Bullying is a real problem in the lives of our children. I apologize in advance, but my post today is going to revolve around my son. In fact my life revolves around my son and my husband and my family. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My son is struggling especially hard in school this year. Sometimes I wonder if we’re ever going to get through it. He literally hates school; the thought of going sometimes makes him physically ill. I know what you’re thinking… that he’s being bullied by other children. Wrong! I found out tonight on our way home from a visit with my parents that he is being bullied by some of his teachers. Yes, teachers! The very people that are paid to instruct our children can also use their authority to make our children feel worthless and unaccomplished.
I know this isn’t a very popular subject. Better yet, it’s controversial, so I apologize in advance for that, too, but tonight I must say I’m beyond frustrated. To have your child beg you to stay home from school on Monday because “the looks” the teacher gives him… I can’t quite put how that feels into words… and I love to write. That’s what I do… I write.
He tells me that there is two particular teachers that are on his bad list. My son has ADHD, is learning disabled, and is one of the thousands of children on an IEP. He is not a behavior problem in school. He puts so much pressure on himself to be like other children, that I wonder how long he’ll be able to function that way. He tries so hard to focus.
We have tried changes in diet, vitamin supplements, meditation… you name it we’ve done it. So, I finally had to come to the difficult decision to put him on medication. He hasn’t started it yet. He had his evaluation Friday. He was on it a few years ago, but lost so much weight it scared me. So I took him off of it for the 4th grade and he did fine. This year is another story.
I’ve utilized a parent advocated this year because things were going so poorly.
Anyway, he told me tonight he is tired of feeling stupid and living in fear of being singled out because he “isn’t smart.” Hearing that from the person that you brought into this world is not an easy thing. In fact, I don’t know one parent who wouldn’t see red and be fighting mad. When I asked him who is making him feel stupid, it isn’t just the cruel children, but it is also the teachers.
At the beginning of the school year one of these teachers told my son that he didn’t deserve to get candy because he wasn’t doing his own homework; the teacher accused me of doing his homework for him. I wasn’t. We have him privately tutored and the tutor was helping because he was getting more homework than the high school kids were. I couldn’t spend nine hours at work, come home and work four more hours trying to help him with homework. It was insane! Of course, the teacher didn’t confront me directly. Instead he belittle my son in front of his entire class. And I didn’t even find any of this out until weeks after it happened. Needless to say when I discovered that the IEP wasn’t being followed, I informed the administration of the incident.
As a parent, I want what’s best for my son. Seeing him in this much misery isn’t it. As I said, I’ve already had to go into the school to confront them about the fact that they weren’t following his IEP.
When I asked my son how he thought we should solve the problem, he just said he wanted to stay home from school Monday. I am a big picture kind of person and as I thought through his request, the only thing that kept coming to my mind was staying home on Monday doesn’t deal with the frustration and anxiety that will still be waiting to confront him on Tuesday.
Yes, I’ve considered moving him to another school, but when I brought this up to him, the reaction I got was even worse. He doesn’t want to leave the one best friend he does have at school. So as a parent, what is the answer?
Who has the bigger stick? Is it the parent? Is it the teacher? Because I know it certainly isn’t the child. Don’t get me wrong I respect teachers. I was raised by one. But, let’s face it, there are some educators that chose the field of teaching for the summer breaks, spring breaks, and snow days. This is reality and, sadly, it’s the truth. It may not be what everyone wants to hear, but just in the short six years my child has been in school, the majority of teachers I’ve come into contact with fit this profile. It’s sad.
At this point, it sure does seem like the teacher has the bigger stick. Nevertheless, it’ might be a good idea put the stick away and start teaching from the heart. If you wave that stick around too much, I’m the kind of person who can take the stick out of your hand and then it’s hard to say what would happen.
Okay, I’m done ranting. Again, I apologize. Yes, I’m a writer, but I’m a mother first and when my child hurts, I hurt. If you are any kind of parent, I know you can sympathize with the frustration of seeing your child in pain and having no answers. You just want to fix the problem, but have no clue where to begin.