Disciplinary


#1

Could you tell me the policy & procedure for having to discipline a cadet over an informal matter please.
In that if a cadet didn’t pay 100% attention is the squadron WO allowed to march her in to the CO’s office with a witness then shout so loudly from a distance of less than 4 foot away that other cadets overhear it and made the cadet cry (13 year old girl), feel intimidated, scared and very frightened.
Or is there another way of dealing with it.


#2

In a word no. You can’t do that. And I’m frankly shocked you have to even ask? If that happened I’d be asking for the staff disciplinary procedures for the WO.

There’s nothing wrong with a stern, hats on, chat. Shouting is never required for a disciplinary. It usually signifies a loss of control of the proceedings.

Also, we don’t march people into offices, they specifically told us not to do that at OIC, as it is essentially an unlawful arrest in military terms.

We don’t really have a formal disciplinary process, and it is a massive issue in the organisation in my opinion, I would write a formal letter of complaint to the OC.


#3

A rhetorical question, I suspect.


#4

I edited when I realised the OP is probably the parent, posting after the event, not the OC trying to prevent an overzealous WO


#5

The new code of conduct is very clear around how you handle a situation like that. You are to “counsel” the cadet on the errors of thier ways and future expectations and consequences. Long gone are the days of new ones being torn.

The only time this kind of behaviour MAY be acceptable is if the cadet in question is putting themselves or others at serious risk i.e a cadet mucking around on a range with a weapon but once removed from the situation then normal process is followed.

In my eyes the WO in question has humiliated the cadet and humiliation is a form of bullying.


#6

No its not rhetorical. It happened to my daughter, a cadet of 17 month, doing well, enjoying the cadet experience.
It’s a very uncomfortable situation as the WO wo did this is also one of my best friends. He meshed me to let me know he’d given her the telling off but his version and her version are different. She says he shouted and made her feel very scared. He said she didn’t listen and it was a warrented dressing down. She says he says. He’s a very good friend and it’s totally out of character for him. I said couldn’t you have handled it differently. A quiet word. You’re letting yourself and your dad down etc. He said no, it was justified. But she’s scared to go back now which is a shame because at that age I want her to have something in her life that isn’t mooching around the streets or being addicted to fb etc


#7

I would write to your OC in those terms, I would be extremely concerned if a disciplinary process resulted in a cadet leaving, as that defeats the point of the process. A process, aiming to make someone a better cadet which causes them to not be one at all, is failing.


#8

All that needed was a quiet chat around the WO observations of the cadets behaviour and the future expectations…totally over reacted and lost all credibility whilst at it.


#9

The OC is the WO wife


#10

And he’s a good stick usually. That’s why I asked the Q couldn’t you have handled it better but he said no. He’s a good friend of mine. Situation blew up imo. Could’ve rung me or my wife and said she’s not listening (we’re all good friends). Not me I’m bothered about. It’s my daughter. Dad hat came on and she’s 1st. She’s still a kid. It’s not the marines. It’s kids and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else. It’s not fair.


#11

Aside from the other things which you’re right about, this isn’t really a good way to deal with it, because then cadet things are carrying on after the parade night has finished.

While it looks (based on hearsay) that they might have over reacted, doing it on the night is the correct action.


#12

Agreed with @OldNewbie.

This isn’t your best course of action. I would attempt to speak to the CO as a formal chat and tell him you’re not happy. If you’re all friends, then it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. There could be other factors why this WO overreacted, whether that was rightly or wrongly.

If none of this solves the issue, you can always speak to your sector commander or wing for advice.


#13

If you are good mates with staff
If it was me I would speak to them as friends tell them
Your daughter is scared about coming back and maybe they will speak to your daughter and reassure her.
It may also make them realise it was too much.

If you go down any official route you can probably say good bye to your friendship and to me that’s the last thing you want at this moment.

Also you didn’t say why she was shouted at.
Consider what happened and the reasoning behind the dressing down, if weapons were involved then some staff do really over react and others really hammer home the message with absolutely no sugar coating.


#14

And there lies the issue in this. Bullying in any form cannot be tolerated. Did the WO realise, after the event, what happened and how their actions upset a cadet? Discipline is totally different to bullying. Was this a one-off. If related to OC there could/will be a problem; talk to WSO off the record, raising with Wing HQ will escalate to investigation of bullying no doubt.


#15

Just putting this out there (not helpful in this case, but useful advice for people reading) - always have a second person present for such occurences!


#16

Valid point.


#17

The OP does say there was a witness present… maybe they could clarify the story.


#18

Sounds like a round-the-back-of-the-hangar job to me.


#19

Indeed, was the third person a staff member or a cadet. If the latter they could also have been intimidatedat the same time, if a staff member they should have stepped in and stopped it, with excuse me can we have a word outside.


#20

I would look at what your mate said, what your daughter’s said and seeing it somewhere in the middle. As you say he’s said one thing and her another.
Is she used to being “told off” in a raised voice manner at home or school? There are kids now who never get blasted and don’t know how to deal with it.
If not, the fact she’s been shouted out may have been enough garner this reaction. If she’s used to seeing the WO and wife in a social setting, it might be she wouldn’t expect this to happen by a family friend.
I’ve heard similar from teachers who teach the offspring of friends.

I’d ask your mate what she did or didn’t do. It may be that if he knows her socially, her behaviour may have not been what he expected and reacted as he did. Even have a choice adult conversation with him, if that’s your style.

There are a number of factors that need to be ascertained off the record.

I would suggest the straightforward course of action, is there is an apology to your daughter with you there. Followed by a word from you to her later that this doesn’t mean this can happen every time.

This afternoon I was in the local town and as I walked past the school, I don’t know what this kid had done, but a teacher was giving them the proper ‘hairdryer’ treatment, for all to see; their mates, fellow teachers and passers-by like me. Personally I saw nothing wrong as it was what happened at school all the time in my day. If the WO shouted at this cadet as suggested in a cadet hut, everyone would have heard it and wanted to know what was going on.

If this goes down the formal route, there would be a suspension while the Air Cadet behemoth gets it head around the situation and as the WO and CO are related the CO wouldn’t be doing the investigation. So the most that would happen is 6-9 months (minimum) down the line a ticking off for the WO, who would as I suggest above be expected to apologise, potentially in writing. If it was perceived as part of continual and habitual bullying, he could be kicked out.

Ultimately it depends on what you want from this. If it’s an apology in person or written then ask for one, if it’s a more in depth investigation tell the CO.

Of course I expect some barbed comments, as I do not advocate an immediate dismissal and gibbeting.