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OTT or justified?
School Suspension


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158 replies to this topic

#1 Nicole

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:36 PM

Before I go to this meeting with the principal tomorrow, I need to get an idea of whether DD's suspension was a bot over the top. First I will offer some background info.

DD is 15, almost 16, but she has an intellectual delay and is probably closer to a 10 year old mentally. She goes to a mainstream high school but is in an IO class (the school has a support unit within). She has always been in an IO class, all the way through primary until now and beyond. She has never been in any serious trouble at school, never even had a detention. All her teachers say she is polite, respectful and well behaved.

So last Friday I get a call from the head teacher of the support unit, to advise me she was suspending DD for four days. She said DD and 2 other boys had made calls to 000. The police obviously traced the calls and came to the school to talk to the kids. It was not DD's phone as she isn't allowed to take hers to school and I know she didn't take it because she hands it to me every morning before she goes. She was absolutely distraught that the police came and yelled at her, she is terrified of the police to begin with. She was also adamant that she didn't make the calls, she agrees she was with the boys when the calls were made but that she didn't make them.

Now if this were one of my other NT kids, I would probably be a bit shocked but not overly surprised that they would be suspended over prank calls (yes I know it is serious to prank 000, Im not disputing that). But these kids are in the IO classes, they really have no concept, well I know DD doesn't, she is still struggling with the whole thing and doesn't understand why she cant go to school. We've explained it to her several times in ways that we hope she can understand about the seriousness of prank calls to 000 and what could have happened etc, but honestly, its beyond her comprehension.

So am I alone in thinking a four day suspension is OTT?  Lunchtime detention, even after school detention I could maybe cop, but suspensions? Seriously? And remember this is a kid who has never been in trouble before at school.

#2 ReadySetRace

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:41 PM

Sounds OTT to me. I imagine the police may have influenced the principal's decision.

#3 Leggy

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

I agree that prank calling 000 is very serious, but for a dev-delayed kid who has never been in any trouble before, a 4-day suspension sounds pretty harsh to me.

#4 casime

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:48 PM

It does seem heavy, but calling 000 without justification is a criminal offence and the police were involved, which makes it pretty serious.   Could the school have made an agreement that the students would be suspended in lieu of charges being laid?

#5 beaglebaby

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:51 PM

It sounds like a total over reaction.  I'm also concerned about the lack of supervision, does the school allow students to use their mobile phones during school hours or was it a school phone?  Why did no one see it happen.  Aside from that, they know your daughter didn't make the calls, why is she being punished for owning up to the fact she was present at the time?

It could have been used as a valuable learning experience for her class, instead they will probably all be too terrified to call 000 ever again even if the circumstances warrant it.

#6 PurpleWitch

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:51 PM

Way OTT.



#7 Nicole

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:52 PM

The police called me the as,e afternoon to let me know what had happened and that they had spoken to DD. He said whilst no charges would be laid, there would be an official record of it made. I really don't get what suspending the kids will achieve.

#8 Nicole

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:56 PM

This happened at recess, which is a whole other issue, I don't understand why I wasn't called immediately. The letter says that a teacher saw 3 kids with a phone, and at the same time calls were made to 000. No one actually saw Dd on the phone though, they just keep saying she was there, so guilty by association I guess.

I know she will be too scared to ever call 000 again, so I really hope she never has a need to.

#9 Tigerdog

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:56 PM

QUOTE (casime @ 21/11/2012, 03:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It does seem heavy, but calling 000 without justification is a criminal offence and the police were involved, which makes it pretty serious.   Could the school have made an agreement that the students would be suspended in lieu of charges being laid?


This.  I would say that to have got off with only this you're getting off easy.  The intellectual delay is probably the only thing that prevented them from laying charges.

#10 LookMumNoHands

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:58 PM

I think only the person who made the call to 000 should be punished, and my opinion would be the same for all school children, whether they be SN/NT.

So yes, way OTT.

I'm sorry your DD is confused and upset, OP  sad.gif

#11 PurpleWitch

Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:58 PM

I'd ask what they hope to achieve by the suspension.


#12 Nicole

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:02 PM

PW that's what I would like to know as well. DD has seen it as more of a break, she has little concept of suspension as punishment. Unfortunately, I still have to go to work, so she has got to spend the week with her Nan, which she absolutely loves to do. So for her, there really has been no punishment, apart from the fact that she has had her mobile confiscated and lost her computer time for the duration of the suspension.

#13 BunnyBob

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:03 PM

What PW said. From what you've said, OP, it seems as though the suspension won't achieve anything in terms of  stopping your DD from calling 000 again as the shock of being in trouble with the police has more than done that.

Good luck tomorrow.

#14 MsDemeanor

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:04 PM

Super OTT. I, like PW would like to know what they hope to achieve.

#15 casime

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

QUOTE
The police called me the as,e afternoon to let me know what had happened and that they had spoken to DD. He said whilst no charges would be laid, there would be an official record of it made. I really don't get what suspending the kids will achieve.


Then it sounds OTT.  I'm sure just being spoken to by the police would be enough for her.   Surely if they must punish her they could have found something more appropriate that would actually taught her why you shouldn't call when it's a not emergency, not scaring the heck out of her and applying an arbitary punishment.  Sounds like they had a failure of imagination.

#16 MrsLexiK

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:09 PM

QUOTE (Tigerdog @ 21/11/2012, 03:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This.  I would say that to have got off with only this you're getting off easy.  The intellectual delay is probably the only thing that prevented them from laying charges.

I think they too got off lightly. I don't have a SN's child so I don't know when you say "mentally 10" if she is like a 10 yr old. IME 10yr olds know not to call 000 unless it is an emergency. I think they are lucky the police didn't lay charges.

#17 Nicole

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:12 PM

At least I know I am not over reacting :-). I may mention to them tomorrow that perhaps they could use the incident as a way to educate the kids about 000's purpose, and also incorporate the the reasons why the kids shouldn't call unless there is an emergency etc, thanks for the suggestion. I may also tell them this will be a good way to ensure DD knows that she can call them if she needs to in the future now that she is even more scared of the police than ever before.

#18 FeralZombieMum

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

Hard to say, given this is what happened a couple of years ago. sad.gif

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-natio...00202-na71.html

#19 BunnyBob

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

QUOTE (MrsLexiK @ 21/11/2012, 04:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think they too got off lightly. I don't have a SN's child so I don't know when you say "mentally 10" if she is like a 10 yr old. IME 10yr olds know not to call 000 unless it is an emergency. I think they are lucky the police didn't lay charges.

Given the number of people every year that call 000 to ask about a funny rash, or because they've locked themselves out of the house or they've got constipation I'd say that education about the importance of 000 and where to use it would be appropriate for ALL members of society.



#20 Nicole

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

QUOTE
I think they too got off lightly. I don't have a SN's child so I don't know when you say "mentally 10" if she is like a 10 yr old. IME 10yr olds know not to call 000 unless it is an emergency.


My bold, and what would that be exactly? like you said, you have no experience with children, let alone children with special needs. She is not a special needs kid, she is a child with special needs, the disability does not define the child. My DD has little to no concept of the consequences. My DD is unable to cross a road by herself, she cant brush her own hair or tie her shoelaces. She cant read anything more than a k very basic kindergarten book, nor can she write any better, hell, she can't even spell her last name! Does that give you an idea of where she is at mentally?

Edited for grammar :-)

Edited by Nicole, 21 November 2012 - 03:20 PM.


#21 MrsLexiK

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:34 PM

QUOTE (JingleBob @ 21/11/2012, 04:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Given the number of people every year that call 000 to ask about a funny rash, or because they've locked themselves out of the house or they've got constipation I'd say that education about the importance of 000 and where to use it would be appropriate for ALL members of society.

I've heard those calls and they disgust me. I was taught from an early age at school (it could have been kinder even when the fire fighters came out) you only call in an emergency. My understanding is they still teach this at school (based on conversations I have had with the children in my life) I think we need more education absolutely.

QUOTE (Nicole @ 21/11/2012, 04:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My bold, and what would that be exactly? like you said, you have no experience with children, let alone children with special needs. She is not a special needs kid, she is a child with special needs, the disability does not define the child. My DD has little to no concept of the consequences. My DD is unable to cross a road by herself, she cant brush her own hair or tie her shoelaces. She cant read anything more than a k very basic kindergarten book, nor can she write any better, hell, she can't even spell her last name! Does that give you an idea of where she is at mentally?

Edited for grammar :-)

I didn't say I have no experience with children. I said I have no experience with a child who has SN's. I have a few family friends who have children that have SN's they are basically non verbal. You said she was more like a 10 year old, I was just trying to say that if she is like a 10 year old then I wouldn't think it was OTT punishment for a 10yr old either as the 10yr olds I know, know not to call 000. If she was more like the 20 yr old I know who is actually closer to 3yrs old then it is massively OTT. I didn't mean to offend you at all, I am sorry.  

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 21/11/2012, 04:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree with this. Whether they are SN's or not is irrelevant. They committed a crime. Someone could have needed the police yet they had to deal with a fake call instead. My children have always known not to make prank calls to Emergency services from the time they could use the phone which was much younger than your DD's mental age. I'd actually hope the police would throw the book at your DD and the others like they normally do for prank calls but given they are SN children they are getting off lightly.

I could be jaded, as an adult who should be behind bars at the moment isn't because the court decided he is mentally impaired so it wasn't his fault he killed someone. Doesn't help bring the lady he killed back. I know the Op's daughter didn't kill anyone but I was coming at it from the fact a NT child would have this punishment plus some.

#22 steppy

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:39 PM

I think it is reasonable to call 000 when you have constipation. Many a person has died on the toilet for that reason.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet-relate...ries_and_deaths

Edited by steppy, 21 November 2012 - 03:43 PM.


#23 kadoodle

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 21/11/2012, 04:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree with this. Whether they are SN's or not is irrelevant. They committed a crime. Someone could have needed the police yet they had to deal with a fake call instead. My children have always known not to make prank calls to Emergency services from the time they could use the phone which was much younger than your DD's mental age. I'd actually hope the police would throw the book at your DD and the others like they normally do for prank calls but given they are SN children they are getting off lightly.


You're kidding, right?  unsure.gif

Given we're talking about a kid who can't spell her own name, who only happened to be in the vicinity of kids who were making these calls?  Yet you want her hauled over the coals when she doesn't even have the capacity to understand that she's done something wrong?  Did she even know what these other kids were doing?

#24 PurpleWitch

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

QUOTE
I agree with this. Whether they are SN's or not is irrelevant. They committed a crime. Someone could have needed the police yet they had to deal with a fake call instead. My children have always known not to make prank calls to Emergency services from the time they could use the phone which was much younger than your DD's mental age. I'd actually hope the police would throw the book at your DD and the others like they normally do for prank calls but given they are SN children they are getting off lightly.


Is it April 1 already?

Tell me you're joking before I get all worked up.

#25 Jack's Mummy

Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

I think the punishment is quite harsh.

Pp comments about it being not harsh enough, the op daughter has never even been in trouble before, is she not allowed a mistake? If you had said she was always in trouble I would understand pp comments.
Quite frankly I would be very peeved I was not called earlier to e notified of the situation considering the police were called.

It is a serious situation, however I believe a chat from the police in regards to when to call 000 would be better than suspension.






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