Jump to content

A school wdyt

  • Please log in to reply
91 replies to this topic

#1 udontnome

Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:55 PM

My son's (6 years old - year 1) teacher went on maternity leave at the end of last term.  He says to me on the way home mrs xx had her baby his name was xx & he died. I was a bit taken aback so I quizzed him further & he is adamant that's what the class was told. He said a few girls in his class cried & they did some cards for the teacher.

My first thought was oh it's a bit odd that would tell such young children this news - no note came home.  When I spoke to my husband about it he was a bit angry that the school/teacher would just announce news like that.

Wdyt??   Would you ring the school to find out?

Edited by udontnome, 14 November 2012 - 08:56 PM.

#2 eachschoolholidays

Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:58 PM

Why would it be odd that the children were told that a baby had died?

I am astounded that you would ring the school to verify if the children had been told.  If you were ringing to pass along your condolences, that would be lovely.  

I find your attitude incredibly callous.

#3 Chelli

Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

That is so sad sad.gif Personally if that did happen, I believe in being honest with children. That said though, at such a young age, I would have thought that the school would send something home with the children like a note to say what has occurred in case they are upset at home and need extra support.

I would contact the school to ascertain what has happened, but also bear in mind that they may also be in a state of grief and shock so may not have thought to prepare a notice to send home.

#4 tothebeach

Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

Why would you be angry?  I'm not really following your train of thought.  If Ms xx did have a stillborn baby, then they have told the children and I wouldn't think any more of it.  If your child is upset, then by all means followup at school so that you can explain it to your child at home.   I think that a note would be OTT.

#5 Overtherainbow

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:00 PM

Í'm not surprised the children know but I am surprised no note came home.

#6 CalEliKat

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:01 PM

Why would you and your husband be angry about it?  That seems so cold of you both.  I think that it is lovely that the children made cards for the teacher and horribly sad that the poor woman lost her baby.  

What purpose would it serve to call the school p*ssed about your son being told the truth?

I actually remember a situation like this when I was in primary school, a teacher lost twins in a car accident at 7 months, it was horrible and we were told the truth.  I also recall when my sister was stillborn the children in my class made cards for my family, it was a lovely thought.

Edited by kerrie23, 14 November 2012 - 09:03 PM.

#7 José

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:02 PM

I wouldn't have a problem with that. When the teacher returns from leave kids are bound to ask about her baby. That could be very difficult for the teacher to deal with if the kids hadn't already Been told. I certainly would not expect a note to go home. I think that would be Hard on the teacher.

#8 Feral Becky

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:04 PM

I would just ring the school to ask if it was the truth and say to the office staff that I was very sorry.

I wouldn't be upset that the class had been told.

ETA:I would just ring to find out the truth as I know kids could maybe get the story wrong

Edited by LindsayMK, 14 November 2012 - 09:07 PM.

#9 QueenElsa

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:05 PM

My friend lost her newborn when she taught prep. The children were told by the new teacher, and made a lovely scrap book where each child drew a picture and wrote a message. It was age appropriate stuff - lots of rainbows and suns - and it was heart-warming.  The book was displayed at the funeral and was a great comfort to her.  

She went back to work earlier than she planned and the last thing she needed was 25 kids asking about her baby.  A family has lost a child...your child being hearing sad news does not compare.  Why isn't your DH thinking about the teacher's loss?

Death is a part of life on earth and shouldn't be hidden from children.

#10 EssentialBludger

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:05 PM

QUOTE (round the twist @ 14/11/2012, 09:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Í'm not surprised the children know but I am surprised no note came home.

Huh? Why would you expect a note to come home about a teachers stillborn baby?!

#11 LynnyP

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:08 PM

I would have absolutely no problem at all about the children being told their teacher's baby had died, schools are supposed to be communities after all.  I would have a serious problem with my husband getting angry about it.  What on earth led him to think that response was in any way appropriate or emotionally balanced?

#12 annasue

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

Its a sad world when the loss of a baby provokes anger in a bystander.

The productive approach OP would be to take the opportunity to talk to your son about death if this is his first experience of it.

Like a PP said would you rather the school protect your sensitivities (hangups) and allow the teacher to return to school and have all the kids excitedly asking about her dead baby.

#13 Expelliarmus

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

Check the school newsletter. It would probably be in there.

#14 Chelli

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:15 PM

I think a note would have been a good way to ascertain exactly what has happened. It would be hard to comfort a child who is confused and upset without knowing exactly what has happened. I think the truth is the best way to address issues such as death to children, so if I were in this situation, I would prefer to know how to answer questions.

We had a situation at my children's school where a father was killed in a car accident. My DD was good friends with his son, and a notice went home the following day to explain what had tragically occurred, what measures the school had put in place for distraught children's support (for some, information like this can be a trigger for their own grief) and also some age appropriate information on how to talk to children about grief and loss. They also informed us on signs of stress and asked to be contacted if we had any concerns.

To me, that was a wonderful reaction to a really traumatic time for the kids (and us, as we live in a small community).

I don't think the OP is being callous at all in wondering why there wasn't further explanation. For all she knows, it may not even be true - six year olds also have a great imagination or they may have their wires crossed about someone else's tragedy, you wouldn't know. Information directly from the school would be the best course of action IMO.

#15 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:18 PM

NO idea why you or your husband would be mad?  Babies die sadly, teachers are a very important part of a childs life, why wouldn't they say that if that's what happened?
My sons teacher was away for a few days earlier in the year because his Mum had passed away, ds knew before I did.  He came home and told me, a few days later it was announced in the school newsletter.
Just talk to your child, ask about it, ask how they feel about it, give them time to discuss it.

#16 katrina24

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:21 PM

Hi OP, I wonder how far you and your DH have thought this through.  I know it is awful for parents to see their children upset but this is, sadly, part of life. I assume this teacher will return to her job. The only alternative to the children being told is the teacher coming back to work and pretending she has a baby .... Obviously not an option.

I think we often underestimate children's ability to cope with sad things.  My DD is also in grade one. A sibling of another student is dying from cancer. My DD was informed about this at school and the school did a wonderful fundraiser for camp quality.  Children cried.  I was so glad to be part of a school community that came together to support those members experiencing such sadness.  While some kids were sad (including my DD) it was a wonderful learning opportunity for them. It brought about a lot of discussions about illness and death, supporting your friends, etc. what a great learning opportunity for the children.  

If I were you i would view this in the same way and teach your child about compassion for people experiencing great loss.

#17 udontnome

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:21 PM

Obviously I have worded my post incorrectly - I am of course upset that the teacher may have lost her baby - I'm not heartless.  Perhaps I have used incorrect wording.  

My son is known to make up stories so I was thinking of it I terms of clarifying that it may have in fact happened & a way in which I can send my condolences. I thought maybe a note would have been a bit of a heads up for parents who had upset children & ways they could deal/cope with their feelings.

Obviously the way I have reacted is perhaps not the norm??

Edited by udontnome, 14 November 2012 - 09:23 PM.

#18 Funwith3

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:28 PM

QUOTE (nlman @ 14/11/2012, 09:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why would it be odd that the children were told that a baby had died?

I am astounded that you would ring the school to verify if the children had been told.  If you were ringing to pass along your condolences, that would be lovely.  

I find your attitude incredibly callous.

I would much rather be warned first, so I knew what to expect. And also I would have loved the chance to talk about death to my child before he/she is exposed to it. Many kids haven't experienced a death before, especially the death of a baby.

I'm with you OP. A letter should have been sent home first before the children were informed. They're children after all. Not adults.

#19 Soontobegran

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:28 PM

I would also think that the school community in general may have been told about this in the new letter, not for any other reason other than to recognise the teacher had given birth but the baby had died and that the school community may like to express their condolences.
I don't think it is inappropriate at all for the children to have been told though. The children will respond differently and there will be some very sad 6 year olds. sad.gif

#20 Kafkaesque

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:38 PM

QUOTE (round the twist @ 14/11/2012, 07:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Í'm not surprised the children know but I am surprised no note came home.

This. I dont think the op had a problem with her child being told only that the parents hasn't been informed. I too would be annoyed if something like that had been told to may children without following it up with a note to parents. It is something that might upset many kids and needs to be discussed at home to make sure they understand. Imagine if a child had pregnant mother and here's about a baby dying. These things need explanations.

#21 ms flib

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:38 PM

Our school values communication and would have made sure parents knew before telling the kids. Our community would want everyone to know but in a way that we could support the children.

I understand OP. I would want more information than just relying my prep child. I have one at the moment and she easily gets mixed up.

All the best

#22 Overtherainbow

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:42 PM

Huh? Why would you expect a note to come home about a teachers stillborn baby?!

Yes I would expect a note to come from the office (not the teacher) letting parents know that children have been informed that xxxx's baby has passed away.  Children have been told the basic facts, if your child is struggling with dealing with this please contact yyyyy.  Please understand it is a difficult time for xxxx's family and respect the families privacy at this time, etc, etc.

Our chn have had to deal with a death at school this year.  It was a tragedy and was dealt with incredibly professionaly.  Children will probably bring it up at home and may need help working it out and may be concerned about the safety of those they love.

I mean no disrespect to the teacher and my heart goes out for any parent that has to face the death of a child but the school also needs to look out for the best interest of the students and a note would help with this.

#23 katrina24

Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:58 PM

OP, your clarification changes things a bit.  Reading the original post I interpreted that you and your DH were angry that your child had been told. I do agree that if children are given news like that, it would be a good idea for a communication go out to parents to let them know the details so that they could support their children.

#24 Guest_zeus359_*

Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:01 PM

Sounds reasonable to me. Children do best with straight to the point explanations, if your child has problems dealing with the information then that's your job as a parent to help them through that. Most children don't dwell on things for too long, they will have forgotten about it in a few days, some of them would have put it out of their minds by lunchtime.

The last thing i would want to be doing if it was that teacher is dealing with a million questions about how the baby is, what did you call it from both students and their parents when returning from leave.

#25 Funwith3

Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:01 PM

QUOTE (*magenta* @ 14/11/2012, 10:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So do we need a note sent home if the teacher's mum dies? Or her partner dies?

What if another student's grandpa dies? Or their dog dies?

As a previous poster noted, death is a part of life and parents need to be able to deal with that.

By talking normally about stillbirth you remove some of the secrecy surrounding it. Stillbirth is unfortunately incredibly common and many women who have experienced a stillbirth would prefer it isn't treated as a taboo subject (that requires a special note).

My DD's teacher's husband died of cancer last year. All parents in that class were immediately sent home a note. I was so appreciative. It was kind and sensitive, and very appropriate. I was able to discuss it with DD on her own and she was able to ask questions of me.

We're talking 5 and 6 year olds here. Kids who are occasionally still in nappies at night. Kids who have trouble going to the toilet without making a mess. Kids who struggle dealing with day to day life, so much so that they throw wonderful tantrums. Yet so many PPs here expect them to be able to deal with death...and then come home and have to explain the death (of a baby nonetheless) to their parents.

What the hell goes on here on EB!? I just don't get it. shrug.gif

And to the PP who called the OP 'callous', I think you missed the point. nno2.gif

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


Newborn baby found in a nativity scene

Police are trying to trace a woman who abandoned a baby boy in the manger of a church nativity scene.

Life would be harder without my kids

The Humans of New York Facebook page is well known for sharing touching, real stories from one of the world's biggest cities – and it's just hit the heart of parents everywhere.

Mum dresses as Wonder Woman for last day of chemo

A Brisbane mum dressed up as a superhero to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy and created a moment her family will remember forever.

How a raisin can predict a toddler's IQ

All you need to assess a child's future intelligence is a plastic cup and a raisin, according to new research.

Former Hi-5 member's cannabis hope

Former Hi-5 star Tim Harding hopes a cannabis-derived drug will help control his daughter's epilepsy, which sees the four-year-old suffering between 50 and 100 seizures a day.

The top 5 reasons your toddler throws a tantrum

Whilst to the outside world little people may appear to have it easy, it's actually not always the case – just ask any toddler who's had their toast cut up the wrong way.

Glenn McGrath thought he'd lost his wife and baby

Australian cricket ledged Glen McGrath has spoken about the moment he thought he might lose his wife, Sara and their baby daughter, Madison.


Inside my Centrelink nightmare

Mother Bec Smith has been trying for months to access Centrelink payments. A "serious error" is preventing her.

Warnings over push for hourly childcare billing

Australia's peak childcare body has called for caution around the Turnbull government's push for childcare centres to charge parents by the hour, not by the day.

Cate Blanchett thought about adopting for years

Cate Blanchett says her recent adoption of a baby girl had nothing to do with wanting a daughter after having three sons.

Kate Walsh: 'I can't have kids'

Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh has revealed she is unable to have children because she has experienced early menopause.

The parasite that could boost fertility

The Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world - on average having 10 children in their lifetimes -- but some are even more fertile than others.

Family may sue cousin over genetics

A Melbourne couple is suing the Royal Children's Hospital for failing to diagnose a genetic disorder in their first child - an error they allege caused them to have another child with severe disabilities.

Strange things mums have done in labour

While most women in labour focus on the upcoming birth of their baby, some women do more interesting things.

Michael Clarke reveals baby's name

When Michael Clarke said he was wrapped around the finger of his little princess, he wasn't joking.

The logistics of breastfeeding twins

Our life is more or less divided into neat four hour parcels of time and it's hard to get much of anything done in the time between feeds.

How to stop people ruining Christmas

We can make a conscious effort about how we react to those curly Christmas day scenarios that can send us up the wall, or should we say chimney.

Lots of formula offers for desperate mum

The mum who was down to her last three tins of baby formula said she had received hundreds of calls and offers to send her formula.

Surviving breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Cot sheet brands for the nursery

With so many awesome cot sheet options these days, we thought we'd put together a list of go-to brands for you to seek out for your baby's bed.


What's hot on EB

How I survived breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Grieving father's letter to Bataclan terrorists: "...this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free"

A grieving father whose wife was killed in the attacks on the Bataclan Theatre last weekend has written an open letter to her killers.

5 challenges of motherhood - and how to see them differently

Despite the smiles, the sloppy kisses and the pure magic children bring to our lives, it's hard to deny that motherhood can be tough.

4 challenges of being a new dad - and how to face them

Becoming a parent is challenging – and that applies to both mums and dads.

My battle against antenatal and postnatal depression

I was five months pregnant when I realised I needed help.

Children swapped at birth will not be returned to biological parents

A boy and girl accidentally swapped on the day they were born will stay with the families who have raised them, a South African court has ruled.

A quarter of men believe they get 'man periods'

A British study has revealed one in four men believe they have a monthly cycle.

Baby deposit

How much do you need to save for a 'baby deposit'?

It's fairly straightforward to calculate a house deposit, but how much money do you need to save up for a baby?

Dad's beautiful note to his wife, a nurse

To anyone else it might just look like a picture of a mum having a nap with her toddler.

'I was a complete schmuck': Mike Baird opens up about his wife's postnatal depression

When his wife Kerryn was not well following the birth of their daughter, NSW Premier Mike Baird buried himself in his work.

Mum's desperate plea as whooping cough alert issued

A desperate mother has shared a heart-breaking video of her baby struggling to cope with a coughing fit caused by pertussis.

Coffee could help you live longer

New US research found people who report drinking three to five cups of coffee a day are less likely to die prematurely from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson's disease.

The joy and dread of playdates

To live vicariously through your child is to rediscover anxieties you thought dead and buried.

Sick baby could die without scarce special formula, mum says

Lizzie Cann is down to her last three tins of a special formula in short supply.

Adorable toddler's strop foiled by squeaky shoes

We're probably all familiar with the pouty bottom lip and tightly crossed arms of a tot mid-strop.

More sex during World Cup created more baby boys

More sex during South Africa's World Cup meant a disproportionately high number of boys were born nine months later, a new study has found.

Win one of two ABC Shop prize packs in time for Christmas

What a boon it would be to have your toddler's Christmas gifts covered this year. We have two awesome ABC Shop prize packs to give away to two lucky winners.

Do fitness challenges really work?

Fitness challenges aren't new. There's Michelle Bridges 12WBT and a bunch of other programs if you really want to lose weight.

What are pregnant women Googling?

Pregnancy is a huge change for any woman, so it's natural we'll have questions - and turn to Google to ask them.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.