paying for damages?


New Member
we received another biil from the school. the first was for the principle's stupid ceramic goose($65) difficult child broke in her office after we had decided in a bip that he was not to go there anymore and toliet paper roll holder.

now i am being charged $45 for the special timer they bought for him that he broke and for a phone receiver(why was my son near a phone?)

anyone run into this before? they are charging us based on the school handbook and paying for malicious destruction of school or private property. in my eyes this in not malicious destruction but a part of his mood disorder.

do i fight? do i pay? we are behind in a lot bills right now and are about to get slammed with-some medical bills related to difficult child.

i am so upset and angry cuz i no part of it is the principle getting her digs in.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

I'm not convinced that your difficult child was malicious in his intent. I'm not sure, however, how much SD will take into account your difficult children diagnosis?

Does difficult children school have a clue when to move your difficult child to a safe secure area that doesn't have breakables? Our schools had an intervention room that did wonders for the tweedles.

What frustrates me about this is that your little guy is 6 - not 12 or 13 when these types of consequences can & should make an impact. A parent can then pass this along to difficult child through chores & such.

Having said that, SDs are strapped financially & I would guess that they are trying to recoup their expenses.

Stella Johnson

Active Member
Oh boy... if I had to pay for everything difficult child broke at school when she was 6 we would be living in a dog house.

I guess our school principal was more understanding than yours. If he was older, I would say yes, pay it and make him work for the money you paid. But he is a little guy.

I think I would fight this one. Try to reinforce to difficult child that this is not acceptable behavior and don't let him know you are fighting it. Don't want to give him the wrong impression.

I just don't think this is malicious. I remember what my difficult child was like back then.

Sorry you are going through this. It does sound like the prinicipal is getting his digs into this. I would also request receipts where the merchandise was purchased. Make them prove what they are asking for.



New Member
Wow! Having read your post makes me nervous about the bills I may start to receive! My 8 yr old shoved a large cherry table that was in the school library several weeks ago and ended up breaking it (coincidentally, it was the same day we had to call for an ambulance to get a medical transport to the ER and get him a psychiatric hospital admit). I can only imagine how much that cherry table costs!

I imagine you have a 504 Plan and/or an IEP in place? I would fight it. What can it hurt? Worst case scenario, you end up having to pay it. Perhaps you can negotiate to pay half. But, the fact that they made a poor decision to put an unstable child in range of breakable items puts them partly to blame in my opinion.


Active Member
Requesting receipts would be a good start. Chances are, they've not kept good records and are hoping to bluff you. Even if they HAVE kept good records, asking for the receipts isn't acknowledging that you're planing to pay, only that you're gathering information. Have they put their request in writing? Make sure they do. Because if it's only verbal, they can always deny it later, and claim you generously donated that money.

And your response/refusal to pay (if you go down that road) - I would put it in writing also, but after getting someone with a legal eye to vet it for you.

You shouldn't have to, but sometimes it works out cheaper (and more effective for your child) in the long run.

I agree, sounds like she's being a bully as well as refusing to give an inch on his needs.

That's another reason for a legal opinion, to know where you stand legally in your particular situation, so if you can not only legally refuse but take them to task for their failure to implement procedures you had all set in place with the IEP.

Good luck.



I would definately fight it. it is not malicious, it is a disability. If he were able to control himself he would not have a disability. psychiatrist and therapist are writing a letter for me to explain to the school that difficult child is not malicious, that is why he has an IEP. i would fight it.


New Member
My son's recent school has been doing this all year. I tried to work with them to come up with some other ways for him to work it off in a way that would be more meaningful (have him do extra chores at school to pay it off...we put his xbox in time out as collateral until he's "paid" for the expense using his allowance) and they said that since the phone company (that fixed some wiring he pulled out) wouldn't take tanner's work in trade for their services, the school wouldn't either.

We always hold our son accountable and discipline him by taking his xbox away until it is paid for, but we don't have the money to actually hand over to the school and I haven't done it on principle alone. I figure if they are SO sure that they can meet my son's needs, then THEY can assume the financial responsibility while he is in their care.


New Member
Fight it. The only time any of my students have had to pay was when a student broke a window by punching his hand threw it. This was teh second window in 2 months he had broken. The payment was court ordered. My students break stuff all the time. I am on my 4th phone. They have broken easles and destroyed books and study carrels. I actually have a hole in the outside of my room where a student hit it so hard it tore through the siding and insulation is hanging out. Don't pay it unless it is court ordered. If the property were that big of a deal theyu should have called teh police. They know he can be destructive when upset they should have a safe place for him to be.


Active Member
Michelle, you said, "they said that since the phone company (that fixed some wiring he pulled out) wouldn't take tanner's work in trade for their services, the school wouldn't either."

That is appalling! You can't apply the same consequences to a child. I would be asking why the child was in a position to have access to the phone wires. If they knew that the child has a tendency to rage when pushed, then why did they not take precautions? WHo really is responsible here? Surely, some level of responsibility lies with the adults in the room?

If it can be demonstrated that this is deliberate, malicious vandalism then there are avenues through which recompense to the school can be, and should be, pursued. If not - then it sounds to me like the school is at risk of being accused of dereliction of duty, failing to prevent a student from doing harm by allowing them too much access to information not related to teaching.

Do they also charge the students for each stick of chalk the teacher uses up, writing on the blackboard to teach THEM? There is this thing called INSURANCE - all schools have to have it. Let the school's insurance company come after difficult child instead.



Active Member
I agree with the others. I wouldn't pay it. He was in her office AFTER the BIP said he wouldn't go there anymore? In that case, it's it's definitely on them.

I had it noted in difficult child's IEP that he was very disorganized and lost things he brought home, so we wrote down that he wouldn't bring library and bookmobile books home. Well, the teacher let him, and he lost a number of them. They sent me a bill, and I refused to pay. They kept sending me bills, I just never paid and finally they dropped it.



Active Member
I was talking about this with easy child 2/difficult child 2. She had a good point about Michelle's story about the phone line being pulled out - "If they allowed a child, ANY child, in a situation where he had access to phone wiring in a way that could have electrocuted him and/or someone else, they are culpable! That wouldn't be allowed to happen at high school level, the school would be in trouble. But for a younger kid?!? That's appalling!"