Ongoing Problems With School ...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by vja4Him, May 24, 2010.

  1. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    I just got another disappointment from the school today! When I got home from my son's school this morning, I checked my e-mail and found a message from one of my son's teachers, informing me that he left some work for my son in the Office! Yes, I thought, finally, we are getting some where (although it's nearly too late, last day of school next Thursday).

    My oldest son and I rode our bicycles around town, as usual, running more errands. Took him to the eye doctor so he could get a new prescription. Stopped off to buy some food. I sent my son to stop by the school and pick up the assignments for my youngest son to work on when he gets home from school. I had to race home quickly to get the food in the fridge and freezer.

    When my son gets home with the work from the Office (he had to be persistent because the people in the Office said that there is no work for my youngest boy), we look at the papers from the Office, and there are no assignments, only a list of the missing assignments along with attendance.

    So, once again, the teachers have failed to help my son, by providing him with make-up work, alternate assignments ....

    I e-mailed the teacher, even though principal told me not to contact the teachers anymore. I think I kept my cool pretty good with this e-mail message, as I usually do. I asked the teacher, again, for make-up work and alternate assignments, work sheets, packets, whatever.

    My son is failing 7th grade .... This is totally unacceptable ... !!! He is an A and B student, reads on a very high level (adult level), loves to read, is good at creative writing, very artistic (some of his drawings are professional looking!), and wants to do good in school.

    I am very frustrated, angry, and really would like to pull my hair out, but I don't have much left .....
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have a couple questions (thanks for doing the sig).

    You say your son is an A/B student. When did his grades begin to fall? Is it his homework that is not getting completed or both in class work and homework? How is he doing on tests and quizzes? Are we talking all subjects? Is it an organizational issue?

    Are there any home or family situations that have changed during this grade drop?

    Why would the principal advise you to not contact the teachers anymore?

    We understand the frustration.

  3. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    Grades started to rapidly fall when we moved. My son has a very serious problem with disorganization, losing things, misplacing stuff, problems staying on task, focusing, paying attention, etc. I've tried communicating with all of his teachers, continually asking them to help my son, give him make-up work, but they have not cooperated.

    My son was attacked by gangsters on three separate occasions. The last time, I decided that he will not walk to school again. I don't drive, and there is no school bus. I started sending out e-mails to every e-mail address I could find in the district, and several hours later, after 6:00 p.m., Friday, got a call from one of the administrators. We had a good chat, and he told me he thought that we would quality for free vouchers for my son to take Dial-A-Ride to school.

    Following Monday, another administrator delivered the vouchers to our home. So my son was back in school, after missing three days. I tried to get the teachers to help my son make up the work, but they insisted that my son meet with them before school or after school. My son told them he can't because he rides the bus, but they kept insisting .... I sent e-mails explaining to the teachers what happened, and that my son cannot meet with them. They continued to persist and tell my son that he needs to meet with them on his own time .....

    Oh yes, the teachers said that they don't have time during class to give my son any assignments! What a lame excuse ... !!! They could easily put something together before school, after school, when they get home, on the weekends. I work as a substitute teacher, and I've had long-term assignments where I have done just that, even though I don't get paid squat for all the extra work I've done (about $1/hr, that's one dollar per hour, for each extra hour that I do).

    Quite often the regular teacher leaves me extra work to pass out to any students who need it ... !!! I don't work in my son's school district and never would, even if they paid double what I make.

    With various doctor appointments, my son being sick .... he has missed numerous assignments. If the teachers would have simply provided my son with make-up work, he could have brought all of his grades up to at least mostly Bs, some As, maybe one C.

    He also has physical problems, and cannot keep up with the PE requirements. The PE teacher made fun of my son and told him that she could walk the mile faster than my son can run! She actually sent me that in an e-mail message, which I have saved and will print out, along with all of the other e-mails that I've received from the school, and that I've sent to the school.

    I demanded an apology from the teacher, and sent a copy of the message to the assistant principal. That really must have rocked the boat. Never heard back from that PE teacher since. I became so frustrated, that I guess I lost it for a moment, and sent a short message to the school saying that their school policies are BS. Guess somebody didn't like that word.

    The assistant principal told me to not contact my son's teachers anymore. They think that I'm being too negative! Well, today I did contact several of my son's teachers, because I'm tired of playing around, and tired of their BS ... !!! She asked me why I contacted my son's teachers when she specifically told me not to. I stood my ground and told her that I had no choice, because I'm not getting the help that I need for my son.

    So, I have a feeling that the meeting next Wednesday is going to be slightly uncomfortable .....

    Our family situation is basically the same, reasonably stable. I've been a single father, raising my two boys all on my own for about 5 1/2 years now. We struggle to make ends meet, but we get by somehow ....

    They told me that I'm too negative.

  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    It's good that you're having a meeting to start the evaluation process next Wednesday. I left you a link with info on the Special Education 101 board.

    One of the services your son might need is Adaptive PE. I'm incredulous that the PE teacher treated your son in that manner.

    Hang in there.
  5. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    Thanks for your encouragement! I'm a little (maybe more than a little!) nervous about the upcoming meeting .... I'm grateful that I have an advocate.

    I can't believe that the PE teacher at my son's school acted so unprofessional ... Also, my son hurt himself badly while they were doing pole-vaulting in PE several weeks ago. He got hurt three times before somebody took him up to the Office. Somebody walked my son up to the Office. When my son arrived at the Office, the lady there told the other adult that they should not have walked my son to the Office, but should have called for a wheel chair!

    We went to see my son's doctor and she gave us a doctor note excusing my son from PE until the doctor clears him. The doctor also included in the note several points of interest concerning my son's special medical needs. So now the school will have to be more careful .....

    A teacher at work told me it sounds like I might have a good case for a law suit ... I really don't want to go that route, but will pursue legal action if necessary ....
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Sounds like your son definitely needs spec attention, both with-organizational skills and physical needs, and that this school is not up to the task.
    This is a public school? Does he have an IEP or anything?
    That's what I would push for.
    If he already has things in place, then the school is being even more unprofessional than ever.

    When you go to the mtng, don't antagonize the staff any more. They are overworked and may or may not care about your son, but if you use words like "BS" they will label you as an impatient troublemaker, no matter how good of a case you have. It may sound like brown-nosing, but you will get more mileage if you talk about working as a team to help your son achieve his best.
    Even if you don't want these people on your team, you're stuck with-them for the time being.

    I am having problems with-some teachers at my son's school (one in particular) and am going to meet with-the principal next wk. I waited until the end of the school yr because I knew she wouldn't change ... I am going to ask that they remove Asperger's from their webpage because they--and in particular, this teacher--don't have a clue. They are not helping anyone by pretending to be able to help spec needs kids when they don't know how, don't have the training, and are too overworked to be able to follow through.

    Best of luck!
  7. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    Thanks! I plan on sticking to the program of getting help for my son. If the school works against us, I'm ready to play hardball if necessary .... Printed out all of the e-mail messages I've sent to the school, which number around 80, and received messages around 25.

    I have plenty of documentation to show the staff and lots of notes .....
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh now terry...using a few cusswords heightened my experience I think!

    They will never forget us at least!
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have one suggestion for you. If your avatar is a photo of yourself, change it ASAP. We do not use photos of ourselves or our kids (except our furkids) on the site. When a photo is posted it is on a different site and the location is linked here.

    We are sharing very personal info about our families and our kids here. Out of respect for them, we do what we can to keep their anonymity. It is not beyond belief that a classmate who was angry would google them and have a mention of their name show up, or a photo if an image search was done.

    You are trying to get a school to do things it doesn't seem to want to do. Some districts can be very vindictive. If it goes to due process or any other kind of court proceeding, rest assured that the school's attorneys will try to dig up any dirt on you that they can. Whether it is the "good", "right", "moral", "ethical" or even legal thing to do.

    Protect your kids future interests by keeping personal info and images personal, esp with the current school issues. Others here have been burned.
  10. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    Thanks for the heads up! I never even imagined that such a thing could/might happen .... I don't think I really need to worry about the school's lawyer digging up dirt on me. They would have a really tough time at it .... I don't have any issues with drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc....

    If they really want to dig, what they will find is a very tragic story, resulting from abuse by their mother, and her friends, two who are in jail for torturing their children, one who died! Those two are also responsible for abusing my boys as well.This is only part of the trauma that has affected my boys .....

    I've had both of my boys now for about 5 1/2 years. It has been a struggle, as a single father, raising my two boys all on my own. We've come a long ways, and I'm not about to back down ....

    I just want to get all the help possible so my son will do well in school.

  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Just because there is nothing that a reasonable person could use against you, don't assume that lawyers won't twist something. Don't EVER make that assumption. One member has a court system trying to figure out what is wrong - with HER - because surely if your teenage son holds a knife to you to get cigarettes then it must be because you don't make the right food for dinner and you don't let him play enough video games. Another mom here has to watch her stepson go to his mothers even though the mom is married to a guy who molested her daughter (the boys sister) and tells him that his sister is dead, and all sorts of other horrific things.

    Courts still are nuts. The system does NOT work with ANY common sense. So it is always best to be careful.
  12. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    I'm glad you took susie's advice. I also wanted to mention that schools not only dig up things (whether they are there or not) they will and can tend to "fabricate" things if things get really tough on them to provide services. My oldest is 18 now but many years ago I had the unfortunate experience with a school district pushed to do their job after filing state complaints and various other things. I will not disclose on here exactly what happened but I can assure you, there was NO dirt to be found on ME and what 1 person at the school did ruined a whole family, left me with PTSD (now have it twicefold from abuse) because this person "thought" they could get me to stop advocating and getting the help my child needed and deserved! Side note, the person who did this was quickly cast aside by school district and is no longer practicing within their district nor any in the state and has moved on to an undisclosed location. I had found out about 3 years after my case that he destroyed many other families this way as well.

    Maintaining your "paper trail" (emails, writing down phonecall conversations,etc..) helps you in the end document your case when and if you need to have it and you may ever.

    I would also, since it hasn't been suggested, send a letter to the higher ups of the school district like the superintendent of what transpired as well. Perhaps they are not aware of how that particular school personel is acting or failing to act. That might help because it looks as though they had an obligation to provide the work for him or at least direct him to it when he was out and since you directly asked for it, they should have. As for being told "not to contact teachers", I've never heard of such a thing. That is the most direct approach there is and there is no other. Any and everywhere you hear about parents NOT being involved with their children's education and here you are trying to do that very thing yet they "don't" want you to contact them? How is this helping the student? Nope, wrong wrong, wrong!!!

    Since you don't have an IEP in place as of yet (or even a 504) it sounds like, I'm not so sure a law suit would work.

    Definitely follow up with superintendent with a letter detailing step by step, just as you did here, what has transpired and what you have done for your son. Including what happened in PE as they will definitely want to know that too.

    Sounds like you are doing an incredible job and have found the right place for support and help to keep you going in the right direction! Welcome! :)
  13. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    Thanks for your concern and advice! I went through a terrible and vicious court battle for custody of my boys. Many people lied about me, but the truth came out in the long run ....

    Yeah, I know very well about the injustice within our courts ...
  14. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    I greatly appreciate everyone's support here ... I've never had to go through anything like this before, and frankly, this is very overwhelming for me ... !!! I did send letters to two superintendents today, but not with details of everything that has happened.

    I need to find someone who will act as an advocate, someone who is knowledgeable about this whole process of setting up a good 504 Plan, evaluation, and IEP.

    I do have a 504 Plan for my son, since October 8th, 2008 when my son was in the 6th grade. The SST (Student Study Team) at that school was much more cooperative. My son's therapist was present for the entire meeting. He is very well known in our county, and has experience for over 30 years. I'm sure that if the therapist was not present, I would have had a tough time getting the 504 Plan though. My son's therapist knew exactly how to maneuver throughout the meeting, and was very firm to get the 504 Plan written down, and everyone present to sign the paperwork!

    My son's 6th grade teacher was awesome and went out of his way to do everything he could to help my son. The Office staff also provided extra support to help my son. They were very understanding and really did make a big difference in my son's education. I wish that my son's therapist could help us now, but my son's case was closed last year, and so they are not able to get involved.
  15. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    Another problem at the meeting yesterday ...

    The Resource Specialist read aloud for everyone to hear reports from my son's teachers. They all stated in their reports that they were not aware of any problems with my son!!!

    Man, I cannot believe this ... !!! I tried to address this issue, and point out the mistake that they teachers have made, but this issue was quickly avoided. One of the staff at the meeting told me that in the future I need to document immediately any problems. Unfortunately I did not document each incidence.

    The PE teacher blatantly lied. She stated that she was not aware that my son had any medical issues, and said that he has no problems running!!! What a flat out liar she is!

    I still have the e-mail message she sent to me, making fun of my son because he can't run the mile fast enough. She even told me that she could walk the mile faster than my son could run the mile!

    One (only one) of my son's seven teachers sent one page of work for my son to the Office during the last week of make-up work. Nobody contacted me and told me that this work was available for my son. This work arrived in the Office the last academic week of school. How lame is that?

    I only found out about the make-up page at the meeting yesterday (too late for my son so now) ... !!!

    Is this a common problem that happens at many schools? Why? Aren't the teachers supposed to stretch their services at least a little, to do whatever they can to help the kids?

    I work as a substitute teacher, and I've gone out of my way many times to help kids. I am willing to stay after school, get together some work, something, anything, for the students to do.

    I've had numerous long-term assignments, and have gone out of my way, put in many extra hours, and only paid about $1/hr (that's only one dollar per hour) for the extra hours I put it, just so I can get together extra work, make-up work, go over missing assignments, to help the kids get caught up.

    I know for an absolute 100% fact that the teachers, all of them, can at least do as much as I have done. I am only a substitute teacher. I had no support from any SST (Student Study Team), IEP team, or 504 Plan. I did all of this on my own, without reading any books to get ideas, no meetings, no advice, no in-services.

    I figured out how to help kids with missing assignments get caught up. I even contacted parents or whoever was at home, met with adults who supported the kids, made lots of phone calls, sent letters home, made up detailed charts, kept detailed records, put together my own records of assignments, grades, folders for every periods.

    Why is my son's school fighting me tooth and nail, trying to put all the blame on my son, and using the lame excuse that the teachers can't do what I'm asking. They don't have time. They are too busy. There are too many kids in the classroom ....
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    See my answer to you in your other post. I missed THIS post...sorry!

    You need to get help OUTSIDE of your unhelpful school district and help is there if you know what to do. And the school district is not going to point you in the right direction. I have some suggestions, but don't want to Yes, I'm lazy :tongue:
  17. vja4Him

    vja4Him Guest

    I just received a call from my son's former therapist. He left me with several phone numbers to call. I called the Kinship Center and they took down my intake information and told me that someone will get back to me next Tuesday. They will provide an advocate to help with the process of evaluating my son and setting up an IEP.

    Looks like we also might be able to get my son back into counseling and therapy .... Still waiting to hear back from the Center for Human Services ....