Help! Huge vent/plea for help regarding son's school

  1. This is long and poorly written, and if anyone reads this, I do thank you.....

    Ok I am FED UP!!!! My son is in the 5th grade, used to have such a desire to learn...not any longer......started with such a GOOD ATTITUDE THIS YEAR. He was gonna "work hard" and "do his best"......he was going back to school after we worked with all summer to help him catch up and be ready....renewed hopes...you know....well friends......it has been 5 years of struggle after struggle with the schools, (several of them now), teachers, etc. I feel like I am at the end of my rope. He got YET ANOTHER TEACHER who has decided to single him out and "get him"....before you say I am paranoid, please understand something.

    As parents, my husband and I are VERY available. We go to ALL the open houses, I am a PTA member, I make appts w/teachers when there are issues so we can work them out early on and I am VERY OPEN to suggestions and points by the teachers. I always let them tell me what they see is going on and then I say my piece, diplomatically and politely. I also readily acknowledge I am NOT raising an angel and that we have our share of the responsibility to ensure his successful education. I am NOT in denial that issues exist. SO WHY-- OH-- WHY don't they work with me?

    This will be year number THREE IN A ROW! yet another teacher who does not contact me when there are problems til it's too late...another teacher who pays lip service to me when he says we will work it out and they will work with ME on this??????? I have HAD IT, people!!!!!! HAD IT!!!!!! My son's wellbeing and education are at stake here, not to mention his self-esteem, which is in the toilet at this point. I feel like am at a HUGE precipice here and need to ACT before my boy is lost. HELP ME! WHAT CAN I DO? Working like I do, I cannot afford private school; it would require me to work fulltime and put my 3 year old in daycare full time; something I cannot do. She needs me, too. I have already considered I won't send her to school, at all, I cannot stand to see another child sacrificed to a lousy, half-cocked system that cares NAUGHT about our kids but more about "the status quo"!!!!! And if I offended anyone here, I am sorry, I respect teachers are working harder than ever for little pay, but MY KID IS WHAT MATTERS TO ME ok???

    So, my friends, I turn to you for help/suggestions. Sometimes, an uninvolved party is what one needs to help see things w/new perspective. Any ideas are welcome.....I am truly at the end of my rope and in tears as I write this. Homeschooling is a STRONG consideration...... I feel like I am failing my son in a horrible way!
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   eltrip
    (((((((Debbie)))))))

    If you can homeschool, then do it. The resources that are available these days are amazing. My daughter has just started kindergarten & if things don't work out, I may rearrange my life & homeschool her myself!

    You'll be in my thoughts.
    Take care,
    Joy
  4. by   Beach_RN
    Debbie.. Have you spoken to the principal? I know in my district they have the child study team? Also try finding it out who is the child advocate for your district... they are wonderful, they can certainely assist you. If all that fails.... Then you take it to the top, the Board of Ed, and contact the school superintendant. My sister and best friend are teachers.... Also have a friend who both children are Autitic... she is always fight the system... so I have learned a lot from her! However this is in New Jersey! Hope this helps! Good Luck.!

    Brenda
  5. by   caliotter3
    Don't feel guilty about not being able to send him to private school. That is not necessarily the answer. I sent my child to a private school but will not elaborate on what happened. Let's just say that it involved law enforcement. Definitely messed the child up for life

    My brother and SIL had a special needs child and went through the same thing you describe during the child's entire schooling. However, my SIL's approach was to make as much trouble as possible. All I can say is that she must have derived some emotional satisfaction b/c her behavior never got any more help.

    The only advice I could possibly give is for you to get as involved as much as possible, to the point of redoing the day's work at home with your son. If your son balks, maybe you can tell him something like "when you can get it at school, we won't have to do so much at home". I don't know exactly what the proper words for this would be. Unfortunately, your son has to get the education from someplace and it's too bad that you have to make up for the school. If you could rearrange your schedule, maybe home schooling would be possible. Sorry I could not be of better help. Best wishes to you and your son.
  6. by   researchrabbit
    Debbie, I'm so sorry you're having problems, but you're not alone....

    My youngest is shy, nerdy, and doesn't make friends easily. He doesn't like sports but loves writing and reading. He's very smart but very disorganized. He's now in the 8th grade and hates school so much that he missed 21 days last year because of headaches and stomachaches (now we see a counselor for school refusal -- not through the school, though, they just threatened legal action when I tried to explain what I'd figured out was happening).

    I asked the school to test him for the gifted program. They tested him but didn't have him wear his glasses for the test. They didn't RETEST him when I protested.

    Then they take the standardized tests and he scores in the 99th percentile on most everything. "Oh, good news! Your son is gifted!" (I'd only been telling them that for 3 years).

    He won't use the restroom at school because of the things other kids have done to him. He carries most of his books all day because other kids slam him in his locker. The school won't do anything about the bullies unless he gives them some names (which, of course, would lead to MORE bullying -- we've been through that at an earlier grade and he now refuses to ever state names again).

    He likes the game 4-square, and would like to play at the break they have for lunch (basketball is allowed and there is plenty of room). I offered to buy 4-square balls and tape outlines (so they could be removed if they needed the concrete for something else) but the school refused because it would be "too much trouble to check the balls out" although they check out basketballs...

    This year they switched the "teams" so that he has no friends on his team (so he has lunch break alone) and they won't switch him to another for "friend issues" even though he is seeing a counselor for school refusal (but kids who play sports and have a conflict get switched!!). He only has two friends as it is, and it's taken several years for him to make those. Being left friendless will not encourage him to make others.

    I was a teacher before I was a nurse and schools are more bureaucratic than hospitals. It is a petty tyranny and it is impossible to get anything done if the people in charge (principals and superintendents) don't care -- and most of 'em don't seem to. The teachers have too many kids to deal with to take time with just one. The gifted program helps a little, but it is only 2 hours a week.

    I try very hard to make sure he has some successes outside of school which helps with his self-esteem. And the counseling has been good, I wish I'd started it sooner.

    ARGH! No solutions I can see as far as school goes. But it was nice to be able to vent. Good luck, Debbie!
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Thanks so far for your replies, as I read them my tears flow more. Jeez, this whole thing makes me sick. I just want to help my son and re-spark his desire to learn. I see that light extinguished by crap like this and I cry. And research rabbit, I can relate w/your post too.....my son is "nerdy" also, in a different way........not allowed to watch R-rated movies, or access sexually oriented sites on the web, and would you believe so many at school DO THIS and make fun of him cause he does NOT????? Also, being military, my son will make friends, only to see them move away. The stress for him is unbearable at times. HE is NOT gifted (as one would label it; really his gifts are as yet, unrecognized by anyone except by his dad and me)...... so, there he sits in the "general status quo", another nameless face who means nothing to them. What is it all coming to?

    I am truly fearful for this upcoming generation. Anyhow, thanks for your thoughtful posts, folks. It means a lot just to have someone read a even give a darn. The school sure does not.

    Oh there WAS someone out there a while back I talked to who homeschools...I cannot remember who. Any info along these lines would be MUCH appreciated. It's looking more attractive all the time. I really have given up on the schools...I have been in principals' offices more times than I can count. We have had him in special classes to help his learning and with anger management...I have seen pediatricians about him who say he is NORMAL....I am sick of fighting bureaucracies that do NOT give a sh!t, frankly. I am sick of my kid being stuck in the middle of it all....I am just sick.....
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Sep 11, '02
  8. by   eltrip
    Hey Debbie,
    You say that you guys are military? My father was military. I attended 13 schools between kindergarten-12th grade. Boy, do I remember the hassle it was to change schools in mid-year...or moving & losing friends.

    Home schooling would offer continuity of education in this case. It would also eliminate school changes/dealing with new systems, frustration, etc. I know that our local YMCA has phys. ed. for homeschoolers. And we're in the South! Lots of families here have had similar concerns. A strong homeschooling group exists in my area. I am wary of public schools here, but am giving a magnet school a chance. I am ever watchful of what's happening with my little gal. I applaud you for not just throwing your hands up in frustration! You rock!
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    eltrip, your comment mean so much and i am getting stronger by the minute in my resolve to do "the right thing".....i am so ready to end this nightmare for my boy and us for once and for all...and yea military life is rough. so glad we are within 3 years of retirement....i can't do much more of this.
  10. by   Dez
    Reading this thread has me very scared for my boys. They are twins and were born a little premature. So they're small for their age. They are not allowed to watch violent cartoons or have violent toys. They are so innecent right now. They're 4 y/o and I have decided to hold them back from preschool. I dont think they are ready. I worry that if they experience all the teasing and meaness in school, they will hate school. They are so sensitive too! They are afraid of their little cousin who is 2 because he's a little violent.

    SmilingBlueEyes and researchrabbit, I dont have any answers for you but I feel for your situations.
  11. by   researchrabbit
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    .....my son is "nerdy" also, in a different way........not allowed to watch R-rated movies, or access sexually oriented sites on the web, and would you believe so many at school DO THIS and make fun of him cause he does NOT?????
    Yes, I can believe it! Your kid and my kid have a lot in common...mine objects to strong language (his strongest language is "butt" and he is reluctant to say "Hell" even as part of a church service). He is embarassed by some PG-13 movies, and isn't allowed to see R-rated yet. He's such a gentle guy, protective of animals and younger kids. It just kills me to see him get squashed like this.

    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    [B}HE is NOT gifted (as one would label it; really his gifts are as yet, unrecognized by anyone except by his dad and me)...... so, there he sits in the "general status quo", another nameless face who means nothing to them. What is it all coming to?
    [/B]
    They are all gifted, one way or another. I wish schools encouraged kids with the love of learning and helped them find their strengths. As it is, they weaken or extinguish the qualities we NEED. I LIKED school. Neither of my kids do.

    I encourage both to believe that college is much different and that they should still strive for that.

    I wish I had the option to home-school but I am divorced and our only wage-earner (plus there are the bills my ex ran up that I became responsible for that I am STILL trying to pay off 6 years later...at least we're finally getting close).

    Dez, pre-school was actually a good experience for both my kids. We went to a religious based one where parents were encouraged to drop in at any time, and there was a mixture of race and religion and all were accepted. Both of my kids had a very lovely experience there.

    Some of the Mother's Day Out programs allow you to be there at the same time your kids are there (one of my friends did this once a week so her kids had some social experience prior to starting kindergarten; she really liked it).
  12. by   aimeee
    How frustrating for you and your son! If you don't get satisfaction from the folks at the school and decide to go the homeschool route, I know there are quite a few on this BB who do homeschooling (though I am not one of them). I do know there is a HUGE amount of material on the web pertaining to homeschooling including many different approaches to curriculum that you can choose from. Best wishes to you in your efforts.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    You BETTER be scared, be very afraid. My experiences with the school system have been hell since kindergarten. Pure h-e-l-l And that I have waited this long, in inertia, hoping for change in new schools, teachers etc, makes me so angry w/myself I can SPIT TACKS!!!! I tell you, your kids' education is at stake......you have to fight for everything you need and then fight some more when all you wanna do is HIDE. NO EASY answers.

    And yes, my ds was premature....by 6 weeks.....had a major birth defect and surgery and subsequent scar on his head that they all comment on and laugh at. But bless his heart, he just says "hey I was born with it; a dr fixed it, I was tough enough to live thru it at 3 months, so get OVER IT cause I AM"! Yea, it's a mean world out there, and you are reminded daily by your kids! it is SO hard to watch the light of learning and innocence get SQUASHED by rotten kids and an even MORE rotten school system that do not give a rat's patooty about your kid. You are a number, and good luck being heard.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Sep 11, '02
  14. by   JailRN
    To my "family"

    Your posts made my heart ache. Haven't these dip$hit$ ever heard of Columbine, or Santee HS or any of the MANY schools where kids who are bullied finally say, "Enough" and retaliate??? What happened to teaching the kids to work cooperatively, not to bully, zero tolerance!!! Makes me sick!!!!!!!!

    As many of you know, I have 2 sons who are dx with Asperger's Syndrome, a high functioning autism, they are very bright, but socially , well forget it. They have brains like computers, very literal, don't get"cop out" __"where's the cop? Is he from Long Beach?" "It;s raining cats and dogs?"__"Won't the animals get hurt like that?"

    It's a very hard one to dx and even harder to live with--then when they don't do well, it MUST be bad parenting, esp bad mothering,

    THe school district doesn't want to do anything, it would cost them $$$$. Their test scores are 99's, but comprehansion is 45% because they just don't get the phrases that most use. We went through the same thing with our older son, bright, unmotivated, and would loose interrest very fast in the beginning of the year, get set up for failure and the teacher hated him by October. We have treid public, private, parochial, and military schools, but to no avail. I treid homeschooling, that was the year that I thought I'd have a nervous breakdown......Have you thought of trying a private school on a scholarship?? Most of them have them available.

    Fast foreward, the public school took my older son out in handcuffs and leg shackles, at age 15, we never went back there.
    We finally found a school for AS kids in Culver City, Ca. and sued the school district to have them pay the $40,000 /yr tuition, both went there, Doug graduated and Joey is in 3rd grade and loves school.

    FYI< I had a professional that I respected very much tell me, 'Ya know, you can teach kids almost anything, but you can't teach them to be smart, either they are or they aren't and if they are, they're not going to loose it, while the rest of this works out.

    Good luck wit your precious son. I feel your pain.

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