My house got egged and tped over the weekend. I took it upon myself to reach out to the parents and let them know I've already called the cops but wanted to reach out to you first before the cop shows up on your door. 1 set of parents immediately shifted blame to me and bashed me as a teacher and told me they think I have it out for their son and didn't address the situation at hand. How can I move forward with this situation?

likefunnysmart
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Yikes! This is deeper than the surface...

I would be angry too. Its valid. Though anger makes it hard to be open mind to their emotional process as some have suggested and I will suggest here as well. So perhaps some support and self-care and then this...

The parent reaction leaves little room for discussion of the situation at school. Unfortunately they are not addressing their needs and the result is further alienating these children and families from the school - because of how people will think of them now. If the parents did feel the children were mistreated in some way, they may have felt powerless or fearful or inequipped (etc...) to address it within the school or with you...or tired and failed. Why? You may have insight. This indicates a lack of psychological safety. Could be a larger systemic issue of how things are addressed in the school or a cultural issue (etc..) Powerlessness and fear leads to defensive and reactive and protective behaviors as they did. Kind of like when some of us feel no power with administrative decisions.

By defending the children and blaming you... The parents have essentially told you that they believe the children acted appropriately given the situation in which the child feels targeted in your class. Therefore in their minds, revenge is acceptable and they may even believe that threatening you may change your behavior toward the children (slippery slope).

Sounds like you feel confident enough not to be swayed by this and have police respond. Unfortunately you didn't have a lot of options and I might have done the same thing though it is likely to escalate the situation as you continue to have all the power and control. It will be important not to stop at the police intervention and move toward collaborative problem-solving for more equal power distribution to lower fears and improve relationships.

Is there a meeting that can be held with the counseling team to help support these students and this family in expressing their views in a more collaborative way? Can we move from this to being open minded about their fears and distress? Even if we disagree and even if you're still angry at the incident- valid). There may be some room to at minimum clear up some understanding around their impression that these children are somehow treated unfairly. It sounds like that is not your view or intent. I would also at some point expect a repair and apology.

Best of luck! This is a tough one.

likehelpful

I'm wondering if it would be possible for these kids to be suspended for this? It appears the teacher knows who did it.

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I had something similar happen a number of years ago. Basically, a group of kids got together and were complaining about me, and so they got the bright idea to come and vandalize my home. They egged it, put shaving cream on my car, superglued the locks(very poorly, because all it took was a bit of pressure with the key to pop the glue), cut down a tree, and put rice on the lawn (they didn't know that you're supposed to use minute rice, not regular long-grain, so that shows the level of intelligence they were using at the time).

I put the word out among my other students, and pretty quickly had a list of names. My local PD investigated (I live about 25 miles away from where I teach) and was able to get a couple of kids to flip on the others. Once that was done, I contacted the parents, and told them that I'd be requesting criminal charges be filed AND that I would file civil charges for damages unless they agreed to a sit down meeting and to make restitution, which was done to the tune of about $7,000.

I think once they realized that their little darlings might be on the hook for felony vandalism, that focused their minds really quickly. I had each kid explain why they did it, and boy did they come up with some *really* stupid answers.

I have to say that it wasn't all bad. I had one of the kids actually email me and ask if it could be handled on the phone, because he was going to school in Santa Barbara and it was "too difficult to get home over the weekend". My response was that he didn't seem to have any problems getting to my home to vandalize it, so he'd better make the time.

And the real silver lining was that they paid for a new paint job on my car, which was about 12 years old at that point, so it ended up looking a LOT better than it had prior to the vandalism. Not a single one ever apologized for it, but that's OK. I still see some of them every once in awhile, and not a one of them will ever look me in the eye.

So, let the police, and the school, handle it. You're obviously not going to get any traction with the parents. Maybe one day the kid will realize that he messed up, but if not, it's out of your hands. The parents' reaction really tells you all you need to know about why the kid felt he was entitled to vandalize your property.

likesmart
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You did everything you could do. Let the cops handle it now. Parents can blame teachers all they want, but real life is about to smack them dead in the face. I bet nothing these kids have ever done has been their fault. Well, parents are about to reap the consequences of their actions.
Sit back and enjoy the show!!!

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LOL... I'm with you with my popcorn and soda

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This is what is wrong with the world. We have decided to not place consequences for kids actions and just leave it as horse play. If I had done that, no matter the age, my ass would have been hit with a belt. Call the cops because I’m sure this isn’t the first time they have done something.

likefunny

AMEN!!!

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I can't believe this feed. The teacher did what they felt was best. Let's be supportive of each other. The issue at hand is the disrespect shown by not only students but parents. Sadly we will never change the way things have gone, but know I fully support what you did and hope you can move on. I had a room broken into a LONG time ago and must have moved on because I just remembered it now!!
HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!!!!!!!!

likeupliftingsmart

Your property was vandalized and it wasn't as a prank or joke. If it wasn't a student would you have called the cops? Yes. Knowing the vandals doesn't change the fact a crime took place. The "teachable moment" is that actions have consequences and damaging private property is against the law. You didn't have to reach out to the parents as a courtesy. The fact they are angry because their child broke the law isn't on you. They made choices now they can live with the consequence.

likesmart

What do they mean "address the situation at hand"? Catch them in the act? The kids have to know there are consequences for their actions.

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In my opinion, you handled this situation well. It was very kind of you to call the parents. You were a 100% right to call the law. This was vandalism and there are consequences for your actions. People including kids must be held accountable for their actions. I'm proud of you for not sweeping it under the rug and letting them get by with this inappropriate behavior. Your actions might teach them a lesson and save them from more trouble down the road.

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I totally agree. If they realize at this young age there are negative as well as positive consequences, it might keep someone out of jail later.

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Egging is the key point for me. I can clean up toilet paper without a fuss but eggs can damage paint. Vandalism that damages property should be dealt with through the police.

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The eggs is where I draw the line. It was fun TPing the cool teacher's houses when I was in High School 40 years ago. It was all in good fun back then.

likefunny

A handful of years ago one of my students blew up my mailbox. I tried to keep the cops out of it and make it a teachable moment and not potentially wreck the kids future. He did pay for the replacement and to teach him I had work that needed to be done. He slopped through it and it was pulling teeth to get him anywhere close to finishing it. Plus I found out after I caught him and started this process he did it again to someone else. Hopefully I don’t have to deal with something like this again but no teachable moments and the cops will just be called.

likesmart

Try to find out why they did that to your house in the first place and see if there are feelings of animosity in your class towards you. Give a student survey to your classes and see how they feel about you as a teacher and as a person. It may be eye opening. Otherwise just mark it down as childish horseplay. Getting TP all over the yard and house is a yearly tradition for some people.

likesmartfunny

So...because it is a prank and tradition to do something like this makes it ok? Then I have to waste my time according to you making a survey seeing if there is underlying animosity towards me in class and cleaning up my home. That's just too much effort for something that shouldn't happen. Where is the respect? This is attitude of just taking it is why we are being disrespected at every level. We don't stand up for ourselves. If our admin won't when it comes to parents and we won't when it comes to the kids then where does it end? We lose all credibility as professionals. It also shows that anyone can violate any personal space they wish at any time. What would you do if they assaulted you? Give them a survey?

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Sooooo you lost the game when you called the cops. You gotta deal with the feelings of their anger now ... and move forward

likefunny

Nothing wrong with calling the cops but people will most likely not step up after you do. If you called before you may have gotten them to take more responsibility and clean up the mess they made.

My son’s high school had a huge prank week during homecoming. The upper class seniors “pranked” the underclassmen. I would not let my kids out of the house that week as it was getting out of hand and no adults wanted to admit it. It was kids being kids. My son’s senior year they egged, threw dead animals, spread Vaseline, and Lord know what else on juniors’ cars. Several cars were damage and paint was removed. Many of the kids, the principal’s daughter including, ended up with tickets and had to go to court. They had to pay fines and do community service. Teachable moments can mean you teach them there are consequences for their behavior. I bet the kids wish they he learned that before. And it didn’t ruin anyone’s life. The principal’s daughter now teaches at the high school.

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We had kids doing the paintball thing a few years back. Wayyyy more damaging than eggs. Kids were arrested and had to make restitution within a certain time frame to get it off their records.

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You lost the whole game when you called the cops. It is unlikely they don’t at least feel they have some cause to challenge your authority...which they ironically perhaps can only do safely outside of the school bounds/system. If you can find information, confront those who have hurt or targeted you, and approach them as an individual with expectations or demands as far as respect and recompense go...you might win them over. At the very least you won’t confirm the reality that adults are oppressors who even sick other adults (like cops) on kids to shut them down.

funnylike

Michigan HS 1 - Thank you for confirming the reality that some teachers are a weak and erroding influence on our society and should not be teaching. Your comments make that clear.

Teaching kids that adults are oppressors is what is wrong with our society. And by not calling the cops it teaches them they can get away with more crimes (acts that are against the law!) and that's why we have Antifa out destroying property and police stations around the country.

99% of adults are not oppressors. You should know this unless you were friends with Jeffrey Epstein.

likeuplifting

Do you have the camera footage? May be that would help. Isn’t this trespassing and destroying private property? Regardless it was your students or not!

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Stand firm! Press charges if you can. Set an example NOW, or it will continue to happen.

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Sounds like a perfect intro to Restorative Justice?

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Parties need to be open to restoration. From the parets' comments, that does not seem to be the case.

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Dear Lord! What have we come to? What the hell is wrong with some of the teachers saying this is your fault and that you shouldn’t call the police? There are 2 crimes here, trespassing and vandalism, and it’s outside of school, in your own life, no less. What’s next for these little criminals? Absolutely get the police involved. Better they get in trouble for something minor, in hopes they learn a lesson, than let it go and they only learn they can get away with it, leading them to bigger crimes.

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Are you folks absolutely crazy? If you violate the sanctity of my home, it’s a crime. I will call 100/100 times. We do not owe students the right to invade our home.

We owe them respect, consideration, and caring. If a teacher is not giving these, the student should speak up through their parents or an administrator.

Vandalism is not anything we can justify. Especially when we do not know the entire story.

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100 perecent agreed!

I had the dumpster behind my house set on fire. About two days later, after it was dark, I had a couple of kids shouting "F* You [name]" in front of my house several times.

I did report it to both the police and my principal. That said, I live in a gang neighbourhood and the second stunt annoyed some people who apparently dealt with it their own way. To be clear, I never asked, or even hinted, to have my students "roughed up." I can assure you that the pranks stopped.

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Exactly! it's not safe to act like a punk anymore

This is one reason I don’t teach anymore. My car ended up all stretched and marked up at school, and principal said cameras show nothing. Yet, I never saw the footage myself. Not worth having your property torn up. I also got a cell phone stolen. Admin. did nothing but make excuses for the kid suspected of doing it.

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