My worst parent

26th August 2011 at 01:00
Drunken dad was a real blow

I was a primary head enjoying a relatively normal day in a challenging school when I was summoned urgently to deal with an incident in the foyer. The father standing there was clearly drunk and probably under the influence of other substances, too. He had accused the office staff of gossiping about his family. And he had flung whisky at them and told a governor who was in the office that he would "burn her house down".

I remained calm - although I was horrified - and telephoned the police, who said they would look out for him. Then the man's wife arrived, apologising for his behaviour. She was in tears and very angry with her husband. As we were talking, her phone rang: it was her husband, on his way back to the school.

I went to the office to call the police again and request help, but while I was telephoning, a parent who was in school but didn't realise what was happening let the drunken father through the front door. He screamed and lunged at me, brandishing a Jack Daniel's bottle. I blocked the bottle with my forearm but he tried to smash it on my head. I was terrified but managed to ward off his blows until he ran off.

The man was on the run for three days before the police caught him. While he was on bail the police raided his house and found firearms and drugs. He was subsequently sentenced to nine years for the firearms and drugs offences - and he got four months for assaulting me.

I decided it was time to move on to a new headship.

The writer is a primary headteacher.

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