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malicious allegations

Discussion in 'Personal' started by DJL, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. DJL

    DJL New commenter

    I am due to get a new child in my class after the Spring break, whose parents have made continual malicious allegations about her previous teacher. Any thoughts on how I can protect myself against such things happening? I don't want to give too much information here and am actually not privy to what the allegations actually are, precisely. However, head believes they're spurious and no action has been taken, other than this move to my class.
  2. Don't speak to the child alone, or be alone with the child at all. Is the child involved in the allegations, or is it just the parents?
  3. Blimey

    Only thing I can think of is very obvious - never ever ever be alone with the child (obviously you wouldn't anyway), and make sure you can't be accused of singling out this child in particular.

    It might be worth keeping records of all exchanges and discipline issues etc so that you are pre-armed with figures if anything arises. In all cases, evidence wins the day, you'll not be able to do this retrospectively with any certainty...

    Good luck.
  4. DJL

    DJL New commenter

    Child has severe behavioural and learning difficulties (SEN school). Going to be absolutely impossible not to have people 'alone' with her - working 1:1 in various places in the school.
    Am I over-reacting to think that this is a really difficult situation? Worried about my support staff too.
  5. Establish a system with your support staff that you all use for keeping records of everything that happens - evidence is power...
  6. Would you get anywhere raising this with the head before she comes to your class - the best way to protect support staff, for example?
    Will it be possible for 1;1 sessions to be carried out within sight of others? Certainly never with the door closed, for example?
    If the parents make any other allegation once she's with you then they need a meeting with the head to discuss exactly what they think you should be doing.

    Have you asked for advice from your union? They may have ideas.
  7. DJL

    DJL New commenter

    Thanks. Just waiting for a call back from my union. I have raised this with the head - he's not sure what to do either! I don't want to have to 'pander' to the parents. I normally work very closely with parents anyway - these don't deserve any special treatment, but I think they'll be expecting it.
  8. I'm glad the head seems sympathetic. Depends a bit on what their allegations are - 'you don't care, you're not doing the best for her' is different from 'you dragged her along the floor out of the room'.

    Has he had a meeting with the parents to explain a) their child will be worked with on a 1:1, b) that they have the policies on handling children/incidents and school follows them, c) that staff have a right to feel safe and able to carry out their jobs ? He should be able to get advice from his union/LA.
  9. DJL

    DJL New commenter

    I have an inkling that they're more serious than that.
    I'm not sure where the last meeting between head and parents went, only that the upshot was that the child is being moved to me.
  10. you have my sympathies with this, sounds like a horrible situation. in my opinion everyone who works alone with the child needs to be in a union,you have done the right thing in contacting yours.

    i had a child once 'joking' to other children that i was having sex with him (year 5)-after that i refused to work alone without a TA and refused to take him into the changing room at swimming alone. it may make a difference if previous teacher was male and you are female, or vice versa, it may not, depends on the nature of the allegations.

    it is also a very good thing that your SMT seem to bve supporting you in this.

    good luck!!
  11. i think everything that people have said already is great advice, i'd keep a book as well perhaps, anything that happens that is unusual you write in the book and you share with your support in your classroom.
    maybe you could also have a book you share with the child, i have one for one of the kids in my class, at the end of each day we write in it how the day has gone etc.
    good luck with everything!!
  12. DJL

    DJL New commenter

    All good advice, thank you. Still waiting for a call back from the union rep.
  13. DJL

    DJL New commenter

    Increasingly worried as only three days left of term to get prepared! No call from union rep and I didn't get home in time to ring before the office closed, so can't speak to them till Monday now. The parents are asking for a meeting with me, which I would normally have before a new child came to class, but obviously very concerned about the direction this one will take! Any more thoughts?
  14. I would go into the meeting as you would with any other parent of a new child - explain your expectations of child and parent, let them know how to contact you and how often you are likely to contact them and then let them ask questions. I forget, will you have SLT support in this meeting? I would also want someone minuting it.

    can you email your union rep?
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    "i'd keep a book as well perhaps, anything that happens that is unusual you write in the book and you share with your support in your classroom."

    Be very, very careful about writing things down as the parents would be entitled to see what has been written about their child.
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Based on my union experience I'd also advise against meeting with the parents yourself.
  17. If you do have a meeting with the parents, make sure you have at least one other member of staff with you- if not SMT, then perhaps the support staff who'll be working with the child?
  18. DJL

    DJL New commenter

    I think I'll have SLT support in the meeting. I am concerned, following the outcome of all the meetings held with this parent and other staff in the past, that the point of the meeting will be for me to agree to all the parents' requests and whims about their child, whether or not these fit in with the needs of the rest of the class and my own professional judgement. Obviously I'm worried that if I don't do as they choose, then similar allegations will be made against me.
    As I said before, I do work very closely with my parents as a rule, but have not had any like this before.
  19. I would make sure you have the head or at least the deputy there with you.
    Make sure that everything, especially any request you cannot agree to is minuted, with their response. Make sure you are very clear about anything you cannot agree to, and don't be afraid to say you can't do it and why! You are not there to do everything they say. Then send them copies of the minutes.

    At least this gives you a chance to state your expectations before she arrives.
  20. DJL

    DJL New commenter

    Much more worried about this now.
    Head now doesn't want to meet with me and the mother - he's too 'stressed' by it all and doesn't want to get 'involved'. Deputy on a residential course to the end of term. I've been asked to meet mother tomorrow with another member of (not senior) staff (I am SMT by the way).
    Mother already speaking 'socially' to support staff (not mine) about my class, who the staff will be etc.

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