Wee said something yesterday

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    and I so hope I've not pieced this together correctly.

    He had a good day, except for the 2 incidents I posted about. He has a deal that if he has a good day and gets all of his work done, he gets to go to recess at the end of the day with a friend who's in the grade above him.

    Except yesterday, he didn't. He said the principal made the decision, and was very angry that he had a good day but didn't get to go. I just kept asking, saying there had to be a reason she didn't let you go to recess.

    Finally, late last night, he said there was. I asked what it was (keep in mind, conversation with him is often very fragmented). He said "friday and today, but I had a good day today".

    Did she yank his recess on Tuesday as his punishment for what he did on Friday, despite having met the criteria for going to the recess yesterday???
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Something like this can sabotage a child's endeavor to do the right thing. Friday was Friday, period. Yesterday should have been looked at on its own merit. I would whip off an email to the principal, in a nonconfronting manner, asking about yesterdays yank of a good behavior reward. I would express your understanding that this reward was daily, not cumulative.

  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very confusing. I'd email the principal and ask.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I'm not a violent person - but hearing about this principal's actions and decisions day after day makes me want to punch her! AARRGGHH!!!!
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't think I can talk to the principal, quite frankly, but I have already emailed the sped teacher. In fact, I'm praying the principal doesn't try to speak to me this morning. I don't think I can muster anything more than "I think its best we not talk right now".

    Wee has made several references last night to hating the principal, so whether this is what happened or not, I think this is what he perceives happened, and if she doesn't address it, her rapport with Wee is shot. (and yes, amazingly, he did like her).

    On a side note, I will not have another conversation with any of the admin without a witness. I don't care if I have to drag someone in off the streets.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    FWIW - I so hope that there is more to the story. because if it's not, they've just handed you serious ammunition...
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    SpEd Teacher talked to me when I dropped off Wee. Explained as best she could with Wee present, keeping it light. I told Wee we'd find out what had happened, so felt ok letting her respond in his presence.

    However, when it got down to the end of Wee's day, her account got very fuzzy, and she teared up, and just said "it was decided he wouldn't go to recess". I asked her to email me, and told her Wee's perception of what happened - she needs to know, because he's started the day off upset. We'll see if she does.

    And just got off the phone with dept of ed. They agreed the police report was uncalled for, particularly when it was not done for the first incident.
  8. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    that poor kid.

    i think one thing i've gleaned about wee is that he's a LOT like mine in the respect that the wackier something sounds, the more likely it is to be the gospel truth.
    i don't picture him as a "storyteller". at all.

    i think all you *CAN* do is exactly what you *DO* do, listen to him, try to get the other side of the explantion, and support him.
    because the adults in the situation just stink.

    and document everything.

    i'm a bit older than wee, and given the situation, i'm pretty sure i would think it was some kind of punishment too. only i dont know if i would have even made the leap back to friday...i'd probably still be wondering what i did wrong.

    (((hugs to the little man)))
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm thinking she SAID Friday to him. When he was suspended, which happened after he slapped the teacher's hand, she clearly linked it with the previous day's incident, for the suspension. He wasn't being suspended for smacking her hand. He was being suspended for the meltdown from music class AND smacking her hand.

    So I'd venture I guess she told him it was for Friday and Tuesday.


    as I'm looking for policy regarding restraint at his school, i find the elementary handbook. spitting, which is why the second inscident was reported to JO, and not the first, is a LEVEL 1 offense that doesn't even require a data sheet! "Assualt on staff", first offense, consequence is a 1-2 day IN SCHOOL suspension. OSS doesn't even come into play until the THIRD offense!

    AND THEN!!!! Goiing back thru my emails, i find an email from sped teacher from 9/10. Wee refused to go to mainstream class after recess because he was upset. He ended up throwing a pillow and a shoe at his para. He "triaged" with principal and sped teacher, and then was allowed to go to 4th grade recess because he's had a great day otherwise and earned it. IDENTICAL to yesterday. Actually was slightly worse than yesterday. But yesterday, he didn't get to go.

    Oh yeah. I'm ticked. I don't know whether to print these out and plop them on the superintendent's desk, or start filing with dept of ed, office of civil rights, and anything else i can think of. Still looking for a lawyer.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Log it. File it. Get a lawyer. It seems so trivial to make a fuss about your child not going to recess with his friend or not, but it is these little cumulative things that erode our kids' confidence. And the suspensions etc for the other incidents - it figures.

    Wee's principal sounds a lot like difficult child 1's acting principal, who was so damaging to difficult child 1 and his friends (and other kids) easy child 2/difficult child 2 was a model student at the same school, but also hated tat acting principal (who was a deputy, standing in for a principal going through breast cancer treatment). When difficult child 1 was suspended (he had throwing knives in his bag, a stupid thing to have with him, but there was nothing in it, he had taken them to a friend's house and forgotten to take them out of his bag) this deputy said to us, "I know he was only throwing them at a chair..." [after another student told him to show how well they were balanced - idiot] "...but next time he could be throwing them at - a person!"

    First thing that morning difficult child 1 had produced the knives from his bag in front of a classmate and said, "Oh blast, I forgot I had these in here." The classmate then said, "I've got some at home - what sort of balance do yours have?" and set up a chair for difficult child 1 to demonstrate (empty common room). The classmate also said, "Don't worry - I have a knife too, it's a fruit knife for cutting up apples and things. " (also illegal on school premises here).
    A younger student walking past saw this and reported it (as was appropriate). The deputy swooped, told difficult child 1 to turn out his bag (he could have refused; he didn't know that). Then she did the same to difficult child 1's two best friends who weren't even with him at the time. They hadn't even arrived at school, but they were met at the gate and searched. The other boy in the room, the one who said he also had a knife, the one who had told difficult child 1 to throw the knives, was not searched.

    According to the rules, this woman could have handled it herself with some common sense, but if it proceeded to suspension she should also have called the police. She did not (which told me she knew that the police would have told her to pull her head in). On both counts, she should have called us. She did not. He had been sitting up outside her office for several hours and we just happened to drop in at the school to collect copies of his assignments (I would check in every couple of days). We saw him sitting there and it was only then that we were told. He had been there for hours and if the problem was so serious, her first phone call should have been to us, as soon as she plonked his rear down on that bench. Meanwhile it was his final year; his final months of his final year; it was the day of class photos (for which I had paid) and he was being kept out of the class photos while being sat on the bench. He had an IEP, so many people should have been called in, it was breathtaking. But none had been notified, not even his SpEd who was on site.

    Watch out for spite in such people. When we returned difficult child 1 for his appointment after his 3 day suspension, I came armed with a letter for the principal (who was present, but I did not realise how ill she was nor that she had ceded her authority to this deputy). I had my letter marked "principal - eyes only" because in my letter I described the deputy's long-term harassment of difficult child 1 and that it made him feel unsupported. Thankfully I did not name anybody in writing. But the cow opened the letter in front of me. I had brought easy child with me as a witness (she was a legal adult at this stage and an activist like her mother). This woman opened the letter then leant over the table, standing over difficult child 1 who was by this time curled up on the chair in a ball and shouted at him, "WHO'S been harassing you? What do you mean, 'unsupported'? You've had the best of support here and well you know it." She then turned to me with a look of triumph on her face because difficult child 1 was muttering, "nobody has been harassing me," and began to harangue me about what a horrible child he was. She was doing her utmost to paint him as a monster, a potential homicidal maniac. I must tell you, I felt homicidal at that point. I also know that difficult child 1's best friend, who this creature had the previous year told "don't come back next year, you are not welcome," with no grounds, would happily have waylaid her in a dark alley. I told both of them, "The best revenge is success. Especially success that she said would never happen, and which she cannot claim any part of."

    We pulled difficult child 1 out of that school that morning. As soon as she knew we were withdrawing him, her tune changed. He became a lovely boy, a model student, they wanted him back. Of course, they wanted his IEP funding more!

    Such people as this principal can seem helpful and nice, to a point. When it becomes a hassle for them, they keep moving the goalposts. They often move goalposts on other kids too, purely because they don't care enough a bout the kids and their job, to be consistent. And when you make a fuss, they say, "For heaven's sake, it is such a small thing! I can't be so specific and nitpick on every little thing, I have too much to do!"

    It should not be up to the principal to say yes or now, Wee can go to recess. The principal is not at the coalface, the SpEd teacher is.

    The other thing we found with difficult child 1's deputy, was that she controlled the staff absolutely. She was a bully and threw her weight around. She demanded absolute loyalty and sticking to the party line. So ranks never broke.
    In fact, tis deputy tried to make more trouble for me - in my letter I had praised difficult child 1's SpEd to the skies. But the deputy called her in, read her the letter (did not show it to her) and told her she ought to be outraged by my claim that difficult child 1 felt unsupported. So SpEd came to me and got very angry. It took me a while to get a word in edgewise and luckily I had printed a copy of the letter which I gave the SpEd. She did not calm down right away but took it away to read it. However, she kept toeing the party line all the time she worked at that school. I have met her since she left and she is now a good friend, and we have talked at length. She had to back up the deputy, or risk losing her job.

    There was an incident a year later with easy child 2/difficult child 2's friend and the deputy (now acting principal, following the death of the principal - I had liked her, it was such a shame). The deputy just happened that day to be applying for the full principal position and it just happened to be the day of interview. The girl who brought the complaint was also the younger sister of one of difficult child 1's friends. She had also been hounded by this deputy and finally snapped. She wanted to be permitted to leave school and complete her schooling at college, as is permissible and possible here (adult education course). This requires school permission and the deputy was refusing. So the mother took the complaint to the district office (which just happened to be where the interviews were being held) and shared with them some incidents in which this deputy had made clear her bias against her daughter. easy child 2/difficult child 2 as a witness to the incidents but otherwise was below this deputy's radar. The mother was only trying to say, "This deputy won't allow my daughter to leave when frankly, given the animosity between them (here is the evidence and a witness) they would both be better off with my daughter out of there."

    We actually crossed paths with the deputy as she was leaving her interview. Daggers at ten paces (or should I say, throwing knives?) We went in, told the story. They made very sure that it was not mere spite, not just kids out to make trouble. That had to be proven, because the timing was just too coincidental. But the deputy got wind of it and called the girl in. Of course the mother went too. She rang us, would we come in as support? Of course.

    Also present was the girls' class teacher, who we had thought was supportive. But all down the line, she backed the deputy. She had been a witness to the deputy bullying, but now would not recall it. So I finally had to step in and say, "We have to accept two things: first, the deputy does not believe she was behaving in a bullying manner. Second, the child feels she was bullied. Nothing can change either of those perceptions. Both perceptions are real, and at odds with one another. Surely this is one more indication that this student should be permitted to complete her education out of this school environment where she feels very uncomfortable? Do you have a sound reason, especially given these differing perceptions, to justify not allowing her to leave?"

    The deputy was determined to prove that this girl was lying, but she wasn't. The deputy was also furious at the timing of the complaint, making her application for the principal's job look bad (she didn't get the job). From what I know of how these job applications work, this complaint could not have sabotaged it. It would have made things difficult, though. However, I suspect by this time the deputy's true colours were just too well known.

    That class teacher also, I have since crossed paths with. Ironically, it was at a committee to discuss staff appointments at another school. The deputy had left her school by then, and we were able to talk. It was enlightening.

    So when you find a bully in a position of authority (and sadly, teaching does attract these people because kids are a lot easier to bully than adults) then you discover that once they get into CYA mode, it rapidly deteriorates. What you have to count on is being a bigger bully. Sorry. But these generally are paper tigers, they give way eventually, collapsing in a heap of wet tissue paper. If you can stay the course. They usually rely on outlasting the opposition.

    With hindsight, I should have pulled easy child 2/difficult child 2 out of this school then, too. But she insisted she could cope, that at the first sign of any teacher bullying, she would let me know. She says it never happened to her.

    I don't know where that deputy is now. Probably retired. Forcibly or otherwise.

    So tread carefully but firmly, Shari.

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Marg, the amount of experience you have never ceases to amaze me. Thank you fory sharing.

    My ex-mother in law was pounding the pavement for a lawyer today. After several calls, ex-father in law showed up at his attorney's office, told him what we needed, and wrote the man a check to find us a sped lawyer. He also bought me a beautiful basket of flowers and offered the checkbook to help with the fight. I had a list of attornies byb 5:30pm. One has worked for parents in this district before and was ex-father in law's attorney's mentor. My conversation with dept of ed was very enlightening, also.

    I really would like to print the emails showing the inconsistency of recess (I honestly think this whole chain of events with principal reflects retaliation, particularly since sped obviously is not at liberty to disclose the details of what happened yesterday), and the handbook pages, to attach to the incident reports, and just plop those on super's desk. But I will wait. At the very least until I speak to the attorney. Tho I very much wanted to call the district's attorney today and just ask him for a snippet of hope that there's something to be salvaged in all this. But I refrained.

    In addition to SpEd Teacher's inability to talk about yesterday's incident, she did not send me an account of today, either. Wee also said she broke down and cried today, She told him it was because she just wants to much to help him, which I truly believe. My best guess is that principal is bullying her, too. She called me this evening, tho, and loosened up. I really do like her, and it hurts me that she's obviously stuck in the mddle of it.

    The outside agency was suppoed to come in tomorrow to do an observation for the FBA, but the lady blew her knee out, so it waiting to be scheduled with another person now. BUT - I emailed principal, sped director, and super today, asking if they intended for Mr Para/Teacher to be with Wee during the observation. The point of asking was, if they don't intend to keep him around long term, they need to put the para's back in for the observation. Ironicailly, not a soul emailed me back today...but SpEd Teacher took that up with them, and had convinced them to not have Mr Para/Teacher with Wee tomorrow if that wasn't going to be their long term plan.

    Anyway, my gut says she is either limited in what she's going to be allowed to do to help Wee, or principal has clued her into what their gameplan and strategy is to boot us. I hope the attorney can see us soon.
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Shari, seriously.....you need a good lawyer. Get him out of that school. The lawyer can and will work it all out. They will bus him to a school that is not only equipped to deal with Wee, but will be much better for him, emotionally and educationally. This school has done so much irrevocable damage to your poor child, it's unforgiveable. I get sick everytime I read your posts regarding this.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm calling him tomorrow, Loth. If he can see me, I'll be driving the 3 hours it takes to get to him tomorrow. No questions asked.