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Problem parent?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by tomnamuidh, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. Looking for advice please. Having begun teaching at a new school in the past 3 months, the same parent has phoned my HT almost every week, ranting and raving down the phone, falsely accusing me of doing things which I most certainly have not done.
    HT of course follows it up (as she should) and I am interviewed at length, give my version of events, and the return phone call is made. Not to parent's satisfaction, so another interview and so on.
    This has been going on and on. and parent is becoming more and more accusing, not satisfied etc, and I am watching my back in everything I say, do, think. Have suggested that I meet with the parent to iron out any problems (but not on my own! I'm not wanting this to be their word against mine).
    But given their aggression, I'm looking for ways to keep control of the meeting as I worry that it could become a highly volatile situation. At the moment I feel very vulnerable, as they could accuse me of something really serious.
    Any thoughts please - will be gratefully received. Many thanks


     
  2. Looking for advice please. Having begun teaching at a new school in the past 3 months, the same parent has phoned my HT almost every week, ranting and raving down the phone, falsely accusing me of doing things which I most certainly have not done.
    HT of course follows it up (as she should) and I am interviewed at length, give my version of events, and the return phone call is made. Not to parent's satisfaction, so another interview and so on.
    This has been going on and on. and parent is becoming more and more accusing, not satisfied etc, and I am watching my back in everything I say, do, think. Have suggested that I meet with the parent to iron out any problems (but not on my own! I'm not wanting this to be their word against mine).
    But given their aggression, I'm looking for ways to keep control of the meeting as I worry that it could become a highly volatile situation. At the moment I feel very vulnerable, as they could accuse me of something really serious.
    Any thoughts please - will be gratefully received. Many thanks


     
  3. Bl00dy hell, This isn't acceptable at all.
    Surely after 2 or 3 false accusations, your head should be speaking to that parent and asking rather firmly for that behaviour to stop. He has an obligation to look after staff as well as pupils and parents.
     
  4. That is just awful. I had an intimidating parent last week that bullied both myself and then separately my TA, but the school straight away backed us up and told the parent to stay away etc etc, I just can not imagine what it would be like to not have the support of my school in a matter like this
    It seems like your school is not backing you, to me the head teacher should tell the parent to stop saying these things and if they don't like it then leave :)
     
  5. I had a similar situation last year. In the end the Head refused to allow the parent to speak directly to me, and dealt with all concerns himself. He the, firmly, told the parent to back off when her complaints became personal and OTT.(I was never given details, and did not ask!)
    Your Head should be telling him/her where to get off, in no uncertain terms.
     
  6. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    What sort of thing are they accusing you of?!
    I'd want a meeting with them and the head. See if they can come out with these accusations whilst they're looking you in the eye. Then at least you can defend yourself and it stops all the to-ing and fro-ing with "he said she said" etc.
     
  7. Accused of shouting inappropriate things to child (no witnesses), 'picking' on child (video evidence of child deliberately assualting another, which I dealt with following school policy to the letter!), nit-picking etc. It seems to me that parent has got it in for me being relatively new to school (with 24 years experience including being in senior management for 8 years!). Hence I have requested face to face meeting (with Head as back-up) - but do not want this to become a heated exchange (parent is reknowned for them), just want to adress the problem professionally, and get on with teaching the class without constantly watching my back.
    HT is supportive of what I'm doing in the school, but I feel stuck in the middle. Do not want to be falsely accused of anything more serious, as we all know how vulnerable we are in these situations.
     
  8. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    Keep in contact with your HT, if the parent has a 'history' of this, it is in your favour. The other support you will (hopefull) have is a union.
    You might want to mention to your head that you are wondering whether you should get the union involved at this poinet. It might 'nudge' your head into a bit more 'active' support.
    Good luck.
     
  9. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Is there a parallel class into which the child can be moved? That would be simplest option all round.
    I guess you really need to speak to someone very experienced about this - maybe someone from your union if you think they are good.
    I also wonder if you could ask the head to make the complaining rather more inconvenient for this parent - e.g." I am really sorry but it is hard for me to take all these details over the phone. I would like you to come in for a detailed interview about what has taken place with me and another person present, and the teacher concerned, we will take careful notes, we will ask you a lot of questions to get the facts straight etc etc. Please can you come in on such and such a date and such and such a time "
    Just to be able to pour out a torrent of nonsense to the head frequently and have your time wasted being questioned by the head regularly seems a waste of everyone's time.

    Sorry I'm just a parent so this might be completely crazy, but I do feel extremely sorry for you. BTW, I have been accused of bullying a member of staff just by asking about my child's progress in the homework record - so some heads are definitely more proactive than yours!!

     
  10. Flo71

    Flo71 New commenter

    It is absolutely horrible when this sort of thing happens. I would actually contact my union and ask them for advice. I have had an allegation made against me, which was subsequently dismissed and is unpleasant in the extreme.

    I do hope this is resolved for you qiuckly.
     
  11. You should have dealt with this in the first place, not the Head. The parent now thinks that the Head is on her/his side and will deal with you as someone in the wrong. If I were in this situation, I would deal with the parent face to face, in my classroom, but with the door firmly wedged open and someone close by in case of any issues. I wouold listen at length to the parent, allow them to get it off their chest and take the moral high ground explaining that the child has taken things out of context. If a parent rings up requesting a meeting with me, I now always speak to the child first asking them what it might be about so I can get my thoghts clear before I speak to the parent. I always speak to them on my own as the Head might undermine my authority, but, like I said before, with the door open in case of any nastiness. Good luck
     

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