When the teacher is the bully …
New client, first meeting I attended as the advocate. I always follow up a meeting with an email with the key points, especially anything we want in writing, after all, “If it is not in writing, it wasn’t said.”
Here is a key excerpt from the meeting email this week …
Nancy has an Individualized Education Program because of her diagnoses of ADHD, Anxiety Disorder, and a Specific Learning Disability in reading.
Nancy has been repeatedly subjected to punishments that consist of public humiliation, potential physical harm, infringement of her rights, disruption of her education process and denial of her FAPE. The punishments are for actions of hers that are directly caused by her disability, specifically manifestations of her ADHD. When Nancy is seemingly not paying attention in science class, Mrs. A takes Nancy’s stick away in front of the other students and puts it in the jar assuring that Nancy will not be getting a prize at the end of the day.
Key symptoms of ADHD, according to the NIH, include and are not limited to: not seeming to listen when spoken to; daydream; easily distracted; have difficulty focusing on one thing,become bored with a task after only a few minutes; have difficulty … completing a task or learning something new (here is link to NIH).
Her punishment for this manifestation, the (putting of her stick in the warning jar) serves to only aggravate her anxiety disorder causing her further difficulties in focusing, hence denying her FAPE for the rest of the day. Additionally, because Nancy’s mother failed to sign Nancy’s agenda, she was subjected to a different punishment. At the meeting it was pointed out that in fact Nancy’s mother was the one who “failed,” but Mrs. A claimed the punishment was due to Nancy failing to remind her mother.
Note that another documented symptom of ADHD is “Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments” (ibid.).
Nancy was offered the choice of sitting out of recess or doing multiple laps around the playground. The “What to Expect” document, as well as the Student Handbook, both show that recess is a right, not a privilege. It is inappropriate to take away a student’s rights. Having a student publicly humiliated by stressful physical exercise is not only archaic, but infringes on her rights. Furthermore, it denies her FAPE by removing her from the student population and escalating her anxiety, thus destroying her ability to learn for the day; all because of an action (or lack thereof) by her mother. Offering a student with multiple disabilities a no-win choice of punishments is an attempt to blame that student for the punishment enacted. Please note that the actions have the same effect on Nancy as directly outlined in the district’s own bullying policy, i.e., “public humiliation, potential physical harm, infringe on her rights.” It is our understanding that, effective immediately, Nancy will no longer be subject to such punishments when they are due directly or indirectly to her acknowledged, documented disability.
And now a public service announcement … bullying of any form does not “just go away.” And if properly reported, it won’t get worse. I know about it from many points of view. Do not ignore bullying.
Wish you'd been around for my oldest and for Katie.
I hate today, my son was humiliated ~ no clothes on a bus at age 6- disability and police refused to help me. All on camera on school bus. Two years later ~ teacher with cancer ~ denies fair and truthful 3 yr.ctesting in all areas because of her lack of ability to teach . No one again would help me hold the school to retest dispite again prof. Another year 5 th grade ~ proof of wrong grade wrong classroom, no IEP followed or ever read by teachers bullied , humiliated , all proven, ~ my zone get only a tutor for a few months. Period.
6 grade – teacher ~ humiliates my son, sexually, denied all academics, wrong placement again, land me as parent has to deal with CPS, because of me advocating for academics only!
Then i I twke him away from a potentially sexually disturbed young male teacher ~ even the aides told me they were freighter need by him, and next school~
the new teacher was friends and worked with the young male whom I made a spectacle at an IEP by bring my sons psychologist to the past IEP~ that new teacher ~ has my son come home with cuts on his wrist, bloody knuckles ~ huge scrapes on his knees, pinch marks and black and blue marks on him~
with lawyers looking on, making money telling me to be quiet , and dropping the whole thing because the lawyer decided a one hour class was all the school needed.
so I place my son in his home district, in 8 th grade ~ again ~ wrong placement against his IEP
no inclusion And not disclosed to me, no academics, no P.E. No communication , no expressive classes, not allowed to do anything but set up to watch t.v, on big couch and all kids play with each other. To prove none of them need academics , computers IPads, inclusion, and of course never be allowed P.E. With typical peers, nor arts , and of course their need for cartoons is all they wanted, and to learn about their bodies. All IEP services and academics and goals ignored and actually not allowed. Behavioral plan create with out parent, no IPad needed , for child to use,except for pre pre work, like " this is the letter A ~ when my son can already read at second grade level.
Lol! Disability lawyer going in to IEP ~ telling me they just advocated for transportation to the humiliating classroom, called sever special day class I never signed for nor o.ked.
Wvery leawyer making profit from my son bein denied an education and humiliated and even abused . Shame shame ~ and I advocated as a low income parent in San Diego with no one ethical enough to hold any one accountable ~ so maybe I never should have advocated , as it got me humiliated and my son physically and mentally harmed .
no one is out their for the low income and the ones that are feast on school monies as they side with the schools including disability rights lawyers.
I home school now ~ my son fears schools and he plays piano, cooks , reads better , is learning g to spell, learning math , and does many activities in The Arts and sports by Not going to school.
Life is pretty serious and horrible as a low income parent , so no advocating can harm a child terrible and a parent. You should say , I can not help low income parents, know no one whom will help, and run until your hat floats shut up or home school.
That is my reality. I tried every one with 8 non compliance complaints and no one cares that have any bullets to hold a district accountable . They are too busy racking up money aggressively by siding with districts illegally and unethically .
The symptoms listed for ADHD, with the exception of an inability to learn new things, are much the same as the symptoms of profound giftedness. This is true for me and many others who are profoundly gifted. I got so anxious when school began and teachers started telling us how to read and do arithmetic. No wonder we were looking out the window and not listening to what was being said. I’d give Nancy an IQ test.
After being raised by the nuns, one learns to deal with abuse, humiliation, punishment and threats. This is helpful later in life.
Nice work SD. You'd get along well with my MIL. Back in the day here when my wife was little she had a number of bad teachers, one punished her for her drink bottle leaking in her school bag, another made her walk home from school by herself at age 6 in the middle of the day when she was running a fever and delirious. My MIL would pay these teachers a visit at school to point out the errors of their ways and (to use an old colloquialism used here which means to give someone a severe dressing down) would "rip them up for shit paper". This wasn't done much back in those days, the school was considered the teachers domain back then, but I would've loved her to have dealt with a few of my teachers.
It is horrible to hear that. I am a teacher candidate and reading this really opened my eyes to teacher bullying.