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  • FIRST POST
    • Bargainhunter69
    • By Bargainhunter69 10th May 18, 1:55 PM
    • 8Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Bargainhunter69
    Assaulted at work. No right to self-defence
    • #1
    • 10th May 18, 1:55 PM
    Assaulted at work. No right to self-defence 10th May 18 at 1:55 PM
    Hi,
    I work in a primary school but on the day in question I was not working but volunteering my football skills at an external venue with the school children. A parent of one of my players confronted me after we had lost (what a sin!) and threatened me verbally and non verbally. I had already put distance between us. He continued to rant and then threatened me again before he came towards my face. I instinctively pushed him away - it was actually as soft as it could have been on his chest.
    No issue as I have acted in self-defence and the police agree and dealt with the parent.
    Wrong - school say I am not allowed to push the parent and my union were rubbish. How did it become a work disciplinary case? I, like the police (and union) say it was a criminal matter and not an employment issue. School have actually put in writing that it is not their job to understand criminal law or what is acceptable retaliation regarding "self-defence"
    Anyone with knowledge of the law (self-defence) feel free to advise. The local Diocese wont get into conversation and nor will the local authority which I think is shocking.
    It is a clear open and shut case but sadly that's not the schools opinion. School also didn't ban the parent saying they followed legal advice. Anyone who is a governor of a school knows that you can ban a parent as long as you give them 14 days to respond.
    Last edited by Bargainhunter69; 10-05-2018 at 1:57 PM.
Page 1
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 10th May 18, 2:08 PM
    • 5,524 Posts
    • 7,505 Thanks
    spadoosh
    • #2
    • 10th May 18, 2:08 PM
    • #2
    • 10th May 18, 2:08 PM
    Youre dealing with civil law and criminal law.

    Criminal law is the self defense aspect. You wont go to jail. Civil law is employment disciplinary aspect, they dont want you pushing parents, you can lose your job.

    You havent broken criminal law in that you acted in self defence.

    You could have broken civil law by contravening a term in your employment contract. I suspect theyll have policies on violence and are using those.

    I used to work with a suspected sex pest. He was taken to criminal court. My employer found out about it when he was on the front page of the local paper when it was delivered to our shop. 30 minutes later the guy was leaving the building for bringing the company in to disrepute. He never came back. Didnt break the law (or at least didnt get done for breaking the law), lost his job.
    Don't be angry!
    • Kayalana99
    • By Kayalana99 10th May 18, 2:08 PM
    • 3,448 Posts
    • 6,147 Thanks
    Kayalana99
    • #3
    • 10th May 18, 2:08 PM
    • #3
    • 10th May 18, 2:08 PM
    You might be right that the police would class that as self-defense, but as an employer of school children you acted physically against a verbal attack. As a teacher (or assistant) I'd expect you to be able to handle this sort of attack without resulting to violence.

    I personally think both parties are right in this case. You should never have laid a hand on the parent, should have kept your cool/sought help because of the type of job, you are expected to be able to deal with unruling behavouir without resulting to violence.

    End day, you resprent the school and their repuatation.
    People don't know what they want until you show them.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 10th May 18, 3:16 PM
    • 7,926 Posts
    • 17,331 Thanks
    kingfisherblue
    • #4
    • 10th May 18, 3:16 PM
    • #4
    • 10th May 18, 3:16 PM
    Hi,
    I work in a primary school but on the day in question I was not working but volunteering my football skills at an external venue with the school children. A parent of one of my players confronted me after we had lost (what a sin!) and threatened me verbally and non verbally. I had already put distance between us. He continued to rant and then threatened me again before he came towards my face. I instinctively pushed him away - it was actually as soft as it could have been on his chest.
    No issue as I have acted in self-defence and the police agree and dealt with the parent.
    Wrong - school say I am not allowed to push the parent and my union were rubbish. How did it become a work disciplinary case? I, like the police (and union) say it was a criminal matter and not an employment issue. School have actually put in writing that it is not their job to understand criminal law or what is acceptable retaliation regarding "self-defence"
    Anyone with knowledge of the law (self-defence) feel free to advise. The local Diocese wont get into conversation and nor will the local authority which I think is shocking.
    It is a clear open and shut case but sadly that's not the schools opinion. School also didn't ban the parent saying they followed legal advice. Anyone who is a governor of a school knows that you can ban a parent as long as you give them 14 days to respond.
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69

    So is your employer actually disciplining you? If so, you can ask why. I suspect that it's because you can be seen to have acted in a manner that is unacceptable, regardless of whether you were acting as an employee or a volunteer. Incidentally, was it a school event that you volunteered at? Presumably if it was, then parents and children may have been able to see the disagreement.



    On the playground, you would presumably tell children to keep their hands to themselves, walk away, and not hit/push others. You didn't act in the same way, and you didn't uphold the type of behaviour that schools expect.
    • Bargainhunter69
    • By Bargainhunter69 10th May 18, 6:12 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Bargainhunter69
    • #5
    • 10th May 18, 6:12 PM
    • #5
    • 10th May 18, 6:12 PM
    Thanks for that, are you qualified in criminal law or employment law?
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 10th May 18, 6:15 PM
    • 3,573 Posts
    • 6,120 Thanks
    martinthebandit
    • #6
    • 10th May 18, 6:15 PM
    • #6
    • 10th May 18, 6:15 PM
    Thanks for that, are you qualified in criminal law or employment law?
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69

    I think their main qualification appears to be giving good, sound practical advice which (apparently) you don't want.
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 10th May 18, 6:25 PM
    • 1,919 Posts
    • 2,156 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 6:25 PM
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 6:25 PM
    I'm not a legal professional but from an employers point of view you do represent the school regardless of whether you were being paid or not. A teacher is obviously in a position of trust and should also be setting a good example. Would have been better to step backwards or walk away.
    Maybe try and salvage things by writing an apology to the head? The good thing is even if you are fired, you don't leave with a criminal record.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 10th May 18, 6:32 PM
    • 5,315 Posts
    • 8,705 Thanks
    Gavin83
    • #8
    • 10th May 18, 6:32 PM
    • #8
    • 10th May 18, 6:32 PM
    I used to work with a suspected sex pest. He was taken to criminal court. My employer found out about it when he was on the front page of the local paper when it was delivered to our shop. 30 minutes later the guy was leaving the building for bringing the company in to disrepute. He never came back. Didnt break the law (or at least didnt get done for breaking the law), lost his job.
    Originally posted by spadoosh
    While I don't disagree with you it's wrong that the law works in this way. Technically speaking he was punished for doing nothing.

    I guess the real issue here is that the press are allowed to post such news, essentially ruining someone's life when they could be innocent.
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 10th May 18, 6:48 PM
    • 1,750 Posts
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    BrassicWoman
    • #9
    • 10th May 18, 6:48 PM
    • #9
    • 10th May 18, 6:48 PM
    Thanks for that, are you qualified in criminal law or employment law?
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69
    Pay a lawyer if your needs are for a lawyer.
    Jan 18 grocery challenge 105.13/ 150
    • Ja7188
    • By Ja7188 10th May 18, 7:06 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 186 Thanks
    Ja7188
    I do have sympathy for the OP here as I suspect he (making the assumption that they're male!) did what many people would instinctively do if they found themselves in that position - but it certainly does sound like legal advice is needed for there to be any chance of a positive outcome.
    • Ozzuk
    • By Ozzuk 10th May 18, 7:24 PM
    • 1,433 Posts
    • 2,070 Thanks
    Ozzuk
    You must have guidelines for dealing with violent/potentially violent or escalating situations? Its pretty clear, you haven't broken the law, you've breached your policy. You were with the kids, therefore you are representing the school.

    I'd adjust your attitude, be humble, apologise profusely and stress you were worried for your own safety. Carry on trying to fight it by saying you are right they are wrong is a sure way for this to get worse.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 10th May 18, 8:07 PM
    • 7,926 Posts
    • 17,331 Thanks
    kingfisherblue
    Thanks for that, are you qualified in criminal law or employment law?
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69

    No, but I do have experience both in HR and in schools. I am also able to read contracts (there's almost certainly something about not bringing your employer into disrepute) and policies.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 10th May 18, 8:19 PM
    • 2,845 Posts
    • 2,819 Thanks
    steampowered
    You've given us one version of events.

    It may well be that the school has a different understanding of what happened.

    Clearly, the school will expect staff to avoid physical altercations if at all possible.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 10th May 18, 9:07 PM
    • 3,604 Posts
    • 2,724 Thanks
    marlot
    Your union should be able to get you some legal advice.
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 10th May 18, 9:58 PM
    • 1,733 Posts
    • 1,503 Thanks
    parking_question_chap
    Just apologise (doesnt matter if you think you were in the right) for any damage this has done to the schools reputation and again state that it was self defence as he kept walking towards you in an aggresive way, the main thing is you keep your job. Sometimes at work you need to say things you dont necessarily think are true.

    Then withdraw your offer to volunteer again in the future as you feel you have not been given the tools/support to deal with aggression from the parents.

    Just dont go into any meeting with the attitude that you are right and they are wrong. That never ends well.
    • Energize
    • By Energize 10th May 18, 10:20 PM
    • 452 Posts
    • 201 Thanks
    Energize
    Criminal law takes precedence over civil law, if someone acts in genuine self defence it cannot be held to have breached a contract. The same principle holds generally for any actions taken to prevent crime or injury, this is to prevent citizens being discouraged from doing the legally right thing.

    However I suspect the op is not quite telling it as it is.
    • Bargainhunter69
    • By Bargainhunter69 10th May 18, 11:33 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Bargainhunter69
    Energize is 100% correct bar not telling it as it is. The police agree and so do the witnesses who were other parents.
    Union agree as well.
    A teacher is not a punch bag for an adult - maybe they accept it from children? How do you know I didn't step back? I didn't mention it because there is no requirement to do so with self-defence.
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 11th May 18, 12:01 AM
    • 1,750 Posts
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    BrassicWoman
    While you are convinced you are 100% in the right, there's no point trying to help you.
    Jan 18 grocery challenge 105.13/ 150
    • Bargainhunter69
    • By Bargainhunter69 11th May 18, 12:15 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Bargainhunter69
    I am in the right, that wasn't the point.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 11th May 18, 12:39 AM
    • 2,105 Posts
    • 3,217 Thanks
    shortcrust
    Why do you think you need to break the law to be disciplined at work? I don't get why you're trying to make that cast iron connection. Legal behaviour isn't automatically reasonable behaviour or professional behaviour.

    I worked in a jobcentre for a month and in that time I had incidents like the one described - and much worse - on a daily basis. Somehow I managed not to push anyone.

    Take BrassicWoman's advice and pay for some legal advice. Clearly the only replies you'll take seriously on here are replies you agree with.
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