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Is this assault?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by CinnamonGirl, May 5, 2011.

  1. Thank you both for your responses.
    I emailed my Union rep who said he was sorry to hear of what had happened and that next year would be better (I am fairly new to the school, though I have been teaching for some time).
    I also phoned the police, who are coming to speak to me later today. I'm terrified as the school aren't going to like it.
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    That should be the least of your concerns. If they don't like it then they should make sure it never happens again.

  3. lilykitty

    lilykitty New commenter

    How did the child respond when they realised the door had hit you with force?
    I think this is a personal judgement. I have had incidents happen to me with a child who had quite severe behavioural difficulties, but I did not feel it necessary to take action because the child was devestated and we talked about how serious his behaviour had been even though he hadn't meant for it to happen. It was clear from later incidents that he had taken this on board and even when he was 'acting out' he would think twice about any action that could harm someone.
    If you feel that your circumstance is different (I should mention I teach primary, as well) then you absolutely have the right to take different action. I hope it gets sorted out for you.
  4. With my knowledge of the student, I believe it was intentional. I spent the entire day in the dark and was told after school that he's being internally excluded until the weekend. I asked why he wasn't being suspended and was told because he said he didn't intend to hurt me. I have made it clear I don't agree with this decision.
    The police will be taking my statement tomorrow.
    Thank you for all your replies.
  5. pibydd

    pibydd New commenter

    I am not sure this is an acceptable response. Did you contact your regional/national office and get this reply? If not (ie it was a local rep) I would speak to head office.
  6. causabon99

    causabon99 New commenter

    On the face of it, assault. Going to the Police is correct. They can investigate.Your school does not sound supportive but you should not care what SLT think on this. It also seems that your union rep needs to push harder. One thing is for certain, you should not accept what has happened to you, or delude yourself into down-playing it. You're right to kick up a fuss.
  7. I hope so; I'm not one to usually kick up a fuss but behaviour is very poor in my school and I really don't feel safe. Staff are regularly subjected to verbal abuse but this is another thing entirely.
    My union rep called me after my last post. We had a long chat and he was more supportive but I am considering changing my union as I agree that he hasn't really done anything constructive.
    They police have been fantastic. They say it's common assault, but it's initially been listed as ABH because I suffered bruising. They're currently investigating and they have updated me daily. I also received a call from Victim Support today, which I wasn't expecting but was comforting.
    School 'investigated' by speaking to the student involved, who denies that they were intending to hit me, saying instead they were intending to 'get back at'/ frighten a student who sits near to the door. School accepts thier word. They were given internal exclusion for two days (although in reality they were only there for a day and two lessons) and I've been told the punishment is now complete. I've also been told to provide work for this student so that they can work elsewhere during my lessons until half term.
  8. *their word
  9. baitranger

    baitranger Occasional commenter

    So the punishment, internal exclusion, was not for hitting you, as according to the student hitting you was totally unintentional and therefore an accident.
    Why exactly was he punished? Was it for attempting to frighten a student who sits near the door? Was the student who sits near the door interviewed by the school or by the police?
  10. It hasn't been made clear to me and I'm not in work at the moment as it's made me quite poorly (it's triggered previous health problems). All I have been told was the incident was 'totally unacceptable' and that this had been made clear to the student, plus, following the period of internal exclusion, the punishment is now considered to be over. This was via email, so I haven't been able to ask questions directly. I believe the Headteacher has spoken to the other student; I don't know what they outcome was and I'm not sure if the police have yet.
    The thing is, I am positive it was intentional - the student had told me repeatedly just before the incident that I had made them angry because I am 'too strict' and I made it clear I was coming straight back; I could have been clearly heard talking right behind the door. Unfortunately, the students' word is usually taken at face value, as it has been in this case.

  11. baitranger

    baitranger Occasional commenter

    You could ask the police whether they have interviewed the other student.

    Were there any witnesses to this? If so, they need to be interviewed by the police and such statements are evidence of the boy's intent.
    By a school management? By the police-I don't think so.

  12. snowstorm

    snowstorm New commenter

    If the school has contacted you by email about the situation, I would suggest you respond by asking you questions by email - a good way of keeping a record of your concerns and whether they are responded to by management.
  13. I will ask the police just that when I speak to them next, baitrainger.
    Although there were many witnesses to the door hitting me (as I was inside the class), sadly there was no one else in the corridor, which is when the student told me I'd made them angry and I told the student I would be straight back. It therefore comes down to their word versus mine. And yes, I was referring to school management when I said that the student's word is believed.

    As for the email, I have now done that, thank you.
  14. I would avoid contacting management about this - the police will do this for you. If you must contact them, do so via your union.
  15. Oh dear - too late :|
  16. I do feel for you CinnamonGirl, I was hit with by a primary pupil recently whilst on supply. He thought it was OK because he was trying to hit another child and I stepped in between them - it was my fault that I "got in the way" seemingly. Filled in the assault forms and the school called mum who pretty much said "so what?". Called the union who said I could call the police, but if I did I would be unlikely to get supply work or even a contract. it is a ridiculous world that we live in where we can not stop a violent child but step in and 'get hit'.

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