doesn't matter what the detention is - there is no excuse for the way that the HT behaved. I'm be taking it as far as possible - formally, and with bells on - until my son got a personal apology from the HT and I was satisfied he/she had been hauled over the coals for it.

I'm so shocked that I'm struggling to believe this actually - but it's not the sort of thing anyone would make up.

Clare1971 Tue 22-Dec-15 22:42:14

Yes - complaints procedure and make sure it goes to governors. To be honest I'd be tempted to complain to education authority too if it's an LEA school as governing bodies can sometimes be quite pally with the HT. I never understand this nonsense about not letting children go to the toilet during lessons. The old excuse is that if one goes they'll all want to and it's just a way of missing lessons. As a teacher I always say, if you really need to you can but you'll have to make the time up at break. That way those that really need to go can, and the time wasters don't. Never had an issue with it. Appalled at this HT especially as your son asked twice.

HesNotAMessiah Wed 23-Dec-15 22:13:25

I'd be storming in to see the head teacher and to let them know just how disgusted I am with them as a human being and a professional. And to personally inform them a complaint had gone to the governors.

Taking your son out of school at this point could be a mistake, he'll miss classes and have attention drawn to himself.

There's possibly very little that can be achieved at that meeting, other than the head talking themselves into trouble or an early singing they will deny anything.

But I would ask for someone to be present at that meeting, and take notes.

For info, I was a parent helper on a primary school trip where a 10 yr old asked the responsible adult at the venue if he could use the toilet and she kept refusing, of course the end result was not a positive one. The child was obviously traumatised, and I felt powerless to intervene, it was only when the venue management were made aware of what had happened that the approach completely chnaged. Anything to avoid a complaint or other schools not visiting.

Same here maybe. Do not let the HT get away with this, if the governors find in your favour get that on the HT's record as a written warning.

wickedwaterwitch Wed 23-Dec-15 23:49:29

Agree with everyone, it's totally inappropriate, complain.

sashh Fri 25-Dec-15 09:56:25


It is frustrating if a child has just arrived for a lesson or a detention and then they say they need the toilet, and you know sometimes they are taking the piss.

My solution is to let them go but add the time away on to the detention. There is no reason the HT can't do that, even if the extra 10 mins is on a different day.

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