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A school wdyt

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#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 Lostmyway

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

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