Seeking Opinions....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Good morning--

    I'm just hoping to get some feedback on this:

    As you know, difficult child has been cutting classes left and right (apparantly to go have sex somewhere at the school--arrgghh!!!), failing all of her classes, taking off from school and then not coming home AND there was the day when the school told me she was missing when, in fact, she was at school in the detention room.

    husband and I are supposed to go into the school for a special meeting with teachers and administrators about these issues...

    The question is--

    What the heck am I supposed to say or request at this meeting????

    To me, it is completely unacceptable that this sort of thing is happening at school. The fact that the school should be keeping better track of its students seems a bit "DUH!!!" to me....but we're supposed to have this special I guess it's unusual for a parent to be concerned.

    I am open to ideas and suggestions....

    At this point, I'm not really sure what to say to these people (AND my teacher friend warned me that the school will probable have some sort of lawyer present at this meeting.)


  2. I would request a shadow between periods, an escort from point a to point b. I would also request that all hallway passes be revoked or require an escort. A per period check in with case manager would not be out of line either. Yes, it is their responsibility to keep track of her. When they get to high school, I found that they automatically feel that the kids should take responsibility for their own actions and I agree to a certain extent. When our kids are in manic or crisis mode, all self-regulating goes out the window and it is up to the adults around them to keep them grounded.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I wish I had some astounding advice, but I don't. Other than to remind the school that they are legally obligated to educate her, and if they can't do it in the setting they have now, they need to find one that can.

    In the meantime, I might ask for a shadow for her, to help everyone keep track of her. I'd push it on the grounds the school has "lost" her more than once, and I'd expect that to be a temporary fix while a more appropriate edcuational setting is figured out for her.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Can you find an educational advocate to accompany you to the meeting? Free or low-cost ones might be available through your state Department of Education or these websites: (click on state/local to call your area chapter)

    If the current school can't guarantee that your daughter be kept safe in her current placement, the school must offer a placement where she can be kept safe. That's the law.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    DF- Do you or husband have a close friend that can attend the meeting with you? This is, of course, a very emotional situation for you and husband... a neutral party could help with taking notes and possibly even make some coherent suggestions or point out faulty logic on the school's part.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I had that same frustration when my son (in 6th grade and 11yo) got on the wrong bus intentionally and did not show up until the next morning. I flew all over the school district staff. My position was that iif they send all those papers home saying he can get into trouble with the school district for doing XYZ, at ABC times and places, then that means he's under their authority at those times and places, and therefore I hold them accountable just like I am held accountable if something happens outside of those times.

    on the other hand, don't be surprised if that leads them to calling the police on her for being truant when she can't be found. After I went off on the school district, they suspended my son for getting on the wrong bus, even though the bus driver did not check to see if my son had a special pass like their policy requires when a kid gets on a bus that he/she doesn't normally ride.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thanks everyone! I knew I would get great ideas here....

    AFTR--That's a great idea about having difficult child "check in" with someone to make sure she is attending classes.

    Shari--You are right....they are clearly having difficulty keeping track of their students. We will ask about someone to shadow difficult child.

    Smallword--Thanks for the links! I was able to speak to a child advocate who is outraged (as we all are) about the situation at school. She gave us some good ideas about requesting services through a 504 Plan. We also signed up to be notified next time NAMI conducts a "basics" class in our area.

    TM--We'd love it if someone could go with us....but looks like it will be just us. We will have to do our best to stay calm and "reasonable".

    K--You make good points. Parents would absolutely be accountable if their child did anything outside the home....shouldn't the school have the same responsibility for children on school property?
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Ask if you can tape record the meeting. You might need it as proof for later on.
  9. Everyone gave you great ideas; I hope that they will work for your difficult child. We did very much the same things with our easy child 1. He did not have a shadow, but was accounted for every period and it was reported back to his school counselor. The school misplaced my easy child 1 several times and called home to tell us he had skipped school when in fact he was serving in-school suspensions and once was out for a graduation rehearsal and they said he had skipped. We had meeting after meeting with the staff trying to get them to realize that there are infact some parents in the world that still parent their high school aged children! They felt it wasn't their job to keep track of him and we felt that unless our easy child 1 was officially dropped out of school, then he was still very much a student and was their responsibility as well as ours. If the school can call and tell us that our easy child 1 poured milk in the industrial fan in the lunch room when it was full of students, then they can call when he is absent and when he isn't working in class!!

    We got him through graduation and he will be starting college the winter semester. Raising children doesn't end when they get into high school. The schools need to be held accountable. Where is the school lacking that kids can get away with having sex on school grounds? You are right to be concerned and the per period check-in worked great for us. The hardest part was getting cooperation from the school staff and some of his teachers really resented that we were asking them for help. We had weekly emails from every teacher on his behavior and productivity in class (in detail). If he was missing work, we wanted a breakdown of assignments. We left no room for slacking-from our easy child 1 or the school.

    Our easy child 1 couldn't handle it on his own at this point, he needed help. There were a lot of people in our lives that felt that we were "saving" him but, as his parents, we felt we were just throwing him a rope. He still had to make the decision to grab on. As parents, I guess it is normal to always want to "save or rescue" our children, but it is more valuable to give them the proper tools they need so they can "save" themselves.

    easy child 1 is doing great and I don't think that he will be a burden to society because we provided him with the help he needed during a time of crisis. I hope that everything works out and if you find an advocate that knows their stuff, they can be a big help when dealing with the school. Take care!
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    We had the meeting this morning and it went pretty well...

    husband asked for soemone to shadow difficult child between classes or arrange to have her "check in" with someone. Asst principal said they couldn't do that BUT
    he did ask every teacher to write down our phone number and if difficult child does not show up for class in time for roll call--we are to be called IMMEDIATELY!!!

    difficult child was then invited to join us and the asst principal talked to her about keeping her safe and that everyone in the room was going to join together to make sure that she couldn't put herself in danger.

    difficult child looked pretty upset, as if she was going to cry. This meeting was not a surprise to her--so I'm not sure if she didn't believe that we would actually clamp down or what. I didn't expect her to be so emotional (on the other hand--it might have also been a show for the asst principal so he could know how "mean" we were all being. Crying like that is definitely out of character for difficult child.)

    Anyway--thanks to eveyone for all the great advice!!

    You guys are the best!

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm glad it went better than expected. Don't be shocked if you don't get a phone call every time though. My guess is that difficult child was emotional because she was embaressed. It's one thing for parents to know all the horrible stuff, it's another when the difficult child thinks "everyone in school knows and is going to be watching me". That alone might be effective though. Good luck!