Student, parent, police, & me....

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by dizzykates, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I've got a messy situation that just popped up yesterday. I have a parent (let's call her Sue) in my K class who is convinced something was stolen from her daughter (I didn't see it, but I believe her based on past issues with another certain child.) I talked to the parent of the accused child, the item did not appear (I'm not surprised...) and the principal had the item replaced. End of issue. Or so I thought...I got a phone call AT HOME!!!!! from Sue wanting to get the other child's full name and number to give to the police. Apparently this child is using the item and claiming the little girls identity. The police have told Sue that I handled the situation poorly. I didn't give her the info, simply said "I'm sorry, it's a weekend, I'm at home and I don't know the information off the top of my head. I'm sorry, you'll have to call on Monday and at this point our principal is in a better position to help you." She is coming in on Monday and intends to talk to both of us. She may have the police come also.

    I'm a first year teacher, I did what I said I'd do and what the principal asked me to do, she didn't have a problem with it. I can't search the other child's house or force her to hand it over. I am appaulled by her reaction and don't know what to do. I don't know what I should have done differently and I am going to be having such a hard time being polite tomorrow....Any comments/suggestions/HELP?!?!

    Thanks!!
     
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  3. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Since I'm not in a union, don't know if this is the right course of action, but could your union rep or other such person be involved in the meeting tomorrow....or your legal person from your district? Sounds like you need some representation here!! Along with your principal, I would ask the district legal person to come to the meeting as well, or at least call them for advice. Sorry......probably not much help....best of luck!!! Let us know what happens.
     
  4. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I'm not in a union either...
     
  5. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Of course, I could be all wrong.......I'm sure others will have better advice for you. I just thought of representation because the police are involved.
     
  6. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    DizzyKates you do have one messy situation. What grade do you teach?
    I don't think the parent should not be calling you at home. I just don't think it is appropriate.
    I know in the state of NJ I am not legally allowed to give out personal information of my students to other parents unless I have consent and this might pertain to you where you live. The parent here has put you in a very bad situation. When you see the parent tomorrow and she starts again with the whole thing tell her to go to the principal.
     
  7. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I am glad I didn't give her the information, I don't really know what legally I should have done, but ethically I couldn't have felt right about it. I also didn't know, I was in my car.

    I have asked her to please call me at school and I will connect with her that way, but to no avail...I am going to ask my princ. to request not to call me at home again.

    What would you say to the police about this? I know you have to tell the truth, but would you let the princ do that talking?

    I teach Kindergarten.
     
  8. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    I feel so bad for you that you are in this situation. Why is she bringing the police into this? Was this a really expensive item that was stolen? Also is it possible the mother is overreacting? I am surprised the police are getting involved.
    I would let the principal do the talking but that is me. Go to him/her tomorrow and tell him/her about what happened over the weekend and that you are unsure what to do and you feel uncomfortable.
     
  9. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    The item was replaced, courtesy of the principal. I thought the issue was over.
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Nov 13, 2005

    In Louisiana (and I am thinking in the US) school districts legally have to support you (I think there is a dollar limit) in legal and court issues as long as you have met all the requirements of your contract/job description, etc. Besides, since the principal made the decision to replace the item, then you should be clear of any problems. Good luck!!
     
  11. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Not that this matters........but I'm curious, would you mind sharing with us what was stolen?
     
  12. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    I'm curious too. Why would a parent get so unreasonably upset over an item?
     
  13. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    You said that the child who stole the item is supposedly claiming the other girl's identity? How does a kindergartener claim someone else's identity? And is it that big a deal at this age?
    This whole situation seems strange...IMO
     
  14. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'm curious myself what this precious item is. I'm almost positive it's probably something that the kindergartener shouldn't have even been bringing to school in the first place. It must be something belonging to one of the parents to cause such a ruckus.
     
  15. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    I am curious too. It sounds like it was expensive and should not have been in school. Also sounds like the mother is overreacting. How can a 5 year old claim someone's identity?
     
  16. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    It's a daycare/gym membership card for the child.
     
  17. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    You might want to go to the gym and talk to them about what happened. Then they will know that the other child has this card, and not to accept it maybe the new card could have a mark on it like pink highlighter or something to let the gym attendant know who has the real one. And how could the little girl go to the gym as a member if the parents don't have a membership?? Any way, I think that the police talking with the little girl and her parents might be good. Although it seamls like on something like this they won't do any thing but talk to them.
     
  18. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    It seems kind of crazy to me that this mother is making such a big deal about this - even calling the police! That's too extreme.
    How are things going with the mother now?
     
  19. Lovelabs

    Lovelabs Comrade

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    That parent had no right to put you in this position, and what nerve to call you at home! I think this is now an administrative issue. I'd tell the parent to the principal from this point on. You did what you were supposed to do.
     
  20. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I agree with working with the gym to get a new card (which is already replaced) and somehow negating the old one so that it can't be used...but I don't think that's your job. That's the mom's job to do. If someone stole her purse from your classroom, would she expect you to go to the MVA and get a new license? With identity theft as big a deal as it is, I'd bet the police have to respond to the mother, but I'd also bet that they are all rolling their eyes over it. A five year old is not able to commit a crime with malicious intent, legally.

    This mom sounds off her rocker. I'm sorry her daughter's card was stolen, but there are better and less explosive ways to deal with the situation.

    And you did the right thing by not giving out the other kid's personal info. That's illegal here without consent of that person. We can't even do it for birthday party invitations.
    Kim
     
  21. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    DizzyKates,
    In Minnesota, the parents can't hold you liable for the theft from other students if the situation has already been remedied or dealt with. The parents should have gone to the gym/daycare and told them about the stolen pass and dealt with it that way!

    I hope that everything went alright today at school. Where in Minnesota are you? In a private school or public? I am surprised that you are not part of the state union! Education Minnesota would be able to help you out in this situation with lawyers and representation!

    It is difficult when you have parents that are difficult!!
    Good Luck and let us know!
     
  22. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Seems like this has been blown way out of proportion, for a gym pass?!?! I remember when I lost my sons pass for the YMCA all I had to do is tell them I lost it and they gave me a new one...being that they have everything on file anyways. If someone else got a hold of it, tried to use it, then they would get caught red handed. And if this is for a daycare...I am sure that the teacher at the daycare would know the child or not...seems odd for this parent to take such extremes. There's always at least one loony in the bunch!
     
  23. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    It is surprising that a K aged student would steal a card to get into a gym. I guess it is a valuable thing, though, because you have to pay for the membership.
    At our Y a membership for that age is, I think, a little over 140.00.
    Maybe the mom is worried that she'll lose that money if she doesn't jump right on it? 140.00 is a lot of money to most people.
    Our Y has many signs saying you can lose your membership if it's found out you are sharing your card. For that kind of money I'd certainly do 'something'. I'd go to the other family first, then the police. If you didn't see this happen, how can you be responsible at all??
     
  24. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    But if the card has already been replaced, shouldn't that be the end of it?
     
  25. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I think you did what you needed to. It's great that you got your principal involved. I would tell the mother that everything about this matter needs to go to the principal. Some people just like to cause trouble for others. If the police come straight to you, tell them you must have your supervisor (principal) present. You did the right thing by going to the principal. Don't believe the police when they say you didn't take the right steps. Let us know how it went today. Did they even show up?
     
  26. gigi

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    I thought that teachers were not responsible for lost or stolen items. Does the child attend the gym after school and that is why it was in the backpack? How did this parent get your phone number? We also cannot give out other students information. Hope the principal backs you up!
     
  27. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I would have been fuming if a parent called me at home. I don't even like it if one of my parents calls me after hours unless it's of dire importance or if it's more personal (to ask if my son can come over, etc.). I do not deal with business outside of my business hours...period!
     
  28. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I am just responding so I can get an email to know how the story "ends" I do agree that I think you did everything you should have have and could have done in this case. I am glad that your principal is so supportive of you. I am thinking what a crack pot this mother is to go bullistic over a gym pass since it has all ready been replaced.
     
  29. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    And someone mentioned that she might think she was out the $180 it costs. But the principal replaced it. She didn't have to pay for another. Did the principal have to buy it with their own money? Or did the gym just replace the card?
     
  30. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I don't know why they would charge to replace it, but it was supposedly replaced for about five bucks.

    And yeah, the police did come and talk with us. They didn't think it was a very big deal once they heard the story, but told us what to tell mom. Then the prinicipal told mom it was out of our hands, that she was to call the gym and report it stolen and have the old card access removed (shouldn't that have been done FIRST?!?!), and it was no longer a school issue and its not to be brought up again.

    Whew...Now I have conferences in a week, I can hardly wait!!!

    PS. He's going to deal with the phone calling at home next time it happens...Thank God!
     
  31. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    PS. Thanks for all the support!
     
  32. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Thank God that it's over with...finally! Good thing the police didn't baby this woman and were frank about it as well.
     
  33. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I was going to post at the same time as you Jen, but got an email notifying me that you had responded. I agree. Thank goodness it's over with. I bet you're breathing a little easier now. I agree that the mother should have called first thing to report the card stollen at the gym. I mean.. duh!

    Good luck with your conferences.
     
  34. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    I hope that your conference goes well with this mother. She sounds like she could be trouble - again.
     
  35. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Maybe that is one of those conferences the principal needs to sit in on.
     
  36. gigi

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    I agree, just to be safe, you may want someone with you when you conference.
     
  37. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I am glad it ended the way it did Kate. Do teachers have to give out their personal information? I don't think I'll give parents my phone number at home. They can email me anytime and call me at school.
     
  38. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I am having my classroom aide sit in on a few conferences with me (for moral support!!) and she is also a valuable resource for information.

    I don't have to give out my personal phone number. I didn't, not intentionally. We didn't have phones at the beginning of the year and so I was using my cell phone to set up before school conferences with the parents and it got caught on a few caller IDs. The others don't call, they understand I have VM at school and email. Grrr!!! Such fun...this will be quite the story when I'm not in my first year of teaching. :) Has anyone else had an experience like this?
     
  39. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    DIzzyKates, I happy that whole incident is over for you. Good luck next week.

    Thankfully I have never had a parent call me at home. I only give out the school number and my school email address. I also made sure I am not listed in the phone book. I tell them I always available in the mornings before and after school.
     
  40. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Can you change your number? Maybe you should if people are going to use it to their advantage.
     
  41. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I had an issue with a parent calling my cell phone as well. Of course, my situation was no where near as bad as this one, but I used to have to call this parent almost everyday from my cell phone when she was not at the bus stop to pick up her daughter. It got to the point where she was calling my cell instead of the program to tell us her daughter would be absent or when she had payment questions. Finally my boss told her that it was my personal number and not to call it anymore. Luckily, I didn't have a problem after that, but if I had, I would've changed my number. It's usually not a big deal to change a cell number...takes 2 minutes! :) That may be what you want to do...
     

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