The principal says

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    that difficult child's issues are not in her realm because they are not effecting his performance at school. Well, considering he's only been to school maybe 5-10 times in the past two months, maybe they aren't effecting his behavior at school but he isn't getting to school. I don't buy it- the coordinator lady had told me that the school could refer the case for the team involvement if there was an issue with the kid getting to school. I think the principal just doesn't want to get involved.

    I emailed the principal back and was very nice and told her that I did not want to put her in an awkward position and that I was approaching this based on what Ms. XX had told me, but if she couldn't pursue this, then I would go ahead and look for another route. What else can I do? I think I have no choice but to call the PO and tell her we have an emergency. She will see all of this as a legal issue and lord only knows what kind of decisions she will make.
  2. Transparent

    Transparent New Member

    I think you're right. Would it do any good to go in and talk to her face to face?
  3. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    The principal may not want to get involved but that doesn't mean that someone at the school board or in the Special Education department wouldn't be willing to help you. Go above her head and plead your case as the concerned parent who just wants to help their child.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    After going back and reading this email again, I'm pretty pessimistic about getting her help at all. I've underlined the phrases that are really bugging me about it. Again, I think it would be different if he were getting to school on a regular basis and getting his school work done, but he isn't. And watch- they'll be the first to ssay that he needs to make all this up or fail and take 8th grade over.

    I don't think higher ups in the sd can help because they wouldn't know if the student needed a referral or not- I think the referral has to come from the case manager at school or the principal. I don't know how much stink I can raise if she's not willing to do it. My gut tells me that he's missed so much, she doesn't want a bunch of people from the county looking at his iep that has NOTHING in it to address this issue. I would say that she was directed by higher ups to go the iep route first to get something in there to cover their rears.
  5. jal

    jal Member


    I agree with-JLady. You need to contact the Director of Pupil Services for your school district and get that person involved! This person oversee's the schools in your district and is above the principal.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Whenever I've done that before, they go straight to the principal and figure out a way to cover the sd's rear. Maybe I should call someone at the state DOE.
  7. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    The squeeky wheel gets the oil. Make some noise!
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I put a call into the parent advocate- she's the one who recommended the waiver for medicaid and I want to pursue that, too. She had discouraged this county team approach, however, she should be able to answer a few questions about how to deal with the principal regarding this.

    My gut feeling is that it's all going to end in the PO's hands. I just want it to end there with other people in difficult child's life backing up that he needs mental health interventions- not stuck in state Department of Juvenile Justice detention and not stuck in a state run place where he learns worse and may never be able to come back home. I'm so scared for him. The PO is the least informed and most biased person against mental health issues and the one most likely to blame me (except maybe the gal) for all difficult child's issues and it kills me to think she's our point of contact and she's the one "in charge".
  9. jal

    jal Member

    Exactly. When I first started this journey, I did not know about sending a registered letter. So I downloaded and filled out the request for evaluation for and mailed it in. I got no response. I let it slide for a few months as difficult child was only just over 3 at the time. Then I started calling and calling and calling. I started to make enough stink that the Director of Pupil Services handwrote my request for an evaluation over the phone and then proceeded to act on it.

    If calling doesn't work, go there in person and plead your case. If that doesn't work, go higher up. I would almost be threatening to contact the local news teams regarding the treatment you receive if things don't begin to happen. THAT will open their ears!
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    School truancy is a school issue. How many days of school has he missed this year due to school anxiety?
  11. klmno,

    I can understand your frustration. Your difficult child has missed countless days of school - consequently this DOES affect his school performance.

    I am frustrated with my son's school too, when I met with them last week, we were told that it was HIS fault he has missed and it is up to HIM to get caught up or he will fail. I am trying to reach my advocate at the local resource organization to get some advice.

  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    He's had a total of 19 absences and 10 tardies this school year. (School started the day after Labor Day) Approximately 9 of the absences were due to physical illness. It is the policy of the sd to turn over excessive absence reports to social services even if they are all excused when it gets to this point. To the best of my knowledge, the school has not done this. Social services would then either make the kid and parent appear in court to answer for it or get the county team on board, or both.

    It is my understanding that the exception would be if something is written in the iep to accommodate a need for the child that included excessive absences. This is one of the reasons that I have not signed the last iep- after the last iep meeting a month ago, the attendance issue got worse and I told the sd cm (in an email) that I was not comfortable signing the iep because this was moving into crisis mode and we needed to have another meeting. She did not set up another meeting. She kept emailing saying she needed iep back in her hands- I sent it via difficult child, unsigned.

    Now, we are in crisis mode so I asked principal to request county team but principal wants IEP meeting- which would need to be in Jan due to kids being out for holidays the next 2 weeks.

    I'm almost at a point where I'll go ahead and call PO and explain and just hope and pray that she'll request the team instead of finding difficult child truant- if he's truant- why didn't school turn us in yet to get appropriate interventions? If he can't get to school due to other issues, why wasn't school beating down my door to have an iep meeting? I think it falls in the school's realm a whole lot, even though the principal is acting like it has nothing to do with her.
  13. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sounds like the SD is trying to slither out of its responsibility. You definitely need to talk to an advocate before you call PO. This, to me, is a school issue.
  14. lillians

    lillians lillians

    i also beleive its a school issue and may evenb be a small one ,,altho large to your child,, an advocate to,, always,,,, pursue!! ,just not alone to get bullied about
  15. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I agree it is totally a school issue. Yet what I have found in dealing with my school and difficult child is that they attribute their absences and latenesses to "at home" behaviors and lack of either parenting or proper provisions at home.

    To them, as long as the kid isn't flipping out when they are there their all good!! It's total Bs and I have fought this tooth and nail in my district here. Its like the cart before the horse with them. They look at the latenesses and absences as the parents fault. Not the latenesses and absensces due to the mental instability of the child who def. needs services. Their cheap, want as little responsiblilty as possible and when it comes to the "grey" matters of mental health and I find their ability to delve into this issue with an open mind is sometimes I find non existant.

    Oh, i'd slam them good. Call parent advocate, get letter from doctor stating latenesses and absences are due to his mental state, get as much possible paper back up as possible i think.
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yep, I know- I can't beleieve that all I'm asking for is a referral from them and that's too much to ask. I'm going to call social services and see if I can get some info about this waiver while I'm waiting on advocate to call me.

    It probably is a sd policy- I believe that the principal did call her higher ups to see what processes she had to take- then, my guess is that he asked her if we had tried to deal with this in an iep and she said "no" (which is true- because they would not) and he told her that she needed to do that first. The team coordinator lady did tell me that least restrictive provisions had to be tried first. In my mind, I HAD tried them already.

    Now, since things have gotten worse to the point of crisis, the school takes the approach of "well, we didn't do this yet- we need to do this first"-
  17. Jena

    Jena New Member

    schools ive come across thus far are all about procedure, their obligation legally, covering their butts so to speak, etc. Yet at the end of the day if their stating ok you should handle it on iep first, and the school is saying no. Hello?? lol wow. it's a head shaking experience, isnt' it?? I often feel that we as the parents have to educate them to an extent.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks! I have left a message at social services now, too. Apparently, I'm supposed to apply for the medicaid waiver thru them and I also thought I'd ask them what to do when a person has asked school for help due to child not attending. I figure it won't hurt to have that call logged somewhere.

    Any ideas who else I can call? I decided to take SW's advice and not call the PO just yet. However, I have told difficult child that if he leaves this house again without permission, I will call her and demand that action be taken before mid-January- AND I DO MEAN IT.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    So, of course, he just sneaks out again 5 mins ago....

    If last night gets repeated tonight, I will be calling 911 and telling them to take him to ER. If they don't do it, they can take him to crisis center or follow me driving down the road or they might end up having to take me somewhere- in which case, they'll have to find a place for him to stay tonight then anyway because they can't leave him here alone.

    If I put one scratch on him that bled, they could take me in. But I'm supposed to sit here and look at his arm with small cuts all over the back, with blood on them (albeit not dripping) and know that he has a knife blade and a razor blade and not do anything because I can't do anything until he says he WANTS to kill himself or someone else. This is stupid.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The principal sounds like she's trying to duck responsibility. If she has that attitude, then it's no wonder they haven't really done anything about difficult child's truancy. Very slack. But it is a way of keeping their workload down as well as their expenses.

    YOu said, "Whenever I've done that before [gone over the principal's head], they go straight to the principal and figure out a way to cover the sd's rear. Maybe I should call someone at the state DOE."

    YOu put it in writing, you make sure that delivery leaves a paper trail (ie registered letter, or alternatively, hand-delivered by yourself with a copy which you kep, both copies signed by you and by the person to whom they're addressed; also, letters with "cc to:..." on the bottom, with people listed as getting copies to include SD and any higher officials).

    Then WHEN you get the letter back from the higher-ups passing the buck back to the school, you then write back to them IMMEDIATELY with reasons why you want SD to handle it, reasons why you wrote to them in the first place - quote the principal's lines and then refute them, in writing. Also refute the princicpal's lines in writing to the principal, for example:
    "You say my son's general behaviour problems are not a school issue. However, they directly connect to his increasing truancy, which surely IS a school issue? My son IS a significant behaviour problem, I have reported this to you for some time. The only reason you have not observed the extent of this in the school environment, is because difficult child is seldom in the school environment. I fail to see how this is NOT a school issue, one which is directly under your jurisdiction."

    Or words to that effect.

    I would suggest posting about this over in Special Education forum, see what they can suggest.