in thinking the teacher shouldn't have clipped my 7 year old son around the back of his head in class

(108 Posts)
pingu2209 Fri 15-Mar-13 18:03:08

My son was being a little sod, no doubt, but should she really have clipped him around the back of the head.

He told me that he quietly cried into his school work after it had happened.

However, when I queried with the teacher this afternoon she said that it really wasn't hard at all and barely brushed him. She also said that his behaviour didn't improve either.

I'm not sure what I'm thinking really. Teachers used to clip me, I had board rubbers thrown at me etc. It didnt' do me any harm.

zwischenzug Sun 17-Mar-13 18:38:25

I wasn't going to post again but then I remembered something that might be interesting to some people so here goes.

I know of an ex-teacher who some years ago had a disruptive child in their class, talking, laughing, generally being a distraction and this teacher finally snapped and said "I know you're thick, but some of the other children would benefit from this lesson if you could behave". This (teenage) child immediately stormed off with some of her mates and went to the headmaster because she was rightly upset at being called "thick". The teacher was subsequently summoned to the headmasters office to discuss the incident.

"X informs me there was an incident in your class".
"Yes that's right"
"Did you touch her"
"No but I did call her thick"
"Don't worry about that, you didn't touch her then?"
"Nope"
"Ok fine, lets forget about it then"

Now IMO, being called thick by a teacher is immensely more damaging to a childs long term wellbeing than being lightly struck as a prompt to behave. Yet it would seem the rules allow damaging insults to be directed at a child, yet the lightest physical contact is absolutely out of the question. You could argue the current state of affairs is an overreaction to the bad old days of the cane, but it seems there is a out of proportion over-focusing on one technical aspect of the old system (physical contact), and a wholesale missing of the wider picture. Rules are not always well thought out - and sticking to the rules for the sake of sticking to the rules is a poor way to think.

flippinada Sun 17-Mar-13 19:04:38

But corporal punishment is illegal.

If you (general you) have trained and/or qualified as a teacher in the last 20 -30 years then you would know that physically punishing pupils could cost your your job and you don't do it

zwischenzug Sun 17-Mar-13 19:11:21

I agree - it is stupid of the teacher to put themselves at risk. But that does not necessarily mean that a 3rd party should go out of their way to ensure the letter of the law is enforced just because they can.

flippinada Sun 17-Mar-13 19:13:22

My DMum and Stepdad have over 60 years teaching experience between them (now retired).

They taught at secondary level, some of that time in rough schools and dealt with accordingly serious misbehaviour, which, I would hazard a guess, was a lot more challenging and provoking than that displayed by an averagely naughty 7 year old. Neither of them every used physical discipline. A good teacher doesn't need to.

OnwardBound Sun 17-Mar-13 19:16:18

I actually find it a bit odd and sad that OPs son told her he had been hit and this had made him cry but OP chooses to believe that the teacher is good 'un and her behaviour was appropriate.

A clip on the back of the head [which the teacher admits] however light is not an appropriate disciplinary tool in modern teaching. And for what, a 7 year old giggling at funny faces?

Yep, a right 'little sod', he obviously deserved it hmm

flippinada Sun 17-Mar-13 19:24:21

Yeah OnwardBound I know what you mean.

And the behaviour really wasn't that bad. I know how 7 year old boys can be, but nothing the op described makes him sound more badly behaved than any kid the same age.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 17-Mar-13 19:35:17

If you know that for your job certain things are total no's then you don't do them.

When it comes to how you treat vulnerable people it is down to third parties to report.

kim147 Sun 17-Mar-13 19:39:44

Every teacher knows they should not hit a pupil. Some of the older teachers I worked with told me tales of what they did (and were expected to do by parents) in the old days.

I can see how a pupil / extreme and constant behaviour can push you over the edge. It's also impossible to walk away from a situation - there are times when I have just wanted to walk out of the classroom for 10 minutes but that's been impossible.

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