NBFR: Wwyd (parenting related) — The Bump
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NBFR: Wwyd (parenting related)

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edited January 2014 in Blended Families
A friend of mine is a single mom of two boys, 13 and 7/8. The oldest has always had some issues at school. But lately they are getting worse. I'm not sure of the exact details, but apparently his teachers are fed up with his disrespect. And that is what is the worst to her. She has always demanded respect be given to her and others and held her boys to a high standard of behavior. But it's getting the point that she is worried about his behavior escalating.

A little backstory. She was a young teen mom (15). Was kicked out of the house at that age because baby was biracial but made it on her own with no help from BD or anyone else. Had worked her butt off to give those bus the life they deserve. And really, she is an awesome mom. When it comes to passion for her kids and what she had to do to steer them away from the wrong paths, there are few parents who compare. She is determined that they not follow in her footsteps (or the oldest' s dad who is mostly absent).

So here is the predicament. After extensive communication with teachers, she decided and was welcomed to accompany 13yo to classes to observe. But when she got to the school, administration and the SRO stopped her at the door and would not allow it, not even when the teachers got involved and said they would love to have her observe and had already arranged it.

What would you do in this situation? Naturally, she will be taking it up with the school board. She wants to be an active parent in all aspects of her son's life, wants him to know that she means business, wants tge teachers to know that she supports them and is working on things, and she wants to find out what is going on exactly so that she can effectively deal with it. Because obviously conventional method are not working.

I'm just curious what you would do if in this situation? I told her that if going up the chain doesn't work, I would take it to the media. I'll be dampened if someone stopped me from taking care of business with my kids. If you're not disruptive or intrusive or otherwise preventing the teachers from doing their jobs, then there is no reason a parent should not be allowed to do their job.

EDITED for the title. I meant to say WWYD, not Wed... stupid autocorrect

Re: NBFR: Wwyd (parenting related)

  • Did the teachers get permission from the Principal for  the mother observe before she showed up?

  • That I don't know. She has been in constant communication with the VP and Principal since middle school began for her 13yo, so I would imagine they were privvy to this beforehand. When she said "administration," she meant that the SRO would not allow her to stay, even though she was going to the office to check in as a guest. I just got that clarification from a recent facebook post where someone asked who "administration" referred to.

    It sounds really strange to me that the school has been calling her weekly at least, sending notes home every day, and then when she tries to take her methods further to make them more effective, they deny her the opportunity. Especially if the teachers claim they are the end of their rope with him.

    I am not really asking for advice purposes. I am more or less just curious, what would you all do if in this situation?
  • I would raise holy hell with the principal's office. Is it a public school? Aren't parents supposed to be allowed to observe at any time, unannounced? That's the case in my school district, at least. So parents don't ever feel like they can't see what goes on at school.

    It's especially frustrating that your friend is trying to support the teachers, and is being treated more like a spy who is trying to catch the school doing something wrong.

  • I have had similar issues with my son and what I learned was that most school boards will support parents observing students as long as it is not causing a disruption. If I were her I would start with the superintendent and then the school board then move it to the the states department if education for a complaint, the issue will get fixed because the department of education does not like bad media. I also learned that media sources such as the news and newspapers won't touch things that have to deal with schools. Good luck
  • In my school there is nothing that would bend the rule of allowing someone who wasn't a student in a classroom. People are crazy these days and that's just a liability the school should not have to deal with.

    Plus is she going to come to his college classes and discipline him there? Is she going to go on his first date and teach him how to be polite? No. We give our children the skills and tools to go into the world and use these skills when we aren't around.

    I would start with counseling for the oldest to find our how she can support him through his anger and go from there
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  • What will sitting in on the class accomplish?  Her son can behave himself for one day while she sits in.  Is she going to deny he is being disrespectful? 

    Has she spoken to her son about why he is disrespectful?  What does he say? 

    Maybe she can arrange a meeting with the teachers, her son, her, and the principal.

    My guess is that he has a lot of anger about being abandoned by his dad, possibly has a hard time fitting in if he is bi-racial (depending on what your school system is like).

    Is there are Peer or Big Brother program in the area?  Maybe he needs a positive role model.   

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
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