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victimisation by teacher - year 5

13 replies

mummyjx · 31/01/2007 21:40

I need some advice, I think my DS1 is being victimised by his teacher.
He is an intelligent, mischievous, caring and very sensitive, NORMAL child, not keen on reading or writing unless about something he really cares about, but is good at science, history, numeracy and RE etc. He is a daydreamer, but when he gets interested in something there is no stopping him.
Our problem started in September with the new teacher. He had had a fight with one of his best friends -who is of a volatile nature and under SENCO, but this has NEVER been an issue before or since- (some other boys were picking on DS1, accusing him of swearing and stuff and generally trying to make the situation worse, as children do...and these particular children often do with DS1), anyway he threatened this boy and the teacher reacted as though he had tried to burn down the school (shame he didn't). We were hauled in for a meeting and ended up agreeing to "anger management" sessions for him (I was quite ill at the time and spent most of the meeting in tears as I could not believe it was DS1 they were talking about.) He has been doing the sessions for a while now but I feel they are making him worse as he has been led to believe he has a "problem", also he is constantly grouped with the children from the class who are usually in trouble so has to maintain a certain behaviour pattern to fit in (please understand I DO NOT IN ANY WAY agree with this "labelling" of children, and this is not my opinion, just an rough observation - I used to work in the school when DS1 was younger).
Anyway that was bad enough (I am so sorry this is such a long post, but it is keeping me awake at night and bugging me all day), but on Monday he came home with unfinished work to do which I went in and explained he would not be able to do because we had to visit his Grandma in hospital (she has just had a stroke) and it is an hours drive away. The teacher insisted he finished it off in the car whilst travelling and was very rude to me. Then yesterday he came home asking if the head had rung us as he had been excluded from his class for the afternoon because - ! - he had not got changed from PE quick enough, after getting told off earlier in the day for talking. He has also been excluded from his class today and we have received no phonecall from the school to tell us what is going on (but then if he didn't tell us we wouldn't know about most of it, extra sessions outside class etc). He says that if he gets stuck with his work he has to leave it or carry on with something else as there is noone to ask for help as he has been put in with a different year group. The head told him yesterday that he had let her down and me, but I feel that the only person being let down here is my child, he is so unhappy. The school has not had a permanent head (until now, hope it doesn't last) for about 5 years (and that was the head that had been there when I was at school!!!). I don't know what to do. I assume I can complain to the head (we will be contacting them tomorrow if we don't hear from them), but if no result from her what then? Can I remove him from school until it is resolved?

OP posts:
Hermit · 31/01/2007 23:28

Couldn't leave this unanswered! If I were you I think I would request a formal meeting with the teacher and/or Head teacher and find out exactly what has been going on from their perspective, and what strategies or plans they had in place to help your son.
I am a teacher and children are not normally removed from their normal year group etc without parents being informed in some way.
Is it possible to move him somewhere else if this cannot be resolved?

Hallgerda · 01/02/2007 10:07

Insisting your child does his homework in the car is completely unreasonable. And I think visiting a seriously ill grandmother is sufficient reason not to do homework. I think I'd be looking at changing schools under your circumstances, but I'd follow Hermit's advice and request a formal meeting now.

mummyjx · 03/02/2007 15:57

Thanks for your advice. In the end I rang the school on the Thursday after the Mon/Tuesday incidents. He had been returned to class by this point and was only guilty of LOW LEVEL DISRUPTION (ie talking when he shouldn't have). I am concerned what they would do if a child did something serious.
The Head apologised for not having contacted me sooner (but obviously wasn't that concerned or would have made the effort). I tried to explain my concerns but I got the feeling she wasn't really interested because it was a partial criticism of her behaviour policy. (They are trying to minimise staff stress. She did say she appreciated our circumstances - ill Grandma, who is now much better - but could not make allowances for one child with these circumstances as it undermined the policy. ffs. Is nice to know they care.)
I am not happy but have tried. I will see how it goes before I make a decision, but might be looking in to waiting lists at other schools - unfotunately we are in a rural area and don't have a lot of choice.
PS. Hermit please don't take my anger as a personal insult to all teachers (my BIL is one too) - I have great respect for good teachers (in fact is it something I would consider doing myself when the kids are older), we just don't seem to have a lot of those at our school anymore

OP posts:
Tortington · 03/02/2007 16:26

undermine the policy is one thing, an exception becuase of 'common sense is another.

if i were you i would ask the head about the formal complaints process in writing. include stamped addressed envelope. ask them not to leave it to your child to bring home.

i find that when writing things you can leave it - stand back re-assess come back to it later - post it on mumsnet ask for advice etc.

i would pull my child out of angar management and write in letter you felt pressurised to take this course of action which you felt was unwarrented and unecessary.

write how you feel your child is becoming more depressed about his school environment and how you would be willing to support the school in taking positive sanctions to help your child revert back to the happy child he once was. tell them that you fully support the school, however the emotional welfare of your child comes first. make some suggestions...therefore i would like to meet with class teacher to talk about positive sanctions to encourage bad behaviour as well as negative sanctions which are used to discourage bad behaviour. maybe my child could have a specific responsability in the class, do some work at home which will be displayed in the corridor etc etc....

you must come forth with solutions. must be firm with what you are saying. and explain that you have spoken with class teacher on numerous ocasions and th head teacher also.

finish with - please can i have a copy of your formal complaints proceedure, a copy of the behaviour policy etc.

hope this helps

Tortington · 03/02/2007 16:29

oh i forgot - i dont mind my kids being punished for things - if they recieve treatment which is fair and in like with a) the punishment & b) the other children involved.

so always ask what punishment the other children revieved and remain on your path for equality and justice and fairness.

tigermoth · 03/02/2007 17:14

I think you must continue to keep in close contact with the school as it seems there has been very poor communication between the teacher and your son.

Does you school have home/school books? We had one of these and each day I wrote down comments about my son's behaviour and saw what the teacher has written about his behaviour in class. But it became much more than a behaviour catalogue. I could write notes to tell the teacher if my son was upset about anything in class or had stuff going on at home that might affect him at school. The teacher could read what I said at a time that was convenient, and would write comments so I knew she had seen it - and the daily drip of info helped prevent things reaching crisis point.

I know these books are sometimes suggested as a sort of behaviour control/punishment tactic but in your case, could a home school book be used just as a general channel of daily communication? (And also if the worst happens you have a convenient written account of discipline decisions if you want to make a formal complaint).

Could you suggest this to your son and his teacher?

BTW, IME the excluding from class tactic is not that uncommon in primary schools. My oldest son was often excluded from class ( on average 1 or 2 times a month in year 5, and more often than that in year 4)> He has to sit with another class for a lesson or two. He told me it was used on other children as well.

I think though, that in your case, there are lots of other problems here and you must push for better communication.

Charley41 · 02/10/2017 06:34

My grandson is being victimised by his teacher who, in spite of protests and complaints is still treating him differently from his friends and peers. Generally embarrassing him in front of the other children.
In spite of assurances from her and the headmaster that it will stop, it has continued for over a year. The boy has just turned 11 and as his mum is a single mum, I have been associated with him from birth.
He is normally a happy cheerful child but has now turned sullen, suffers from sleeplessness, anxiety and general nervousness; and doesn't want to go to school.
During the recent summer school holidays, he spent a lot of time with his grandma and myself while his mum was at work. I'm retired, can spend the time with him, and by doing things together, he slowly became his normal happy self. Now since he is back at school he has changed back to what he was before the holidays.
We know the teacher is lying when she says she is not victimising him, but she seems unable to stop. Strangely, she is supported by the headmaster.
While they are doing nothing, his schooling is suffering.
Is there some way of getting this victimisation stopped?

shouldwestayorshouldwego · 02/10/2017 06:44

@Charley41 you would do better to start a new thread, otherwise people will just respond to the OP whose son has probably left school now. You might want to give a more specific example for people to comment on - or maybe write a list for the teacher of things specifically that he is upset about.

Waspyhell · 02/10/2017 06:52

Just to urge a little caution here, OP, you talk about him being engaged in learning when a topic interests him and about how he doesn't like reading and writing. Unfortunately, in a class situation, topics can't always be swayed to the interests of every individual. Sometimes he will have to engage in things that don't fill him with excitement. That's life. Being a "daydreamer" at those times is not hugely helpful to a class teacher. You also describe some playground behaviour- swearing etc. Did your son actually do the things described? I couldn't tell from your OP whether it had just been reported that way or whether it had happened. Your son DID threaten the other boy though, is that right? The one with SEN?
Re the homework- had this been given to everyone or just your son? Was it given to him because he hadn't finished his work in class due to daydreaming or was it extension work? I would check that if I were you. If it was the former, it is possible that the teacher was keen for him to do it that night due to what she had planned for the next day, in order to ensure that he didn't fall behind.
My point really is just to be careful. There's two sides to every tale- don't necessarily assume that your ds is presenting all the facts fully. He may well be presenting a slightly toned down version to avoid getting told off by you!

Waspyhell · 02/10/2017 06:53

Oh bloody hell. Just realised this is an ancient thread!

SavoyCabbage · 02/10/2017 07:02

He will be twenty now!

BoneyBackJefferson · 02/10/2017 07:07

I realise that this is a zombie thread but its interesting in that the OP's child was

"only guilty of LOW LEVEL DISRUPTION"

Which is considered now to be a major issue.

why12345 · 02/10/2017 07:11

Hahaha how did this pop up in active!! 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

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