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Harrassment by a Parent.

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by fez_man, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. fez_man

    fez_man New commenter

    Hello,

    Hope I'm in the right area. [​IMG]

    Anyway, basically, I have a disruptive pupil in my class who constantly doesn't do their homework or is annoying other pupils in the class. Thus I am constantly having to discipline the pupil in line with the school's discipline code.
    Since, I am getting their parent call to say that I'm picking on the child (its not the first time). I feel I get little or no support as well from my line managers, who should be able to tell from a completely educated angle that the issue comes from one solitary parent, whereas other parents are always praising my work.
    What is the best way to deal with this as I am getting depressed and despondant particular with the lack of active support from my school.

    Many thanks.
    Fezzie...
     
  2. fez_man

    fez_man New commenter

    Hello,

    Hope I'm in the right area. [​IMG]

    Anyway, basically, I have a disruptive pupil in my class who constantly doesn't do their homework or is annoying other pupils in the class. Thus I am constantly having to discipline the pupil in line with the school's discipline code.
    Since, I am getting their parent call to say that I'm picking on the child (its not the first time). I feel I get little or no support as well from my line managers, who should be able to tell from a completely educated angle that the issue comes from one solitary parent, whereas other parents are always praising my work.
    What is the best way to deal with this as I am getting depressed and despondant particular with the lack of active support from my school.

    Many thanks.
    Fezzie...
     
  3. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    Who is the parent calling? You, the Head of Year or someone else entirely?
    Have you met the parent in person? If you can do so with your Head of Department or the Head of Year (or the from tutor) present then this may help.
    If you are following the school discipline code then your Head of Department should be able to support you as should the Head of Year.
    If the feedback is overwhelmingly positive then don't let one person complaining get you down. ?It sounds to me like you and this child are involved in a war of attrition over behaviour. Are you really going to let them win because they have called in support from their parent? (and if you allow this to depress you then they win).
    By involving the parent the child has upped the ante. They are saying "I'm not going to change my behaviour and my parent supports me". However what you often don't know in these situations is exactly what the child has told the parent and the parent quite often does not know exactly what it is the child is doing in lessons (they certainly do not hear the truth from the pupil)
    I would put the child on subject report (if your school has them) with targets that are agreed with both parent and pupil.
    Now you know you are not going to get any support from home you can adjust your strategies accordingly. If your school is unsupportive then you can adjust your strategies accordingly.
     
  4. re

    re New commenter

    Keep a written log of this pupil's misdemeanours. I know it's a pain in the behind, but if you can say things like 'on 21st January he .....' it will take the wind out of parent's sails. Also if said pupil gets the idea that you are writing everything down he may modify his behaviour.

     
  5. casper

    casper New commenter

    Stick to your guns, belive in yourself. Log everything. I had one class that were so awful I noted every disruption and converted those disruptions to mins detentions. YOu should be getting support on this. Do not have any conversations with parent on your own even on the phone.
     
  6. Some years ago I reported a pupil to his parents for rude and disruptive behaviour.
    The pupil entered my classroom while I was teaching another class the following day with a note from his parents. The note stated that I was an ignorant pig and instructed me to phone the parents if I had any problem.
    The school complied with the pupil's and parents' request that he should be moved out of my class to another group.
    Some time later, I was told, at the end of term, that the pupil wished to return to my class.
    I told the tutor that I had no objection to his moving back to the class, but added that as I had resigned, he would not be taught by me any more.
     
  7. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    I'm extremely easy going, but disrupting other students learning is, for me, a capital offence. When you think about it, it's really no different than stealing from classmates. They are being deprived of something very valuable (education) to which they have an inviolable right. I would always seek to have such students excluded from my class until they ceased such behavior.

    Extremely common with dysfunctional parents. Don't give it a second thought.

    I've seen this before. When I was doing my teacher training, I heard that the school called a boy's father in to sign a behavior contract. So the story goes, the father refused and the school backed done. But the epilogue has a touch of poetic justice: apparently, the lad in question subsequently attacked one of then deputies.
     
  8. I'm interested about the advice to keep a log of behaviour. I had been doing so for a very disruptive pupil in my class, but was then warned by someone at the LEA that this was very dodgy ground.
    My pupil frequently swears at me, calls me names and shows no respect. I was told that if I kept a log, I had to be very sure that other people had heard/seen the same as me, otherwise it could be used as "evidence" that I was picking on the child.
    So, does anyone know where exactly we stand on this?


     
  9. Aber1991

    Aber1991 New commenter

    Compile a history of the behaviour to date of the parent. Do it by word-processor and then email it to yourself. That will provide electronic confirmation of the date on which you compiled it.
    Having done that, log all future instances of "harassment" - and email these entried to yourself at the end of each day. That will provide electronic confirmation that is a contemporary record. And, please, no lies, no exaggeration. Doing so would undermine its value as evidence. The best way to avoid being caught in a lie is to never tell a lie.
    After a few weeks, show the print-outs of your log to your line manager and talk about taking legal advice about this "harassment" and about reporting it to the police. School management often take the line for least resistance. If they for one monent imagine that you will seek the protection of the criminal or civil law, they will brighten up their ideas - and very, very quickly.
    Consult your union and seek legal advice from the Union. Do so in writing. Harassment is both a criminal and civil offence. I do not know enough about the parent's behaviour to offer any opinion as to whether or not it constitutes harassment. One thing definite, do not meet this parent without a witness - preferable a colleague, not a line manager. Remember you will need evidence.
     
  10. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Never mind a log, I'd seriously consider setting up a concealed camera. Then the evidence would be irrefutable. I imagine some would advise against this, but with thirty odd kids in a classroom it is effectively a public place, so I can't really see any privacy laws being infringed.
     

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