High School Discipline Drama - What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by WearyWoman, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. WearyWoman

    WearyWoman Guest

    Well, just when one difficult child (Bubby) seems to be having better days, the other one (JT) messes up!

    First of all, I want to say that I know JT was wrong in everything he did. But is the school's personnel out of line here? I hope you'll read on and let me know what you think.

    Here's the story: JT (age 16) has significant ADHD and some ODD, although, his ODD has improved a lot over the years, to the point where he is doing well at home and is getting a 3.5 GPA in school. His teachers like him, and he is generally good-natured and easy going.

    BUT . . . JT has been bullied over the years, particularly in his sports by some older teammates. We notified the coach a number of times, however, the bullying continued on and off.

    While JT doesn't get into trouble very often, it seems that when he does, it's a big deal. He is extremely impulsive.

    Fast forward to this past week. The school called stating JT was being suspended for two days for getting carried away in the locker room with a younger teammate. What started out as goofing off - snapping towels, running around, etc., turned into a sort of underclassman initiation, complete with way too much hair gel put on the kid's head, shoving around, and duct tape. JT was inflicting these things on his teammate.

    Unbeknownst to us, this sort of freshman harassment has been happening on the team for years, and JT told us that with this incident, they were all laughing about it at first, until it got too carried away.

    I completely agree that JT was wrong, that he deserved a consequence, etc. We thought the two-day out-of-school suspension was reasonable. He had a big sports meet scheduled a couple of days later, but we were told he could participate since he would have served his suspension. That was a relief, as JT has been practicing and training SO hard the whole season. He was really looking forward to going. The suspension and meet decision was made by the athletic director, and we felt it was appropriate.

    We talked to JT of course, and JT admitted that he should have stopped himself from behaving that way. He felt ashamed, and he said that he'd seen other kids on the team do this over the previous couple of years without consequence. He thought it was funny at the start, but it really wasn't, obviously.

    The boy who JT picked on happens to be the son of a teacher in the school.

    Okay, so the day JT went back to school (after serving his suspension), he apologized to the boy he picked on, as well as the boy's dad (the teacher), by visiting the dad's classroom. JT aplogized to him, and the dad told JT he should be aplogizing to his son instead. JT explained that he had aplogized already to the son, but that he thought he should also apologize to him. The dad told JT, "If I were my son, I would have beat the snot out of you!"

    Later that day, my husband received an e-mail from the coach that this dad/teacher had e-mailed the coach asking why JT wasn't suspended from the big meet in addition to being suspended from school. So, the coach was feeling pressured to pull JT from the meet, apparently.

    We believe the same/a similar e-mail was sent to the principal and athletic director by the dad/teacher.

    The principal of the school then cornered JT in the hallway and pulled him aside during the school day. He said that he knew JT had been in trouble in the past (18 months ago, JT stole money in the locker room, but has not made a mistake since then). He told JT that if anything happened to the younger boy (if he were called a name, or if some other kid in the hallway swore at him, etc.), that JT would be held responsible regardless of who did it. He told JT that he would receive an automatic 5-day suspension and that the police would be called. Basically, if any kid gives this boy a hard time from this point forward, JT will be held responsible and assumed to have told someone to harass this boy. The principal used the "F" word in this conversation, and I just don't think there is any appropriate context for that.

    The athletic director then told JT he would have to apologize to his entire team, admitting what he'd done, etc.

    Now, again, I don't have a problem with accountability. I don't condone JT's behavior at all, and I'm ashamed and upset my son would do that sort of thing, especially given he was on the unwanting receiving end of it in the past.

    But, I am equally upset at the school's response (other than the athletic director who handled things well at the start). The other boy's dad used his position with the school to influence the consequences for JT. And, when JT apologized to him, he told JT that if he were his son, he'd have beat him up good. Is that professional?

    We were not informed that JT would have to apologize to the entire team. I have no problem with the fact that they asked him to do this, just that we weren't informed and the other dad/teacher was involved in requiring this, and that he tried to use his position to create additional consequences for JT in the form of suspension from a big meet. Also, the principal's threats of calling the police on JT if someone else bothers the other kid seems out of line. I don't appreciate his language either.

    Now, I'm SO concerned that this isn't over; that this other boy will continue to complain and that JT will be blamed for anything/everything. JT admitted he screwed up. He didn't lie about it. He served his suspension, apologized, and received consequences from us at home. Missing practice for two days was a big deal to him.

    Yet, there's some sort of vengefulness going on the other way now. He's been threatened by the dad/teacher (through his fighting words) and the principal.

    I can't shake the feeling that the school is lying in wait to pounce on JT in the future.

    What do you think about the other boy's dad/teacher saying he would have beat up JT if he were his son and getting involved in the consequences (what about privacy rights, etc.)? The school assigned its consequence, and then he demanded more punishment from the school and the coach. And what about the principal's threats against JT, and his swearing during the conversation, etc.?
  2. WearyWoman

    WearyWoman Guest

    Just want to clarify that JT's locker room behavior was not a fight or disagreement between him and the other boy. It was a goofing off situation that turned into a freshman hazing episode - not funny and not pleasant and not okay. The reason the principal threatened JT about other kids picking on this boy and JT being held responsible is that the other boy may be harassed now for snitching on JT.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Sounds to me like this incident really "exposed" the threatening, bully-style behaviors that have been going on in the locker room for years...

    JT went through it....and in his turn, became a perpetrator of the hazing...

    It's a tough situation - but with the recent headlines about students committing suicide over this type of behavior - the school may have been easily convinced to take a harsher stance.

    I don't know...

    Did everyone behave professionally? No, it doesn't sound like it. Sounds like emotions are running high all around...

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to sit down and have a meeting with the coach, the teacher, the principal and discuss things?
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Look up the laws in your state. I DON'T think it was handled well and I DO think they are over-reacting because of who this child is. I'd notify the Dept. of Public Instruction, tell them the story, and ask about your son's rights. Does he have an IEP? Is your child, by any chance, a minority? We have adopted children of different races.

    Having said that, I want to add that the duct tape part of the hazing scared me. Maybe boys do this. I never heard about it from my boys. But duct tape can cause serious pain and damage and THAT would have me questioning JT's psychiatrist. I am also concerned that it's usually a joke to the boys, but that they became alarmed. I have no idea how bad this incident was, but if it was over-the-top, I'd really, really double up on the counseling.
  5. WearyWoman

    WearyWoman Guest

    Daisy - I have seen the recent news stories, and I understand the reaction. I personally can't stand ANY sort of behavior that violates the rights of others. To say that I am extremely and utterly disappointed and ashamed of my son's behavior is an understatement. This type of behavior has been going on in the locker room for a long time, and it would be a relief to see more preventative measures in place, i.e. supervision.

    Midwest - I am very bothered by the duct tape. They duct-taped the boy's hands behind his back. Where did JT get this idea? Older boys on the team previously did the EXACT same thing to him and others on the team. He is repeating the same thing that happened to him. I am so upset about it. I never understood how a person could inflict on another the same unwanted behavior previously inflicted on him by another. It doesn't make sense to me. But now, I see how it's almost a culture of survival - do it before someone else does it to you.

    As I mentioned before, this type of behavior has been modeled on the team by the upper classmen for years. Now, of course, when a parent (teacher, no less) complains, the school blames all of its problems on one kid. This should have been dealt with all along. Instead, it's a reactionary policy of doing something only when the pressure is on. We told the coach our son was being sworn at, humiliated, threatened, and hazed a couple of years ago, and other than a talking to, I don't think the boys involved received any consequences whatsoever. In hindsight, I wish we had pursued this further, but JT begged us not to tell anyone, since "snitches end up with stitches", as he said.

    JT isn't the only boy involved. A lot of kids on the team have been doing this. Nobody has ever been disciplined before. I think it's a lot easier to blame JT for everything than to look at the situation and focus on the school's responsibility for supervision and prevention in general.
  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I think that a two day suspension was pretty mild considering what you described. In my school district, the entire middle school had one sport suspended for its entire season due to a hazing episode. I personally think that the school should have suspended JT from the big event before the teacher/dad asked for it but that once the punishment had been set, it was wrong to change it because the dad asserted pressure on the school. Overall, I think the incident was not really well-handled. The initial punishment was too light (if I was the other boy's parent, I would also have been outraged that only a 2 days suspension was given) but bowing to an angry parent with influence is not right, either. I feel sorry for the other boy. He now has to be afraid of getting beaten up for doing something we tell all of our kids to do - out a bully.

    I hope that JT learns from this and doesn't do this again.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    As I understand what you posted, JT experienced pretty much EXACTLY what he did to the other boy. It was done to him, and when JT reported it to the coach NOTHING happened to the bullies. So a year later JT is the older boy and does this to a younger boy. Younger boy does what JT did, reports it to the coach. NOW the coach acts, but seemingly only because the boy who was picked on was a teacher's child. Then, after the suspension, JT apologizes and goes so far as to apologize, all on his own, to the child's father - who is a teacher at his school.

    The father then pushes to have JT given a LOT more punishment.

    WHY did the coach not act when JT was hazed? The coach essentiall TAUGHT JT that this was acceptable - by doing nothing when JT was hazed and it was reported.

    then they want JT to be accountable for anything that every other child in the school could do to the teacher's son? Where was this type of protection when YOUR son was hazed and reported it? Oh, wait, it didn't matter when JT reported it - no one got in any sort of trouble for THAT.

    I would NOT be happy here. The father who wants his son to beat up JT is acting VERY unprofessionally. I am SURE that the school rules say that ALL fighting is punished by suspensions. EVERY adult in this seems to be acting inappropriately. The principal has NO RIGHT to blame JT for the actions of others. The principal would have to be able to PROVE that JT forced someone else to hurt the boy for ANY punishment to be given, in my opinion. The father's reaction I could probably accept - as far as his words to your son. the extra punishments/threats are out of line.

    Look up the school rules. Make SURE that JT calls you IMMEDIATELY if he is called to the principal's or coach's office for ANY problem. Before he says ANYTHING to them you must be present. Before you get there he should say that he has been told to wait for you before he says ANYTHING. Then his mouth stays CLOSED until you get there to sort it out. ESP if it is over ANYTHING regarding the other boy.

    If the prinicpal imposes more punishment, take the first letter with you down to the Superintendent's office. Let them know that it is a shame that your son was hazing the other boy, and the suspension was appropriate, but nothing more. Also ask WHY no suspensions were given when similar things were done to your son the year before???

    The reason your son is to say absolutely NOTHING if he is called into the principal's office, or coach's office is because they have said they will call the police. JT has a right to representation if the police may be called. They made the threat and now JT needs to learn how to protect himself. Regardless of why he is called in, that threat of police action means that he needs you to be there when he gives ANY statement on ANYTHING. If the principal won't let him call you, or bullies him into saying anything before you get there, he should not be punished based on what he says with-o someone there to protect his rights. The principal has made it clear, crystal clear, that he will hold JT accountable for things he has no control over. This means that someone needs to be there to protect JT from the principal.

    Role play with JT what he should do if he is called into the office. What if they tell him he cannot call you? What if they badger him with questions, get into his face with them, etc.... Role play until he can politely say that he will answer questions as soon as his parents are there. Then how to use that ODD to his advantage and NOT respond to their questions.

    I am so sorry that when JT was hazed no one did anything, but then when he hazed a boy he got punished. The school essentially TAUGHT him that it was OKAY to haze someone, and then punished him for something he was taught to do.
  8. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    here are some thoughts
    I am not sure about the school but I generally even questioned the value of suspensions in helping challenging kids acquire lacking skills and learn to trust teachers. I would try not to mention the principal , but mentioned he was threatened etc , not spoken to in respectful language - when we are trying to help kids and not appear to act out of revenge we need respectful language

    The way I would go about things is to do Collaborative problem solving CPS with the school , first acknowledging the school concerns and then yours.

    We appreciate the need of the school to follow through with its dscipline plan as a consequence for JT's unacceptable behavior
    However we have the following concerns - I like to end of with a question - when we ask the questions we are in control of the meeting

    would you not agree that consequences should serve as a deterrent or holding a kid accountable and not be a form of retribution and vengeneance ?
    The message we and JT are getting is that the request for added consequences has got nothing to do with helping JT but more about vengenance , don't you think so?
    we want JT to reflect on the consequences of his actions on other people or do we want thim to just think about what's in it for him , what will be done to him and even worse the school is just out to get him , and now waiting for him to make a mistake , would you not agree that we should be focusing on helping JT , a kid who is behaviorally challenged , working with him to come up with a better plan rather than dishing out more punishments
    Would you not agree that kids will do well when they feel their teachers are being fair and have their interests at heart ?
    it is not the lesson we are trying to teach JT that matters but what is the message he is taking home ?
    If we look at what happened , it was not a deliberate and planned attempt to hurt the other boy but JT lack of skills to judge when the goofing went from being fun and not seeing that the other kid was not enjoying what was happening to him ? How are consequences supposed to help him acquire these skills ?
    I am not sure what's behind the principal threatening JT about other kids picking on this boy and JT being held responsible ? is it because the other boy may be harassed now for snitching on JT.
    Do you think the additional punishments ( me = any punishment ) is impacting positively on relationships between kids and repairing the relationship between JT and the other kid ?
    Maybe this has more to do about the problematic nature of punishments and suspensions is that kids don't see this as a good way to solve problems and improve relationships .
    Instead of forcing JT to apololgize before the whole team so he can be humiliated would it not be better for team spirit and comaradery that we ask the team how they can JT make amends and repair the relationship with the other kid ( not asking what should be done to JT)
    Don't you think that JT was showing moral initiative by going on his own accord and apologizing also to the other kid's dad ?
    While I can appreciate that the dad was upset but would you not agree that his response was inappropriate - is the message that we solve problems by encourage kids to hit back instead of talking it through acceptable

    I would like teachers and principals to reflect on what Alfie Kohn says

    Imagine that your students are invited to respond to a questionnaire several years after leaving the school. They";re asked to indicate whether they agree or disagree and how strongly with statements such as: Even when I wasn't proud of how I acted, even when I didn't do the homework, even when I got low test scores or didn't seem interested in what was being taught, I knew that [insert your name here] still cared about me.

    How would you like your students to answer that sort of question? How do you think they will answer it?

  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What he did IS disturbing, and the school handbook may call for stronger punishment than he received. I think your idea that they are blaming one child for an entire team thinking hazing is okay is an accurate assessment of the situation. It is why you need to role play with JT about how to protect himself. I am pretty sure that the other boy will likely try to make trouble for your son. You need to push the principal to deal with the entire culture of hazing (the coach KNEW about it, it went on for far too long for him to NOT have known about it) and not to just punish your child and expect it to stop and punish your child again if someone else continues to haze others. It won't be easy - the temptation to blame it on one "bad" kid is great because it lets the coach and principal off the hook. The coach and principal need to explain why this has been allowed to go on for years and why nothing was done in the past other than talking to the kids when someone complained.

    They also need to explain why your son could even THINK that he would be hurt so bad he would need stitches if he spoke up about being hazed. THAT is the REAL issue - not the one teacher's kid getting hazed!!!

    I think stopping the sport for the season is a reasonable response to hazing - but NOT just for ONE student. The entire team needs to be given some consequences because they have ALL been participating. Have you asked your son why he chose to haze the other boy, and why that day? Ask him who told him to do that to the other boy, who expected him to do it? It is RARE for only one boy to be hazing another. Usually there is a group of boys (or girls) who all participate in the hazing, not just one boy doing it to another.

    Why were the other kids who participated (even if it was just laughing and encouraging your difficult child to go on with it) not punished? I would push JT to tell you which other boys were there laughing and egging him on and then take that list to the coach and principal. Until ALL the boys are taught not to do this, and given stiff consequences for ANY act of hazing, even if they only participated by laughing and not telling others to stop, this won't ever change.
  10. WearyWoman

    WearyWoman Guest

    svengandhi - Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Believe me, I am beyond consolation with JT's behavior. I can't imagine how he could possibly give himself permission to do anything like that. I haven't slept well in days, and I had a migraine last night over it.

    Susie - You make a great point about preparing JT of what to do if he is called into the office in the future. I hadn't thought of that. While JT is so smart in some ways, socially he really makes foolish choices at times. He gets As and Bs in school and yet, he'll wonder why someone is upset when he tallks forever about his mechanical abilities to the exclusion of any other conversation. He can read several books in a day and yet head out to the bus without his coat in 40-degree weather. He'll cut the sleeves off of a brand new shirt to turn it into a "muscle shirt" (which we don't allow), but leave the cut-off sleeves laying in plain sight for us to find. I'm telling you this kid can disassemble a car motor, read a book, and figure out how to put it all back together, but yet he lacks common sense. He doesn't have Asperger's, but it's along those lines. He's missing some of the cause-and-effect thinking. Plus, he is SO impulsive that he often does something and regrets it, but by then, it's too late. He knows the difference between right and wrong, yet has difficulty behaving in a right way.

    Allan - I've heard about CPS, and I like that idea. I have no desire to create an "us-against-them" scenario with the school. JT was 100% wrong - period. I just think the school handled the situation poorly in that JT has now been indirectly threatened by personnel AFTER apologizing and doing the right thing. He does need help with skills - a LOT of help. Unfortunately, because he performs so well academically, we've not been able to get him any help at all through the school for his behavioral issues. They claim any disorders he may have are only relevant if they affect his educationla performance, and since he's an A student, well . . . he doesn't have real needs, I guess. He has severe ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, ODD, and impulsivity. He sort of slips through the cracks, as he doesn't have an IEP or receive any special services.
  11. WearyWoman

    WearyWoman Guest

    Susie - You're right in that other kids were involved in this incident, but the other boy only complained about and blamed JT. So, the other boys were not disciplined at all. However, I don't doubt that of the kids involved, JT was the one getting the most carried away. Even at home, if he starts tickling Bubby, he gets too carried away. Even after Bubby is done wanting to be tickled, JT will keep it up until somebody tells him to stop. He doesn't have good "brakes" in his mind. He has always been that way. I think getting carried away is stimulating to him, and with his underaroused nervous system, he craves that. As a toddler, he would smash his toy cars to pieces with rocks just to see them break. He wasn't being mean really, but it was interesting to him. Playing with things in the usual way was never stimulating enough. So getting carried away has always been a problem for him.

    The coach claims he was unaware of any of this stuff and has no desire to monitor kids in the locker room. The coach isn't the one who turned in JT. It was the parent of the other boy who turned in JT and not to the coach, but to the athletic director. We reported JT's problems in the past to his coach who tried to handle it without formal discipline. And, we never pushed the matter with the administration because JT didn't want us to do that. In the current situation with JT, JT did not initially intend to bring any harm to the other boy. It started out as goofing off and snapping towels/throwing soap. When JT was harassed in the past, it was more of the traditional bullying scenario where the older teammates would swear at him and physically threaten him, etc. They called him and left obscene messages on his phone, told his team members to call him names too, and they hit his head into the lockers, etc. It was more overt hatred all around, I guess you could say. However, JT and other freshman were also hazed mildly when they were younger.

    The first step toward a more safe and healthy environment is for the school to acknowledge that there is a problem. I suppose that means blame of some sort, and that's why they don't want to admit this problem exists.
  12. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    Education is supposed to deal with the whole child not just his academic needs. Rewards , punishments and consequences cetainly don't teach the skills that behaviorably challenging kids lack and even when consequences do manage to get compliance they don't promote commitment to values and moral sophistication , just helping kids to ask what's in it for me , what will I get or what will be done to me and not reflecting on the consequencs of their actions on others

  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Obviously JT was wrong but the school was also wrong in how they handled things. The teacher never should have said what he did. As a parent I can understand being very upset, however, as a teacher I can't imagine a situation where I would say something like that to a child. In fact, it would never cross my mind. The principal also handled things poorly. There is no reason for the principal to have used the F word or for him to threaten him about future incidents that don't involve him.

    I would be very concerned about this. Do trust that JT is telling you the truth about what happened with the teacher and the principal? If so, I think I would pursue talking to someone about this. Part of me thinks going to the principal to talk it through would be good, on the other hand, I am not sure a principal would admit to this. Would talking to someone in the district help, maybe the superintendent? Whoever you talk with, be calm and continue to support that you know JT was wrong and needed a consequence (I know you would be, I just say that because, working in the schools, we see a lot), that way they know you are being reasonable and supportive but also not o.k. with the way they handled the situation.

    Sending gentle hugs your way.
  14. WearyWoman

    WearyWoman Guest

    Allan - I would love for JT to be plugged into some services that way, especially empathy training or social skills. We've tried. He just doesn't seem to qualify. For example, his ADHD does not qualify as "other health impaired" unless it impacts his academic functioning, and the school has determined it does not. I'm sure a lot of kids with invisible disabilities are slipping through the cracks.

    Wiped Out - We do believe JT about what was said. He told us only after we asked and after he'd already admitted to his mistakes and dealing with the consequences. For all of his otherwise intelligent abilities, JT rarely if ever covers up anything. He doesn't come up with great excuses or try to hide evidence. In fact, he would make a pretty bad criminal that way. That's also why he always gets caught. husband is going to call the principal tomorrow to discuss two issues - the words of the other boy's dad/teacher (we learned he actually repeated the beating up JT thing several times in different ways during the conversation), and the principal's threats of calling the police on JT even if some other kid causes a problem. We'll see how that goes and then go forward from there. We want to make sure it is in writing too, so a follow-up e-mail after the conversation is probably a good idea.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know your son has been diagnosed with ADHD/ODD, but he has classic symptoms of Aspergers. When you said he talks about mechanical stuff to the exclusion of all else, my radar went off. And his good grades, but clueless social skills are another clue.
    You may want to look into that. If he has Aspergers, he isn't going to "get" social norms the way other kids do. That doesn't mean he doesn't know right from wrong. It just means that he will be hampered by not understanding people. Aspies are horrible liars and have narrow, obsessive interests. They do not understand how to hold an interesting give-and-take conversation and often seem me-centric because they don't understand other people well. I noticed your younger son has a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) diagnosis, but all Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids look different and Aspergers kids are often like Little Professors who just don't "get" the rules of life.
    Just my thoughts :)
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Bad behaviour happened. It happened because it has been modelled as apparently acceptable, but it slid below the radar. It no longer is below the radar.

    They have chosen a culprit. Not really fair, but they need to realise this is long-standing and therefore part of their problem.

    But let's put that aside for now...

    JT did a bad thing. He admits it. He was given a two day suspension. Whether this is considered lenient or not is not the issue. The school learned of his criime, gave a punishment. Her served it. Now, someone wants to up the ante. Too late. And it sends a very bad message, that your punishment can be adapted and changed even if nothing more is done wrong, just because someone connected to the victim is not happy.

    In the legal system, if a perpetrator is sentenced and the victim (or the DA on behalf of the victim) feels the punishment is too lenient, they can appeal. But in this situation, both sides get to put the case. The perpetrator gets to also say why he feels things are severe enough.

    What is happening here is not justice - it is entirely one way.

    I would be writing a letter to the school.

    Two issues -

    1) the hazing has been going on for years and despite being reported to the coach when it happened to JT, nothing was done. OK, now the school knows. They need to take on the whole team and teach them that this is unacceptable. Otherwise it will keep happening and only the occasional kid will get scapegoated. But it won't stop it long-term. This needs to be stopped and this is the only way - a team intervention.


    2) This situation - JT did the wrong thing. He admits this. A punishment was given. it was endured. it is over. There should ne nothing more, especially since he of his own volition went and apologised (which was not in the punishment requirements). He now seems to be getting punished further, beyond what was originally laid down. And to threaten him (including with inappropriate language) that if anything goes wrong for this other kid, even if JT is not responsible, that JT will be blamed - inappropriate and in fact is an example of exactly the kind of bullying behaviour that started it all.

    To change the problem, the culture has to change. I would also in your letter request a sit-down meeting with all parties, to resolve this. The kid's dad feels angry (understandably) but is abusing his position of power. That is also unhealthy.

    In your letter, make it clear that you and JT accept that he did the wrong thing and it was right he was punished. That is not the issue now.

    The aim of punishment is to bring about learning and change. But the lesson learned is being undermined, and nothing seems to have changed. A learning opportunity for the school, the class and the staff is about to get swept away in the desire for revenge. Unhealthy.

    You are right to be concerned.

  17. WearyWoman

    WearyWoman Guest

    Midwest - Yes, we've thought of Asperger's, but he truly doesn't meet the criteria. His lapses in judgment and obsession with mechanical things, hunting, and fishing, seem to occur in isolation from anything else. And, the social issues are nowhere near significant enough to make the diagnosis. It seems that his ADHD causes quite severe impulsivity and that leads to poor decision making in the moment. After the fact, he is usually remorseful. Of course, that's too late to change anything.

    Marg - I appreciate your thoughts. If I can put aside how upset I am right now at difficult child, I can see that while he did something very wrong, he is a part of the problem, not necessarily the problem. And, I that's what I think you were saying in your post. The principal's response was another threatening/bullying type act, and that is exactly what we don't want modeled for JT. Everyone is saying one thing and either doing or allowing another. No wonder this problem continues for the school. It will continue years into the future if they don't address it once and for all. I agree that a team intervention is needed. We really like the coach, and we surely don't want to give him any grief about how he manages the team. That's probably caused our hesitation more than anything. husband is calling the school tomorrow. I'm SO glad he can calmly handle this type of situation because I get so worked up just thinking about it, and it is so hard for me to be assertive. Going forward, I'm afraid JT will be a "marked man", so to speak and that a future disciplinary action is inevitable. I understand that his behavior was unacceptable, but I sure wish people could better understand that these kids need help and guidance. Even though they make mistakes, they are still valuable human beings with a potential for successful lives.

    It hurts so much knowing he'll never be a easy child. I sometimes dream about what that might be like for him and for us. Yet, his disabilities get in the way, and since no one else can see them, they don't understand him. And without understanding, there is very little compassion for him or for us.
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    While his behaviour was certainly unacceptable, once sentence has been proclaimed and then served, that should be the end of it. I'm afraid you're right, he could well be more likely to be scapegoated in the future. The reason for this, if it happens, will be unresolved anger and resentment from others involved. So a round table discussion could well be a way to help others drop this and move on.

    It's never fair to move the goalposts in the middle of a game. That is what is happening here. Principal and other kid's teacher dad are wanting to change the rules on the run, a nd this is the very attitude which has allowed this situation to continue and reoccur. Of course it shouldn't have happened, but it will happen again to someone else's kid, even after your son has left the school and moved on, if they fail to grab advantage now.

    Make it clear with your requested meeting, that you want this to be part of the solution, not another problem. Your aim is to work in cooperation with the school, to bring about a broader change longer term.

    Good luck! And who knows? He has every chance of becoming a easy child. Certainly, the way he tried to apologist augurs well.