I am so totally against putting a bunch of 7th and 8th graders into a very deep swimming pool during school hours and calling it gym class. The most dangerous intentional thing the school can do for a kid who has very little skills in the water. I believe I have the right to keep my kids from that scenario especially when there are other "gym" activities at the same time that they can join instead. So, last year I wrote a letter demanding that my child be excused from gym (getting a doctor's order is stupid - I want him out, don't need a doctor's order) I had to write another one this year (same school, same staff, just can't remember to look into their records to see that my stance is going to be a forever one.) Both were very strong on my position. difficult child told me that one teacher grilled him about it last fall and that another teacher keeps telling him that he HAS to go in the pool. The teacher who received the letter is continously telling this other teacher that no, he has a note. So the world of gym goes on. Today difficult child texted me asking me to call and talk to a certain teacher because he felt he would be forced by her to go into the pool. I got her voice mail and left a very stearn (yes, probably rude) message that under no circumstance is she to tell difficult child to go into the pool. I was very upset and picturing a teacher arguing with him as I made the call. So, this teacher calls me back and says, "I take offense at that message! You could have been more polite!" (In my professional office, if I received a call from an irrate emotional person, I do not answer on the offense. For the record, I would try to calmly explain what happened and apologize for any misunderstandings). I explained that I am sorry it may have been rude but that I was in panic mode because I needed to reach someone ASAP (difficult child was heading into gym class) and all I could do was picture someone harrassing him over this. She says, "We have not made him swim for 2 years, why would we do so now?" "How many gym teachers do you have?" "3" "Do they ALL have the message?" "Yes" "Well, we are not getting that feeling since there is one that has given him a bad time and another who is continously telling him he has to go in." "Who is that?" "It doesn't matter (I don't narc on other teachers)" "Well, we all work together." She then asked why I won't let him swim. Hmmm, because I do not like that pool, I think it is dangerous. Besides, he does EVERYTHING else in gym, I should have the right to draw the line here. "Does he know how to swim?" "He is working with a relative, knows a little but not enough for a pool built deep enough to allow diving!" "Well, we could teach him!" "No, he does not need to learn at school!" "You are doing him a disservice but that is your call as a parent." "Yes, it is my call and we can live without enterring THAT pool with dozens of other 7th and 8th graders." (Those kids can be so mean - I can imagine the degree of harassment that goes on in the pool) So, difficult child calls me later on. I asked him why he thought he was going to have to go into the pool. His answer, "Because the lady you called is ALWAYS telling me that I have to and then the teacher I gave the note to tells her that no I do not. The teacher I gave the note to is gone today and the substitute says I have to go in if SHE says I do!" I told him that she has finally got the word strong and clear! Maybe she will remember him from now on and stop confronting him about going swimming! I think it is much better that he does the other activities that are going on. I am a little glad that my message was very stern even if a bit rude! Gee, maybe I should get a job at being a student advocate. I can be strong enough to make the schools listen to the parents!