parental notification for detentions? grade 6

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by dreamer, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    My sons school has a program called "ZAP" where teachers issue cards weekly with slots for each day and for each day a slot for each of the core classes. Every day when they turn in homework, the teacher stamps the related space on the zap sheet. For each blank unstamped spot the kids get one detention. for any lost zap cards it is a detention.
    Approx half the time the teachers do not stamp the zap card till Thursday. On one end of the card is an area for recording for when a parent was called to report a "zap" (a blank spot) The last teacher on Fri collects the zap cards and the first mon morn teacher passes out new ones.
    If there was no homework, the teachers are still supposed to stamp the spot. ANY blank spots is supposed to earn a detention. "related arts" do NOT have spaces for stamps.

    We also have an assignment notebook. Every day every kid must write the assignment in the appropriate spot. Supposedly the teachers then go around and check every assiign notebook and initial every childs (this is schoolwide, standard mainstream public school) if there is no homework it is supposed to say "No homework" and still be initialed. Atually this is districtwide here now and has been for a couple years, altho my son has had this in his IEP all along and the parents are to sign the assignment book daily and the zap sheet daily. Failure to procure parents signature on either is also automatic detention.

    There is also a "homework hotline" which is a phone nymber parents or students can call and there is a recording listing by class every teachers omework assignment for that day.

    My sons IEP has since grade 1 called for organizational help, a person to assist him in getting his homework assignment written in to his assign notebook. A secondary reason for this is his dysgrahia. he cannot write small enough to fit it in the space and he cannot write legibly enough for anyone to read it.
    He also has in his IEP to have someone help him get his assignments turned in to appropriate teachers daily and for someone to help him remember and organize and gather what he needs to bring home to be able to do his homework each day.
    THis has been in his IEP all along. Sadly there has been almost zero compliance by school all along. So- he is nowhere near learning how to do this on his own.
    THis year the school steadfastly insists he is to handle it on his own and refers me to the Homework Hotline if we cannot read what he has written. Sadly, the homework hotline is left neglected and not updated approx twice a week.
    AND related arts classes (Health, gym, speech, music, tech center etc) do NOT report assignments to homework hotline.
    Those teachers also have so far not returned a single phone call from me asking for a list of assignments, and they have not responded to letters in snail mail, either. ANd they do not write those in on the homework assignment notebooks.

    I spite of written validation of my sons newly found colorblindness, school continues to take points off his assignments such as social studies maps where the teacher asks for specific colors to be used in specific places, and the colored pencils the school demanded we buy are not labeled with colors names.
    In spite of dyysgraphia documented, and an ALphasmart listed as an accomodation in his IEP, the bulk of work is not on paper but worksheets, and instead of textbooks, the kids get copied handouts they must return at end of class. The teachers havebeen subtracting points for "sloppy writing" etc.

    I have worked out a very rigid system with my son and we have been diligent in sitting together 3 hours, yes 3 hours every single day doing homework together. I have been extremely pleased with the quality of his work, especially after he missed 3 months last school year.
    BUT I have been going over his returned woork with him, much of it has very low grades on it, partly due to sloppiness and then tomy dismay, answers marked wrong- ones where they were fill in the blank direct quotes from text given to the kids, my sons was marked wrong, even when it was right.
    Yes, I called the teachers and said on this page, here is the direct quote giving the answer exactly as my son wrote it.....why did it get marked wrong. -------I amnot talking one paper or 2 questions, I am talking the difference between an F and an A more than twice a week.

    OK thats plenty enough that has me some frazzled. BUT

    My son also now has complications in his bad eye. We have had to once again begin traveling back to the univ hospital weekly. and we are gone 2 days each time, usually. I feared this scenario as I was prewarned, and it was part of what made me wish to retain him last school year, especially since even before his eye injury and losing 3 months last year, he already was a few years behind academically.

    Well, last doctor visit, last week, we were going to stay at the Ronald McDonald House (traveling has become a financial hardship) but, I did not realize we had to get to there earlier than what we arrive when we stay at a hotel. SO after my son left for school, RMH called and said I better head there NOW. SO I had to call school and pick son up early instead of letting him finish the school day.
    SOmehow he came out without his brand new special glasses and.......without his Zap card for that week.
    He did not go back to school that week as we were way out in the city.
    On Mon his eyeglasses and zap sheet were nowhere to be found.
    and- he got detention for losing his zap card.
    Detention was to be according to my son- 1 hour on Halloween.
    BUT I never got a phone call, Inever got a note,no letter, nothing. My son DID go to detention room on Halloween, but- noone was there. SO he left and came home. I told him that was OK cuz I never got any notice, anyway.
    Noone said another word about it.
    Due to more followup he missed his last class 3 days last week. (specialists do not seem to care if a child misses school)
    His last class is speech. Monday he went back to speech class and that teacher grabbed his zap card and wrote in the margin- "1 zap, speech was due Friday" BUT she never called, as is school poilicy.
    I wrote next to that, hey speech is not ON the zap card, and he was absent.

    Today as we always have done, we went to pick him up after school. I waited an hour and he never showed. the parking lot had a firetruck, ambulance, a county squad and then 2 local town squads came. 2 girls were brought out in handcuffs.
    then all the busses left.
    I called home to see if somehow my son decided to walk home, (except he has NEVER walked home) Nope. I checked my voicemail to see if he or anyone called. Nope.
    I waited some more. No son. I called husband and he set up watch at home, I called sons friends and their moms set up searches. My dtr went walkng between school and home. I waited with car in the usual pickup spot with cell glued tomy ear.
    No son.
    I was getting very scared.
    when dtr got to school, we went inside.
    There was my son! I was SO happy to see him, my eyes welled with tears.
    Sadly his eyes were full of tears too. I said bud where have you been? He started to cry. someone came up and said he had detention. I said wait NOONE told ME. I went in office and asked who to talk to about it..the entire office stopped and stared at melike I was nuts. the assistnat principal slipped past me out the door, and the principal went in his office and closed the door.
    some teacher came and said tome, well if you would LOOK at his zap card, it would say so on it. detentions are prearanged and it is the childs responsibility to inform the parents.

    I said wait, noone notifies the parents? you depend on the child to do so?
    well, thats all well and fine BUT I can think of some kids who might say they have detention so as to be able to go off whereever.
    and no my sons zap never said a word about detention and I check it and sign it EVERY DAY.

    I decided I was gettinnowhere, and went out office glass door to dtr and the friend she had with her and my son, ALL sobbing their eyes out and looks of horror on their faces! The assistant principal was talking to them but when I took a step closer, she left. I looked at the 2 18 year olds and my son and my son was hyperventilating and literally sobbing so hard he fell off the chair! I said what in the world? My dtrs friend said OMG that lady assistant principal just came stomping to your son and got right in his face and screamed at the top of her lungs "Whats your problem?" and then she outright called him a liar tohis face that he did not know he had detnetion today.
    BUT as soon as she saw you coming out here, her voice changed and she stood up, and smiled at us. ike we were just having a nice friendly chat!

    I had tohalf carry son to car. Mind you my son did not cry when he found out he had to have 2nd surgery. He does not cry. and he is NOT a mouthy child or anything, he never talks back etc.

    Got to car and I said dude, why didn't you call me? He said .mom after school was out I was at locker and teacher came and grabbed me and said I HAD to go with him to his class. I went, what else could I do. when we got there another kid said hey Mr teacher, I have to call home to tell them I am in detention and mom, teacher told him to shut up and sit the f down. I figured it wouldbe better if I did not say I needed to call home.

    I do not think I can handle this, I cannot do it, I cannot send my son there to be treated this way.

    I checked and cannot find anything in our school policy abouut whether or not anyone has to tell a parent they are keeping a child for detention.

    It also seems to me, the losing the zap card could maybe be considered something that has accomodations in his IEP already?

    I have to say both my kids and the friend are ALL still freaked out and still whimpering to have been talked to and treated this way. and my son is not a weepy kid.
    Heck, it was 6 hours ag and I am still trembling.

    DOn't they have to tell us they have him and are not letting him come home? I was dialing police to report him missing when we found him.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Dreamer - I think you really need to look into homeschooling. Your district sucks.
  3. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    another little tidbit.....
    this year the school devolped a new policy re prearranged absences.
    You cannot get the homework or classwork ahead of time- they will not release it. It is done when the kids return back to school, so for the doctor appts, we come back and have a flood of work, all due at once and the 3 hours we spend nitely is how long it takes BEFORE we do "makeup work"

    Yes, I am resigned to the fact it is time....I thought I had a little more time before I would have to bring him to homeschool. I suppose how much more time could that take than I am already spending and then maybe his self esteem can remain intact, I feel about it personally? Not confident, and not good, I am hurt, angry, resentful, scared, frustrated. Our world at home is so isolated and so small and so confining with dad so ill and older sister ill and family estranged etc. and he likes school. BUT he has been saying this year little comments like mom, I think they want me to disappear, mom, they said my eye is ugly (the teachers, not the other students)
    and here it is 11 PM and he just said mom, the principal lady scared me, was she gonna hurt me? Yikes!

    SOmehow I feel like I failed as a parent, to keep him feeling safe, and I am so sad that he cannot go to school and just have it be "normal" It hurts.
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dreamer, if you are looking into homeschooling this may be a moot point, but we had accommodations for make-up work built into both my daughters' IEPs. This was especially a problem for my oldest because of her physical illness, she missed a LOT of school.

    The way your school handled this is unbelievable, and they need to be held accoutnable, even if you remove your child from the system. I hope someone will be along soon to give you specific pointers on what to do next.
  5. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    so far the IEP has been useless no matter what it contains. Follow thru and implementation has been nonexistant.
    Altho the school has so far refused to address the make up work, anyway.
    Last school year they did offer homebound in addition to school day, but then the homebound person could not figure out just what school wanted to do about the massive amount of foundation work my son missed and how to go about doing anymake up work at the same time he was also working in class, and the homebound teacher also had no clue how to work with his dysgraphia and dyslexia and low vision. she also did not want to work around the schedule of all the doctor appts out of town.

    I would love to hold school accountable, I just am not sure how.
    we have been in due process and our hearing officer said the school was wrong then, but she was not confident she could force the school to do better, cuz the school would continue to find ways to um...push.

    I think at the moment I am mostly mourning the loss of the traditional education setting for my kids.
    My oldest did have behavior difficulties and social emotional problems, but my son doesn't. I had so hoped he would have n experience more like my middle childs.
  6. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I am afraid most everything might be moot.
    and I think maybe I am just still stunned over yesterday and shellshocked over the screaming at my son etc. ANd I am grieving over the loss of traditional education.

    He did not sleep well last nite at all, thrashing and crying in his sleep- so UNLIKE him.

    I am just so sad. He is a smart kid, and funny and flexible. And so kind respectful and gentle.
  7. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    I am very familiar with the type of treatment your daughter has received at the hands of your school district. However, to treat a child with a physical disability in this way is just horrible.

    I would ask for homebound because if you can get that, then the school district will have to provide for books etc. Then you can homeschool more easily--which at 3 hours per day, you are doing anyway. I don't know if your school district would agree to this, but with the medical condition including vision, even YOUR school district might not argue. The specialist doesn't seem to care about school, but he should help you out on this one in my opinion.

    My son was victimized and targeted by some staff. I could have fought but it was hurting ex-difficult child far more than it was worth. I think you need to protect your son and not fight on principle on this one. I don't usually say that but this is too cruel to ask him to endure.

    If he has outside activites and friends, I would find the time to increase those contacts but keep him home from school. When he matures enough to decide what HE wants to endure, then you can revisit going to high school if he wants to.


  8. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    a kind of update-
    we had parent teacher conferences at my sons school today- not sure why I went exactly, except well they have no school from today till next Tuesday and I am still kind of --2nd guessing myself?
    And I wanted to clean out his locker and see if his glasses turned up anywhere yet and I was curious where they are ranking his reading level NOW. (he is 6th grade mainstream, reading at 3rd grade level)
    So, anyway I went.
    The teacher who pulled him into detention yesterday was mad and called son a lair to his face today at conference and said I TOLD YOU to CALL your mother yesterday. Look in my garbage here is my note that you had detention yesterday. To which my son meekly said, no you told the other kid noone could call home now.
    This teacher man also said your son had detention for not turning in his homework for several times. that cannot be right, ALL his zap spots were stamped by teachers- every single one.
    SO then the man teacher said if you want to discuss it in more detail, I have no conferences tomorrow from 1-4 becuz OTHER parents WORK then. You really should have come in THEN. (Um, I offered them to put our conferences ANYWHERE THEY chose)
    Son has a B+ in that class. :)

    OK off to reading/language arts/hmoeroom/case manager teacher. He has As for both her classes and she has only 5 kids no matter it is still onsidered mainstream. She claims she had NO idea he has no vision in one eye, nevermind I have talked to her WEEKLY and reminded her etc. She also claims she did not KNOW why he is absent so much,nevermind I call her for every appointment to try to get his work ahead of time so we can do it while gone so he does not come back to mountains of makeup work. Turns out she also has been absent a LOT and.her classroom phone and her extension at school have not worked properly all school year (she says)and she had NO clue he had detention....and she forgot his glasses were missing. ANd then she looked at my son and said you never told me you have an IEP------I was like, no but I tell you weekly. YOU are his case manager. Hwow could you NOT know? If he did not have an IEP why would he have a case manager? Then she started to yell at my son telling him he should then be in HER study hall, cuz it is study hall for kids with IEPs. SO we took out his schedule printed from office and looked at that and nope, he is assigned a different stdy hall. He then told her he did try one day to come see her during his study hall but the study hall teacher would not give him a pass and then the office would not either, even tho this teacher had told him to come to her that day during his study hall. HOW IS MY SON to know his office issued schedule is wrong? The teacher just shrugged when I asked her.
    Then she asks ME why he was promoted to middle school if he missed 3 months last year and why is he in middle school if he might miss more school for more surgeries this year and what is SHE supposed to do with his inability to read and write. <sigh> I wish I knew.
    And I asked her about detention and she said she had no clue why he would have detention, as far as she knew, he was all fine, no reasons she knew about for any detentions.

    On to science. Science teacher started up before we were in the room. Turns out she was in the office last nite when I went in there looking for my son. She was telling him today has he learned his lesson to DO his homework yet? But he has an A in her class. But if he would buckle down he would not scare me by having tobe in detention and if he would admit to me he HAS detention noone would get upset. HUH?
    I said no wait.thats not whats going on. She said well if you would READ his zap sheets daily, you would KNOW he has detentions. well lady if YOU would read his zap sheets you would see that I sign every single space every single day right next to every teachers stamp on them, and there is not a single blank space on any of his zzap sheets at all.
    she pulls out a very familiar colored sheet of paper---- and says ya know, this is yours and one day you got paged to the office so I took it off your lab table and put it in my folder and forgot I had it. was THE OFFENDING MISSING ZAP SHEET- the one that caused the detention. YIKES! I said YIKES THATS what caused all this trouble, and YOU had it all this time?????????/ You took it off his desk? Do you also have his glasses that were with it that have been missing ever since? (my son kept telling me they were in science class)
    Well, she got nasty and said well you know this is HIS responsibility, after all he is 11 years old now and he is supposed to keep trac of his belongings. I said well, you know I came to school unexpected and by surprise and office paged him to come by me, but then they did not let him go back to class and we left to doctor in chicago directly.....but son did not KNOW that morning thta we WERE leaving......he had no clue. BUT you TOOOK IT........and YOU had it ALL THIS TIME? She said well I forgot. Um OK so he gets detention cuz he did not know he was not coming back to class, but you forgot and thats OK? she said well he is 11 he needs to be acccountable. I said well how old are YOU- are you being accountable for TAKING IT and forgetting about it? Well, she did not like that at all. She looked at me like I was nuts and she started backing up away from me and towards her door and she said to me, all so calm.......I can see you are a little upset and I think we should reschedule your conference for a time when you are feeling a little less upset? Uh, no, I do not think we need to reschedule a conference at all. I think YOU need to apologize for TAKING my sons zap sheet and apologize for accusing him of not doing homework to get detention when the reason he got detention was becuz YOU took his zap sheet and forgot that YOU had it!
    AND I think you should all also consider that even at the high school the SCHOOL notifies parents when they are keeping a kid for detention. Well, really he is 11 and you should not worry if he is not right where you think he should be. Um well, you know, there are monsters out there and my son KNEW I was waiting outside for him and last time I knew, keeping a person against there will and not even notifying their parents MIGHT be considered unlawful detention or kidnapping. You know there ARE pedophiles who LIKE kids? and this school IS just across the 2 lane street from our county jail? I am NOT going to apologize for worrying when I cannot find my son for an hour. After all he is still a CHILD. and I happen to love him. I am glad he is getting an A in your class, and here is the work that was due today. Goodbye.
    and then to his math teacher who said Oh dude! Told me son has a perfect 100% on EVERYTHING in math class and my son volunteers to do board work, help peers, clean classroom, etc and my son is a true pleasure???????? By then I was choked up and fighting tears and it was good to hear something good.

    Saw speech teacher in hallway, she was gretting parents at door and she grabbed us to tell me she wanted to talk to me about my sons truancy and lack of doing work. I told her no, I do not want to talk to son was legitimately absent and YOU should NOT have required all his makeup work all the day he came back to class and you did NOT ever return a single call, I do NOT want to talk to YOU. (actually she got fired a few years ago over an incident with my easy child and got rehired 2 years later she called my easy child a swear word related to sex and the principal caught her, not me)

    Then saw homeroom teacher case manager again, who by then had ??/maybe done some thinking? she stopped us and gushed at son how sorry she was that he had to do detention for another teachers wrongdoings and would he forgive them?????? HUH? yeah OK almost every single teacher caled him a liar to his face and accused me of not knowing anything......when they really had no clue......what is this meek 11 yr old boy going to say? He shrugged.

    we got out to car and my quiet obediant boy says mom? you know, did you notice? the teachers lie and make things up and twist everything even when they did not know what they were even talking about and did you see how they blame everyone but themself when THEY do something wrong? Why do they do that? is it becuz noone will believe a kid anyway? And they tell US to treat each other with respect but they swear at us in our face and call us names. Mom? why did they all act like that? And mom? I think you SCARED my science teacher. I said well dude? Your whole school had me scared mindless yesterday. Your science teacher SHOULD have been scared. She caused a LOT of trouble. And since she does not KNOW me, she really does not know if I am "safe"or not. When you go treating people THAT bad and calling them names, you need to realize some people might be a little bit..unable to control themself, and she must have realized she went too far and then gotten scared.
    We cleaned ALLmy sons lockers etc out on our way out of the building.

    No, I do NOT think he is "safe" there at all, and on Tuesday I will formally withdraw him to homeschool.

    BUT it broke my heart. Out of school in 6th grade and he is NOT even a behavior problem? Heck his report card says on it "You made Honor roll"
    No school sports. No homecoming, no prom.....He did his work, he was respectful. It is SO not fair!
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry, what a mess. I just don't even know what to say. The treatment of your son, and you, is so bad I wonder about even consulting a lawyer ...

    As far as homecoming, sports, etc., I know it's not the same, but I've heard of a lot of homeschooling co-ops that offer these types of things. Hopefully there is one in your area.
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    dreamer: Pure child abuse in my opinion. I don't know how some of the people in your school district sleep at night.
  11. houseofcards

    houseofcards New Member

    If you are sure that your son isn't going back to that awful school and you don't have any younger ones you need to get through it, I would write a letter detailing all the problems and send it to the governer of your state, the state board of education and the local papers (I might omit names for the papers if you fear a lawsuit). It is so wrong that they be able to get away with this.
    I also agree with the pp that you are already homeschooling if you are working for 3 hours every night. Your stress level and your son's stress level should go down so much without having to deal with these strange, strange people. It is a shame that he is cheated out of his right to school but who would want that school? Maybe if you raise enough of a stink that will allow him to go to a neighboring district, wishing you luck at reaching the right people with the needed information to make a serious change in this school district. And I am hoping your son can thrive in a home school enviorment and get caught up at home if that is your choice.
  12. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I wish I could say I was going to keep trying to advocate change for all the kids coming behind us, but, I have been trying to do that for 12 years now here, and -I am tired.
    I am grateful he is my youngest. My heart is broken that we cannot manage a move like we should have done years ago. I know for fact certain politicians etc are aware of what is gong on here, my son was in class with one politicians son, and that :censored2: is also a dear friend to my PCs mentor and to my best friends family, and he IS aware,

    I am simply so battle weary and it has been brutal.
    I wish, too, I could say tit had only been the schools, but it has been the docs, - when my oldest needed evaluations etc when she was a very extreme toddler, - we were told back then that children could not have serious mental illnesses, and we fought and we did bring some local change in the mindsets, but we finally moved out of our local area for our docs....then my son came along and this time it was heterotpoia and cerbal palsy and again ourfears were dismissed, docs said I was searching for something to be wrong with him....I took him out of area and got his diagnosis'es and treatment started....Ironically back then I was also helping our county beef up their senoir services, starting our alzheimers day care and our Hospice programs AND I was also very busy with helping with getting our military vetterans services going.

    and then I got sick.

    I am so tired. SO discouraged.
    so weary. And I am becoming less and less able to cope with anyone being treated so poorly. I am seeing the outcomes of when ppl get treated this way, and is just too hard for me to continue to fight.

    I have little doubts our state has a good idea of much that is going on. Maybe it is so messed up noone knows quite where to start. For my oldest child it was all related toher mental illness and stereotypes, fears, stigmas related to that.....for my youngest child, I am not sure if it is all retaliation, or the nature of his disabilities or funding, or who knows....
    BUt I think I am going to be using all my energies to educate my kids and help them reach their potentials. It could be quite a job, LOL, my kids have tested out pretty smart, LOL (even if I do say so myself) and they could keep me pretty busy. LOL.
    It just really hurts me to have any people treat any other people this poorly anywhere in any context. Not educating her well is one thing,, I just cannot do this anymore with the name calling etc. It happened to my dtr, it happens to a lesser degree to my easy child and now my lil guy and.....I just cannot do it. not anymore. I know my kids are not angels, no kid is, but....

    OK I am sorry for rambling. THank you everyone for your kind words and support. Now that I am a little less stunned from these incidents, my son and I have begun to work and we are getting excited about it all. LOL, he is already telling me HE is gonna calculate how much wallpaper our hallway needs, and he is gonna use his fractions to do some holiday baking, converting recipes to omit the things he does not like.....and he wants to find out something about light (I did not understand) So, I guess we are hitting the ground running? :)
  13. houseofcards

    houseofcards New Member

    I understand being worn out. I hope you both enjoy homeschooling and find some peace as well. I border on the thought and one day may be homeschooling as well. Best of luck.
  14. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Sorry that it has come to the point where you have no other choice. But, this school is chipping away at your son bit by bit. That cannot be allowed to continue.

    Sometimes being a :warrior: means doing what you no other choice doing. Sometimes the choices are made for us.

    I hope the homeschooling goes well. It could be a great thing for you and son. I have investigated it for my son in the past and have found all kinds of local support and homeschool groups that do fieldtrips and coop teaching of certain subjects.