does anyone know if a teacher/headteacher can question a 5yr old child without the parent being present?

Katherine - posted on 09/19/2012 ( 107 moms have responded )

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my 5yr old daughter was involved in a incident in the class room and got questioned by the teacher and headteacher on what happened whilst i was not there, can they do that? can they question without me present? i thought i had to be present during the questioning!

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Michelle - posted on 09/23/2012

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it is wise depending ont eh situation that a parent be present, when you look a tthe public schools a parent must be present in mos tcases, it depends ont he situation but to question a child only to find out details is okay about a situation or incident, for some reason this was posted on this to receive information - how bad was the incident is my curiosity - if law enforcemnt is included the parent mus tbe there just like the director or assistant director must ride in an ambulance to the hospital with a child when the parent is at work.

Jodi - posted on 09/23/2012

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This isn't a courtroom is it? Your child, sweet, I'm sure. Should tell you about the incident, then you have the right to talk to your gal, the teacher, and principal, if need be.

Tiffany - posted on 09/23/2012

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you need to be present for law enforcement to question a child but not for a teacher to question your child

Michelle - posted on 09/23/2012

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no one can question your child under the age of 18 without your presence in any state.

Mary - posted on 09/23/2012

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Amen!! to Victoria Prine-Manrique



Parents can't have it both ways. If they won't educate their children at home about manners, appropriate behavior, etc. and expect the child to get all this from the teacher, then the parents must accept the fact that the teacher has to be free to do his/her job. If teaching and nurturing and social work intervention aren't enough, the teacher must also be prepared to be an investigator. Teachers, regardless of what they may tell the little ones, do NOT have eyes in the backs of their heads; they have to ask questions to discover what has actually happened.

Tara - posted on 09/23/2012

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It's not like your child needs a lawyer. Incidents happen all the time and teachers have to ask students questions to get to the bottom of it so that they can take the appropriate action.

Elizabeth - posted on 09/23/2012

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they can question your child if you are not there, however in this particular case (touching) you should have been notified and asked to come to the school. It is a matter of respect for the parent.

Karen - posted on 09/23/2012

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Of course they can question her without you being there. Incidents in school have to be handled immediately, or they become bigger than they need to be. As long as it is not an :inquisitionary" type situation, it is fine. Teachers and their supervisors are trained on how to handle issues as fairly as possible. If they had to wait until a parent could be present, the issue could devolve into something ridiculous. I have over 25 years' experience in Early Childhood Ed. Also, it should be handled away from the rest of the class - never would I deal with an incident that could prove embarrassing to any child in front of the other children.

Dalyna - posted on 09/23/2012

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Yes they can do that. It's not like she was being quested by the police (in that case yes you'd need to be present). It's just an incident that need to be explained, not a big deal. She's lucky they asked her side and didn't just discipline her based on what they thought they new.

Jackie - posted on 09/23/2012

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I'm pretty sure they can . As a teacher I always try to have the counselor or an administrator to question a student if it is a matter I feel will be better handled, but as far as consent, yes we can. If it is legal matter then you will asked for consent, but for something minimal it really isn't that serious. I always let my parents aware of the matter regardless . Communication between teachers&parents is very important. . I also think you should speak to your child's teacher about the matter if you feel so strongly about it. Good luck.

Maureen - posted on 09/22/2012

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It is the principal's job to hear from the students individually about any incident they are involved in. The next step is to inform the parents of the incident and request their presence along with their child to a meeting. It is at this meeting everyone will be questioned and given a chance to talk. So there was nothing done wrong here....In some schools the guidance counselor is the one who has to find out what really happens then inform the parents.

Cheryl - posted on 09/22/2012

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As a classroom teacher, I would say we are responsible for questioning students whenever there is an incident. Sometimes, if we can't get to the bottom of what happened, we need to send the students to the principal to try and sort out. There is no way we could wait for a parent before questioning students as incidents happen all the time. Depending on the severity of the incident, a parent would not usually be called unless some sort of action was required after the questioning.

Cindy - posted on 09/21/2012

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In our state it would have been inappropriate for the teacher to question at all beyond just a basic few...the matter would have been handled by our specially trained investigators (who really don't make mountains out of mole hills) but at any rate would not have allowed the parent to be present. Well trained professionals do not ask leading questions but do presuppose that ANYBODY could have (but didn't necessarily) teach the child inappropriate touching.

Amidy - posted on 09/21/2012

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I feel for you Katherine! It may be legally ok for them to question your kids without parents but I think they should call parents out of courtesy. My 7 year old was also involved in a private part incident last year and was questioned by the teacher, principle, counselor and CPS was called. The CPS lady questioned him with out any one at the school even knowing. I didn't find out until after my son was home and the CPS lady showed up at my door 2 minutes after my son!



I was livid! The principle finally called me right after cps left and told me she had a meeting or she would have called me sooner, bull! My husband and I went the next day to have a meeting. We told them the way they handled it was not okay! They are to call us immediately after an incident.



Fortunately we didn't have any problems after that. CPS visited us a few more times and then closed the case not naming any offenders.



It's ridiculous that children who play the "show me yours and I'll show you mine" game as kids have done for generations are now being labeled as sexual predators. The only ones thinking it has anything to do with sex is the adults, they are the ones with a problem.

Amy - posted on 09/21/2012

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Of course they can. Incidents happen daily, even multiple times a day. Imagine if the teacher could not resolve each situation as it happened? Chaos and no solutions. Icidents, no matter how big or small, need to be handled immediately so teachers can get back to teaching. Like it or not us teachers need to resolve conflicts and make that part of the child's educational development. Of course the teachers need to contact you and make you aware so that hopefully you will parent and discipline your child appropriately at home.

Kristi - posted on 09/20/2012

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Its only the police that have to have you present in order to question your child.

Tricia - posted on 09/20/2012

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No you do not have to be there. They are not the police asking a minor about a crime, this is school and if you can imagine that every time an incident happened and they had to bring in parents no schooling would be done. That said at 5 years old it would be a chat with your child, very informal, to put her at ease and to ask just simply what happened.

Jane - posted on 09/20/2012

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What was the incident? Teachers question children to a degree all the time but was this a different questioning?



There was an incident when one of my children and 3 other friends were questioned about an incident on a residential holiday. Furthermore, the children were kept in a room with no windows, door closed and told to read the bible. How dare they. None of us are religious so how dare they? They kept them in the room for 8hrs!.



The headteacher brought 2 home but my friend and I travelled to collect our children to check it out. The head was blood red in her face the whole way home. Children in the car with a red face, angry teacher.



Turned out that my son and one lad was falsely accused (never even there) so we took out a grievance with the LEA and a governor`s hearing.



She has now left thank god.

Victoria - posted on 09/20/2012

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Omg! She is 5. If this upsets you, you have a long ways to go before she gets through all of her school years. This is the problem today in schools we want teachers to be a huge part of our childrens day and when something happens we then we want to question their actions. Give our teachers a break! Really how serious could it be????

Kitty - posted on 09/20/2012

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Connie is 100% right.. Bonnie just told you that you have NO RIGHT to parent your own child--that they will do the parenting and that you are only in the way.



This is why I tell parents to read EVERY piece of paper before signing, and to be sure to leave the papers telling them that they can act on your behalf, give medical attention or anything that is a parental responsibility. A 4 year old child just got a DOUBLE root canal, at school, with NO anesthesia!!! (just 4 people holding him down) Later to find by their dentist it was all UN-nessessary! A 5 year old got arrested for sexual harassment (handcuffed and all) for kissing a gyrl on the cheek on the playground. The parents were not called until he was at the station and completely processed!



School is not what it used to be...The majority of school officials firmly believe that once you drop that child off, YOU are no longer the parent, they are...and they can do whatever they like. (And most get away with it).



A teacher decided that her pencil needed to be in my 3.5 year old, autistic, barely verbal child's hand. Do you know what happened to her? The principal backing her up, the DOE backing her up and guess what? She STILL teaches 3-4 year old non-verbal autistic kids!



The Teacher of the Year last year got arrested and charged with sexual molestation of a minor!!!



Teachers feel you are ion the way, and that they have every right to do whatever they please...they feel THEY are the parent and have every right to tell YOU how to parent YOUR child...and guess what? If you disagree with them? They can call Child Services and have that child taken away from you...



This is reality--more and more kids are getting arrested for doing--well, kid stuff! A 12year old got handcuffed and arrested for vandalism because she wrote- IN PENCIL- on a small corner of a desk! When I was in school, we would be handed soap, a cloth and told we had to clean it up...I agree with what happened when I was that age--NOT arresting a kid...



I could go on and on...but like I said before, there is a strong reason why people call schools worse than prisons...one big reason? Prisoners have MORE rights than your children do...no joke...no opinion...fact!

Connie - posted on 09/20/2012

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Parents have few rights once their child is on school property. Basically the child becomes a ward of the state while there. As currently represented in several documentaries, children have fewer rights than prisoners while at school. A principal can not only question a child without any type of representation, but WILL hand over the results of that interrogation to the police for prosecution. CPS WILL be called if there is absolutely any indication that a parent may be in any way potentially harming the child. Parents who demand access to their child while at school have been refused and JAILED. There are several current news items on the stripping of parental rights and child abuse in classrooms where the teachers have not been reprimanded, let alone fired or arrested as a parent would have been for an even lesser action. Duct taped mouths, locked in closets, strip searched, emotional battery. Parents do not understand this, that their rights end at the school door, until it smacks them in the face. The school system has a general view with how Bobbie presented, that parents are an irritation and inconvenience to proper education and discipline. That teachers, administrators CPS, police and other public officials, i.e. the state, knows absolutely what is best and proper for children in their education, care and discipline vs. those ignorant irritating parents.

Kim - posted on 09/20/2012

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In a normal situation, no, but the subject matter you describe ABSOLUTELY! The teachers should have done that for their own protction if nothing else.

Joyce - posted on 09/20/2012

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Nope

After having taught for 25 yrs, I can tell you that no, a teacher can question any child on any matter; it's not a police situation. Certainly, you can remember your own past teachers asking you or your former classmates questions on matters of days since past? Likely, these days, there should be a 2nd teacher present at any time a teacher needs to speak to a student; in fact, students probably should not really be alone w/ an adult in a classroom unless the door is open.

Angie - posted on 09/20/2012

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You are confusing the head master and teacher with the police. Here in the states children either need a parent or a child advocate present for questioning. In school the teacher and headmaster definitely have the power to question a child without the parent. Why wouldn't they?

Holly - posted on 09/20/2012

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Take the time to notify parents properly...ESPECIALLy for the more serious offenses. Teaching is not police work..it is teaching!! I agree for more MINOR offenses teachers can handle it and notify the parents after the fact. The disconnect comes with the more serious offenses and what is good for the families. Someone mentioned lying...all students lie...it is an epidemic. Why tell the truth when there is nothing to gain or any closure to the matter (you are going to get punished anyway)...which is why I mentioned it is a learning experience..not a police action. We need to teach telling the truth...being a witness involves credibility. I agree some parents can interfere.but..we teachers whine........ the parents are not getting involved enough and then make sure to distance them when it is convienent to us to do so...just because we don't want them involved in our due process questioning. Parents can surprise you and can actually work with you to make their child aware of wrongdoing, if you have the skills to work with them.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/20/2012

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In all practicality, a school official cannot always call a parent in some situations. In some situations, there is a time sensitive issue that needs to be handled right then and there. Calling a parent for EVERY incident is not practical, nor would some problems ever be solved.



I agree that for certain things, parents should be notified, such as anything requiring law enforcement, or anything requiring medical attention. BUT...you fill out paperwork each year authorizing the schools to act as an authority on your behalf. If you want to make sure that you are called EVERY time something goes on, then you might as well plan on spending their entire school career shadowing their every move at school, and give up whatever else you had planned for the next 13 years.



As some have stated, at 5 years old, the details of a situation change minute by minute, as their imaginations take hold, and getting a straight story from a 5 year old is like playing a game of telephone. "suzy had a biscuit" turns into "suzy had a split chick" in seconds, which is why those teachers/heads try to get the story straight as quickly as possible.

Iolanthe - posted on 09/20/2012

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It's not a police interrogation! Not sure where you are but in the UK teachers need to resolve incidents, not sure what difference you being there makes except they would probably be more inclined to lie!

Holly - posted on 09/20/2012

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As a teacher and a Mother..I am answering because of several incidents I have observed here in Philadelphia. Yes they can although I personally think it is a poor idea. One of the students was stripped searched here at Lincoln High School (Phila) without parental permission and I consider that a violation of rights. What we forget is that regardless of age or offense..young students have rights and they are in a learning process...what are we teaching them..when we do not regard their feelings or leaning in the experience. I see a total disconnect to common sense some times. Especially at the age your daughter is at it is especially important for her to not feel scared or threatened...we forget how traumatic it is to go to school now. There are issues present that were not concerns 40 years ago when i was a young idealistic teacher. You should be present if you choose to be!!!!

Shirley - posted on 09/20/2012

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They should call the parent to let them know.Ihave a friend which her kids was spoken to regarding bring peanut butter to school.The kids was scared and didnt know what to do.I think it will embaress they kid in front of her new classmates.

Lori - posted on 09/20/2012

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Just to let you know - CPS can come to the school and question her too. They did it to my first grader and took her picture. No one from the school was in the room. Then CPS came to my house and told me. Texas 2005

Jessica - posted on 09/20/2012

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I have to say Katherine that you are actually lucky that CPS (or whatever your department that watches out for children is called ) was not called. I had a friend that her 7 year old was in the classroom and there was a hole in her shorts in a delicate area. She began widening the area with her finger. The teacher called CPS. There was an investigation. It was insane. These parents went through the ringer because their daugher was bored.

Instead of being upset, thank your lucky stars!!!!

Kim - posted on 09/20/2012

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Yes, I think that would have been good it you were spoken to in a case like this. Even if it was to have the teacher call you and tell you what happened. My daughter was in a situation almost like this but my daughter had a little boy show his private part to her. She was in Kindergarten. This was in a private school. I wasn’t told either. I was told by my daughter on the way home from school. I turned around and met with the principal and the mother of the little boy who did this to my daughter. I was very upset as well as my daughter. I personally think the teacher or the head teacher should have contacted you regardless.

Bobbie - posted on 09/20/2012

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Have you heard of the term helicopter parenting? This is when a parent feels they need to hover over all aspects of their child's life.

No, you are not to be present when your child is questioned about actions that take place in the classroom. The teacher rightfully contacted her superior when she realized that there was an issue that required action beyond her correction / control. The superior then took all the information and a decision is made as to who did what based on the child's input, (questioning) To involve a parent would not be feasible or productive to the child taking responsibility for her actions. . As for the responsibility to the parents of the children involved, the school is only required to inform you of the incident and any actions that have been taken after the fact.

If by chance they found your child to be at fault in the issue and she claims innocents to you I suggest you speak to the headteacher to get the full story and especially what your daughter admitted she did to them that became part of the record. It is important that you respect and have your her respect all the policies as well as have her accept any steps required by the school to rectify bad behavior. Though our first instinct is to defend our child, it isn't always the right reaction, or in their best interest to in the long run.

Christine - posted on 09/20/2012

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Hi Katherine

It is ok for them to question. What you can do is leave communication between yourself and your child open. Try to keep a relaxed atmosphere with no judgement when talking about what happened. Make them aware that exploring themselves is ok in the right place as telling them otherwise will give them a complex that will last a lifetime (Believe me). I have written a poem with a drawing challenge that you can read and allow your child to do:



Precious Me by Christine Attard



Your body is your own you know,

It belongs only to you.

You can look at yourself quite freely,

But there are things others should not do.



There may be people around you,

Who may ask to have a peek.

And they know that they're not meant to,

And may tell you not to speak.



Even though this person may be close,

Part of family or friends.

If they ask to see your precious parts,

That moment you must end.



Shout out “NO” that it is not right,

And that they’re making you feel sad.

These people should know better,

And shouldn't make you feel so bad.



Then go tell someone that you trust,

Someone you think can help you.

Who will listen to your problem,

And will stay to see it through.



Then they will help you sort things out,

Making sure the bad things end.

And that you are safe and happy,

And the baddie away will send.



Drawing challenge: Draw a picture of happy you

Daniella - posted on 09/19/2012

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Well, it depends on the severity of the incident and the rules of the school. 5 yr olds don't have the best memories so it's best to question them right away, before their imagination runs wild! I'm a public school teacher for 2nd grade and im a firm believer in questioning a kid immediately after an incident, for that same reason. However, if it's something so severe that a child got hurt (for example), I'd refer the kid to the principal, have her talk to the child, and then she'd probably call the parent just to let them know about the situation. You can always have a meeting with the principal later, to discuss further.

That's my 2 cents.

Rizalinda - posted on 09/19/2012

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yes the teacher can ask what happened. then when you get there the teacher can tell you what had happened.

Debbie - posted on 09/19/2012

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No this has happened to my daughter and they made a call

To me that day. Once I understood why I and talked to my daughter

Kristi - posted on 09/19/2012

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It is a law called in locos parentus (and my spelling may be off) in Latin it translates to in lieu of parents. We as teachers need to make the best decisions we can in the best interest of the individual child and the class. I am a parent of 3 small children and I have been teaching for 15 years, most of the time I remind parents to remember that hearing something from your child is like the old fashion game of telephone. Things get lost in the retelling. Ask, the teacher about her/his perspective on the situation. And in regards to children and "private parts" there was women who earlier stated that it was normal and natural and not to make a big deal about it in regards to shame and embarrassment. Investigate first. And yes, you had better believe I speak with students without parents present. How can I discover information without asking questions?

Rebecca - posted on 09/19/2012

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Teachers qnd principals question students if any private parts are touched or talked about. Be careful! CPS can be called and so can police even if they are 5. I have witnessed it myself. Children were questioned by cps,the police,etc. Etc. And then parents wer called. These were 5 yr olds!

Irla - posted on 09/19/2012

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For a 5 year old child, it would have been nice if the teacher called you and told you what she thought happened, and let you make the decision as to whether you should have been in the meeting or not, but they didn't. As long as you talk with your child about what happened and there was no abuse, just let it go. But you could mention it to the teacher that in the future you would like to be called beforehand so you could be aware of what happened with your child during the day.



Also, in Los Angeles(LAUSD), police have a right to summon your high school students out of their classrooms to talk to them, on a continual basis, without your permission, or knowledge of them doing this. This and the fact that a teacher sent my daughter out of her classroom, when a girl came to the door of the class and called her out. This got my daughter bruised by trying to choke her and no one at the school called me or did anything to the girls who did this. There was marijuana being smoked in the halls and bathrooms, so much so, my kids were getting Hi just sitting in class. These 2 incidents last year, caused my daughters grades to go down, so I decided to withdraw them from traditional schools and enroll them into an online school. The traditional school in Los Angeles(LAUSD) is no longer for learning. They have too many programs for behavior modification and not enough to motivate the kids to learn.

I think more parents should go to online school, this is the only way to stay involved in your child's education. They want you to let them raise your child, and set the moral climate for your child. Please don't let them.



They are back to making A's and B's this year, and loving achool again.

Kitty - posted on 09/19/2012

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Depending on where you live, they can question, arrest, incarcerate, admit to a psychiatric hospital, lock them in a seclusion room for hours and do basically what they like without notifying you until after the fact (if at all). (Required notification for arrest and admittance to a hospital after the fact only)



The school system feels it is above you in all ways. While getting my license, I was told many times how parents only get in the way. Most of the time, your children have been questioned about a lot of things that you were never told.



There is a strong reason homeschooling is up 75% in the last 10 years alone.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/19/2012

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You only have to be present during questioning by police or a lawyer. In most school situations, the teacher/head/principal will call each involved student into their office, get their side of the story, and then notify parents as necessary.



Granted, this is only my experience from working in our school district. Depending on your area, laws, rules, and regulations may differ.

Ella - posted on 09/19/2012

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Honestly I've been threw the private parts business with my lad I say to him there called private parts because there private meaning they belong to u and u don't share that part of your body with friends strangers or anyone he feels uncomfortable with

Asmau - posted on 09/19/2012

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ℓ̊ feel its perfectly normal ​​​‎​ Fø̲̣̣я̅ the teacher Α̲̅Ω̴̩̩̩̥d̶̲̥̅̊ head teacher to ask question , remember the best correction is done instantly . Sometimes kids have short memory span Α̲̅Ω̴̩̩d might not really remember if Ɣ☺ΰ give it some times .

Katherine - posted on 09/19/2012

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thanks all for the comments all i can do realy is just keep reminding her that its inappropriate to touch others and hope nothing happens again, i do still rekon i should have been in the room when being questioned, thanks again all x

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