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 Post subject: shoplifting
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm
Posts: 866
I just wanted to see what other parents on the forum would do (if anything) in the following situation.
DD came home today horrified that a number of other people in her class (year 11) had spent lunchtime discussing a fellow pupil who had allegedly been shoplifting in Accessorize (about £40 worth of stuff). To be fair opinion was entirely against what the girl had allegedly done especially as her family are very affluent.
Would anyone intervene? If so would you try to deal with the school or the family directly?
Either the girl has been doing something very stupid OR the class should certainly not be making this kind of accusation and then discussing it.
Thank you for any advice


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:43 am 
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This is something that came up recently.

My child had said that nobody is going to grass on the classmate although they all know it was wrong to steal. They don't agree with the child's actions but all refused to have words with classmate, report to school or to the classmate's parents or to allow us to tell the school/classmate's parents.

The debate is ongoing as child has said that it is the 'unspoken code' for children not to tell whether it's for smoking, stealing etc by their peers.
Child has exams at the moment and matter is still unresolved.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:55 pm
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Location: Bexley
Magwich - what a credit to you that your daughter feels she can talk to you about such things. I was in a similar situation when I was about 13 - I had a very good friend (interestingly also from an affluent family) who went shoplifting regularly with a few other girls. I kept this knowledge to myself and went through absolute agonies before I finally blurted out to my mum what was going on. Unfortunately my dad was a policeman so this resulted in a major inquest :( and my friend never spoke to me again.

I try to instill in my boys that if anything is making them uncomfortable they should tell me and I promise that I won't do anything/speak to anyone if they don't want me to. I think children need to be able to use adults as sounding boards to explore what is acceptable and what is not, but they can't do this if they are worried that the adult concerned may intervene and cause unpleasant repercussions. I can understand that your daughter may not want to run the risk of being seen as a "grass".

It probably feels wrong not to pass on what you know, but I'm not really sure what you could do. Approaching the family (unless you know them and feel comfortable doing this) could backfire dreadfully. I'm not sure what the school could do either as the girl in question is not doing the shoplifting when she's in their care. If she was younger there is probably more chance of pointing out the error of her ways, but by Year 11 she presumably knows exactly what she is risking. Is there an approachable teacher you could talk to on the understanding that your daughter is kept out of any inquiry?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am
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Location: Bexley
Whilst I appreciate that the classmates may not want to 'grass' , this is where the problems in society begin. Turning the other cheek and not wanting to get involved until a person ends doing something a lot more serious and then everyone blames everyone else.

As parents, in this case, the school could be contacted and the staff told of what is alleged to have happened. That way none of the children would have directly told yet someone would have taken responsibility for the situation.

Who knows - the child might have other issues and be crying out for help.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:30 pm 
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The school policy in dealing with misdeamours ouside of school, is to get those suspected of wrongdoing to write out statements detailing what happened/might have happened in response to the 'charges'.

Unless an officer of the law has been involved, the school has to carry out its own inquiries. By and large, if no witnesses were called because of the anonymity promised to the parent who reported it, then it would culminate in a warning at least to the child that their unproven activity has been clocked by the school. This may frighten the child into stopping the bad behaviour or give him/her the opportunity to ask for help.

The school has asked parents to report anything that we feel might be undermining a youngster's education and future..knowledge of drugs activities, bullying, racism, internet violations etc etc.

To my child and the classmates, the fact that the child concerned is old enough (17)to know that stealing is wrong and yet be willing to risk it, is evidence of reckless stupidity. They have had enough visits from police officers and talks during assemblies and PSHE to know what standards of behaviour is expected from them from the school and society at large.

We, as parents, would want to know if any of our children are in any sort of trouble and would appreciate the chance to nip things in the bud so the thinking is that the other parents would want to know too.

Moral fibre is indeed stronger when younger as the children look to the parents for guidance and there are no/fewer opportunities to be tempted or be led astray but as teens, the peer group's attitude is that at this age, the unwritten law is that if you break the law and you get caught, you pay for it. Harsh lessons in life.

They have said to the shoplifter that the action was foolish but have not forcefully chastised or 'excluded' the friend to show disapproval. In my child's view, the peers would know that the 'traitor' came from within the ranks so suspicion would be on all the class, the main suspect being which friend would be most likely to talk to their parents and which parent is the most likely to have reported it and my child said, it would be me straight away!! :shock:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:51 pm
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It's a phase some kids go through. It's tempting to say it should be ignored and they'll grow out of it within a few months, but now with the plethora of surveillance equipment there must be a very good chance of being caught by officialdom and having a promising life ruined. I'd suggest talking to the family.

Mike


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:41 pm 
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That's what the class said, mikeyboy, that there are cameras everywhere!!!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:41 pm
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Location: South Wilts
Like Tracy said, it may be a cry for help. A child who engages in such risky behaviour normally has other issues.

A friend of mine did exactly the same thing and was never caught. If she had been, someone may have found out the reasons behind her actions, which ultimately led to her suffering from bulimia and placing herself in more and more risky situations.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:47 pm 
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Actually, the child in my child's class has lots of other issues and is already on the school's radar for other things. Do we want to add another one, says my child? Or maybe it's already an issue that the school knows about.

Not sure about magwich's case.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:01 pm 
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Location: South Wilts
AB wrote:
Actually, the child in my child's class has lots of other issues and is already on the school's radar for other things.


Suspect this is probably the case in this situation too. From my experience of 'growing up', although practically centuries ago, these issues tend to be symptoms of the problem, not the problem itself.

Either the child has done nothing wrong and is the victim of a nasty case of bullying, or the school needs to be told. Magwich should talk to her daughter again and then 'let her conscience be her guide'.


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