My dd's teacher was terrorizing her....

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2008
My dd's teacher was terrorizing her....
11
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 2:23pm

My dd was diagnosed ADHD at the end of kindergarten. We went 18 months working with her teachers and doctor to find a medication that worked for her only to end up with a 2nd grader with suicidal thoughts (thank you Vyvanse!) So we took her off the meds and things at school got very rough moreso for her teacher than her. She was happy, eating and excited again but she lost what was left of her focus in class and it apparently sent her teacher over the edge.


I started getting reports from other parents that my dd's friends were telling them how mean the teacher was to my dd and a particular incident of her standing over my dd's desk and screaming at her until she cried. After hearing these reports I asked my dd about it and she told me what was going on but said she didn't want to tell me because she thought it was her fault because she can't sit still.


After all this my dd is in a really scary place for such a little person. She's not excited about school, she's blaming herself and she's become very emotinally needy. I made the decision to homeschool her in hopes that being away from that environment for the rest of the year I could help her build up her self esteem and get her excited about learning again.


I met with the principal and told her what was going on and why I was taking her out of school

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 2:58pm

Some would argue that when your DD is in a regular school setting, that she and the others are probably being given the message (repeatedly?) that they are there to learn and not to socialize. I think that if you are careful to incorporate socialization into her evenings and weekends then she should be fine.

I'm homeschooling this year. My DS was being bullied and shunned by the other kids and he was VERY unhappy. It wasn't an immediate transformation but he's a much happier kid now. He's also really excited to go back next year. I figure that he just needed a year to decompress (and work on some basic skills). I jokingly tell friends that a year of me teaching him cured him of his "schoolitis", LOL.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 3:00pm

The fact that it was so bad that other kids were telling their parents...no, you made the right decision! All your daughter would be doing in school is worrying on how she could sit still, which would make it harder for her to focus on what she needed to learn! The stress must have been awful for her!

I am homeschooling my ADHD son because we saw the writing on the wall with kinder. Despite me saying "please don't give him to the same teacher that his sister had" they assigned him to her. She was so inappropriate for boys in general, and worse for special needs. 8 boys transferred the first two weeks. She told a boy with speech issues "Don't talk like a baby!" He didn't talk the rest of the year. She shamed kids for drawing faces on their zeros, along with lots of other things. She had them sit so long that I got antsy when I went in to help with the class. NO WAY I was going to let my son spend a day with her! Your daughter's teacher sounds even worse...at least this teacher didn't yell.

Be sure to focus on the good things every day with your daughter. "Isn't it nice that you can get up and move around! Isn't it nice you can eat when you are hungry, can go to the bathroom when you need to, learn math while doing hopscotch...."

See if you can set up after school play dates for your daughter, or meet at the park or things like that for the social aspect. Also check online to see if there are homeschooling groups in your area - often they do field trips and play dates too, but more often during the day than after school time. Check out the library - they may have groups as well. Some places cater to home schooled kids with gymnastics or swimming lessons during the day also.

Not sure about your state, but here in WA, we can take a couple non-academic classes at the school if we want, like music, art and gym. Unless you totally trust the principal (which does sound like a good person) call the board office to find out if it is allowed. Some places don't want other kids coming in for things (even after school) and may give a pat answer when actually you are allowed.

Be sure to check out the iVillage homeschool message board too - the people there can really help out too.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 3:04pm

I don't know if you're hurting her by taking her away from her friends, but I do believe you are hurting her by not dealing with the issue at school more directly. First & foremost, the teacher was bullying your dd. Second, the school was not adhering to guidance and accommodation standards for a diagnosed ADDer, ESPECIALLY if she had a 504 or IEP. You need to get your child placed in another classroom, with a teacher who UNDERSTANDS Special ED, and children with disabilities. You need to get her accommodations IN WRITING, and have an aide sit in the classroom with your child, to help keep her on task, at LEAST until you find a med she can tolerate. Lastly, you need to hold the school accountable for ALLOWING your child to be bullied and get that UNFIT teacher out of the classroom.

You child has a disability. She will have problems with people who do not understand her disability, for her entire life. She needs to learn how to advocate for herself, by seeing YOU advocate for her now. You do NOT do that by running away.. You do that by DEMANDING your rights, and by DEMANDING that that teacher never be allowed to terrorize another child.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 4:21pm

So how much more does this child have to endure? The mom said that she wants to put her back next year...that gives the mom time to do all the things that you mentioned to be ready for next year. She now has the time to go and observe classes and teachers and talk to them and find the classroom that will be the best fit next year.

While I agree that the teacher should go, the mom has talked to the principal. She didn't say what the principal was going to do.

This post was more concerned about the child right now, as she rightly should be. The girl now has a skewed view of herself that she can't do well. I am sure that this girl has lots of wonderful qualities that this mom needs to reaffirm. Switching classrooms would have taken time, and still would have had her in contact with the teacher at various times. If switched too quickly, the classroom that she was moved to might have been as bad. The child needs her family to focus on her needs right now - focusing on the teacher doesn't actually help the girl. The girl needed to be out of the class ASAP before more harm could be done - and I have seen the harm that can be done as a last jab before leaving the classroom.

Homeschooling is not "giving in". It is instead focusing on the needs right now. Changing the system is nice...but it takes time. This child does not have that time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2003
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 4:51pm

I agree with you. the child should not have had to endure one more day of that kind of treatment. The school system seems to move at a snail's pace with this kind of stuff. Meetings, evaluations, more meetings and on and on. She did the right thing by meeting with the Principal and telling her what was going on.

I would encourage the poster to get the school district to plan for her return to school next year, NOW. Hopefully, they will accommodate you. You don't want to have her go back without accommodations in place.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 7:02pm

I *MIGHT* agree with you if the WHOLE school was involved, or if many children were teasing or bullying her, but it was ONE teacher. IMO, the best way for this child to learn that NOT all teachers are like that one, and to "get her excited about learning again", is to put her back in school, with an intelligent, caring teacher, and guidance people who understand her condition, so she can get the FREE, APPROPRIATE, PUBLIC EDUCATION that our VERY EXPENSIVE real estate taxes pay for. And if the school she is attending now does not have that, then the parent should demand her child be sent to a school that DOES. She has that right.

And BTW, it should not take any more time than it took the mother to walk into the office and say I'm pulling her out, to put the child into another classroom. The SCHOOL certainly knows the personality of it's teachers, so there is NO reason for her to be placed in a classroom that would be "as bad".

And of course the school was happy to allow the parent to take her child out of school. That way, they did NOT have to pay 2 cents to accommodate this child. They did not have to hire an aide. They did not have to ENFORCE state and federal education and bullying and harassment laws. They did not have to do anything about the teacher. And MOST OF ALL, if they don't want to be bothered with her next year, they are now free to say, "Your child is not prepared to be placed into the next grade", or "We still don't have accommodations for her; why don't you homeschool her for ANOTHER year?" Because they know this parent will NOT FIGHT.

<> Of COURSE the child has "time"--she's NOT in imminent physical or emotional danger. She's just <>. And there is no system that needs to be changed. The "system" IS in place; The rights under IDEA and No Child Left Behind have been federally mandated for years. EVERY STATE IN THE UNION has laws to address bullying, harassment, and hazing. All the child needs, is for the parent to say, as *I* have, "I know my daughter's rights. THIS is what she needs, NOW.
Remember--“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing”.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2003
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 8:07pm

I really think that this Mom was coming here for advice and support. That is what this board is for. This is not a debate board. She has been through a very stressful situation and is dealing a child with a chronic medical condition for which there is no cure for. I feel that, while you make some valid points about not letting the school district get off, your tone and apparent lack of empathy for this Mom is not called for.

She did what she thought was best at the time. I don't blame her for wanting the emotional abuse of her child to cease immediately.

I hardly believe that simply requesting a teacher change would have resulted in an immediate reassignment. If everyone who was unhappy with a teacher could simply march into the Principal's office and get a new teacher, some teachers would be left without any students!

There is no right or wrong answer here. She did what she thought was best at the time. The school should now know that she means business and won't put up with things as is. I applaud her for making a difficult decision and not allowing her daughter to be subjected to this for one more day. You say it was ONE teacher, but she is with that ONE teacher for all day every school day.

I belong to two support boards here regarding my son. This is the second time recently that I have read a very unsupportive post. It really stresses me out to read this kind of stuff when I come to these boards for advice, support, encouragement and to share the same with others. I hope that you will reconsider the tone of your posts in the future.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 8:48pm

I suspect (but don't know for sure) based on the post, that the mother has been dealing with the school for a while now and trying to get what her child needs. Perhaps, if you know of a free lawyer in her area, that would be of help to her. But...considering that her daughter was suicidal earlier this year, I suspect that the mom is worn thin on the all the stuff dealing with school, doctors, medication and everything else. That probably played a large part in her choosing to do what she did. She came to this board for support...that is what I am giving her...not another task.

Yes, the school should do all that you said. I tried to get all the stuff in line for my son too and had to fight them for what I did get - but, I decided to not risk him, who is a very sensitive kid. Instead I am letting him progress at his rate. He is doing grade level work, but hey, he doesn't have homework! He gets everything done in about 2.5 hours! And he is testing very well! He makes progress every year with his attention, speech, OT and social skill, but he isn't up to par with his age mates. Why does he have to be singled out as different? He knows he learns differently, but he is happy, outgoing and he feels that he is very successful. He measures himself against himself, not other kids.

Why shouldn't this other girl have the same opportunities, even if only for this year, if that is what this parent wants? The stuff about holding her back...well that is easy. The mom just needs to tell the school to test her for placement. They may be surprised at how much more she progressed at home than the rest of the kids who stayed in class! Moms can educate their kids and do as well or better than the school. When one or just a few kids are being educated, it doesn't take as long to get through a lesson. School work can be done effectively and quickly, with as many wiggle breaks as are needed. Most homeschooling curriculum is as scripted as what the teachers have, and it certainly doesn't take a rocket scientist to do one child when you have the right resources. (What does take a rocket scientist is keeping a class of 25-30 young kids engaged and learning! That was one of the hardest jobs I have ever had!)

Public school is great...I fully support my tax money going for the schools even though my kids don't attend. I want good schools in my neighborhood as the kids of my friends attend them. Good schools equal less crime and all that other stuff. I support my tax dollars going for other things I don't use too...like public housing assistance, food stamps and lots more. Yes, I want them to work better, and I want strong people like you to help make them better. But people do take different roads to accomplishing things and prioritizing their needs. I respect that. I hope you do too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2008
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 9:32pm

I appreciate your view on an alternative way of handling things but I did not run away from the problem. I met with the principal and told her what had been going on. I was not going to make it my personal crusade to get the teacher fired.


It would have taken weeks for administrative intervention and I wasn't going to leave her there in that environment. An IEP or 504 wasn't even brought to my attention until I met with the principal. Going forward these options will be explored if we decide to send her back next year but right now the focus is my dd and her emotional well being.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 10:28pm

I totally understand why your focus is being given to your child right now, but--if you're thinking about going back in the fall, then I'd get the requests in for 504/IEP now. They get a certain amount of time to do the testing (45 days, plus other time frames), etc., etc., and you're going to be better off in the fall with that stuff already in place, if you can get it. I don't think it'd take that much time to put the evaluation requests in (writing, etc.). And I'd recommend a read of the wright's law website about your rights here, if you can find the time. All I'm saying is, get the process moving now, so that what she needs is all in place by fall. If you don't send her back, you've wasted a few hours of your time, that's all, and with luck, you'll even get to learn some stuff about how she learns!

I'm SO unimpressed with your school system--ADHDer who has to come off meds due to suicidal ideation & they DONT suggest a 504 at least?

I ditto the others on playdates, sounds like a good idea if you can work it.

Good luck!!! Poor kid...

Megan
Megan

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