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AIBU?

Child lost school item, school blaming me...?

190 replies

maiafawnly · 13/09/2022 17:12

Before the summer holiday, my 14 year old participated in an event for a competition where a group of student designed balloons which were sent into "space". On the balloons were recording devices logging the altitude the balloon reached and views from their balloon. The data was recorded onto a micro SD card. The data was to be analysed at the start of this term to then be submitted to the hosts of the competition.

The SD card was given to my 14 year old last day of term, and hes lost it. Micro sd cards are so small that finding it is a nigh on impossible task, and we've looked everywhere but cannot find it.

Obviously this is my childs fault, hes misplaced it, but school have called, 3 separate teachers infact have called, asking me what i intend to do about it...? What can i do? I didn't know he was being given the SD card or asked to bare any responsibility of keeping it safe for 7 weeks! And even if i had been asked, theres nothing i can do now its lost, i cant magically recreate data and images of the balloon. And tbh i think the school/teachers involved in the competition have been a bit irresponsible handing a micro sd card of data to a kid if thats the only place its stored and irretrievable if lost.

Aibu to simply ignore any further communication regarding this and have absolutely no consequences for my child at home? I dont think this is a punishable offence, my child made an accidental mistake over misplacing something he should never have been solely responsible for if it was that important?

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User135792468 · 13/09/2022 17:40

Why can’t you just ask your son to apologise and then replace the sd card so it doesn’t have to be bought from school funds? He’s 14, old enough to be trusted with school equipment. I’m sure you also buy him expensive things and expect him to look then. It’s not unreasonable of the school to expect the same.

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maiafawnly · 13/09/2022 17:43

User135792468 · 13/09/2022 17:40

Why can’t you just ask your son to apologise and then replace the sd card so it doesn’t have to be bought from school funds? He’s 14, old enough to be trusted with school equipment. I’m sure you also buy him expensive things and expect him to look then. It’s not unreasonable of the school to expect the same.

My son has apologised for losing it, he feels absolutely terrible and that he has let his whole team down. Hes very upset by the whole situation. He can offer to replace the SD card if he wishes, he has money and tbf they cost a few pounds they aren't expensive.

My issue is with the school blaming me and how irresponsible they were initially by giving the only source of the save file to a child if its so important 3 different people have contacted me in the space of 4 hours.

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Suprima · 13/09/2022 17:45

I’d imagine your son had to use the SD card to upload the data for the project, and he hasn’t, nor has he bothered to take care of the card?

School is being overkill here- but I’d be more concerned about my son acting a bit of a donut, taking the cost of the card from his pocket money (they are very cheap these days I think) and apologising to the school for said donuttery?

Dunno why you are so pissed off at school tbh. Your son isn’t a baby. No wonder kids are asking for constant extensions and mitigating circumstances requests at uni these days. No independence or resilience.

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Leeds2 · 13/09/2022 17:48

Have they actually said what they want you to do? I am guessing that they just want you to help him look, and make absolutely sure that he doesn't have it. I would be happy to help DS with this. Particularly check his phone case, the school bag he had at the time, blazer pockets, the file of papers he has relating to the project etc. Beyond that, I wouldn't get involved but I would check every possible place I could think of because otherwise the school, and students involved, will miss out on a competition that they are obviously taking seriously (well, sort of!).

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Blomonge · 13/09/2022 17:48

You’re totally right OP. You never accepted responsibility for the card or even knew it existed so it’s certainly not your fault. It is your son’s fault but he’s a child so his liability is limited. If it’s so vital they shouldn’t have had only a single copy and shouldn’t have entrusted it to a child.

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maiafawnly · 13/09/2022 17:49

Suprima · 13/09/2022 17:45

I’d imagine your son had to use the SD card to upload the data for the project, and he hasn’t, nor has he bothered to take care of the card?

School is being overkill here- but I’d be more concerned about my son acting a bit of a donut, taking the cost of the card from his pocket money (they are very cheap these days I think) and apologising to the school for said donuttery?

Dunno why you are so pissed off at school tbh. Your son isn’t a baby. No wonder kids are asking for constant extensions and mitigating circumstances requests at uni these days. No independence or resilience.

No he didnt have to do anything with it just store it till September and the first session for the club was today.

He has apologised, hes usually very responsible, hes upset that he has let the team down as posted. If he wants to replace it that is up to him.

But at no point did i accept any role in this, so my post is about how the school are calling me not dealing directly with him. Im not punishing my child for an accidental incident that concerns him and the school only. Im not forcing him to pay out of his pocket money, its up to him to resolve it with them. I feel this is pandering to him at all, but allowing him to deal with his own mistakes independently.

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MajorCarolDanvers · 13/09/2022 17:51

Have the school said what it is that they want you to do?

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ClocksGoingBackwards · 13/09/2022 17:57

This sounds like a lovely activity that was very badly thought through.

If all your son needed to do was store it, why couldn’t the teachers have stored everyone’s cards to ensure this didn’t happen? Was your son given the option of leaving it with teachers and chose not to?

Also, they might have had the intention to pick up the balloons, but what if they traveled too far to be collected? What if it already harmed some wildlife before they got a chance to collect it?

Im usually on the side of schools because I feel they deserve the benefit of the doubt but this whole thing sounds like a bad idea.

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Novum · 13/09/2022 17:57

I think I'd mess them around by asking them why they were buggering up the environment and endangering animals sending bits of plastic to float around the place.

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MiauzenKatzenjammer · 13/09/2022 18:09

Tumbleweed101 · 13/09/2022 17:15

A 14yo should be responsible to keep something important safe, however the school are being unreasonable to give sole charge of Something important to a child.

Important??? It's a school science experiment. I'm assuming the card didn't carry people's medical records or the nuclear launch codes.

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Prescottdanni123 · 13/09/2022 18:14

YANBU. I work in a school. Teenagers could easily misplace a lifesize mannequin of a bull elephant, let alone a microcard. God only knows what the teachers were thinking.

The only thing you can do is offer to pay the cost of the microcard. It was unbelievably stupid of them to not have the data backed up somewhere else.

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ChateauMargaux · 13/09/2022 18:15

If I had buckets of time on my hands, I would perhaps suggest that you come into school and have a meeting with the three people who have phoned you to establish the facts.

Then repeat some very awkward questions..
So let's clarify what happened...
You asked my son to look after the SD card over the summer... Yes?
cCan you show me what the SD card looked like?
And this data is important is it? Can you elaborate on how important this data is? Ok.. Did you give him instructions on how to transport and store this SD card?
Did you assess the risk of the SD card getting damaged, broken or lost in transit to my son's home, during the 7 weeks of the holidays or the journey back to school?
How did you decide that my son was the best person to take responsibility for the valuable and important piece of equipement for which you provided no instructions on how to keep safe and no special storage devise to protect, rather than say.. leaving it in a safe place at school?
Do you suggest to your students that they back up their work to avoid the risk of loosing important information?
How many times, on average per year, is this message delivered to students?
Has my son been made to feel bad about this wholly predictable outcome?

May I suggest that you think about your own part in this and stop wasting my time!! Oh and here is £10 to cover the cost of the card.

Of course.... all of this would happen in my own head... I would hug my son, tell him he is a bit of a twit but dear god... cabinet ministers have done worse (briefcase stolen on a train / car boot.. can't remember the details) and say school and the teenage years are safe spaces to learn from your mistakes.. within certain boundaries of course but this is not a 'breaking the law' or action with malicious intent type of mistake.

I would follow up with .. your teachers and wrong to bully you in this way.

And for your own amusement.. look at some old threads of 'I've majorly fucked up at work, share your stories and cheer me up'. I have a vague story about a kid sticking a pen through a painting worth millions at a major London Gallery ... staff were totally cool about it.

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Antarcticant · 13/09/2022 18:15

Teenagers could easily misplace a lifesize mannequin of a bull elephant

This made me properly chuckle 😄

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Skolo · 13/09/2022 18:19

It doesn’t sound like they are blaming you. It sounds like they are trying to enlist your help in finding it. It has probably dawned on them that, rather than relying on a 14yr old, they might have better luck asking you to look for it.

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CantFindTheBeat · 13/09/2022 18:24

What have the teachers ACTUALLY said to you, OP?

presumably they don't really care about a £10 SD card.

Have they said 'Xs parent, could you have a thorough look and see if you can help him find it'?.

If so, that's a reasonable ask for a project they would really like to complete.

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Sunnyqueen · 13/09/2022 18:24

Tell them you are happy to replace the sd card and if they have any suggestions as to how you can put the irretrievable data on to it you will happily follow their guidance.. Then request to avoid this happening again they don't give a fingernail sized piece of plastic to a 14 year old to look after for 7 weeks.

Thick as fuck some of them, hard to believe they are teachers!!

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CantFindTheBeat · 13/09/2022 18:24

Skolo · 13/09/2022 18:19

It doesn’t sound like they are blaming you. It sounds like they are trying to enlist your help in finding it. It has probably dawned on them that, rather than relying on a 14yr old, they might have better luck asking you to look for it.

This.

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Royalbloo · 13/09/2022 18:25

Erm, you/your son lost it though?

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Connie2468 · 13/09/2022 18:26

This was an agreement between your son and the school.

If they ask you again, you'll have to say you don't know anything about and can't do anything about it. They need to speak to your son as he is the one they organised this with.

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Connie2468 · 13/09/2022 18:27

Royalbloo · 13/09/2022 18:25

Erm, you/your son lost it though?

How can the OP have lost something she knew nothing about and wasn't asked to look after?

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maiafawnly · 13/09/2022 18:30

CantFindTheBeat · 13/09/2022 18:24

What have the teachers ACTUALLY said to you, OP?

presumably they don't really care about a £10 SD card.

Have they said 'Xs parent, could you have a thorough look and see if you can help him find it'?.

If so, that's a reasonable ask for a project they would really like to complete.

The first one called to inform me my son had the card and failed to bring it into school. I had a conversation with them and stated i will help him look this evening when he gets home.

The second started basically the same conversation, i said ive already discussed this with the 1st teacher and intend to look this eve, i said i dont have time to re-have the conversation as im on my appointment and ended it there.

The third (by this point i was a bit annoyed at them calling me) literally asked me what i intended to do about it being lost. I said ive already agreed to help him look but beyond that i cant see what i can do about the data. He said something along the lines of "he hopes for my sons sake i manage to find it then" i cant remember exactly how it was worded but i agreed and ended the call.

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carefullycourageous · 13/09/2022 18:34

@maiafawnly I find your position inconsistent - you say your son is too young have been given sole responsibility for the card, but also it is up to him to replace if he wants.

I think you need to pick a side - either he is old enough to have been asked to look after it, in which case he is on his own and school were right to ask him, or he is too young to look after it himself, in which case he is also too young to decide to replace it.

My feeling is the latter (14 is too young to be given sole responsibility for a group project) and the school should not have left it with him, and I also think you should replace the SD card - and if you feel it right get him to repay that money from his allowance.

The whole thing is badly thought through, what a shame!

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carefullycourageous · 13/09/2022 18:35

He said something along the lines of "he hopes for my sons sake i manage to find it then" What on earch does THAT mean?

I'd escalate the issue, politely, and ask a senior staff member to help. But pay for a replacement card!

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maiafawnly · 13/09/2022 18:37

carefullycourageous · 13/09/2022 18:34

@maiafawnly I find your position inconsistent - you say your son is too young have been given sole responsibility for the card, but also it is up to him to replace if he wants.

I think you need to pick a side - either he is old enough to have been asked to look after it, in which case he is on his own and school were right to ask him, or he is too young to look after it himself, in which case he is also too young to decide to replace it.

My feeling is the latter (14 is too young to be given sole responsibility for a group project) and the school should not have left it with him, and I also think you should replace the SD card - and if you feel it right get him to repay that money from his allowance.

The whole thing is badly thought through, what a shame!

I feel if the data was that important 3 teachers have contacted me regarding it then giving a 14 year old the sole responsibility was irresponsible on their part.

I also think that at 14 if theres an incident like this at school, its up to him to deal with it not me. I have supported him in looking, told him he should have taken better care of it, but been empathetic that it was a mistake not deliberate so wont punish him further

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GroggyLegs · 13/09/2022 18:38

They're panicking & trying to pass the buck for their dimwittedness and you're getting panicked on.

It was completely foreseeable. I've got 3 backups of a similar work related thing on USB because I'm well aware how easily these things can be mislaid.

I'd have one really good last look and draw a line.

Honestly though 'I hope for your son's sake...'? I'd have asked this teacher to elaborate on the consequences he foresees happening.

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