advice about how to handle a situation

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by txmomteacher2, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Mar 6, 2014

    Several weeks ago I got a new student. He has several brothers one goes to our school and another one goes to a different school in our district. His brother that goes to the other school was involved in an incident that made the news. He is accusing another student of bullying him about being different, and telling him that he was going to bring a gun to school. Anyway I don't know either of the kids involved. Mom was not happy with the way the school has handled the situation and has mentioned getting a lawyer involved and took it to the local news media. This happened at the beginning of the week and the first thing my student said when he came back to school was ".... I was on Tv!" I have tried really not to even acknowledge the fact that I even know anything that is going on with the brother. I didn't want to start anything with my student. Today my student comes to me when I pick them up at lunch and he tells me " some kids were making fun of my freckles" I said I was sorry they hurt his feelings and then continued to get my kids ready to go inside. He didn't say anything and I didnt say anything. Now I'm thinking about the day and I keep asking myself did I handle this ok or should I have investigated and done something about it. Im really not sure how to take this Mom. She has all ready lied to me about some stuff. Btw I am in no way saying that this incident didnt happen with the brother and I am in no way saying she doesn't have a legitimate case against the school. Just wondering what you would do?
     
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  3. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    Mar 7, 2014

    You should have investigated immediately. You basically told the child I am sorry someone is teasing you, but I am not going to do anything about it. That's the wrong message to send regardless of what is going on within his family.
    You need to pull the children aside this morning and get to the bottom of the issue.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Mar 7, 2014

    I disagree. Small things like that happen all the time. If a teacher tries to investigate every single instant like that, they'll never get around to teaching. Keep an eye out? Ask for a quick apology from the teaser? Sure. If I investigated every single instance like that though, I'd have kids coming to me all the time, just to try and disrupt class... and it would be their word versus whoever they said was picking on them.

    With that said, my policy with any parent that I know has sued a school or is considering suing a school is that any communication I send gets screened through my principal first. Since you know this parent has lied to you, I'd suggest you follow the same policy. If possible, make all communication in writing so that there is no possibility of words wrongly being put into your mouth. Try as best as possible to treat the student the same as you would any other.
     
  5. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Mar 7, 2014

    :thumb: that's exactly what i was going to say. when i first started teaching i investigated every little thing, usually by pulling the children outside my door, talking to witnesses, trying to determine who was lying, etc. It wasted so much instructional time. And it was always one child's word against another because I very rarely witnessed the incident. So if I punish the wrong child that opens another bag of worms because the wronged child will go home and tell their parents, then that child's mom or dad now have a problem with me.

    I feel like Gr3Teacher. Ask for an apology, keep an eye/ear on the situation and keep it moving. we aren't just teaching math, reading, science and social studies, but also social and coping skills. I only step in if it's a situation where a child is unsafe (ie: cursing, hitting, threatening, etc) or a repeat offender.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Mar 7, 2014


    :agreed: Maybe keep an eye/ear out there to make sure that this kid isn't being picked on like this on a regular basis.
     
  7. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Mar 7, 2014

    I agree that making them apologize and keeping an eye out in the future is acceptable. I would also keep notes of these incidences (like on an anecdotal note sheet), and consider reporting it if you see the same problem continuing. It could be an ongoing bullying situation, but only time would tell, and it is impossible for us to investigate every single thing students tell us.
     
  8. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Mar 7, 2014

    My student was absent today so I didn't get a chance to talk to him today but I will keep an eye on things. I just don't want this kid making up things because he saw brother get all kinds of attention and be on tv. Not that he would but you never know what goes on in the minds of our kids.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 7, 2014

    I admit that my first instinct was this little brother was reacting based on what happened to big brother. I imagine it is quite the buzz in the home. Mom has probably talked with the little brother about what to do if someone is teasing him... Perhaps inadvertently planting seeds.

    I also admit that I do sometimes brush aside these little complaints. I had a little girl come to me today upset that a boy called her a boy. There is no reason for the boy to have said that other than to be mean. What I mean is...this little girl is "all" girl. She doesn't look like a boy, "act" like a boy, etc. I put my arm around her and said cheerfully, "Oh, that Travis is so silly, huh? Everyone knows you're a girl." She brightened right up by me faking that I thought he was confused. I bet had I made a fuss over it, she would have fed off that and been more upset. Not everything needs to be "fully" addressed and I stopped investigating everything years ago when I realized it was eating half of my instructional time. You work on instinct.
     

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