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Final straw.....

Discussion in 'Personal' started by hayelise, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. hayelise

    hayelise New commenter

    Myself and my husband teach at the same school and also live quite close to that school. As such we often see pupils, both current and ex-pupils when outside of school, going about our daily lives. However there has been an increasing number of incidents of verbal abuse; shouted at out of passing cars, groups of youths shouting abuse and trying to intimidate whilst out walking our dog, being followed and generally hassled in local stores etc. I know as an adult I should let it wash over me but quite honestly it’s now getting so upsetting that I want to move out of the area and am reluctant to spend time in the local community. The there's times where I get frustrated and angry about why I should feel that the only solution is to move out! I wonder whether reporting to local police is an option but then convince myself I’m being over sensitive. I feel like I’m ‘on duty’ 24/7. I don’t want to be ‘Miss’ outside school, I just want to be plain old me. Anyone had a similar situation that could give any advice about a solution other than moving house (although I am still planning on doing that)? Any advice gratefully received.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I always tried to live outside the catchment area for exactly the same reasons. Sorry, but I don't think that there is any real alternative
  3. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Never a good idea.
  4. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Agree. Even if you move schools, your ex-pupils will probably carry on with this whenever they see you. The only option is to move house, I think. Long gone are the days when kids greeted you politely, if your paths crossed.

    It's not nice, I'm sure.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I've never lived in the same catchment area as the school I taught in.

    I have experienced what you have though - in one school we occasionally used to go out for a drink or a curry on Friday evenings.

    We had abuse hurled at us by kids we came across and then one night a stone was thrown at the car we were in.

    After that we went for a drink elsewhere.

    You may well have to move.
  6. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I only ever taught primary but found a 20 - 30 minute drive home very therapeutic.
  7. Lazycat

    Lazycat Senior commenter

    During my PGCE we were offered three pieces of advice:
    1) Join a union
    2) Don’t sit on the top deck of the bus (this is when people were allowed to smoke on the top deck)
    3) Don’t live in the catchment area.

    I think this was sound advice
  8. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    In the 1990s I lived walking distance from Secondary school and despite also seeing ex-kids out whilst on the booze/pull of an evening didn't suffer any abuse. Don't know if I was lucky or just so ignorant I didn't notice.

    Unfortunately I've no positive advice to give the OP but I would just like to point out that such doesn't have to be negative.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Then don't live in the catchment.
    I have happily lived in the catchment for 5 schools I've taught in over the years. (2 secondary, 1 middle and 2 primary schools.) All were lovely schools with children who wouldn't dream of being abusive. However, I was definitely 'Miss' in the local shop, the village fete, the pub, the local park, etc, etc. I didn't mind and quite liked it, but if it isn't for you, then not living in catchment is the only option.

    However abuse from pupils is unacceptable, especially if you feel threatened. I would be speaking to the year leaders of the pupils concerned.
  10. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Laphroig likes this.
  11. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    There might not be the need to move house but looking for a job in a school outside the catchment area is a good idea.

    Once you have left the school the problem kids will soon forget you and in a few years they will have left to be replaced with a new intake who will not know you as a teacher.

    I occasionally meet kids I used to teach but have since left school. Whereas they could be a real pain in school once they've left school they have grown up and politely have a conversation. (often admitting and apologising for being the nerk they were)
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    If it happens repeatedly and more and more, as I get from your opening post, then it is because they think they can.
    If only a small number of them think they cannot get way with it, then this sort of thing ought to dwindle.
    So be selective-when this next happens, make a fuss about it to a third party who you know will take it seriously. It might be pastorla leaders, it might be parents, it might be somebody really senior.
    If it's horrid enough, it might be the police.
    It will only take a few children to get into trouble for doing this before the drums will sound around the whole school "that's not somebody you can mess about with out of school"
    For some reason at the moment, you are.
    (And is it because they know it bothers you?)
  13. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I know a colleague who'd lived quite happily in the catchment area, suddenly found a particular year group startng to be abusive, which escalated the next year and he moved house.
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This really annoys me.
    I'd far rather see those children get into trouble for being a bother than for an adult to have to move house.
    Is this not bullying of the worst sort? Not dealt with, because it can't be, but avoided at huge cost because that is the only solution?
  15. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    When we moved here the area wasn't part of the catchment area of the school I have just retired from, but over the years the catchment area shifted and for a number of years I found myself in the centre of it, teaching friends and neighbours children at times.

    Fortunately it is a "nice" area and I have never had any problems, although it has felt like being in a goldfish bowl at times. What you have described in your OP sounds appalling and to be honest I think the best thing to do, if you are planning to stay teaching in the area, would be to move home. You really should not have to, but you'd probably end up in a Canute-like position, unable to stop the abuse from all directions. I'm sorry you are having to deal with this!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  16. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I lived in the catchment area for 20 years, about 15 minutes walk from the school. I taught my kids' friends and my friends' kids. In all that time I can think of about half a dozen incidents where a line was crossed, including minor damage to a vehicle. On one occasion where the door was knocked I waited for them to think they'd got away with it, then followed them down the next street, caught up with them and asked the lad who'd knocked the door what he wanted. Needless to say no answer, and some sheepish looks from the rest. That never happened again. Another time my kids spent the afternoon building a snowman and some little scrotes destroyed it that night. To her credit the DHT treated it as school-related and tore strips off them in her office shortly afterwards. That never happened again. Of course there once was a time when SLT looked after their teachers' interests, and that individual has always been a friend.

    However, we're talking about a village, and a different time. With universal mobile phones and social media plus everybody knowing their rights when they're doing wrong I doubt if any of the above could be repeated now. Some sort of carefully considered challenge, especially if their names are known, is worth a try via school. It might be a general warning about consequences to a year assembly, but if SLT wash their hands of it your only realistic option is Police, and that can have its own consequences.

    One thing you can't be when living in the local community is 'just you'. Try going down any pub in the catchment area and knocking back 10 pints before chucking it all up outside the kebab shop in the middle of a crude song and see where your professional reputation goes. If you want to be completely beyond scrutiny you may need to consider moving. I managed for two decades because I'm not a great socialiser, so there was never much of a public persona beyond school or home. Each to their own.
  17. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I have never lived within a school catchment area,but being supply in later life I am often accosted by my name or by the 'mr'. I used to have more problems with secondary children who being of that age showed leass respect generally for any adult they thought it good to taunt
    In days gone by the be a teacher was a position of importance within an area,Today we havea decline in social manners and less respect for any authority. Watch You tube and see them mocking the police and other workers .I have often meet some of my ex children later in life and, as another poster has stated, they are not the same and age and a real life often changes them for the better.
    In the end if it cant be sorted you might need to move.The chances are the local community knows the individuals concerned and given the chance would take them to task,as teachers have a lot of sympathy amongst parents.
  18. baitranger

    baitranger Established commenter

    You and your spouse could buy body worn cameras for when you venture out and collect what evidence you can. I would suggest putting them on your backs too. In my experience, such young persons like to shout abuse as you walk away from them , when you have your back to them. I would also suggest putting up cctv cameras outside your house. They don't cost all that much these days and it's certainly cheaper than moving house.
  19. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I've just read the OP's post, again. The words 'abuse', 'intimidation' and 'hassle' make it sound like a deliberate attack on you. It's a pity that it's the school holidays, otherwise you could have gone to the Head with the names of the ringleaders.
    Going to the Police is another option, but that just may make it worse.

    I suppose it's gone past giving them a cheery wave and engaging them in conversation, which might have diffused things initially. And you've probably tried ignoring them and not reacting.

    It's tricky. Are there any ringleaders? Let's just hope they get fed up, especially if you try to show you're not bothered. Humour and great one-liners may well be your best defence.
  20. install

    install Star commenter

    In the same situation I would take the car reg of the worst one and report it to the police if threats are made and/or if it is regularly abusive. I would also look to move:cool:
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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