Didn't think I'd need to don my armor THIS early in the school year...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    but the momma bear's been poked, and like Shari sez, if you poke the bear, the bear will bite.

    I picked up difficult child 2 after marching band practice today and he was enraged and in tears. It takes a lot to work him up to that level, so I was really alarmed.

    In a nutshell, there's a kid who's been bullying him, and today it was really hot at practice (yesterday it was 112, today it was 98 at his school) and this kid started in on him again, and his teacher wouldn't listen and simultaneously humiliated him in public. That's enough to make ANYBODY want to go postal.

    So here's my letter:

    I hope he understands from this that we are not playing games. :warrior:
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Good letter. You mention an attachment when you are talking about the heat and difficult child 2's problems with it. I assume that the attachment is documentation that the medication can make him less able to handle heat. You may need to get something from the pharmacist or doctor saying this.

    I am sure that a bullhorn is needed to manage that many kids moving around and playing instruments, but there is NO EXCUSE for a teacher to say they are going to embarrass a student until soemthing happens. That is abusive, and it needs to stop and stop NOW. I don't think a good teacher would need to embarrass or humiliate a student to motivate them. If the teacher must use humiliation to manage the students he must not be very good at his job. in my opinion, of course, but it is what it is.

    difficult child 2 and E should not be around each other. Not seated near each other, not standing near each other, not having lockers near each other. E needs to face some consequences because you have been dealing with this problem between the 2 boys for a long, long time.

    I hope you get a good response from both the teacher and the other adults. I also hope that they let difficult child 2 have water with him as needed. Otherwise this may not be a safe activity for him if it is very hot out. He could end up with heat exhaustion or even a heat stroke very easily.

    Go get 'em, Momma Bear!! To much is ENOUGH!!
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Good letter. I hope you get a good response. However, I fear the first response will be denial of difficult child 2's claim that he was humiliated over the bullhorn, and next will be a justification and blaming, claiming that difficult child actually did a lot of other things worse which they sadly didn't want to burden you with before... you know how it goes. First duck responsibility, next play the man and not the ball.

    So guard against this and don't be deflected.

  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Susie, here's the link to the document I attached for them:


    It's the best summary I've found of all the information out there about the relationship between psychiatric medications and heat illness.

    Marg, I wouldn't be surprised if there's backpedaling and denial as well. But at least this should get their attention. The district has a very clear policy against bullying of any degree, and at the very least, I expect to get action on that point, even if the teacher doesn't cop to his own bad behavior. He'll certainly know I'm paying attention!

    I'll let you know what happens next. We went through this in elementary school with difficult child 2 and I assumed naively that people in the middle school would have a better handle on things. I guess this is just good practice for high school next year.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I have found that, on the whole, 3rd grade social skills are about where a heck of a lot of the population stops learning....sounds like mr band instructor is one of them.

    Yeah, poke the bear. Holy cow. I'm impressed with your letter and your ability to write it instead of force it down someone's throat.
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The letter is spot on. It doesn't go into opinion and outrage, it states the facts and your position that the school step up to the plate to stop this bullying. I am more optimistic than Marge on this one - but then again, I am the president of the Optimist Club! Seriously, I think you have shown that must stop here. It's on them now. There is a nation-wide call for schools to accept responsibility for bullying on their turf. I can't wait to here how quickly you get a response.......

  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thanks Shari & LDM. I'm getting better at channeling my rage more appropriately the older I get! :tongue: I seriously wanted to lay into the band teacher at last night's back-to-school night. But I realized that was not the appropriate venue for such a "conversation" and my emotions needed time to settle since it had only been 90 minutes since I'd found out.

    This school's very focused on character development and education, so I am hopeful the response I get today is appropriately concerned and focused on the right things.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, so far I've received an email from difficult child 2's case manager letting me know she's looking into the situation and will get back to me soon. No word yet from the teacher or the assistant principal.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Assistant principal just chimed in. Says he believes the teacher is out today, but that he will talk to difficult child 2 himself. So now we wait...
  10. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Momma Bear - that was one awesome letter!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kudos to you!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I am going to live vacriously thru you while you kick your district in the hind end and make them shape up...Cause you're gonna git-er done...a feat I have yett to accomplish...

    So...WE WAIT!!!
  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Great letter!
  13. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I agree with the others - what a great letter and what a jerk of a teacher. Who does that?!
  14. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    GVC Mom, you are one heck of a letter writer ! Very to the point and all the facts were listed. The band teacher on the other hand .... Wow, what a jerk! He shouted on the bullhorn that he was going to embarrass difficult child 2, WTH ! I hope you have resolve soon and difficult child 2 is definetly due an apology OVER THE BULLHORN !
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    gcvmom, what used to worry me about this scenario with difficult child 3, was - when they said, "We'll get the story ourselves form difficult child 3," it actually meant, "We will interrogate difficult child 3 and make him see that he must have been mistaken; we will so muddle and confuse him that nothing he said can be believed."

    One classic incident (there were many) had a witness at last. This covered incidents in a very short period, while difficult child 3 had a close buddy who also visited at our home every afternoon. That kid moved away after a year. But this incident - the pack of little thugs which we KNEW were a problem, had attacked difficult child 3, deliberately tripping him so he fell onto rocks and came home with bloodied knees. His mate saw it all and told me. difficult child 3 came to me (unprompted) when he got home and said, "X and his friends were hassling me; X tripped me up then they laughed. My knees were bleeding." His mate said to me quietly, out of difficult child 3's hearing, "They are a real problem, they hassle difficult child 3 all the time."
    I wrote a note to the teacher, especially incensed because difficult child 3 as always getting into trouble for things he was allegedly doing to this gang of boys when I knew it was difficult child 3 defending himself, or hitting back after being provoked. Teacher's response - he interrogated both boys (difficult child 3 and his mate, the witness). He also interrogated X and mates, who all said, of course, that they were nowhere near difficult child 3 but they had seen him trip over his own feet as usual. difficult child 3 came home that day saying, "I could have sworn it was X who tripped me up, but Mr K says that because I'm autistic, I don't always see things as they really happen. I didn't know that. He said I must have been mistaken."
    I turned to the mate, the witness - he looked scared and would not talk about it. I think X and his mates had got to him and it was the last time he told me anything about what was going on. They moved a couple of months later, I think his mother wanted to get her son out of this school.

    So when teachers question your child, do not trust it if your child's story changes as a result. Ask your child (very carefully, so as not to prompt) what he believes happened and what was said to him.

    And any witnesses you have among other kids - protect them. They are gold. If you suspect that any teachers will "out" them or make life difficult for them, never reveal your sources. I found I did a lot better with keeping teachers behaving themselves, if I reported an incident but did not reveal which kid had told me. Even if the school later said, "That did not happen," I did not mind because I knew they would make sure it did not happen AGAIN. When challenged as to why I would not reveal my sources, I described the incident above and said, "I will reveal my sources when you have a witness protection program. Not before." Say it with a grin perhaps, but mean it.

    Perhaps I'm a bit too jaded, but even though I live in the same town as these teachers, even though we happily chat when we meet at the shops, I could not trust them to protect my child, not if that aim clashed with CYA.

  16. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    No word back yet from the school today. difficult child 2 said he was called in to talk to the assistant principal about what happened yesterday. difficult child 2 said he was given an opportunity to share his perspective and write a statement. He was also asked if there were problems in any of his other classes with this student -- and apparently difficult child 2 downplayed this, telling me that what he'd described to me yesterday about the boy being reactive to difficult child 2 in other classes was one specific incident this year. So I'm feeling a little foolish about that detail (another good reason for not acting immediately on things like this until you're sure you have all the information and that it's accurate). The AP also asked about last year and difficult child 2 confirmed that the boy taunted him similarly. The AP said he needed to know if difficult child 2 had a witness he could talk to so that these behaviors could be verified, and difficult child 2 does have a good friend who has seen the harrassment first-hand both last year and this year. The AP was going to talk to that student and then call the offender in to discuss the situation. I don't know what's going to happen, but I know that the district policy states the consequence for bullying is suspension.

    difficult child 2 said his case manager (6th period Critical Skills teacher) asked him if he'd spoken with the AP today and whether the AP mentioned anything about the band teacher's behavior, which he did not. Perhaps that's going to be dealt with when the teacher gets back. Perhaps it's going to be ignored because I did not specifically ask for anything in relation to THAT. I will wait to hear what the band teacher has to say about the situation before I decide what to do next. I do feel he owes difficult child 2 an apology.

    Marg, what was done to your difficult child by the adults involved was horrible and highly manipulative. I would be jaded, too. And insistent, I think, that I be in the room for any discussions had with my difficult child to ensure games like that are not attempted. People who treat children that way are not interested in the truth or doing what's right. They're only concerned about making a problem go away.

    difficult child 2 says he feels a lot better today about himself (ranked yesterday at a 2 (0 being he wants to kill himself) and today was a 9). Though the funny thing is that he doesn't attribute it to the conversation with the AP and the prospect of having the bullying stopped. He says it's because he got to play dodgeball in PE 1st period. :laugh: Sometimes I just don't get the way he thinks!
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I really like your letter and am glad he is feeling better about himself today.
  18. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    You rock! Way To Go for advocating for your child!
  19. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    After Son #2 got in trouble in high school for possession of stolen property, I drilled both him and Miss KT on the appropriate response when being interrogated by administration...I'm under 18, and I want my mom/dad to be here. Son #2 was trying too hard to help and talked way too much, landing him in deeper trouble.
  20. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    husband had a chat with difficult child 2 after soccer practice last night. Here's what he shared with me:

    He is a good dad. :D