I'm stunned

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I mentioned in my thread about difficult child being sick that he punched a boy in school on Thursday. He will be serving an in school suspension for it upon his return from the flu.

    It is the same boy he did this to in December. Both times difficult child said the boy kept was giving him a hard time and then difficult child hit him and the boy kept saying that doesn't hurt so difficult child punched him harder. Of course, the boy's friends were there and said it was unprovoked. Not that I can know for sure but difficult child always tells us in his view what made him punch someone even when his reasoning makes no sense.

    Unprovoked or not difficult child should not have punched him.

    Fast forward to today. husband sent me a copy of the letter the boy's dad sent to the principal, school board, and Superintendent. In his letter he points out that difficult child has assaulted his child twice. He is upset that although they say they are following policy and confidentiality rules it is protecting the perpetrator and villifying the victim. He appears to be upset in part because the school won't tell him more about the consequence difficult child has received.

    He points out that difficult child has assaulted others at the school (while this is true it hasn't been a common happening-just a few times over the year-and I do know it isn't o.k. it just seems he is indicating it has happened often).

    He says the school district has a protectionist policy. He goes on to say difficult child is a risk to himself and others and that he hopes his behavior doesn't escalate to something like has happened on other campuses across the U.S.

    I know difficult child was wrong in what he did. I am not excusing it. That being said there are a whole lot of other kids at the school more violent than mine.

    I was stunned in what I read in this letter. Not sure what, if anything to do about it.
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I wouldn't do anything and would let the school handle it. The dad sounds like a bit of an alarmist to me.

    Just what you need, though. Sigh. So sorry.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Oh, honey, I'm sorry. It hurts when others don't understand.

    Is there any services you have wanted for your son that the school hasn't been willing to provide? Maybe you can use this to get them.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Sharon - I may be in an odd place right now but I think what you need to do is file this letter away for future reference, and nothing more. I think it might be a blessing in disguise.

    From this father's perspective, I too would be madder than a wet hen if my child were (again, dad's perspective) "victimized" more than once by another child. I would want some hard and fast reassurances that it would *not* happen again.

    From a mom of difficult child perspective, the school district has the obligation to educate him. It also has the obligation to keep him and other students safe. They know from past experience that difficult child can lash out - what interventions have they applied?

    I guess my line of thought (and please forgive me if I'm out of line, it's been a difficult child week around here) is that with the violence you are dealing with at home, to me, based on life with thank you, I would expect that to cross over to school to some degree eventually. You want difficult child protected from consequences for behaivors that are directly related to his disability. You want difficult child in an appropriate placement with appropriate supportive services, *especially* if he does start bringing more home behaviors to school.

    I don't think you want to compare difficult child's level of behaviors of *any* kind to other kids in the school. It's apples and oranges.

    I don't know... I guess because I'm squarely in teen difficult child behaviors, I've been thinking a lot this week about what could have been different. While we got thank you moved pretty fast as his behaviors escalated, I do remember at one point having a fairly heated discussion with a sped director about him having to fail placements in a stepwise progression, even though we *all* knew and agreed beforehand he would fail.

    It's not written in stone that difficult child's behaviors will escalate at school over the coming years, but I think that *if* they do, this letter may serve you well in terms of getting an appropriate placement/services.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    The dad is mad. He wrote a letter you weren't supposed to see. He's jumping to conclusions, extrapolating "what-ifs" into the future. Save the ltr if you want, but don't act on it.
    Stay focused on your son and his education. This dad isn't your focal point. Your child is.
    in my humble opinion.
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    Sharon I am so sorry this is happening. My heart hurts with yours. To hear someone voice our deepest darkest fear, our difficult child could be one of those "campus kids" some day. What a terrible day.

    Know that you are doing everything you possibly can for your child. Remember, you're not all alone in this. You have our collective understanding always.

    I hope your son feels better soon. Give him an extra hug tonight.

  7. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Do nothing about the letter(I'm wondering how husband got a hold of it).

    The Dad is angry. That's his right. As a parent whose child has been victimized by other students, I do understand where he's coming from. He's venting his frustration with the "system" because the only way to know if your son received any consequences is through the student grapevine. However, there is not a darn thing that can be done about it. It's confidential. Period.

    I know it's embarrassing. Son got suspended this year for stabbing a kid with a pencil in the eye. The kid was cursing at him in Spanish and wouldn't stop. Son turned to stab at him to stop and nailed him. Luckily, the kid was not seriously hurt. Son only got one day suspension because he doesn't have a prior record and HE TURNED HIMSELF IN AND CONFESSED.

    I felt horrible about the other child and expressed that to the VP when I spoke with her on the phone.

    Then, I learned later through the student grapevine that the cursing student was suspended for two days for disrupting class, cursing, and hitting other student.

    Put the letter away and keep it in case you can use it for difficult child's benefit.
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Sharon, as a parent, I'd be very angry myself. And I would feel the need to vent.

    And that is why there are confidentiality laws in place - to protect your difficult child. difficult child is receiving consequences - that's all the parent needs to know.

    In the meantime, do as Sue suggested - keep a copy of this letter in difficult children parent report. It may help with future services, especially in the school setting.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks everyone.

    As far as how husband received a copy of the letter the dad in the letter asked that he hoped they would see fit to show us the letter.

    I think for now we will hold onto it and not respond.
  10. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member



    I think Sue gave you the most wonderful words of wisdom. Use this letter for the betterment of difficult child's school situation. You have a son who is on his way to a hospitalization. You don't know what that will bring. This letter, while hurtful and alarmist in nature, may be useful to get additional services, e.g., 1:1 crisis counselor shadow at school, etc. It's all about educating and maintaining difficult child is the best possible way. This letter could be a blessing in disguise.

    More hugs.

  11. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member


    I agree, I think Sue's thoughts on this are solid and I have nothing to add except a bit hug for your mommy heart. :( Hope difficult child is feeling better soon.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    (insert chicken running around screaming icon)


    (yes Mr. Cleaver, a gradeschool punch on a dare is SO like the campus happenings - ) blargh
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    ROFL, Star!!!!
  14. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Sharon, I don't see the dad as alarmist at all. I see a parent who has a child who has received some physical assault from your difficult child twice. He is well within his rights to complain and ask the school what will be done. he is entitled to a safe environment for his child just as all of us are.
    I do think that when the time will come for you to ask the school district to help with Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or some sort of more intense schooling environment, that the letter will help your position.
    I have long thought that you and husband have an incredible level of tolerance for difficult child's violence. It is unreasonable to expect everyone else to have that same tolerance. He is a child but he is pretty consistently violent and threatening at certain times with both you and those in his world.

    The school also has a responsibility to educate your child in the least restrictive environment. Let the school handle this but know that if difficult child continues with physical assault on anyone including teaching staff that there will be changes regardless of how tolerant and accepting you and husband are.
    This isn't your fault but it is a wake up call that the older difficult child is the more the expectation of self control will be in play. Our difficult child's don't have it at this age.
    I'm hoping your difficult child will gain some control soon and this physically eruptions will be a thing of the past. Hugs.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I agree with Fran, and with Sue.

    The other child's parent has reason to worry. What would your response be if your child was punched/hit/assaulted/whatever you call it by the same child twice? Esp if you learned that the violent child had hurt other children? (And there IS a grapevine in schools as well as in society).

    Would you feel a need to address the administration at the school regarding his safety?

    I am so sorry. I know this hurts your mommyheart.

    I do think this letter could be instrumental in forcing the school to pick up the tab for part of a hospitalization or Residential Treatment Center (RTC) cost. And it may well help you get increased services for your difficult child.

    Just because all kids are guaranteed a FAPE in a Least Restrictive Environment does NOT mean that they should be in a totally mainstreamed situation. It truly does need to be an Individual plan. And recess/bus/gym/bathrooms are the most unsupervised part of a child's day. So even having a 1:1 for these times might help.



    ps. I strongly advise you to go to school and read your child's file - ALL of it. If situations like those described in this letter are documented, it could also help get the services your child needs. Any you really have NO idea what is in the file. Many of us have been surprised at things in our children's files.
  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I do think they will start having someone in the hallways with him which is a good thing. I will hold onto the letter. Maybe someday it will help in securing more services but in our school district I doubt it.

    I do appreciate all of your responses! I understand the father being angry and upset.

    I think part of my frustration is that this child kept telling difficult child to punch him. Doesn't make it right that he did punch him because difficult child has to learn that any violence isn't acceptable.

    I'm hoping the hospitalization happens soon and helps.