Brain Barf

May contain traces of nuts.

Friday, February 03, 2006

No child left behind, right.

This is the sixth time today I have been frustrated to tears.
It started with a return call from the Director of Special Education for our school district.
This is a man who, I was told was very sympathetic towards families/children with special needs and would most definitely be able to help us.
After many patronizing and condescending words, apparently I'm just another one of those difficult parents who won't admit that their children are really just unintelligent because they don't fit in the "box", and I should really just quit trying to buck the system. He read their file (translated, he talked to their principal, this principal who retires next year after 17 years and doesn't have time for anything other than the next call from her travel agent).

He offered me NOTHING.
He only got worse when I broke into desperate tears.

My boys are stuck in no mans land.
IEP's are not required in no mans land.

I feel frantic, frustrated, and outraged but refuse hopelessness.
I feel frantic to get them out of this "SYSTEM" before my boys accept this as normal.
I feel frustrated because everywhere I have turned has so far been a rude dead end.
I AM outraged because it JUST SHOULD NOT be like this.
I refuse to be hopeless because, I won't stop. I won't accept no. I won't accept "doesn't qualify". I won't accept the standardized FUCKED up square my round little boys are trying to be forced into.

PLEASE, someone, tell me what hoop to jump through, and I will bring my jetpack and pogo stick.

I have some options left. I have contacted a non-profit advocacy service (thank you beyond words Randy). I have an appointment on the 14th with an independent evaluator (similar to Sylvan). If it becomes necessary I will sell my kidney and any other body parts for an attorney who will help us. My husband and I are doing our best to be in every single class, every single day with my boys (damn those jobs and bills).

Gawd these futile emotions...I'm the MOM; I am supposed to be able to fix everything. That's my JOB. This is the one job I can't fail. I feel like I am.

...and every single day my boys go to this Devon was spit on, and
I am disgustingly grateful it was only spit. Hopefully tomorrow it will only be a punch in the stomach. They are only six years old.

...make this number seven on the times I have been frustrated to tears today. They are only six years old...six very small innocent years on this planet.
(I tried to re-read my copy of "the Optomisitic Child" today, when I got angry beyond reason and threw it against the wall. The irony of an optomisitic child in a system
that crushes their worth was too much).


  • At Friday, February 03, 2006 7:26:00 AM, Blogger Phoebe said…

    Is there another school you can transfer them to? Maybe a charter school? Charter schools understand parents' frustrations with the public round peg school system.
    I really hate to see you go through this. I know what you mean -- feeling like you should be able to fix everything, and feeling like you've failed. It's the worst feeling.

  • At Friday, February 03, 2006 9:56:00 AM, Blogger Cjara said…

    My heart just tears up for you guys... But I just know you will prevail Keri. By ANY means necessary.

    I could almost feel pity for those lame ass directors...but I don't and I won't!

  • At Friday, February 03, 2006 6:06:00 PM, Blogger Miranda said…

    While things get straightened out, try to find some secular homeschooling groups in the area. Many of them will have some great activities and strategies to use at home. I had a very hard time with my son during his early years and the local homeschooling moms really helped me save my sanity and counter all the bad PR the school was giving about my baby. I obviously don't homeschool, but seriously considered it for a far less severe situation than what you are dealing with.

    Good for you for staying in the classroom with your babes. This is simply inexcusable.

    ((Keri + boys))

  • At Friday, February 03, 2006 10:09:00 PM, Blogger significant and other said…

    If the "system" is crushing them, get them the hell out of the system!!

    We had very similar problems with our boy. After he finished 2nd grade we took both kids out of school and haven't regretted it for one minute (now almost 3 years later). There are as many ways to homeschool as there are homeschoolers and you can find what works for your family.

    After watching our boy become a broken shadow of his former amazing self, I knew that we couldn't do a worse job with him than the school was doing unless we gave serious effort towards abuse and torture. It took only a month or so, but he bounced right back to himself. It makes my skin crawl to think of how bad things would be if we had continued to keep him in school while we tried to change the system.

  • At Saturday, February 04, 2006 3:39:00 AM, Blogger Randy said…

    Keri--it's early Saturday morning, and I just read this post. I've done a little legal research, and I'll try to have a draft letter from you to the school system by tomorrow. In sum, it looks like they've placed your kids in special ed. in violation of federal law. I hope I'm right; further research will tell. They'll regret messing with you, once we turn you into a parent from hell! Fuck 'em!

  • At Saturday, February 04, 2006 1:39:00 PM, Blogger Just Me said…

    ((((Keri)))) My daughter was continually bullied on the school bus. The school did nothing, the district die nothing, stating there were no witnesses that would come forward. And they didn't think it was serious enough, just rough play. (he would hit her upside her head, throw stuff at her, etc)

    The last time he did it I said fuck it and we called the police and pressed charges. His "non serious" behavior landed him in peer court and he had to do community service.

    Next time some kid bullies yours you may want to consider similar action.

    What's up with the schools allowing this kind of behavior. I grew up in ghetto Detroit and although there were tough moments, this kind of behavior was handled immediately by school officials. I loved my school.

    I am glad Randy is on board to help.

  • At Monday, February 06, 2006 3:40:00 AM, Blogger Randy said…

    It appears that they've dumped your children into a special education placement, which is something they cannot do without following the procedural rules of the IDEA. Everything I've seen lists a resource room as a special-ed placement. So they're pretty clearly in violation of federal education law, and that special ed supervisor is full of shit. And they might be in violation of federal civil rights laws too, but that's not as clear-cut. Still, a civil rights lawsuit would make a dandy threat. I'd be happy to draft a letter you could sign and send to them. PM me on cherry if that sounds good. and are pretty good resources, and reed martin has bulletin boards.

  • At Monday, February 06, 2006 7:22:00 AM, Blogger eponcz said…

    It is alarmingly common for these sorts of mistakes and mis-treatments to bog down education. It is heartwarming, though, to hear how invested you are and I am releaved to know that your children have the best advocate they could wish for -- you! As much as it seems that they are falling behind because of the system, they are miles ahead because you are so invested. Keep on trucking -- you will all get through it! I worked for a non-profit legal institution in MA that dealt with similar issues ( -- perhaps there is a similar organization in your area?

    All my best.


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