School meeting disaster!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Well, I went to school with difficult child. He stayed outside to visit with the kids for ten minutes. I went in.

    The new vice principal took me back to his office. I had all my papers, IEP, all my notes.

    He pulls out this referral that the teacher wrote. Stating that difficult child went on a pass to go to get his assignment from his locker and was gone for ten minutes. He came back into the classroom wearing sunglasses and another student chasing him and said that he stole her sunglasses. She rang the buzzer for an escort and he ran away from the escort who had to finally catch up with him and placed him in ISS.

    OK...from experience last year I found out that difficult child was not given the opportunity to write his statement on the referral form. (there is a place for student statement). I also was not notified when he was placed in ISS or removed from class and placed in the office. So, his IEP has it stated that "mother needs to be notified, phone call or message, of each class removal and the time documented" Also states that difficult child write his statement on any referral or Let's talk form.

    So, I tell the VP that difficult child didn't get the opportunity to write his statement on the referral. He says, he was given a blank sheet of paper to write it on while in ISS. I asked him where it is logged his time out of class. He said it is not. And he only was out for half a period. I corrected him and told him it was two classes. I asked him to speak to the girl who came running into the room because difficult child did not steal the glasses, she lent it to him 3 periods prior. He said NO. I then pull out the IEP and am reading off the steps that are to be taken prior to difficult child ending up in the office of ISS. I informed him that not a single teacher was aware of his IEP. He denied that. I told him to invite the principal in because she was in the last weeks meeting when the teachers admitted that.
    I told him that difficult child did not have a chance to see what the teacher wrote so how can he respond. He raised his voice and said, WHY did it take him ten minutes? WHY was he wearing the sunglasses? WHY did he steal them? I told him he did not steal them. I told him he needs to be asking difficult child these questions, he is in the outer office invite him in.

    He then told me there is no reason to document any time removed from class. I then pull out the IEP and he said there is no need for this. I told him about being removed for ten cumulative days is an issue with special education. He said, No, I do not know what I am talking about. That would be TEN OUT of school suspensions. I then pull out my folder and told him I have a copy of the special education laws incase he is not familiar with them.

    He then calls difficult child in. Folds his arms, leans forward on the desk (in his face) and says WHY didn't you go to class prepared? WHY didn't you have your assignment? difficult child said he DID have his assignment he was getting a notebook. He then asks WHY (loudly all of this)WHY did it take you ten minutes? difficult child said it didn't. VP says she signed you out at this time and in at this time. difficult child said no she didn't she didn't give me a pass, she just told me to go. VP goes on, WHY were you wearing the sunglasses? difficult child says, "dude, I wasn't wearing them I had them in my hand" VP:" MY NAME IS NOT DUDE". Then he goes on saying he stole them. difficult child denies it. He sends difficult child to class. I told VP that I want the referral changed and the false information taken off. VP was very loudly speaking to difficult child and to myself all this while denying anything we would ask. He said he will not believe a student. difficult child said something like that when he was in the room, it is only because it is him...Anyway I told him I wanted it changed and I would not leave until the false information was removed. He then threatened to call the police and have me removed. I told him to go ahead.

    Two and a half hours later he comes back with a re-written referral. Still had wrong information on it, but teacher took out most. I told him I wanted difficult child called down so he can put his information on this form. difficult child writes his version on that form. VP says, "oh, by the way we spoke to the girl and she said she opened her locker and you stole her glasses". difficult child said NO I DIDN"T. I asked to have both kids in the same room. VP denied. So, I told difficult child to ask her why she would say that. VP said, "I DO NOT want you speaking to her". difficult child did, and she said, "I swear to god I told them I gave them to you".

    I'll continue later. School is out now.
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I'd refuse to speak with him again.
  3. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I would be livid. Sounds like you were handling the situation very well. Glad for difficult child he knows you are there when he is being treated poorly.

    Good luck with this.

  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    This guy sounds like a real nightmare. My advise: refuse to deal with him. AND put all of this in writing to the school board (don't forget to "cc" all of this to the head of Special Education department as well as the federal disabilities enforcement people - you don't really have to do that - it's just been my experience that the more cool looking your "cc's" are, the better reaction you get!) :wink:

    Let this guy know that you mean business (which I really really think you did!!!) and he won't mess with you guys again. Honestly, I'm super impressed with difficult child calling him Dude instead of *#@&* (insert your favorite expletive here)!

    Nice job all around!
  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    It seems like your difficult child's story has changed from your last thread:

    Now, it turns out that he went to class, asked if he could go get his notebook, was allowed to go get it but took ten minutes to come back (time in dispute here but it was obviously longer than the teacher thought it should take and was definitely after the bell had rung), and was wearing sunglasses when he walked back into the classroom (in yesterday's version he said he was ~ in today's version he said he wasn't). Then he was followed into the classroom by someone asking him to give the glasses back, which regardless of whether they were stolen or not, would cause a disruption to the class.

    It dosn't sound to me like he is quite the innocent victim that you were first led to believe. And it doesn't sound like the teacher met him at the door before the bell rang and told him to just get out and go to the office for no reason. Being gone ten minutes from class (or five for that matter) would be considered AWOL at my school.

    I think that I would point out these discrepancies to your difficult child.

    Good luck. I hope that it all gets worked out.

  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I do not know about your difficult child, but mine lies all the time. I always believe the adult at school. Because I know my difficult child is lying! LOL!

    I would not deal with this VP any more. He is most likely going to have it out for you and your son now.
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    This has escalated a few notices on the hostility curve. I am so sorry that you're going through this. I can't even imagine having to deal with this kind of opposition with the school. It's hard enough getting difficult child to jump through hoops *with* their cooperation. Thinking of you tonight and hoping for a better tomorrow.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We went through similar rubbish with difficult child 1 and the deputy principal (who was acting principal at the time) at his high school.

    Kjs, this is really bad. They seem to be breaking just about every rule. To interrogate a kid like that is bullying behaviour. A lot of teachers do this because they feel it helps them assert their authority, but a GOOD teacher should not feel the need to do this.

    In difficult child 1's case, I had written a confidential letter to the principal, complaining that "difficult child 1 feels unsupported by a large number of the teachnig staff who are not following the requirements set out - none of these requirements is onerous in the least; and there are some cases where he has felt harassed by a staff member. I did not specifically name the deputy in writing, I was going to share this verbally at first. But the deputy opened the letter in front of me (despite it being labelled "for the principal - confidential") then leaned across the desk (she was standing, difficult child 1 was at this stage curled up on the chair in fetal position) and said loudly, "WHO's been harrassing you?" over and over, until he murmured, "Nobody." She then looked at me triumphantly. Cow. She knew darn well that SHE was the culprit, but I've seen her in a similar situation since (I was witness for another student) and she uses these tactics regularly - intimidation to try to make you retract). In this situation with difficult child 1, I replied to her look of triumph with, "He assured me, and I believe him, that he felt harassed. If he denies it now, it's because he now also feels intimidated. Whether you intended this or not, this is how he feels and this is the issue." I also told her we were planning to transfer him to Distance Education (state-sponsored correspondence). She was openly scoffing, "He won't meet the eligibility criteria," (in other words, "you're delusional") but at that point my mobile phone rang and it was t he Distance Ed school confirming to me that his enrolment had just been processed. I told this to the Deputy, whose attitude totally changed. "We don't want to lose him, he's such a cooperative student - well-behaved, apart from this last incident," and so on. It was so blatantly obvious to me - she didn't want to have to hand back the second half of the year's funding for difficult child 1 that the school had just received (and probably already spent).

    Kjs, I tell you this example to show you that teachers like this are around and unfortunately, not uncommon even though they should have been legislated out of work by now.
    By all means take this complaint up the ladder to the district and higher, but this school sounds like a dead loss for difficult child 1. But you need to sort this out, if only to get his record expunged so wherever he goes (even if he does stay) it is with a clean slate. Or as clean as it should be. He's been made a scapegoat and this deputy is more interested in covering the rear ends of his staff, than in genuinely caring for student welfare.

    Looking at this situation from absolute worst case scenario - that your son DID lie about stealing the glasses, he DID lie about a number of things - you still were not notified, the paperwork had holes in it which you have repeatedly tried to plug in similar instances in the past, they have violated the terms of the IEP over and over again. And if there is ANY truth in what difficult child has told you, this makes it even worse. But even without difficult child's version of events, this school is still failing, badly. That alone should be grounds for major complaints at a very high level.

  9. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    No..Kathy - I updated that story I initially posted. That was the quick version I had before I went to work. When I had more time to question him in detail I had a different story. I believe I posted that.

    He was in class, and excused to his locker. What I found out at our meeting on Monday was the referral had all kinds of information on it I questioned. I followed through and found the truth. Even when VP deliberately lied to us, principal later told me the truth..not knowing what VP said.

    In a hurry, but WILL update tonight. Just checked back.. I did update that post when I had time to question him in detail WITH the email. Line by line. In that same post.
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I must have missed the updated post. I hope that you get it all straightened out.

  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is time to keep very accurate records of ALL of this. Then it is time to go see the Superintendent of Schools. in my humble opinion it is NOT worth the time to get the principal to deal with this VP. This VP is abusing your child. And you, in the meeting.

    Totally unprofessional.

    If you were to treat your child like this in front of the school employees, probably someone would refer you to CPS.

    Tell the Superintendent what this man has done to your son, what the IEP screw-ups have been, and what this man did to you. If at all possible go into the meeting with a tape recorder and a friend or advocate. Your state may offer free educational advocates.

    If he has treated you nad difficult child this way, he has treated dozens of others this way.

    I am so sorry all this is going on.


  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Susie is right - this isn't personal, to that extent.

    Also a warning - some schools (or staff at some schools) do this - they will harass a difficult student (difficult could simply mean, a student needing more attention than usual, such as a student with visual impairment) and generally, by refusing to make the appropriate accommodations agreed on, will try to force that student to change schools. Then for that school - no more problem.

    I was in the ludicrous position a few years ago, of the local school staff venting at me about how they had been warned by a parent to expect an enrolment of their wheelchair-bound child within a year, and to ensure that the child had wheelchair access to all required facilities (classroom; school hall; toilets). The school's initial response was, "How can we stop this?"

    Concern was expressed as to the cost of the modifications. I pointed out that legislation would soon require the school be brought into line, under which circumstances the school and community would have to raise funds. But in this case, the government would pay for all modifications - surely they could see that this chid's enrolment would improve the school's facilities, at no expense to the school?

    They could not. They were determined to block this enrolment, which meant that when the public works began to modify the school, so much time had elapsed that they had to make do with shoddy work and a rush job. I was disgusted with them.

    Meanwhile, the child's mother rang me. Would I be an advocate for her? Could I advise her on how to get the school to cooperate?
    I told her I'd already been trying to help her without realising it, but I did sit with her and talk through some possibilities. In the end she really didn't need my help - I think she just needed to get a feel for other parents' opinions and also feel some moral support. Poor thing. As if having a young child in a wheelchair was not enough...

    Mind you, when the child started there, the school did a great deal to help her.

    It's like I keep saying - schools like this need to be treated as if they are autistic . They're basically law-abiding but will do whatever they can to avoid Change.

    So be aware, the teachers and this VP (and the other?) could be trying to force difficult child out of the school. After the treatment you received I would be writing to (who was it someone suggested?) the District Supervisor or someone at a more senior level than just the school, especially if this person also has some responsibility in Special Education. If you go right to the top - to the State Director of Special Education (or whatever you call them) then you could bypass the long chain of heirarchy. And if anyone accuses you of breaching protocols, or talking to the wrong person - you are simply a parent desperate to get for your child the justice and an education which currently being denied to him, for no other reason than his special needs not being accommodated, despite all the paperwork and agreements in place to do so.

    Go for it, and good luck.

  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    This is the best description of a public school I have seen!!
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yikes Kjs! Not fun to be dealing with. The vp acted very unprofessional by using that tone of voice. I would make sure whatever I sent to him was cc'd to others. I hope this gets straightened out soon.
  15. I think that there is absolutely no question that school districts sometimes try to move students they view as problematic or expensive out of their area, by hook or by crook. A few years ago I came in a little early for a school board meeting . As I was sitting in a chair , the then superintendent caught me eye. He laughed a little and said "Boy did I have quite the day today". I said "Oh, really?". He said "I met with the family of a disabled child who just moved into our district. This child is going to cost us so much money that it would be cheaper to buy the family a house in another school district, and I have thought about making that offer to them".

    I had to pinch myself to make sure that I was awake! I was utterly appalled by this statement. Firstly, by the fact that he would even think about that strategy; and secondly, that he would tell me - a total stranger - totally private information about someone else. This was before difficult child's accident and his diagnosis. Now, I am not suprised at all.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    1Dayat aTime, that is a common story. The teacher probably didn't feel he was breaching confidentiality because he didn't name the family.

    In Australia, the school would not be out of pocket financially in any way in accommodating such a child because ALL needs would bring in funding. And yet we STILL see this attitude. However, some schools are happy with this sort of opportunity because the extra staff they hire, with Federal government money, go on the books as employees of the school and thus make the school look more attractive as a place to send a child. The more enrolments they attract, the more state funding they get.

    But at this local school, I hear similar things - not the cost, although that was mentioned (and I told them it wasn't THEIR money, so why be concerned?) but the inconvenience, the noise, the extra building, the disruption (which was actually minimal) and the eyesore of all the ramps that would have to go in - that was what they claimed was bugging them. And in my case, I knew the name of the child, so confidentiality WAS breached - a small school in a small village, hard to not know what was going on. Pressure WAS put on the family to send their child "somewhere more appropriate to her special needs". Frankly, I was disgusted with them - but nor surprised. It was a bit more of an eye-opener for me, because it showed me how they felt about ANYONE who was different - they always saw the insurmountable problems first, and only when dragged to it did they see the good things that could result for the child.

    A number of times I was involved in some way with this school and instead of being helpful, they sought legal advice and threatened to strike. In one case I sent the child in question to another school (which wanted her very badly) and at other times I gave in. And finally, with difficult child 3, I began standing my ground, finding out where I stood legally, and insisting they comply with the law. This can still be done politely and in a way where you can stay on good social terms with these people. If you do your best to handle things politely, you have the best chance of getting what you want. If you still fail or reach a stalemate, at least you know you did your best and the failure is not yours. Then, when you choose to move on, you can dump the recalcitrant idiots in it up to their necks with a clear conscience.

  17. weaselqt

    weaselqt New Member

    How awful! I still believe you should go to the school board/district special education coordinator. Intimidation is seen a lot at school - teachers who bully.

    I thought I would do good to put mine in private school and we had a problem with one of the teachers my difficult child 2 had. My son quit telling me the events happening with this teacher because she would make it worse on him at school! When I went to the principal about an incident (another student approached me at Wal-mart and said "I don't know if I should tell you this...") and the teacher told my son I wasted my money sending him to that school, etc., etc. - the principal jumped up, clapped his hands together and stated loudly "Do you believe everyone at Wal-mart? Why didn't this student come to me?" -- Well, DUH! They were terrified of him. Period.

    Of course, I pulled my child out of there quick, fast, and a hurry!

    Don't let them bully you!