As we discussed in our article about bullying, a recording device would be very helpful to your child during this process and will protect him/her in the future.
What happens when there is an incident that could involve discipline.
- A teacher/principal/KISD Police Officer, or other authority figure is going to call your
child into a separate space to question him.
- He/she will be scared and intimidated.
- You will not be present, and you will not have been notified at this point.
- They will attempt to coerce a written statement out of your child, locking them into a story that they helped them write, that can be used against them in court.
What instructions should you give your child?
The “Reid Technique” has been long criticized for extracting false confessions out of innocent adults and children. Despite clear problems with this method, public school administrators are still trained in this technique.
- Have your child start the recording device immediately, as soon as they see the administrator coming in the room, and don’t stop it until you get
- Tell your child not to say anything or write anything until you, as their parent, are called to the school and have arrived. That is very important.
- Tell your child to NEVER lie about recording. If your child is asked whether he/she is recording, the response should be yes, but under no circumstance should they stop recording.
- Be sure the phone has a password lock, so administrators can not attempt to delete the recording. Setting up regular backups (ie: through iCloud) will make sure that the recording is stored in the cloud, Incase the device is ever lost.
- Let your child know that they are going to try to convince your child that calling you is not necessary. Your child should politely tell the person in charge that “my parents said I need to call them before I speak with you.”
- Tell your child to not write anything down without a parent present!
- Tell your child not to speak with anyone until you arrive. This might be awkward for them to just sit and wait for you, but its better than the alternative.
- When you, the parent, arrive at the school, ask to speak with the principal, or authority figure, separately to assess the situation, and have a clear picture of the accusations being made against your child. Record this interaction.
- The parent should then ask to speak with their child separately and away from any
- Hear your child out. Maybe they did something wrong and maybe they didn’t. Go back in to the principal’s office and let them know that your child has informed you of the situation, you don’t feel that any of this is necessary, and they will not be making a statement about it.
- Ask how the school would like to proceed from here.