Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Non-Update: School Incident

You may remember that we had an incident at school a couple weeks ago; Joey was taught a bad word and then paraded about the class to repeat it, to the amusement of his classmates. Want a textbook example of bullying a child with a disability? Here it is.

You may remember I was assured there was teaching, there was "consequences" for the other child, there was discussion. However, with such an event happening even when the next school is assuring us that "our kids aren't like that", and the possible supports I could arrange through his OT and speech therapists, getting a report on the incident has been... frustrating.

I went to the school office and requested a report. I was told to see Ms. D, and someone went to tell her I was there. I waited. Then I was told Ms. D was busy and had appointments waiting, so I put my request in writing. The response was an email to the effect of, "I have no incident report on this incident." Um... wait a minute, I thought there were "consequences" for the bully involved? If there were "consequences", surely there was a report, and the victim should have access to such a report (with the name of the other child's name and ID info redacted for privacy- we are talking about minors here)? Or since I have requested one, perhaps one could be created to document the incident? No, I was referred to the gym teacher, Mr. P, who left a message on my phone.

Talking on the phone is not documentation.

What, I'm not happy that Joey is fine and the other child has had "consequences"?

Well, no. No I'm not. Joey isn't fine. I want a frickin' report. In writing. Now.

I stumbled upon the teacher in question when Joey missed the bus one morning, and I had to take him to school. The teacher was upset, and perhaps a little nervous to realize who I was, and not knowing whether or not I knew who he was. I certainly know now. I was promised a summary of the incident via email by the following Monday.

Sound good? Yeah. Too good. Two weeks later, I've got nada. Last week, I contacted our awesome case manager to make sure the email I had sent confirming the conversation had not fallen into the nethers, and had her re-forward my email. I still have nothing.

Today is Tuesday. If I still have nothing come Thursday, Hell breaks loose on Friday. Just saying.


jagran said...

keep the good fight up.don't let the school brush it under the table. document... this is an opportunity for education to occur,especially now that the incident has some distance from joey.

Niksmom said...

I wouldn't wait. Write a letter to the distric superintendant advising them of the situation. Be sure to use the phrase "verbal and social bullying" (which is part of the actual legal definition. Ask for a written incident report along with a copy of the district's policy on bullying. That ought to be enough to let them know you mean business. If you get no response, write a letter to the editor or contact your local paper to let them know about the subtle ways XYZ district condones bullying of children with disabilities.

Joeymom said...

I got an email this morning saying "this s the first email I got from you!" Which is, of course, nonsense, since Ms. H forwarded it. And he's going to email it "from home." I suspect people forget that an email is "in writing" and this one may be thinking he is sneaking in under the radar of admin. We will see what we shall see.

farmwifetwo said...

Good luck banging agaist the system... I have my fair share of bruises...

1. Attach a read receipt... I'm getting better at doing this.

2. Email teacher, no response but got read receipt. Next email P or VP or both, attach email and read receipt from Teacher... repeat attaching all emails and read receipts until you read the Superintendant.

I've never had to go that far.... But I have been known to email "god and everyone"... Amazing how quick things get done then :)

Stimey said...

This is so horrifying. The incident AND their response to it. I'm so sorry that you and Joey have to deal with this. It makes me really mad.

Club 166 said...

Deny, Delay, Deconstruct.

Nothing ever changes.

You go, girl.