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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3527
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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My 16 yr old son and s friend have been accused of being

Customer Question

My 16 yr old son and his friend have been accused of being involved in a 'hate incident' against an IT Teacher at school because, whilst working on a power point presentation on Promoting Yorkshire, they were using Google Images and in the search history they had been looking for a picture of this Teacher (who is Sikh) which he knew about and was laughing with them in a kind of 'good luck with that' attitude. Then they had searched 'Bradford' (due to its ethic diversity) and also accessed 'Muslim and Asian Gangs'.
The Teacher saw the search history and was extemely upset by this and asked them to log off immediately without any explanation as to why. A week past by and I received a phone call from the Police Officer based at school advising me that this had been logged as a 'Hate Incident' but as the Teacher did not want to press charges against the boys they would not get a criminal record.
As you can imagine I was very upset by this accusation and spoke to my sons Head of Year, who exlained that the Teacher had perceived this to be a racist incident against him.
My son has always been brought not to discriminated against anyone because they are different and to judge people purely on the kind of person they are, not because of their religion, cultural background, colour of their skin etc. so I could not believe this incident was racially motivated. My son has always had a very varied mix of friends and alway has both throughout school and at home and was extremely upset he was been accused of being racist because this was not his intention at all.
The boys did realise they had upset the Teacher because of his reaction and because they were told by another teacher they had upset him but again not why and that they should apologies because the teacher was 'after blood' and was trying to get them removed from the football team.
The boys did offer an apology to the teacher which he did not accept as he had been told by the Police Officer not to communicate with them. The Head of Year spoke to my son and did not believe this was racially motivated, however because the teacher had persieved it to be he was within his right to go to the Police. The boys were Also given an interna isolation. However, I challenged this with school and requested a meeting as I believed this had been blown out of proportion and they had been wrongly accused. The Headmaster told me that this had only just been brought to his attention and removed the boys from the isolation.
We had a meeting and the teacher explained he had been so upset at the though that he had given up his own time(as this was an out of school activity) and they could think of him as being in a gang which could groom girls and rape them that he did not want to go back to work.
I truly believe this has been handled totally inappropriately and feel totally powerless. School want to draw a line under this and move on but we are still very upset. Sorry to waffle on but I would appreciate your opinion.
the Headmaster, Head of Year, the Teacher, the Police Officer, the other boys parent
p them he was speaking to
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.

I think because of the heightened sensitivity the entire world is in, many people are on edge and reactions and responses are felt more deeply than in the past. You know your son and you know what is morals, values and ethics are so you are right to stand by him and work to advocate for him and also to hep him advocate for himself. I would continue to talk with your son to find out what motivated these additional searches so that you can have a clear understanding of it all. I think the school trying to move on does indicate that they believe that sensitivities were running high. I am glad you had some meetings with all involved and would continue to do so if the need arises. I would also use it as a teaching moment for your son about internet searches, social media posts and anything that can have a mark on his footprint. But it sounds to me like you have a great boy and the school also seems to be on board with that. Keep the lines of communication open with him and with his school.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I totally get the sensitivity but feel let down by school as I do think the boys should have been spoken to in order to establish their motivations and it should have been explained to them how this was perceived by the teacher in order to prevent the same sort of thing happening again. everybody makes mistakes and hopefully we learn from them. the boys had never been involved or associated with any type of bullying or discrimination before so I think getting the police involved in this instance was over the top. had this been then second time an incident of this nature had occurred then ok. I wonder if the boys had been Asian themselves would it have been perceived in the same way?
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.

i agree that the police being called as the first step is a bit extreme and could have been handled differently...I am with you on that and clearly this teacher has their own sensitivities and reactions that played a part in how it was handled. The first step absolutely could have been going to the school first, meeting second and then it could all have been cleared up and lessons learned all around, not just for your son but for the teacher as well.

Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.

Let me know how else I can support you. If all good for now, please take a moment to click on the rating tab to rate my support.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks you for your support. Everybody makes mistakes! As parents our job is to provide guidance on how their actions can impact or be perceived by others in order for them to establish their own morals and respect for others people. In my opinion guidance should be provided by teachers when they are responsible for your child's welfare in school and in this instance it was not provided. I have lost respect for the teacher in question as a result of how he has handled this as to me is shows how he must perceive my son as a person.A very upset Mum.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.

I hear you and you sound like you are doing a great job raising him with good values and in the end as you know we do what we can and then they go out and make their choices and hopefully they are great ones.

Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.

Please take a moment to offer a rating. I am not credited for my time without it. Thanks in advance.