difficult child just got kicked out of school permanently

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I got a call from the principal, Sr. C, about 20 min. ago. She said that the contract we signed came across her desk and difficult child could not miss more than 2 days of school. I must not have read the fine print; I thought it meant with-o a dr's note.
    He has had a cold and sinus infection. I got a dr's note.
    He went to the nurse's ofc (see my other note here) but the nurse and I got him to stay.
    Sr. C said she is seeing the same pattern they saw last yr and that difficult child was very interested in staying at this school and he was willing to put forth the effort. They don't see that here.
    I called back to get logistics and schedules ... the 1st ph call was a very short one and after I hung up, I hadn't a clue how we would do this on a Tuesday afternoon.
    I got through to Sr. C again and she said "That's a good question. We'll have to talk through that."
    So *I* came up with-the idea to let him stay until Friday and not tell him right now. If we tell him now, he will not want to participate in any classes. Even an adult would behave that way.
    If I take him out overnight, he will have a total meltdown; transitions are a huge problem for kids with-Asperger's.
    She agreed.
    I also told her that it bothered me that this was happening at this time; we all had a huge mtng last yr where husband and I signed the contract. I went back a few days later, and spoke alone with-Dr. JP and the resource dir, and was very fragile. I told them I didn't see the point in keeping difficult child there and it would make more sense to take him out in the summer so he could start a new school in an orderly fashion in the fall.
    Sr. C repeated that this pattern was repeating itself.
    I told her that was exactly why I called the 2nd, more private mtng, and I felt misled, because Sr. JP and the resource dir were adamant that difficult child could succeed there. And I left the mtng thinking that I was just worn out and overreacting.
    I told Sr. C that I would never, ever have let difficult child re-enroll this fall if I had thought this would be such a problem. It would have made so much more sense to have let last yr be his last yr.
    I also noted that since Aspies do not transition well, and that he has has numerous problems, that they should take Asperger's off of their web page.
    She countered very quickly and curtly that "We have several other children here with-Asperger's and they do just fine."
    I said "That's very unusual. I think it's a shame that the teachers and everyone put so much effort into this and you all don't seem equipped to really handle it."
    She said she would bring it up with-the resource teacher.
    I am expecting a call from the resource teacher at lunchtime.

    I was awake most of last night with-a migraine (left over from shooting 503 photos in the hot sun, long story) and recovering from a cold. I am so exhausted, but I really have to go to the local public middle school and pick up paperwork.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Hugs, Terry. I've been in those shoes, and they hoover, big time.

    Try not to panic.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    And now I will finish my post. :)

    Do what you need to do to get him enrolled in the local public school and put in a request for an evaluation and IEP meeting ASAP. Do get those balls rolling right away. Then try not to panic. If he misses a few days, it won't be the end of the world.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    And forgive me using up 3 replies, but only allowing him to miss a total of 2 days of school is expecting a lot of ANY kid. That's a little extreme, in my humble opinion.
  5. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I'm taking back by only allowing two days absence from school even with a dr's note. That IS extreme.

    Sending strengthing vibes to you.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this... {{{hugs}}}.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, it's their way of sending a bigtime msg that they're fed up with-him.

    Which is fine. You all have been patiently reading my notes throughout this ordeal and we came so close to moving him last yr ... What's done is done.

    The resource dir just called me back. She was very firm about the contract and did not understand at all why I felt misled at the mtng in June. She said she does believe he can succeed academically. .

    Sigh. I just sat on the ph in silence for 15 sec. I didn't want to get into it with-her. No point. So I told her of our plan to continue until Friday. I pointed out that it was my idea, that I had called Sr. back because she did not offer any suggestions as to how this would be done, so I came up with-the idea.
    I asked how many teachers knew, and the resource dir said none of them knew.
    Only she, the vice principal, and Sr.
  8. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Oh, that is crushing. Or at least it would/has been to me and my difficult child. It seems they did mislead you. I wonder what has changed since the meeting where they were so positive this could work out? Well, if there is no repair possible for that placement, then it is best to get things going for the public school. Hang in there.
  9. Terry ((hugs)) I agree with the others..the 2 day thing seems far fetched even for the best of easy child 's. If they know your situation and they do have other Aspies, they should be more understanding.
  10. Rannveig

    Rannveig Member

    I'm so sorry, Terry. I don't know the whole back story, so forgive me if the following is dumb, but two thoughts occur:

    1) If you really want difficult child to stay at this school (you sound ambivalent; maybe you need to sleep on it?), then I'd have a lawyer look at the contract. There could be a loophole or a way of interpreting it that would favor your interpretation. I mean, it's just common sense that they don't count sick days toward the two-day total. What, do they want contagious kids dragging themselves into school and infecting everyone else?!
    2) Maybe this is for the best. If the school administrators can behave in such a thoughtless and mindless fashion, maybe the institution they govern is equally defective. Maybe somehow the universe is executing a plan for your difficult child, and you can still figure out what that is, and he'll still have a good year. I will hope for that.

    Wishing you strength and a peaceful night tonight,
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Is there someone you can appeal this to? This seems borderline illegal to me. What if he had something contagious? If there is a dr's note, I'm really questioning if they can do this, although I don't know anything about what private schools are allowed to do. I do think you are right in that they were looking for an excuse and if that's the case, it would have made a lot more sense for them as well as you, to resolve this at the end of last school year.

    As far as their statement that he can achieve- yeah, I heard that a lot, too. Usually they meant that difficult child could achieve if we all agreed to do things their way without question. Yet they never seemed to have a good answer to difficult child issues when they occurred- other than suspension. Other than just wanting to emsure compliance by me in IEP meetings, I think the point was that they saw potential, too, but just had no clue how to help difficult child reach it.

    I wonder if your difficult child being in a public school with an IEP might be a blessing in disguise for him.
  12. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I know what you've been through with difficult child and school the last several years. I know you were hoping that this was the place.

    It appears, however, that it is not. I think you kinda saw the writing on the wall last year but they convinced you otherwise. That was clearly evidenced by your desire to change schools last year.

    While we can discuss the ludicrousness of a 2-day expulsion contract, their speed in pulling out the terms of the contract, their seemed desire to get difficult child out of there, etc., none of that is productive for difficult child. I believe you are doing the right thing by keeping him in all week. I never felt this school was equipped to deal with difficult child - but that was, and is, my opinion. Now you just need to enroll him in his local school and start over (which I imagine you did earlier today). His IEP will roll with him, but a meeting this week with the Special Education director of his new school is in big time order. That IEP will have to be tweaked. This should be a called emergency IEP meeting. Get all that handled before end of the day Friday, if possible. If you can put everything else on the back burner for now, it would be helpful.

    Once he's in, you can address the other stuff. I truly believe that difficult child will understand. I know he transitions difficultly, but sitting down with him this weekend and letting him know that his "old" school just can't deal with some of the issues he deals with, that he will have a better chance for success at pubic school (and that could very well be true in that the demands on him could lessen academically), and you know he will feel happier with this change, as difficult as it may seem right now.

    I imagine they are holding you to the annual tuition though.......

  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Terry - If you had to pay tuition to this school, I would demand a full refund for anything paid for this year and a document in writing that you do not owe anything.

    This is so unfair, I know that sinking, pit of your stomach feeling about having to tell your son that because the adults around him are incompetent that he has to suffer.

  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry, fight his. If you hadto pay tuition and the year has only just started, get a refund. This is a set-up for failure.

    First BIG question - I also would interpret that "he can only miss tow days of school, max" as "with a doctor's certificate for genuine reasons, that doesn't count." So - DO THEY APPLY THE SAME STRICT RULE TO ALL STUDENTS? Because if they are holding him to a HIGHER standard of attendance, that is simply not fair. And what if they send him home for bad behaviour? Or hat they ALLEGE is bad behaviour (which is very subjective and, as we know, can be triggered in a kid)?

    It sounds to me like they've moved the goalposts. If you had known this was what you were signing, you would never have agreed to it. Therefore what you signed was not what you thought you signed. This is not informed consent.

    Fight this.

    Even if you are never going to darken their doors again, darken their name with respect to their 'compassionate' support of difficult children.

  15. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Something just doesn't sound right to me, Terry. I understand that he needs to be in school, but only allowing two days absence is ridiculous. Do you have a copy of what you signed last year? Are they holding all their students to the two days rule?

    I would seriously be up in somebody's face over this, especially when school has just started, and you have a doctor's note excusing his absence.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Terry, does this school get ANY federal funding? It is very very uncommon for any school to receive no federal funding, even Catholic or other religious schools unless they are very very small and are not accredited. If they receive ANY federal funding they are subject to the various laws about how students with disabilities are handled. This means that if they are holding difficult child to fewer absences than other students they are violating those laws and could lose ALL federal funding. NOT just funding for programs that your son would be eligible for - ALL funding.

    You may want to use this to be a carrot to entice them to return ALL of your tuition for this year. Chances are they are going to claim tuition paid so far is not refundable per the contract or because it has been spent for his benefit or some other nonsense. I think they just wanted to claim him as a student to meet certain quotas - and now that he has been counted they don't want him anymore. They are likely to want to keep your $$ though. If worse comes to worse and they keep refusing to reimburse tuition, ask them what a newspaper article about holding a disabled child to a stricter absence policy will do to their enrollment for next term? Esp when the article reveals how they practically begged you to keep him there until they had the tuition %%, then they expelled him and refused to refund said tuition because the disabled child missed more than TWO days and had a doctor's note for those days? Even if it has to be a letter to the editor or you pay for a small ad and state what happened, they are NOT NOT NOT going to want ANYONE to hear about this.

    ESPECIALLY other parents with children with Asperger's - which they specifically claim to accommodate and in reality do NOT accommodate (your difficult child is actually far better in school than many aspies I have known, based upon what you have posted about him and his actions at school.

    Just be sure that you state the truth in any letter to the editor or ad you take out. Not sure an ad would be worth the effort, but a letter to the editor would be.
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nothing to add to what everyone has already said. Just sending support and hugs for you and difficult child.
  18. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member


    Also nothing to add. It does stink though. Stinks bad.

    My difficult child's made the switch from private to public quite a few years ago. It worked out for the best. I think this will work out for your difficult child.

    But make them pay if you can -- for being hypocrites.

  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    thank you all.

    I am certain we will get the tuition refunded for everything but Aug and Sept. Normally, I would fight it, but as Marg said, they moved the goalposts, and quite frankly, I am going through this same issue with-a private bond fund that turned out to be a hedge fund, that I bought using my cousin's $. The broker, who was a biz acqaintance "friend," talked me into it, knowing that his biz was on the rocks. I am going through a fed gov't investigation (FINRA) and it's the exact same thing. The contract I signed was written for an "expert," not someone like myself. There were things in it that were simply impossible to uphold.
    There must be something inherently vacuous about my nature, or something innately naive, that I keep getting pulled into these sorts of things. At any rate, I don't know that I have the energy to fight two battles like this. I was up until 11:30 last night, scanning in about 20 pp of the bond document and sending ea p separately because the hearings are going on. I am confused; I thought the hearings were in Norfolk, VA but they are in Philadelphia, PA. I may have to fly up there.

    I do agree, that this is going to be a very good thing for difficult child, once we get the lumps smoothed out. This school cannot possibly say that they are equipped to handle Aspies. No matter how strongly they defend it.

    I didn't know that private, Catholic schools could get federal funding. I will call the Richmond diocese to find out tomorrow. It would be useful to at least get them to drop the spec needs program that they pretend to have.

    One thing difficult child noticed in the past yr was that their fundraisers only raise a certain amt of $ for the school. The rest goes to charity. Kids don't normally notice those things but he has said on many occasions that they are going to always be poor if they continue like that. He said they should keep their $ like the private school he went to 2 yrs ago, LOL! The private school had specific fundraisers, for example, if it was Operation Smile, it would simply said Operation Smile. If it was for the computer lab, it would say that. But his current school tends to mix and match and I'm thinking that's part of their mission statement. FWIW.

    We went to the psychiatric today and talked about computer time and lack of motivation for anything other than computers. We also talked about how difficult child wakes up around 5 a.m., eats, then goes back to bed and is too exhausted to get up at 7. We all asked difficult child why he didn't just stay up at that hr? And he said he was too tired. So we are changing his medications a bit, adding in more clonidine. The dr also suggested no lights in the bedroom. And he suggested that the antibiotics difficult child is on, as well as any antihistamines, may be making him agitated and causing broken sleep. So we're going to try the clonidine increase and let him use up the antibiotic scrip b4 we resort to removing the lights from his bedroom again.
    difficult child also mentioned that he likes to read at night and can't always put the book down (Steven Koontz is not lullaby reading!!!). So we will have to find another nighttime author, as well as move his bedtime back to 8:30. As it is now, he's supposed to be in bed by 9 and can read until he falls asleep.

    Sorry if I'm rambling. My brain is mush.

    I've got a busy day ahead tomorrorw.
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    In regard to holding difficult child to higher academic standards, he was on academic probation. The main problems have not been with-his academics, per se, they have been with-organization issues (executive functioning or lack thereof), not turning things in, or turning in things in incorrectly (for ex., "skip a space" to me means when you write a paper, write on every other line of college ruled paper. To him it meant an extra space between paragraphs only. This is such an easy thing to fix but with-this school, was an ongoing battle and typical of the battles we fought all last yr. He is so literal, and they just don't get it.)
    So as part of the contract, we agreed that he would only miss 2 days of school per trimester, he would turn in 100% of homework (it was 90% but he took advantage and they had to really squeeze stats to get it to 90% last yr), he had to score C and above on tests.
    He had no real behavioral issues that were serious. We got home one note that he was scr*wing off in art class last yr (he hates art) and he had to write the teacher an apology.
    I heard that yesterday, he kept raising his hand in religion class to ask procedural questions that were already on the board and that the nun had already said aloud. She was aggravated that he wasn't paying attention and said something that was apparently intended to be humorous about having him wear a sign that said he couldn't ask any more questions.
    The other teachers have said he participates very well in their classes and is not shy about raising his hand and talking about issues. I was very pleased to hear that, since he can be very shy and almost neurotic when he is amongst strangers.