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Sent an inappropriate email off a Pupil

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by ashton86, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. For coursework, students have to reply to an email the teacher has sent them. I received a malicious email. All school have done is put the student in 'remove' for the day. The email was sent off a year 10 student, the headteacher wont suspend the student because he is a child and is not sure the difference between right and wrong. He doesn't have any SEN but is misbehaving across the board. What do you think the next step should be?
     
  2. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    If a student doesn't know then difference between right and wrong by year ten, then I would assume that he should be under 24 hour psychiatric observation. What rubbish to say that a young man of this age isn't aware of the subtle differences between sending an email of coursework, and a hate letter. This sounds like appeasement of the worst kind, and as usual, to the detriment of the teacher, against whom an offence has been made.
    Consider this: what do you think would have happened had you been responsible for a similar email against the child? How long do you think you would have remained in your post? Would your feet even have touched the ground before you were standing before the GTC (not a fearsome sanction, I grant you)?
    If you have a school police liaison, you should ask him to have a word with the pupil; depending on the severity of the content, he could put the frighteners on the student a little and remind him (as so many students need to be reminded) that the internet isn't some ethereal playground where no rules apply, and that many comments made online are actionable....and clearly evidenced, given the indelible footprint left on the web. At the very least this might give him the collywobbles, and cause him to pause and reflect; you might even get an apology.
    Of course, if the content is truly explicit and vile, then you actually can take legal action against him- I know it sounds extreme, but if someone shoved a poison letter through my letterbox covered in excrement, nobody would think it odd to call the Bill; emails can be just as damaging and offensive. Or you could use the threat of legal action as leverage with the school- tell them that you are going to take action if the school won't pursue the matter further. I have encountered many schools who prefer to sweep such matters under the welcome mat rather than confront them, so you may have to do the confronting yourself.
    Or just pursue it more firmly within the school- talk to all the members of staff in authority over this child, and indicate that you aren't comfortable with the results obtained. You may find a sympathetic ear; if not, go back to the previous paragraph.
    Finally, a lot will depend on the context- was the message explicit or not? Did it contain threats or not? Was it sexual, racist, bullying? So much will matter here, and if it was 'light' enough, then the SLT may have had their reasons for making the decision they have.
    But it sounds like you have a legitimate complaint. Good luck to you.
    http://behaviourguru.blogspot.com/
     

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