My worst parent - He looked a little cross

12th June 2009 at 01:00

Working in a secondary school for children with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties can never be described as dull, and yet over the years, some of the parents have proved to be more colourful than the pupils.

The one who stands out most was terrifying. Newly released from prison, and tattooed like Popeye, he stormed into school after Brian*, his son, had been restrained by a member of staff.

Brian had been accidentally kicked during a 5-a-side match by another pupil, but responded by throwing the ball into the back of the head of the other boy, and running at him with a cricket bat.

While being restrained, Brian threatened to kill the member of staff and his family. In the head's office, the father threatened to take the head and myself into the car park and give us a good hiding if anyone touched his son again.

Two weeks later, Brian was late for school. He didn't want to explain himself in front of other pupils, and asked to speak to me in my office. The reason he was late, he said, was that he'd been helping his dad find his necklace.

His dad, he said, enjoyed dressing up as a woman, though only at home, and while watching "weird films in black and white". Last night he'd had a drink, taken off his necklace, but couldn't remember where. This was serious. His dad had borrowed it from his mum without asking. I never saw him in the same light again.

The writer is a deputy headteacher in Tameside

* Not his real name.

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