As I do everyday, I met Pearlsky when she came home on the bus today, Wednesday, swim day. I speak to the aide on the bus.
How was swimming?
I wasn’t there, but I am told that they changed her into her suit but did not let her swim. She just watched.
I’ll deal with that.
I call the classroom. The teacher tells me he just sent me an email, that the P.T. never showed up, and yes, Pearlsky just sat in her bathing suit watching.
I call the Special Education Coordinator at the high school, who I know well, and we get along great.
I’ll tell you up front, I’m livid. What is the one thing that Pearlsky loves to do most?
Right. So why did they put her in her bathing suit and make her watch as the other’s swam?
She agreed that she would be livid as well. I tell her I will call the Assistant Superintendent for Special Services. I try, and left a voice mail.
Then I get back to my office and I see this email from the teacher:
I just wanted to let you know that Pearlsky was not able to go swimming today because the PT, who usually takes her swimming, was not able to make it and we did not have enough staff to safely do it ourselves. She did tell us that she was going to try to make up that time later this week with PT.
Please feel free to email me about any other swimming concerns, as I am the teacher who takes the students to the pool.
To which I respond, with copies to the Coordinator and the Assistant Superintendent:
You left out of your note the fact that you took Pearlsky to the pool, got her in her bathing suit, and had her sit there and not swim. HOW DARE YOU TEASE HER LIKE THAT.
Did anyone look her in the eye and apologize?
Swimming is the only activity that we know she thoroughly enjoys. It is outrageous to do this to her. It also violates her IEP, YET AGAIN, to have her miss her P.T. sessions. Does ANYONE care that these mandated P.T. session are just skipped? Do I need to file a formal complaint with the state and demand a hearing? Why does this continue?
I demand to know how you intend to stop violating her IEP, stop with the repeated omissions of her P.T. (this is the fourth or fifth time this year) and I demand you NEVER tease and taunt my daughter again by getting her dressed for swimming and make her watch the others enjoy themselves while she sits by. That is just cruel.
She is owed multiple apologies, multiple P.T. sessions, and a bit of respect.
About an hour later the Assistant Superintendent called. She said they are working on the budget to solve the P.T. problem, there was absolutely no excuse for how Pearlsky was treated today, she would talk to the teacher and the P.T., and that this will not happen again.
Even though it’s swimming, neither Pearlsky nor I are holding our breath.