Diary - My worst parent - Pink outfit, blue language

13th November 2009 at 00:00

A high school trip was the setting for my rendezvous with my worst parent.

The phrase "Like father, like daughter" comes to mind when I recall their arrogance, stubbornness and aggression.

The coach was full, all was going well. Risk assessments completed, registration list handed in to the office, sick bucket and first- aid kit on board. The coach could leave.

"I'm just going to check that the seat belts are fastened," I announced to our driver, quite delighted that we were five minutes ahead of schedule.

As I walked down the coach I noticed one girl - I will call her Nora - had managed to remove her school uniform and was sitting happily, clad in a shocking pink outfit.

No amount of rational explanation would convince "know-it-all Nora" that there were reasons why school uniform was necessary.

Thirty minutes later, all my cajoling, reasoning, explaining and ordering had accomplished nothing, Nora was told to leave the coach and go back into school for the day.

When we arrived back at school, the secretary frantically ushered me off the coach. Nora's father was waiting for me and I was not to see him alone, due to his history of violence.

Flanked by two deputies, I calmly explained that on school trips uniform helps us to identify our pupils quickly. As a parent, I suggested, he would understand that the safety of children was paramount.

I might as well have been speaking Chinese. He started on a roll - I had picked on his daughter and unfairly made her spend the day in school. The rant rose in volume as his face grew redder. Bored and tired, I graciously let him explode. He refused to accept any apology and barged out, threatening further action.

Luckily, the only time I have happened upon Nora's dad since is in the local press, usually in the centre of some brawl.

Years down the line Nora often serves me in the local shop. It seems that forgiveness is a virtue she struggles with as I am still hoping for a smile.

The writer teaches at a secondary school in Yorkshire. Send your worst parent stories to features@tes.co.uk and you could earn #163;50 in MS vouchers.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now