A friend of mine was approached by another mother at the school gate this morning. My friend had her son (aged 8 and let's call him bob) with her. The woman accused Bob of breaking her child's bag strap. She basically said that there had been an incident and that Bob had broken the bag. She said this in an accusatory way, holding out the bag as evidence and glared at Bob the entire time as though he was absolutely in the wrong without finding out what had actually happened.
Bob got extremely upset. When his mum asked him what had happened, he said that the other boy had pushed in front of him in a line and his hand had got stuck in the clip part and it was trapping his skin so he pulled his hand away and the strap came off. She asked if it had been an accident. He said yes. My friend then asked the other boy if he thought it had been an accident. The other boy said yes.
Bob is a gentle, kind boy who really wouldn't go about doing something like this intentionally. He was at this stage sobbing. The other boy whose bag was broken was upset that Bob was so upset.
My friend offered to pay the money for a new bag (incidentally - there is an issue with the bags and lots of straps have broken). But my friend is really angry with this woman for raising this in a very public forum and for upsetting her child a great deal, when she didn't have the full story.
Interested to know what, if you were my friend, you would do next if anything.