Monday, February 25, 2013

Back To School - Winter Break Edition

The macaw in the aviary at the zoo, from yesterday -
not related to today's post, but I like the picture
for its illusion of warmer weather.

I was really dreading going back to school today, but it worked out pretty well after all.  The kids were glad to have their routine back, and we had fun for the most part.  We worked on reading skills, did literature with Robinson Crusoe, worked on telling time in math, learned about the Pilgrims in social studies, and did a worksheet and watched some fun videos from the San Diego Safari Park in science.  It was good to be busy and productive and keep my mind off of some home stuff.  There's a lot to be said for distraction and compartmentalization.

Today I had a meeting with the school psychologist for our son's grade.  I sent her a rather disjointed and unhappy note during the week before winter break, basically saying, "Enough is enough!  Do something about the bullying Safety Guy is going through!"  Today was for us to talk through my perspective and concerns about SG and the bullying situation.  It was really productive, and Mrs. J. is going to observe SG in his three most difficult classes over the next week or so, to assess triggers and interactions and to get a feel for what's really going on between the students.  She'll be talking to his resource teacher, and other teachers involved.  She agrees that  it's not all up to Safety Guy to give in and change in this situation - the other students need to be responsible and held accountable for their own actions.

I didn't pull any punches, even though I was polite.  I detailed what SG has told me about the names he's been called, the covert nature of some of the bullying, and the constant pressure to keep his cool when effectively trapped with the same bullying kids day in and day out.  Mrs. J., bless her, understands SG pretty well, and she can see the bind he's in, and that I'm in as well as his mother and as a teacher at the school.  I told her that if this continues, I'll be put in the position of having to choose between my son and my job - and if I have to quit my job to advocate for my son, I will.  I'm not sure she'd thought of that, and anyhow it's not her job to save my job.  But it's a description of a real-world conflict of interest, and it needed to be said.

Hopefully after her observation we can meet again to see what steps can be taken to help SG.  I didn't go in with an axe to grind with the other students.  Frankly, I know them too well to be angry with them personally, but I can sympathize with their issues without condoning their behavior.  Still, there's absolutely no excuse for this situation to continue, especially since SG will be with these same students in most of his classes as he goes through high school.  This needs to be addressed NOW, before SG loses his cool and finally punches one of the bullies.  Because SG might not be very coordinated, but if he ever connected a punch in anger someone would really get hurt, and I don't want to see that happen, for both students' sake.


1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to hear of this bit of relief for you. The amazing power of being heard. Praying that concrete follow-up will happen for you and SG.

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