My worst parent - In the fray and pressing play

17th December 2010 at 00:00

Darren liked to fight. His parents, it transpired, also liked to fight. Their methods were the only thing that set them apart.

Darren's most memorable fight took place one ordinary day. His opponent, Rory, was sent indoors to be disciplined by me. I told him to spend the rest of his lunch hour inside. Unfortunately for us all, Rory decided to return to the playground.

Passing by the school, Darren's parents had been told of the fight, and had stayed to watch justice being done. On seeing Rory re-enter the fray, their own pugilistic tendencies burst forth.

They arrived at the front door demanding to see me. Why had a child who had just beaten up their Darren gone unpunished? Explaining calmly that the punishment had been meted out but unofficially postponed did not satisfy them. After several furious minutes in which I attempted to calm them, they produced a Dictaphone. They had recorded the whole impromptu interview and intended to take further action.

Receiving a hearing at county hall, they played their tape and were given an appointment to come back for a formal hearing. I was also notified and requested to attend.

The day of the hearing dawned. I was interviewed; they were interviewed. Finally we were interviewed together. The head of education was about to make his judgement. He judged. They did not like it. Darren's dad reached into his leather jacket. The Dictaphone was produced. He pressed play. This time he was going to The Sun and the Government.

Of course, no newspaper or secret service agency was interested in our little meeting. I could not resist, however, a "now you know how I feel" look towards my line manager. That'll learn you, as they say in our scheme.

The writer is a former primary head from Glasgow. Send your story to and you could earn #163;50 in MS vouchers.

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