difficult child suspended; can't return til after break

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Apparently he was being funny in the lunch line. Some random second grade teacher corrected him in a "typical" fashion. He didn't listen, she got authoratative, that backfired, took him to the office, where....


    the principal - aka his "safe go-to person in the office" - was gone.

    By the time the SpEd teacher got to him, he had spit on the secretary and punched the school nurse, who was blocking the doorway so he couldn't get out of the office, so the damage was done.

    Still, no one is being terribly negative about it. All things considered, he's so far ahead of the game.

    But it still isn't much fun.
  2. jal

    jal Member

    Shari - forgive me, do you have an IEP in place yet, or is this still on "word" of the school?
  3. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Frustrating for him and you. Some training on our kids is what's warranted- like a manual called "Things you shouldn't say or do to an anxious difficult child..."
    1. Get in his/her face
  4. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    #2. You HAVE to do what I say
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I was thinking he's already on an IEP- you are documenting the numbers of days or these suspensions, right? If he's on an IEP, there should be a manifestation hearing, I would think.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yeah, he's on an IEP. This will be 4 days of suspension this year. If we get close to 10, I will be asking for a hearing.

    I could probably argue the point, too, but really, the group of people working with wee this year are doing a good job. Its when they aren't there or outsiders step in that we have problems. I don't like that he pays for the stupid mistakes adults make, but in a public school setting, I don't know how it would be feasible to keep all others out of his space without keeping him in the resource room, Know what I mean??

    That said, I had suggested, just as a thought to keep in mind, to the SpEd that perhaps during this rougher time of year, it would benefit wee to decrease his mainstream time. We talked briefly again about it today and I think we may look at doing that.

    This time of year is so hard for him, for whatever reason. It might be best that he's not in school til after break...things will be calmer then and people won't be out so much.

    FWIW, wee's bio-father is living hour to hour, too. My post in the WC from the weekend doesn't even begin to touch the BS he's been into for the past 6 days...maybe its a seasonal thing.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    As you said, they are doing a good job this year.

    But in our experience with difficult child 3 (when we were at the highway school where they finally got it RIGHT) - we also had problems, mainly when we had people unfamiliar with difficult child 3 mishandlnig the situation. And even when one such mishandlnig resulted in difficult child 3 throwing chairs and other furniture in the school hall and they had to get the other kids out and wait outside until someone could talk difficult child 3 down - he was not suspended. Not even given detention. I was told about it but the school accepted responsibility for the incident and did not penalise difficult child 3. because it brought its own punishment - because he got upset, he became angry at himself. He was sat down outside the school hall with his aide who explained where he had gone wrong, but also explained how perhaps he could try to handle things differently in the future. They role-played it verbally, his class teacher also did his best to set things in place to prevent a recurrence.

    The thing is - the school IS donig the right thig, as far as they can. But there will always be people who don't know him, who don't follow the IEP or for some other reason the wheels fall off. It shouldn't be considered his fault. Of course he can't behave that way, but once it escalates, it's not his fault.

    The aim of discipline is to teach and to prevent. If the child was unable to prevent his own reaction, then punishment is pointless and cruel, you're only punishing a kid for what he can't help. For being who he is.
    If the kid realises he did the wrong thing but even with hindsight, you can't see any other likely outcome - then again, punishment is pointless.

    If they still insist that difficult child must be punished, then I ask the question - the staff who breached the agreement, what is THeiR punishment? Because it's just as reasonable to insist that ANYBODY who bears responsibility, has to take the consequences of their actions. And the very least of their consequences, should be a meeting with you (*or their supervisor) explaining what they SHOULD have done, in order to prevent a recurrence.

    If nothing is done to fix this, it will happen again.

    I understand that the attitude of some schools towards discipline is - we will do what we can to prevent the child escalating, but once he does, even if he as provoked badly, then it is out of our hands, he has to put up with it. Otherwise the other students will see this childbehaving badly and getting away with it, and they will think this is all very unfair.

    The thing is - other kids already see that it is unfair, they know that difficult child is highly reactive. Often, the other kids play on this and use this to their own advantage. They will deliberately provoke a reactive kid in order to relive their own monotony. So when kids are punished across the board (which is NOT a level playing field, even though it is superficially being made to look like one) then it actually can encourage bullying and triggering of difficult children.
    But in the case of difficult child 3 and the incident with throwing chairs - the oter kids would have seen him getting a talking to. They saw him excluded from the activity. They probably breathed a sigh of relief. But they would have known that he has less capability in terms of being able to help it, than they have. In other words, it hoovers to be difficult child 3 anyway. Cut him some slack (this is from the other kids). I never heard a word of complaint about difficult child 3 not getting punished further for that incident.

    It comes down to who does this and why. If another kid chooses to act out violently, to literally throw his weight around, he is doing it knowingly and with malice aforethought. The school staff make an individual decision as to whether the act is done with cold deliberation, or after extreme accidental provocation. The punishemtn has to vary accordingly.

    I still say, a kid with an IEP, who has problems because the IEP was not only not followed but was totally ignored, should not be punished. It's like punishing the blind kid for failing to copy accurately form the blackboard.

  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I like your attitude! On the one hand, the "offending" teacher was doing what she would have done with any typical kid - asking them to shape up, so to speak. Not knowing difficult child, his attitude was seen as absolute defiance. I had that experience a few times when difficult child was younger and when the adults were fully aware of difficult child's issues, understanding did dawn.

    But, the fact that he handled his stress, anxiety, and anger with physical stuff is not acceptable. No matter the trigger, physical violence (and the spitting) is never justified. That will be something you will have to stress to wee. And he will learn to control it - mine did. Obviously you will also need to let him know that you understand his frustration with this incident without bad-mouthing the teacher.

    I really do think you are on to something regarding the stress this time of the year. Special mods might need to be put in place to handle his anxiety level.

  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    We've made some changes that I think will resolve the issue that resulted in his first "suspension" (which I'm pretty sure I could get wiped out, by the way, but I'm not going to). If another sub doesn't know how to handle wee in the future, its because they shouldn't be a sub because they didn't read any of the regular teacher's notes before stepping in front of the class...the notes on wee are hard to miss...
    The others involved in this incident need to learn how their actions impacted wee, and I do plan to address that. I would imagine you are familiar, but we have this lovely mandate here, now, called the Safe Schools act. It was drafted in response to the school shootings and violence that have taken place in recent years. While the administration can make exceptions for certain acts, they have to have some pretty good foundations to do so when a child starts throwing punches (as wee did). We all realize it does nothing to teach wee anything, but I don't think there's really much I can do until that magic 10 days comes up. (This administration is not abusing it the way last year's did, either). The school is not even allowed to implement any sort of physical restraint any more, other than the isolation room, and we are SO not going there again. But you are right, it teaches wee nothing.
    That said, while I will do what I can to tweak the IEP and BIP to make sure this scenario doesn't happen again, wee has been so highly volatile the past few weeks. Everyone has been on eggshells and it takes very little to provoke him. With the holidays coming and key people being in and out, it has made it even tougher, so there's a piece of me that's relieved that we're not dealing with school for the next 2 weeks.
    Wee knows this time that he can't go to school, and he knows why. He was pretty upset because he won't be able to go to school. He decided Santa will probably not bring him any gifts because he was bad, and actually, was very accepting of that (Santa will bring gifts, but he's also going to write a note to wee). As much as we can, we'll have him doing educational stuff during school time, and I've told him that since mama's not at work, Christmas will probably be smaller than it has been in the past, and that was not said as a punishment, that's just a fact and reality. He will have to apologize to the teachers, and he lost his video game yesterday for hitting, but that's as much punishment as we are giving. Like you said, he doesn't learn from it. He learns from positive interactions and social stories and role playing when he's stable, so there's not a lot of reason to worry about punishment with this one.