I got a letter

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    It's official. I am being SARBED. For those of you not in the know, it stands for School Action Review Board. I am being turned in for difficult child's not attendance. We are going to be notified of a court date. We will both have to go in front of the judge. difficult child will have to explain all the reasons why she's missed school, including the times she has been taking long baths and has missed the bus, oversleeping, and not being able to find her shoes or purse and missing the bus because of THAT. Then there are the times when she has legitimately been sick but her principal doesn't believe it so she is refusing to excuse it.

    I am dreading this. difficult child needs to be held accountable for her actions. I know this. In California if a child is over the age of 13 it's the child who can go to jail and not the parent. At least I can feel comfortable knowing that I won't be locked up. BUT the parent can be fined several hundred dollars a MONTH to keep the child in juvenile hall. I am barely surviving with the money I'm making now. I can't afford to pay heavy fines. difficult child knows this and doesn't care. She truly believes she in untouchable. She doesn't believe anything will happen to her. She is going to learn the hard way. I just can't lose my home that I am working so hard for. I don't deserve this. difficult child may but I certainly DON'T, I hope this all doesn't turn out as bad as I think it will.
  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    As long as you have the medical documentation on file then the courts will let that go. As for her just not getting it together and going she should have to answer. I don't think you should have to pay for it but I don't know the laws. It seems like double jeopardy for you because as a school employee your hours are set. It is completely up to her to get up and get on that bus. You can't be there and at work at the same time.

    Try to stay calm about it and go in with your income and bills laid out so you can present them to the judge. Show him you can't pay. I would also print out and bring along all your emails and information about your attempts to get her to school. Prove to them you are making an effort and that the principal has even assisted but difficult child is just not budging. If you can prove you have done everything you can besides quiting your job to ensure she gets to school then hopefully the judge will lay off you and on to difficult child.
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think it's insane. Hire a lawyer and have her go with. Your daughter is mentally ill and, yes, that CAN influence whether or not she has to go to school or whether she is put on homebound education, through the school. Did you ever try to get an advocate?

    I sympathize with your daughter. I had unbelievable panic disorder and phobias at her age and although I went to school, I learned nothing. I was too busy shaking and freaking out and thinking of how to go to the bathroom if I had to throw up. I'm sorry, but if your minor child has a fear of school, and you had the right supports, she would be getting help, not this. Do you really think it will help her to go to juvie? I don't. It wouldn't have helped me, that much I know.I did cut classes a lot just to get away from the incredible stress of crowded rooms, scary teachers (teachers always scared me), mean kids, and the pervasive fear I felt all day, every day, except at lunch time with my few friends. Often I took off after lunch.

    If a kid won't go to school because he is on drugs that is one thing. If the child is mentally ill, I put it into a whole different category. If it were me, I would find another way to get her educated. This harassment is over-the-top. I don't believe she is faking it. She has the ulcers to prove she is not. I'd be burning angry at the school and my kid would not attend it and I'd get a lawyer and fight them with all I had.

    in my opinion your daughter needs help and accomodations, not punishment. Gets me mad just thinking about it. If it were my kid, I'd just homeschool, but in WIsconsin once you decide to homeschool, the school district can no longer contact you, bother you, look to see your cirriculum or check up on you. I know it is way different in California, which is a pity. But if you buy a cirriculum, it is self-explanatory. You don't have to be a teacher to figure out what she needs to do and she can work at her own speed.

    My oldest daughter, who did drugs, was yanked out of school (by me) to get her away from her durgged friends. We got a cirriculum and she graduated early, even though she was on drugs. She even got into Cosmetology School and, later, she went to a two year college for becoming a Pastry Chef. Not graduating the conventional way did not hurt her and I think your daughter needs a different way to go to school. She is not a "bad" young woman. She has mental health issues and it burns me up that she is being treated as if she really isn't mentally ill or physically ill. I'd be on my warrior mama horse and they would not win this battle. I've gone to battl with school districts many times and have never lost. Don't give up and why are you mad at your daughter? Do you really think she is faking it? Her ulcers?
  4. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I can't wait to hear difficult child explain to the judge that she missed school today because she couldn't find her headphones (Yes the teachers at that school actually let the students listen to music while they're doing their work.) difficult child said she absolutely couldn't go to school without her heaphones. Yesterday she missed because she overslept. My mom offered to pick her up and take her later but difficult child refused to go to school for just a half a day. These are all things SHE will have to explain to the judge as I, as her mother, am going to look stupid along with her. Ugh!
  5. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Like I just stated in my post, she has not been missing school because of her ulcers! Please Midwest mom go back to my original post and read all the reasons why she has been skipping school. Most of them are NOT health related.
  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    You wont look stupid you will look overwhelmed. Which is what you are. You have a child the size of an adult who is refusing to do simple things like attend school. While MWM is right that she needs to appropriate accomodations to help her she is never going to get any accomodations if she isn't there. You can't physically make her and aparently she is making the decisions instead of doing as she is told.

    Once again you are going in circles. I think I would be jumping off the merry go round by now.

    Honestly I don't like the way the school is treating her. I do think she has some issues that need addressing. I also don't think she is going to willingly go get the help. I think you may be able to work with the judge to get her some help. Let him know about her severe anxiety and her ulcers. Bring the school therapist from your school who was so good with her in and have him assist you in laying out the issues if you can. To be honest you do need to get on your Warrior Horse and put your foot down. With her, the school, and as much as you can with the judge. Beg them for help if need be but don't go down without a fight.
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  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, dtsc, going won't get her accomodations either. She needs to get an advocate who will fight for her child, whether she is in school or not. I'm thinking that this kid may need homebound, which means a public school teacher comes to the house a few hours every day and the child does not have to be in school.

    If you are afraid of school, a school therapist,w ho are usually not very skilled, won't help that. It takes time and a professional who is outside of the school district and can see what is right for this child. It may not be going to school is right.

    Again, I have fought many battles, including keeping my kid home, and won them all. But you can not do it alone or by giving into the district. You have to put your armor on and fight or you and your kid are toast. Having an advocate is a must. They cost nothing. And a lawyer is even better, but we got it all done with an advocate as they know the laws of your state and you don't and the school district won't tell you.

    Just my opinion. No way would I punish a scared, disturbed and very sick kid. And I'm pretty strict, but...not for those things. They are out of your daughter's control. The school is walking all over you because you allow it.

    In my opinion, this is not a discipline problem and you should snot punish your daughter. I wouldn't.
  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I am upset with her for setting her alarm, ignoring it, and sleeping through the time when the bus picks her up. I am upset at her for refusing school for not finding her headphones. (She has been going to school for the last 11 years without listening to music in class just fine till today.) I am upset with her taking long, luxurious baths in the morning and missing the bus. She is not incompetent. She is bipolar like me. I have a full time job, and if I didn't make it to work because I was taking a bath, or I turned off the alarm and overslept, I would be fired! She is 17 years old and needs to learn independence. She is perfectly capable and far from being an invalid.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have a mood disorder too. It's combined, in my case, with panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias. I don't know your daughter. You know her better than me. I don't think she is an invalid. I think she needs help and that school is a trigger for her. I was fine at home too, just like her.

    Maybe I'm wrong and she is just being defiant. I can't say. I do know a few kids who have homebound school here. That isn't homeschooling. A teachers comes out and they do school work. There are many options, including alternative schools which are smaller and more personal. But all of this is totally up to you, not me.

    If you feel your daughter would be better off going to juvie, then it is your decision and disregard my advice. We are all moms trying to do our best. You know better than me if she is in need of serious discipline.

    At any rate, to protect yourself if this is really a court with a bonafide judge, I'd get a lawyer and fight for your own rights so you don't have to pay heavy fines. The system in California sounds ridiculous. Just one more reason I'm glad not to live there. I don't think I could have put up with it because 37 didn't like to go to school either and had a slight school phobia and missed a lot of days and, really, the principal was kind and compassionate toward him and juvie or jail was never brought up. This was in Illinois. Maybe it has changed. I can't process a thirteen year old in jail because she won't go to school. For murder, maybe. For lack of school attendance...I don't know. It's not my call. Sorry you are going through this and do protect yourself. At least get an advocate.

    Good luck ;)
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  10. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    She already goes to an alternative school which has only about 6 kids in a classroom. She has her own personal aide to help her too. I would like to mention that last year, at this exact same school, she was doing great. Her attendance was good and she had really good grades. She had a best friend who I will call Bella who she was attached to at the hip. Bella transferred to a new school this year and now difficult child is sliding backwards.

    If she could meet just one friend she would be doing so much better. I'm sure of it. But how is she supposed to make friends if she's never there? And homeschooling is not an option. I work full time. I have to work. I'm a single parent. I can't have a teacher coming to my home without an adult present so that isn't an option either. Independent study would work if difficult child would actually do the school work instead of surf the internet all day.
  11. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    I understand what your saying even with the small classroom, my daughter had the same amount in her last one and only 2 1/2 hrs a day. Either way, excuses or real sickness, add the fact she is a difficult child, you have your hands full with all three issues and what seems tied. Like me in a way. But the others have a great suggestion, lawyers that are pro bono for her disability, then, you can work on the other half of her that either just doesn't want to go/typical teen or if any other health issues. I never thought of getting a lawyer for this situation, and its something Ill have to find out about to at my kids rate to. Schools really need to be more into actually working on programs at home or school that work, ( help at least) even if that means home bound in the evening.

    I agree about having a friend there, it does always make things just a little bit easier. Can you find out where the other kids hang out and maybe just get her used to that? I was trying this with my daughter but so far no luck.

    Ill be thinkin for you to, as well as me.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Mental health and emotional health are just as much 'health' as physical health. been there done that too - me, and my kids.

    Yes, the ulcers are a health issue. So is... being alone and isolated and not feeling like you belong. If you have major social skills issues, and lose the one and only friend you have there... school becomes very difficult to face. The fact that the school is not helping bridge the missing skills, in my opinion, is a huge black mark. Not "attempting" to bridge, but actually making stuff happen. Yes they can - I've seen it both ways.

    The principal has it in for your family. You know that. To me, it's a major red flag that your daughter is NOT getting all the supports and interventions that she is entitled to at that school.

    I do agree you should not go to court without a professional - either an advocate or a lawyer.
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  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    IC, thanks. I really like CG and I feel she and her daughter are being picked on simply because she is afraid to get the big guns involved. You said what I meant, but in a better way. I always appreciate your good insight.
  14. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    You all are right about the anxiety, my daughter already has very slowly started to be her "usual" self BECAUSE shes not in school,the excuses to do anything have slowed a little! Actually asking me to wash something for example instead of leaving it and not coming out of her room! Yes, for me, thats improvement! Im really nervous how this home school will turn out as like Californiablonde said" her daughter surfs the net" , yup, mine to. ( Now son wants to be homeschooled!! Uggh NO)

    School work in general will be hard and I hope you can find something that will work out asap, a program, volunteers maybe that you trust? Can she get homebound at your moms? ( I know, reading about your mom you dont really want her involved like that in some ways) Has your daughter ever tried a simple part time job she could handle? Maybe that would encourage school/social skills? But again, the anxiety part, I understand. I wonder how my daughter will do in two years for a job! What about a" pen pal"/study buddy thats also homebound or from another home school situation?( pref same grade and course so they can study together) Of course where you can monitor her interactions with that/those kids?
  15. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    http://www.cirkielaw.com CB, take a look at this website. I know they are not in your area, but there is lots of good information there. You may even consider calling them and asking for a referral for an advocate in your area. I have talked to Mr. Cirkiel and know him to be an intelligent caring attorney. I hope you find the help you need.
  16. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for your advice. She missed the bus again. She overslept. She hasn't been to school at all this week. Ugh...
  17. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I assume you are leaving for work long before she has to catch the bus...but can you make her get up before you leave, maybe have breakfast together or something, so she doesn't "oversleep". That would at least stop that excuse. Or is there anyone who can drive her so she doesn't have to take the bus? Does the school have an early drop-off so you can take her, or is it too far and too out of the way?

    This doesn't sound like laziness. It sounds like she hates school or hates the bus. What does she do all day if she's not at school?
  18. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    see your other thread
  19. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    The school won't let her set foot on campus until 8:00 a.m. so dropping her off early isn't an option. I drop of easy child at 7:15 and I start work all the way on the other side of town at 7:30. My mom has attempted to drive her to school and sometimes she just flat out refuses to get in the car. When she is actually at school she does great. All of her teachers report that she has a very pleasant personality, she works hard, and gets good grades. Before we transferred to this school difficult child refused to do any work, would lay her head down on the desk, and was getting straight F's.

    So this school so far is actually the best high school she has ever attended. The problem is getting her there. We have an IEP Friday and we will be discussing possible half days with independent study. difficult child will start school at 10:30 and finish at 2. She will take two courses independently at home. I don't know what else to do at this point. She has a school psychiatric, social worker, and a case carrier who are all trying to help her get to school but so far we are all failing at it.
  20. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I guess what I meant is that at some point difficult child has to be present. Whether that is present at testing or present at therapy or present at a meeting. She can't stay in her bedroom and expect the help to come to her without her being present in her own life.
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