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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 2
    • Dox
    • By Dox 11th May 18, 12:51 AM
    • 749 Posts
    • 513 Thanks
    Dox
    Hi,
    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.
    It is a clear open and shut case but sadly that's not the schools opinion.
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69
    I can understand exactly why you are incensed - in your shoes I would be, not least at the lack of support from my employer (or at least a willingness to discuss) - but it does sound as if you and the ghastly parent had quite a barney. School footie matches don't normally have a police presence, so the fact that the police became involved with witness comments etc suggests the incident was a bit more than a gentle little push.

    Having knowledge of the law regarding self-defence isn't going to help you - the school has already said they don't want to know, so going down that path is a waste of time.

    You think it is a clear open and shut case and that 'you are right'. The flaw in your argument is that the school's opinion is quite the opposite. The school employs you, so the school's opinion matters, not just yours. It is an employment issue, but what you've not said in your post is what action, if any, the school is taking?
    Last edited by Dox; 11-05-2018 at 1:16 AM.
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 11th May 18, 6:44 AM
    • 1,666 Posts
    • 6,874 Thanks
    BrassicWoman
    I am in the right, that wasn't the point.
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69
    I suggest you keep saying that really loudly.

    It'll just annoy people and won't help at work, but everyone will know you are "right", which seems to be more important to you than listening to any advice that will actually help at work.

    Enjoy being correct!
    Jan 18 grocery challenge £105.13/ £150
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 11th May 18, 7:18 AM
    • 7,153 Posts
    • 5,929 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    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
    Its a primary school football match! Stupidity should be made a criminal offence.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th May 18, 7:22 AM
    • 16,169 Posts
    • 44,553 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I have some sympathies with you on this - but my suspicion is that the school wants its staff to find "gentler" ways (ie non physical) of dealing with problems.

    In a very different context indeed - I've found that there are people that will "push the margins" and will quote at you that the law is on their side/implied threat of them "Making A Complaint" (if they can find someone to Complain to in that context).

    One has to work out strategies to deal with them that will fit within law and organisations strategies. The one I'm in the process of formulating for dealing with awkward people goes basically:

    1. Learn the sort of comments they are likely to come out with - it's very predictable that they will start with comment a, then go to comment b and work their way up the ladder gradually to a "You SHOULD" comment aimed at you - trying to tell you what to do when they aren't entitled to. One learns, after a while, to recognise when a seemingly innocent comment/query is the start of a lead-up to a "You SHOULD (and I'm going to try and order you to do so)" conversation. One thing one learns is that troublemakers almost seem to have read from the same manual - and hence why their conversations are pretty predictable.....

    2. When the lead-up comments to "You SHOULD...." start - walk away. I've learnt to make excuses - by finding things I need to do elsewhere nearby (another room/further down the road/whatever). A "walk-away on an excuse" may have to be repeated several times.

    3. If they are very determined and out comes a "straight out comment" that shouldnt have been made by them - regardless of the fact I bet they've noticed I've done several walk-aways to prevent it - then it's a straight "No" and instant change of topic to something/anything else.

    4. Haven't had to go stage 4 yet - but the final resort is "Walk away from them to elsewhere in the building/road/field/wherever you are - and stay away from them".

    Walk-aways, abrupt change of topic of conversation, permanent walk-aways aren't against any law (criminal or civil or an organisations policies). You're in the clear - and they've had to stop it.

    It's the sort of tactic I think might have uses for situations like yours as well.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 11-05-2018 at 7:36 AM.
    ****************
    • Ozzuk
    • By Ozzuk 11th May 18, 8:25 AM
    • 1,368 Posts
    • 2,001 Thanks
    Ozzuk
    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.
    Originally posted by Energize
    Are you 100% sure on that? If this is your area of expertise then I'll happily defer to you, my totally non-expert opinion was the burden of proof for criminal action is much greater than civil (99vs 51%?) so civil action can be taken even if criminal action doesn't succeed (in proving guilt).
    Last edited by Ozzuk; 11-05-2018 at 8:28 AM.
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 11th May 18, 8:29 AM
    • 6,685 Posts
    • 5,213 Thanks
    ohreally
    Your union should be able to get you some legal advice.
    Originally posted by marlot
    For what, a potential disciplinary hearing (there appear no criminal proceedings).

    Op, have you been trained in de-escalation techniques?
    Last edited by ohreally; 11-05-2018 at 8:32 AM.
    Donít be a canít, be a can.
    • nicechap
    • By nicechap 11th May 18, 8:35 AM
    • 1,219 Posts
    • 2,519 Thanks
    nicechap
    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
    Whilst thereís a possibility this is the work of our returning dilemma AI/ bot, thereís useful info in the replies that new readers might benefit from and Iíd like to add my 2p too.

    The OP doesnít clarify a number of areas leaving people to make assumptions. For instance, in what capacity are they employed by the school? Principal? Teacher? Caretaker? Is the school run by a local authority or privately? Has the OP actually been disciplined? If so what sanction have they received? Was it a fair process? What was the event where the incident took place? In what capacity was the OP there. Who called the police? Why? How did the school learn of the incident?

    Iím going to assume the OP, whilst at the event in a volunteering capacity was there to manage or coach the school team. The OP admits to pushing the parent before the parent could strike them. The OP has been through the schools disciplinary proces and the union were unable to persuade the school from disciplining them, Iím guessing the sanction is a warning or final warning.

    As others have said, the OP is confusing criminal law with employment law. Maybe the OP should apply the rules of football to the situation. One player raises their hands against another player. Do the police get involved? Maybe to keep the peace. Is the referee allowed to award a free kick, yellow card or red card? Would telling the referee itís not a criminal matter stop the referee making their decision?

    In the same way, employment law has its own set of tests and sanctions. Given what the OP has revealed and guessing at the bits he hasnít,I agree with the OP, itís an open and shut case. The OP behaved wrongly whilst representing the school, or at least whilst in a leadership position with children. The OP has been sanctioned correctly, and I presume is still employed there. If so, the OP should be grateful the sanction was not dismissal (red card) as I think that would be within the range of reasonable sanctions open to a school in these circumstances.

    OP, I would suggest you enroll on an anger management course based on your replies to others her, and ask your school to send you on a conflict resolution course. You have to learn from this incident, not continue to fight it, your combative instincts has got you into this mess.
    ďNever argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.Ē - George Carlin
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th May 18, 9:10 AM
    • 16,169 Posts
    • 44,553 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Op, have you been trained in de-escalation techniques?
    Originally posted by ohreally
    That's news to me for the day - there's a "posh technique" called "de-escalation techniques"

    Do you have a link to info. on that please? I'm guessing there's a free online course somewhere for that.
    ****************
    • Marcon
    • By Marcon 11th May 18, 9:28 AM
    • 359 Posts
    • 245 Thanks
    Marcon
    I am in the right, that wasn't the point.
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69
    Unfortunately that is exactly the point. As you say, teachers are not punchbags - but if the police became involved, the incident sounds far more serious than your rather dismissive 'I instinctively pushed him away - it was actually as soft as it could have been on his chest.'

    Of course the school says you are not allowed to push a parent. I presume you describe your union as 'rubbish' because they agreed with the school.

    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"
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69
    It became a work disciplinary case because your behaviour did not meet the standards the school expected of a teacher (pity one can't discipline a parent for not meeting the standards expected of a father or mother). The school is correct in saying it is not their job to understand criminal law because this isn't about criminal law: it is about employment law, the school's reputation and most of all child safety. How would you have reacted if a child had threatened to hit you, or actually done so? Would you 'instinctively' have retaliated physically?

    This probably all sounds fairly unsympathetic. You would be wrong to assume that is how it is meant. I think teachers and other school staff are subjected to behaviour from parents (and indeed children) which would goad most of us into something far stronger than a push!
    • Takeaway_Addict
    • By Takeaway_Addict 11th May 18, 9:32 AM
    • 5,837 Posts
    • 6,746 Thanks
    Takeaway_Addict
    For what, a potential disciplinary hearing (there appear no criminal proceedings).

    Op, have you been trained in de-escalation techniques?
    Originally posted by ohreally
    If they have they're not doing a great job of it on this thread...
    Don't trust a forum for advice. Get proper paid advice. Any advice given should always be checked
    • Energize
    • By Energize 11th May 18, 9:45 AM
    • 444 Posts
    • 199 Thanks
    Energize
    Are you 100% sure on that? If this is your area of expertise then I'll happily defer to you, my totally non-expert opinion was the burden of proof for criminal action is much greater than civil (99vs 51%?) so civil action can be taken even if criminal action doesn't succeed (in proving guilt).
    Originally posted by Ozzuk
    Civil action can be taken if no criminal action is taken against someone. But what I am saying is that a contract cannot override the right to self defense, such that someone who clearly acts in self defence can't be dismissed for misconduct, for example if someone a teacher was attacked with a knife and pushed them away the school couldn't turn around and say "you Should've used de escalation techniques".
    • powerful_Rogue
    • By powerful_Rogue 11th May 18, 10:03 AM
    • 3,449 Posts
    • 5,032 Thanks
    powerful_Rogue
    Common law states:


    Any person may use whatever force is reasonable and necessary to defend themself or another from an immediate threat.

    Obviously we only have your version of events, but based on what you said:

    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.

    It sounds like you believed there was an immediate and direct threat of violence, so pushed him away to protect yourself.


    Only you can make the decision on what action to take, as long as its proportionate and necessary.
    • Marcon
    • By Marcon 11th May 18, 10:05 AM
    • 359 Posts
    • 245 Thanks
    Marcon
    Common law states:


    Any person may use whatever force is reasonable and necessary to defend themself or another from an immediate threat.

    Obviously we only have your version of events, but based on what you said:




    It sounds like you believed there was an immediate and direct threat of violence, so pushed him away to protect yourself.


    Only you can make the decision on what action to take, as long as its proportionate and necessary.
    Originally posted by powerful_Rogue
    ....all of which is completely irrelevant in this case, given that it doesn't hinge on whether or not a criminal act was committed.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 11th May 18, 10:51 AM
    • 5,220 Posts
    • 8,526 Thanks
    Gavin83
    I am in the right, that wasn't the point.
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69
    If you are so convinced of your rights why did you start this thread?

    You are one of those new posters who is convinced they're right, unwilling to listen to those who disagree with them and has a bad attitude to match. I'd suggest listening to some of the very good advice in this thread but I assume you probably won't.

    I wish you the best of luck in resolving this issue, you'll need it.
    • Bargainhunter69
    • By Bargainhunter69 11th May 18, 11:03 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Bargainhunter69
    I posted a reply much earlier but it isn't there. First the case was a real one.
    It wasn't actually me. I go to college and know the person very well. In college there was a discussion on risk assessment which lead to Duty of Care. I brought this up and although the specifics were not discussed some of my class thought like a lot of posters that self defence is not allowed and how they would calmly step back as someone attacked them. Another said look it up online. A few of us did and found many union websites showing that self-defence is allowed (we googled ATL violence-threatening-behaviour-and-abuse-2014.pdf)
    Some have mentioned the police - the police were not informed by school although they should have done! The person attacked reported it - strange assumptions people make!
    Interesting discussion with the majority wrong. Self-defence is a 100% defence in law. Civil law can't remove the rights to self-defence.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 11th May 18, 11:12 AM
    • 5,220 Posts
    • 8,526 Thanks
    Gavin83
    Interesting discussion with the majority wrong. Self-defence is a 100% defence in law. Civil law can't remove the rights to self-defence.
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69
    Fine, thread over then. I'm out, I'd suggest others stop posting too, especially given that this isn't even a real thread.
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 11th May 18, 11:12 AM
    • 3,687 Posts
    • 10,062 Thanks
    LilElvis
    I posted a reply much earlier but it isn't there. First the case was a real one.
    It wasn't actually me. I go to college and know the person very well. In college there was a discussion on risk assessment which lead to Duty of Care. I brought this up and although the specifics were not discussed some of my class thought like a lot of posters that self defence is not allowed and how they would calmly step back as someone attacked them. Another said look it up online. A few of us did and found many union websites showing that self-defence is allowed (we googled ATL violence-threatening-behaviour-and-abuse-2014.pdf)
    Some have mentioned the police - the police were not informed by school although they should have done! The person attacked reported it - strange assumptions people make!
    Interesting discussion with the majority wrong. Self-defence is a 100% defence in law. Civil law can't remove the rights to self-defence.
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69
    So Nicechap was right. It's another time wasting dilemma with half the detail omitted. Of course a teenager, with only half an education, is in the right and knows it all
    • nicechap
    • By nicechap 11th May 18, 11:32 AM
    • 1,219 Posts
    • 2,519 Thanks
    nicechap
    I posted a reply much earlier but it isn't there. First the case was a real one.
    It wasn't actually me. I go to college and know the person very well. In college there was a discussion on risk assessment which lead to Duty of Care. I brought this up and although the specifics were not discussed some of my class thought like a lot of posters that self defence is not allowed and how they would calmly step back as someone attacked them. Another said look it up online. A few of us did and found many union websites showing that self-defence is allowed (we googled ATL violence-threatening-behaviour-and-abuse-2014.pdf)
    Some have mentioned the police - the police were not informed by school although they should have done! The person attacked reported it - strange assumptions people make!
    Interesting discussion with the majority wrong. Self-defence is a 100% defence in law. Civil law can't remove the rights to self-defence.
    Originally posted by Bargainhunter69
    Finally the dilemma AI/bot admits they are winding up everyone with a partial third hand story from - college-. They couldn t even keep the story consistent in their posts.

    I m out too :-(
    Last edited by nicechap; 11-05-2018 at 2:41 PM.
    ďNever argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.Ē - George Carlin
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 11th May 18, 12:16 PM
    • 2,683 Posts
    • 2,988 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    Pushing someone in the chest is an assault, which could be prosecuted as common assault but not likely to be in most cases.

    There is a statutory defence to any charge of assault of acting in self defence, so long at it is reasonable and proportionate ( which is for a court to decide).

    That defence has no direct effect on any civil or disciplinary action taken by an employer.
    • Bargainhunter69
    • By Bargainhunter69 11th May 18, 12:23 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Bargainhunter69
    That defence has no direct effect on any civil or disciplinary action taken by an employer.

    Wrong, everyone has the right to self-defence and the workplace can't take that away.
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