Dealing with rude, abusive parents a common challenge, say school security officers

Dealing with rude, abusive parents a common challenge, say school security officers

Security, Abuse

13/1/2022 5:10:00 PM

Dealing with rude, abusive parents a common challenge, say school security officers

SINGAPORE — When Mr Tang, not his real name, a 67-year-old security guard, refused to allow a parent to enter the school with her child’s forgotten homework, he was shouted at and called “dumb”.

a video of a Bentley car inching forward against a security officeron the welfare of private security officersmobile applicationMr Tan added that verbal abuse is largely under-reported because it’s the case of one party’s word against the other, with most instances difficult to substantiate in a complaint.

”They spoke to TODAY on condition of anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the media.Mr Siva, not his real name, a former security guard of a school in Punggol, who now works at a condominium, recalled an incident several years ago on results collection day for a national examination, where he was berated by a parent for not allowing him to park in the school compound.

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They just doing their jobs and follow the school rules and being part of parents must also educate their children not forgetting things to bring to sch as alredy provide sch timetable.. parents you are the mirror of your child...✌️ Most often, the apple won't fall far from the tree. Wither the new generation?

Always 2 sides in a story because dealing with stupid security officers is likely a common chalenge for many parents. These one-sided articles painting one side in black and one side in white are not journalism.

Errant drivers, long queues and inconsiderate behaviour a common sight outside schools in the morning, say parentsSINGAPORE: For many parents who drive their children to school, traffic snarls and frayed tempers are everyday occurrences. Inconsiderate behaviour like blocking the way, cutting queues and parents taking their time at drop-off points are just some of the instances that contribute to the all-around st If LTA can hire officers or use cameras to catch illegal driving in bus lanes and give way to buses exiting lanes, why not do the same for those many yellow boxes outside the school. At least think of the money since this have lesser chance of a successful appeal. First-World problems! If able to standby LTA, TP or even outsourced Traffic Controllers at peak hours, situation maybe better. Only enforcement and summon get things move if some do not behave.

‘Money can't buy class’ — Netizens condemn Bentley driver who tried to run down school security officer - The Independent Singapore News“This is unacceptable behaviour. This is not the way we should behave towards our security and school personnel who are performing their duties to keep our schools and our children safe.” — Chan Chun Sing, Education Minister And money sure as hell can't buy brains for this driver.

Parents, stop chauffeuring your kid to schoolYou know what they say about Singapore being the Switzerland of Asia...well, maybe we should learn from one other thing from the Swiss... If school starts at 0830 or 0900 instead of 0730, sure. Lol

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Hangry in school: NTU students frustrated over limited halal food options on campusAffected students say that they have been frequenting the same stalls for years due to the limited number of halal food options available in school. BYO then. No words Honey, if you know this, just pack food from home!

French teachers to strike over 'chaotic' COVID-19 strategy for schoolsPARIS : French teachers will walk off the job en masse on Thursday (Jan 13) over what they say is the government\u0027s failure to adopt a coherent policy for schools to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, or properly protect pupils and staff against infection. Teachers, parents and school administrators have struggl

But it was school policy that parents were not allowed into the school with their child’s forgotten items during class time, he added. Mr Tang, who requested anonymity and still works at the school in Woodlands, said: “(The parent) scolded me. She said she had the right to come into the school whenever she wants to because she had paid for the school fees.” The plight faced by security guards — who often work long hours for relatively low pay and little recognition from those they serve — was cast into the spotlight after a video of a Bentley car inching forward against a security officer outside Red Swastika School in Bedok North went viral earlier this week. The 61-year-old male driver was arrested for the rash act, which caused the 62-year-old male security guard to sustain minor injuries, said the police. Last month, a on the welfare of private security officers conducted by the Union of Security Employees (USE) found that about two in five — or 39 per cent — officers reported having faced abuse at work. The majority of abuse reported was verbal. In response to TODAY’s queries, USE said that it has received 46 reports via the mobile application it launched last month for security officers to report abuse and work-related grievances. The reports received via the app, which has been downloaded about 900 times to date, have been routed to the union’s mediation service for follow-up. USE executive secretary Steve Tan out of 511 cases USE handled in 2021, 15 per cent involved"workplace conflict", which includes abuses. USE does not have a breakdown of the proportion of abuse cases, he said. Mr Tan added that verbal abuse is largely under-reported because it’s the case of one party’s word against the other, with most instances difficult to substantiate in a complaint. “ Even if let’s say it is proven that verbal abuse, the remedy is usually very limited. So the guy (the perpetrator) will be warned, and that’s about it. Union of Security Employees' executive secretary Steve Tan ” “ Even if let’s say it is proven that verbal abuse, the remedy is usually very limited. So the guy (the perpetrator) will be warned, and that’s about it,” he said. Security guards TODAY spoke to said the incident outside Red Swastika School did not surprise them as they face various forms of abuse on the job. They spoke to TODAY on condition of anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the media. Security companies said the abuse faced by security officers remains a cause of concern, especially since many in the profession are older workers. DEALING WITH PARENTS A BIG CHALLENGE Security guards stationed in schools said the biggest challenge they face is dealing with parents.They all requested anonymity. Mr Siva, not his real name, a former security guard of a school in Punggol, who now works at a condominium, recalled an incident several years ago on results collection day for a national examination, where he was berated by a parent for not allowing him to park in the school compound. “He die die want to park in the school but we cannot let because that’s the instruction (that we were given). He got very angry. He wanted to bang me (with his car),” he said. “But I just brought down the barrier. No need to argue.” “ He die die want to park in the school but we cannot let because that’s the instruction (that we were given). He got very angry. He wanted to bang me (with his car). But I just brought down the barrier. No need to argue." A former security guard at a school in Punggol ” Students, too, occasionally make the job difficult for security officers. Mr Zul, not his real name, currently deployed at an independent school, recalled an incident during an examination period when a student refused to exit through the main gate, which was required by the school for attendance taking purposes. The exchange with the student grew so protracted until Mr Zul’s supervisor had to come down to handle the matter. By then the student’s father had also shown up and started raising his voice. The security officer, aged in his mid-30s, said that facing verbally abusive and disrespectful parents has become part and parcel of the job for him. “But towards my elder or senior colleagues, the parents behave even more ostentatiously as (the older workers) look easy to makan ,” he said in a mix of English and Malay. Mr Lim, 67, a security officer who has been working at different public schools for six years, has witnessed many occasions when parents simply ignored the security guards or treat them with disrespect. On dealing with defiant parents, the guard said: “As security, many look down on us. They will not listen to us. If we encounter a problem, always seek the operation manager's help.” OTHERS FACE ABUSE TOO Security guards stationed in shopping malls and condominiums told TODAY that they too suffer abuse, especially when they try to enforce rules set by the Government or building management. This was the case for Mr Rahmat Musa, 61 , a former security guard who worked at a shopping mall in the central business district for 12 years. On one occasion during the Covid-19 pandemic, he was called “useless” and “stupid” for refusing entry to a shopper who claimed he did not have his phone or TraceTogether token with him. “When they are not happy, they scold us because they only see us at the door. They cannot scold the mall management right? So we suffer,” he told TODAY in Malay. Mr Rahmat, who retired last month, added that in the 12 years he worked as a security guard, he has been chastised and called disparaging names many times but never lodged a report. While Mr Rahmat had suffered only verbal abuse, others like 57-year-old Madam Kuek Siew Tiang, had to face physical abuse when last November she had to disperse a gathering of five at a condominium in Tanjong Pagar where she works. The group, which had been given multiple reminders to disperse, started harassing Mdm Kuek by taunting her and putting their phone cameras near her face after Mdm Kuek took a photo of them to report to the condominium management. The group later confronted Mdm Kuek and her colleague at the guard post and attempted to snatch her phone, which led to her injuring her arm. “I was also a guard at a nightclub area before, so had dealt with many of such (aggressive behaviour). But never have people retaliated physically against me before like this,” she added. WHAT SECURITY COMPANIES SAY Security firms interviewed by TODAY said security officers have long faced abuse, especially older officers. Mr Kelvin Goh, managing director of Soverus Security, said he has received reports of five to eight cases of abuse on average each year, most of them lodged by officers working in condominiums. Officers face constant verbal criticism not just from the residents they serve, but those who manage the condominiums as well, said Mr Goh. “They can be shouted at for something as silly as having otters coming into the premises.” Anecdotally, older officers are also more prone to abuse as compared to younger ones, he added, especially those who are less tech-savvy and take a longer time to complete a task. Mr Goh said investigations are done every time a complaint is lodged by a security officer. The company will review evidence such as closed-circuit television camera and bodyworn camera footage, wherever possible, he added. Findings of the investigations would also be presented to the client so that such abuse can be prevented in the future. Mr Benjamin Chan, managing director of First Secure Security, which hired Mdm Kuek, told TODAY her case was the first one involving physical abuse that the company had to handle. “Usually we try to de-escalate and mitigate issues because we don’t want any harm to come to our officers’ way. So we always try to address the matters and calm things down,” said Mr Chan, adding that the company would deploy one of its executives or command centre personnel if things go beyond the ground officers’ control. Such incidents occur typically once “every three to six months”, he added. A police report was lodged over Mdm Kuek's case. TODAY has sought comment from police. Mr Khairul Annuar Rudy Shahril, managing director of Aardvark Security Services, said that de-escalation is also the main approach deployed by his security officers in handling conflicts on the ground. He added that none of the company’s staff has ever reported any physical abuse, although he had a case of a middle-aged female officer who eventually resigned after being intimidated by a drunk resident in the middle of the night. And while he acknowledges verbal abuse occurs frequently and he expects his staff to handle such incidents with professionalism, Mr Khairul draws a clear line when it comes to physical abuse, telling his officers: “Don’t be a hero” when faced with a dangerous situation. He said: “We always tell our officers, your life comes first. Your job is to record and report, not to jump into the line of fire. Related topics