Comment at the swimming hole.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    The fam went to the swimming hole yesterday. While there, another couple showed up. She works in the lunch room at the school.

    She recognized Wee and spoke fondly to him.

    After Wee and I hit the water, she told my mom that she thought he was a great little boy, and she'd never seen so much as an iota of behavior from him, tho she realizes he is challenging. She then said "but the aides sure spend a lot of time talking down about him".

    I know 2 years ago, one of the aides also told her sister, a minor who worked at the store in town, all about him, and the sister started treating him differently when he was in the store, also.

    So glad its such a professional school.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    What???? This just flames my toast!!!

    I thought Wee couldn't get services because the poor aides were so busy, so overbooked, so short-handed...

    And yet, they have time to stand around and gossip about how horrible their charges are?

    That's just not right.

    I hope you sue the pants off that school...
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Gee, I wonder why they are having problems. Maybe the lunchroom lady would want a promotion?
  4. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Shari, nothing burns me up more !!!!! We live in small town with plenty of BIG MOUTHS. The teachers, secretaries and lunch aides all say many things they shouldn't. I have had meetings with school staff and at the end of each meeting I stare them down and say, " I trust this will be kept confidential". I have told husband on more than one occasion if I hear any gossip about difficult child they will **** their pants because I will go to CNN if I have too. They don't know who they are messing with! The sad part is that you don't want to risk the lunch aides job but something must be done ! People really need to get a grip.
  5. WearyWoman

    WearyWoman Guest

    Shari - That's so unprofessional. I don't understand the lack of conscience about that sort of thing. I'm not familiar with the privacy laws in detail, but if it's not a privacy violation, it's certainly an ethical violation.

    Unfortunately, this happens all the time.

    We moved to the area here about two years ago, and at that time, we transferred our youngest's (difficult child 2's) IEP from a previous school. He has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) - not otherwise specified (an autism spectrum disorder), apraxia of speech, ADHD, and behavior issues. We adopted him at birth (and difficult child 1 through foster care). Both boys know they came into our family through adoption, however, difficult child 2 has limited understanding of this, and he suffers with a lot of anxiety.

    One day when talking with his substitute teacher at school, she shared that someone had told her we adopted difficult child 2 at birth; that the person who told her had read it in his file. I felt very uneasy knowing that information I thought was confidential is so freely shared among everyone at the school. My fear is that someone will callously say something to difficult child 2 about his adoption and that it would upset him. I thought this sort of information was protected on a need-to-know basis.

    Anyway, I feel your pain. It is unprofessional, and you probably would benefit yourself and others by discussing it with the school.

  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Completely unprofessional! I'd be sure to let staff at the school know that you have heard through the grapevine what is being said.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If you tell the school, protect the source. ALWAYS.

    Cultivate your spies and your sources. You need them.

    For us, the best spies were the non-teaching adults who came into contact with the kids for various reasons. In Australia we still have scripture classes in state schools. They are optional but I have no problem with my kids taking scripture class. The alternative is secular boredom. They are beginning to trial secular ethics classes as an alternative.

    But the scripture teacher was in a position to observe and reported to me some very nasty things she saw happening to difficult child 3. The class teacher was generally till in the room but marking papers or doing other bookwork. Scripture teacher said she must have known about the kids poking difficult child 3 with sharp objects, but did nothing.

    Other valuable sources of information I found were other kids, especially kids in a different class or grade. Generally tey were only able to report two different type of things:

    1) exceptional problems, such as a bad fight in the playground; or

    2) incidences of teacher bullying, such as difficult child 3 being grabbed and dragged by his clothing, by a teacher who I thought was a friend of mine. I reported what I had been told, refused to name my source (I didn't even say it was a kid) and of course I was told it didn't happen. But I had independent confirmation that it did happen. However, by reporting it when I was told, it made it clear to the school that they couldn't sneeze without me passing them a hankie.

    A point in support of the school (devil's advocate here) - the canteen lady sees a different aspect of the child, than the aides whose contact with Wee is likely to be more intense. Nothing excuses gossip or negative attitude, however.

    I do the devil's advocate stuff because it's important to plan ahead for the school's most likely defence. If you plan ahead, you have your responses planned ahead. If you were a lawyer about to go into court to defend a client, you would also prepare the prosecution case (as far as you could) so you would be ready to counter it. Always look at all sides of the argument.

  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Totally agree that she hasn't seen what Wee is capable of, but if all of his aides think he's a lost cause that should be locked up now, well...should they really be the ones trying to help him if they've already given up???
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I fully agree, Shari. If they feel there is no hope, then what can they do to help Wee?

    What I'm trying to do is point out to you the arguments the school is likely to be either thinking, or actually saying to you. "The aides are at a loss because Wee really is beyond their ability to actually do more, than just keep him safe."
    "We can't fix what is broken. All we can do is help prevent further damage."
    "The aides are being realistic. You don't understand just how difficult it is to work with your son, he simply can't do the work and can't cooperate."

    You need to be prepared for this, so you have your counter arguments ready. "I accept that your aides feel they cannot help Wee. I still need people around my son who at least are prepared to keep trying."
    "There are techniques that work for me at home, which I feel would be of immense use to the aides. I would like the opportunity to workshop these techniques with the aides. It could also help them with other difficult students."
    "If you believe my child cannot be helped, then you should refer him to a more appropriate placement. Why waste money and resources on a lost cause? But he is young, if there is any chance for him, then he needs the help now, not when he's graduated to the Department of Juvenile Justice system. If you will not refer him, then that means that you DO believe he can be helped. Therefore he needs aides who are prepared to help and to surround him with positive attitudes and NOT gossip about him."

    It is very difficult for us as parents, Shari, because although we are experts on our own children, we are seen as biased in their favour and also untrained, compared to the professionals. But we should never let them discredit us or make us feel incapable of arguing for our children.

    When we advocate for our children, we need to be as impartial as possible, as professional as possible and as determined as possible. The best way to be impartial is to know the opposing opinions ahead, and be ready to use this prior information against them as far as possible. That's why I always workshop an issue, just as I was doing here, in order to be ready with both barrels loaded and triggers racked back. It's amazing how it can take the wind out of the sails of school objections when you quote their own arguments and then in the next breath, shoot them down. Blam. Blam. Now what, Mr Principal? NOW will you help my child?

  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Oh, yeah. Sorry Marg, totally got and get that.

    Sorry to make you explain.