Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Horse And A Bear

Of A Different Color and A Mama One, that is.

Forgive me for using this blog yet again as a platform for my parental woes.

But I am well and truly riled now, and I need to work through this before I go off half cocked. As with most issues that arise in my life, writing helps to clarify and lend perspective. And, perhaps more importantly, the act of writing gives me a measure of physical comfort and emotional solace, which helps me to see the situation more objectively.

And believe it or not, I do find comments in regard to these kinds of things very helpful. Yesterday, I was wrestling with the issue of whether or not I was overreacting. Your comments helped me to see that I was not.

Also, I guess that I really hope someone will learn something that maybe they can use later on. I don't have anybody to ask about this stuff. It's all guesswork and instinct on my part. Nobody writes books titled "What to Expect When Life Sucks For Your Kid"

I just want somebody to tell me WHAT TO DO.

So, my son told me the following regarding the incident yesterday, after I had already talked with the principal:

1. No adult actually heard him say "Suck My Balls."

2. The two children who levelled the accusation are two that are known to be unkind and antagonistic toward him. For example, at the beginning of the year when Diminutive One was struggling so mightily, one of those children happened to see an F on one of his papers. For the next two weeks, he referred to Diminutive One as "Big Fat F", which cut him to the quick. That's just one example of the kind of thing has been going on all year.

3. The teacher made all the children in the class write a letter of accusation to the principal. WTF?? Talk about a witch hunt. I know how noisy it is in that lunchroom. And the children are seated at two very long tables. There is no way that any of the children but those seated immediately across and beside him heard what he said, if, in fact, he said it, unless he shouted it out, and frankly, my boy is not that stupid.

These things bother me a great deal.

I emailed the teacher last night asking her if she would please give me her perspective on the events as they occurred, and she responded by telling me that I could ask the principal if I had any further questions.

In other words, she has been given a gag order.

I received a form in Diminutive One's backpack stating that I agreed to the punishments discussed. I was to sign and return it. I did not sign it. I jotted a note on it asking the principal to contact me to discuss the matter further.

She called me at noon today. I told her, in what I thought was a very calm and diplomatic manner, that although I do not excuse or condone Diminutive One's behavior, that due to his ADHD and anxiety disorder, I did not feel that denying him recess was a productive course of action, particularly considering the stress of taking CRCT this week.

Her response?

"Well, I understand, but he does have PE, so he is getting an opportunity to run around and expend some energy".

PE is twice a week for 30 minutes.

I told her it wasn't enough. I also told her that he was already teetering on the brink of collapse due to his anxiety (which he is, despite our talk the other day) and that further stress could really be devastating for him. This is all true, although I don't think, likely.

She was very snide and condescending, and I got the feeling she couldn't get me off the phone fast enough. She was not interested in hearing about Diminutive One's issues, she was not interested in hearing my opinion, she was not interested in justice being served.

She was simply indignant at having her authority challenged.

I did manage to get Diminutive One's sentences commuted until CRCT testing is over. But I am not satisfied with that. Husband and I discussed it and we have decided that this is serious enough that it needs to be addressed, and we will go as high as we need to go to get justice for our son.

I spoke with Dimiuntive One about the situation. I explained that the reason I was upset was not that he was having to face the consequences of his actions, but that he was convicted without due process and that others were coerced into bearing witness against him. And also, that his punishment was excessive in proportion to the nature of his crime.

"What would happen if one of my friends got mad at me, and went to the police station, and told them that I shoplifted. Would the police come and arrest me?"

"No...." he said, slowly realizing where I was going. "They would have to have proof. Like video showing you stealing or finding the stuff at our house."

"What if that person got a whole bunch of other friends to say you had stolen too? Would that make a difference?"

"No! Because they could be lying to just to help their friend get revenge!"

"Exactly" I said, proudly. "And even if they had proof and so-called "witnesses" they would have to give you a trial and an opportunity to defend yourself."

He said, "You're right Mom! That's an inalienable right under the Constitution. My Constitutional rights were violated."

Again, he's no dummy.

So that's where it stands right now. Husband and I are researching policy, marshalling support from various sources, and getting our ducks in a row.

Mama Bear is ready to rumble. Here me fucking roar.

33 Comments:

  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger nina said…

    You GO mama bear!

    Involving the entire class had me frothing.

     
  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger OC said…

    I found my way over here from Middle Girl's blog. I have to say, as a parent myself, I would be taking down the house. I think the way you explained it to your child, is the exact reason you need to push this. Go for it. The idea of them involving the entire class is horrible.

    Go take them down!

     
  • At 4:31 PM, Blogger Traceytreasure said…

    You GO Mama Bear! The teacher was wrong to involve the entire class. I'm not surprised that she won't talk to you. If the school supported her in that THEY were WRONG! I've never heard of such a thing. I hope that this is not too stressful for him. It's nobody's business what his grades are and the kid that called him "Big Fat F" should have been suspended or expelled. I hope that there is a positive outcome to all of this. You might want to check out this blog http://school-is-hell.blogspot.com. I hope that you will check it out. He's a retired teacher!!!!!! You might be the best teacher for your son. You're brilliant, funny and loving! Best wishes and hugs!

     
  • At 5:43 PM, Blogger drowning pisces said…

    GO GET 'EM!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • At 5:46 PM, Blogger Mitzi Green said…

    not to mention it's also pretty fucking stupid--i mean, the reaction has been waaaaay over the top for something like telling someone to suck your balls.

    but that's my opinion, and considering i talk like a sailor on leave and my own kid is in the nuthatch, it probably ain't worth a box of cereal.

     
  • At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Baroness von Bloggenschtern said…

    Mama Bear:It sounds like me like it's time to leave some shoe marks on the principal's scalp, as you go over her head to the next level at the School Board. If she's freezing you out, you need to get to someone who will listen and do something. Hopefully, something you want. Because regardless of whether you live in Canada or the US, don't part our taxes go towards paying school staff?
    You deserve (and pay) to be heard.

     
  • At 6:29 PM, Blogger JaniceNW said…

    Accusatory letters from the entire class? When did Hitler rise from the dead and begin teaching? Holy Shit!

    GO GIRL! I'm tired of bullies no matter what disguise they use...principal, teacher,.....

     
  • At 6:58 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    get em.

     
  • At 7:00 PM, Blogger Shelley said…

    I'm with everyone else, you go get 'em. Instructing the whole class to write accusations? Are you freaking kidding me? This is a railroad job, and good for you for standing up for your boy.

     
  • At 8:22 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    My God, he said "SUCK MY BALLS" not "let's burn the school down" or something evil or hurtful! These adults are screwed in the head and deserve to have Mama Bear pay them a visit. I sometimes really hate adults.

     
  • At 1:14 AM, Blogger Jenn said…

    I was wondering what that sound was.

    At first, I thought it was thunder, but something deep inside knew different.

    In your corner, mama.

     
  • At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Please tell me you watched Grey's Anatomy last night?!? All about Mama Bear protecting her babies....... Thought of you immediately.

    BTW,the letters from the whole class made me think of something that may have happened to Nellie Olsen in the old school house on Little House on the Prarie! Have we learned NOTHING in the past 150 years?!?!?!?

     
  • At 7:32 AM, Blogger Mental P Mama said…

    My head shot off my body when I read this. We had a similar episode when my Augie was in third grade. He was being bullied, yet blamed for the crap. I almost had to go to the Board of Ed, but finally had it resolved. And this was long before my hormone levels had control of my actions. Stay strong.

     
  • At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Lisa from LJ said…

    Ya know? This is another reason why I hated living in the south. "The good ole boy network" in action. And modern day lynching. For God's sake. 10 years old with all those punishments? How bout just ONE of them- or making him apologize? What ever happened to that kind of thing?

    Making the whole class write accusations is soooooo southern. Because just going on the facts doesn't induce enough drama.

    You GO Mama Lion.

     
  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    The teacher and principal sound totally wack.

    Did he admit to saying it? If so, you might still fight the school but work out your own punishment with him...

     
  • At 10:20 AM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    Yeeehaaaaa... you go mamma bear!

     
  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger West Coast Diva said…

    You know, I think I would be taking this up with the school district and going over this teachers and principles head.

    The fact your child has a history with the other two children who are not nice to him could make me believe somewhat they were gunning for him.

    The teacher passing the buck is not okay - period. She needs to think about why she put the class up to doing her dirty work. If she has an issue with your son she needs to take it up with him not have the class write a letter of accusation to the principle. Not cool.

    The Principle needs to take your son's issues into account. So let me ask you this -- if your son had let's say Tourettes syndrome, would he receive the same penalty?

    I think losing recess every day for X amount of days is non productive and not okay. The punishment doesn't fit the crime.

    If I were the teacher I might have him write sentences, or even write a page about why it's not okay to say what he did in school.

     
  • At 2:15 PM, Blogger Wisconsin Mommy said…

    Okay, my two cents here for whatever they are worth. The next time you talk to the principal or teacher, drop in the words "lawyer" and "discrimination against my son with a disability" even if you are totally bluffing. I can remember seeing many of my principals turn ash-colored at the thought of lawyers and discrimination lawsuits, even when they were convinced they were right. I'm not usually one to suggest using the lawsuit threat, but I think it might be what's needed to get these idiots' attention. (I do believe you would have grounds if you did indeed need to follow through with your threat - the bad publicity alone would have them eating out of your hand.) School boards also respond quickly to the before-mentioned threat.

    And can I just say again how lucky your son is to have you as his mother bear???

     
  • At 2:30 PM, Blogger Lara said…

    good for you. i agree that this is worth pursuing. you've got my support, for what it's worth (which is precious little from where i'm at, but still). :)

     
  • At 5:43 PM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    I am totally blown away by the concept of "a letter of accusation." It's abhorrent. Go get'em BA

     
  • At 7:12 PM, Anonymous flybunny said…

    Go Mama Bear! Tell the ignoramous principal that the internets will be coming after them if they don't reconsider

     
  • At 8:33 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    Just got caught up on everything.

    Wow. Just, wow.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.

     
  • At 10:02 PM, Blogger crazymumma said…

    good. he is lucky to have you.

     
  • At 9:27 AM, Blogger womaninawindow said…

    Geesh! If you BELIEVE him, go for the jugular. They are and they're not bothering to "believe" anything, just reacting and making it easy for themselves. They are setting him up to fail in the future. Authority can be so...lazy and lame.

     
  • At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good for you! Stand up for your son and his rights!!!

     
  • At 9:10 AM, Blogger sltbee69 said…

    Nothing productive to add other than to just say that I'm am so livid for you and DO! This is such total bullshit! Do whatever you is necessary to get this wrong righted.

     
  • At 9:22 AM, Blogger Tracey said…

    I'm kind of dumbfounded... Can't picture what I'd do in your position!! Poor kiddo. Glad you guys are sticking up for him. Be strong.

     
  • At 9:41 AM, Blogger Sensitiva McFeelingsly said…

    Damn the man! Fight for justice!

    I love that you are going after them for this. I have often felt that many children are given disproportionate punishments for mild crimes in school. I was almost suspended once for using a basketball at recess that was laying in the grass because it belonged to another boy. I had no knowledge of this, and gave it back when requested, but was still given three detentions and no recess for a week.

    It seems that somewhere along the line the idea of "catch 'em early" turned into "punish them harshly for everything so they get in line more quickly." But it is humiliating and degrading to kids. Especially to good kids who had no intention of really doing anything wrong.

    You go get 'em. I'll be rooting for you!

     
  • At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I apologize for being late in my comments (I tend to catch up on blogs on Monday Mornings). My son also has ADHD, we dealt w/some anxiety issues as well, but I don't think to the same extent. Regardless I find myself in limbo sometimes between my son & the school. I know my child is not perfect, I am quite aware that his "constantness" can wear on the best of people but it is also my duty to protect him & for him to know I am in his corner at all times. I am hoping that this is your sons last year at this school & you can move on to better principals. If you have a therapist you deal with I would mention this episode to them & get their advice on tackling the school as well. Our therapist was GREAT help in the beginning of all this "stuff" and knew some things we never thought of!! I wish you luck and regardless of what happens - your child is being taught a most wonderful lesson - his parents believe in him & support him...it doesn't get any better than that!!!

     
  • At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    Okay, when you first posted about it, I was mildly amused by the transgression, mildly irritated for you and him about the punishment, and frankly thought that the punishment was too severe for the crime committed.

    Now, I'm pissed (on your behalf of course). The ENTIRE CLASS had to write a letter of accusation? A freakin' Letter of ACCUSATION? What is this, 1800? Seems to me like the teacher was working out some of her own aggressions on DO, and that is Not. Cool.

    Roar on, Mama Bear. Make sure they hear you and know not to mess with your cub.

     
  • At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry, a bit late to this party...computer crash this weekend. You may already know this, but just in case you don't - if your son has an IEP, there are very specific procedures for any disciplinary action related to behavior which may stem from his disability (this almost certainly does). If they don't follow the procedures and protocols, they're in violation of federal law. Which makes principals blanch even more than "discrimination" or "lawyer". The information should be in your paperwork, but if it's not I suggest www.wrightslaw.com (again, I'm the one who suggested it before) for more info. I'm not saying he shouldn't be punished (or should be, for that matter), but if HE'S expected to follow the rules, well so should THEY.
    Good luck.

     
  • At 8:50 AM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    Ok, I'm clearly way behind again ... and you have gotten lots of wonderful comments and probably don't need another.

    But I just have to say that in my opinion, you certainly did NOT overreact and the more I hear about this, the more I'm ready to hop a plane to GA and go speak to that principal (or her superiors) with you! A fucking witch hunt? That is awful!! Kids are already so mean and so quick to gang up on other kids for whatever petty reason they want to. And for adults, knowing how kids are, to encourage such behavior? Singling out a child and punishing him for something that likely one kid witnessed? This makes my blood boil!!!!

    This whole situation is just ridiculous!! I think D.O.'s rights HAVE been violated here!! I'm anxious to hear the outcome of the situation...

    With possibly the exception of your admirable levelheadedness, I really do not think I would have handled the situation all that differently than you have, Mama. This is absurd!!!

     
  • At 6:31 PM, Blogger Day Dreamer said…

    D.O. is pretty smart. I like how you explained this...

     

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