Author Topic: I was insulted at school - should I complain?  (Read 8458 times)

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alis

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I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« on: September 28, 2013, 07:03:44 AM »
I attend a language class one day per week (I am an immigrant here). I went to register for classes last week and had to bring my 3.5 year old along with me. He is a handful, for sure, basically wanting to touch everything in the room. Normally I would not bring him, but she said I had to come at that specific time and I had no babysitter.

The director said to me "You should put him in a CPE [government daycare] full-time, I have never seen a child like that before, they are professionals and they will fix him for you, you are in way over your head".

I found this horribly offensive. I understand he is a difficult child (tell me about it!), but I think was really OTT. I just walked out in shock, I didn't know what to say. My son has been diagnosed with autism this week, as if that was not enough. Should I make a formal complaint? Is this warranted? I certainly don't expect anyone to praise him for being like that, but I don't think it's okay to insult me as a parent for it, you would think that at almost 4, he cannot talk, that "fixing him" goes beyond a daycare!

I want to send her a nasty e-mail (of course I will NOT), but should I say something?

Zilla

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 07:45:45 AM »
People will always misunderstand and you will see more of these rude unhelpful people.  Because it happened in a professional setting and not a random stranger passerby.  I would send an email to the school with just the facts.  I would also think of things to say if it happens again.  Good luck.

Alpacas

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 07:47:29 AM »
I think a comment like that by that person (was that the teacher?) justifies an email or a phone call to the headmaster/director of the school. No matter if your child is a handfull or not it does not  mean a virtual stranger is allowed to critisize your parenting desicions. Especially if he doesnt know (and he doesn't need to know) the medical history of your child.

Just remember E-hell for the next time and answer with a chilled " I'll take that under advisement." :)

Iris

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 07:55:01 AM »
Wow. So unprofessional. And that is coming from a parent who has a child that had special needs. I got completely used to everyone in the whole world having an opinion on the matter and sharing it, but I never encountered it from someone with whom I had a professional relationship. When you are calm I would email the school just to give them a heads up because it sounds like this person needs a little touch up on professional conduct.

In the meantime though I would come up with a catch all phrase that you can use in situations like this. After much trial and error I settled on vague, non-commital "Hmm-mmm"s while they were talking, followed by a similarly non-commital phrase like "Yes, that's an idea."
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

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poundcake

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 08:46:33 AM »
I'm actually wondering if this wasn't taken out of context by you because of the situation. I can think of a dozen ways in which this could be said as a way of offering help, assistance or advice. I might consider following up with the person who said it instead of filing a complaint. After all, you also *did* have your, in your words, OTT misbehaving child in an inappropriate situation.

Redsoil

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 08:51:36 AM »
Is it at all possible that, given the language barrier, their message may have been interpreted by you in a manner that was harsher than they intended?

I'd let it go for now.  As mentioned, he obviously was having issues and their comment may have been somewhat exasperated, but well-meant.  Professionals are human too, especially when out of their comfort zone (such as dealing with a disruptive child in a setting not meant for young children).
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Rohanna

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 09:01:01 AM »
If you've moved to where I think you have, then I'm afraid to tell you that blunt-speaking is going to be a way of life for you. It was a big culture shock for me as a visitor.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

alis

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 09:06:25 AM »
We both spoke fluent English so it wasn't a misinterpretation (I wish).

He was yelling and mostly being held down by me to keep him in place, it really is at the point where it is well obvious that it isn't so much misbehaving but special needs. My other child was well-behaved.

I think I will send an e-mail to the director on Monday.

Rohanna- I'm in Quebec. I've lived here since 2011 and I've been going to this school for two years. I think that's what shocked me, she had always been nice to me in the past.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 09:10:03 AM by alis »

Rohanna

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2013, 09:09:24 AM »
Thought so  :-\
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

Redsoil

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2013, 09:13:33 AM »
Fair enough, then.  Hopefully there will be a good resolution where your concerns are addressed.
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*inviteseller

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 11:47:56 AM »
As the mother of a child with some issues, this went so far over the line, the line will never be seen.  This is not your child's dr's..how dare she tell you to put the child somewhere so he can be 'fixed'.  I would send the teacher a letter and cc her supervisor, explaining that you are sorry your child was disruptive, but as he is special needs you are already working with professionals in dealing with this and it was unnecessary, out of line and highly unprofessional to have made the comments that she did.

SiotehCat

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2013, 12:01:06 PM »
I think she was out of line, but I don't know if I would do anything about it.

I wonder what the appropriate thing would have been.

We're you in her office? Is the director just suppose to deal? I certainly don't think so.

CharlieBraun

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2013, 12:23:41 PM »
Hm.  You brought a child who you knew had behavioral problems into a stressful situation in which there was almost a guaranteed trigger for behavioral outbursts, and a second child to the appointment as well.  I'd say the first rude step was taken by you.  Poor kid.

That doesn't excuse what the director said, but he could have been saying it in response to you, if you said "well, I have no babysitter" and the child clearly being disruptive.

I'm well aware that there is no "fix" for autism and I'm glad you have a diagnosis that will allow you to receive help and support.

 My opinion is that this is not something that should be addressed with the school at this time.

If you find yourself without the support that you need so that you can register in the future, I'd suggest re-scheduling. 

Good luck and I hope you find the resources to assist your special needs child and your other child as well.
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Jones

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2013, 12:31:32 PM »
I am very much on your side OP, and would have been hurt at the assumptions made.

I probably wouldn't complain to a boss unless she brings it up, unasked, again. Sometimes people talk stupid in a stressful situation, or choose the wrong words for their thoughts. If she acts like it's her business in the future, then there's a pattern I'd want to nip.

TootsNYC

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Re: I was insulted at school - should I complain?
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 01:09:34 PM »
I'm actually wondering if this wasn't taken out of context by you because of the situation. I can think of a dozen ways in which this could be said as a way of offering help, assistance or advice. I might consider following up with the person who said it instead of filing a complaint. After all, you also *did* have your, in your words, OTT misbehaving child in an inappropriate situation.

"You are in way over your head" is not necessarily an insult. Especially since your son *was* diagnosed with autism, you probably -are- in over your head; I think all of us would be. And specifically, she was NOT saying, "you're incompetent." "In over your head" very specifically places ALL the blame on the situation. If that phrase is used in a situation someone has voluntarily gotten themselves into, and for which there's a reasonable expectation that they should either get themselves out again, there might be *some* aspersions being cast on them.
   But even then, this is not a "blame-y" phrase. It's actually often a very SYMPATHETIC phrase.

So many times parents are blamed for their children's misbehavior. I think her choice of this phrase was a strong indicator that she does NOT think there is anything wrong with how you are parenting, and is deliberately an indication that the SITUATION you find yourself in (mother to a kid who cannot talk at age FOUR, and who is yelling and being held down by you) is more than any reasonable person should expect you to handle. I think "in over your head" is a deliberate acknowledgment that YOU are not to blame, and that the situation is one that is too tough to expect you to tackle on your own, without assistance.


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He was yelling and mostly being held down by me to keep him in place,

If this is truly what was going on when she said that, then you ARE in over your head, and her "they will fix him for you" was an unfortunate way of saying "they will give you and him some help" and "they are experts with strategies that will help a lot."

Seriously, with that sort of chaos, I'd cut her all kinds of slack for not being able to think of the right phrase.

So, I don't think she insulted you.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 01:25:55 PM by TootsNYC »