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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by denperry, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. I had my wallet stolen by a pupil. The money was taken out
    and the wallet thrown away. The wallet was recovered by
    caretakers and returned - minus the money. After checking CCTV
    a pupil was found to have stolen it. I had left my classroom
    for a few minutes (I was free and not teaching) and the pupil entered
    my classroom, went through my things and found it. Pupil was
    confronted by HoY and admitted the theft. I did get my money back
    although that's not the point its what happened next that infuriated
    me. Nothing happened to the pupil I questioned the
    inconsistency of this as in some other cases of theft pupils had been
    excluded. I was told this was the de scion and that was that.
    I was then asked to speak to the Head to told me that he was
    disappointed in my reaction to questioning the decision and also told
    me that he was "shocked" at my reaction when the pupil was
    made to apologise. Apparently I had not been forgiving enough
    and not showed enough compassion! I admit that i didn't give
    the pupil a big hug and say everything was fine but nor was I in any
    way rude to the pupil. I'm shocked that this incident has been
    turned around and now apparently I am the one who has done wrong.
    Do not want to just forget about it but not sure what to do?

  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    when I had something stolen from school, I reported it to the police. If something was stolen from your home / car etc you would report it to the police. Just because you work in a school does not mean you should just accept it.
    By not punishing the child, what is he / she being taught? It's ok to steal as long as you give it back if you get caught!!

    I wonder if it was the Head's money would the child's punishment have been any different. You can bet your life it would have been.
  3. Consult your union. This seems to me very misguided behaviour on the part of the head and HoY. The pupil broke the law by committing theft. The school is not a no-go area as far as the law is concerned, and the head cannot deny you your right to report this to the police if you so chose. If you had been suspected of stealing, you can bet the matter would be reported!

    But we don't live in a fair world, so ensure you are guided by your union in case things get messy.
  4. leadlearner

    leadlearner New commenter

    I feel for you - as a classroom teacher I had money notes taken out of my purse twice within a couple of weeks - we used to leave our bags in the Department office (silly I know, but it was handy when we were trekking around with kit) and after this happened twice I complained and asked that we should have a lock fitted to the door . The HoD said no that this was not necessary and had no sympathy at all....fast forward a few weeks and she had £50.00 stolen from her purse, the police were called, she cried, and yes we got a a lock on the staff room.
    I add this because sometimes those in power fail to appreciate what it is like when it happens to some one else and their reaction would be very different if it was their car/wallet etc that was damaged. I guess you, like me will be careful with your things , but I agree this is a poor show from the school.It does not help the pupil either - there's a thread on one of the forums about a prospective teacher with a police caution for stealing and they are worried about their career. Sometimes a bit of a firm line from the school can nip this childhood stealing in the bud and educate pupils about the consquences...I would let them know that you feel let down, but personally I would let it go. You could chase it, but it might be more stressful for you.
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Do you generally have a good relationship with your line manager? Can you speak to them to let them know how hurt you feel that 1) the child has got away with it and 2) that you feel that you are in trouble? Ask for their advice on how to approach the head to let them know this. (They know your school and the personalities and procedures more than we do.)

    If your school are already being tricky over your questioning the decision, things aren't going to get easier for you if you involve the police and your union at this stage. Maybe try a more informal approach first?
  6. teacha

    teacha Occasional commenter

    When I had money stolen out of my wallet at a school I was doing supply in, the Head asked the local police officer to talk to the pupil, and she also had his mother in. Nothing further could be done as he was in Year 3 (!!) so was too young for it to be taken further.....
  7. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    Year 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What is the owrld coming to?
  8. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    I hope you learned the lesson about leaving valuables unattended...
    Agree that the response of the Head was unreasonable. Straight to the police.
  9. <font size="2">Thanks for your replies.</font><font size="2"> </font><font size="2">I know it was my fault leaving my things unattended but thought something would happen. Thing is&hellip; this pupil is Yr 12, a very high achiever, prefect etc. One rule for them and another for other pupils.</font> I am going to cut my losses on this one as any involvement with police unions etc will probably cause me a nightmare which is ridiculous but true.
  10. baitranger

    baitranger Senior commenter

    I suppose that from the point of view of the head, an item in the local paper and a criminal conviction for a pupil stealing from a teacher would not be good publicity for the school.
    It could be said that you've had your money back and that all is now well-but the fact remains that the boy stole your money, which was theft.
    You have a right and a duty to report crimes to the police and nothing the head can say or do changes that.
    As the boy is in year twelve he is fully responsible for his actions.
    You are not to blame.
  11. leadlearner

    leadlearner New commenter

    Think your decision is sensible. All best [​IMG]

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