Whose responsibility is a child’s behaviour in school?

My 5 year old had only been in school for around 3 weeks when I got The Call to see the Deputy Head because of her behaviour.
3 weeks!
Her older brother is all incredulous and ‘WHAT DID YOU DO’ with wide eyes and a smile on his face and is probably secretly jotting it down to use against her when they’re being told off for something totally unrelated.
You see, he has never been to the Deputy Head’s office to be reprimanded let alone had his mum called in for The Talk.

So I go in to see the DH in his office. His chair towers over mine and I’m sat there feeling like I’m right back in 1974 and I’m the 5 year old with my toes slightly turned in to face each other and a slight pink tinge creeping up my face.
He tells me that if a child is sent to the head twice in one week for bad behaviour the parent is called in.
Mia had been to see him twice in one DAY!

Now I totally support the fact that children need to be disciplined right from the get go. And Mia is a very feisty and strong willed young lady who needs reigning in now and again.
I mean WOAH reigning in.
And if I’m totally honest, I’m not the slightest bit surprised she’s the first one to move onto the Deputy Head’s radar.
BUT. One of the reasons she was sent there was for backchatting a dinner lady (come on, stop laughing). And I’m not very happy about it.

Mia was playing outside in the playground and wanted to come in to fill her water bottle.
She trots indoors only to be told she can’t have any because she doesn’t have the required arm band (seriously, this is news to me too) to be allowed inside.
She gets upset and a bit embarrassed I’m sure, and so is cheeky to the dinner lady who refused her entry.
And yes, while it’s totally unacceptable for her to speak to anybody like that, I do question whether after just a few weeks at school she even knew about that rule?
There is so much for them to learn and take in during their first few months.
And, you know, she is only just 5.

Couldn’t they have given her the benefit of the doubt, helped her get some water, then explained that next time there were rules she had to follow?
It just feels like they handled the situation badly and it escalated into something it needn’t have.

And there was my little girl, sobbing her heart out in the DH’s office because she had tried to fill her water bottle.
Of course, I just sat there an nodded like a fool and dutifully came home and told her that she cannot speak to people like that and how it’s totally unacceptable.
But I feel a bit aggrieved for her.

I’ve had this post in draft for a while, but then I saw a whole raft of posts along similar lines:
Kellogsville talking about telling off other people’s children, Mocha Beanie Mummy blogged about teaching our children manners and the lovely Julia’s post about behaviour in school.

I guess I’m overreacting and it’s all a learning curve for her.
Of course she’s totally fine about it now and comes home with a proud as punch look on her face saying: “Mummy, mummy, I didn’t go to Mr H’s office today”. 

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