Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Demise of Our Children

I am so disillusioned by the state of our country these days that I am almost speechless. ALMOST. I am constantly amazed by what I hear on the news about shootings and fighting and killing. Most of you think I am talking about world affairs don't you? No, I am talking about our children and our schools. These things are happening on a regular basis in our children's schools. As parents we should be so outraged that we tell our kiddos that there will not be a toy or car or video game left if we ever hear of them bullying someone. But that is not happening. So do we blame the children, the schools, or the parents??

 I have experienced as a parent the receiving end of the bullying with my child and I will say that with all the very silly privacy rules in place that I was not allowed to know the names of the children or parents of the offenders. How ridiculous is that? This people are terrorizing my child and you are protecting them? I am also very aware that the no tolerance policy in schools only takes effect when they want it to. In our case the bullies were very prominent athletes at the school and they did not receive one iota of disciplinary action. The school's response was to tell my child that if he got in a fight with them he would not get in trouble for defending himself. Um, they are three times his size and you are promoting violence. Nice.

 As a result of this chain of events, my child now despises school and the assailants have gone on to bully others unscathed. I think about the children that have died over bullying. I wonder how many of them begged for help and their schools let them down as well. I wonder how many of them kept their pain and suffering to themselves until they could not handle it anymore and snapped. I am grateful my son came to me so I could help him.

 But what can we do? Parents are so busy anymore and so many are not willing to get involved unless it is something that directly involves them. We have lost our love of community and our theory that it takes a village to raise children. Now if anyone dares correct or even report bad behavior of our children, the first thing the parents do is shuck responsibility. "It could not possibly be my Johnny's fault! He is perfect!" News flash!! All kids mess up and do stupid stuff.

 I truly fear what my youngest son has to look forward to in school in a few years. It is some scary stuff. You are really not safe anywhere anymore. Not at the mall, not at the movie and not even in school. We need to get God, discipline and responsibility back in our kids lives before it is too late. I ask that tonight and every night you say a prayer that our country gets back on track and our children as well.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My IEP Frustration

Ok folks. This is my venting post about trying to get an IEP (Individual Education Program) in the public school system. Let me preface this by stating that I am no stranger for fighting for my child. W was born addicted to cocaine, thanks to his birthmother, which in turn has caused him numerous health issues. He has had problems since his first day on this earth and I have been fighting for him since that day. Nothing comes easy. It almost seems as if you are the only one who is willing to go that extra mile for the child, that everyone else is satisfied with letting things sit at status quo. You have to push and push to accomplish any small task.

I fought with the pediatrician for 2 years to get W help early on when he was not meeting his milestones but I was told that all kids are different. He will get there when he gets there. When he was two and could not even say Mama, I finally found out on my own about Early Intervention on the internet and got him into Hand in Hand by myself. There he started all his therapy which started the ball rolling to recovery. This also started my uphill, grueling, every day battle for this child to become a normal functioning child. There were also many health issues I fought for. I had to beg to be referred to gastroenterologists and ENTs and neurologists. W could not poop without medication until this year!! He had severe sleep apnea that I finally got him to a ENT who took his adenoids out at 4 so he could sleep more than an hour at a time. He had not done that in his entire life!

I say this all not to evoke sympathy but to show you mine and Wade and W's resolve. We are no strangers to a battle. But this school system is like nothing I have encountered thus far. These people do not make any sense!! It is like talking to the wall and the wall just doesn't seem to get it at all! I don't know how anyone gets services unless your child is severely handicapped. I know these special ed. teachers care. They have to or they would find another career path. Maybe they are hardened by the strict guidelines the state has tied their hands with. But they just don't seem to care. When I bring that to their attention I get the response, "Look I am just trying to lay it all out there so you know what you are up against." Well how about a little compassion and a little glimmer of a teacher who wants to help me with getting my child to succeed! That would go a million miles toward dealing with all the bureaucratic crap we are up against.

So thanks for letting me vent. We have a meeting with the special ed dept., the principal, W's teacher, and Wade and I next week. I have a fabulous letter from W's psychologist to accompany his diagnosis paperwork where she basically tells them to get there crap together and "DON'T MAKE ME COME DOWN THERE!!" Gotta love Dr. Barnes!!