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Thursday, August 28, 2014

When the School Fails You

Okay, so they are clearly in the wrong. Take a deep breath and think about what you want long term before you go talk to them. You really need to partner with the school system in order to get the best education for your son. I know you want to go to the principals office and be all mama bear on him. I would too. But that won't get you what you want.

This is what I would do, I would email the principals office to let them know I am very concerned about this situation and I will be in first thing tomorrow to discuss it. I would show up at drop off tomorrow with another person. Either my husband, an advocate, my mom, anyone who is supportive of my son and I. Don't go alone if you can help it.

I would try really hard to take an attitude of, "how can we work together to make this work for EVERYONE." I would go in and tell them how much I love my boy, how awesome he is and how much potential he has. I would acknowledge how challenging his behaviors are and that I want to work with them to come up with solutions. And I can about guarantee I will cry. I used to try and hold back but I have found it to be rather effective and when having to protect my son it is not something I need to try and force.

If they start making vague threats (ie he will be kicked out or anything else illegal) I clarify by sweetly saying, "I must not be understanding this right. It sounds like you are saying if he _______ then _________ will happen and I believe that would violate his rights to a free and appropriate education/least restrictive environment/etc.". They usually backpedal pretty fast at that point. If their explanation doesn't make sense then I keep sweetly trying to pin them down. Remember Mrs. Doubtfire? I try to act like her. Lol. Sounds nutty, but it tends to work pretty well.

This is very, very important. After the meeting I send an email to thank him for meeting with me. Then I say that I just want to make sure I understand what the plan going forward is. I list out bullet points of what was decided and ask him to let me know if there is something I don't have right. You want a written record. Any follow up phone calls should be handled the same way.

Good luck!


  1. Alternatively, you could teach your ADHD child to behave like a civilized human being -- instead of the semi-feral kid who requires you to ambush teachers/administrators on his behalf.

    My kids? Both ADHD. Have yet to land themselves in the principal's office or even in detention.

    1. Every child is different, even ADHD children. I think you should feel good that your kids may not be as severe or the medication is helping them (if you use it). I would bet money that most of the parents teach their children and work really hard to help them act right. It is a shame that even people who have ADHD children can be so quick to judge.

  2. must be nice to have "perfect" kids and to be such a great parent.

    1. lol, I know! Then again not sure I would like such a big head haha