Monday, March 4, 2013

Because sometimes, your kid needs a rescue mission...

Can I just... vent my spleen here? I mean, seriously, the people at the middle school... the stupid, oh, my gods, the stupid...

That steady thumping you hear? It's me, banging my head over and over again into the desk.

You know, seriously, I really thought it was Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere, but apparently, getting assigned to the middle school causes some sort of... brain damage. Or maybe Sees-Plots-Everywhere cursed the school, sort of like how Voldemort cursed the DADA position at Hogwarts. I dunno, but the last two weeks have been... horrible, and today was just the capper.


Okay, so... last Monday... no wait, let me start over. It all started with a phone call. The Impossible Son had been playing a "game,", one of those stupid games 6th grade kids play that are so stupid and you think, "Surely my child is too smart to play that sort of stupid game," But, my son isn't immune from Stupidity, so... he took a pencil, turned it over and rubbed the eraser into his skin until... he literally rubbed a hole into his skin. Not only that... he did it three more times! All on the back of his hand!!

The principal of the school, who was the Impertinent Daughter's vice principal last year and thus knows me, called me to tell me that Mr. Impossible wasn't in trouble, but if it happened again, it would be an automatic suspension. Okay, fine. I can handle that. And the Husbandly One and I had the "any game that involve bodily injury, or harm, to yourself or others, is a game you are not going to play because it is stupid and people who encourage you to play these games are not your friends, they are stupid people you do not need to be around" talk with him. And that was that.

I thought.

I had been told to keep the eraser burns on his hand covered until they were healed, so I went and bought some vet wrap at the local feed store because, let me tell you something: Band-Aids aren't going to stay stuck to my kid's skin. His papa is the same way, I don't know if it's skin oils or what. The only band-aids that have any hope of staying on his skin more than ten minutes at a pop (and that's a generous estimate) are the waterproof kind made by 3M. So vet-wrap and gauze it was.

So, by the following Monday, I was almost out of vet wrap and didn't have enough to wrap between his thumb and forefinger to make sure the dang thing would stay put. Needless to say, it slid off by first period.

His first period teacher, a language arts teacher I will most generously call "Mrs. Picky" instead of what I want to call her (which is Mrs. Bitch), sent him to the nurse, who threw something together with band-aids and... get this... scotch tape. Yes, you read that right, scotch tape, the tape you use on wrapping paper when wrapping a present. Yes. That lasted... not at all. And when he got into band and started playing his trombone, it became painful, so he pulled it off. In the meantime, he had a friction burn from gym on his forearm so that had a band-aid, too, that Mrs. B... Picky put on his arm. That was stayed in place, until it fell off, unnoticed.

About this time, Mrs. Picky shows up to pull my son out of band class. Apparently, this is something she's been doing quite frequently, and no one has been informing me of this. Nor have I authorized her to pull Mr. Impossible out of classes. Period.

So, Mrs. Picky pulls him, notices the missing bandage and immediately decides to write him up and haul him to the office, where he is put in In School Suspension. Which basically means he's suspended and can't attend classes, but... within the school instead of sending him home. Talking to the 6th grade Assistant Principal (hereforth to be called the AP), it sounds like he was put in I.S.S. to separate him from Mrs. Picky.


So, the Impossible Son is very upset when I pick him up and informs me of what happened, and that he will be serving in I.S.S. the next day as well. When I asked why, it turned out he had participated in another Stupid Game, this one called Nut Check Thursday This game involves going up to other boys and striking them lightly in the crotch with a hand and saying, "NUT CHECK THURSDAY!!" Except it was Friday.

Shoot me now. My son has testosterone poisoning.

He was caught, and assigned I.S.S. for the following Tuesday. And that one, I will freely admit, was wholly deserved. Because stupidity fully deserves punishment, right?

Now, while he was in I.S.S., his teachers were supposed to send his work to the I.S.S. room so he didn't fall behind. And they mostly did... except Mrs. Picky. And she waited until FRIDAY to decide he hadn't done his work, and she pulled him from P.E. and sent him to the library... not to work on the written part of his assignment, but to color a picture.

Yes. This woman pulled my son from his physical education class to have him color a picture. I am not kidding. I wish I were. Really.

And the only reason I found out about this was because my son lost a baby tooth in the library, and was sent to the nurse, who called me immediately. Because he had a second loose tooth he was in danger of losing, and it was causing him a great deal of pain, so they wanted me to come pick him up.

It wasn't until after we got in the car that I found out what had happened, and... I pretty much hit my limit of patience with Mrs. Picky at that moment. She rides him constantly, calls me and tells me things like, "Maybe you should move Mr. Impossible to another class, because he has such a hard time staying awake in mine. He's always half asleep, he never has a pencil, and he's always forgetting his I.D." Then she turns right around and says, "I love having your son in my class because he's so smart, and he's always reading, and he's so funny, and I just love him!!"

Talk about mixed messages!!

Okay, so I looked at him and said, "You want me to transfer you out of her class while we're here?"

He looked massively relieved and said, "Oh, thank you, Mom!!"

We go in to see the counselor, and I smiled pleasantly and said, "I would like to have my son switched out of his first period language arts class and into another first period language arts class. There's a personality conflict with his current teacher and it just isn't getting better, so I think it would be best for everyone all around if he's removed from her class and put in another one."

The counselor smiled at me and said, "Well, Mrs. J., I will speak to the AP and see if we can do that. It's late in the year, and we may not be able to do it, but I'll do my best."

Yeah, that's pretty much when my patience went out the door. I kept my smile, but raised an eyebrow and said, "Let me rephrase that. I'm not asking you to switch him out of that class. I'm telling you to switch him out of that class. It's not a request. He will be pulled."

"Mrs. J., it may not be possible..."

"Oh, it will be possible," I said, keeping a firm rein on my temper. "Because you put him in I.S.S. to get him away from her, you put him in I.S.S. because he pulled off a band-aid that SHE had put on him, you have allowed her to pull him out of classes at least twice a week with what sounds like very little justification, because this is a class he happens to be doing very well in, and he spends more time in lunch detention because of her than he does actually eating his lunch. So, yes, this is going to get done. Because you and I both know there is much more than just a personality conflict going on here, and I have completely lost my patience with it. I am done, are you understanding me?"

She looked at me gravely for a moment and then said, "Yes, Mrs. J. I am understanding you. If you would please write a note with your request and the reason for it, emphasizing personality conflict, then sign it and date it, I will give it to the AP and tell her that this is urgent. His schedule should be changed by Monday."

"Thank you, Mrs. C," I said, and I accepted paper and pen, writing the note right there. I dated it, signed it, and then I looked at her and said, "And this will be done by Monday, won't it?"

"I'll do my best, Mrs. J." she said.

"No," I said. "This will be done by Monday."

"Yes, Mrs. J, it will be done by Monday," she said.

I took my son and left, and went home.

So... today came, and... I got a phone call this morning. From Mrs. Picky. She informed me that she was writing up the Impossible Son for a referral, because he didn't do his journal assignment in class, and didn't finish his worksheet by the end of class. "I wasn't in class today," she gushed over the phone, "I was supervising some testing, so there was a substitute in my class, and she told me that your son said he was on restrictions and couldn't write. So I went to find him during his band class and there he was, playing his trombone just fine, so I decided to write him up for a referral. Would you like to speak to him?"

Which made me realize he had been standing there listening to all of this. And that when I talked to him, she would be standing there, listening.

Yeah, I was at the school within the hour. I went to see the counselor, and she looked up at me and said, "Oh, Mrs. J! I'm so sorry, but I haven't had time to get to Mr. Impossible's schedule!"

I smiled grimly and said, "Okay, so, this is what I'm going to do. I'm pulling Mr. Impossible out of school today. When you get his schedule redone, you call me and let me know. Because he's not coming back to school until he's out of that class. He and Mrs. Picky have gone way past personality conflict and mutual antagonism and that class has become a hostile environment. I won't have it. So, you change his schedule. The only thing I ask is that you keep him with his math teacher, because he's actually doing pretty well in her class. Other than that, do what you want."

Her mouth fell open during this "But, Mrs. J, these things take time!"

"No. They don't," I said angrily, not bothering to try to control it any more, because I was just so done. "If you can't do this, then I won't be bringing him back. My husband and I will pull him from this school and put him in another district. And since it wouldn't be fair to put our son in a better school district and leave his sister here, we'll pull her, too, and put her in the same district with him."

She actually went kind of green with that one and said, "I'll work on it right now."

"Thank you," I said, and turned to sign my son out. And on the line where it said "reason to check student out," I wrote "Rescue Mission."

I took him to San Marcos, because I had an errand at the library, and within the hour, my phone rang. It was the counselor. "I gave the information to the AP, and she approved it. Mr. Impossible will have his new schedule in the morning."

"Thank you," I said and let the Impossible Son know.

And you know, I am SO TIRED of having to spend so much time in front offices, trying to get this district to do right by my kids. It's ridiculous. It's so unnecessary. It's like clearing one hurdle only to find out there's another one to jump, and it's so frustrating. If we could move tomorrow and find a better school district, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But we can't. So we try to make the best of it that we can and hope that what we do to supplement our kids' education is enough.

Tomorrow, I will most likely be bearding the principal in her den to see if we can (1) get that damn referral shredded, and (2) find out just how many times that woman pulled my son out of classes. Because that? No. Just no. Because it seems like that was more harassment than for actual education purposes. And I am definitely not putting up with that!

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