Need help really quick - 3rd grader suspended

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jules71, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I need some help really quick. The principal at my son's school just called and told me there was an altercation in the classroom between my son and another child. Each child is giving a different story.

    My son has ADHD/ODD and has an IEP. Can the principal suspend him for the remainder of the day??????
  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    I do not believe an IEP would help if he got in trouble. Most schools are zero tolerance and any child would get the same treatment behavior-wise. I think IEP only helps with school work. Ladies, please correct me if I am wrong...
  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Yes, he can be suspended. However, if he is suspended for more than 10 days total (not consecutive) I believe it constitutes a change in placement and that is an issue.

    Does your son have a BIP?
  4. snowbash169

    snowbash169 Guest

    What is a IEP? If it is an EA in Perth they are an Education Assistant. My son with ODD has one full time at school and what she is able to do for him is redirect and watch out for any incidents that may lead into agressive behaviour. My 8 year son has a high IQ and does not need help as such with his work, however he needs support and someone to help him with his emotions.

    My son has been expelled from 1 school and suspended many times, one accasion was more than 10 days and this was when the school was given funding for the Education Assistant, which has helped 100%. I was having to go in and pick him up on a regular basis's because of his behaviour. One occassion I dropped him off at school and went straight to work and was called to come and pick him up before I had even got there.

    I think sometimes it has to get bad before it can get better and my understanding of ODD it will always be up and down.
  5. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Thanks. My anxiety is sky high right now.

    NO, he does not have a BIP. He didn't have any issues like this in 1st or 2nd grade. He did in Kindergarten which led us to having him evaluated and getting a diagnosis of ADHD/ODD.

    I went to pick him up and happened to run into his teacher. Apparently she was not in the classroom (she was doing training and they had a substitute teacher in class). We have been having issues this year as far as him saying he does not like his teacher and wants to change. I have been in contact with her almost every day and also with the principal to see if we could get him transferred to a different class. The principal will not change him.

    I don't know what to do. Then on top of that I called and asked what it would take to get him in for a neuropsychologist evaluation (at the office he was diagnosis'd at) and they are resisting me every step of the way. They seemed extremely put off that I would even question his initial diagnosis. I told them I wanted a more thorough evaluation and that when he was evaluated initially he was 5 years old and it was mostly based off of my questionnaires. They are being difficult and said that really isn't enough information and the psychologist is probably going to want to call and talk to me about why we want this done.
  6. snowbash169

    snowbash169 Guest

    It sounds like they too are suffering from ODD!! Ha,ha you have to laugh.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok. Take a deep one...a real cleansing breath. Nothing is going to be accomplished overnight, so have your line in the sand and don't cross it.

    Personally, any doctor's office who will not allow me to speak with the doctor personally and who is given you information like that over the phone would be a goner for me. Let them be as difficult as they want. Either insist that you speak therapist or go somewhere else! You have every right to request whatever kind of testing you feel your son needs. Call and bug them once an hour. Perhaps the doctor doesn't know what his staff is doing.

    In regards to school, here's my opinion - You march into that school tomorrow and insist to speak personally with the principal. If you have to wait an hour, wait. Ask the principal why he will not allow your son to change classrooms. Let him/her know that your son is having a very difficult time adjusting and, for everyone's sake, another teacher is worth a try. Let him/her know that you are in the process of seeking further testing and evaluation for your son but would also like to request an FBA resulting in a BIP for your son. Let him/her know you will send that request by certified mail tomorrow. There is no reason, unless the other classrooms are at capacity, that your son cannot be moved. We are not talking about a 16 year old teenager who "hates" their teacher. We are dealing with a little 8 year old boy who obviously is not able to articulate his frustrations/feelings and they become physical. We very well could be talking about an oil and water situation between your son and his teacher (this was the case when my son was in 3rd grade and it can be very difficult). Obviously your son's behaviors are escalating. The school should take some responsibility in making some quick changes that are not costly and could perhaps make a difference while your son is being evaluated.

    Good luck.

  8. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Thank you LittleDudesMom. I am literally in tears reading your post. Thank you for understanding me and for the great advice. You are sooooo right - the school needs to help us. I tend to get so over-emotional that I prefer sending the principal emails (which he responds to) rather than meeting with him because I can get my point across much better that way. I also agree that it is an oil and water situation with him and his teacher and I love that analogy.

    Do I need to request the FBA via certified letter even though he already has an IEP?

    Also from what I understand from the teacher, there are 23 students in the class, most of whom are boys - and there are some very strong personalities in there that don't mix well with my son's. Arrghhh.
  9. ShanDiann

    ShanDiann Guest

    I could have written your post myself. My 2nd grader was suspended last week for similar issues.
    If your child has an IEP then they can be suspended for no more than ten days total in the school year. I agree on a meeting with the principal. I see no reason they can't change his class, we are only a few weeks into school. If that doesn't help request a meeting with "the team" As a parent you can call an IEP meeting at anytime.
    One other idea is that any time the reg ed teacher will be out, could he spend the day with another teacher ( maybe 2nd grade teacher). I often do this for my students who have a hard time dealing with a sub. It usually works provided they have a relationship with that adult. I am sending hugs and prayers your way.
  10. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I emailed the principal. Here is part of it:

    I am not sure if suspension works with someone who already doesn't want to go to school, and has impulse control issues because of ADHD. What does suspension teach? To me, it teaches him if his behavior is bad, he gets to go home. Or (if he was telling the truth about what happened) it teaches him no one believes him so he gets/has to go home. Are we sending the right message? I agree there needs to be a zero tolerance policy to ‘fighting' at school, and he needs to be held accountable for his actions. Maybe a Behavior Intervention Plan needs to be done and added into his IEP. I know at one time Mr. X suggested that, but I don't think it was ever done or at least it was not needed the past two years in first and second grade. I think it may have been more beneficial to have him meet with Mr. X or Mrs. X to talk about what happened and what he could possibly do differently " maybe teach some conflict management skills.

    Here is his response:

    As always, I appreciate getting your feedback. As we discussed on the phone, the description of the incident from the kids did not match. I can only work with the information given to me. Clearly it is difficult to get to the bottom of what happened as both kids are giving their versions. Your problem solving idea is a good one and I will talk to Mrs. X. When there is an altercation in the classroom, which is a serious incident (as all fighting is) students are not allowed back into the class. I view this more as a timeout or a cooling off for the half day, which both kids received. I am not sure that further intervention is needed except for the guidance from you, Mrs. X or others that work with him can provide.

    WHAT DO YOU THINK? I also said the following, which it seems he blew off:

    I am still of the opinion that he is not happy (for whatever reason) in that classroom and a change needs to be made. I understand from Mrs. X that the majority of the class is boys and I also know there are some strong personalities in that class that don't mix well with his. I hope you will reconsider switching his class. This is not a good way to start the school year.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't have anything to add regarding the school district situation. As far as the testing- if it actually does transpire the way the receptionist, or whoever, indicated, any psychiatric who gets on the phone and listens to the concerns you just stated and then shuns additional testing is way off base, in my humble opinion. Most psychs who are trained and licensed to do testing want to do more, not less, and given that you have valid reason for requesting it, it just wouldn't add up to deny that. Maybe the receptionist was just a snotty person, or this is a very poor MH office. (Not poor as is finances- poor as in bad.)
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Jules, sounds like you're on the right track with-the emails.

    Also, I ditto this: Personally, any doctor's office who will not allow me to speak with the doctor personally and who is given you information like that over the phone would be a goner for me.

    Even though they are "Experts," you are also a paying customer. Just thought I'd put a different spin on it.

    Any child with-a mixed diagnosis like your should be re-evaluated every few yrs, both for maturity, chemical/hormonal changes, and environmental issues. It's a no-brainer from where I stand.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    ...especially given his age!
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I completely agree that not being able to talk to the doctor and being blown off like that would lead me to switch doctors.

    As for the suspension, yes they can suspend as the others have said for up to 10 days in the year before a manifestation determination is made. At that point if the suspensions are found to be directly related to his disability the suspensions will probably have to be done in school.

    When my son was in first grade he was suspended for throwing a stapler at a teacher-I had no problem with the suspension or any others that he received up until 4th grade. I'm not sure he learned anything from the suspensions but I understood the need for them and made sure I had him doing "school" and "house" work at home those days and that his lunch was only a peanut butter sandwich-no choices. Again don't know that it helped but I did want him to try to understand he needed to work on his behaviors that he was suspended for.

    However, in 4th grade he was suspended way too many times for very frivolous reasons and because the Special Education teacher refused to follow the bip which made his behavior worse. At that point we had difficult child's psychiatrist write a note explaining that the behaviors difficult child was exhibiting were due to his disability. We with a person from the Special Education department in the district and were able to have it written into his iep that he only be suspended for level 4 behaviors.

    As for whether or not a bip is needed (and it very well may be) I would look to see if this is a pattern that is developing with his behavior in the classroom or if the physical altercation is more like a one time happening.

    Changing rooms is always a difficult decision for a principal to make, however, in your child's case already being into the school year several weeks and he still not feeling comfortable it seems like a change is needed. Is the teacher supportive of the change?
  15. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Thanks everyone for the support and advice! I truly appreciate it!

    Terry, Ya know what? After I read your post I had a 'duh!' moment. It's funny no one has ever said he should be re-evaluated, except the school district for the testing they do for the IEP. A lot has changed since he was 5. If this therapist is too offended that we would question his initial diagnosis, then he is not the right one for us. Geeez.

    I got myself so stressed out over all of this today that I feel sick. My throat hurts, I have a headache and I just want to go to bed.
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Get some rest. Sometimes - ok, many times - schools call us parents acting like some major catastrophe has just happened and it really is only a typical incident at school but it causes us to flip out over it because that's how they are acting. I'm not trying to justify the incident or minimize your son's issues, but really, it isn't that uncommon for two kids to get into squabbles at school or to be sent home because they did. I remember my son's first grade teacher calling me once acting like my son had just committed a horrible act. It scared me to death and when I was finally able to get her calmed down enough to tell me what he'd done, well.... he had gotten side-tracked washing his hands after going to the bathroom and started playing with the soap bubbles and it got the sink counter wet. While I realize the importance of manifestation determinations, BIPs, and getting the school district to accept and work with our difficult children' disabilities, sometimes I think it's just as important to help them realize that some misbehavior, while still misbehavior, is not out of the norm and we see no reason to get caught up in their hysteria over it. I would have been more than happy to reinforce to my son that getting back to his seat in the classroom and cleaning up any mess he made at the sink was expected but I just couldn't see acting like he'd stormed through the building vandalizing it or punishing him like he'd done something that extreme. Just MHO.
  17. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Thanks klmno. You make some very good points. I do need to relax (much easier said than done). And yes, the school needs to chill also. I guess I am just hyper-sensitive because everything is such a struggle all the time. I wish I could take a chill pill or have some time to myself, but that rarely happens. Maybe I need to learn to love wine. :wine:
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    LOL! There are several parents on this bboard who could probably tell you that by the time thei difficult child got into high school, they cringed if the phone rang and it was somebody from school. Not only because of knowing the kid did something else, but having to deal with how the school acts over it.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A few thoughts here -

    1 There was a substitute teacher. When difficult child 3 was that age, the worst problems happened with a substitute. Part of the problem was the unexpected change, part of the problem was having an inexperienced person with my difficult child. A bad combination.

    2) Your email to the principal was a good one. You made some constructive suggestions, which always goes down well. it shows that you are trying to be part of the solution, rather than an existing part of the problem. it also shows that your aim is to work together with the school to resolve this.

    3) Your son needs further evaluation. This is not necessarily a vote of no confidence in the original diagnosis - it was the best diagnosis possible under the circumstances and at his age at the time, perhaps. Any doctor so insecure as to feel threatened by this request is a doctor whose ego is more important than his patients' welfare. Use tat line, see what happens. If they blow up, move on. If they say, "Fair enough. Let's re-evaluate," stick around. For now.

    At our local school, I wanted to change classes for easy child. The school refused, said that to move her, they would have to move another child and this could be damaging and unfair to the other child. They also told me no other child wanted to move (from the class I wanted easy child moved into) - turned out to be a lie. Then they said that the placements were made after the previous year's teacher agonised over the decision; I said that it was nice that she cared enough to agonise over the decision, but it did not, sadly, make her choices infallible. The principal told the teacher, who was very angry with me for this. Thankfully we resolved the differences. easy child's later progress proved me right but sadly, too much delay was caused in her education by the school's stalling and mucking around.

    If you fight this, as I fought for easy child, they will fight even harder back. To a point. Eventually, if you can hold out long enough, they will cave suddenly and completely. But in the meantime it can be messy, painful and damaging. One more important reason to protect your identity here - the local school tracked me for a while, trying to find everything I was writing. For example, I had sent in a letter to a gifted & talented students magazine (a publication for parents) and they published it; a teacher at the local school passed copies around the staffroom. If I'd known they would publish, I would have asked for a pseudonym.

    Watch your back, but this is your child. He deserves some answers and some help.

  20. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    The thing about adding a BIP to his IEP is that they have to do a FBA. The FBA can really help determine what triggers, time of the day, subject matter, peer, etc., can be found to correlate with an undesirable behavior. It helps to find a pattern....

    Interesting that the principal didn't comment on your BIP question or the change of classroom. You haven't come right out and said it, but it kinda sounds like the teacher would be behind this transfer - am I reading that right? Use her as an ally if that's the case.

    The only reason I recommended the certified letter is that it creates a paper trail and it requires them to respond!