Wednesday, December 12, 2007

News flash

So much news, just in the past few days.

Thursday, I stepped off the Board and received an orchid from the Superintendent.

Thursday, Saul's case manager lost her little mind, had a hissy fit, and stormed out of a meeting with the Director of Special Education. The Director was Not Amused. As of yesterday, the Director is now my son's case manager. Whoa.

Also on Thursday, Neo was teased by two boys, one of whom said he wanted her in his bed and that she could have his babies. Neo's friend told the boys to cut it out, and one of the boys told her she could "open her mouth and bob her head up and down." Eee gads. Turns out one of the boys has been, in Neo's words, "Popping up in unexpected places at school" and asking her about who likes her and who's going out with her.

All in all, Thursday was a busy day.

Good news is that when we called the boy who said the most outrageous thing, his parents were immediately apologetic, horrified, and promised to act. The parent of the other kid, not so much.

Monday the Director of Special Ed acted as my son's aide so that she could assess what was working and what wasn't. She told me that she saw the aide who had wrestled Saul to the ground last year, the one who's not supposed to be near Saul but still is, she saw her intimidate and embarrass a Kindergartner whom she was working with. Saul's case manager defended the aide. Oy. Anyway, the Director said that most everything we have suggested as accommodations for Saul have not been implemented (Yes. I know.) and that when she tried them, they worked. (Yes. I thought so.) She says that he's been living in a negative environment at school (Yes. I know.), and that she needs a new team to come in and do basic positive reinforcement with him (Yes. I know.) Believe it when I see it, baby.

Tuesday I found out from the school secretary that my name was in the paper. (Gah! What? What in the WORLD can they write about me now?)

The paper printed the winner of the $500 First Street Shopping Spree raffle. Guess what? It's me!

Tuesday I found out that my youngest has been getting involved with cliques, excluding other girls from playing with them, being excluded herself, and the teacher says that there have been a lot of tears in class. (Why didn't you TELL ME? Why let it go on for a week?) Found out from a friend that while this was going on, her daughter got so upset that she didn't come in from recess, didn't go to lunch, and didn't go back to her classroom after lunch. A fifth grader found her crying in the playground and brought her to class. The teacher hadn't noticed she was gone. At that point the child asked to go to the office to call her mom. When the mom came down to the school, the child told her the story. So the secretary (crabby woman) says to the child, "You have to learn to be more responsible and come in when you're told." Like it's the kid's fault that no one knew she was missing for 45 minutes? What IS IT with this school?

Got myself on a Special Ed advisory committee with a bunch of loonie birds. Some of them are OK, some are looking for their pitchforks and burning torches to storm The Establishment. OK, fine. There's a teacher who threatened the Director of Special Education at the start of the year and who likes to think that my son gets things that her son doesn't, which by the way is an insane idea. Her son's aide is the one who tackled Saul last year, and is also the one the Director witnessed bullying at Kindergarten student on Monday. This teacher is odd. And now I sit on the Special Education advisory committee with Both her and her friend the aide. Oh Joy.

Last night I went to a GATE advisory committee meeting. Trying to do something for Neo, don't you know. Turns out that just by going, I am a representative for my elementary school and the middle school. OK then. Completely forgot about this until I sat down, but who's the Districtwide teacher-coordinator for GATE in the District? Why, none other than my friend the loonie bird, the teacher from the Special Ed wars. Ha! The paranoid flash of her eye was a delight to witness as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction exclaimed, "Suisan! I'm so Happy you're here! What a delight to work with you on this!" God, that was fun. Bad Suisan. Bad girl.

(Just a note here -- why do I keep bumping into the same four teacher and same three parents at every meeting? Where IS everyone?)

Tonight there's another Special Ed advisory meeting. More of the same, I think.

But first, I'm going to go get coffee. I RAN OUT THIS MORNING! The Horror!

Then I am going to pick up my $500 dollar shopping spree ticket. I'm thinking a piece of local blown glass artwork needs to come live with us soon.


Anonymous said...


The Director sounds like good news anyway.

And huge sympathies to Neo. That's just horrible.

And - rather specifically - if the youngest happens to be nine, I wouldn't worry about it. They seem to go like that at that age. Almost a mini adolescence.

Enjoy the shopping. ($500 worth of coffee and printer ink...)

Marianne McA

Lyvvie said...

Yay for shopping sprees!!

I tell you, if I found out my kid was left in the playground crying for 45 minutes and no one knew she was missing I Would Freak Out! She could've been kidnapped! She could've fallen down a well! OK maybe not a well, but been injured and unconscious and No One Knew! Shameful! Shocking! Disgusting! I'd be right on the horn to the powers that be and complain until I herniated myself.

The fact you have a sense of humour, albeit grim, is a testament to your strength.

Suisan said...

Actually, this incident of the lost child may end up costing the principal her job.

NOT that one emergency would cause people to overreact and slash and burn, but that the Superintendent's got complaints coming in left and right about the school, the principal is manipulating her PTA and Site Council to get the parents all whipped up about topics that they needn't be, and she's been caught in a lie from the beginning of the year.

The calls from the FURIOUS parent of the child who went missing may be that last straw here.

doug said...

Doesn't Neo's school have a well defined sexual harassment policy? I know Jake was getting "educated" on that beginning in 1st grade, if not K. I am so glad we're home-schooling.

Suisan said...

Yeah, Neo's school has a policy and does education, but the bullying up there is pretty entrenched. They're instituting new anti-bullying training amongst the staff, but generally, the kids who are getting bullied don't really believe that they will be kept safe if they report bullying.

We only found out about this because Neo was upset that someone had said something disgusting *to her friend* and she was upset for her friend. She hadn't told us about the stalkerish stuff until after this incident.

She's seeing a therapist now, so I'm hopeful some good can come of this, but generally, I'd say that she's pretty miserable at school -- some periods of the day are better than others, and she likes to retreat home. She enjoys learning what she can, but is completely fed up with the kids who are not as smart as her, and then tease her for being smart.

She's also sitting with a group of girls at lunch (her one calm period) who have started a fight amongst themselves about forming a band, ditching a member, and arguing about what kind of music to focus on. There hasn't been any practices, and most kids don't play instruments. It seems to be a reason to fight.

But she doesn't know who else to sit with.

Poor Kid.

I've got another meeting scheduled with the VP after Winter Break. It's just nuts.

But, you know, now that I'm off the board, I can go harrass the Board for not taking anti-bullying measures seriously at the Middle School. (This all happened during class, by the way. So part of this is also the teacher not being totally tuned in to what the kids are going through. He's a great teacher, just new to the school.)

CindyS said...

Congrats on winning money!

Yikes on the kid following your daughter. Ugh. At least the parents know and will hopefully do something about it.