Saturday, March 28, 2009

As Stell would say, "Me MAD!"


I am emotional mess today. Yesterday was a really weird day. I found out three different things that just about knocked me right over the edge. I am trying desperately to compartmentalize all that is swirling in my brain. Trying to place things into nice little categories so that I may think clearly about each one. I am not having much luck on my own, so I feel the need to write them down. Number three is quite a touchy subject for my school. If you are a reader who has ties to my school, you may want to bypass. It's a school situation that makes me the sickest at the moment and I fear it's leading in direction that will inevitably cause toxic fallout. I think I am getting ready to be a very loud child care advocate ....and I don't really care who dislikes me for it. Just a warning for a couple of you...you know who you are... and I love you dearly. (I know saying not to read is like saying don't look...you will probably go to #3 first. Just forgive me for pulling you in.)

Here goes...
#1
Hailey is competing in Winston Salem tonight. Level 7 State Meet. This has been a touchy season for my sweet girl. She had "beam issues" all season. She had to scratch beam 4 meets because her coach wouldn't let her use a spotter for her back handspring. I have had problems with this all along, she does everything else beautifully and I felt that she needed to be doing beam so that we could play down the fear and let her keep it moving. I knew she would get it eventually. This is an anxiety child, however, and her scratching beam just seemed to make it a bigger and bigger deal. Her coach wouldn't let her substitute the skill, wouldn't let her use a spot, all because "she doesn't do that". Her reason was that Hailey would not be able to grow on the beam, get any better until she got that skill.
Ok. I am a teacher and that is like telling me my kids CANNOT learn anything until they have mastered the letter A. BULLSHIT. You can't dictate how my child will grow and develop best. BUT it is her gym and we do love her, so I tried to support her decision. She is the coach with all of the gymnastics experience.
So she suddenly decides that Hailey can do beam at State with a spotter. Even though "she never does that". NO spotters at level 7...ever...!!! So okay...yay...Hailey gets to kick ass on beam and she WILL place on beam. I will bet you money. Her routine is beautiful...with or without the damn handspring.
I sent the coach a nice note thanking her for letting Hailey do it. Told her a bit about a conversation Hailey and I had about why she thinks she isn't doing her handspring yet...yada yada. So she writes back, thanks me for letting me know and then adds,
"I don't forsee Hailey moving up to Level 8. She has too much fear and lacks the aggresiveness she needs to move up."

Wanna barf now. Kinda knew it was coming..but still makes me sick to see it in writing. She will now be removed from the girls she has been with since she was 8. I dreamed about telling her all night. I can't do it. I'm gonna let her coach do it. Makes me sick. I really don't think it's fair. Nobody has cared enough to work with her on it. And why the hell can't she do other stuff until she gets it?? There is a chance she will make a come back over the summer. She is getting a new coach in June. Hailey is very excited about this new coach. So I am gonna pray it works out in a way that Hailey is comfortable with. It's gonna hurt her bad though. I know it. Sweet baby girl. Works so hard. Life and unfairness. Man. I keep telling myself she still has skills that the majority of the people on the planet can't comprehend. She is perfect to me. Kick ass today little girl.

#2
Maddy informed me yesterday that she is going to get a D in math for the quarter. A D. I have never even seen a D on a report card. What in the hell is that? Why in the hell didn't her teacher let me know that she failed 2 tests? I know why Maddy didn't tell me....loss of priveleges for one....having to study with me more...another. BUT WHY IN THE HELL DIDN'T HER TEACHER TELL ME????
I am going to have a conference with her math teacher next week. UGH.

#3
Boys Club
We have a boys club at our school. It's for some of the older boys. It's suppposed to be a club where the boys can gain some conflict resolution skills. IT's supposed to help build self esteem and help those boys learn how to make some positive decisions. Supposed to be fun and positive. Supposed to be all about team building and support.
My friend Leslie asked me if I had ever witnessed any of the "Boys Club" meetings. I said "No" and I knew instanly in my heart that I should get down to one of those meetings and listen for myself. So I promptly headed on down to the meeting. I went in to the work room to listen for a bit. Not afraid to admit I was full on spying. I ended up getting paper and pencil so that I could take notes. I ended up with 2 full pages of plain old NASTINESS. I was so shocked and disgusted at the words coming out of the mouths of those two stupid men that I almost went into a wild rage right then and there. Let me give you some examples of the words I heard....
Mr. M
"You guys are a bunch of knuckleheads and we don't need a bunch of knuckleheads running around here."
Listed and called children out by name..."these are the kids I can trust....these are the kids I worry about...."
Then my favorite...Mr. R kicks in...
"Let me tell you how it's gonna be around here from now on...an eye for an eye...that's how it's gonna be around here from now on. Just like the other day when X dumped out N's lunch. What did we do? We went and got X's lunch and dumped it out on the floor. That's what we did. An eye for an eye that's how it's gonna be."
He added in some preaching for good measure...
"And you know what? I am not gonna worry about catching who's been stealing because the higher power saw you. He sees you all the time and he knows what you do. It will come back to haunt you don't you worry. It WILL come back to haunt you so I hope you enjoyed spending that money cause the higher power knows."
Let's not forget these threats,
"I suggest you get that smirk off your face and I suggest you do it quick"
and
"You better straighten up and you better do it now."

These were just a few favorites...that's not all folks...there's more. Much more.

The best part about it all? I have to write up my formal complaints and take them to our acting principal....who is his WIFE. Mr. R's freaking wife. How fun will that be for me? Wish me luck my friends cause I'm about to make some enemies. (Nobody's gonna talk to my students like that and get away with it. Nobody.)

3 comments:

Jen Hunter said...

(Delete if need be)

Ugh....
#1 makes me mad, sad and heartbroken...
#2 me mad
#3 ohhhh Lord...


Where to start...
I hadn't even heard of this "Boys Club" WOW! Sounds like a blast of a time!
Religion, bullying, and fear all tied up into a fun club!!

My first thought was that it needed to go to the board, then I realized that the proper steps had to be followed---going to the principal is the first step.
I am wondering if you can go to K instead, because of the relationship that A is to R.

I just asked M's opinion and he said do what you would if it were anyone else and leave K alone HA!

It is good that there is another witness, I'm thinking that perhaps during the next meeting a parent should be oh...say...making copies or doing something in the break room...I can think of a few good parents for this job! ;-)

Just when I start thinking how far we have come...this same old shit comes up...Very disappointing and discouraging.

LifeIsArt said...

Yup. I'm sick. Not kidding. I really feel sick to my stomach.

gman's_mom said...

Good lord....as far as #1 goes...I think that the whole thing is ludacrious...she is obviously doing awesome. Why do some folks want to compare kids and place them into the "what's normal" box. Can't they embrace the individual and that child's pace and way of learning? Hooray for the new coach. Maybe that will be the key for her. It makes me mad,sad & heartbroken too! #2-Shame on her math teacher for dropping the ball! #3 - Lord help us...I haven't the words for that crazy talk! Good luck with your handling of that. I am always amazed by people who think bullying, fear and a good beating would do a child good. I will NEVER get that. That is why some of Michele's family and I don't see eye to eye. Seriously...when should any child be fearing their parent and what does that accomplish? Crazy talk I tell you...crazy talk!
Hang in there...you are loved & we support you and your decisions. :)