tagline
WETA

Search LD OnLine

Get our free newsletter

advertisement

Forums
Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Anybody know how to make a good bomb? STUPID VENT


Author Message
Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69140
Other Topics
Posted Mar 26, 2002 at 12:42:17 AM
Subject: Anybody know how to make a good bomb? STUPID VENT

Only kidding....slightly.

I just spent about two hours listening to my daughter cry her heart out over the panic she feels facing another day at high school. This morning she wouldn't even get out of the car. The school counselor, a lovely woman who missed her calling as a toddler Sunday school teacher (yes, I'm being facetious), left a district staff meeting early, coaxed Christa out of the car and into her office for a 'chat'. I mean it's creepy how she manages to be perky but with the eyes of a Vietnam War vet, you know...that stare. If I were a kid, she would definitely be the office of last resort.

Earlier last week I had called the superintendent's office requesting the district policies on harassment and hate crimes against students with disabilities, and had copy in hand conspicuously draped over my notepad. I know, it's a small school, everybody knows everybody and is related to half the county, but we're new...and we're really tired of being treated new, at least my daughter is. I've still got a little fighting spirit left, note above subject line, but she's just withered...I mean to the point where she's seething with impotent rage and hopelessness.

I can't make my baby girl 'not different'. I can't even protect her, for godsakes. I made the cardinal sin of calling her tormentors at school mean kids, and Ms. Perky corrected me that they were 'misguided', not mean. So, tonight I listened...not to the pabulum generated by the school bureaucracy intended to self-prop itself into the next millennium...no...I listened to my kid. I didn't say, but you have to try...I tried to say I understood, but she burst out, "No, you don't understand!", and went on to explain the torture of just attending school. Would I want to go to school if I faced that every day, she asks. I, for once, honestly answer her...nope, nada, nix, no way, ad nauseum.

I'm beat...and I'm tired of asking my daughter to be strong...she's the one with the mental illness...I'm tired of the 'problem' being my daughter, when I know the damn school just doesn't care. You know, teachers in public school are a lot like prison guards...someday the prisoners get to walk out free, but the guards are in prison for life. What would a life sentence in high school look like, and what kind of twisted people would it create?...that makes me shudder. Heck, for all I know some of those teachers get some sort of sick gratification out of watching the 'chosen special few' torment a disabled child to the point of suicide. They certainly don't seem to want to put a stop to it.

My girl gets 'social skills' therapy twice a month...SHE'S NOT THE FREAKIN' ONE WHO NEEDS IT!!!!! She already knows how to be kind, helpful, caring, mature, etc....why don't they toss some of those pearls toward the supposedly 'normal' kids? Public school is no better than a barnyard, and my little chick is the one with the black spot on her head...she's getting pecked to death, literally.

I'm this close...this nanosecond close...to go back to homeschooling, but then they'd win, you see? And besides, I'm so ready to kick butt...kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out. Legally, anyway...I’m going to paper-hang those twits from here to kingdom come, and then I'll publish a book on it...I'll offer free advice to all parents of special kids...march on Washington, something, something...if only I could make it all stop hurting for one damn day for my baby...just one day, please...where she can smile and be happy and feel loved and wanted and appreciated...just one day for her.

I'm crying, too, now...because I can't make that happen for her, no matter how much I want to or fight for...I can't do it and it breaks my heart.

Bonita (who needs a kleenex now)

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 26, 2002 4:24:20 AM

Bonita,
I am a mom, ya know what though? I think principles(not the guys at school) be damned, ya oughta pull your daughter out of that toxic school. When a kid is so stressed you can't even get her out of the car, something is terribly wrong. I can see it with kindergarteners maybe but not highschoolers. If you have homeschooled her before and done ok, then to heck with public school. It's not like she needs the socialization with the kids she is having to deal with now. I know the schools are supposed to do their job, but I am not sure keeping up the fight is doing your daughter any good.

Gotta say, your title startled me, I am overseas, we have had bomb scares at my 5th graders school several times and I gotta tell ya, it really p...'d me off that someone would dare even threaten my little boy. I know where you are coming from though, I am pretty sure a lot of the school violence in the past few years have come from kids who were tormented til they couldn't take it anymore. I realize there is no simple answer to the school violence, it isn't just one thing so don't you all go to town on me, ok? My conflict avoiding/passive personality can't take it.

I say, pull her out, teach her at home and try to heal the wounds both of you have received. On the other hand, is there another school she could go to? Or an alternative school? Maybe a different school atmosphere would help. Now I am just rambling ideas around but honestly I wish I could help. My best to you and your daughter.

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 26, 2002 4:55:39 AM

I know...the subject line was just an example of a threshold reached. But somehow, asking for a recipe for an ex-lax chocolate pie or perhaps the ultimate in tee-pee methods just didn't quite seem strong enough for my emotions at the time. The vent did me good, and my daughter and I stayed up until almost two just commiserating, discussing, and I really think letting go of the 'mom' persona for a minute did heal us both somewhat. She's needs my support, not more added pressure.

Also, I just got faxed ANOTHER official statement by her psychiatrist to add to the one from last year saying she needs intermittent homebound services. I'm just not taking her to school tomorrow. Instead I've decided to get on the phone with the director of special ed services and ask her when my daughter's tutorial homebound services will begin with a strong recommendation from me that the service begin immediately since they've been ignored/denied now for over a year...et al, ad nauseum, again...but this time, I don't know....what? What moves these idiots???

Well, I'll give the head**in charge a chance and then forget it...I'm going for a hearing and then straight to court. I've had it. My kid's had it. It's their turn to 'have it'. I'm bumfoozled at this hour, again having printed out a couple of reams of paper.

Your concern over the subject title is appropriate, and I was out of line...ah, see, that's what emotions will do for ya...zilch and a soggy kleenex.

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 26, 2002 8:56:35 AM

Prohibited Disability Harassment -- Reminder of Responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act:

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20202

July 25, 2000

Dear Colleague:

On behalf of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education, we are writing to you about a vital issue that affects students in school - harassment based on disability. Our purpose in writing is to develop greater awareness of this issue, to remind interested persons of the legal and educational responsibilities that institutions have to prevent and appropriately respond to disability harassment, and to suggest measures that school officials should take to address this very serious problem. This letter is not an exhaustive legal analysis. Rather, it is intended to provide a useful overview of the existing legal and educational principles related to this important issue.

Why Disability Harassment Is Such an Important Issue

Through a variety of sources, both OCR and OSERS have become aware of concerns about disability harassment in elementary and secondary schools and colleges and universities. In a series of conference calls with OSERS staff, for example, parents, disabled persons, and advocates for students with disabilities raised disability harassment as an issue that was very important to them. OCR's complaint workload has reflected a steady pace of allegations regarding this issue, while the number of court cases involving allegations of disability harassment has risen. OCR and OSERS recently conducted a joint focus group where we heard about the often devastating effects on students of disability harassment that ranged from abusive jokes, crude name-calling, threats, and bullying, to sexual and physical assault by teachers and other students.

We take these concerns very seriously. Disability harassment can have a profound impact on students, raise safety concerns, and erode efforts to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to the myriad benefits that an education offers. Indeed, harassment can seriously interfere with the ability of students with disabilities to receive the education critical to their advancement. We are committed to doing all that we can to help prevent and respond to disability harassment and lessen the harm of any harassing conduct that has occurred. We seek your support in a joint effort to address this critical issue and to promote such efforts among educators who deal with students daily.

What Laws Apply to Disability Harassment

Schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions have a responsibility to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students, including students with disabilities. This responsibility is based on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II), which are enforced by OCR. Section 504 covers all schools, school districts, and colleges and universities receiving federal funds. Title II covers all state and local entities, including school districts and public institutions of higher education, whether or not they receive federal funds. Disability harassment is a form of discrimination prohibited by Section 504 and Title II. Both Section 504 and Title II provide parents and students with grievance procedures and due process remedies at the local level. Individuals and organizations also may file complaints with OCR.

States and school districts also have a responsibility under Section 504, Title II, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which is enforced by OSERS, to ensure that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) is made available to eligible students with disabilities. Disability harassment may result in a denial of FAPE under these statutes. Parents may initiate administrative due process procedures under IDEA, Section 504, or Title II to address a denial of FAPE, including a denial that results from disability harassment. Individuals and organizations also may file complaints with OCR, alleging a denial of FAPE that results from disability harassment. In addition, an individual or organization may file a complaint alleging a violation of IDEA under separate procedures with the state educational agency. State compliance with IDEA, including compliance with FAPE requirements, is monitored by OSERS' Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

Harassing conduct also may violate state and local civil rights, child abuse, and criminal laws. Some of these laws may impose obligations on educational institutions to contact or coordinate with state or local agencies or police with respect to disability harassment in some cases; failure to follow appropriate procedures under these laws could result in action against an educational institution. Many states and educational institutions also have addressed disability harassment in their general anti-harassment policies.

Disability Harassment May Deny a Student an Equal Opportunity to Education under Section 504 or Title II

Disability harassment under Section 504 and Title II is intimidation or abusive behavior toward a student based on disability that creates a hostile environment by interfering with or denying a student's participation in or receipt of benefits, services, or opportunities in the institution's program. Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling, as well as nonverbal behavior, such as graphic and written statements, or conduct that is physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating.

When harassing conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates a hostile environment, it can violate a student's rights under the Section 504 and Title II regulations. A hostile environment may exist even if there are no tangible effects on the student where the harassment is serious enough to adversely affect the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program. Examples of harassment that could create a hostile environment follow.

o Several students continually remark out loud to other students during class that a student with dyslexia is "retarded" or "deaf and dumb" and does not belong in the class; as a result, the harassed student has difficulty doing work in class and her grades decline.

o A student repeatedly places classroom furniture or other objects in the path of classmates who use wheelchairs, impeding the classmates' ability to enter the classroom.

o A teacher subjects a student to inappropriate physical restraint because of conduct related to his disability, with the result that the student tries to avoid school through increased absences.

o A school administrator repeatedly denies a student with a disability access to lunch, field trips, assemblies, and extracurricular activities as punishment for taking time off from school for required services related to the student's disability.

o A professor repeatedly belittles and criticizes a student with a disability for using accommodations in class, with the result that the student is so discouraged that she has great difficulty performing in class and learning.

o Students continually taunt or belittle a student with mental retardation by mocking and intimidating him so he does not participate in class.


When disability harassment limits or denies a student's ability to participate in or benefit from an educational institution's programs or activities, the institution must respond effectively. Where the institution learns that disability harassment may have occurred, the institution must investigate the incident(s) promptly and respond appropriately.

Disability Harassment Also May Deny a Free Appropriate Public Education

Disability harassment that adversely affects an elementary or secondary student's education may also be a denial of FAPE under the IDEA, as well as Section 504 and Title II. The IDEA was enacted to ensure that recipients of IDEA funds make available to students with disabilities the appropriate special education and related services that enable them to access and benefit from public education. The specific services to be provided a student with a disability are set forth in the student's individualized education program (IEP), which is developed by a team that includes the student's parents, teachers and, where appropriate, the student. Harassment of a student based on disability may decrease the student's ability to benefit from his or her education and amount to a denial of FAPE.

How to Prevent and Respond to Disability Harassment

Schools, school districts, colleges, and universities have a legal responsibility to prevent and respond to disability harassment. As a fundamental step, educational institutions must develop and disseminate an official policy statement prohibiting discrimination based on disability and must establish grievance procedures that can be used to address disability harassment. A clear policy serves a preventive purpose by notifying students and staff that disability harassment is unacceptable, violates federal law, and will result in disciplinary action. The responsibility to respond to disability harassment, when it does occur, includes taking prompt and effective action to end the harassment and prevent it from recurring and, where appropriate, remedying the effects on the student who was harassed.

The following measures are ways to both prevent and eliminate harassment:

o Creating a campus environment that is aware of disability concerns and sensitive to disability harassment; weaving these issues into the curriculum or programs outside the classroom.

o Encouraging parents, students, employees, and community members to discuss disability harassment and to report it when they become aware of it.

o Widely publicizing anti-harassment statements and procedures for handling discrimination complaints, because this information makes students and employees aware of what constitutes harassment, that such conduct is prohibited, that the institution will not tolerate such behavior, and that effective action, including disciplinary action, where appropriate, will be taken.

o Providing appropriate, up-to-date, and timely training for staff and students to recognize and handle potential harassment.

o Counseling both person(s) who have been harmed by harassment and person(s) who have been responsible for the harassment of others.

o Implementing monitoring programs to follow up on resolved issues of disability harassment.

o Regularly assessing and, as appropriate, modifying existing disability harassment policies and procedures for addressing the issue, to ensure effectiveness.

Technical Assistance Is Available

U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley has emphasized the importance of ensuring that schools are safe and free of harassment. Students can not learn in an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, or ridicule. For students with disabilities, harassment can inflict severe harm. Teachers and administrators must take emphatic action to ensure that these students are able to learn in an atmosphere free from harassment.

Disability harassment is preventable and can not be tolerated. Schools, colleges, and universities should address the issue of disability harassment not just when but before incidents occur. As noted above, awareness can be an important element in preventing harassment in the first place.

The Department of Education is committed to working with schools, parents, disability advocacy organizations, and other interested parties to ensure that no student is ever subjected to such conduct, and that where such conduct occurs, prompt and effective action is taken. For more information, you may contact OCR or OSEP through 1-800-USA-LEARN or 1-800-437-0833 for TTY services. You also may directly contact one of the OCR enforcement offices listed on the enclosure or OSEP, by calling (202) 205-5507 or (202) 205-5465 for TTY services.

Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.

Norma V. Cantu,
Assistant Secretary for
Civil Rights
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary
Office of Special Education
and Rehabilitative Services

one more thing to print out. Might send it into the school,cc'd to the director of sped. I do agree that pulling your child out is protecting her not letting the school win. You want to fight,go ahead,I say,more power to you. Just protect your own first.

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 26, 2002 11:15:54 AM

Thank you once again, dear Socks...and yes, Christa is home today, and though I'm going on no sleep, I've already had that talk with the sped director and informed the school that she won't be in attendance today. The ARD's not for another three weeks...but either she stays home or we could face another huge meltdown leading to yet another hospitalization.

Perfectly right, Socks...must take care of my own. Somehow, though, there's this ringing in my ears that justice delayed is justice denied....and something else about a dream. There are still issues worth fighting for.

I've got .pdf copies of the letter you refer to, as well as the press release and the huge 160 some odd page guide published by OSEP and others. At my expense, I've made two copies, will put them in binders with tab separators and distinct jacket for the disability harassment letter. I will also include a copy I requested and received of our district's own stated policy, a one pager, but still concise directions not currently being followed.

Socks, I just don't know how I can be any more helpful to this district, as I listed and pointed out my repeated attempts to assist in research, purchased books, provided website links, promoted communication, etc. in my morning's discussion with the chief cook and bottle washer for our district. We'll see. I'm not real trusting at this point.

Some time today, I plan to sleep.

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 26, 2002 11:23:06 AM
Subject:OK Socks!

Beautiful!

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 26, 2002 11:23:55 AM

From today's Vancouver Sun News paper:
A mother of a 14-year-old Mission girl
who killed herself two years ago
after being bullied by other girls
wept in a courtroom Monday when
one of her daughter's tormenters
was found guilty of criminal
harassment. ...
The schoolyard bully -- who
was 15 at the time, and
cannot be named because
she is charged under the
federal Young Offenders Act
-- also cried when she
learned of her conviction..."
Visit this web site for the rest:
http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/story.asp?id={15A63BEA-0EA6-4D73-A3FF-3C5BAFBD5F7D}

I'm glad my country has taken the bold step to prosecute and find quilty kids who commit these crimes. I hope your country will take the same measures before any more innocent children are hurt. I feel for you and your daughter and have gone through similar bullying of my child.

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 26, 2002 12:00:37 PM


When I noticed that my dyslexic son was going to be of a
football player's build I breathed a sigh of relief.

He is a gentle, sweet boy but doesn't look it and
we've had very little problem with teasing and bullying.

Rotten that it works out that way.

Anne

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 26, 2002 1:17:56 PM

You go girl:-) You have been helpful enough. Call the office of Civil Rights...

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 26, 2002 4:58:04 PM

My fourteen year old 'little' girl has been six feet tall, 220 pounds since shortly after her 12th birthday...she grew like a boy basically, primary reason we had such a hard time getting her meds stabilized for so long.

What might intimidate and provide protection for a boy doesn't necessarily work out that way for a girl...but I think she's lovely...blonde hair, blue eyes, and just not ready for prime time yet with the underdeveloped and insecure crowd she has to contend with. Just wait'll she hits college...she bears a significant resemblance to Marilyn Monroe, but a bit taller. I threatened to make her wear a tee-shirt saying, "I'm only 12, stop looking"...or 13 or 14.

I love her so much, and so does anybody who really knows her. Why is it so difficult for her to make friends in high school? I just don't get it. She writes poetry worthy of publication...I know because I'm also a published author. She expresses herself so well, but only with those she's comfortable with. I feel sorry for all those missing out on knowing what a terrific young lady she is. Difference between beasts and swans, I suppose...I must remember to take her this weekend to see 'A Beautiful Mind'...we'll both relate because we're both brilliant idiots with minds like shooting tangents for those fortunate/unfortunate enough to follow our thought processes. God, I've always taught my kids to celebrate diversity...my favorite quote of all is a line from Auntie Mame who said, "Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starvin' to death!" My sentiments exactly. Ah, well...the road not taken, march to the beat of a different drummer and all that jazz. She steals my Vivaldi CD's, and I steal her Chemical Brothers CD's. We fit into this universe quite nicely, thank you. She knows what a zen garden is for, and today I taught her the meaning of the word pabulum. What's more...she teaches me every day what courage means, and it's not even the absence of fear...it's faith to walk through the challenges. She's my hero.

Okay...time to sleep...two hours in last 48 has me woozy, but it's a terrific roller coaster ride.

Bonita

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 27, 2002 10:59:18 AM


>>What might intimidate and provide protection for a boy doesn't necessarily work out that way for a girl...<<

That's very true.

This whole business of picking on, teasing, 'dissing' and brutalizing children who
are different really flummoxes me, even though it has always been with us.

Why do some children do it and others not?
How do the teasing, 'dissing' and bullying children
get that way? Why do they get away with it so often?

It almost makes you think that children in packs (schools)
are the worst way to go about socializing them. Not enough
adults to quash this kind of behavior.

rambling here....
Anne

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 27, 2002 11:59:23 AM

Bonita, Your comment on what it would do to people to be in a high school atmosphere for life is very apt. Until I was about 40 I wnet to bed every night Thanking God I didn't have to wake up facing school in the morning. (Irony: I am now School.) And I wasn't even LD. Just -odd. I listened to recordings of Greek tragedy... Antigone, Trojan Women... Your daughter sounds lovely. You've made me fall in love with her just from your description. I realized early on that my oldest was going to be a nerd -even before the reading prob. But you know I wouldn't have him any other way. And for your daguhter to fit into that highschool she would have to change her personality fundamentally and become like the others even without any other difference. Do you really want that?You're right it;'s the others who need the socializing.
Have you thought of community college classes? Some of the homeschoolers round here are in classes there. And is there a homeschooling get together night in your area? Your daughter may meet an understanding kindred spirit at one of these get togehters. She only needs one.
And if your town has a local news paper you might write a shame - on - you letter to the editor. Say what you said about your daughter and the way the local kids treated her and how you're withdrawing her from school in fear of her life. The newspaper should withhold name adn address on request. As eloquent as you are you ought to be able to make those kids squirm with shame. Sometimes in small parochial communities this works. Even if they don't print it -it might make you feel better. If it is a small town where everyone knows everyone forever-they haven't been socialized to meet strangers or differences. Think about it. When they have to leave that town and area to go to the "big" city for jobs are they going to sufferrrrr.... Courage, it's going to get better.

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 27, 2002 1:54:47 PM

It was so sweet of you to share and I am sure your sympathies are appreciated. I am wondering if I am confused. I thought Bonita said her daughter was diagnosed with mental illness and that she would at times need to be placed on homebound instruction. While there is certainly the gamut of behavior outside of mental illness; mental illnesses present certain challenges that really are beyond the scope what might just be termed odd, different, nerdy....

I don't know, the challenges Bonita and her daughter face, without the taunting at school, are probably many.

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Mar 27, 2002 4:37:14 PM

Not enough
adults to quash this kind of behavior?

There are enough adults to quash but not enough adults willing to. Not enough parents demanding it.

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 02, 2002 5:57:48 AM

Perhaps you're confused by British understatement. My son had his shoulder broken on the playground by bullies. Probably the same older boys who'd threatened to "get" him on the playground if he told anyone. Something I finally got out of him , told the school headmaster, who punished the boys involved, and Bob's Your Uncle. And your point besides putting me down was....?

Back to top Profile Email
Anonymous
Joined Sep 01, 2014
Posts: 69140

Other Topics
Posted:Apr 18, 2002 7:54:56 AM

A colleague pointed out recently that if you watch Friends, Seinfeld, and many other popular culture shows, the highlights of human interactions are the zingers, the fast retort, the put down. These are lauded and applauded. These are interpeted by kids to be the normal mode of interaction with others.

How many kids have a real or though-provoking conversation at the family dinner table. How many have a family dinner table? Its amazing to me what passes for table manners, let alone polite interaction with another human being.

Yes, the school is responsible and so are the PARENTS. I attended a wonderful seminar by Michael Thompson (author of Best Friends, Worst Enemies)on the subject of bullying and the place was so packed that people sitting on the floor. They were all educators from private schools.
So, yes, bullying is a BIG problem everywhere.
Dare to call attention to it. And godspeed.

Back to top Profile Email