Hurry up and wait. That is the game we are playing now. It's a battle to maintain the right energy in the right places and times. I can only speak for myself, but this morning I am feeling all over the place.
We have jobs and careers and educations of our own to get. This has upended our family in a way nothing else has. The "end" that is in sight is January, at best.
Imagine - all of a sudden an event transpires that is so massive that the ripples feel endless. Immediately it is blatantly obvious what might have been seen before and your child is no longer safe at school.
I teach in these schools and I don't feel safe there so why should that be a surprise? I think the bigger concern is why does anyone have to "get used to" feeling unsafe at school? And how in the hell are they supposed to be able to learn that way?!
I am an adult and I need to pay for my living expenses, and in my experience, that has meant having to tolerate a lot more than is reasonable in terms of how I am treated by both adults and children.
I have heard that this is not the case in many other professions. Sure, everywhere there is the occasional jerk, but things are mostly civil in the professional world, yes?
I may be completely off, but public school educators deal with it all. The good, the bad, the ugly. And there is a lot more UGLY in public schools and more in various locations than in others.
I have taught in 5 different communities, ranging from suburban to urban and then to rural. I promise, ugly is everywhere, and I know that good is as well, but I stood tall in front of the police officer in my kitchen and I said to my son, sitting on the floor with his arms wrapped around his bent knees, "I believe you. I teach the older versions of these kids and they bully me. I am the teacher and they bully me."
This was before they put him in a police car and handcuffed him multiple times to transport him around town in a parade of the unwell or something. My husband was the primary witness to that and it brings tears to his eyes.
This was before we saw the reports from his teachers to the counselor about what was being done to him IN CLASS. We asked for an investigation into the bullying. Our son told us several times that he was going to get beat up by Bloods. He is 13. He is just now in 7th grade. We watched and listened and told him to tell his teachers.
This kid threatened to D-DOSS him. According to our son, that means, obtain his address from the (Twitch) Livestream and send a false report of illegal activity about the person to the local police.
I mean. Would you take that seriously, seriously? Or would it raise an eyebrow, but you'd take it with a healthy dose of skepticism? My suggestion is to take it as Def-con 5 and document that shit in email faster than you can blink.
We got the letter a while back indicating that there was no bullying taking place. There was also no data or anything indicating anyone actually talked to anyone in reality, but we pressed on.
At this point, we were awaiting his IEE (Independent Education Evaluation) and just been denied our efforts to obtain Homebound Services because he is unable to attend school in his current condition. The principal keeps bringing up truancy laws, yet reminds us that on video she saw that no one ever cornered him and he never "looked scared."
We're compiling all the documents still and filling out survey after survey for the doctor. We're looking at schools we can't afford where he might be able to learn and grow and find some happiness. We're fighting with each other, we're fighting for his LIFE.
His deficits are SCREAMING at us from every angle and that's when we finally got some inter-office email records. Of course, they were disheveled and not at all organized in a way at made them look freshly prepared, but more like they had been riffled through and that the person doing the name redacting must certainly have Sharpie on their hand.
It's there in black and white. The boy threatened to beat him up, our son told the teacher. The teacher sent an email to the counselor who talked to the boys in 7th period and "everything is okay now." (January 2019)
In an email dated April 2019, this kid passed notes back and forth with others about him HELD up signs making fun of him and calling him names and laughing at him. Like a freaking movie. Someone wrote slurs about him on a wooden railing on campus. The teacher said, "I know students are picking on him...he is always coming to me with something that someone did or said to him."
I have had a look at these two emails for a week now and I still have a really hard time picturing this. Like, I can hardly move forward knowing this was happening to him and NO ONE TOLD ME.
He's not always easy to be around, but wow - that is just not okay that anyone is allowed to be treated that way. It has NEVER been witnessed by me in my twenty years of classroom experience and been allowed to continue.
He is not safe in his home school either.
School says: There was no bullying. E's behavior is not a manifestation of his disability. He is not unwell enough to be schooled at home instead of teenager jail-school. And no, I've never met your son, but I am an expert.
I need my warrior angels with me y'all.
This is UGLY.