My worst parent - A mother with serious clout

1st October 2010 at 01:00

I asked my GCSE history pupils to take off their jackets when they sat down, which was the same instruction that I gave to every class every day. However, Alice refused and she was unable to provide a rational reason for her disobedience.

Just when it looked as though this incident was going to turn into a serious stand-off, Alice suddenly announced that she was leaving and stormed out of the class in a whirlwind of bag, books and coat.

Alice did not return and I thought that in this important GCSE exam year the class was better off without her. However, the next day the deputy head told me that Alice had come to school with her mother and that her mother wished to talk to me. Of course I replied that I was very willing to speak to them both and went to the meeting.

Alice's mum was about five feet tall, about as wide as she was tall and would not have looked out of place on a women's rugby team. However, she was very polite and civil and seemed genuinely shocked and surprised when I told her my version of events which had led to Alice storming off. Needless to say, my version was poles apart from Alice's.

Alice's mum and I shook hands and she parted with the following words: "I'm glad that I decided to hear what you had to say before I decided whether or not to beat you up, and now that I've met you, you'll be pleased to hear that I've decided NOT to beat you up."

I wondered why the deputy head had stayed with me during the meeting. I quickly realised that it was for protection in case the mother turned violent.

The writer is a history teacher. Send your worst parent stories to and you could earn #163;50 in MS vouchers.

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