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Uncomfortable situation #2638682 05/01/17 09:02 PM
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Arghhh Offline OP
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My student informed me on Saturday that they have a "big" flute at their house, one that her sister borrowed from the school band last year. The kids are being home-schooled this year, and my student's other remarks led me to believe they are not intending to return the flute to the school. To me that is stealing. My student, it almost sounded like the school shouldn't get it back because the teachers didn't like them. I don't think quickly on my feet, so I didn't say anything. What would you do?



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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2638684 05/01/17 09:17 PM
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hello my name is Offline
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Shouldn't the school deal with that and have a record of that? Very strange if they don't.


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: hello my name is] #2638715 05/01/17 11:37 PM
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Arghhh Offline OP
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Originally Posted by hello my name is
Shouldn't the school deal with that and have a record of that? Very strange if they don't.


You're right the school should have a record and it isn't really my problem. I do feel bad for the school that is now missing one of their instruments. And I feel bad that this kid thinks stealing is ok if you don't like the people you stole from. Again, not my problem. However, dishonesty isn't usually confined to one thing, and this just adds to my concerns over teaching this student.


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2638752 05/02/17 04:16 AM
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dogperson Offline
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Arghhh,
I appreciate your posting this query for input but I'm not sure anyone could tell you what to do, as that decision is very personal based on our own personal codes, and there is not one 'correct' answer. The range could be from 'forget it, the school should have a record' to 'call the school band director and ask if anything is missing', neither of which would be inappropriate.

Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2638770 05/02/17 06:42 AM
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wouter79 Online Content
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I would say them or their parents that it's stealing and that it's not OK. This is about a mentality issue so it is your problem as well, as you are dealing with these people. You might be the next that gets stolen from (if they think you don't like them?)


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2638777 05/02/17 07:18 AM
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pianoMom2006 Offline
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What if your story is wrong? I would be absolutely livid if I was accused of stealing. It is very possible the child has the story wrong. ..

I'd talk with the child about how she would feel if someone borrowed something of hers and didn't return it though just so she knows it's morally wrong.


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2638819 05/02/17 09:34 AM
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Morodiene Offline
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Children sometimes don't get the story right. I may ask the parent in passing about their flute studies just to see what info they may give, but to make an accusation based on what a child says is probably not a good idea and could damage your relationship if the kid got it wrong.

I totally agree that stealing is wrong, but that really is between the parent and the school. Are you an employee of the school? If so, then you can ask the school what the situation is, but if not, best to stay out of it and let the school deal with it legally. I highly doubt that the school would let an instrument go - they are expensive - and I highly doubt they've encountered this in the past with other families and have a way of dealing with it.


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2638846 05/02/17 10:46 AM
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It is not unusual for a school to do a long term loan of a lightly needed instrument - if it's something like an alto flute it might have a player every ten years. And we only have half the story. Tread cautiously.


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2638856 05/02/17 11:29 AM
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If it is stolen, then you are at risk. If someone will steal from someone else, they can steal from you. (Learned that one the hard way).


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2638858 05/02/17 11:30 AM
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I would phone the parent. Open the conversation by saying, "I'm just wondering about something your child said. He seems to think you're borrowing an instrument that is past the rental period. Could you tell me more about that?"

Your role as a piano teacher is similar to school teachers in that you need to call out immoral behavior.

Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2638884 05/02/17 12:25 PM
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I have been told some pretty outrageous things by students (especially the younger ones) over the years. Because kids get info wrong all the time, they exaggerate, they mis-overhear something their parent said...there really isn't anything for you to worry about. Let the affected parties deal with it.

I am sure a school would notice a "big flute" missing. BUT, if you read something somewhere about that school asking if anyone has seen their "big flute," THEN you can get involved.


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: dogperson] #2639069 05/02/17 09:17 PM
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Arghhh Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Arghhh,
I appreciate your posting this query for input but I'm not sure anyone could tell you what to do, as that decision is very personal based on our own personal codes, and there is not one 'correct' answer. The range could be from 'forget it, the school should have a record' to 'call the school band director and ask if anything is missing', neither of which would be inappropriate.


I hate not having correct answers wink


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2639092 05/02/17 11:12 PM
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My thoughts on this, after working with a lot of children and also raising my own kids is this: Unless you work for the school band, or are best friends or closely related to the parents, it's not really your business. What would be your business would be things like child abuse, physical, sexual, neglect. Those things you are morally and sometimes legally required to address. Everything else is NOT your business. And to talk to the school or even bring it up with the parents is just going to get you labeled a snoop, butt-in-ski, nosy, tattle-tale who is going to get a bad reputation with parents and the school, whether you are right or wrong. Parents talk and the word can get around fast.

As someone else stated, kids don't always understand what is happening, and can misunderstand things that they overhear. And it's not stealing until its actually been stolen, which you have no idea or proof of.

I would just continue on as if this situation never happened. I'm not sure if you have your own kids, but I know that my own said some interesting stories to others over the years. Most parents I'm sure have had this happen to them at least once. Your responsibility and authority only applies to teaching the kids piano.

Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2639167 05/03/17 03:50 AM
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musicpassion Offline
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Originally Posted by Arghhh
What would you do?
Lock up the jewelry, hide the cash box, and make sure the piano is bolted down.

First I'd figure out if the kid got the story wrong. Young children often don't have all the information, as others have already mentioned.


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2639183 05/03/17 06:32 AM
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pianoMom2006 Offline
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My story about kids getting the story wrong is that my daughter told everyone at her daycare that she wasn't going to have a 4 year old birthday party because her parents had to use the money to buy a TV. It was a very big deal because we always had thrown her large birthday parties. What she of course omitted, was the reason she wasn't having a birthday party was because she was being punished for breaking the old TV. We had a rear projection TV and she was angry about not being able to watch TV one day so "dented" it. It was fragile so it was easy to do but the behavior was unacceptable so we thought it was the best way to teach her that. I know this because one of the daycare workers came and told me this looking very perplexed (not accusatory). I was not upset at the daycare worker however as I mentioned in my earlier post, I would be extremely upset if someone accused me of stealing. I don't think it's something that I'd ever be able to get over.

Last edited by pianoMom2006; 05/03/17 07:01 AM.

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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2639228 05/03/17 09:33 AM
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SonatainfSharp Offline
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Oh, man, if I could start an off-topic thread of the things my kids have said in public... Fortunately, it's usually around other parents who get that they are just kids, so I don't have to explain anything.

Also, I know that when my kids say something, it is only their side of the story and I never take it for granted that they are right and can never do anything wrong (unlike all the other parents in our 'hood who think their kids couldn't possibly be wrong, ever). But, that would make a second off topic thread. smile


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2639252 05/03/17 10:40 AM
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In Kindergarden, they had a sign on the wall "Dear parents, if you promise that you will not take everything your child tells you about kindergarden at face value, we promise that we will not take everything your child tells about home at face value." (quoting from memory, you get the idea).

My favorite is when my daughter (at 4) answered on being complimented on a very nice water bottle: "My father got it as a gift because he told someone something he did not know yet." Until today I have no idea where that came from.


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Hendrik42] #2639272 05/03/17 11:31 AM
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Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by Hendrik42
In Kindergarden, they had a sign on the wall "Dear parents, if you promise that you will not take everything your child tells you about kindergarden at face value, we promise that we will not take everything your child tells about home at face value." (quoting from memory, you get the idea).

My favorite is when my daughter (at 4) answered on being complimented on a very nice water bottle: "My father got it as a gift because he told someone something he did not know yet." Until today I have no idea where that came from.
LOL the fact they needed to make this sign is interesting. wink


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Re: Uncomfortable situation [Re: Arghhh] #2639278 05/03/17 12:11 PM
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When I was 9 we moved to a new town and a new school.

My mother cleaned me up to make a good impression on the first day, but somehow, being a nine year old, I acquired some dirt on the walk to school.

The school nurse demanded to know when I'd last washed my hair. "Oh, probably when I last took a bath." Well, when was the last time you took a bath? "Oh, probably about a month ago." Fourth graders don't always have a good sense for time.

Yeah, there was a phone call home to my mother and a demand for a conference.


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