A new one on me: blaming my child for getting his name wrong

My son came home from school when it started this year with EVERYTHING labeled with not-his-surname.  He has a double surname: Mysurname Dadssurname, no hyphen.

I corrected it all neatly in matching marker. But things keep getting sent home that way.  I emailed his teachers, who ignored the email. (We're changing his school for lots of reasons, but this sure didn't help.)  

When I had his parent-teacher conference, his homeroom teacher said that the first day of school, she'd had the kids write their names down, and my son had written:

Firstname Mysurna

That is, he had not even completed writing my surname (which is long) when time was up. Based on that, she decided that he doesn't use Dadssurname at all. 

"Did you ask him?" I asked, "because if he didn't even finish writing the first part of his surname he couldn't've gotten to the last part yet."  and she stared at me like that had not occurred to her.

I applaud her intentions in asking what kids actually want to be called, but I sure question how she does it. Because...wow. I wonder how many other kids in her room are going by things that aren't their names because of this? 


November 21, 2016 4:05 PM

Having worked in several schools within the same district as a school counselor, it was always important to me to ensure that students' names were spelled properly by all involved (and obviously that their permanent records were correct).  If you are moving into a new school, be sure that whomever is on the enrollment end of things is aware that his preferred name is his entire name (there is usually a spot for that on most school forms).  If the relevant office staff are aware of what his correct name is, it should trickle down accordingly on all student lists that staff members receive based on whatever is in the computer system.  

(I'd also ensure that the correction is made if it hasn't been already with his initial school so that there is consistency if/when he transfers - if names aren't identical, there can be additional confusion that it sounds like you don't need.

I think it also depends on the student's age as to whether staff members "trust" that the info they are receiving from the student is correct.  Best wishes - hope you've been able to make significant headway in sorting things out by this point!