One of Us! One of Us!

Monday, April 03, 2006 | 0 Comments

Last week the school demon reared its ugly head again. SSB and I were brought in for what I like to call an "Intervention Meeting". It really does feel like that since there is just about every teacher in the school there along with often times the principal, a psychologist or two, and a couple special ed teachers.

And then there is me and him. Two people who don't seem to hold a lot of clout since we don't have their degrees.

The reason that we were brought in was because JD yelled at a kid in study hall for teasing him. JD was trying to study, there was a dripping faucet. He told the substitute teacher that it was dripping and this boy started teasing him. "You did it! You broke it!" and he wouldn't shut up, so JD yelled at him. That shut the boy up! So where was the teacher in all this? It's not like JD punched him or stabbed him or even threatened to kill him, he just yelled "SHUT UP!" And really, who hasn't yelled that at some annoying prick at some point in their life? The teachers at the meeting said that the boy was just joking. I said, "Well, he'll be more careful about that in the future, won't he?"

This particular drippy-faucet event spurred the school to look into his record and they found the IEP (the thing that got him into the useless special ed program in elementary school). And they said this like we were trying to hide it from them. THEY HAVE THE RECORDS!!! Plus, when we went to the school before we decided to enroll him, we talked to the counselor and told her about the problems that we had had while JD was in elementary school, including the deal about the IEP. We told her that we would like to know if there was a way that JD could quietly deal with any frustrations that he might have in school. She said that he could come down to her room whenever he needed to talk and that she would give him an open hall pass to do so. Well, he forgot that he was supposed to go talk to her instead of blowing up at people, but she also seemed to have forgotten that we even had that conversation.

They were trying to tell us that he needs to fit in more; that he's not acting like a normal teenager. Oh, really?


I remindded them that he's NOT a normal teenager; and no one should be trying to make him into one. It will just end up in frustration on both ends. What they need to be doing is find ways to help JD excel using the gifts and quirks that he has, not trying to make him into a round peg.

They point out that he seems anti-social or at the very least seems to be struggling with social situations. They are worried because he was a homeschooler and feel that maybe he needs help learning how to socialize. Then they ask if he has any friends in or outside of school.

Are ya kidding me? They ask me this shit all the time, and I tell them the same thing EVERYTIME!! YES! He has plenty of friends! In fact, they are over EVERY DAY! And he has friends that he goes and spends the day with. Their parents LOVE him and the kids are calling the house begging to set up times that they can get together. He has friends in school too. I think we answered that with that spectacular birthday party that he had. He comes home all the time happily telling us how popular he is. How many fucking friends does he need to make them happy?

Well, he quite often will not go outside for lunch break. He instead will sit inside and draw, read, write stories, or do his homework. Yeah, so what's the problem? I was going to tell them that I did the same thing when I was a kid, but I don't think that they would take much comfort in that.

They also said that he has trouble finding a place to sit at lunch. He seems to wander around not knowing where to sit. I explained that the he is usually one of the last kids to go through the line and by time he gets to the lunch room all the kids that he wants to sit with are already at full tables. And he doesn't want to sit somewhere where a person may be saving a seat. I warned them that it is very easy to misinterpret JDs motivations and that they should maybe ask him what's going on instead of just assuming that they know why.

Later that day, I asked him, and he told me that the reason that he has trouble finding a place to sit at lunch is because when he gets to lunch the only tables that are left have a bunch of kids at them that talk about gross stuff. I asked, like what. He said, "boogers, puke, guts, the usual boy gross-outs, and …S-E-..X". And he squirms just spelling it out. "Oh, yeah", I say, "like what?" And he told me that they get really graphic talking about sperm, sexual body parts, who they want to do it with, etc. And he said they do this out at break too, so he doesn't want to be around them. That's why he sits inside.

He's 13. If he doesn't want to hear the hormonal ranting of his classmates all day and has found a way to get around that, well, I say the more power to him! And I was so totally right that the teachers were jumping to conclusions. They thought it was because he was anti social- no. It's because he doesn't want to be involved in their nonsense. And I don't blame him! HE'S 13!!!

Are they are suggesting that I encourage him to be as crass as those kids, maybe push him into sexual activity, just so that he can "fit in"? Well, they can shove it!

I was talking about this to a good friend who also has kids in the local school system. He said that they may think that they have your kid's best interest at heart, but they really don't know your kid better than you do. He told me about some problems that he had had with the school getting too pushy and trying to take control of one of his kids' parenting. My friend is a fairly mainstream guy who respects authority - not a foilhat wearer or anything - and even HE distrusts the schools!! He told me not to agree to any testing. And I think he is right. If they want to get him into a program, I certainly am NOT going to help them get him there.

Why can't they just let JD be JD?


sideshow bob said...

Gooble, gobble! Gooble, gobble!

OldRoses said...

You're lucky you have SSB. I had to attend all those meetings alone. And there were a lot of them. Thank god she's done with school and I don't have to do that anymore. What really killed me about those stupid meetings was that they were ostensibly about her problems but when I told them what worked at home to control/modify her behavior, they just ignored, or worse, dismissed my advice. And yet, they continued to complain and complain and complain and complain . . .

"AG" said...

Sounds very difficult. :( I hated high school.

Sylvana said...

SSB, yeah!

OldRoses, they say that they want to work with us, but that's what the last bunch of do-gooders at the school said too. I just don't trust them. They seem like a nice bunch of people, and I give them props for not getting overly defensive when I started my tirade about how much I distrust the school.

AG, I remember school well. That's why I know better than to take their word for it!

sands of time said...

I have three kids who have all been 13 at some time.Its a difficult age where they are just trying to find there place in the world combined with a huge surge of hormones.Im sure my kids said far worse things than shut up and they've all turned out alright.It sounds like the school are just picking faults.why would you want a kid to act like a robot,they have personalties and its nice to see them shine through sometimes.even if its not what the teachers want.

Shannon said...

Having met JD in person, he's a fine kid and lucky to have parents that are so willing to stand up and fight on his behalf. How many kids are there like JD whose parents try to force them to fit in?

From the school's perspective, too, they're trying to "cover their asses" just in case something happens. They want to document that they've spoken with you, etc etc, which is them admitting they don't know JD well at all...

Astoria said...

Okay this is horse shit (sorry horses)! Isn't just like society to want everyone to conform to the social "norm's"! Do they not realize that those "norm's" are kids having unprotected sex, or any kind of sex for that matter, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, being bogged down with peer pressure!! I say fuck the school system! Why can't they let kids thrive in there differences and embrace them as special and unique instead of expecting them to be conforming bunch of sheep!!! How many times are you guys going to have to got through this crap!? Re-cock-ulous!!

Sylvana said...

Oops! I forgot to finish my thought on the comment back to OldRoses! They seem like a nice bunch of people, and I give them props for not getting overly defensive when I started my tirade about how much I distrust the school. (and I meant to say) - "but I just don't trust them to really know what is best for JD."

Pink Lady, I think that this is because he was homeschooled- red flag - and he doesn't act like other kids because of his high IQ - red flag - and he doesn't act like other kids because of his upbringing - red flag - and we look so young what could we possibly know about raising children at our ages - red flag - and because we don't act like other parents - red flag - and he has a record of "problems" from when he tried out public school before - RED FLAG!! They are way too busy worrying about how we don't fit the mold as people and a family to actually get to know us and JD to find out exactly what he needs.

Shannon, did you fear for your life in his presence? ;)
I know what you are saying about covering their asses *cough*Columbine*cough*. And I don't blame them, but it is not like he is running around telling people that he wants to blow up the school, so they should chill out. Seriously, they didn't even ask him WHY he prefered to stay in at recess, or WHY he seemed to be having trouble finding a seat at lunch. GEEZ!
Thanks for the compliment BTW. I think we are damn fine parents!

Astoria, they say that if he doesn't learn how to conform, he will have problems later in life. I told them that he's not the problem, it is other people's prejudices that are the problem. I think that if they took half the effort they currently spend teaching the kids that conformity is the answer and spent it on teaching the kids to embrace uniqueness instead, we'd all be better off.

DrMax said...

You know, raising your own kid is hard enough, I don't think the schools need to become parents too. Aren't they are just suppose to to teach him?

(P.S. Syl, Happy Belated Birthday, sorry I missed it, had to be off line for a while)

Astoria said...

I agree completely! It a sad world when your kids can't be who they truely are and be embraced for being individuals, but rather be shunned and scolded! I say STOP TREATING ARE KIDS LIKE A BUNCH OF BRAINLESS SHEEP!! I am not looking forward to when my son goes to school, I fear he may experience the same problems, or maybe after dealing with you they will have learned their lessons!! HA, let's hope! ;)

Shannon said...

And another thing (chuckle), My cousin is a teacher herself, working with low income special education students...and she certainly though JD was a great kid. It's the school.

JD keep strong. But learn the rules and how to break them effectively and when to do so.

Sylvana said...

Shannon, they say that they know he is a good kid, but they are worried about him being an "outcast". Well, neither his father or I were the height of popularity, but we are good people who live good lives. Even if he does become an "outcast", as long as he stays true to himself and has at least a few people that understand him and stand behind him, he'll be fine.

What's really bad is sometimes they catch me off guard and I almost start believing their crap! I felt like an idiot later, like after I talked to my friend. It was so obvious then that the school was full of shit. But there in the meeting, there were a few times I caught myself saying to myself, "Oh, they have a very good point. Maybe they know what is best. I'd sure like to do what I can to help him have an easier time in school." But I promised myself no matter how good of an argument they had, I wasn't signing anything during that meeting. And I didn't! And I'm not going to either.

I wish your cousin worked in our district! She's way cool! I don't think JD would have a problem talking to her either.

Lindsay Lobe said...

Hi Sylvana

I expect JD will be fine with yours and SSB’s support.
Strangely enough I can remember 13 year olds when I was that age obsessed with sex and to conform to pressure to be part of the “In Crowd”.
Many of our most succesful people have past legacies of difficulty in their school days, particually if they were different or gifted.

Technology has leapt ahead changing every facet our lives yet human nature remains much the same!!

Best wishes

Sylvana said...

DrMax, if they just stuck to teaching him, they'd have their work cut out for them - he's a straight A student.
Thanks for the B-day wishes.

Lindsay, I wonder if a lot of kids don't really want to be dealing with sex so early, but do it to seem like they fit in. That's sad. But what is more sad is when the school is actually trying to push this "fitting in" on a kid. Bastards!

Elizabeth said...

Thank God we didn't have teachers like that when I was a kid. Nearly diagnosed with autism, ADD, mental retardation, and actually diagnosed with being a total freak never seemed to get my mom called in. I stayed inside EVERY DAY to read, and used to sit at the lunch table to read, too. I wasn't even a straight-A student, or even a good student: when I was 13, I nearly failed three classes before I transferred to another school (we moved). Your kid looks totally cool compared to the freak I was. And anyway, with society what it is today, who would want to be considered "normal"? Thank God he's not. More power to you for defending him. They're just stupid people who want to justify their fear of someone who obviously doesn't need their crap.