When the #teacher is the #bully | #Parenting

The teen was unable to defend himself against the bully teacher and now needs legal help to protect his future.

via When the teacher is the bully | Parenting

The article suggests homeschooling. Just as the Office of Civil Rights suggested to us before. When we documented, we went up the chain of command, and ultimately ended up taking it to our federal government.

Talking with my daughter

She tells me that she likes her teacher. She has no complaints about her. She even gets a smile on her face when she talks about her. It’s only the administrators that she is having a problem with. She is feeling jailed by them. They are surrounding her and putting her into the spotlight. And her new para pro who she asked me if I could make disappear because she just gets in the way.

You see, I talked to my daughter on the phone because she was having a rough morning. And when we hung up, she agreed to go back to class and do what every body else is doing. This happened to be reading. She says that she had found the page everyone was on. Then the para pro started flipping pages and couldn’t find the right page. My daughter became frustrated because she had promised to go back to class and just do what everyone else was doing and listen to the grown ups.

What’s her right choice?

She doesn’t know if she can say “I’ve got it” because that would be not doing what the adults said. But she can’t read what she is supposed to because she doesn’t have her book. So she worries she will get in trouble for that. Her anxiety is up. She ends up yelling and screaming and refusing to do what she is supposed to because they are not letting her anyways.

And as soon as I heard this all from her after she was sent home for losing control, I sent an email to the principal. Included in this email were Lexie’s concerns and my thoughts on the better approach to the particular event. She needs someone there who can help her when she is confused about what to do. She does NOT need someone to do things for her. She is ten years old and classified as emotionally impaired.

Anyone would be anxious

They are the source of her anxiety. Imagine how you would feel if this was done to you at 10 years old. As you may know, we had to leave our home suddenly last month. Then after two weeks, the problem was remedied, and we were able to move back in. Before that, she was enrolled at this school and had not been in any trouble until the last day. The idea of the unexpected move caused her to have a meltdown at school. She was trying to express to them that she would miss them and didn’t want to move. No one was hearing her. She broke down. She spent those two weeks we were out of our home at a different school.

Now, we are back and she is back in that school. She was excited and anticipating things being what they were those first weeks of school. Because of the meltdown, she receives no welcome back. No we missed you. Instead, she gets put into the spotlight. They are watching her for a meltdown. They are keeping her under a magnifying glass and segregating her from the peers she used to play tag with.

Now she feels like everyone is the enemy. Everyone is out to hurt her. She’s scared and she’s feeling caged. That’s her word for it. They’re treating her like a prisoner with special privileges who needs a guard on them anytime they’re allowed out of the cell. And the rest of the time, she feels like she’s in a cell. Her desk is separated. Moved up to the front, near the teachers desk, with nobody around her.

Then, they mix her back into the class where she’s still a new student learning what to do because she wasn’t there very long. She doesn’t know these programs and schedules. She’s been homeschooled because she couldn’t take any more of the bullying from all the grown ups at school. She needs guidance. But nobody will help her, or they just want to do it for her and then treat her like she should already know it. She needs somebody to help guide her. To give her a little extra explanation in a way she can understand. Catch her back up to the class. And the saddest part of all is that she doesn’t know what to do because she was homeschooled because of the bullying adults in previous schools. And the cycle continues.

She likes people

I mean she really likes people. She wants people to like her, too. And she contemplates this while she sits in a crowd. Sometimes she might burst out with sounds. She is trying to draw attention. She thinks it is funny and wants to make people laugh. She loves it when people smile at her. She wants the world to be a smiling, happy place. She really likes people and talking and interacting.

She blurts out her thoughts sometimes. She has so many of them. Her mind is never stopping. She thinks out loud from time to time. I am familiar with that overload of thoughts. It’s how I started writing. All those extra thoughts floating in my head. I wrote them down. I understand the overload of thoughts. I learned to let them run in my head while I did my work, silently. But I also learned to tune out the teacher to allow those thoughts to run while I finished my work by myself. I didn’t need instruction. My daughter does.

She is afraid to approach a new project because she is afraid of doing it wrong. Failure is a huge worry for many with an anxiety disorder. They will often shy away from or even completely avoid trying new things for fear that they will make a mistake that will ruin everything. If someone takes a moment to explain it to her, she will be able to focus much easier. She will know how to achieve what is expected of her. Then there is no anxiety about not knowing what or how to do it.

Keeping track

I’m taking notes on everything. I’m sharing my thoughts with the staff. They put me on speaker phone, and I never know who all I’m talking to. I’ve spoken numerous times with the principal, too. I’m emailing her. I’m including articles that I believe she should read. I’m doing everything I can think of to turn this bullying situation around. I’m keeping track of everything as best I can. I’m going to be using this blog to help me do that.

For now, because she got frustrated at the lack of help from all these grown ups surrounding her, she will be home all day today and tomorrow. She went to school a half a day Monday, off Tuesday, full day Wednesday (included some meltdowns and some phone calls with Mommy to calm her down), half day tomorrow, and off on Friday. This is after keeping her out all last week to get supports into place for this week. This is affecting her Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) by denying her access to an education at all. How can we end the cycle?

Follow Tiffany Higgins, writer to follow this special education challenge 

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