Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tax Day Was Hard On Bo

Turns out the "Zero Tolerance Policy For Violence" at my son's school, only applies to my son, and not to the kid who's whaled on him several times already this year. The same one who's gotten him sent to the detention room for the second time this year. The detention room that is outlined in the student manual as their last resort after "a suitable number of interventions are tried with no success". Yeah, the one they send kids to left and right because precious few of the staff members there actually know how to deal with kids. Bo's teacher has never sent him to the skills room.

I don't have any real issue with this obnoxious kid. Other than thinking he's obnoxious and wishing my son would just stay away from him to save himself the trouble---but he's just that, an obnoxious little 5 year old boy with some serious impulse control problems. Bo only has mild impulse control problem.

N E Way.

Bo brings home a detention referral form and is hesitant to give it to me. I reassure him that whatever he has to show me isn't going to make me love him any less. Turns out, he's not so concerned about the "love" as much as he is about the "yelling" and whatnot.

I would totally scan the paper and show you all, but my scanner won't work.

Is it Mercury Retrograde or something?

It says "Bo had another students necklace around his neck, a different student pulled the necklace. Bo turned around and punched the student."

Heck yes he did!

And I hope the sweet boy has the sense to do it the next an obnoxious kid tries to choke him.

I actually didn't have an issue with any of it, it bugs me that he's going to detention, but he actually wasn't upset about it, so I wasn't going to worry.

Then I started getting annoyed that this kid keeps getting Bo in trouble. Turns out, no one actually saw the incident. The punk kid tattled that Bo punched him. AND the only reason the other kid got in trouble too is because Bo had a red ring around his neck from being choked, so there was evidence that the punch was instigated

Guess what else? Nearly 4 hours later, Bo still had a red ring along one whole side of his neck. To me, that indicates some serious chokage going on. And a definite need for a punch in the gut.

And what is the whole "Bo had another students necklace around his neck" business? Is that supposed to make him more culpable for getting choked. "Oh now Bo, if you just weren't wearing your friends necklace, none of this would have happened."

So, I got a babysitter for my two sleeping kids and took Bo up there. Bo has an incredible memory and I didn't want anyone trying to tell me things were different. My friend encouraged me to go in and make it clear to them that Bo would not be getting in trouble at home for defending himself. It really bothered me that they downplayed the necklace "pulling". Bo was choked and there is no way that wasn't obvious.

The first person I saw was the lady who tried to lie to me last time there was an issue. I'm sure she was less than thrilled to see me. She pulled me into a side room and we spoke. I kept it kind, but DUDE that was an exercise. Maybe I won't need to work out today....

Her are some things she said that I took issue with:
She pointed out again that it was someone else's necklace that Bo was wearing.
I tilted my head and furrowed my brow slightly and said, "I'm not sure I understand why that even matters?"
She just shrugged and moved on.
I told her he would not be getting in trouble at home.Then she told me part of the problem is that the child is being told something different at home than at school.
I laughed and said, "I can assure that's not the problem here and I absolutely will encourage my son to do whatever necessary--physically or not-- to get back the ability to breathe, regardless of who is taking it from him."

Then she told me he had the wherewithal to turn and punch the kid, then he should have had the ability to get away and tell an adult.

I said, "I have two responses to that. First of all, my son gets in trouble for such minor infractions, things that wouldn't be against the rules in any other place on earth, that he's actually afraid to approach the staff. Wouldn't he be breaking the rules to get out of line and get help? And secondly: I'm thirty-mumble mumble years old and this weekend my 4 year old accidentally head butted me in the face. I literally had to sit on my hands and close my eyes to keep from throwing her across the room. Now, you're telling me a 5 year old boy who's being hurt like that is supposed to have that kind of self-restraint when he's being hurt?"

She agreed but reiterated that he should tattle.

Yes Bo, I want you to grow up to be a sissy graduate of Stupid Sissy-Breeding School.

At another point she was commenting on how she documents and records everything that happens and then made the mistake of saying, "Anything you want to know about your son, I could tell you."

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh. Why does he pee a little on himself to buy time to play outside more? Why does he still melt my heart when he talks to me? Why does he keep playing with the class bully?

So I said, "So, you could tell me why he was kicked in the face and given a bloody nose by this kid and then when it was brought to a teacher's attention (not his) the teacher said, 'hurry home so you don't get any blood on your clothes' instead of cleaning him up and dealing with the naughty kicker?"

She said, "Did he tell someone about this?"

Well, let's see. I know about it. And uh, the teacher who told him to hurry home. So yes, I'd say he did tell "someone".

And I wanted to say, "What? You didn't know about this?" But I was determined to keep the conversation productive.

Anyway, it was a less effective use of my time. Next time I'm going to go up there, sign in, put on a visitor tag, and then walk over to the wall and bang my head on it. Hard. For like 8 full minutes. And then I'll take off my tag, sign out, and tell them, "I just wanted to save all of us some time and trouble."

The main things that are important: Bo knows that sometimes stupid stuff happens even if you didn't really do anything wrong. He knows that we are on his side all the time, always. He knows that we do not encourage being a tattle tale, and sometimes taking care of yourself however necessary, is the best answer. He knows that Mama laughs when people are dumb, even when she probably shouldn't.

I mentioned when we first got there that I was concerned that their zero tolerance policy on violence wasn't working out so great, particularly for my son.

When I was leaving I told her, "I will let him fulfill the lunch detention even though I do take issue with a 5 year old losing 1 of his only 2 recesses." I wanted it to be clear that he would be doing the detention because I said it would be okay. And I also said, "When can I expect to hear from Mr. Principal with your action plan to keep my son from getting hurt by another child's hand." I decided I would make Bo the victim (even though I don't think he is and Bo doesn't think he is) so they'd have to provide answers for me.

Honestly, if Bo got hurt once a week from this kid, I'd probably turn it into a life lesson and we'd deal with it. But this incessant need his school has to see someone punished, is making me insane.

I made J sign the form because I want to send the message that we are both involved.

And J wrote on the bottom, "Bo was probably upset by the US Tax code. We're making him write to Congress." and circled the date "April 15, 2009"

Methinks my husband has very little respect for the school's policy.


Sarah Tilley said...

hahahaha! jay's awesome. so are you. i can't believe you had the wherewithal to keep from throwing your kid across the room after getting headbutted in the face.

don't they have some kind of critical thinking workshop the moron teacher can go to so she can learn to use her brain?

Cyndi said...

OMGosh, that last bit had me laughing!! I love what Jay wrote! I couldn't agree more with you on this issue. We've had our fill of silly (and stupid) reasons to over disciple Andrew. With such a strict hand over him, he is starting to think that he IS a trouble-maker and it is REALLY irritating me. I've actually considered home-schooling him because of it.

Lisa said...

Wow. It's time for you to document everything that happens to him-no matter how small because it looks like they are going to make Bo the example all the time. And I don't know how you restrain yourself while talking to that woman. I would bang my head against the wall.

And tax day is hard!

Cindy said...

Fight! Fight! Fight!!

You guys are awesome! Bo is Awesome!! If I were principal there I would fire everyone and hire people like you and me!!

That is the problem with the school systems these days. If kids can not trust thier teachers/adults we are in some serious trouble!

I love J's little note!!

Mrs Lemon said...

That head banging bit - I'm going to remember that exercise the next time I think about Mr Lemon's ex-wife :)

omar said...

I'm already dreading kindergarten this fall, you're really not helping any.

(And to clarify, I have already completed kindergarten myself, I'm referring to my son attending kindergarten.)

Mikelene said...

Yowza. I'm not even sure what to say. The school sounds like it is run by morons. And I am VERY impressed with your ability to maintain your composure while talking to the idiot-lady. I'm so glad I haven't had any issues with my girls' schools!

Mikelene said...

And this is Bo's first year there?? CraZy!!

Plain Jame said...

I'm contemplating home schooling my kids as of late... seriously.
My mom works at a high school and I'm exhausted just hearing about all the crap that goes on there too.

What gets me is that they are so hell-bent with thinking your kid is the culprit (or bully), and making you out to be the excusable parent. As if you're the one being deceived here...

Bless your heart.

Beckie said...

I am also upset with the tax code, so I totaly feel for Bo.

Hells ya for BO!!!!! Way to punch that kid. I would have done the same thing and I tell my kids that it's ok to fight back, just as long as you don't hit first. AND Bo has learned the ultimate lesson: YOU SHOULD ALWAYS STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!!!
In honor of losing a recess, I vow a moment of silence during his next recess period. I just need to know what time it's at. :)Kudos to mom and dad for awesoming parenting skillz.

ucmama said...

J's note made me burst out laughing! And anytime you want to know how to get the papers to transfer your kids to a different school, you let me know.

Carrot Jello said...

"Next time I'm going to go up there, sign in, put on a visitor tag, and then walk over to the wall and bang my head on it. Hard. For like 8 full minutes. And then I'll take off my tag, sign out, and tell them, "I just wanted to save all of us some time and trouble."

Hey, I'm going to use that one.

I REALLY hope you said all those things. Boy, do I.

You know what I do? I go directly to the bully, and threaten him. THAT is how I roll. Did it many a time for my son.
In fact, I did it in Big Lots the day before yesterday, to a girl that was torturing her brother by blocking him with the cart. He was trying to get to his Grandma.
I turned the corner, and she got all sweet and looked and me and tried to move the cart so I could get through. I just stood there and glared at her.
I am bad a$$ I tell you.

Carrot Jello said...

Seriously, if the teachers and principal don't do anything, I take the bully on myself. Last time I had to do that, I was preggers. Don't ever mess with a pregnant woman's child.

Coordination Queen said...

I'm flabbergasted that they would give a kindergartener detention for defending himself. I feel bad for Bo that he has to deal with such morons on a regular basis. I just hope my kindergartener would have the guts to turn around and punch a kid who was bugging her... maybe I should put her in karate or something other than dance.

Boy Mom said...

Stumbled on to your blog, love it. My favorite is the reverse discrimination with little girls kissing and little boys threatened with expulsion, What the?...

Howertons in Iowa said...

Wow!Okay- you handled this much nicer than I would have. Of course, our school is almost overly nice to us, but you know why.

Your school sucks! really. You should take up UCmama on the transfer stuff. They don't deserve you!
I love your head banging response and I really love J's response!! It probably is the tax code

swampbaby said...

I love that you went up there! One time in preschool my son knocked a bully down the slide after the bully came up and tried to push him out of the way. My son had to sit out the rest of recess. I had a similar discussion with the school and how he should have gotten a teacher instead, etc. etc. It ended with them admitting that this kid was a problem and they were secretly glad my son had taken care of business. From that problem on, we have told our kids they better not be the one to start a fight, but if someone is trying to hurt you, then by all means defend yourself.

swampbaby said...

**edited: THEY said he should have gotten a teacher instead. (To which I replied, "Like all the other times this kid has messed with him?")

Charlotte said...

Good for Bo! We have always made it clear that my children can defend themselves. And we once had to make it clear to the school that they could handle a bully anyway they wanted, I would respond with assault charges if the child followed through on her threat.

Banging your head on the wall would be much more effective than writing to Congress. Talk about a bullying problem ...

Analiese said...

You make me laugh (do you ever get tired of hearing that?) I cant believe she didn't try to enforce the zero violence policy in your home and haul you in for detention after your Avee story.

Klin said...

Go to the district.

Bullies rarely have just one victim.

From experience I can tell you that pressing charges with the police department will get the school's attention AND the bully's parents. It also set the stage for you to enforce safety at school for Bo. He was choked and I think a judge would consider that circumstance.

Don't worry about the little guys record. Juvenile records don't carry to adulthood and it's better to get his attention now than when he's shooting up the school.

Rebecca said...

you guys are funny.. and tolerant.. and isn't it just so frustrating.. I am so sorry you have to send your son to sissy stupid school.. its not easy.. but your doing a great job!! :)

Klin said...

I'm a forty- something, something and it took all my power not to schedule a flight to you to have a discussion with this inept and poor excuse for school staff lady!

Opinion? What opinion?

Mrs. Organic said...

You are being too nice. I would've pulled out the big guns, asked for exactly which positive methods had been used first in this case, and then told then I'm documenting the abuse my son is receiving while at their school. He should have a reasonable expectation for his safety while in the care of his teacher.

And then I would have taken the photo to the district and informed them my lawyer would be in touch should another incident occur in which the other student gets violent with my kid. Really, I'm with Klin. Nip it in the bud (or butt, whichever).

okierivermama said...

I read this with total interest because we have dealt with this type crap ALL YEAR LONG
my oldest who is in kindergarten has gotten swats at least 3 times and um 3 of the 3 we wouldnt have punished him at home.
there is a child who is bigger etc and has a habit f picking @ mine until mine reacts. when mine reacts he is accused of lying about the first kids instigation and twice the swats were over lying.

now first off my kid is not perfect, he is in his daddy's eyes all set to be a perfect lil redneck, but I am well aware we are not talking about anything close to a lil goody goody boy. He is strong, he will not put up with being bullied, and he has lived in our house and knows some words he shouldnt. I decided I was not getting any response,help, interest from his teacher....I went to the principal, called my husband and put him on speaker phone and then we had a chat with the principal.
i have not had further problems since that discussion @ christmas.
good luck and if you want please contact me...

Sarah said...

Please tell me you took pictures of his neck??? I agree you should press charges on the boy that was chocking him!!! I think it's time to get getto on there a**....

Super L said...

Man, I had just gotten this crap out of my system! Did you ever write your letter? Mine is half-done--I think I'm going to finish it now. What is WRONG with these Fascist morons?

Code Yellow said...

No words. Except you are a very cool and very good mom. And Bo is a very good and awesome boy.

oh, and home school. :) Not to protect them, but to teach them REAL life skills. I can't do it this coming year, but I am in 2010-2011 for sure. Wanna move and be my neighbor and we will let our kids wear each other's necklaces and let them have outdoor play time and stuff?

I just read a book called "Boys Adrift" that talks about the zero tolerance hooey and some other very compelling things about school and boys. I can't stop thinking about the book, actually, and I think every mom of a boy should read it.

And that is all. :)

Code Yellow said...

P.S. J is hilarious, too.

Sir Nottaguy-Imadad said...

I hate it when the retaliating kid is the only one who ever gets in trouble. That was me alot.
I know to be a human resouce director, you must take a test to make sure you have no heart. Are teachers required to take similar test for no brains?
Kudos to both of you, and I loved J's comment on the note.

omar said...

Let's burn it down!

Andrew said...

There's a reason I don't teach any longer, but even here, in California, I haven't run into a school with such ridiculous and one-sided conflict management.

I'm glad you're teaching your son to distinguish horse poop from valid rules.

Adolescent Family said...

GO MAMA! I think you should stick it to em', rake them over the coals, and then take UC mama's paperwork and transfer him to another school. I would call the superintendent in our district and let him know whats going on in that moron school.

J, is hysterical! I wish I could keep my wits about me when I'm pissed. It would be so much more fun than just laying the smack down!

Mycurlyhairdays said...

Poor Bo! He is a great kid and you don't want him to be taught otherwise!
You go, gurl!
And you go, J!

Sketchy said...

Have you looked at other schools in your area? I'm not kidding. Find a better one. I cannot even imagine having to go through this school for 6 years x 3 children.

Sketchy said...

Not to mention that they will be going through it for 6 years...ugh.

Tori :) said...

J is awesome. LOL.

Ok- seriously... all these stories about Bo's school is really making me think you totally need to move to Texas. Then if something like this happened (which wouldn't because we are in Texas) we would have each other to call for our 1 phone call. I would so bail you out.

No Cool Story said...

"I tilted my head and furrowed my brow slightly..." I would like to see a re-play of that.

I want Bo to know that Firstborn got a detention referral in elementary school (punched a kid, his fault) and one in Middle school (threw snow at some boys who threw snow at him).
This means they are EVEN! WOW!!!
Aren't you excited now?

No Cool Story said...

ITA with Lisa.
You should totally document any little things that happens to Bo.
SHEEESSHHH Nancies and their Stupid Sissy-Breeding School.

April 15, 2009...Never Forget!

Heffalump said...

I have to wonder if the Bully kid has an I.E.P. and is a special needs kid.
One of my boys that has Autism sometimes gets aggressive. He has a really hard time controlling himself physically if he feels threatened or if things don't go his way. Luckily he doesn't have as many problems with this at school as he does at home, so it hasn't been too bad...but I am wondering if the school is afraid to punish this kid if he is special needs.
Don't get me wrong. I think that what you are doing is the right things and you are a great Mom for standing up for Bo. I'm not trying to excuse the Bully, I am just wondering about the reasons behind the way the school has handled him.

EarthBint said...

she is wetawded :) bo rocks. and J. and you. :D

Super L said...

P.S. I noted and approved of your use of "Less-effective." Just thought I should let you know.

Tiffany said...

OH man i am laughing so hard at your husbands last line. He is so freaking funny, tears in my eyes I am laughing so hard.

Physcokity said...

I'm glad J has a sense of humor about all this. That know it all woman is probably one of the bigger twits I've ever had the, not really...whatever.... to virtually meet.

Physcokity said...

I'm with Carrot! I'll even accompany you. Although I can't promise I won't giggle while singing "someone's gonna get it." ;)