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Boys 'fiddling with themselves' in class(56 Posts)
Sorry for the rather coy title, also I have name changed for this as may have to make a complaint etc.
I am a (female) trainee teacher in a secondary all boys school. I've seen more than one boy masturbating in class (Y 9, 10, 11). They do this while staring at me and smirking and it is intimidating. Ive no guidance on how to deal with this and I think my mentor has basically given up - it seems more or less accepted and behaviour is generally awful so I have no confidence in the department's ability to deal with it. Is this something you have experienced and how did you - and the school - deal with it? The utter rage and resentment I felt at having to prepare lessons for this group today makes me realize this may be the last straw for me in terms of the PGCE, but I'm interested to know how it should be dealt with.
Oh god, I couldn't be doing with that. Your mentor should be stamping down hard on this.
I taught boys (in a mixed setting) aged 16-18 for years and have never ever had this happen.
I'm really sorry but I think you should be sending boys out of class and being absolutely plain with managers and other pupils why you're doing it. If they were getting letters home to their parents about masturbating in class surely they would be mortified?
I would go with the embarrassment factor, when you notice it very confidently/sternly say ‘please do that in your own private time and not in my classroom!’ followed up with a warning that they will be sent to SMT (or whatever sanction is I. Your school discipline code).
You must also take this further and ensure that management are aware of the situation!
If anyone tried that in my classroom I'd email the head before the lesson was even over and ask for an immediate sanction. We had a student get a managed move for this, if they're smirking they know that you know they're doing, and at the moment seem to think they can get away with it. You need to show them they can't.
(As a student I'd maybe get your HOD/mentor to email on your behalf, but same principle still applies.)
may have to make a complaint
Why wouldn't you complain?
Your mentor and placement school should not expect you to just accept this. I would refuse to work with a class who sexually harass me.
Talk to your university /PGCE provider, they can then talk to the school and if necessary get you a different placement.
Make a complaint to HR/ senior teacher in your school, this is sexual harassment and they have a duty of care to you.
Have a signal that you can give to the teacher observing you, maybe a not to pass so they can take the offending boy out and give them a bollocking.
Be prepared to phone parents.
Do you have access to SIMS? Or some other behaviour management system? - log it on there, put it in writing.
If they cannot offer a safe space for a trainee teacher the school should not have them.
I'm not a teacher so sorry to barge in here.
If my son was doing that in class I'd DEFINITELY want to know about it. I'd be mortified but I'd want to know.
Please don't give up on the training because of this, but definitely complain, send them out straight away etc.
Oh my goodness, that's awful. Your mentor is appalling. They most definitely should be dealing with it. First of all you must report this to safeguarding. I've been teaching for 5 years in tough schools and have never encountered this so I'm not really sure how you would tackle it (No pun intended) but I think if you don't deal with it, it will continue and you'll get a reputation for being a push over. I would probably read the discipline with dignity guidelines for this, confronting the student infront of their peers is a big no no. Make sure you also have another member of staff with you for any of these conversations. Safeguarding is a priority though, protect yourself. If you arent already in a union, now is the time to join.
OK, do any of the boys have any educational or behavioural needs? Are you sure they're doing it? I once experienced sexual harassment from a student (Yr 10 boy) and nothing was done at all, because SLT had no clue but I was NQT so couldn't escape to placement B!
I must admit, I've no idea if I had the right approach here but I used to go for embarrassment or distraction. Loudly ask them to get out out their seat to come and add to something on the board, or distribute something to the others etc.
If you're sure, ring their parents.
Complain to your university and ask to move placements. I’ve worked in loads of different schools and that would’ve been totally unacceptable in any Of them and would have been taken very seriously. It’s sexual harassment and is not being dealt with effectively.
I had a student pretend to masturbate in my class once. I was an NQT at the time. I went mad. He was moved classes and had to write a letter of apology. Prob inclusion - I can't remember, it was 14 years ago.
THAT is how it is dealt with. You must not tolerate sexual harassment. Please report this.
Sorry if you've already tried something like this, but can you simply square up to the boy and say "can you please put both of your hands above the table where I can see them front". This kind of statement uses non-accusatory language but it lets him know that you know what he's doing.
Sorry - there's a stray "front" in that post! Autocorrect!
O god this is awful - the worst part being that you're already minimising it, which is, I suspect the intention of senior managers so they don't have to deal with it.
BUT - you need to kick up the biggest fuss ever.
The next time it happens - immediately remove the boy from your room - and whether they leave willingly or not, you immediately call someone more senior (whoever you normally call - HoD, on call person etc), and from that point on, let them deal with it.
Refuse to have the child back in the room until some kind of serious sanction (isolation?) has been carried out.
Get the union involved if your management are unwilling to deal with it.
Awful as it is for you, I assume there are also other girls in the room, and they need you to role model exactly what to do when a boy/man thinks they can masturbate in public (i.e. you need to show them that there are serious consequences and it is very, very wrong).
Sorry, just realised it's an all boys school!
I didn’t mean confront after the fact bobbypin I meant it does need to be dealt with at the time to send the message it is unacceptable behaviour (others in the class must’ve noticed this is happening). But it needs to be followed up through appropriate channels too. Agree with having another member of staff present for any follow up conversations.
What is your mentor doing whilst this is happening?
Completely agree with unicorn.
Never heard of this in any school I've been.
There is absolutely no reason for you to put up with this or stay there.
I feel really angry for you. And angry that boys are behaving in this way.
If you use the actual phrase it may be outing, but it seems to be a common "excuse" in a school that a boy may behave like this because he has an attitude to women. No further explanation or work with the pupil to uncover why this is the case and why it is acceptable- just that.
The vast majority of boys I teach are nice and funny people.
Wow, thank you all for your replies. I am glad to know at least that this doesn't seem typical of schools. I think you are right that I am minimising it - not that I think it is right, but (without wanting to derail from the main issue, which is educational and in the here and now), when I've experienced sexual harrassment in the past it has been minimised by my family, so definitely I have the in-built guilty sense that I am 'making a big fuss about nothing' etc. I think this is also why I am so angry this weekend about it, and so ready to give up. TBH I was expecting more responses along the lines of 'that's just what boys are like' 'why did you go into teaching if you're such a snowflake' etc.
Yes, they are very definitely doing it, I have gone around the room to check work/see if they have any questions etc. stopped to talk to them, realised they are smirking weirdly, looked down and seen it very clearly happening. At the time I just didn't know how to react, so I ignored it (though am sure the shock was visible on my face) and went on talking to them about the work as if nothing had happened - the idea in my head was that I didn't want to draw attntion to it by over-reacting or look as if they had had an effect on me. I was also just dumbfounded and had no idea what to say/do. I am sure this was probably the wrong way to react, but as I say,I'm only a trainee and I've no preparation for this. This school is Ofsted outstanding across the board, including behaviour.
Educational/ behavioural needs - I am not sure, as have only recently begun this placement and got access to SIMS. Haven't been told specifically about these particular boys (another thing I don't think is right: I would expect to sit down and have a run through of any differentiation currently in place for the children with SEND in the class, etc. : not for my sake but for the kids' sake so i can provide as much continuity as possible while I am there.). There are some boys with SENDs in the class, but they are not the ones doing it. If I had been expecting it / had been warned about it and been given guidance on how to deal with it, that would be a different kettle of fish. It is not a special or therapeutic school at all.
I am sure the department know that it happens, from comments I have heard them make. I suspect their reaction would be more along the lines of 'toughen up'. Sashh I agree with you - I will contact the university. I need to anyway because of the behaviour in general.
This is absolutely disgusting and I'm fuming with both your mentor and the SLT of the school.
It's not going to be easy but you need to kick up the biggest fuss ever, including seeking support from university. This is so far beyond acceptable. I have two boys and would be horrified if either of them did this.
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