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Should I tell head about rude parent?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Bubbawubba, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. Bubbawubba

    Bubbawubba New commenter

    My head teacher is not interested in staff problems but this afternoon a parent was very rude to me and upset me quite a lot. Should I go and tell the head tomorrow, even though I don't expect her to act on it but just to let her know about it?
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Why not just email a memo to the head? That way you have logged the incident in case of repetitions?
  3. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    That sounds awful. Nobody should have to deal with that.
    If it was just rude, I'd log it and speak to your line manager.
    If it wa threatening or bullying then I'd raise it with the head too.
    Do either by email so you have a date stamped record and bcc it to yourself.
    ScotSEN and Camokidmommy like this.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes, a record is essential. This parent may have done this to other staff, so its important that the behaviour is known.

    Email to (I'm guessing here, as it will depend on your role and type of school), form tutor, HoD, HoY, Pastoral Deputy.

    I'm really sorry that you have been subjected to this, and hope that you've had a calm and pleasant evening to get over it.

    Best wishes

  5. Aber1991

    Aber1991 New commenter

    Were there any witnesses to the incident? If so, why not report it to the police? If nothing else, that would make the Head sit up and take notice.
  6. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    I remember an incident on supply when I was marking after school in a little room adjacent to a classroom. A parent had come into the classroom and was having a go at the teacher because her child had not been awarded a certificate - the parent was emotional and quite aggressive. The teacher stood his ground, firmly but politely refusing to agree to her demand that he award her child a certificate unless it was on merit. After the parent had left, I emerged from the adjoining room, commiserated with the class teacher (who hadn't even realised I was there) and then left.

    An hour later, I had a phone call from the Head - the parent had gone home and complained to her husband, who had stormed into school demanding to know why the class teacher had shouted at his wife and reduced her to tears. Fortunately, I was able to put the record straight - but what if I hadn't been there?

    Make a detailed note of what happened - what the parent did and said, what you did and said, and whether there were any witnesses - and email it to your line manager/head. At least your version of events will be on record just in case the parent decides to make a complaint.
  7. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Report rudeness to the police???

    Assault, racist or homophobic abuse, threatening behaviour? Go ahead.

    Rudeness, and I suspect you will be laughed out of the police station.
    Kartoshka and Middlemarch like this.
  8. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Agree or get done for wasting police time.
    Theo's suggestion to copy in the next line of managers is great because they have weekly meetings, so it will be discussed, and you will be supported. If you send it to one line manager, it could easily be forgotten, if there are more pressing issues to discuss that week.
  9. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    Do professionals need to be told to log all incidents of this nature, and why you should do it?
  10. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    If a parent makes a threat of intimidation ("We know where you live!"), or physical violence ("I'll get my husband to walk around on your face!"), then it might be worth at least intimating to your line manager than you are considering informing the police. Too often, school managers just dismiss this sort of thing as 'just part of the job'.

    Other organisations, like the NHS for which my wife works, have 'zero tolerance' of members of the public being abusive to staff, and do report episodes of threatening behaviour to the police.
  11. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Another strategy which discourages stroppy parents is only to see them in the presence of another member of staff, such as the HoD. This would also discourage them from trying to make allegations against you later.
  12. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I have been in Lalad's position in the past. Rather than keep out of sight I have made my presence known without interfering (carry on doing a job or whatever) so that the aggressive person knows there is a potential witness.
  13. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    If this happened to me I would return the complement, with interest.

    I always used to tell my students, if someone is nice to you then you should try be even nicer to them, but if someone is nasty then be even nastier to them. This is how people learn how to behave properly. You should never, ever, ever, let someone get away with treating you badly, because it sends them the message that it's OK, or even beneficial, for them to behave in such a manner.
  14. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Bad advice. You're advising someone to behave unprofessionally.
  15. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    For a professional to behave in a nasty manner to a student, a colleague, a parent, a Governor or any other member of the school community, is to fail to comply with Part II of the Teachers’ Standards:

    A teacher is expected to demonstrate consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct.

    Such behaviour could lead to disciplinary action against the teacher.

    Best wishes

  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Could also learn to spell, couldn't he?

    Return the compliment.
    sabrinakat and notsonorthernlass like this.
  17. Owennnn

    Owennnn Occasional commenter

    They sound like a joy to work for!

    Agree with what others have said, definitely report it to the appropriate staff.
  18. sofia_sen

    sofia_sen Occasional commenter

    I would report it to my HOS and (since I'm an NQT) to my mentor as well. I actually have a tricky parent this year and my HOS has sat in with me for a few meetings with this parent. She also does that for other tricky parents, even if the teacher is experienced. But that's my school where the people are nice.
    I would not get nasty back, if it gets too much, just say "this conversation is over". There is a lovely book called "how to handle difficult parents" which I found very useful.
  19. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Someone was rude and you were upset - on a grand scale of things just how important is this ?
  20. Camokidmommy

    Camokidmommy Established commenter

    To bubbawubba it is important! We shouldn't judge on that persons need for support through this forum.
    notsonorthernlass likes this.

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