Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Dear Noah......a time to vent!

You are doing pretty well in school still...which I am happy about. Yesterday you wrote with a marker on someone's desk and rubbed your teeth across it. The parapro told me they thought you were trying to lick the desk......you said you were feeling it with your teeth. The parapro then told me that on Friday they cleaned the school for MRSA. WHY no parents were sent letters telling us of this is beyond me. Once again we are in the dark. But for this small slip of the tongue yesterday I would still not even know.

Since the morning line-ups have the potential to be an issue for you....I have decided to take you as late as possible......at the same time as the first bell or shortly thereafter...so you can stand in line and wait with the other kids for the least amount of time as possible. I have also informed you I will be standing outside by the fence watching you and everyone else in the mornings......and let you know you were expected to stand there at attention.....hands to yourself......body to yourself...eyes to the front...until it was time to go in.

This has worked pretty well thus far. Today I saw something that really upset me and made me very angry. I mean the type of angry where you feel your chest tighten and you feel your blood pressure BOILING! I watched as the only TWO adults/teachers I could see on the playground go into the building before the rest of the kids did....including you. NO OTHER adult was outside at this point but myself by the fence. I watched as you ran to line....and stood very nicely....hands to yourself......body to yourself....eyes to the front. Another little boy kept trying to get you into some type of horsing around......you were telling him NO......so this little boy ran to the back of the line where he proceeded to take his backpack and swing it at another student's backside.......over and over again....till he knocked the kid down.....where the kid laid crying!!!! I mean he had swung at him at least 5-6 times in a row......HARD!

I still was not sure it was not just horsing around till I heard the other kid crying. AND he never got up. I could not stand outside the fence anymore. I walked inside and yelled "HEY!" to the other kid.....till I got his and everyone else's attention. I told him and everyone else they were not supposed to be beating the crap out of anyone.....that they were all expected to stand there like they had some sense and how he should say he was sorry to the other boy.....which he did. AND I told him he would not like it if someone was taking a backpack slinging it at him beating the crap out of him and he agreed he would not. I told them all if I ever saw anything like that again they would all be in trouble. STILL NO FREAKING ADULT came back outside to see what I was even doing out there or to help....though maybe they HEARD ME!

You better believe all the kids stood still and quiet after that. Amazing what the presence of authority or an adult can do! WHAT A NEW CONCEPT! Instead of having freaking peer buddies trying to do an adult job which is not working.....let's send the teachers outside or the parapros to do their job and not have the little kids trying to do it for them?

I was so ticked off......I parked around front and went inside to go and talk to the principal. Figures too.....of all days when I did NOT put make up on before I left the house this morning. My skin was blotchy and red and being mad I am sure did not help that! That always happens. I even thought to myself....the last time I did this and did not look presentable that crazy father backed into the front of my truck outside the school and I had to call the police and be seen again all blotchy and red and weird. Like who gives a crap anyway but me.

SO......I march inside.....and the man who normally unlocks and locks the fence outside was at the front door like he was waiting for me....to let me in. He saw me and smiled and WELCOMED me inside. I wonder if he saw the whole thing?

Anyway......inside I went. The secretary knew I was pissed off when I walked into the office. I asked for the principal and she was in the room next door talking to ......yep.....the kid who beat the crap out of the other kid....along with the hurt kid and a "witness" kid.

I proceeded to tell her how the situation outside in the mornings has spiraled downward very quickly since school began and how this little boy was beating the shit out of the other little boy and I was not going to sit by and watch it all happen anymore! I quickly got reminded to WATCH MY LANGUAGE as there were many little ears around to LISTEN to my SHIT and CRAP!

I told her how I sit and WATCH every morning what has been happening on the playground....in fact I have thought about filming it or taking pictures and now I wish I had. BUT I told her where there used to be many adult teachers present on the playground......in fact I believe ALL the teachers for each classroom used to be outside......now there are maybe TWO if we are lucky.....and those 2 walk into the building before most of the kids even walk into the building in the mornings....meaning the rest of the kids and Noah's class along with many others......are all outside NOT BEING MONITORED by anyone! AND there are other special needs children out there.......besides Noah. WHERE THE CRAP are the parapros? WHERE are the teachers?? I told her that every day I sit and watch other kids horsing around to the point where they end up hurting someone....or they try to entice Noah to misbehave......which has been successful a few times.

I asked the principal where the teachers were and she said there were FIVE adults assigned to monitor the playground in the morning. WOW.....FIVE for how many hundred students???? AND I have only seen TWO on the playground most mornings. She had me walk into the office to verify these were the kids involved......and they were. She then pulled me aside and told me the kid doing the hitting was also a special needs child. Well fine......but if Noah has to LEARN how to behave all kids....special needs or not......should be required to do the same thing. AND IF THEY NEED extra help in that area...they damn well should not be allowed outside without their parapro.....like I have said all along about Noah. SOMEONE ...SOME FREAKING adult needs to be outside present at all times to MONITOR THIS shit!

She said they could allow the kids inside their classrooms in the mornings but the same things would happen there because NO TEACHER would be IN the classroom to actually MONITOR anything until their UNION STATED START TIME OF 8:50 a.m.! AND that the parapros did not start their days till 8:20 a.m.

OH REALLY??????? wow.......how about asking for volunteers?????? WHAT happens to all the special needs kids from 8:00 to 8:20 am? What happens when children need monitoring and direction on the playgrounds in the mornings??? WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT?

I kept saying I felt something had to be done and changed. This was not being handled the best way possible for all the children involved. They could not possibly be safe at all times and remain safe and doing the proper things without an adult present at least at every section of lines...something!~ AND it is absurd to think that the teachers are not in their freakin classrooms by the start time of the day! SO I guess that is the reason for the line-ups outside in the mornings......because they have playground monitors.......BIG JOKE.....to REPORTEDLY monitor what is going on outside in the mornings........because there would be NO ONE monitoring anything inside. I've got news.....it ain't happening outside either!

AM I THE ONLY ONE HERE that thinks this all stinks and sounds totally absurd??? What .....it is a free-for-all in the mornings?? Including with the special needs kids??

I am so thankful it was not you this morning Noah - - I am not sure what I would have done other than grab the back of the kid doing the slinging and marching him inside the office myself! I am proud of you for standing and doing what you were supposed to and telling that other kid NO!

I am not sure what is wrong with the kid doing the slinging but he responded very positively to my direction of NOT beating the crap out of someone else and telling the other kid he was sorry. He did look remorseful.....but maybe only because he got caught...I don't know. I felt badly for the other little boy.....because he was not so little actually.......and he probably gets picked on a lot anyway for his size and now he was bawling. Another little boy did come up to him and kept asking him if he was alright.....where the hurt boy kept saying no.......that it really hurt him....etc.

These are all the harsh nonsensical realities of understaffed public school systems.......or systems that are perhaps not being run as efficiently as possible. I am still fuming mad! The principal had to deal with the KIDS and said she would call me this afternoon to let me know WHO was on the playground and who was apparently missing in action and where the breakdown occurred...like I was not even present outside and witnessed this entire event!?? Holy freakin crap.....like I would lie about this? She said someone must have seen something because the kids were all brought to the office. I thought to myself yeah when the kid was still bawling his eyes out walking to his classroom I am sure questions were asked THEN! THAT is how they found out......or one of the other little boys told the teacher what happened.

I am not going to stand for this crap. I told the parapro a week ago if they needed volunteers to be playground monitor or line-up monitor in the morning I would volunteer. I am doing it anyway regardless......just from outside the fence in the mornings unless I see something happening at which time I will walk INSIDE the fence. Crap I may just be on the inside regardless until I know the assigned adults outside are actually OUTSIDE and doing their freakin job. I am sure today they did not want to be outside because it was COLD outside....very cold and windy and the teachers had no coats on.......stupid crap. I will not allow this shit to keep happening. I see the same shit happening for the kids riding the buses in the mornings. I also informed the principal I was not the only parent seeing this SHIT....YES I SAID SHIT again.......because I heard this other mother go right up directly to this other child and tell him to stop beating the crap out of her son one day! NOW again this may have been to a special needs child and I am torn there because I would not want someone coming up screaming at you like she did this boy.....but dammit at the same time if you did that crap you would deserve having some fear put inside you from an adult or person of authority and being told what NOT to do......and maybe you would actually listen better next time round and not do it? Of course this other little boy may have been "normal" ...it really makes no difference in the end.

I guess I am still amazed that they think for social things at schools......given this freakin dysfunctional society we live anyway......that any child requiring special needs should not be entitled to at least one person standing there to make sure they stay safe and do the proper things and have the proper things being done back to them. WHERE ARE THE RESPONSIBLE ADULTS????? Too busy? Too cold? Need another cup of coffee? TOO DAMN BAD I say......it is your job. Get your asses out there and actually do your jobs for once!

There!! I feel slightly better. I am not sure what I will do with you Noah. I can continue to take you as I do......but the kids never walk into the building anyway till after 8:50 a.m.....eliminating the time standing in line is what I will do......as much as possible. UNLESS I get permission to start dropping you off out front or something. Personally I would like to see the people getting paid to be there to work with our kids and yourself....actually be PRESENT to do what they are getting paid for.

I love you Noah......damn I hope I have done the right thing throwing you into the frying pan.

Has our society and teachers become too afraid to even raise their voices to kids for fear of being sued or worse? I don't know. So many act like they don't want to get involved or it is not their job or they are too freakin busy.

There are ways to provide authority and redirection without having to YELL and scream! Sometimes just the presence of the proper person is enough.

I am going to end up with a headache at this rate and I have a ton of work to do.

I love you Noah.....and while I know some of this CRAP is all part of growing up......I could go an entire lifetime and have you go an entire lifetime without ever being around it or exposed to it. Of course this would mean we would have our heads stuck in the sand all the time....



Patty said...

Well Mom, I hope you don't get a headache from all of this. Yes, I agree, if there were suppose to be five teachers, then, one should start them in, and walk with them, and after so many get through the door, another goes and so all with the last teacher going in last. Seems pretty simple to me. Teachers don't need to walk in two's, and only two at that. Perhaps this will wake them up to what is going on and I think I would take my camera along and film it the next time but let's hope it doesn't happen again. Even if the child has some special needs, like you are teaching Noah, that child should also be taught. Hopefully it will all work out ok, but I'm like you, I think I would take him as late as possible and stay and watch until they go in the building.
Love you both,

Anonymous said...

you did the right thing....but remember to try to keep your emotions in check or they may not take you seriously. you have to learn to play 'the game' and as much as it sucks, that is just the way it is. get totally involved in the school. make the principal your "friend" and you will get much more out of them. I would go so far as to request another meeting now that you have cooled off.

Melinda said...

yes I definitely don't want to become "the enemy" or "oh no.....THAT mom!".....I have been on very friendly terms with the staff thus far but they knew I was upset. I am not really sure why this finally upset me to the point it did. I don't know....I guess seeing a little kid beat the crap out of another little kid and really hurting him and not one teacher doing anything about it bothers me!

BUT yes...I have remained on friendly terms....and should.....and I kept reminding myself "Melinda....calm down....keep your emotions in check here or they will think I AM PART OF the problem" not what I wanted to accomplish.

I came home to vent. Made a couple of calls for poor souls to LISTEN to me vent......good for them they were not home to answer or they would have heard an earful. I wrote it all out instead.....which did make me feel somewhat better.

This afternoon IF and when the principal calls me back...I hope I can sound more calm and civilized and not so upset as I was this morning. I am sure it is not easy for the principal either....and it sounds like her hands are tied to a point because of UNION crap for the teachers.

What happened to the days where teachers were there because they wanted to be there and went over and above their typical requirements?? We need more teachers like that.

Melinda said...

I also have a parent/teacher conference coming up next week....that should prove interesting!

Anonymous said...

Don't you think it will be better to expose him to how the actual society is and let him learn instead of preventing him from coming into contact with such situations? Afterall, you can't be there for him forever... Just my opinion... no offense =)

Melinda said...

yes I do......but there needs to be an adult present to TEACH him what is and is not appropriate behavior and actions and responses......to help GUIDE HIM......that is NOT happening currently at the school. After discussing it yesterday with the principal it WILL be happening however.