What do you do when...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Paris, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Paris

    Paris New Member

    The school keeps calling to tell me about my son. I just got him an IEP and now he is back in school (not his choice). The court sent him back after I asked for a ticket to be issued to him. So like all the schools before this one I get calls everyday. I panic every time the phone rings to hear either he left, he's not paying attention, etc...

    So they called yesterday to tell me he was sleeping class. Okay???? Yes, there are many problems with my son and that is one of them. I say I'm sorry and that I will talk to him. What else can I say????

    Today they call to tell me they think he may addicted to weed. Okay?????????? Duh!
    They ask me if I have ever tried treatment? I tell them yes, he went in twice to rehab.
    Again, I'm sorry he appears to be a pothead, I will talk to him and tell to not look like such a stoner (like all the rest of the kids at that school!). Argh

    Then, they call again to say he is not completing ALL of his work. Wow, I'm thinking, does this mean he is completing SOME of it??? Because if it does, then I'm thrilled! But I don't say that, I say I'm sorry I will speak with him.

    I don't understand. This is suppose to be a school for kids with emotional problems, so isn't all of this normal, isn't that why he is there????

    What am suppose to say? I don't understand what they want me to do. We have tried everything and that is why he is at that school. It's looks more like juvie than a school. No parent wants there kid there. They are there because other schools don't want them and because nothing else worked.

    They must know this right?
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    You might want to post this on the education forum. They probably have more and better answers for you.

    Honestly, I wouldn't answer the phone. I certainly wouldn't apologize or even offer to talk to him. He's 18. They can talk to him. Tell the school you've done everything you can think of doing. At this point, they need to quit calling you because there is truly nothing you can do.

    Do let them know if they have any ideas, thoughts, constructive advice, you'd be happy to discuss it with them. Otherwise, they can do their jobs and you can have a little bit more of a life.

  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Since your son is 18 years old, I'm not sure what they want you to do about these things. Was there any movement on anyone's part after you posted last week? It seems like many of the same issues are cropping up.

    Did you suggest the school contact his PO? I know you've heard it before, but I'm going to say it again. No one can take advantage of you without your permission. Give him rules. Stick to them. He's an adult and it won't kill him to find his own place to sleep. Or at least earn his own money to go to movies, buy pot, or whatever it is he's doing that is making him fall asleep in class.

    Did you get the drug tests set up as advised? I smoked dope every day I was in high school before, during and after school. I never fell asleep in class. You might be surprised as to what is actually up with your son.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Honestly, I like Star's idea of not even answering the phone when they call.

    Or tell them anything that happens at school THEY get to deal with. YOU have your hands full with difficult child at home.

  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    If he was court-ordered to go to school, I'd give them his PO's phone number.

  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    My experience is that they are just notifying you. They don't have magic answers either if your difficult child is a)non compliant b) under the influence c)oppositional.

    I used to ask, if they had any suggestions or recommendations? It involves the teacher in the process as opposed to he/she being a babysitter. Their jobs stink. It looks like Juvie to you. Can you imagine what it is like to be in a room of difficult child's trying to actually teach and trying to see if one in 20 might care to have an appropriate education like their peers?
    I so understand that feeling of dread when the phone rings and the helpless feeling when they want you to know what they are or are not doing. We can't really fix it. They can't really fix it but teaming up with them at least gives both of you a mutual respect so that you can brainstorm.

    I always thought if my difficult child heard me complaining about teachers and school that the difficult child brings that into the classroom. It's sort of sanctioned for them to dismiss school as stupid because they hear negativity.
    He isn't in there because the school's don't want him. He is there because he doesn't want school.

    You are trying to do your best for your son but trying a different approach may help you feel more effective, less powerless. In the end, this isn't a judgment against you or your parenting skills. It's about difficult child and getting him where he needs to be.

    Calling the PO and picking his brain about suggestions is a good idea too.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't answer either. You know the drill, they do too, calling you isn't going to help. The PO sounds like a good plan. At his age, if he wants to ruin his life, what are you supposed to do about it? You've done EVERYTHING possible for him and now HE has to take control. I'd let voicemail take their calls and not return them, since they aren't telling you anything you don't know.
    However, be prepared to learn one day that he's doing more than smoking pot. Occasional recreational pot use happens, sometimes with no other drugs involved. My daughter, an expert on the topic since she was a drug addict, has told me many times that people who get stoned "every day" are doing more than just smoking pot. If he's falling asleep in class, something else is probably up with him. My daughter snorted mega-speed at night so she fell asleep at odd hours during the day.
    I would make him straighten it out or find another place to live, but that's me.
    Good luck.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I'm sure the teachers in that classroom are very worn out. Like Suz said - you have one - they have 20. I can't imagine how they would feel every day NOT having even one student being successful. But at least your kid is trying. He's there, he's doing some work - and you can ask him to stop inhaling so much.

    As far as the school calling - get an answering machine and at the end of the week send a letter to the teacher addressing all her concerns so she knows that you are involved, but are trying to distance yourself from your sons behaviors and allowing natural consequences to take over. I don't think it's done to make you mental - but it' IS the teacher using the only tools she has available and following through with "IF you do this the consequence will be -solitary confinement, the axe, a firing squad - nope the only thing she has in her arsenal is "I'm going to have to call your parents." So don't take it so personal.

    LIke I said - get an answering machine - let her call home so she can keep her promise of following through with a consequence and you address them once a week. I'd also put that in the letter to the teacher that you get what she HAS to do, and while you appreciate her - the phone calls daily are making you very upset - and you're doing the best you can too.

    I've not answered the phone a couple of times - one time Dude fell and needed medical assistance - so while it's tempting - I don't think it's doable.

  9. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Fran has it right. They most likely ARE doing what is required, which is parent contact. It doesn't mean that they expect any change...they're just going through the ropes. What a teacher does NOT want is a parent saying, "I didn't know."

    Many times I had parents tell me, thanks for the call, you know the circumstances. I was just fulfilling what my employer required of me. After suggesting multiple interventions, you know you are just 'informing.'

    If the teachers are not comfortable in contacting the PO, you can let the PO know what is going on and stop answering the phone. That will, in some sense, force the hand of the school to move in that direction.

  10. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Does the PO drug test him? Is he causing problems at home also? I know that pot can make you fall asleep but he may be doing more. I would tell the PO to drug test him and if he fails it - oh well! He needs to suffer the consequences for the pot thing. It is illegal. My difficult child smoked pot through high school - dropped out and continued to smoke pot and everything else - when he turned 18 he had already been in jail for it - now he is in jail again at 24 - didnt learn the lesson - maybe your son will - as for you - take care and let him learn his consequence. :hammer:
  11. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    One more thing - I turned my son in many times to the PO. He was doing more than just pot - it was causing major problems in our home - I also thought he was going to die - they locked him up because of dirty drug tests - I was glad because he sobered up and wasnt on the street and I could sleep! Maybe that is something you could thinnk about - it is not easy but it beats the alternative.
  12. Paris

    Paris New Member

    "Does the PO drug test him? Is he causing problems at home also? I know that pot can make you fall asleep but he may be doing more."

    I have been testing him for 2 years now and all that ever comes up is weed. And even that is not all the time. I even accused the lab of tampering with his tests. His Psychiatrist says that he is bi-polar and the symptoms he shows are mania.
    I don't want to hear that. Hard drugs would have been easier to hear.

    The Zyprexa helps him to fall asleep at night for the most part, which is why he finally is able to even show up for school. But his psychiatrist says he also needs a mood stabilizer like Lithium. Depakote and Lamictal didn't work.

    As for the PO. I asked for one and they said he could see one only once, after that the judge has to order it. His attorney says it's a BS case and it will be dismissed. She says I can ask the judge to put him on probation if I want. Yes!

    As for going to jail for weed, I wish!! LOL I live in LA county. Not only is it legal with a prescription (anyone can get), but if it's under a certain amount without a prescription they won't bust you for it. I know. I have called the police many times. I'm the one who had to beg them to give him a ticket for not going to school, otherwise no one really gives a hoot : (

    "Fran has it right. They most likely ARE doing what is required, which is parent contact. It doesn't mean that they expect any change...they're just going through the ropes. What a teacher does NOT want is a parent saying, "I didn't know."

    So right on this- I guess I should be glad they are keeping me informed.
    Sometimes I just want to bury my head in the sand though.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    What are your consequences to him on that, and are they working? Are you using the most up to date test available to professionals? Is this test admissible in court? It won't likely be admissible if you are administering the test itself.

    But does he have one? If not then this law does not apply.

    I'm not certain what you mean by "bust". Here is the law on possession in CA. He (may) or may not go to jail, but it's a misdemeanor, and he would get a ticket and fine, which he could have erased with completion of a diversion program. With multiple tickets it gets bumped up to a felony.

    Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor under California Health and Safety Code Section 11357. Possession of one ounce (28.5 gms) or less is punishable by a maximum $100 fine. Possession offenders can avoid conviction by making a preguilty plea under Penal Code 1000, in which case their charges are dismissed upon successful completion of a diversion program. Possession offenses are expunged from the record after two years under Health and Safety Code Sections 11361.5 and 11361.7.

    Driving suspension for minors: Any minor (age under 21) convicted of a marijuana, alcohol, or other drug offense faces a 12-month drivers license suspension, regardless of whether the offense was driving-related. The court may allow restricted license privileges if the minor demonstrates a "critical need to drive." Vehicle Code 13202.5 . (Note: This penalty can be avoided by entering a diversion program).

    Cultivation of any amount of marijuana is a felony under Health and Safety Code 11358.

    I hope that you will keep trying to get the probation with the drug testing. Your son seems to feel superior to you. I personally would set minimum standards for expectations for him if he were to stay in my home.

    1) Daily attendance at school;

    2) All homework assignments completed on time;

    3) No sleeping in class;

    4) No positive drug tests;

    5) Participation in household daily living activities. (meals, chores, curfew,c etc.

    You also posted that other parents in your area enable their children more than you do your son. I don't know that it makes the things that you do enable the right thing to do. One of our members has a signature that has caught my eye recently. I'm not sure who it is, but it seems apt in this situation.

    "Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it, and right is right even if no one is doing it"

    Good luck, and keep working to let your son work out his problems. Things are going to be rough, for sure.