hi - Went to IEP update meeting today. Wasnt going to go - but after the school making Dude leave the school property for loitering and walking 2 miles to our mechanics office - I thought I would go and see if it was a fair meeting. I sat silent (not my usual m/o) listened to the teachers tell of Dudes bad habits, annoying behaviors, disruptive impulsive talking. Then listened to the school psychiatric tell Dude it's time to grow up. Then listened to the principal basically rip Dude for his behaviors and how she WILL NOT TOLERATE any of her teachers being disrespected, or how she has given him chance after chance after chance to shape up.....and then Dude said "I'll solve this - I know I'm not wanted here - I'm not liked, so I'll just transfer to a school closer to my foster parents." and at that point everyone shook their heads in agreement like "OKAY" and started to get up. And I said .... WHAT???? NO....wait. Are you people for real? Seriously!!!! Gosh how many behavior problem children have you taught? A child with Conduct Disorder says he doesn't think the principal likes him (a person of authority) and there was no disagreement - If I went to school here I would probably think you didn't like me either - wow. Then the principal said "I do like you Dude, but...I won't have my teachers disrespected." So I asked HOW he disrespects them -how many times? And she said The teacher said "Have a nice day" and he said mocking her in a funny voice "Have a nice day." and I won't tolerate that. THIS IS HER BEHAVIOR PROBLEM??????? OMG - no wonder he doesn't want to go there. I then explained he had a bad time at a group home, came home to live with me, then foster parents, had court didn't know if he was getting 6 years in prison and yes while all this is true - he also had a migraine headache and was told to go out in the hall - what good does that do? how about a little more tolerance on YOUR parts with a disabled child? The principal said she HAS been tolerant. 10 years of teaching and she has been tolerant - i said with emotionally disabled children? No answer. I asked the principal exactly WHEN did problems start? -when he went from afternoon classes 2 days a week to 4 morning classes. (uh huh) I asked the teacher what were his strengths because I have spent the last 35 minutes sitting here listening to his BAD habits described to a T. What did they think were his strengths - his building abilities? (um.....um...look at each other and then one said He works good one on one) and right after that the other teacher said (He works good in a group) Did you get that? One says he works well alone, and the other says works in a group. So i said 'Well which is it?" and they said "BOTH" and I said "If he works good in a group and works good alone - what is the real problem?" (you could have heard a cricket toot) Then I said If he's only bad 1/2 the time - he must be good 1/2 the time. So when he is good - what is he doing that he could build on? Is he good at math? Does he need a break? Does he need to stop talking? (Oh yes we send him out in the hall) - I said YOU SEND HIM OUT IN THE HALL - and what is the purpose of that? She said "it gets him out of the room and the other students aren't distracted. I said "Where does that help him understand anything about the punishment?" Does he have a punishment/ Well no - Ummm i see - no punishment for talking out in class - just stand in the hall, and you can't tell me what good that does him? See where this is a messed up system? (cricket toot again) I looked at the caseworker and said "Is it just me - or does this school appear to have a hidden agenda? The principal said "We're an adult ED school - we don't operate like a regular school, we don't have to put up with this behavior." I said 'Well telling ME isn't helping HIM - have you told HIM that? or did you just send him outside in the hall with no explanation?? Come on people work with us here - This school system pushed him through and now you are telling me you don't HAVE to put up with behavior problems? - Maybe I'm missing something what is an IEP for? So I said "Well if that is the case, then he should leave here, enroll him in full time high school, enforce the IEP goals and add some behavior interventions that put more understanding in place for a child with his disabilities.' The psychiatrist said "THAT is brilliant." The principal said "That could work." The caseworker said "Sounds good" And Dude said "NO WAY...." And I looked at him and said "Sounds like you made a good choice Dude." and he said "what choice?" And I said - "You are choosing 2 days of school where you will work on your assignments one on one with the teacher to get your GED OR you will not work with anyone, violate your probation and go to jail." I am happy you made a good choice for yourself. And before we left I told him it sounded like the principal was willing to allow him to come back 2 days a week, that she is wiping the slate clean and he can choose to get along with her or be let go from her school. She agreed. Then I said "I also didn't hear her say she didn't like you I heard her say she wants respect." She nodded - Dude told her he was sorry and shook her hand. Everyone got up - I told the teacher she may try a little signal between him and her to help Dude curb impulses - a tap on the shoulder or a word - and she said that was a good idea. Honest to pete - all hail the school system. Dude waited for me in the hall - and I got a hug and a kiss- and a thank you Momma - I told Dude - NEVER go diving without a buddy in unknown waters. Honestly and these people RUN a school for kids with behavior problems? GET OUT! (seriously get out). The teachers and administration should know - knowledge is power - and effective communication is really helpful - not stand there and put the kid down. Can you imagine what he felt sitting there wondering if everyone there hated him or had nothing but bad things to say? How would I have felt? No one acknowledging his feelings? No wonder our kids feel so outside of everything.