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Student hit me

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by winteriscoming86, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. winteriscoming86

    winteriscoming86 New commenter

    I am a young female teacher whom last week I was struck by a Year 7 student as I barred the way into a classroom with my arm. The student struck me on the arm forcing it away from the door. I'm not afraid to admit it...it hurt, however there was no real damage. This student is saying that I grabbed their coat and tried to push them. This did not happen.

    My school has isolated the student, intends to exclude for a period, but not permanently exclude. Has anyone else experienced something similar? If so what happened? Do you think they should be excluded permanently?

  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Your school seems to be taking this seriously, which is good. I think you need to speak to your Union to get advice relevant to your particular school.
  3. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    The detail about the arm can identify you. Please inform the mods to take this down.

    Health and Safety 101 - keep close to the exit and do not block it...

    You need to have TeamTeach training which helps de-escalate situations. I found this invaluable.

  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You cannot exclude on this basis as, in the eyes of your HT the whole thing is obfuscated on the basis of you blocking the door. My expectation is that witnesses would not all have said precisely the same things either.Plus the allegation by the child-don't get me wrong, I'm not siding,but you need to remember there are multiple pictures of the same thing which your seniors need to look into.
    Your HT has had to make a judgement call here based on the procedure they follow, and it seems they are supporting you by excluding in any way at all. That's a good thing.
    Whilst I completely get the scenario from your perspective as you describe it, there are some schools who would take the standpoint that you really ought not to have been blocking the door. That can quickly be distorted into provocation or aggression.
    This kid knows it!
    Mr-Chem, Landofla, wanet and 4 others like this.
  5. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    The best form of defence is to attack.

    Either that or muddy the waters to such an extent that it takes hours of interviews and reports to sort out.
  6. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    I have to say, I'm not sure I agree with this, because I would think it depends on the context of the 'blocking'. I've had 'de-escalation training' which says you should never block an exit for a student from a classroom as they may start to feel trapped, and lose their temper etc. However the OP clearly says she was barring the door IN to a classroom which means the students were on the outside, and weren't trapped in anyway.

    Also, was the OP barring the door in a confrontational manner, knowing full well that the student in question was angry and trying to force entry to the room. OR was the teacher just standing at the door waiting for students to queue up outside the room, and just happened to have her arm on the door frame? When I stand at the door for students I often rest my hand on the door frame, effectively 'blocking' the door but not on purpose.

    I would think the context of the situation would have an impact here on the OP's 'responsibility' for the situation (not that I'm a fan at all of victim blaming here at all)
    chelsea2, Pomz, Landofla and 2 others like this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    That sounds about right for the offence, assuming it is a first one.
    The child didn't deliberately attack, but did hurt a member of staff.

    You say you are young, so I'm hoping a more senior/experienced member of staff is talking to you about ways to prevent such incidents in the future and supporting you with this class.

    Edited to add that I'm surprised you describe yourself as a 'young female teacher', giving the impression you are in a first or second year of teaching, when (from your other posts and profile ) you have clearly been a teacher for over 8 years. To be honest you should by now have the experience and behaviour management ability to know that blocking a door way that children want to go through is never going to work out well. And also to know that permanent exclusion for such an incident as you describe isn't ever going to happen.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Internal isolation followed by an exclusion? As in - excluded from school?

    Sounds pretty harsh compared to a lot of what you hear. Especially as there are undoubtedly different accounts of what went on.


    No way that would result in a permanent exclusion. Even if you had video footage. What I think should happen won't butter any parsnips. What has happened sounds a fairly realistic response.

    It's on the student's record now. It'll go worse for him/her if s/he does it again. I don't blame you for barring the way in with your arm. No problem with that. None at all. You weren't preventing an exit. You weren't 'detaining against their will'. You have every right to establish good order before you admit students to the room. It's a very good move. The little sheet is just that. A right little sheet.

    Press for the maximum consequences and don't go easy on him/her hereafter. Get all the help you can. It isn't really a big deal. I know it seems like it now but it could have been a lot worse. Just watch yourself. They're YR7. Make them line up if you want to. Make sure that student isn't at the front. Designate someone else. That kid has had a brush with authority. I suspect it may not be the first time. SLT want to keep an eye on that one.
  9. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    I feel a certain amount of despair at a situation in which a pupil hits a teacher and it is suggested that the teacher might bear some responsibility for not 'de-escalating' (has there ever been a more irritating fad?) the situation. Yes, it might have ended differently if the teacher hadn't barred the door but that doesn't in ANY WAY excuse what the child did. It was wrong. In a school, just as anywhere else, it should not be expected that a person might hit you if you act in a way that they disagree with but which is not in itself wrong. How did we get to this point, where people are criticised for not calming down the stupid person who has, probably on purpose, wound themselves up? I'm a master of distraction, but if I fail to do it or to do it adequately I don't then consider myself to be at fault if the other person carries on being an idiot and does something they shouldn't. They're lucky if I steer them away by my cleverness, but they are totally to blame if I don't. And hitting is hitting. It IS an attack and it should be heavily punished.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I agree with you 100% @Doitforfree

    I only wanted to point out how often these perpetrators get away without any repercussions whatsoever. Doesn't make it right but this school is doing something about it.
    chrisoakey, sbkrobson and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  11. winteriscoming86

    winteriscoming86 New commenter

    Thank you all for the reply's. I am no way criticising how my school have handled the situation. I was curious to find out if anyone else has experienced this. Hindsight is a great thing, however at the time when a student is "kicking off" so to speak it can be difficult. Maybe my choice of words was incorrect.

    To caterpillartobutterfly, I would like to add yes I have taught for over 8 years and have never in those 8 years experienced any student I have taught, lashing out and hitting me. I would like to think in those 8+ years I have learnt alot, however in a profession that will hopefully last me a further 20+ years, I would be extremely naive to believe or claim that I know everything. Furthermore to use this information as a verbal weapon against my perceived lack of experience is puerile!
  12. Bonnie23

    Bonnie23 Occasional commenter

    I haven't read through all the other posts. However an exclusion is a good sign of a good school for what happened, verbal abuse to a teacher here will get you isolated and physical abuse to staff or students will result in an exclusion. Every school has their difficult students, it's how it's managed. I doubt however that a permanent exclusion will happen unless it's so serious it endangers someones life.

    I understand you'll be upset, angry, frustrated and feeling a whirlwind of emotions from this, a piece of advice given to me when I got into teaching was if a student kicks off, don't get in their way, they won't go around you, they'll go through you. Even if a student isn't allowed in a room, don't stop them physically, it's not worth the risk to you. It's all about how you try to prevent it and react to it, just don't be the punching bag.
  13. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I am angered by the likelihood that a child was lying knowing full well probably the trouble it could get the teacher in.

    However, as has been stated, unless a child's immediate health and safety was at risk (for instance it was a child trying to barge in to start a fight with another student) blocking entries/exits is not good practice.
  14. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Sorry to hear this OP. In my school this is not infrequent. Students also lie -a lot. I think your school is treating you ok. In my school if a teacher dares to question a student's lies this actually used against them. How did we get to this point? And the new generation of teachers accepts this without question: we can no longer even attempt to discipline, we can only attempt to mollify.
    helen_romeo and grumpydogwoman like this.
  15. oscillator

    oscillator Occasional commenter

    I had a similar incident - a pupil was trying to get into my room, after being asked to leave for shoving me. I put my foot against the door to stop the pupil from opening the door further, she then accused me of trapping her in the door. Prior to my putting my foot against the door this pupil had shoved me with both hands on my shoulders and I hit a wall falling back. The whole thing was witnessed by a TA (and my class).

    What happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The school made the pupil apologise. The pupil's mother was a parent governor and refused to believe that I had been assaulted.

    I got in trouble for having such a rubbish lesson. Three parents complained that their children had not learned much that lesson.
  16. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

  17. NQT08

    NQT08 Occasional commenter

    I would make sure you have written a detailed account of what happened - especially as the student is suggesting they may claim you pushed/grabbed them. Cover yourself
  18. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    and remember that the rules now are that adults must stand aside and allow any form of behaviour unless a child is in danger. pay your union dues and ask for their advice and help.
  19. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    This thread reminds me why I will never, ever teach in the UK again. Basically, it's your fault for not letting the student do whatever they wanted as students are in charge in UK state education.
  20. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    You should NEVER block a student's way. It's just wrong.

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