Our difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mysrk, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. mysrk

    mysrk Mom 2 One

    Thank you first to all the responded to my distress call a few weeks back. My son was taken off the bus by the police because he lost his temper and flew into a rage hitting a girl (who has been badgering my son and his friends) and the bus driver.

    Our difficult child has had a full phych exam last year and diag was mood disorder. Prior to that he was diag with add and tried the medication route but it seemed to make things worse. His school has been very supportive and he's also in iep. My husband and I are also very involved and concerned for him.

    Today one of my difficult child friends Mom (her Son has been taunted by these same kids) called me to alert us there's a huge artical in our local small paper about the bus incident and it quotes a few parents stating the school has swept this boys (my boy) behavior under the rug, and have basically done nothing. This is so upsetting because these people don't know us! They don't know how involved we've been to try and help our son with the assistance of the school and other outside parties. Most of these kids know how my Son reacts to things and they start something just to see what he might do.

    We've asked the school to let me husband and myself view the tape that was recorded during the bus mishap but they have delined to show us because of privacy issues. We want to view to see how he reacted and if we can pick up on anything else.

    Has anyone been through anything similar? Local paper printing a story of the incident and school refusing to show us a tape?

    We go to court next week for a pre trial conference. Not sure how that's going to go. This is his first and only time that police have been involved so we're hoping for the best.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Have you consulted an attorney?
  3. mysrk

    mysrk Mom 2 One

    We've called and spoke to one this morning but wasn't any help other than the tape thing doesn't sound right. The paper didn't publish my Son's name so not sure if we can do anything about that or not.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    In your shoes, I would not go into court next week without an attorney representing your son. Perhaps you should call the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for some recommendations. The contact information for the Michigan state chapter and local affiliate offices is www.namimi.org.

    Above all, you should be emphasizing that your difficult child needs treatment, not punishment.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    That tape is evidence and BOTH sides should be allowed to watch it. Privacy my foot! I agree with the others - get a lawyer and in the pre-trial conference demand that you see ALL evidence - tape and any incident reports written up by the bus driver as well as police reports.

    As for the comments of the other parents - How do they know any more than you as to exactly what happened? It was unprofessional for the newspaper to interview and quote any parent. However, in a small town, it doesn't take much for the papers to try to dramatize whatever to get their products sold.

    I was going to suggest writing (or have a third party write) a letter to the editor stating how sad it is that parents are ready to attack children over a situation they don't know the details of. After more thought, I think I would just let this one die on its own in the gossip pond. Their opinions mean nothing and will have no impact on the case. Adding fuel to that fire will just take away from the fuel you need to do justice for your son. Teach him how to properly defend your family - throwing stones back at the ignorant people is not the answer.

    Any charges brought about will give you the opportunity to explain what happened. You can not have a defense if you do not have the complaints. You can not explain or accept anything without reviewing all of the evidence. An attorney should have access to police reports, incident reports, and letters to the bus company and school and police regarding this event.

    Does you difficult child have a therapist? If you have a good working relationship, that person can also help you understand what may have happened after talking to your difficult child. I know with my difficult child, I would feel comfortable having difficult child talk to therapist and then the both of them talk to me. difficult child would not get as emotional talking with therapist as he would with me. I wouldn't expect therapist to give any legal advise, however, he or she is there to help difficult child get through this situation and can help find out how difficult child really feels about what has happened. They can get closer to the bottom of what happened and a better time line of how much pressure was put on difficult child before he acted.

    Above all, what Smallworld said - this is a matter of getting help not punishment! It is sad that as of now it does appear that he was the victim but because of his self-defense tactics he appears the aggressor and the public is treating him as such.

    In talking to your son about going through pre-trial and perhaps a trial, assure him that you will be using this to help him. I am sure he is having much frustration and fears over this and the words of those mean spirited parents are not kept from his peer's ears who will love to pick up on the latest adult conversations to justify more attacks on him. A good time to teach him what gossip really is - point out that those people were not on the bus - they did not see or hear what happened.

    Good luck!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Since they did nothing wrong, like state your poor boy's name, I doubt legally you can do anything, although you can try. BUT...if this were me, I'd call the paper and say, "This is the mother of the boy in question and he has a mood disorder. Do you want me to educate your readers on how this can cause a child to behave?" My son has been in the paper for Aspergers and I got a lot of calls! He wanted his name in the paper. They left it up to him. His friends thought it was cool that he was in the paper too. No bad fallout at all. He was about thirteen at the time.

    Maybe that would shut up the cats. I would be livid.
  7. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Oh, I do feel for you! We were (nearly) in a similar position last year. My son was in kindergarten at the time and some parents decided to contact the media about his behavior. Several TV news outlets followed up on it by calling the school district spokesperson, who was able to squash the story. At the time, my husband and I consulted with a friend who does PR and drafted a statement to provide the media. It is just shoddy journalism to print what other parents think without even bothering to contact you.

    In your position, I would want to have a fit and have my side told, but in the end I would have to swallow my rage (or, more likely, grind my teeth in rage) and let it go. Since they didn't print his name, I don't think you can do anything. But, I do think you have a right to see that video tape. That is just one more reason you need an attorney so he can file all the motions necessary to make the school give you access to that piece of evidence.

    Good luck.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I would be writing a letter to the editor basically saying that there is always a lot more to the story and this is not merely an issue of a bad kid lashing out randomly, but a culture of bullying which prevails in society and allows children to be driven to the edge, then they and their families get pilloried instead of genuine concern for the issues leading to real change happening, to prevent this sort of thing.

    However, since court is involved then perhaps it is not appropriate for this to be discussed publicly beforehand.

    Talk to the legal representation you need to get on board anyway, for the pre-trial. And sool your lawyer onto the school to get that tape. You should be able to view it because it is evidence. Get the lawyer to get the tape, or perhaps ask the police to see if they can help get a copy, because there are always people who would act impulsively and wipe the tape rather than "let it fall into the wrong hands".

  9. mysrk

    mysrk Mom 2 One

    May I say WOW! Thank you ladies, Tictoc, Midwestmom, Andy, Marg and Small world. I've been burning up the phone lines while working through my tears and have found several resources thanks to you ladies.

    We've chosen to not add fuel to the fire regarding the article in the paper and have spoken to the principal at school, he pleaded with the writer not to write the story and she wouldn't budge. Story is full of half truths and is very disturbing. Most important is our son (who just so happens to have the flu) We're waiting for a call on how to handle him going back to school what to tell/not tell him,and dealing with the gossip, right now he's oblivious to what's going on. Thank goodness my husband and I are independent contractors and work from home! Looks like we will be retaining legal council.
  10. idohope

    idohope Member

    I have had two bus incidents (with my PCs who could be difficult child/PCs). I became aware of one when an angry father came to my house and told me that my son had punched his daughter and that if it happened again he would be sending the police. husband was not home at the time and I felt very threatened by this man. (although the incident happened on the way to school the bus driver and the school were unaware of it) I accept that easy child had no right to hit this girl but she also had no right to taunt my child including sitting behind him and pulling his hair.

    In addition to the other advice you have received I would contact the school and ask them what they will be doing to ensure that your child is protected from what ever bullying and taunting may have precipitated this event.

    It starts early and my littlest one also recently had a bus incident which resulted in the principal calling me. He was upset because someone called him a name and another kid laughed at him. He struck out physically which is not OK but in later discussing the incident with him his eyes welled up in tears as he said " I told the bus driver and he did not do anything". (bus was parked at the school at this point)

    I dont want my kids to "tattle" at every little thing but when you have kids with issues, struggling with impulse control, and you get them to do the right thing and tell an adult when they are upset, it would be good if the adult responded and helped them. There is no doubt that their strong reactions are well known by other kids and make them a target for bullying.

    I will be thinking of you and your family