School is in punish mode - rather than teach mode


Warrior Mom since 2007
I really need some advice about what to do re: my son's school. It has been a constant battle with them and the bottom line is they are in punish mode rather than teach mode and it is hurting my son.

They nit pick and bully him - and whenever i speak up - it gets worse for him at school.

The latest incident is this (email from teacher when I asked about him "getting in trouble"):

difficult child was not doing what he was supposed to do. The students were instructed to work alone at assigned computers and not talk in the pod. difficult child had finished his rough draft and showed it to me. I told him to do the next step, which was to revise it by adding 3 literary devices and change at least 5 words to have a better word choice. Then I went to help another student with a question. When I was assisting another student, Mrs. Sped, Mrs. Helper and a student teacher stumbled upon difficult child out of his seat across the lab with another student doing a watermark with Flappy Birds. Mr. Teacher had already told his students that they are not allowed to put watermarks on papers anymore, because it wastes time for kids to be working on what they should be doing, which is revising their poems. Mr. Teacher and I have already talked to Mrs. Principal, and she will meet with the boys about this issue tomorrow.

So my reply back to everyone was this:

Let’s look at this from difficult child’s perspective and see if this is a disciplinary issue or something else.

A asked difficult child how to do something and difficult child helped him – although difficult child (and apparently A) did not know watermarks are no longer allowed.

I think it is extremely petty to consider this a disciplinary issue. Rather than approaching it that way – why not 1) remind both students watermarks are no longer allowed, 2) teach difficult child how to politely decline to help his peer when he is asked a question, 3) teach A to only ask questions of his teacher, and 4) relax and realize these are kids and no one has committed a crime!


I just found out this morning that difficult child is suspended from using the computers all week because of this. I never got a reply from the principal or anyone else about my email - but I just got confirmation (after asking) that yes he is indeed suspended from the computers. This crap goes on every single day. I need to do something. I have involved the principal and the directors of sped. Nothing has changed. My son hates school and I can't blame him. Any suggestions?


Active Member
For next year, is private school a possibility at all? I have found several schools in my area that are very tolerant of ADHD kids.

The first one, I found by chance. I was looking for a school that would challenge my kids more. The school individualized each student's learning mostly for kids with learning disabilities, but it worked for my kids, too. Later, when one of mine had some special circumstances resulting in a need for accommodations herself, the school was very willing to help. Most of the kids there did not have learning issues, but there were a substantial number that did.

My daughter aged out of that school, but I found two more at the high school level. The first one didn't work for her because there were too many difficult child's with serious problems and that stressed her out. The second one has never said that they are a place for kids with ADHD but my daughter tells me there are a number of kids that clearly have it, there. Sometimes, the teacher sends them out for a run to burn off their excess energy.

These schools emphasize their small classes and their individualized learning. There might be a school in your area that is more accommodating than you would think.

I don't have much experience with trying to get a public school to accommodate my kids. When I tried, I was not successful and we quickly decided to not battle with them and try private schools instead. It really was just luck that we ended up at the very accommodating one because we had no idea we would eventually need that.