My Worst Parent - See no evil, hear no evil
When I called to tell them I was excluding their son, I knew there would be fireworks. You see, he had never done a thing wrong. When he bullied a pupil so much that the victim had to be brought in by his parents the next morning, he was only playing. Once, when I politely asked him to remove his hat, I received a phone call from his parents within 15 minutes informing me that I was picking on their son. It didn't bode well.
The father answered - a surprise in itself, as it usually took several days to get through. I explained the situation and he told me he would be at the school with his wife first thing in the morning to sort the situation out. I had 16 hours to prepare. I had the statements checked by the head, I watched the video footage again to make sure it was their child head-butting the other pupil.
I arrived at school early, but not early enough. I walked in to find both mum and dad sitting in the main reception, their son sitting between them in full school uniform for the first time that year. I took them to my office, I asked them to sit and was about to ask the pupil to run through his version of events, when the dad raised his hand. "I'll stop you there," he said. "We spoke to our son last night and heard everything we needed to know. He has admitted to head-butting the other pupil and has apologised to us both."
He sat back and let silence fall. The rest of the meeting was a blur. Despite the statements, pictures and admission of guilt the parents remained adamant that it wasn't an excludable offence and that I was over-reacting. Finally they stood and departed, leaving their grinning son in my office. Both their phones stayed resolutely off the hook for the next two weeks.
The writer is a head of year. Send your worst parent stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those published will receive #163;50 in MS vouchers.