Thursday, December 06, 2007

No Sleep Til Brooklyn

Today we paid the price for pushing the envelope of the public school system, and specifically pushing the buttons of a very 'old school' elementary school principal.

It was an IEP triennial meeting for our son. The 2nd worst meeting of my adult life. The principal stormed out of the room in anger.

I think I can boil the meeting down to a few sentences.

Special ed ppl: "Adrian is doing better on his testing. He doesn't need our help anymore, even in speech!"

trrish: "I suppose this means you guys must be able to understand him when he talks. Cool, because I still can't. Oh, by the way, have you asked him to read any three-syllable words lately?"

Principal: "You sending Adrian to the Zoolander school fucks up my ability to have white-knuckle control over my school. I might hold him back from 4th grade. I don't even want this problem here at my school. How about home schooling?"

Ozzie: "Your need to control isn't relevant to this situation. C'mon - I dare you to kick us out."

Principal: "You pointed your finger at me. I'm leaving."

trrish: "OK! Ok! I can't take the intimidation and the triggering of my old childhood crap. I'm caving! I give in! You are all right! I'm the worst mother on the planet for sending my song to the Derek K. Zoolander school!!!! Except, right now I hate all of you and I'm taking my son, my marbles and going home. But first, I will cry in front of you."

Later on in the day I heard part of an NPR story about grey whales and how humans used to harpoon their babies and then, knowing the mother wouldn't leave her child, they would have time to kill the mother. For whatever it is they used whale parts for. The bad thing for the humans was, the whales got pissed and attacked the boats.
Once they became an endangered species, the killing had to stop. And when it did, the whales stopped attacking the boats and started becoming friendly with the humans.

If the school would stop harpooning my kid, maybe we could have a better conversation.

I consider myself generally somewhat competent, but these meetings are just too hard. The system is designed by a freakin bureaucracy, and if you have a principal who is a bureaucracy embracer, rather than a bureaucracy buster, it's too hard. People who use the rules to hide behind are cowards.

I promise you - this is one of those things that in 10 or 15 years, we will look back on and be embarassed about as a human race. Back in my day, the public schools thought dyslexic kids should just learn like everyone else does. How silly we were then. Now we know that if these kids get the teaching they need, they don't have to get disillusioned at age 9 and write off school as something they can't do.

There is one person who seems to be very happy with the situation as it currently stands. That would be Adrian.

1 comment:

Paul O'Brian said...

Holy shit!

Wow, I am so sorry it went down that way. So what's the next step? Escalation? Transferring A to another elementary school?

What do you mean Adrian is happy with the situation? Does he like it at Eisenhower? Would it be a trauma for him to be transferred to another school? I have to believe it would suck for him to be held back.

Also, sheesh, storming out of the room. "Okay, no, no, no, no. You do not try tactic number eight on me. I invented tactic number eight!"

And how's about a blog post on the ALL TIME worst meeting of your adult life? :)