Sorry about the dramatic title - attention grabbing For some time, I and other people have noticed that when we scold J, he looks frightened and immediately covers his head with his arms, as though he expects to be hit. Yesterday the childminder talked to me about it. I talked to J about it. He was reluctant to talk about it, which makes sense to me (kids who are being abused, of which I suppose this is a mild form, know they have to keep it secret) but told me that his teacher hits him hard on the head... also pulls him by the ear. What to do with this knowledge? Again, it all comes down to culture and environment. I'm afraid that while it is (I think) technically illegal, hitting in the form of cuffs to the head, etc, does go on in schools here and seems fairly widespread from what I hear. It is also not right and obviously not good for the children in general, and J in particular. I could go straight to talk to the teacher, but that would not necessarily be wise. This is a tiny community, all based on good relations and personal interaction (a bit farcical when you consider the dreadful relationship I have with my immediate neighbours in the village ) and there is no place to play the outraged parent... Apart from this, the teacher is devoted to the children, passionate about teaching and has apparently taken J under her wing, spending a lot of extra time with him, and so on. She has a reputation of being strict and for losing her temper easily. I want this to stop but do not know how to go about making that happen without causing a mini-furore that will do no-one any good. It is certainly not appropriate to complain to the "authorities". This morning I went to talk about it to one of the assistants at the school, a sympathetic young woman. She clearly felt in a compromised position and repeated that it would not be appropriate for her to talk to the teacher (I had not intended that she do this) and that if she were in my place, she would talk directly to the teacher. She obviously has no idea it is going on - she did say that she absolutely never hits the children (I believe her) and that if she did, she would lose her job... Does anyone have any inspiration about how this can be dealt with?