Thursday, March 11, 2010

dear mrs parent

I refer to our meeting before school yesterday morning, when you demanded to see me as a matter of “extreme urgency” regarding a bullying issue involving your daughter. You will recall that you explained, in abrupt and confrontational terms, that your daughter had been verbally abused by the older sister of a fellow pupil while out shopping after school (and apparently in front of the girl’s mother). You indicated that the girl had been accusing your daughter of bullying her sister. You also explained that you had later confronted (in no uncertain terms, it appears) this girl’s parents to complain about the incident (you might be surprised to learn that the parents subsequently came to school to complain about your own behaviour). You are quite right, of course: it was entirely unacceptable for the older sister to have acted in the way she did.
However, I would like to make the following observations:
- I take exception to being accused of “doing nothing” to address what you regarded as long-term bullying issues when, having checked our files, the last minor incident was reported and dealt with on 5 November last year. We can only respond to situations that are reported to us.
- I take exception to your assumption that the “school was doing nothing” about the current matter (typical Year 8 bickering/friendship issues) when, in fact, we had spoken to a number of pupils, checked with teaching staff, issued warnings, had established monitoring arrangements and were in the process of recommending particular strategies for their shared lessons.
- I take exception to the fact that you had clearly not bothered to find out the background to the matter (as far as you were concerned, your daughter was entirely innocent).
- I take exception to the fact that you clearly felt you had the right to see me “instantly”, without notice or an appointment.
- I take exception to your confrontational attitude towards me personally (made all the worst by doing so in front of your daughter).
- I take exception to the fact that you were blaming the School for something that occurred outside school.
- I take exception to the conduct and attitudes of parents such as yourself who, in my view, set such poor examples to their own children - effectively saying that aggressive and intolerant behaviour is entirely acceptable.
Finally, I would like to apologise for what you clearly felt was my own rudeness in walking away from you. In the light of the verbal abuse I’d had to endure, I decided that the only appropriate course of action was to refer you to a member of the School’s Senior Management Team.
Yours sincerely
Mr Broadway
PS: this is the letter I would have LIKED to send! Situations like this make me question why I bother at all.

1 comment:

just Gai said...

Not a good day then?