“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” ~Albert Einstein
I found the comments on the last post very interesting. I have to agree with Erin; the months after David was born and I needed to come to grips with the realization that not only was he, too, severely disabled, but that I would most likely never have a normal child, were a very difficult period. Actually, it still hurts to even write those words.
I am struggling with an issue now. Pearlsky’s primary teacher is out on maternity leave and her new teacher leaves a bit to be desired. You may remember that a while back he had Pearlsky get ready for swimming, had her in her suit, and when he discovered that she could not go in the water (for a lame reason), he had her sit and watch everyone else do the one thing she loves more than anything else. He never explained nor apologized to her. Yes, the error of his ways was explained to him by the special ed coordinator, and me. He is also the one that would have Pearlsky out in public with bright green socks on her hands to try to stop her from putting her fingers in her mouth. And the one who, in direct violation of Pearlsky’s IEP, took her on trips without a nurse nor my permission. And now he is the one who directly and outwardly lied on her progress report. That brings me to today.
The lies and fabrications on the progress report were pointed out to the teacher, by me in an email to the special ed coordinator and cc’d to him. The bizarre thing is that his lies in the report make him look bad, not good. It is my understanding that I will get an email from the teacher shortly. I do not know what it will contain, but one should be arriving, as well as a new (supposedly true) version of the progress report.
Here is my dilemma. I want to completely and totally lambaste the young man in an email in response. To put it another way, I want to rip him a new asshole (an expression I generally refrain from using). I understand that few are happy with his job performance and such an email may actually be a participatory nail in his coffin. There actually is no acceptable reason for the fabrication of the progress report, just as the reason for his violating Pearlsky’s IEP was ludicrous (“someone told me it was ok to do” … and he could not remember who!). If there is an apology or an explanation, I cannot imagine either being acceptable. If it is, I will, of course accept it. But if it is not, or one is not offered, am I right in explaining to him, as only SingleDad is want to do, how I am dismayed at how he treats me and my daughter? Or do I just let it go? Letting it go is a form of acceptance. People will do what they have learned they can get away with, we all do, that is human nature. Gently explaining to him, with specifics and examples, how he treats my daughter, a student whom, by law, I leave in his care, without a shred of empathy. How he violates legal agreements between the school and Pearlsky herself and her family and endangers her medically. In my mild manner, explaining that committing fraud on a legal document and making up imaginary actions on his part and Pearlsky’s is not appropriate. Is there a point in doing that? Yes, I will feel better. Yes, he will lose sleep. He is already very afraid of me, this has been verified by others, and he does not come across as a very strong person. But that is not my nor Pearlsky’s problem. But if I let it go, there is minimal chance things will change. After all, he was told today, with some incredulous vocalizations, “You really did this to of all people, Pearlsky’s report?” to which I am informed, he just mumbled something. He has been told repeatedly that his actions are not acceptable yet he continues. Don’t ask why he still has a job, that is something I cannot answer.
I so want him to know how wrong it is to treat my daughter, anyone’s child, like this (mean, uncaring, humiliating). How wrong it is to treat me like this (proven lies, deception). How to behave like a man (which is NOT for me to teach him), how to behave like a special education teacher (not my job either, but obviously no one else is getting through to him). Will writing it help others? Either by helping to remove him, or having something that gets through to him?
If I end up writing said letter, I will abide by my own first rule of advocacy. Be right. People will always remember if you are wrong. I will abide by my second rule of advocacy. Really, really, really try to refrain from personal attacks. Unless it is really, really deserved, and even then, try to hide it.
“You low-life piece of shit, stay away from my daughter” is generally frowned upon. Much better is “I’ve been looking for someone to care for my dead goldfish, but alas, I don’t think you rise to the job description.”
Michael, you make it obvious that to you she’s just another crippled retard. This may not be a proper profession for you. Proctology research subject may be a better match when I’m done.
I’m writing this post at 31,000 feet …sealed in this tin can flying across the country, with three things on my mind. I am thousands of miles away from Pearlsky who deals with these pukes on a daily basis and wondering “why?” I close my eyes and imagine life with a goddess. And finally, I am trying to figure out how to get this fat, smelly guy next to me to give up the armrest.
And, I think he’s looking at the my screen.
You can stop imagining soon. I am SO worth the trip. 😉
And you get rid of the fat, smelly guy by writing “I WISH THERE WAS A CURE FOR HERPES” across your screen. Or maybe just “My GOD, I’m so SORRY, I had no idea my warts are contagious” so you get the armrest.
And as for the teacher…yeah, you do what you have to do, and don’t worry about getting his ass fired. A person who can lie on a progress report about a child (who cannot even confirm or deny the truth of his claims, which is obviously why he felt comfortable lying in the first place) should not be a teacher. Let me put it to you this way: I would not want him teaching my children. You would probably be doing all the parents, and children, a favor.
Ditto Rivka on the last sentence.
Yea,what they said.
The sad part is these teachers would never be this horrible to a “normal” student….but as soon as you take the tiniest bit of effort and ingenuity to teach, all hell breaks loose. God forbid they treat us like normal people for once….
Be factual. Be concise. Explain very clearly what he did wrong. Refrain from name calling. Use words like “deeply concerned” and “unprofessional.” Be sure to cc to his superiors.
Clearly, this young man is in the wrong profession.
Rivka: I’m a one goddess man … leaving both loved ones on business is just a major bummer …
Please, SD, show no mercy. If the guy gets fired as the result of your letter, so be it. He clearly doesn’t have what it takes to be a teacher, so getting him canned would probably be for the best.
I’m getting palpitations just thinking about your experience with Pearlsky’s bozo of a teacher, along with Monkey’s upcoming and very first IEP meeting. You aren’t available to hire as an advocate/ pain – in – the – school – system’s hindquarters, are you? I may be able to arrange for a goddess to greet you upon arrival. I hear one of Charlie Sheen’s goddesses is once again on the market… 😉
If the above suggestions to reclaim the armrest don’t work, you could try turning to your neighbor and giving him a wink and a sly, “How you doin’?” Of course, that may make the duration of the flight all the more uncomfortable.
Jo: I am more than happy to give any advice or encouragement you need, but I am sure you will do wonderfully. As for the arrival greeting, looking into the background of CS’s goddesses (via a simple Google search) is enough to scare one for life. Just the titles of some of her past videos … but this is a family blog. Alas, between Pearlsky and Aphrodite, my happiness is assured.
Document and report. The district is in trouble for not following the IEP. IDEA is federal law.
In California, you can report these sorts of violations to the state Dept. of Education, then the district has to explain to the state. It doesn’t make a lot of friends with the district, but it gets their attention. I’m sure your state has something similar.
Interestingly, you don’t have to be a parent to file a complaint. It is still a violation, regardless of who notices it. My mom in Texas volunteered to file a complaint for us if we didn’t want to be the bad guys.
California special ed complaints: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/se/qa/
It sounds to me like the little tool fell into the career but has no aptitude or drive to do it well.
Let him have it. Be professional, don’t say anything that you wouldn’t say in front of your mom on the 6 o’clock news, but lay it out for him and cc everyone you can think of. He either needs to man up or he needs to get into another line of work. Whichever way you can push him is good for Pearlsky and for anyother kids who might end up under his care.
Omg what an asshole. He should not be teaching.
Minor edit: “You [WILL] be doing all the parents, and children, a favor.”
SD — I am a long time lurker to your blog. Please let him have it. Just because they can teach doesn’t mean they should, there are other children that will follow Pearlsky and they shouldn’t be subject to his ineptness. I am dealing with a similar situation with my daughter, and no one wants to tell this young woman (her teacher) she is an awful teacher. It doesn’t matter if the child is ‘normal’ or not. An incompetent teacher does no one any good, not the child who trusts the teacher is there to guide them, not the parents who believe the teacher has their child’s best interest at heart, not the school’s, when they can’t figure out why enrollment is declining in one grade (because those students don’t want to move to her class). And they’re looking at me like I’m the nutty one!
Sorry, this was not the day to read this type of entry.
Definitely send the e-mail! We had a similiar teacher one year for my youngest son. I actually cried when the school told me she was being replaced ~ finally. I was at the school every day, often sitting in the classroom.
@Jo — Breathe! That first IEP can be scary but if you stay focused on what your son needs and go in with the attitude that everyone at the table wants to help your son, you are half-way there. That being said, be prepared to find school staff that are horrible (like Peralsky’s current teacher) and staff that is good-hearted but clueless about federal law regarding our kids education. Hope for the best, prepare for battle.
If you have a friend who can go with to take notes and provide moral support, that really can help.
1. Bring a parent report to the IEP
a. your goals for your child, both long-term and for the year
—the goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time limited) (ex. Monkeyboy will increase his flexibilty in his legs by 20% as measured by the AKE by May 1, 2012. AKE results to be recorded 1x week.)
b. list of areas of strength and areas of weakness for your son
c. list of services you want (OT, PT, Speech, etc)
3. Bring a box of tissue. Yes, you will likely cry. Yes, that is okay. Yes, most parents and some teachers do cry at IEPs.
As a teacher I say let him have it! Not everyone is suited to work with students who are as unique as Pearlsky, and if your not go teach somewhere else or find a new profession. Be professional and cc everyone but complain!