by Heather Walkinshaw

Dealing with a school issue with your child can be difficult.

It is really important that parents know the procedure when confronted with their child raising an issue at home.

It is great for a child to share a concern or worry with an adult they trust.  Some children are fine expressing a problem/incident with a teacher, others will wait until they get home (or even days later) with a parent.

It is really important that you allow the school to work through an incident once it is raised.  Teachers are well versed in dealing with incidents, and spend a lot of time sorting issues and incidents, particularly playground ones.

With over 40 years experience I have learnt a few things and the key to this is let the school do their thing.  

So what do we do?

1. An issue raised is followed through.  You may not always agree with the outcome but we are working within a set of guidelines.

2. When a child shares a story with you they are usually telling you their side of what happened.  Upon investigation it usually becomes clear that there are two sides to the story and your child may have played a part in the problem, or the problem growing.

3. Consequences are often part of the follow up, but we will also use a restorative process, if this is applicable.

4. We make sure all children in the incident are heard, and have a voice.

5. Contact a class teacher regarding the issue.

6. Allow us time to investigate the concern.

What can be issues

1. Parent 100% believe their child.

2. Children tell one part of a story.

3. Children being truthful, and owning their part of an issue.

4. Parents interfering in the process.

One thing is really clear - as a parent you have absolutely no right to approach other students in the school.  Please allow us to do our job.

Under no circumstances should a parent approach a child - This is adult bullying.  You would not like a parent to be approaching your child.