Saturday, September 26, 2009

My baby

my youngest

my Littlest
my Lucy
was hot boxed
by 3 teachers
and accused of cheating
on a daily assignment
in class
not a test
not a paper
but some stupid “thing”

and the fact that
there were 3 adults
in the room with her
no parent present
no parent notified
and this happened
2 days
the event

so they thought
this was an appropriate response
take a sweet
innocent 12 year old
in a room
then tell her
that only an admittance
of guilt
would be good for her character
because if she said
she had not cheated
then they would think she was lying
and then they couldn’t trust her again

all she did
was look around the room
during this “assessment”
as she said
she was not in a bubble
she should be allowed to look around
she didn’t even remember who
she was sitting by
they named the girl
and said that Lucy cheated off that girl’s paper
THEN the audacity
of her so-called advisor
said that she sees Lucy look
around the room during her class
this is her advisor
who is supposed to be her advocate
who even knows what is happening
to our family right now
never called me
never emailed me
never tried to contact me about this

the teachers even asked if something was going on at home
well, no duh, really
so she reminded them of the Karen situation
oh yes
they said
they didn’t want to cause more stress
well, they sure did

my poor baby
her eyes were red
she was in a classroom
alone with these 3 teachers
well 2 teachers and an intern
that intern is not learning from the right people
that is for sure

they didn’t let her call me
they just told her to go get cleaned up
for her next class
she went to the bathroom
one of her good friends was there
Lucy told her story
so when they left the bathroom
and Lucy’s eyes were still red
the friend joked saying she
got soap in them
so nobody would question the
red eyes again

my littlest
my youngest
had soccer practice after school
so, after picking her up
dropping off the other girls
from the carpool
by the time I heard
this actual
awful story
it was 6:00
way past time to call the school
and long past any time
that they could have contacted me
and warned me what they did to her
where does all this come from
attacking a child
an innocent
12 year old girl
one month into school
no parent involvement
if you haven’t been able to tell yet
i am an involved parent
(don’t get me started on
being a “normal mother”)

so, I sent an email

to the 3 teachers
and a copy to the head
of the middle school
where my daughter goes
where I think she is safe
where I trust them with her life

i say that I am livid
i say I am shocked that 3 teachers cornered my daughter
threatening her character
and without my knowledge
or without warning me of her demise

then my dear husband
called the 4 and left
calm, rational
but intense voicemails
requesting return calls

we decided our daughter would go
to school late the next day
and not spend her first
15 minutes in advisory
and I would pick her up early
to avoid the test in Spanish
given by this evil woman
driving my little one to school
i tell her that her father and I were most upset
with the advisor
she is the one who is to be our child’s advocate
and she is the one who knows this situation
and she is the one who has known our family for 11 years
almost as long as Lucy has been born
long enough to know that we had good deaughters
who had never been trouble to anyone
we were most disappointed in her behavior
and how she did not keep our little one safe

i took little Lucy in late
she happened to see
the 2 main teachers
in the Admin’s office
she said her advisor looked mad
i said "good"
i left her
knowing that these teachers were in the office
and she was safe in her next class

and I waited for what would happen next...

later on

i got a phone call from the head of school
i asked to conference in my husband
but he couldn’t figure out the system
(wonder what that means)
i called my husband on the land line
and out my cell on speaker
the 3 of us could speak to and hear each other

the head of school says that it is policy to approach
a student if a teacher thinks cheating is involved
and a parent is never contacted
okay, I don’t have to like the policy
or agree with it
but it happened
what about after the event
oh, they handled that wrong
he tells me
and he is sorry for that

but, he spoke with these teachers
and they didn’t feel that they cornered her
or threatened her
or accuse her of cheating
or that she would never be trusted
And her character would be judged the rest of the year
And that only a guilty verdict would be believed
They thought they told her to think about it
and they would hear back

he backs his teachers up
i give him that
it is his job
and he said that the advisor
is there to help with a situation
but I reminded him
she did not
she sided with the other teacher
that was not a help at all to our child.
it just made the situation worse

he said that these teachers have been doing this a long time
and they just know when a child is cheating
we asked him if they had seen her sit sideways before
if any other teacher had commented on it in years past
my husband asked if the head of school had seen the
psychological evaluation with the dysgraphia diagnosis
the head of school said they had talked about all of that
with the learning assistance specialist
my husband reiterated
that we wanted our daughter
out of this teachers advisory
and out of her class
that our daughter would start
a new language and start new
with all students in their first year of this language

that head of school
said we were over reacting
he said maybe that Lucy wanted to continue Spanish
no we told him
he said that maybe just switching this language class
would change her entire schedule
he said that maybe Lucy wanted to stay with her friends
in her advisory class
we told him all those things did not matter to her
she wants to be somewhere else
we want her in a class where she feels safe
where she can trust the teacher
and where she feels validated

he did not agree with us
but he would weigh the options
fine, agree to disagree
but we knew what we wanted
and we knew it would happen