Schools and teachers

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LMarie, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. LMarie

    LMarie New Member

    Hello All,

    I haven’t posted in awhile. My daughter as put herself under the radar at school since 5th grade. She is in the 9th grade now and she has improved a great deal over the years. Her issue at school this year are that she is late for class and she doesn’t get along with her gym teacher (they had some problems) the school wants to ship her off to an alternative school. The asst principal told me yesterday that she doesn’t have time to deal with my daughter when she upset or argumentative. What the hell are my taxes paying her salary for if she’s not going to do her job. I feel that my daughter is being singled out (this had been going on for awhile, the school says she’s isn’t but I know she is) and they want her to be this perfect student (she is a square trying to fit in there circle world). If the only issues are that she is being late to class then she is being pretty darn good. Under the past circumstances with the fights and many suspensions that she would of already had (like last year). This is a major improvement for her. My daughter deserves and education in a regular school setting. Why are the schools and teachers to rude to kids that have ODD and ADHD and assume they are “Bad Kids”??

    My daughter tries so hard to fit in…It just breaks my heart…..
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    :grrr: I would not be happy either with that request :grrr:

    That is just too darn bad that the asst principal doesn't have "time to deal with her when she is upset or argumentative." If she is the disciplinarian at your daughter's school, then that's her job. That burns me up!

    Let's look at solutions here. What do you feel the issue is with being late for class? I think you are saying that she is not late for school, but late getting to her daily classes, right? Is it an issue of being too social and chatting instead of getting to class? If so, that is a lesson in responsibility for your daughter. I see that she has add. Is it more an issue of not being organized and taking too much time at her locker? If so, perhaps she can carry her things for the morning classes in her backpack and carry them all morning and do the same for the afternoon classes.

    I know at my daughter's high school that a certain number of tardies requires detention - I think it's three in one quarter, then you start fresh the next quarter. So many detentions require parent meeting and suspension. Is she paying the normal consequences for being late to class as set forth in their student handbook? Is she being sent to the office to get a late pass?

    In regards to the gym teacher, if this teacher is one she has a history with, then perhaps you need to step in and request another teacher. I would insist on it if there is some sort of negative history. Some folks are certainly judgemental and have long memories.

    Putting your daughter in an alternative school is considered a change of placement and you would have to agree (after an IEP team meeting). A change of placement is not the typical reasoning for a kid that is late for class.

    Now, if your daughter is being disrespectful and argumentative on a daily basis of school, it is time to investigate as to why her behavior has deteriorated.

    Think you have a little work to do here. Don't let the school bully your or your daughter. Get to the bottom of this, and if neccessary, send the asst princ a letter, certified with a cc to the principal, advising her that a change of placement will not be approved by you but that you are willing to discuss with the IEP team some strategies for helping your daughter succeed in school this year.

    Good luck.

  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I just put a long post on Stella Johnson's thread on latest school meeting - heartbroken and frustrated - what I wrote there is relevant to you. Some schools do try this on, especially if there's a negative attitude to difficult children in general, coming down from a senior position. This negative attitude can empower some teachers to continue to bully, harass or fail to support difficult child kids.

    You can fight this. I think you SHOULD fight this, but once you start a fight you have to be prepared to follow through to the bitter end. They often try to bury parents in paperwork. The other favourite trick is to turn the parent's anger at the school, back into anger at the child. Some teachers are very successful with this and the end result is - you are no longer directing anger to the school. Your anger now directed at the child, is telling the child to never complain about tat teacher again because look what happens, Mum betrays me and turns on me. And the biggest result - nothing gets done, the teacher has won and both you and your child have now lost a great deal. Trust, action, justice - all gone.

    A friend of mine was angry over an incident where her son found a bottle of pain pills that had dropped out of my bag while I was doing remedial reading at the school (in his classroom). This boy was at that time (and still is) a very close friend of our family, his mother and I are still best friends. His teacher was told by another kid that "M found a bottle of pills and put them in his pocket."
    M was interviewed. "Yeah, I know they're Marg's, she's a good friend of my mother's, her name is on the bottle with the prescription label, I was going to drop them in to her after school."
    Now, M SHOULD have told a teacher and handed the bottle in, but otherwise he had done nothing wrong. I wasn't angry, I knew he was a good kid. Meanwhile I had realised the pills were missing and had rung the school. They told me M had found them and I said, "Oh well, that's OK then." I knew nothing of his teacher telling him (in front of the class) that he was a liar, he was devious, he was deceitful - a lot of horrible stuff.
    Now, from what I know of this teacher - she was initially scared that a kid in her class was in possession of these pills which COULD have been peddled. She immediately thought the worst and reacted that way. She always WAS very reactive.

    I dropped in to the school office to collect my pills - they'd asked me to come immediately and "get them off the premises - this IS a drug-free zone, after all." I was NOT getting good vibes here.

    By now I was concerned for M. I was actually at his house when he came home from school, slamming the door. He cried on his mother's lap and told her what the teacher had said. His mother & I immediately went to the school. And I sat there and had to listen as this teacher neatly deflected the mother's anger at the school, back on her son. "I know I told him he was deceitful, and he has been for most of this year. I've been putting up with a lot from him for six months, This was just the last straw. He is not a team player, he goes off on his own, I don't know what he gets up to, he hasn't been working well, his homework is often not done or turned in late, his standard has been slipping, he is rude, sullen..." and so on. The teacher justified her response by saying, "It was understandable that I thought he might have stolen the pills in order to sell them. His not handing them in immediately only confirmed that for me."
    M's mother thanked the teacher for her frankness and went home to tear strips off M. I was there, once again, trying to calm her down. M was aghast - he had tried to do a good deed and yes, he now accepted he should have handed in the pills, but apart from that he had done nothing wrong. What had changed? he denied all the teacher had said about being uncooperative, etc. But we tend to believe teachers over our kids, don't we?

    A week later I dropped in on my friend. She showed me M's recent class report, signed by the same teacher and written only a few weeks before this incident. In the report she actually praised M for his good citizenship, for the way he could organise a group to do a class assignment, for his politeness and cooperation. He had good marks in all his subjects.

    I urged my friend to go to the teacher and confront her. She said she would, but never got around to it. I think she was scared the teacher would twist words again and once more wriggle out of it. Besides, it was all over,. now. My friend DID apologise to M, though.

    SO watch out for this sort of response, if you try to tackle the clashes with this VP and the sports teacher. Go in armed, prepared. Hopefully you can resolve it with nay unpleasantness, but know this - once a teacher answers your criticisms with an attack on your child, you know you've got them on the ropes. Keep them there. Don't buy into that argument, just focus on the issue YOU want handled.

  4. jamrobmic

    jamrobmic New Member

    This brings back bad memories. My son had similar problems with one of the gym teachers, and it ended up escalating to the point that I had to take him out of school to home school. This was the only teacher he had problems with, so it wasn't that he was just a behavior problem. I went to the school countless times to discuss the issue with both the gym teacher and the vp, but they kept telling me they thought things were under control. Things finally came to a head-the gym teacher told my son to do something that he said was embarrassing, he refused and said a swear word, and the vp was determined to send difficult child to alternative school. In his case that meant appearing before the juvenile court judge, and difficult child had just gotten off probation for truancy a couple of months prior. So husband and I decided to take him out of school before that could happen, and difficult child went on to get his GED. I really think he would have stayed in school if this issue with the gym teacher hadn't happened.

    I wholeheartedly agree with what LDM said about getting another teacher or taking her out of that class completely. If it's a graduation requirement, there might be alternatives she can do to satisfy that requirement. Good luck to both of you.
  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Same exact thing with my difficult child. New Vice Principal told me twice (had two meetings with him). First time when I questioned things he told me to leave or he would have the police remove me. I told him I would wait until I could see the principal and the false information on the referral was removed. An hour and 1/2 later some of the false information was removed.
    Last week (after passing out on Monday) he refused to run in gym. Said he didn't feel good. VP called and said if I didn't come get him right now he would send him walking. (2 miles) I had a note from the dr. about gym, but forgot it. Had it faxed to the school then.
    I went to get him and VP told me he was argumentative. Kept asking if he could get dressed. (had gym clothes on) Again, when I started asking questions, VP said "leave right now or I'll make it a two day suspension". At no time did he ever even mention suspension before this. So, I said I was waiting to see the principal since he should not be suspended for not feeling well...and Dr. note. VP said "HAH, she is in a meeting you cannot see her". So, I made an appointment for the next morning. asked VP for my copy of the referral and left. Later I read he DID suspend him for two days. I went to school WITH difficult child early the next am. Principal said she could not overrule his decision, but to leave difficult child there and she would investigate. Left me with the impression he would be going to class. Turns out she made him sit in the office the entire day. AGAIN.
    I called the superintendent. Superintendent returned my call the next day and listened to my concerns. Didn't really comment on much EXCEPT that the VP's actions were totaly unacceptable. There is ALWAYS time to meet with parents, even if that means missing a meeting. He said he would speak to the school.

    I don't know if he ever did, and I am sure school will give a whole other picture of what happened making me out to be a crazy parent. But I did voice my opinion.
    If I were you I'Learning Disability (LD) be on the phone with the superintendent. Don't even mess with the people inbetween. Tried that and it got me no where.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    All I can say is for parents like Kjs, too - you have to keep asking questions, chasing it up - because if they got it wrong, they will want you to forget it. They will not call you up to tell you that you were right, they will hope that if they don't call you, you will forget about it and move on. And especially in this case, Kjs, it won't stop a rabid VP like this one from taking liberties. If they get away with it once, they try it again. Only when they are called on it, confronted in a way that means there is a written record, will they be forced to stop. Because if he does it again once there is a file on this, then he will REALLY have to explain.

    Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times becomes personal.

    And for VPs like this - once is, "Oh, I didn't mean it, you must have misunderstood."
    Twice is, "Maybe you misunderstood - again."
    Three times rarely happens, because they know they're being watched - with YOUR kid. It may happen with other kids, but if their parents don't nag and get picky about it, then it will keep happening with their kids.
    But if three times with your kid, when it's recorded, acted on etc DOES happen - then the VP will have a lot of explaining to do before a disciplinary hearing. And they know it.