My son is being wrongly accused at school

Hi,

My 14 year old is being wrongly accused of a serious allegation by a specific teacher.

During a lesson, my son was moved to the front of the class, he was sitting by himself. A few other students were sitting behind him but at a distance. One of his teacher, whom I have had to explain previously ( he was easily getting detentions) that my son has serious trust issues with males due to trauma at a young age - the teacher understood this.
So during the lesson, the teacher heard talking and gave my son a detention. My son enquired why to which the teacher responded - because you were talking. My son stayed quite as he decided to clarify this at the end of the lesson. At the end of the lesson, my son went up to the teacher and said, Sir, I was not talking, it was the people behind me who were talking - the teacher replied, no I heard you talking - to which my son asked who was I talking to as I was sitting alone, the teacher said - I dont know! my son said Sir may be you got it wrong? The teacher did not respond. After this my son went to speak with the head of year where he was asked to wait. He waited about half an hour and the head of year asked him to go to isolation. My son got very confused and asked why? The head of year said because there has been a serious allegation against you which they need to investigate. My son became very upset and angry as no one was telling him what the allegation was. He refused to go isolation and called his dad to collect him. His dad lives away ( I am a single parent) he came to collect my son and was very upset to see our son distraught.
The allegation against my son was that apparently when my son spoke to the teacher who gave him a detention at the end of the lesson had sent an email to the head of year and the school's headteacher that my son had told him to s*** his mum.
I have not raised my child to speak like that, this is something which I cant fathom, understand, completely beyond my mind can even consider. I fail to understand how and why firstly my son would do that and secondly the teacher would make up something like this.
Although, I know for a fact my son would NEVER speak like that but I still asked him whether he did, to which he said Mum, you know I would never say something so disrespectful.
Last year, my son was accused of kicking out at a child, the school later found out it was not true - during investigation my son was placed in isolation and also missed out on four days of school. To this date nor my son or I have recieved an apology. My son is convinced that the school will punish him for this or brush it under the carpet again.
My son is a regular 14 yrs old boy, he is playful and does get detentions for talking or disrupting the class for example talking out of line etc - pretty harmless stuff. But I know for a fact his school is unfair and teachers have abused their power in the past.
I have asked the school to investigate this and putting pressure on this as I cannot let this go. By doing this, the school has been questioning my son daily by saying things such as - are you true to yourself?, you still have time to accept this, we dont believe a teacher would make up something like that etc.

My son came home yesterday crying his heart out - he is refusing to go back to school and keeps saying I dont feel safe there mum.
Watching my son in this state was pure agony. My son is convinced that the school will side with the teacher and he will have to bear the punishment.

I dont know what to do, where to go and how to best help my son. I have reminded my son that I believe him but he just isnt himself. I worry because he is very simple and sensitive young man.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks!
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Replies

  • JReacher1JReacher1 Forumite
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    Why do you think the teacher has made this up? I can't see any reason why the teacher would make up an allegation against your son.

    At the end of the day its a 14 year old boys word against a teacher. The school will side with the teacher, especially when your son seems to have a record of detention.

    I would explain to your son that its a harsh world, you believe him but unfortunately the school doesn't so he will have to take the unfair punishment.
  • BrowntoaBrowntoa Forumite, Ambassador
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    "gets detention for disrupting and talking in class" is not "pretty harmless stuff " if disrupting the class.

    He'd already been moved as you say , assume for disrupting somehow , and you appear to be supporting his poor behaviour.
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  • I know this won't be much help but I do sympathise. My son was 13 when he came home one Friday evening crying as he had been called into a class with 6 other pupils and told they were all on report for disruption in their class. I was completely shocked. Since he has been at secondary school every parents evening I am being told he is wonderful pupil but just needs to participate a bit more in class.

    I rang and spoke with the head of department who called them in to be told that a supply teacher had been in that day and had given a list of names of pupils to him that in her words 'made the class an absolute nightmare that day'. He did not offer to investigate this out of character behaviour but explained it away by saying that if he completes the report and it was good then if his name ever came up again then they would question it.

    It took my son weeks to come to terms with this as he kept thinking that this was a permanent blot on his record and then ironically two weeks later he received an award for outstanding contribution to his year.

    The first parents evening after this I spoke with his actual lesson teacher, as oppose to the supply or head of department, and she is baffled and said had she been involved she would have questioned this as his behaviour is quite the opposite and always has been in the three years she has been teaching him.

    We have got over this but it took him and me (I was seething) a while. Just had another parents evening and surprise surprise the only comments are that he needs to join in more in class as he's very quiet.
  • This seems odd to me, that is a very specific allegation and one I can't fathom a teacher fabricating.

    Did your son mention you or use the word (mum) during his conversation with the teacher and the teacher has misheard what he said?

    Other than that, I would ask to see the teacher in question personally and listen to what he has to say. Try to listen dispassionately, although I am aware this is not easy if you feel your child has been unfairly treated.

    My personal experience is that one of my sons is very quiet and then one day at school he did use some bad language ( which he did own up to) but which was completely out of character and not something I would have believed he would do. He got detention ( I asked for it to be doubled to show my disappointment in his behaviour)and he was never in trouble again for the whole of his school life.

    At the next parents evening, the teachers were laughing saying that they had never had a parent request doubling a detention that it was usually the other way around. I just felt it was important to let the school and my son know that I supported their stance on behaviour.
  • lulu650lulu650 Forumite
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    As an ex teacher I can think of no possible reason why a teacher would make up what your son said and report him to the Head and Head of Year. Why does your son think the teacher made this up?

    I'd suggest a meeting with the Head to discuss the school's behaviour policy and what would happen if he refused to attend a day's isolation. Would it be exclusion from school?

    Other alternatives are for your son to change schools or have him home schooled.
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  • edited 30 November 2019 at 4:21PM
    ska_loverska_lover Forumite
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    edited 30 November 2019 at 4:21PM
    From a parents point of view, I can see both sides of this

    Some teachers can and do fabricate stuff to make their lives easier.

    They did in my child's case. One teacher behaved very badly and unprofessionally to an entire class of pupils - the content of which I shan't share as it is a bit identifiable

    I struggled to believe this had happened until my child showed me the work they had done in class that day

    I confronted the teacher at parents evening and the teacher started crying and admitted it, saying she was 'stressed' that day.

    I was recording it, and went straight to the head. To be honest I wanted to punch the teachers face in, and was quite proud of how calmly I dealt with that.

    Some teachers just abuse their ''power'' - on a seperate occasion there was also a gym teacher who used to give the kids 90 seconds to get ready for gym. And if they weren't ready he used to make them stand outside in their gym kit - in all weathers, rain,snow - just because they coudn't get changed in a minute and a half. This teacher was ex-army and clearly wasn't much cop at dealing with children

    Just because someone is in a position of authority, does not mean they won't abuse it to their own ends. I never trust people merely because they carry a title, it has no reflection on their moral scruples.

    I am not saying that this is what is happening or that your son is guilt free - but OP, If I were you, I would seriously consider moving him to another school - regardless of blame

    Looking to the future, (whoevers fault this is aside) your son is going to have a hard time at this school.

    The only thing I would say is you cannot 'know for a fact' how your children behave when they are at school. We just don't know, but I would never take a teachers word at face value after my experience
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
  • From my own experience in my school days (and that I didn't know at time I am autistic) sometimes teachers can get things wrong and don't like their authority challenged. I had a simple case in my first year when we had cramped tables (so cramped you had so walk sideways to get past) and a girl fell over and said I tripped her up and the teacher shouted at me and demanded I apologise, I refused and was told I did it and would not change my answer so was sent to the headmaster and my parents phoned. Still gets me to this day due to the autism.

    To be fair in that case the girl who fell genuinely must of thought I tripped her up as she had to climb over me to get past but the teacher should not of accused me.

    My maths teacher however was a nasty piece of work, he would give detentions and punishments for anything, I am surpirsed he kept his job as he once assaulted a pupil (in the late 90's) by grabbing him by the collar and physically pushing him out of class. Anyway one of my experiences was my pen didn't work so I said to the person next to me if they had a spare and he loudly told me "no talking" so I tried explaining but he spoke over me and didn't give me a chance to respond then when I tried again he told me to leave class!

    He did things like act like a kid and use a ruler to throw a eraser across a room hitting a kid in the eye and laughing.

    He had a lot of complaints and school did nothing about it, and when my parents personally spoke to the GUIDANCE teacher (a nasty bit of work who judged kids based on social backgrounds and postcode lottery) said they have never had a complaint against him and he was fair to the students.

    I was horrifically bullied at school, the school didn't care and just told me stick with it or change schools but I didn't want the bullies to win.

    I wouldn't say it gave me a problem with authority in adulthood but it meant that I do like to get told what I am doing is correct from someone higher up, but won't think of them as better than me just because of experience or position.


    So I agree with previous posts about you don't know what your child is like or the teachers, that and people make mistakes.
  • mamanmaman Forumite
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    The phrase 'sh** your mum' really doesn't sound very adult. To me it's more the sort of thing teenage boys would say to be offensive.

    That being said, from what you've written about your relationship with the school and the fact that your son is in tears because he isn't happy there then I'd suggest you try to find another school where he can start afresh.

    I don't think you're helping him though by giving him the impression that being disruptive and chatty in class is harmless. I'd suggest you talk to him about a fresh start and keeping his head down when he moves. He may have told you that when told off 'he enquired why' but this may not have been as polite in the flesh as it sounds.
  • sn1987asn1987a Forumite
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    Probably it's not what you want to hear but you were not there and you don't know what happened. It seems you have already taken sides without talking to the teacher. The amount of extra trouble this teacher will go through is such that I doubt that he made up this accusation. Why make his life harder? However, I can imagine a 14 year old not wanting to admit he said such a thing, especially if he is ashamed of what happened and regrets it. What you know is what your son told you. You could ask to speak to the teacher to hear what happened according to teacher, but keep an open mind. If you don't want your son to go to isolation maybe you could negotiate a different sanction, e.g. Saturday detention.

    Talking during lessons is disruptive and disrespectful towards the teacher and his classmates. It's not harmless and if your son picks up your ideas about what is acceptable and what not, he may push the boundaries further. You said he was moved during the lesson, did your son tell you why? I bet calling his father during school was also against the school policy of no mobile use.

    In my opinion you should support the school by encouraging your son to follow their policies. If you feel that this school is not a good match for your son, it may be easier to move schools, assuming GCSE work hasn't started. What would make your son feel safe again in the school after this incident?
  • edited 1 December 2019 at 10:56PM
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    edited 1 December 2019 at 10:56PM
    I think in situations like this. you have to use your own judgement. Teachers can be very good (the majority), but you can also get people who like the job because it gives them power and can abuse that power to make the lives of children hell. You know how your son reacts when he knows he is in the wrong and how he reacts when he hasn't done something wrong that he has been accused of.

    Even in a special school I recently had a teacher phone me to tell me I needed to speak to my son about boundaries. My son admitted he'd misjudged a situation and spoken out of turn but to him it was the 'truth' (he's autistic). But I also felt the teacher was acting like an outraged 13 year old and the situation was something that could have easily been handled in class. He doesn't work there anymore. Because both my son's are autistic and vulnerable, I have come across a few teachers who I think should never have taken up the job, that they did take advantage of vulnerable students. But unfortunately the school system rarely allows a parent to get anything done about this unless the teacher shows extreme behaviour.

    You make a complaint (I did, once) and the governor lied, said I had agreed the situation was resolved (so why did I make a complaint) and I realised there was nothing to be done. I moved my son to another school. There seems to be no way to get justice when something does go wrong.

    I wish schools were different and parents were listened to. I wish certain students weren't picked upon. Yes in normal situations you would expect a teacher to speak truthfully, but they don't, always. And unfortunately a child has little defence then. Its so wrong.
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