Frustrated with 2 issues....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    1) Principal calls today and says difficult child is in some trouble, not so major, but still trouble. Then, says another boy and difficult child had a little pushing at lunch today but that seemed to blow over fairly quick so it was let go. Same boy later, back in class, decides to keep things going with difficult child. Words were said then other boy pushes difficult child, then grabs him and holds him up against wall, then grabs difficult child's neck and hit him. difficult child hit boy at this point and pushes him away. difficult child is in trouble for fighting. Being the holidays and difficult child's major improvement in behavior this school year, principal decides instead of 3-day suspension, difficult child can do 12 hours of community service over holiday break. difficult child had been taken to clinic because he had marks on his neck but was ok. EXCUSE ME??? Is it only me here, am I being biased? I asked if other boy is in trouble , too- Yes. Ok, why is difficult child in trouble if other boy was the physical aggressor? because difficult child said he thinks he could have contributed because he said some things back to other boy when other boy started mouthing off. FINE. I come home and difficult child has mark on neck and face. I asked what his part was in keeping this going (mouthing off, etc.) He says nothing, other than when boy had him against wall, by throat, that he hit him and pushed him away. I asked where difficult child hit him and difficult child said his side, then just pushed him.

    Now, I've got no problem with difficult child doing community service. It's a good thing, especially this time of year, even if not in trouble. But I do think maybe I should take action to make sure this is not a "strike" against him b/'c he's on probation, but more than that, I know if difficult child had instigated this much, he would have been in trouble and the other kid wouldn't have been. difficult child said other boy got same punishment and that difficult child got in trouble because he hit the other boy. If he'd only pushed and not hit (1 time), it would have been considered defense and not fighting. Do you guys think I'm being too biased?

    2) difficult child had assessment from private team at mood disorders clinic in Oct. It took FOREVER to get this done. I was so excited to have highly reknown people do this. They gave me verbal feedback, asked for more info, and when I hand delivered that, said I would hear back from them a 2-3 weeks. Well, here IEP team, probation officer, me, everyone is waiting for their report and written recommendations, STILL. I have called numerous times and even wrote a letter asking for a diagnosis and treatment recommendations in writing, which I would pay for myself, if they could be provided prior to the full report. Every time I call, I get told whatever I want to hear (we'll check on that and call right back, it's been mailed, etc.), then, I never hear or see anything else. They do say they are way behind on their cases. Is there anything I can do? Would a place like this (from a teaching hospital) just forget us? Should I write it off or will I receive a report in the mail some day next year? I've been telling sd and others - "We can proceed with such and such, as soon as I get this report"- but now I think, I'm never going to get it.

    Thanks, ladies, for letting me vent!!
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Okay first off if difficult child has marks on him that is cause IF YOU WISH you may file simple assault charges against the other boy. You could do that or you could take him to the police station tonight, show them his marks, and ask to file an INCIDENT report only. This doesn't sound like something you want to make a huge deal out of as difficult child 'may' be tweaking the story a bit to make his involvement less - however if my kid came home with marks - Id have an incident report. This doesn't arrest or charge anyone - it just lets the cops know there is a potential situation and lets the parents of the other child know - KNOCK IT OFF.

    This will serve 2 purposes. First, if you file an incident report only the police WILL go to the other child's home and speak with his parents, and this lets them know that his advances are NOT to happen again. Now the law is involved and someone may or may not take it serious on the other end, but you are covering YOUR behind legally.
    Second: If you take an incident report to the school this tells THEM also that you are more than upset about the way the situation was handled by them. Personally when there is any physical contact I think a resource officer should be called. HANDS TO YOURSELF.

    But be warned: The principal did handle it in a manner that gave BOTH boys community service. I hope it's not at the same place. But if you DO file a report of any kind - you're going to have to be sure there is NO MORE involvement of any kind from difficult child or it could get ugly for retaliation quick!

    On the matter of the report:

    When you call try this:

    Hello, WHom am I speaking to please? WRITE DOWN NAME, and start time, and date, and end time of speaking to that person. I am Ms. So and So, I called last week regarding the written diagnosis for KID X. Are YOU the person I need to speak with about getting this by (Give date). NO? WHo would I need to speak to? (OH miss B) Can you spell HER/HIS name for me, I'm writing this down. How do I spell YOUR last name dear? Okay.

    Then you get connected to voice mail - CALL BACK - tell MIss THING you were wondering who Miss B's Boss is? Can I have THAT name? Could you connect me to HER? And sometimes MIRACLE OF MIRACLE you get MISS B - then you ask her the date (and then say I need it by X or I'm writing down what you are telling me) and then you ask HER what HER boss' name is - and explain to her that you know she is BUSY, but if SHE can't get you the needed documentation by (give your date) then YOU will call her boss on (the day you gave her as YOUR date) and explain that SHE was too busy and that you want her boss to assign someone that CAN get you your letter by (give new day only 2 days later)

    GET THEIR NAME - and STICK TO YOUR GUNS - just keep going up the ladder until you have a letter mailed, and JUST to be on the safe side - have a FAX number, and an EMAIL for them - and then the DAY after you would initially speak to Miss B or her BOss - WRITE THEM A LETTER with all the above information in it - and let them know you are serious.

    If you can't do that - I'll help. Just get the info.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    That is good advice. I personally would report it; not necessarily for any action, but so they have some sort of record of events.

    I also am concerned about difficult child getting an equal punishment when frankly all he did was in self-defence. OK, my experience of the US legal system is restricted to watching "Judge Judy", but she seems to accept hitting as self-defence, is someone else laid hands on you first, and especially if the hitting in response is not more than is needed to simply break the pattern or make the other person stop.

    Sounds like this other kid was spoiling for a fight with anybody, it was following on from his earlier behaviour. He was clearly the instigator.

    As for the failure of the report to materialise - yes, these things do take time, especially if they are doing a thorough job and especially if they are overworked.

    Here is my suggestion - write a letter to you local politician who represents your constituency. A congressman, perhaps. The gist of your letter - "please will you do your utmost to get this specialist clinic the extra funding it needs so that the excellent work they do in assessing kids like mine, can be completed effectively with the subsequent reports so vitally needed by our health system and education system. Without that report we are unable to proceed and our own matter is becoming critical. We surely can't be the only ones so affected, so clearly these excellent people are in desperate need of more staffing so they may continue to do t his excellent work and the needs of our children (who are the future of this country) can be met."
    Do make sure you use your own wording, but make sure you are full of support and praise for this clinic, making it clear that OBVIOUSLY they need more government funding for extra staff to type up the backlog of reports.
    Then send the letter to your congressman (or whoever) and at the bottom, "CC to..." and put down the person you saw, their boss, and their boss's boss.

    Or if you want to be more gentle, just send the copy only, to the people you have been ringing. The message of this is "if you keep stalling me, I will send this letter. It is supportive of you, but in a way which will bring people sniffing around to find out why you are so inefficient." (and don't actually SAY that to them, either - it's what they will read between the lines - I hope).

    It's quite likely that the report is still in the "IN" tray, along with fifty others, and the only person available to type them is the person administering the tests day and night. We've sometimes had to wait six months for a report. I've had some reports never turn up.

    There are ways of being politely but firmly insistent, without having to call them lazy and incompetent.

  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Um, I did something bad when we were waiting forever for our report.

    I called and said that I had an IEP in 2 weeks and unless I came up with a valid reason why, they were going to remove all services and possibly recommend that the boys be put back in General Ed.

    I had the report 3 days later.

    It was a lie, I did my confession and pennance (sent a cookie tray) and was very very stern with myself for at least 39 seconds!

  5. Star*

    Star* call 911


    NOW - you KNOW how fond I am of YOUR baking - (ahem) so here's the deal chicky -


  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I would of lost it. Another perfect example of what I was trying to get across to my neighbor who works at a charter school. She is the one that told me a certain boy is suspended everytime he comes in the office. Me...being on the other side here KNOW that others can start things and difficult child would get in trouble. AND the same neigbors daughter said she kicked someone and then giggled and "mom" just blew it off because it is "unusual" for HER daughter to do that.

    Excuse me. I learned a while ago, if school calls and says difficult child did something my FIRST question is, "what led up to this?" Because 9 out of 10 times it is another student who has done something, over and over CAUSING difficult child to react. What, your son was suppose to sit there and get abused? Where was the teacher or supervison when he was up against the wall? They are sure to be there the minute difficult child reacts..what about while the abuse is happening? No, NO, No...I would be there. I would be sure to look at the statements. I would be sure difficult child writes on his statement exactly what happened. Seeing he is on probably, I would make sure the PO knows exactly what happened. Seems to me difficult child had some good self control to let it get to that point and not react more harshly. I would be at school and make sure that other boy is not allowed anywhere near difficult child. I would be sure the teachers, supervisors are aware of this. I would be doing something.

    The actions of others can take a perfectly well behaved child, difficult child or not, and cause reactions that can label them for a long time.

    You are much calmer than I would be.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Kjs, you're dead right. "What led up to this?" is a very important question.

    The local school here is trying something called "restorative justice". I was invited to attend the orientation night even though difficult child 3 no longer attends here. However, kids that DO attend this school are the ones who hassle him after school and who have beaten him up in unprovoked attacks, so we know how well it's working (not). A big point to 'restorative justice' as it was being 'sold' to the school, was to deal with the presenting problem and not go into blame or cause. I immediately challenged this and got nowhere. I feel you can't have justice while there are unresolved issues, and when a kid like difficult child 3 lashes out as a result of ongoing provocation, and the provocation is not dealt with, then the problem has not been dealt with and will recur.

    This happened time and time again, purely because it was NOT dealt with properly. And our local 'darlings' attack again and again, because what I have requested - a face to face meeting with the kids and parents to explain that this is unacceptable and unnecessary, has not happened. The main causative factor in our case - the local kids are bored and idle, unsupervised and uncontrolled. They are not bad kids, but they are rapidly turning bad from lack of follow-through and teaching them that their behaviour is wrong.

    And it's the same thing with schools that make some kids easy scapegoats - in the long run, the problems escalate. If your child is a combined bullying target and also a discipline target, he will never get on OK until attitudes change, because the bad behaviour is also learned behaviour and every time your difficult child is unfairly punished, the real culprits get a positive payoff which teaches them to continue their bad behaviour.

    So keep asking the awkward questions. Don't let them treat your son unfairly. Fair enough to be punished, but punishment needs to be fairly applied and not just handed out by guesswork.