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What would you have done?

(108 Posts)
gillybob Wed 19-Jul-17 18:45:01

Just sitting outside the school thinking about an incident I witnessed yesterday.

A little boy and his dad were standing in the playground. I was stood right beside them with DGS. The little boy was wearing a football cap. Along came another little boy who said (very politely) "excuse me, but I think that might be my cap" The dad said "no way, that's J's cap, now clear off" the second little boy (clearly upset) then said "could I just look in the label as my mum wrote my initials on it?" the dad (looking sheepish) said "no way, now b****r off" the second child now very upset said " but my nana brought it from Spain for me only last week and I am sure it must be mine, PLEASE (pleading) can I look at the label?" The dad at this point snatched the cap from his own sons head and stuffing it in his pocket muttered something on the lines of "well my sons nana brought it for him from Spain aswell, so what ya gonna do about it?" (a few choice words were added).

I couldn't help myself so just said "Could you not just show the lad the label and then it will prove its your sons cap"

Oh my goodness all hell broke loose..... and I was told to "mind my own business" in no uncertain terms ! At that point it was clear to me that the cap probably didn't belong to the lad wearing it and the dad probably knew it was stolen and could well have had the poor lads initials in it.

It really upset me. What (if anything) should I have done? I was going to call into the school office but figured I had better mind my own business. Now I feel bad about it.

Rigby46 Wed 19-Jul-17 18:54:35

Oh dear - you tried but aggression is hard to deal with isn't it? Could you get in touch with the school and see if they will follow it up? That poor little boy, he sounded so polite and brave and now he'll be so upset.

gillybob Wed 19-Jul-17 18:59:22

I know Rigby he was lovely and very polite and I feel like I have let him down by not doing more. I mentioned it to DDiL this morning and when I described the dad she said "Blimey you were brave to even stand beside him" shock

Day6 Wed 19-Jul-17 19:05:48

Oh aren't parents like that aggressive man just awful? What sort of example is he setting his son?

It would have been so much easier to check for initials and then hand it over, saying sorry they'd picked up the wrong one or something. He was OK with theft I imagine, otherwise he wouldn't have put the cap in his pocket.

Well done Gillybob for trying to get him to do the right thing. That poor little boy having to face such a nasty adult.

I probably would mention the altercation to the school office staff, only because you were caught up in it. Sometimes school gate happenings can escalate. (Not that I think this one will, but a factual record of what happened wouldn't go amiss.)

Imperfect27 Wed 19-Jul-17 19:07:36

Yes, you were brave! This has really perturbed me. On the face of it, not much can be done, but as someone was verbally abusive on the school playground, I would suggest you report it to the school office. School may be able to make a pastoral response to the affected child / attempt mediation with the other child and also send a message to parents / carers to remind them of appropriate / expected behaviour at the school gate.

Christinefrance Wed 19-Jul-17 19:10:59

Yes Imperfect is right that sort of behaviour from an adult is not appropriate anywhere but particularly outside school.

gillybob Wed 19-Jul-17 19:11:05

I know that Day6 and I was even prepared to help the dad save face ! can you believe it? I was preparing to say something like "Oh dear, they all look the same don't they?" just to make him feel better.

Horrible man. DS thinks I should leave it as he says they are a bit of a nasty family. But I feel so bad for the young lad, who's cap it obviously was.

FarNorth Wed 19-Jul-17 19:33:18

Possibly the boy will tell his parents and they might take it up with the school.
It's a horrible situation.

Rigby46 Wed 19-Jul-17 19:33:25

You don't want to leave it do you though? You're too nice for that. There that sweet little boy to think of - and the poor boy with the horrible father may learn something as well

M0nica Wed 19-Jul-17 19:33:39

I think the school needs to know what has happened. Firstly because abuse and language like that are not acceptable anywhere, but certainly not in the playground.

It may be that this father has previous and is on borrowed time and your story may be helpful added to any dossier that may be being kept. If a child in the school is a thief and his theft is condoned by his father, the school may feel a need to take discrete action to ensure that other children are protected from him and he is not put in temptation in any way.

Anya Wed 19-Jul-17 20:01:50

You cannot let this go. You were verbally abused. Report it.

rosesarered Wed 19-Jul-17 20:36:24

Having thought about this dilemma.....I would let it go gilly
You backed up the little boy, he will tell his parents about it, and they will take it from there, either choosing to tell the school,or not.
The Father and son will now feel shamed about it.
It's a hat, in the end, and although the school may investigate...they will probably not do.

rosesarered Wed 19-Jul-17 20:38:25

Having a teacher in the family, they are well used to parents who use bad language in public, they ( the school) can't do anything about it.

TriciaF Wed 19-Jul-17 20:40:49

I would tell someone at the school about it and ask if they can discreetly check the cap. If the boy ever wears it again.

Rigby46 Wed 19-Jul-17 20:52:26

Feel shamed about it? You are having a laugh aren't you rar? Pathetic

Iam64 Wed 19-Jul-17 20:59:34

It sounds horrible gilly, you did all you could and it's not surprising you're pondering what else you could have, or can do now. I agree with those who say let the head teacher know. A brief factual note with your phone number is one way to make sure it's logged. It's unlikely staff aren't aware of this father and none of us would be surprised if his son draws attention to himself in one way or another.
Roses is right to say teachers are well aware 'of parents who use bad language in public'. This was in a different league to casual swearing between parents, it sounds more like verbal aggression with foul language. As others have said, this father may be well known to the head for all the wrong reasons. If he loses his rag like that with you in these circumstances, I dread to think what it's like to share your life with him.

phoenix Wed 19-Jul-17 21:05:24

Rigby46 I think you comment of "pathetic" to Roses was bloody rude angry

Jalima1108 Wed 19-Jul-17 21:12:45

I was going to say this left me speechless; however, not for long!

Do you know the parents of the child whose cap it was? Can you have a word with them and perhaps go together to the HT and report what happened? The little lad may never get his hat back again as the nasty father will probably make sure his child doesn't take it into school again, but at least the other parents and the school will be aware of the incident and on the alert to make sure that this kind of thing doesn't keep re-occurring.

What a vile and nasty man - unfortunately there seem to be more and more of these aggressive people around these days. You were very brave, but I think you should pass the problem over now to the other parents and the school.

rosesarered is right, the school will probably not follow this up but they should be made aware - if they are not aware of this family already.
What an example to set for your child - stealing is OK!

Rigby46 Wed 19-Jul-17 21:14:49

Think what you want phoenix. Couldn't care less.Rar is perfectly capable of looking after herself and fwiw given how gilly described his behaviour, imo, it was pathetic to think he would be 'shamed'.OK?

rosesarered Wed 19-Jul-17 21:21:39

I bet they will be aware of this family ( the school) but they will be loathe to investigate a matter like this.
Actually I do think that Gilly shamed the pair , which is why the man stuffed the hat in his pocket, swore and walked off.
There is no proof that the hat was stolen ( sounds like it was) but think the onus is on the parents of the polite boy to follow up or not.
Gilly you have done your duty

Devorgilla Wed 19-Jul-17 21:27:07

Gillybob, you did the right thing in trying to solve the situation in an amicable way. Unfortunately this parent does not sound like someone open to sensible suggestions. As a retired teacher I do think you should mention it privately to one of the Senior staff or class teacher of the boys if you know who that is if only to make someone aware of what happened in case it carries over to the classroom between the boys. I would then leave the staff to deal with it.
Again, as a retired teacher, I would strongly recommend that children are encouraged/taught not to take to school anything of value, financial or sentimental, that they do not want to lose. It is very, very difficult to get property back unless you saw it being taken and knew exactly to whom it belonged in the first place. Hours of teachers' time is wasted on this. The mantra should be to never take to school anything you hold dear. Sad reflection of our times.

phoenix Wed 19-Jul-17 22:48:31

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

phoenix Wed 19-Jul-17 22:49:38

OK, before it gets reported, I withdraw some of that post.

Chewbacca Thu 20-Jul-17 00:07:47

phoenix I think you know the answer to that one!

Eloethan Thu 20-Jul-17 01:29:45

It's shocking that a parent would behave in such a way. It is very upsetting for the little chap whose cap was stolen - and all credit to him for trying to deal with the matter himself.

I think I would reserve some sympathy for the other boy who I doubt will ever be described as "lovely and very polite" because his "role model" in life is a bullying, obnoxious father who encourages thieving.

I think well done to you gillybob for trying to put this right. You did the very best that you could do and, although I understand how much it has upset you, I'm not sure that much more can be done. I imagine the teachers are already aware of the family situation.