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Local School - Standards of Conduct?

Question

I'm shocked and would appreciate input from the expat community.
My 3rd grader at a local school in Wallonie forgot his backpack. I couldn't do the roundtrip back home to get it and thought he would be more careful to remember it next time (it was his first time to forget).
Teacher's response - to make him sit in the secretary's office without reading material ALL DAY! He returned to his class only to eat lunch. Denied recess except the last one. To top it off, a 2nd teacher brought him back to his class at the final hour of school, mocking him that he had forgotten his backpack.
Any views?

lil

Hi Caline, this makes me so angry! I don't think this is normal at all. I have two sons in Flemish schools (one in primary, the other one in secondary) and I can't imagine this would happen there. Actually both my sons have forgotten things at home in the past and there was never a fuss about it. For example, just last week, my youngest forgot his lunch at home (without me even realising), his teacher called me to ask what the school could offer him (he's been ill recently and has to follow a special diet), he was very understanding and nice. I really think you should talk to the principal of the school about this issue. Okay, he should've forgotten his schoolbag, but he's only in third grade! The teacher should've told him to not let it happen again and provided him with photocopies so that he could get on with his work like the rest of his class. This teacher sounds horrible. Good luck with the rest of the school year!

Oct 22, 2013 21:14
Caline

Thank you, this helps! Your son's school sounds caring - like they are thinking of the best interest of your child. Upon reflection, since I've had 2 other children attend this school in LLN, about one-half of the teachers are good. The rest are so negative I wonder why they are teachers. This school is connected with the university so they have an inflated view of their status. I'm seriously evaluating other schools - not sure if I can change mid-year. Will see. Thanks for your input.

Oct 22, 2013 22:03
J

A sign of a school that stinks from the head downwards.

Play merry hell. With the head, the "pouvoir organisateur", the Communautée Française, the Parent Reps.

Punishment MUST be proportionate to the crime, and being denied school for a whole day because YOUR MUM forgot to check you had your pack is not worthy of an organisation that even pretends to educate children, let alone a school.

I'd be in there demanding an explanation from the head 1st thing in the morning. Use your phone or something to record it. You'll be needing the evidence to justify moving to another school.

Don't expect an easy fight - the whole place will clam up on you. But you will find that once it is known that a parent is making a stand, loads of other parents will also start to say things, and may well also withdraw their kids.

Oct 22, 2013 23:46
anon

Using this link, and selecting where you are in Wallonie, and the type of school you can find the names of the relevant schools inspectors:
http://www.enseignement.be/index.php?page=26545&se_id=1026
When I had a problem a good 10 years ago with the primary school for one of my children, I went to them and a problem that had been festering for months was sorted out after one meeting between the head, the inspector and ourselves. Co-incidentally, the head of the school also surprised everyone by "retiring early" a few weeks later at the end of that term.

Oct 23, 2013 09:59
katie

This is not acceptable. Write a letter to the Minister of Education with a copy to the Head. By all means a copy to an inspector too.
It was wrong to deny the child his place in school all day, and wrong to belittle him. Take this further. It probably shows that there is a lot more wrong with the school.
Good luck.

Oct 24, 2013 11:44
elisabeth718

I am so sorry to hear this. We are also dealing with some cultural adjustment along these lines in our local school, and it is tough. I agree you need to speak with someone, the principal is he/she will listen. We have found our principal to be totally, utterly useless, but almost everyone else at the school to be helpful. Good luck.

Nov 8, 2013 12:05