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6 year old boy throwing chairs in class

46 replies

Tring · 02/03/2009 21:28

I've changed my name as there are people at dds school who know me on here.

I have a dd in year 2. She's coming home every day with stories of how the class was all rushed out into the playground / library / next door class because a particular little boy was throwing chairs at the others in the class - usually aimed at one of the boys, sometimes just smashed at the wall. So far one girl and one boy have been injured, not badly, but a little boys earlobe was cut, girl had bruised knee.

Today she told me that he'd called the teacher 'shitface'. Last week he called them all mother fuckers and fuck heads.

She doesn't use the words she hears and knows they're bad, so really I'm not too horrified by the swearing, but the level of aggression is worrying.

The teacher is a nqt and struggling a bit I think. The head has said to lots of people that she's never dealt with anything like this before. They're obviously trying, the mother is called to the school frequently, apparently other agencies to be involved, and he was excluded before half term.

My concern is the level of aggression around the other children - he just flips and starts smashing up the classroom and hurling things, dd said it was much easier to do her work when he wasn't there, when he is there, there is a lot of time spent coaxing him into doing things or trying to calm him down. Some of the mothers are getting really angry and demanding something is done, and I feel kind of torn between dds personal safety, which is obviously my priority, and not wanting a witch hunt when the boy and his family obviously need some help and understanding and other involvement.

I'm just wondering how others would feel about this.

OP posts:
2shoes · 02/03/2009 21:30

we had a boy like this at ds's primary(he is at college now) really annoyed me as the school never seemed to deal with it properly, so i wish you luck.

Tring · 02/03/2009 21:36

Thanks 2shoes. I'm not sure how it's being dealt with really. I wonder if they are allowed to tell us? Because from the outside, we're being told it's being dealt with, but the chairs are still flying every day and the class being sent out of the room every day - sometimes several times. They have a system where a particular child has to grab a bit red circle and RUN to heads when it's kicking off. That doesn't seem quite right!

OP posts:
taipo · 02/03/2009 21:52

I would feel the same as you and I would say that in this case the school needs to take pretty drastic action. No idea what that would be though or how much information they should give you.

My priority would be my dc's safety too and I think if something isn't done soon I would be looking at changing schools.

I do feel really sorry for the boy though - I am guessing that there must be some substantial emotional and physical abuse going on at home

MadBadandDangerousToKnow · 02/03/2009 21:56

This is tricky because, as you say, you don't want to start a witch hunt.

We went through something similar a year ago. There was a boy in my daughter's class who quite obviously had behavioural issues. She came home one day with a sticker which (she told me) was for being brave when the boy pulled her chair away from under her and she split her lip on the desk. I was concerned that my daughter had been hurt but, frankly, livid that I only found out about it in a roundabout way.

Anyway, I met the teacher and asked for an assurance that the boy was getting appropriate support and that she was dealing with all the behaviour problems in the class. She gave me those assurances - she couldn't really do anything else - but at least I felt I had communicated my concerns.

The school won't discuss another child with you but you are (in my view) entitled to discuss how behaviour in the classroom is having an impact on your child. I think your options are

  • meeting with the teacher, not to discuss the other child but to discuss your concerns about behaviour management and safety
  • raise your concerns with the governors. The day to day management for the school is the Head's responsibility, but the governors are responsible for school policies. If you believe that the system for alerting the head to incidents is inadequate, you could perhaps raise this with the governors. Do you know the parent governors?
LynetteScavo · 02/03/2009 22:01

In my opinion - a child like this should have 1-1 suport in the class room. Whether or not the school will find money for this is another thing. Having a child run off with a hoop to get help is just not good enough.

Tring · 02/03/2009 22:07

I feel sorry for the boy too, because the work they did with him in nursery and y1 really seemed to be paying off and he was doing so well and loved school, but this year he's just so totally angry and out of control.

1-1 would be great, but they have one general classroom assistant who is awful, really insensitive and old fashioned and borderline hostile. I think the teacher is trying everything she can, but it must be very difficult.

I feel that the fact that a child has to RUN to alert staff is really bad. It once took 4 of them to hold him down.

I'm just not sure what I want them to actually do or what demands I could make. They're aware of how worried the other parents are as they hear it all the time, it's just that nothing is changing. I felt so sorry for him when he was excluded, but so relieved for dd as she'd have such a peaceful time of it! It's very sad, but I do worry that one of them will get badly hurt and that it's just not being managed.

OP posts:
Caz10 · 02/03/2009 22:09

I had a boy like this in my class - it's very very hard indeed. We had one-to-one support but not for the full day/week - the funding is almost impossible to come by. It may well be that he might not be fully "diagnosed" yet, in which case funding wouldn't be released anyway.

I would definitely speak to the teacher, but it is a very difficult conversation to have, as it all hinges on this one child, who she will not be able to discuss with you!

I just wanted to say re the system for alerting other staff - I don't think it's acceptable - I had to "evacuate" all the other children on a regular basis rather than wait for someone to come and assist with the one who was "kicking off" - quicker and safer

MadBadandDangerousToKnow · 02/03/2009 22:13

Perhaps, then, you can tackle this as a safety issue? If you think that the system for alerting staff to serious problems in the classroom is inadequate, you should press for change. That way, the discussion is about safety, not about one pupil.

As many of the SN threads here confirm, it can take a long time for a child to get a statement and then to receive the support that they need (although I don't, of course, know whether either are appropriate for this boy).

DeeBlindMice · 02/03/2009 22:16

It's really outrageous that children are being put at risk like this.

This child needs serious help and the other children in the class have a right to go to school without being at risk from his violence and to learn without his constant disruption.

Caz10 · 02/03/2009 22:25

You are right deeblindmice - but he has the right to be there too. In all likelihood his behaviour is a result of an underlying "condition". BUT i confess to always feeling horrendously sorry for the other children in my class who had to be exposed to this on a daily basis.

mrsturnip · 02/03/2009 22:31

This sounds fairly dreadful. I think I would meet with the head to express your concerns and follow up with a letter to the head copied to the head of lifelong learning and perhaps the person in charge of SN. Also local councillors and maybe MP. You can write a letter that is worded carefully so you focus on your concerns about the child not receiving appropriate support, rather than complaining about the child.

There is no need for a diagnosis for statementing or funding, although indeed it is very difficult to get funding (my son had full time 1:1 when he was in mainstream though- and he was not aggressive - full time meant every break and lunch too). Carefully written letters will be helpful in getting this child the support he obviously needs. If he doesn't get the support he will almost certainly be excluded which is no use to him.

mrsturnip · 02/03/2009 22:33

Do expect it to take ages though. Statementing is meant to take 6 months but usually takes longer. So ask the head what support is going to be given.

If parents complain individually (not as a witch hunty group) it can make a difference.

cory · 03/03/2009 07:44

We had a boy a bit like it, but the school were quite good at handling it. In the end, he moved because his foster placement broke down. I found out later what had happened to him and it was absolutely horrendous. I don't see how anyone who's been through what that child had will ever be able to lead a normal life

MollieO · 03/03/2009 12:50

Having a child run for help sounds completely inappropriate. Also the fact that the class is being significantly disrupted several times a day doesn't sound right. If it was a boy in my ds's class I would expect him to be removed for 1:1 teaching. If he wasn't then I would be asking for my ds to be moved in order to know that he was safe at school. I remember talking to someone in our local park about what she thought of our catchment school. She mentioned that the behaviour of a pupil in her dc's class had never been properly dealt with throughout school and it had affected her dc. I can't imagine anything worse and whilst I have sympathy for this boy my concern would be for my own dc and ensuring that they have the opportunity to be educated in a safe environment.

melissa75 · 03/03/2009 19:16

I, like Caz10, have had this same experience. It is a very difficult one, because your trying to balance both sides, parents who obviously want their child to be in a safe environment when they come to school, and yet, you are also privy to what information is available for said child but cannot discuss it with the other parents obviously. We did the same thing, with evacuation, took the kids to another classroom mostly, but I was doing this in Y2 with no TA, so I had to send a child to alert that he was 'kicking off'. Unfortunately, my senior management and head were not at all supportive, and left me to deal with it. I was able to get on a course of proper handling of a child from the physical perspective which taught me the moves to protect myself, but it did not help matters much because I was still physically hurt by him on a weekly basis if not more often. One of the difficult things as Caz mentioned is perhaps they are still trying to get a diagnosis for him, and depending on the funding available, may not have the ability to have him taken out for 1:1. I with the help of some other colleagues was able to petition for a padded room for this child and we developed a signal amongst each other so that whoever was in the corridor could come and take the rest of the class out asap, and he would be taken to the room to calm down. Unfortunately he was not allowed to be left alone, which left me to be in the room with him, and when he was really angry, it was not a pleasant situation. In saying all this, I do not know what the answer is, it is so frustrating for all involved because everyone has a valid point of their side of their own personal involvement with the situation.
I hope they can get some support for him sooner rather than later so that the class can begin to settle down.

Caz10 · 03/03/2009 19:53

Oh you have my full sympathies melissa75, hard isn't it? I used to get left alone with him too, was black and blue some weeks - although his SEN got it worse and was at hospital for a tetnus after a particularly nasty bite!

OP it will be difficult but I think it is important that you talk to the school - I was in quite a well-off catchment area and NONE of the parents complained about this boy- I honestly think they were too concerned about being "un-PC" as there was clearly something wrong with him, plus he was one of the few children who came from a much rougher area. But pester/parent power can make a difference - we really wished someone had complained!

Just be sure to stress the point that you are wanting to discuss your child's safety etc rather than complaining about another pupil.

lostinfrance · 03/03/2009 21:12

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Message withdrawn

Tring · 03/03/2009 21:43

Ooh do you think we could be? Do you want to say what county? Or initials of school, or the boy?

Some good advice on here. Am still unsure as to what to do, but will definitely speak to the teacher.

Melissa did you really get a padded room? Can't see anything like that happening - but 1-1 would make all the difference I'm sure.

OP posts:
Caz10 · 03/03/2009 22:16

at padded room...

1 to 1 DOES make a difference.

Good luck!

melissa75 · 04/03/2009 08:08

Tring, padded in the sense of soft furniture up against the wall because he used to throw himself into the wall and injure himself. Caz, we had the same problem, this pupil was only excluded for one day following him giving a nasty bite to the Head...never mind all the TA's and teachers he had injured.
If you can get the one to one, then it is a fantastic solution...unfortunately funding will always come into play.

lostinfrance · 04/03/2009 10:06

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Message withdrawn

MadBadandDangerousToKnow · 04/03/2009 18:42

Lostinfrance - how did you get on?

steppemum · 04/03/2009 19:30

Sorry I havent read it all, but I taught a child like this. As soon as he started doing things that endangered the other children he was permanantly excluded. My heart broke for him as he was such a troubled little boy who so desparately needed to be loved and taken away from his drug ridden horrible excuse for a mother (sorry dont want to rant) The point is, that once he started to throw furniture and endanger kids the head took a firm stand and the governors backed him. That is what I think you should ask for. I would ask to see the head, and say that as much as you sympathise with the poor little soul, you needs removing from the classroom. Now. Good Luck

Caz10 · 04/03/2009 20:04

That is all very well steppemum but where does he go then?

MadBadandDangerousToKnow · 04/03/2009 20:16

Also, in OP's situation, it is very difficult to go to the head teacher and demand that such and such a child should be removed from the class, temporarily or permanently. The head teacher can't discuss one pupil with another pupil's parents. That's why I think the approach has to be 'my child is finding it hard to learn in such a noisy and volatile environment and her safety seems to be at risk - what are you going to do about it?'

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