Monday, December 1, 2008

I LOVE EVERYBODY

WARNING: I admittedly write long posts, this one tops them all. You probably won’t want/need to read this unless you are like, my mother, or have hopes of being included in my will. It’s okay. I won’t be offended. This is a vent post.

Sometimes I tend to make reference to things in a post, and then someone asks about it in a comment, and I don’t elaborate. I don’t know why I do that. It’s so unlike me to not elaborate.

And I’m sorry.
It’s not you, it’s me.
It’s a “texture” thing.
Just kidding. I love it when people say "it's a texture thing” when describing why they don’t like a food. I always thought it would be funny to use that line in a break up.

I have made reference to the crappy bureaucracy at my son’s school in the past. I want to be very clear before I let loose on some opinions. I LOVE his teacher. I was bratty about the first encounter and MommyJ schooled me on that in the comment section, and since then, I’ve been a nice kind girl, and she has exceeded my expectations as Bo’s teacher. Very happy with her.

Administration? Not so much.

So, I made reference to Bo being locked out of his school once. When we found out about it at dinner, neither J nor I realized how traumatizing it was for Bo. He was fighting back tears, but then again, sometimes not getting to play one more round of Zelda can bring on the tears. Four and a half hours later he was STILL crying about it and clearly traumatized. He laid in his bed for nearly 2 hours coming up with various plans to avoid ever getting locked out, or having to get a late slip. It was heartbreaking to say the least.

In my anger, I wrote an email to his principal:

Mr. Crappy Principal,
My son is a kindergartner at your school. Today, I dropped him off a little later than normal at about 8:54. Although there were several other children and adults around, somehow he ended up outside locked doors, in the rain, unable to get into the building. He finally found his way through the cafeteria where he was told he was late and needed to get a late slip. The next adult who saw him, one of your “para-educators” treated him like he was doing something wrong and ordered him to the office to get a late slip. Since he is FIVE and has been an elementary student for less than two weeks, he didn't have any idea what that entailed. Rather than be comforted in his obvious distress (he was wet from the rain and crying), he was reprimanded for being late and sent off to do something he didn’t know how to do. At the office, his backpack was rifled through (I assume looking for a note from me?) and he was then sent off to his class with a late slip.

I understand that your school has procedures that it follows and that these procedures are what helps things run more smoothly.

What I don't understand is why a five year old boy, who has gone to school for less than 10 days of his entire life, wasn't treated a little more gently and with a little more compassion. The three kids I dropped off at the same time as him were not late. So that means, either my son was mere seconds "late" or he was behaving as an average five year old who is attending only his second week of school, and got lost or confused. I don't understand why one of the 2-3 "helpful" people who told him he was late, didn't walk with him to the office, or explain to him what was going on, or show any kind of compassion toward him. Isn't he why they are even there?

I'm not an over-reactive person; but I am sorely disappointed that I had to spend my evening comforting my young son, assuring him that he does have time to eat breakfast before school and that that it is okay to go to school tomorrow without fear of getting locked out of his school, shuffled around rudely by the adults who "care" for him, and that even though he got a late slip it doesn't mean he's a bad kid. I'm still trying to figure out why on earth a kindergartner in his second week of school would even need a late slip, but that's not really the issue at hand.

We told our son that kindergarten would be a great experience, that others would be good to him, that he would meet a lot of really nice people at _______ and when I sent him through the doors at ________, entrusting him to you, your administration, and your staff, we expected those promises we made to him to be easily fulfilled.

I cannot express to you enough how much more than disappointed I am, that already this wasn't the case.

Sincerely,
Nobody


I never sent this email to him. Although, upon review, I’m wishing I had. It was written on September 4th. I calmed down and first contacted his teacher. She was entirely unaware. I didn’t know who the idiot para-educator was and I didn’t feel like it was a battle I could win. “Your employee was mean to my baby! Let me see a line-up!”

His teacher calmed him down about late slips, and we moved on.

Approximately 5 weeks later Bo informs me at bedtime that he doesn’t want to go to school tomorrow, because it turns out he had a recess taken away. I assumed his teacher took it away and my first response was, “Well, guess you should have listened to your teacher”. But he tells me, it was ANOTHER para-educator. And this time, the infraction was....wait for it, wait for it....he put his hand over his friends mouth to keep his friend from saying the same thing over and over and over in his ear. Because that is a horrible, vile, despicable, and dangerous thing to have going on at a school with five year old boys. Estupido.

So I get out my handy typewriter, and clink away at this letter:

Mrs Niceteacher,
At the risk of sounding like an overprotective, busy-body mom...

Bo doesn't want to go to school tomorrow because he was told today he was getting his recess taken away. Best I can tell, he put his hand on ________'s mouth because ______ kept repeating something and Bo couldn't get him to stop. Bo knows the rules and knows he shouldn't have done that. I want to tell Bo that he needs to accept the consequences of his behavior and he knows the rules, etc. I also want to explain to him that this kind of stuff happens, and he'll have to just miss the recess.

Of course I assumed at first that you had taken away the recess and I was sure it was warranted, since you've dealt with squirmy, handsy, non-hand raising Bo from Day One and have exercised a lot of patience thus far. However, he told me Ms ______ is the one who did it and that there was no warning given at all. She saw his hand on _______'s mouth and told him she was taking his name and taking away his recess tomorrow.

My two concerns. As I understand it, recess time at Stellar Staff Elementary is pretty limited already and having a recess taken away seems pretty drastic for this kind of "offense." Secondly, I don't know why a warning wasn't issued before he had his recess taken away completely. We talk a lot to Bo about the rules and we really stress the importance of keeping his hands to himself, he gets it, and as he says, "even if it's friendly, you aren't supposed to do it". He has come a long way and I know you've had to work with him a lot on this.

I guess it bothers me that before he's even been in school two full months, there are adults outside your classroom that are expecting him to behave perfectly without any margin of error. Putting his hand over a friend's mouth is something that would be pretty harmless outside of school, and as such, an easy mistake to make while inside school. I might be able to understand the lack of warning or extreme measure taken in "discipline" if he had done something much more aggressive or blatantly disobedient.

I'm not sure there is anything that can be done about it at this point, but I do feel compelled to communicate this with you. I didn't say anything to Bo tonight because I couldn't even convince myself that having his whole recess taken away for a fairly minor infraction is normal.

Thanks for your time,
My Kids' Mom--Nobody


She wrote back asking if she could forward my concern to Mr. Dumbhead. I said that would be fine. I didn’t really even think he was a Dumbhead at the time, but had definitely heard a lot about his Dumbhead tendencies.

He called me and said that the para-educator did admit to having over-reacted and “he should have gotten a warning, and he’s not a child she’s ever had to discipline before.”

I’m sorry, I didn’t call to hear you say I have a good boy. I KNOW I have a good boy. I called to hear you say you’d stop treating him like he’s a bad kid.

I let it go after that. However, I was annoyed, that even though this lady admitted she reacted harshly, she didn’t bother to let Bo off the hook. He still missed his recess. “And what a good boy! He came right up to her at recess time to report for his punishment!”

And now, present day.

Bo came home from school with a form saying he’d been sent to the room where kids get sent for being naughty. On it it said that 1. He was being disruptive. Yes, he’s a boy, he’s five, it happens. And that 2. He was kicking. Really? Bo kicked someone? That’s so surprising, he must have been really mad, I’m not sure he’s kicked anyone since he kicked sweet little Lindsey when he was 17 months old. He’s more of a hugger. Incessant, body hug, hugger. And then 3. That he was “Not Accepting Feedback”

OH NO THEY DIHUNT!!!!!

I seriously stared at it for like a full minute, making sure it was his name was on it, that it was dated recently and not 2004 when he was 17 months old. I could not comprehend how that could ever possibly be said about Bo. Now, I’m a mom. He’s my baby. I’m guilty of finding his flaws endearing or calling them “character”. But I’m also his mom. And I know him. I know that there are things I have had to tell him once, and it has become an unbreakable law in his mind. While Avee’s middle name is most likely, “Not Aceepting Feedback” my little boy Bo will never ever ever be guilty of that. Ever.

That was a red flag for me.

So I started grilling Bo about what happened.

He said “hi” to Kicking Boy and Kicking Boy kicked him. Para-educator saw Bo being kicked and apparently assumed Bo instigated it by having kicked first. And when Bo was asked if he kicked Kicking Boy---he said no.

And then later when Bo was pulled out of his classroom, he was told several times, “If you don’t tell me the truth, I can’t deal with this appwopwiately.” I’m pretty sure the para-educator said “appropriately” but I’m just telling you what Bo told me. And THEN he was threatened with the “count of three” to "tell the truth". Well, this is the boy who has never gotten to 3 with us. Ever. He’s terrified of what’s after three. Even though he’s been witness to nothing happening to Avee after three, he has never risked it for himself.

So there he is, not being believed, suddenly being threatened and asked “who started it”, he answers, “I started it!”

So I say to Bo---“how did you start it? And he answers, “well, I said hi to him first before he kicked me.”

I have asked Bo probably 18-27 times in at least that many different ways if his leg, foot, any part of his body ever touched Kicking Boy. Ever. For any reason. He is positive he did nothing that could even remotely be mistaken as a kick.

These people are so set on punishing children, that they are going after 5 year olds and not even getting the facts straight.

I’m so annoyed that this is the 3rd time in 3 short months of school that my son has been a victim of their “punish first, ask questions later” system. I was assured 36 times this morning that this school is a “Zero Tolerance Environment for Any Type of Physical Contact.”

Now that I’m thinking about it I should have told Mr. Stupidface that I have a ZERO TOLERANCE THRESHOLD FOR STUPID ADMINISTRATION and that he’s been in violation 3 times already. And that’s not even counting the offense of his stupid tan face in December in IOWA.

Ahem. That has nothing to do with this, does it? Well, another semi-side note is, that Kicking Boy kicked Bo in the face a week before this incident, giving him a bloody nose, on the way out of school. The teacher that dealt with it (Bo’s was gone and he was in another part of the school) told Bo to hurry home before he got blood on his clothes. Nice. Fortunately he had two older friends with him who insisted on justice and hauled Kicking Boy (I imagine by the scruff of his neck) back to the teacher to receive his punishment. The next day Bo insisted that I write in his planner that he had been kicked in the face. He also subsequently wrote a love letter to his teacher that said, “I got kicked by Kicking Boy. I luv u Missus _______ and yur housband too….”

How could anyone even think a boy who writes such darling love notes could be capable of kicking someone? Oh plus, when I asked Bo how another 5 year old managed to kick him in the FACE he explained, “Well, he was kicking me, so I ducked. And then he kicked me in the face.” Wha?

So this morning I called the school.

Here’s my issue. It’s not that my son gets in trouble. He can cope. We are good parents, we can work around it. The issue is that there should A)be no such thing as “No Tolerance” when it comes to Kindergarteners. That’s just ridiculous. They need warnings and constant reminders. Sorry, that’s the nature of the beast with children this young. Treat them like they are naughty (ie, take away a recess for being honest) and they will become naughty. And B) Why are para-educators able to make such rash decisions? Who the heck are they? They don’t know my kid, they never have to deal with him more than 10-15 minutes at a time, and if that’s too much to do without going crazy and punishing all the time, perhaps they should get a job with the TSA. Or DMV. If they spot a problem, they should report it to the teacher and let her deal with it accordingly. Bo's teacher would have known immediately that the other kid has a history of kicking, unprovoked, and that my son is the smartest, most perfect child she's ever had the pleasure of teaching.

When I called the school Mr. BSer-Dumbhead transferred me within about 30 seconds to the para-educator who ran the detention room Bo was in. Um, what did she have to do with anything? Nothing. But I gather that I am not the first to complain because he was swift to transfer and she tried to be a smooth talker and it wasn’t working. “Detention Room is not a punishment Mrs. Nobody….” She said that to me 3 times. You know what I said every time? No, of course you don’t. I said, “That may very well be, but making him eat there and stay in there during recess IS a punishment.” She also did this very weird thing to make me think she was there the entire time and knew exactly what happened.

She was speaking so matter-of-factly and I finally said, “I’m sorry, were you there? Did you hear my son say this?” And she said YES SHE WAS. That was a lie. She also told me that Bo was never pulled out of his classroom to be interrogated. Bo told me he was, I stood by my boy. I later called his teacher and confirmed that he was in fact pulled out of the classroom to be punished. That was lie number two. Lie number three, I called her on. She initially said that Bo was asked, “Did you start it?” And he answered that yes he had. Well---he DID start it in his little mind. He said hi. I said, “He did not confess to kicking, he said he started and he thought he started it by saying hi to _________"`. She had no way to refute that and went back to her “The Detention Room is not a punishment” (FYI, it’s not called detention room, I just don’t want to refer to the real name in case either Napoleon gets jealous, or someone can deduce what school my kid goes to).

Later she said, “But Mrs. Nobody, when Bo was asked if he kicked Preston, he said that yes, he did.”

My temper flared and I kind of yelled, “That is an outright lie Mrs. ________ and YOU know it. Don’t you dare start lying to me even more just to make your case. My son did not kick ________ and that was never the issue, but I do not take kindly to being lied to.”

She transferred me back to Mr. Idiotface and I griped at him for transferring me unnecessarily and he explained to me what her job is. I seriously wanted to reach through the phone and slap that patronizing fetcher. Oh wait, am I getting too emotional? Probably.

Anyway, he’s skilled at protecting his para-educators, even when they are wrong, and he is skilled at talking in circles, and he is skilled at accepting no responsibility for a flaw in his system. He told me no less than 10 times about their zero-tolerance police. I said at one point, “Do you realize how illogical and stupid that is to say about 5-year-old children who are JUST STARTING SCHOOL?”

Since there wasn’t much variety on what he said, I’ll just give you a list of things I may or may not have said.

*How am I supposed to teach my son to respect the adults who care for him when I have to send him to a school where the para-educators are bullies who abuse their power?

*Mr. Stinkbombtorso, your reputation of defending your staff regardless of the truth, regardless of the facts, precedes you. It is unfortunate you have such an unflattering reputation. (that’s when he said, “that’s one person’s opinion" and I had lost all sense of decorum and fired back, “You’d like to THINK it’s one person’s opinion") Ooh, oooh buuuuuuurn Nobody!

*Let me be clear, if my son is even approached by one of your para-educators in anything remotely similar to his last three encounters, it will get ugly for you very fast. He will not be a victim of your punitive-happy para-educators one more time.

*You may think that talking in circles to me and not dealing with this issue will work, but let me tell you, hell hath no fury like a Mama Bear.

Oh yes, I did. That was my first indication that I was no longer in control and needed to end the conversation. The above mentioned buuuuuuuuurn is when I abruptly ended. But not before I informed him he hadn’t been in the least bit helpful after he suggested he had, but thanked him for his time.

I was on the phone for 26 minutes, so obviously there was a lot more said. But I do have a tendency to forget the details of conversations with COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS PEOPLE.

I’m taking this to the next level y’all.

Tonight, I’m egging his house.

I have a couple of friends here, who will be joining me (on their own issues) in writing letters to the school board regarding this issue of fascism in Iowa. You can read what they wrote on their blogs, for some entertainment, and brevity:
Super L did a couple of letters here and here.
And then B Ford did a post that made me lol

61 comments:

Big Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Jay said...

Just a couple points. I have one goal for my kindergartner: That he likes to learn when he leaves school. That's it. I could care less about the elementary school curriculum. Colors, shapes, numbers, long division... if there is a place where my child falls short, I'll be happy to take responsibility, tutor after school, or whatever.

BO got kicked in the face by a kid at school. I don't even really mind that so much. Kids can deal with that stuff up to a point, and it helps them toughen up. The zero tolerance policy for violence... I'm in favor of a more moderate policy when it comes to kindergartners fighting with other kindergartners, and 6th graders scrapping with 6th graders. As long as there are no poked eyes, or broken bones, I say its part of growing up. Fifth graders beating up on 3rd graders is totally different, and I have no problem socializing that away.

But my understanding is this school has a policy where high school graduates (they can hardly have much more education... and I hope that is the best explanation) are bullying kindergartners... that's not okay. I have a 3 strikes you're out policy with that garbage.

You go Nobo!

omar said...

I just read that whole thing. I feel like I should be entitled to some college credits or something for making it to the end.

You have a typewriter?

I feel compelled to say more in response, but I haven't had to deal with school districts and administrators yet. I'll be more empathetic next year, I promise.

omar said...

Big Jay's comment wasn't there before. So glad I didn't say "first." That would have been embarrassing.

B.Ford said...

You forgot Super L's Nov. 21 posting. I find that entertaining as well.

Barnecked Lady said...

OH I hope I make in your will. I cannot not believe all that crizap, uh-mazing what we have to deal with these days. Did I ever tell you about the time I was called into the principal's office at my kid's school? LOL.
Some lady was rude to my kid's one day after school and wouldn't let my kid's in to get their homework. She said their teacher's were not in their rooms and they couldn't be trusted by themselves. WHATEVER! So I came in with them she wouldn't let me in either, she wouldn't call the classrooms to see if the teachers were there either. LAME! She was like sorry that is against school policy blah blah blah!!!! So, I said okay well Im going to go back there and get their homework and I'd like to see you stop me! She called security on me, but I was too fast, I slipped out a back door. Well it only took the principal about a week to figure out it was me, lol. The office ladies called me the troublemaker for the remainder of the year. lol, IT was great!I HATE STUPID PEOPLE!
oh and I wish Bo would have kicked that boy right in the BUTT!

ucmama said...

I have a hard time believing that you were very sincere when you said you love everybody.

I have a texture thing with jello. It makes me jiggle, but in a bad bad way.

InkMom said...

I think you forgot to call him Mr. Poopypants . . . otherwise, I'm very impressed with your derogatory pseudo-title vocab.

And, please, for all of us non-Iowans, what exactly is a para-educator? A half-educator? How about a half-a**ed educator? Sounds about right to me.

InkMom said...

And also, I asterisk-swore on your blog. I can't decide if that gets me an automatic in for the will or an absolute out.

S said...

So how was your day today?
We have that same grand no touch policy around here. It was very hard for J and so senseless. Just another way of helping these kids have no compassion. Good for you for fighting for him, it so darn stupid. Is the school just full of para's or is it the same one. Doesn't matter. Thanks for fighting.....only 12.5 years to go!

sarah said...

One question for Big Jay... at what point do you teach Bo that if someone starts a (hands) on fight with you that it is ok to defend yourself, basically making sure they don't bother you again?

Sarah Tilley said...

wow, you're awesome. you should've sent the nasty email. that sucks big time you've got gestapo running your kid's school.

barnecked lady, you're awesome, too.

when i was a kid i always thought when i got yelled at by an authority figure it was because i'd done something to deserve it and so i never ratted out bullies or complained to my parents. i'd have liked a little revenge on my 4th grade teacher even if it was just my mom telling her to stop being a jerk to her kid.

Heffalump said...

A no touch policy? Wow, your school is making our school look like heaven!
I would so be in their faces too. Go girl!

beeeeeeeee said...

That doesn't sound like school. It sounds like a concentration camp.

Plain Jame said...

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

You've got me straight up psyched out to take my little mouse to kindergarten next fall. Dude!

Physcokity said...

Dang I guess I'm not gonna make it into your will :(

"I always thought it would be funny to use that line in a break up." Yeah talk about a whole 'nother level of awkward...maybe saying something like that would put them in agreement with you as to why you are breaking up?

I'll have to keep that one in my arsenal for future ammo-I mean reference...yeah reference!

Mad Libs Millie said...

Wow. That's all I can say.

I still have an unhealthy respect for teachers and principals and even the lunch lady. I still call them all "Mrs." or "Mr." whether they're older than I am or not.

So my hat is off to you, girl. I can't even imagine not being able to trust adults in authority positions at a public school, with my treasured offspring. If I had one minute of doubt my kids were in mental or emotional jeopardy while they were there all day, I'd be doing something else for their education (maybe "nothing" would be better than being barked at for arbitrary crap all day long).

Let us know how Bo's next school adventure goes. I'll be waiting to read the next chapter, no matter how long it is.

Klin said...

I so wanted to get on a plane and come out there and give mr stupid butt crappy excuse for a principal what for. I have had to do this a few times- for my kids and others'.

Let me at 'em Nobo, let me at 'em.
After you, of course, Mama Bear with very sharp claws

Physcokity said...

"And that’s not even counting the offense of his stupid tan face in December in IOWA."

That's it...he's toast! let's fork his yard...oh wait the ground's already frozen there isn't it?

... said...

Can I just say that the "you have until three to tell me the truth" makes me have an absolute knot in my gut? That's not only ridiculous, it's manipulative and unwarranted and every kind of terrible child development "skill." if they knew anything about kids, they would know that most (especially 5yos) don't WANT to be in trouble. They will even lie if they think it's what an adult wants to hear, because they don't want to be considered "bad." Also, they don't cover mouths or even kick to be mean. There are TONS of excellent books, especially about boys, that will say that they are physical in just about everything they do. You have to take that into account. I'm with J - within the same age group, let them mostly work it out. But when it's grown overtanned and/or undereducated people against 5yos, something is really wrong.

I love all the euphemisms you put here for the main guy in charge. Laughed at every new one. :)

Incidentally, what happened to the boy who kicked Bo in the face? And how sweet that Bo even loves his teacher's husband. THAT is bear-huggableness right there.

... said...

P.S. I LOVE NOBODY. :)

Charlotte said...

Wow, that sounds awful. I have never heard of elementary detention before. In North Carolina they weren't allowed to take away recess. I would have flipped out if a teacher wannabe lied to me about something that happened. Have you considered writing to the superintendant? All those infractions seem pretty severe.

I think I would like to have you write any notes I need to send into my kids school. And maybe you could call and pretend to be me sometimes? Luckily I have yet to have any problems with our new school, but I'll keep you in mind if I ever do.

And I was hoping for something in will . . .

Beckie said...

Count me in,I'm making a special trip from Texas to help egg that SOB's house!!!

My favorite part: When you burnt him. Oh yeah, way to shove it in his face.

Howertons in Iowa said...

Long or not, totally worth the read.

Sad incidences - absolutely, but you are so dang funny that I love your names for the stellar staff elementary people and their leader Mr. Dumbhead/Stupidface/ BSer / idiotface/ patronizing Fetcher

I am expecting that my journey with this school district is also not over (although my kid IS the naughty kid, but he has help -he is antagonized by the incompetent staff) I am totally going to have you help me with my future letters of communication - so creative.

I was told when my son entered Kindergarten that I and WE (my husband) are his ONLY advocates and that we have to stand up for our own children - so I stand by you 100%. And although our babies do not go to the same school - I feel your pain.

P.S. I have the cellphone number for the local news anchor if you would like - it works like a charm :)

aubrey said...

whywhywhywhywhy to parents put their children in public school? this is my question. this is only a few months into KINDERGARTEN. how do you think the rest of elementary will be? better? or middle school. or high school. i know it's not an option for everyone but holy crap the system is corrupt. and manipulative. and so so retarded. i feel for bo. and for you.

aubrey said...

oh and i totally read that entire post.

aubrey said...

AND brined my turkey. it was by far the best turkey i've ever had. which recipe did jay use? don't reply to this..i will chat with you. xo

Beth said...

Wow. I'm amazed that a school can fail a little boy so badly. Oh wait. Maybe I'm not.

We took our almost 5 year old boy out of kindergarten this year because he just kept getting in trouble. I knew he was a little young when we started him, but he just couldn't handle it. I didn't want him to end up hating school because he was always in trouble.

I hope Bo can look past all the idiot para-educators (and the dumb principal) at his school and remember how much he loves his teacher. Maybe those dumbheads won't completely ruin school for him.

I decided to homeschool my kids next year so I don't have to deal with people not understanding who my kids are and always assuming they are just being bad (uh, I'm really just talking about the boy here.). I hope we survive!!!

Tori :) said...

OMGosh Nobo!! I so want to egg and TP a house with you. I wish I had been a fly on the wall. I would have been feeding you my comeback lines- but you obviously wouldn't need tham.
Your school sounds retarded- no offense. I ♥ Mama Bear Nobo!!

Tori :) said...

And I'm with Omar- Do you really have a typewriter?

Super L said...

Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen, amen, amen. Amen.

Amen.

Yeah, I kinda liked this one.

I'm SO excited to write these letters. Big M was laughing and infuriated by your post, which I read aloud to him, and excited to have someone on our side.

We also just learned that Big M has always thought the word was parent-educators. So now he wants to know, along with some of your other commenters, what the crap a para-educator is. Besides a member of the SS, I mean.

Kicking kid kicked Lemmy too! Why doesn't HE end up in detention I would like to know. His mom must be friends with Mr. Patronizing Fetcher (as he will now forever be known in this house).

And why the crap IS he that tan?!? What is WRONG with the man?

Oh, and also. "Napoleon might get jealous" almost knocked me off the chair. You. Are. Funny.

So, let the revolution begin.

Lisa said...

I read this whole post and I feel your pain. I'm tired of the crap at the schools. I'm getting this close--this close! to home schooling.....

Rebecca said...

I just have to say I don't think we can be friends anymore.. its a texture thing!!!

Rebecca said...

Okay maybe not.. I hate hate hate schools that don't realize the precious gifts they have.. so much good can happen, but a few idiots.. can really screw it up.. stay strong mama bear..

Leslie said...

what a major pain. i'm so sorry you have to deal with all of that and that bo is having such a lame experience doing something that's supposed to be fun. makes me sad. :(

ucmama said...

I forgot to tell you that your post was so long that my finger got tired of scrolling. And you're awesome. I forgot that part too.

Michelle said...

I finally pulled my kids out of their horrible middle school because I couldn't take the so called principal one more day! My son was in in school suspension (yes he deserved it) but the substitute teacher that was in charge that day swore at the kids and smacked my son in his arm. Well the principal would do absolutely nothing, said that no one saw it and the teacher said it didn't happen. I just about choked the woman in the middle of the office!

Anonymous said...

This is a true story. One day I returned home from college to find my mother very upset. A neighbor had dropped by the house asking my mother to sign a petition against the local elementary school principal. There were several issues on the petition. My mother would not sign the petition. She had told the lady at the door that the petition was uncalled for an that she was wrong to stir up the whole neighborhood. She said that the person being criticized was an upstanding public servant. She fumed for several days about the damage that petition could do. Later, I attended a bridal shower in the same neighborhood. The principal's name came up in the conversation. Several people spent time complaining about policies at the school and tearing down the principal. People were nodding their head in agreement. I was just amazed. These people were usually so reasonable, but they were all exercised about a cafeteria issue. Some one turned to me and asked me point blank what I thought of the man. I told them that when I was a student at his school that he was always fair and reasonable. I knew that he had firm rules and he expected us to do our best. He didn't let anyone bully each other. He spoke kindly to us. I said that he had spent his whole life dedicated to our community. The room quieted and someone spoke up and said. Well, I hear he will be the principal at the school where you teach. Everyone stopped talking to see what I would say. I said that it was unfortunate that they were losing such a dedicated administrator and that it was our school's gain. I worked for him for four years before I had children and stayed home to care for them. He called me almost every year to find out if I would like to teach for him. He made such a difference in my life as an educator. He was a good example to me as a child. He was an advocate for every child that was downtrodden. He made sure that no child went hungry and no child was cold. He looked after the safety of the children like a father would to his own children. He helped me be a better teacher by encouraging me to advocate for every child. He led by example. Indeed our school's gain was thier loss. Dr. John Prpich passed away a few years ago. I am honored to have known him.

When you decide to put down and make fun of public servants, you are missing out on the privilege of knowing some pretty wonderful people. A life of dedicated service should count for something whether you are a principal or a para-educator.

Suzanne said...

Wow, how ridiculous that you have to deal with this! And Bo too. Poor little guy. He's had enough trauma through all this and it must be hard to know that it will probably continue since the administration is so unwilling to change or even admit they are wrong.

Stuff like this makes me want to homeschool my kids. But I don't think I have the patience to do it!

Suzanne said...

BTW, that makes me mad that Bo got kicked in the face and more wasn't done. D got punched in the face by a much older and larger child on the bus a few years ago. It knocked a tooth loose.

The school didn't kick the kid off the bus and D was terrified to ride it so I had to take him to and from school for the last two weeks. It's like we were punished instead.

The school couldn't have cared less. All they did was talk to the kid and he didn't even have to apologize. Even though he'd been bullying D for months before that. I grow so tired of people not doing more when they have the opportunity to do so...

NOBODY said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for sharing the story of your experiences with a principal. He may not have been popular with some, but for you he was wonderful, and I’m glad you had the opportunity to defend him.

I’m having a hard time seeing how this story relates to my experience. I have an issue with a para-educator bullying my son. I noticed that you mentioned Dr. P “didn’t let anyone bully each other”. We have some common ground in that we both think it’s important that others are not bullied. Herein lies the issue. My son was bullied. And it was condoned; she wasn’t acting against school policy. And she was defended by the one who sets the standards at the school. This is not okay with me, and it happens to not be okay with dozens of parents. And if we aren’t going to step in and insist on a policy change (ie, leave the bullying to the peers and not to the paid adults who should know better) then we are just as culpable. My friend who’s kindergartener was punished for collecting imaginary tickets at the top of a slide in a pretend game of carnival, agrees. My friend who stood in the principal’s office crying for some kind of solution for her first grader who was miserable and losing a love for school because of a poor student to teacher match, and was told nothing would be done, nothing was wrong, would agree. My friend who pled to be allowed to volunteer in her daughter’s 2nd grade classroom and was told “parents simply aren’t allowed in the rooms”, agrees. The little boy who’s mom dropped him off 30-60 minutes late every day by a negligent mom, and was subsequently punished by a loss of recess EVERY DAY because of his mom’s action---would probably agree. I’m not an overly emotional, out for blood person. But I am a mother.

I’m a little disappointed that you would assume, because I reported a negative experience with THIS principal and ONE para-educator, that I must think all principals and teacher’s aides are bad people. I had a stellar principal as a child. No nonsense and compassionate, a perfect combination for a school principal. I respected her, I loved her. She knew my name, and she knew how to give the eye to get kids to behave. I have a healthy and well-founded love and respect for pretty much every administration I’ve dealt with in my life. That is not going to dictate me turning a blind eye to one that has a serious flaw in policy.

This is my blog and as such, it is slanted by my view and my thoughts. I appreciate opposing views, except for those that chide me for not having seen Star Wars, and I’m glad you had the courage to post something, especially since it’s in the midst of overwhelming accordance with what I’ve written. Be assured that my mother did raise me well, and while I may get “creative” in my personal blog when I’m venting, that I was articulate, diplomatic, and even kind in my initial attempts to get a resolution to this problem. Unless you’ve never been angry, you probably can understand my frustration and anger when it became clear that my opinion, my concerns, and my quest for resolution were completely disregarded. This was never personal, this was about the safety and well-being of my child. That has been compromised and even if I throw around a few “dumbheads” and make fun of grown men fake tanning, it will always remain about MY CHILD BEING SAFE. There is no other setting I can imagine where I should be required to stand idly by while adults mistreat my children. I am confident you would feel the same about your children.

p.s. I will never be guilty of "missing out on the privilege of knowing some pretty wonderful people" because I LOVE EVERYBODY.

Super L said...

Oh, yeah? Well I love Nobody.

I have to second your comment, Nobody. I too have loved and respected most principals and educators I have dealt with, both as a student, a teacher, and a parent, and including those at my children's previous school. I have even tried over and over to rationalize to myself that I am the one with a problem instead of this administration.

But I have finally seen far too much mistreatment and lack of understanding of children to put up with it any more. If I, the biggest confrontation-coward on God's Green Earth, found it necessary to confront the principal about my child's treatment, it was very very neccesary.

omar said...

After the length of this post, you expect me to read that comment too?!

I kid. High-five, Nobo.

NOBO said...

Omar, Read This:
1.5 Star Wars movies completed.

I am a rockstar. Or at least half a rockstar.

omar said...

No offense, but I'm going to have to wait until I get some confirmation from J before I believe that.

Tori :) said...

I've gotchyo bak Nobo. I know you love me.

Omnar- have you watched even a little "Napoleon"??

ucmama said...

I'll watch the little ones for you when you go to battle.

Big Jay said...

Omar:

A New Hope has been watched. Completely.
Empire Strikes Back - Nobo fell asleep so the mission was aborted. Nobo did not think the Han Solo / Princess Leia dialogue was as funny as I think it is.

She's taking her first steps into a larger world.

Of course, I just turned to her and asked her if she got the above reference, and unfortunately the answer is no.

Rebecca said...

all I can say is wow.. because really its all been said!! :) I love Nobody!!! (and princples!!)

aubrey said...

we have a principal in our ward. i love her. and i love nobody.

aubrey said...

and really? 1.5 star wars? i agree with omar..proof is needed. jay, is this true?

Sketchy said...

Love you back Nobo.

I think your next step is a letter to the school board. But be prepared for backlash. I think your biggest issue is that the woman lied to you. She actually lied to cover their butts. That's a huge abuse.

And by the way, it is not legal to bar parents from the classroom. It is a public school. The public has rights and you have every right to oversee your childs education. Get a copy of your state's versions of WAC laws (in Washington it was WAC in Pennsylvania it's PAC, so yours should be something similar) and familiarize yourself with your rights.

Once you've done that you can inform the school exactly what you will be doing and when and inform them of the state's laws.

Document everything.

Just some tips from someone who's Mom was an advocate for many a child.

Or you could just move here, we have a wonderful school district and the house across the street is vacant.

Actually you don't want to move there, it's a sucky house. We helped the last family that lived there move out and saw it's suckiness in detail. But I'm sure we could find you something wonderful nearby. I'll give up my Saturday to househunt for you if you want.

Oh and Anonymous? I was going to comment about your ridiculous post but Nobody did a much better job than I would have. But one little thing, just what is it about choosing a career in education makes a person above reproach? If I was doing a bad job at my work I would be reprimanded by my employers or possibly fired. Who then is the employers of the so-called educators at Bo's school but the parents who entrust the most precious things they have into this school's care; their children? There are probably hundreds or thousands of great teachers and principals out there, that does not mean the bad ones should be give a free pass.

Oh and everyone, a para-educator is a fancy name for a teacher's aide. Apparently they felt they needed more respect.

Beckie said...

OMG! It's like New Kids all over again!! (sorry Tori)
As a daughter of a priciple, I am (and so is my dad)angered by the actions of this princple and "para-educators"! They are indignant, to say the least, and something needs to change at that school. Your post is just adding humor to a humorless situation. A coping mechanism, for getting out your stress. Nobo, you have a fabulous talnet for turning horible situations funny, and I think it's an indearing quality that I wash all of us could have. Not everyone can take a bad/stressful/stupid-a@# stiuation and turn it into humor. I myself would be in the bath tub crying.

Nobo: GIRL, I got your back, along with Tori and all your other blog nation out there! You keep on being you fine, funny self! You come back was amazing, precise and well thought out. I LOVE YOU!!!!

Beckie said...

AND if the school has "zero Tolerance" why is that kicker boy, still at school? He's a repeat offender. Is it just 'zero tolereance' when convienent? That is not what zero tolerance means, and it should not be bent for whatever student they choose.

Becky (0: said...

Thanks for the rant!!!!!!! I needed it! I am prepping for those days for the girls.

Michelle Garff said...

nobody, i truly love you. if i were in your situation, i would have blown up. you should have moved here...no such problemos with our elem. school. and all i can say to anonymous is there is a reason you are anonymous. your comment had nothing to do with the post...maybe you didn't read it. maybe you shouldn't read this blog if you can't appreciate it.

Andrew said...

You were very reserved, Nobody, and taking it to the board is a great idea, though unfortunately they'll probably support the administrator.

There's a reason I'm no longer a teacher. It's the same reason we were careful about the school we put our little one into.

You will probably recognize this: "We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion."

Thank goodness Bo has solid parents who will teach him this isn't the way good people do things.

Physcokity said...

"Para-educator?" OK let's call a spade a spade... would you prefer

Nazi Hall Monitor...OR
Gestapo of _________ Smellementary

Physcokity said...

OK OK so maybe that was a little too rash, but it really is something in line with Andrew's comment...

No Cool Story said...

Those teachers have really weird names.

You know how I feel about adults in charge of kids not being patience with said kids. Sounds like in this case not even "patience" was called for but merely understanding and a quality Fashionista calls "Not FREAKING OUT".

Sounds like alot of over reaction on the school's part. But hey, they want TWO reasons for a school absence.

That said, the school para-Gestapos sound kinda like jerks to me :)

No Cool Story said...

"1.5 Star Wars movies completed."

It's a Festivus miracle!!!!