How do I tell the teacher?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crazymama30, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    When I dropped difficult child off at school today, I handed him his back pack. He immediately said don't look in my back pack. So of course I looked. He had a long handled lighter in there, like what you use out camping. I asked him why he was taking it to school? (like that matters, but I was kinda shocked. I figured I'd find a pocket knife) He said another boy, M, dared him. I told him he could get suspended for that, it is not ok. He seemed shocked. How in the world is it shocking? He should know by now what can and cannot go to school, he has tried to take enough stuff to school. I am just so glad I found it. I may have to go back to the before school back pack checks.

    I am probably going to tell the teacher that difficult child tried to bring a lighter to school, and said that M dared him. I am concerned about why M wants a lighter. Is he just curious and wanted to see if difficult child would do it? Or was it something else.

    I am also concerned that difficult child will do anything someone tells him. This is why I am terrified of middle school. I can hear it now. I dare you to smoke this. I dare you to snort this. Uggg. I so hope that the magnet school works out, it is smaller and in a way more supervised. How can it not be a little more supervised if there are less kids? There are about 22 kids per grade, and I think they are pretty well self contained. They may go to PE or music, but they do not switch classes like most middle schools around here. They also have a big social piece, emphasis on treating others well and so on. Orientation is at the end of February, and we are going. End of story. husband, difficult child and I are all going if I have to drag them.
  2. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    I think I would be careful about admitting to a teacher that your difficult child tried to bring a lighter to school. People really overreact these days, and who knows what measures they may put in place. My difficult child brought a multi-tool to school last year (it had a pocket knife in it), and showed it to a friend. I still thank my lucky stars that no teachers found out.

    I'm concerned about M, too, but I wonder if you should just call M's parents and approach it that way? I'm sure M's parents would rather hear it from you than a teacher/principal...and I guess it's also possible that difficult child made the part up about M...?

    My difficult child is way too willing to take dares, too...he is in a small magnet this year and I do think that's a great choice for kids who need a little social help.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think I'd skip the teacher and have an urgent meeting with the principal and guidance counselor and explain how he does things on a dare.
  4. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I would have a hard time contacting M's parents, I have no idea who the kid is. I am not sure if he is in difficult child's class, I did not think of asking him. I think I will wait untill difficult child gets home, and talk to him more. I want to be sure that M was involved. I am not too concerned about the teacher knowing, she had difficult child last year and is aware of his issues. I am just dissapointed. He does well, and then we backslide. That is a pattern he keeps repeating.
  5. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Crazymama: when my son had insider info I went to one vp in elementary school. The thing I said to him through his life is: there are two basic ways to learn. The easy way or the hard way.
    my strongest interagation device for boys is this What did you think was going to happen?
    I am glade you feel there is a school you want you middle schooler to attend. It is a tricky age for parents and it is tough on the kids. Our middle schools are all full of children in puberty and that is what makes the schools rep bad. When I was doing what you are...fretting over that bad middle school...I was sure that THAT SCHOOL was THE reality it is the age and the issues that come with the child growing into their next stage and parent growth that makes THE PROBLEM. It was not bad. The conselor the first year we were there won an award. A vp took my son for his entire middle school time...not changing vp each year.
    Keep up the good work and the Mom Radar tuned.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    My difficult child wrote out a "Kill List" (Yes, that was the title on the page, in big bold letters) naming all of the kids upon whom she was going to exact her revenge and she put it in her back pack to bring to school.

    Thank God I intercepted that list!

    First, and foremost, I made sure that difficult child had no weapons and no credible plan for actually doing harm to these other students. Next I told her therapist about the exact nature of the list....and finally I let the school guidance counselor know that difficult child was having "difficulties" with the students that she had listed.

    I knew that if I had just gone directly to the school with the list--my daughter would have been reported to the police as a "terrorist" or some other such thing. Instead, I made sure that the school counselors were aware that difficult child was feeling animosity toward certain students that she was not getting along with--and the teachers were able to investigate what was happening between the kids and then the school made a few changes in order to separate difficult child from having classes with these students.

    So while I think that you are correct to want to let the school know what is happening--I think that you need to be careful exactly how you present them the information. Perhaps instead of talking about lighters specifically, you might say that you are concerned that this friend is talking about bringing "inappropriate items" to school, and you are just wondering if the teachers feel that this is meant as a joke or something they need to be concerned about.

    That should "get the ball rolling" as it were...

    Good luck!

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't go to the school first for the reason listed above. The first thing I'd do is go straight to the psychiatrist, tell him, have him try to find out what was going on and ask his advice about the school. I wouldn't really know what to do about school until I knew what I was dealing with and one thing I'd know is my child needed help. I also suggest buying a plastic, clear backpack. And I'd still check it every day. As for your child and middle school, they very tough years for kids who are followers and/or insecure. My oldest daughter wanted attention and would get it any way she could and she was too shy to just go up to people and make friends. She found it was easier to befriend the "bad" kids and that they are very accepting--providing you do drugs with them. None of my other kids (of five) got into that kind of trouble. Some kids in my opinion are better off homeschooled. Eventually, I did take my daughter out of school, but by then she was already in big trouble. ((((Hugs)))) Good luck.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  8. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    I am in the tell and be honest side of the road to healthy behavior. What is wrong with the idea that 'keeping secrets' helps is that it has the effect of teaching kids how to get what they want by doing so..not telling the truth. It is also the means by which the worst crimes against children are covered up as children are easy marks for this type of thinking process. Don't tell is the motto of abusers.

    Be candid with the vp, and let the matter get appropriate attention for what it is.
    may have to have a reminder to all students not to bring any of the items that are contraband. REmiders to tell a safe adult when they see or hear anything that alarms them or frightens them. Go over the no bully policy with the students again.

    Direct and honest communication. We do it. We make a safe relationship so that our children do it.
  9. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I emailed both psychiatrist and therapist. Kinda ironic, it was right after difficult child's therapy appointment that this happened. I am going to wait untill I hear back and then decide. The one thing I have learned is that I do better if I do not make quick decisions. I can think about it, hear back from psychiatrist and therapist, and decide in the morning.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I do the same thing. Never act in haste. I won't even sign an IEP until I've had it home for a few weeks and hub and I have gone over it several times. I find that I regret what I do when I don't think everything out and ask for help when something isn't so black and white. The psychiatrist knows your child. He can direct you on the best way to handle this. Good luck ;)