Advice about teacher saying something inappropriate

Sara - posted on 12/01/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Hi,



My 7 year old daughter sprained her ankle and we went to the ER last week where the dr. told my daughter to use crutches. She used crutches at school over the week. A few days ago a teacher (not my daughter's teacher, but one who teaches the same grade and is very friendly with my daughter's teacher) went up to my daughter and told her to stop letting other girls try using her crutches (her friends were excited and wanted to try using my daughter's crutches and she let them). The teacher then started taunting my daughter saying you are faking, aren't you faking, and then threatened that if she allows anyone else to try her crutches she will take them away from her. The day before I had my daughter's parent teacher conference and the first thing her teacher started talking about was asking me questions repeatedly about why my daughter does not have a cast on or a bandage, and then asked how long she needs crutches, and on and on I felt like I was being interrogated. And it did not feel like she CARED about my daughter, but there was an undertone of disbelief about her injury.



Well I happen to be a medical professional, and sprains do not necessarily have casts on them, and in my daughter's case she did not need one. However, her foot really hurts and she was told to keep the pressure off by using crutches. My daughter is also not a faker at all, and she usually will downplay things, including injuries.



I am really pissed off. Her teacher has said hurtful things to my daughter in the past like telling her when 2 boys were repeatedly teasing her, instead of reprimanding the boys, the teacher told my daughter 'everyone bothers you'. When I approached the teacher she said she would never say that to a student, but I trust my daughter 100%.



It is very surprising because my daughter is quite shy in school, and also quite docile with authoritative figures like teachers. She has always been well liked by teachers and I have never had an issue ever until this year. My daughter has never complained about a teacher or fellow student or anyone really until this year.



I did end up speaking to the principal about the teacher who told my daughter she was faking and threatened to take her crutches away from her. I totally would not mind if a teacher told her not to allow others to use her crutches but not in that manner. When I brought it up, I also mentioned some of the other things over the past year that have bothered me. I was not satisfied with the encounter with the principal who kept insisting that these 2 teacher are very nice people.



My daughter's teacher is also young and inexperienced, they do not get homework half the time they are supposed to, and I get worksheets home often that have not been corrected. And that bothers me, but I thing what bothers me even more is that I feel she is mean but in a way that is a bit passive aggressive at times, so the principal would not see it.



Any advice? I am worried that this teacher will be mad I complained and take it out on my daughter. I told the principal that, and she assured me that would not happen but I am still worried. I also worry that this teacher will gossip about our family and this will prejudice other teachers for future years.



Am I overthinking and worrying too much? Any advice would be totally appreciated.

2 Comments

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Sara - posted on 12/02/2012

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HI Nancy,



THanks for your feedback. I agree that growing up there were teachers who said and did things that were inappropriate. I think I was pretty lucky though and had mostly good experiences. BUt I would think that things have evolved a bit to from 30 years ago, when I was in grade 2!



My daughter has a letter from the ER pediatrician of a children's hospital in our city stating that she needs to use crutches, and so that teacher had NO right to threaten to take them away from her. And when I went to the principal I got the feeling that she was backing up the teacher and being dismissive of our concerns. She laughed and said that this teacher is a very nice person, and maybe she said it in a context that made sense. BUt I can't think of a context that would make sense. And I also know my daughter is a really quiet, docile child in public, and would have given this teacher no reason to respond in such an extreme fashion.



I am holding off on any legal stuff, but if this teacher threatens her again or actually does take them away from her, then I may go that route.



And the other thing I did not mention is when those 2 boys were teasing my daughter, that included one of the boys saying that he would stab my daughter, her brother and her family. The teacher, in response, did not reprimand the boy, but told my daughter when she complained about sitting next to this boy, that everyone bothers her.



I will see how this week goes and really hope that things are ok for my daughter this week.

Nancy - posted on 12/02/2012

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Thinking back to my school days I had plenty of teachers do/say things to me that would infuriate me if I found out they were happening to my daughter, but for which there was little recourse. The ungraded worksheets, the two boys, these sort of seem like examples of those instances. That said, while I am not a lawyer if this woman is threatening to take your daughter's crutches away and calling her a 'faker' I might consider whether or not this is crossing over into a legal issue as I'm assuming she is on doctor's orders to stay on the crutches. If you can afford it, I might talk to a lawyer (there is also legal aid) and if she continues to threaten your daughter in this way a lawyer might be able to write a formal letter to the principle. The last thing the school wants is a lawsuit and this teacher is being wholly inappropriate in that regard.

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