Help required regarding School Incident
After writing my last post Talking to Children about drugs I never thought that talking with my eleven year old son would have been tested so soon.
Can I please ask any parent to read this as I am very shocked at what happened at my son’s school yesterday and would love any advice to help me resolve this and to alert you as this could happen to any child.
On Friday My son came out of School as normal, we didn’t get much time to chat as he had pre-ordered a game for his Xbox 360 and this was the day it was released and he had been so excited for days.
He came in, shoes off and ran upstairs to play his game, I didn’t fuss as I normally do with loads of questions like ‘Have you had a good day’, What lessons have you had’ and so on. I left him instead to play his game in peace.
Whilst he was upstairs and I was making the tea, I got a private message on Facebook from my cousin asking me if I was OK? I didn’t know what she meant but reading further into the message I felt sick with what I was hearing. Her son is in the same year as Jake, they are both in the first year at high school.
A friend of Jake’s had told him that someone in year 10 or 11 had offered Jake drugs at lunch time at school in the ICT suite. I felt really shook up but didn’t really believe it, I expected it was a little bit like Chinese whispers where something gets changed as the story passes on and it becomes very far-fetched.
I asked my cousin some more details before approaching Jake such as did he know the friend’s name ect.
When my husband came in from work I told him what I had heard and we went and spoke to Jake together, expecting it to be complete nonsense. We decided to approach him as if we already knew by saying ” Why didn’t you feel you could tell us about the boy offering you drugs today”?
I was gob smacked and felt sick when Jake said ” I thought they would tell you” they being school. I couldn’t believe it was actually true, Jake was in the ICT suite at Lunchtime where students go after they have eaten to go on the PC’s. A year 11 or maybe 10 teenager approached Jake with a packet in his hand that was white and as Jake described looked like a packet that stickers ( for sticker books) come in and the name began with ‘B’.
He told him they were a ‘legal drug’ that would make him ‘high’
After lunch Jake told a teacher what had happened which I am so proud of him for, he was taken to the assistant head teacher and made to look on the computer database to try to identify the teenager, unfortunately he couldn’t identify the boy.
I told Jake he was very brave going to a teacher, he told me this had been one of the two things he had worried about when he started high school, been offered drugs and the other being cigarettes.
I feel a complete mixture of emotions, I feel so angry and upset that someone aged around 15 or 16 would offer an 11-year-old drugs, If that wasn’t bad enough no one at School felt the need to telephone me and inform me of what was happening. I send him to school to be safe and not to feel scared.
I am also really worried that Jake didn’t mention anything to me, he was acting very stressed over a code missing from his new game but I didn’t think any deeper into it. Later that night he was also acting very quiet.
If I had not have been told, he could have been worrying himself with no support from me or his dad all weekend. I truly believe school have let Jake down, surely they have a duty of care to inform the parents if something like this happens. What if the child creates at home for what the parents think is no reason and they could have been more understanding if they had known they were stressed out about something.
I do not know what to do next, I feel I should speak to the school not only about what will happen next, but to find out why no one let me know what had happened. They have an on-site Police officer, but as far as Jake was aware she was not involved, well she didn’t speak to Jake.
I really need advice as what my mum and husband think I should do is completely opposite, My Mum thinks I should go into School on Monday and not send Jake back until it has been sorted, My husband thinks it should be left to the school to sort out.
I would appreciate any advice or comments that may help me to decide what to do on Monday and in General…..
What happened when I contacted School…….
Thank You all so much for your invaluable comments, It really helped me come to a decision as to what I was planning to do with the school.
I thought it would only be fair to give you all a quick update with what happened on Monday with my son’s school.
I telephoned school first thing on Monday Morning and asked to make an appointment to see the Head or assistant head that day. The lady in the office said that they normally do not put people straight through to the head, but first to the head of year, she also wanted a brief description of what I was calling about. I kept it brief and just said ” It is a drug issue with someone offering my son them on Friday.
Within a minute or so the Deputy Head was on the phone, able to chat with me on the phone instead of an appointment in the School. The deputy Head knew nothing about the incident and we talked things over, I stayed unbelievably calm which I was surprised about as I had felt anything but all weekend.
The deputy head said this was very serious and the only drug problem he had heard of in 15 years! He added even if it was a hoax, it would still be classed as bullying.
I expressed just how disappointed and upset I was that I hadn’t been contacted about this whole incident and how I felt very let down as I felt the school had a duty of care to inform me so I could be there to support him at home.
I asked if it was their policy to contact parents and I was utterly shocked when he said No and especially not if the Child didn’t seem too distressed, WHAT!!!
I brought up the fact that my 11-year-old had pointed out that we had all signed a parent, teacher, student agreement in his planner saying we would work together in a partnership. I did point out that in future I must be made aware of things that happen. The deputy head said he would get the head of the year who dealt with this on Friday to phone me and within an hour she had. She was very kind and apologized for not letting me know, I asked her the same question regarding what their policy is for contacting parents, this time I was given the complete opposite answer and she said that they nearly always contacted Parents over practically everything. She apologized for not contacting me, but she said Jake had been vague with his details and seemed ok in himself!
We made a plan of what Jake was to do next and that is if he sees the boy in question again to tell the teacher when lunch has ended and just point out where he was sat and not to approach him and ask him his name as he had planned to do.
I was worried the whole incident would have put Jake off doing ICT on his lunch break, I was happy that today he went back and didn’t let what had happened on Friday affect him too much.
I am still thinking of contacting the governors when this has passed to make sure the policy on telling parents is accurate and everyone is on the same page.
I am so happy I expressed my opinions clearly and confidently and didn’t waffle on too much, I couldn’t have done it without the support I got off so many people who left comments on my blog and Facebook Page, You made me feel that I was not alone.
Thank You Everyone, for your help and advice!