Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Drawing the Line (With a Broken Pencil)

Evan comes home from school yesterday, walks through the back door, and flings his backpack on the kitchen floor while telling me that he was on "red card" today for behavior. John's immediate words were: "Son, you are grounded." Evan looked dejected and sad but did not protest. I think he has gotten to the point where he accepts his punishment with defeat. And I cannot help but notice that while last year, Evan loved school and would be heartbroken on days when he did not go, this year he dreads it.
So my baby boy spills it to me. He was using a little boy's pencil for one reason or other. We know this little boy and his mother and the child honestly cries over everything. Anyhow...Evan was using the pencil and pressed too hard on his little paper and the lead broke. I made sure I clarified that the lead broke and not the entire pencil. Evan's response: "No mommy, just the black part at the tip." Of course Whiny Butt started to cry. Mrs. X sharpened his pencil for him, and all was right with the world. Until she disciplined my son for that.
I have gotten to the point that I am not taking the school seriously. It feels as if they are ganging up on my little boy and I will not stand for it anymore. If they are going to punish my son for accidentally breaking the lead of a pencil, I can no longer go along with their methods. Up until recently, if Evan was on red card, for whatever reason, he has been punished here at home as well. It is a slap in the face to know that I may have been punishing my son for such trivial infractions. That I am spending a fortune to take him to a private child psychologist for "behavior issues at school" when the misbehavior is this.
For the first time since all of this has started, I called the school and let them know I was pissed. As a matter of fact, I told them this: "If pencils are such a rare commodity at an elementary school that a child has to be reprimanded for accidentally breaking the lead, then please let me know and I will be glad to send a case of pencils in with my son the next time he attends your school."
I also instructed my son that the next time someone teases him, he is to tell that child this : "My IQ is twice your parents' annual salary, so please do not speak to me." And when someone is physically agressive toward Evan, he has been instructed to report to the nearest school employee with this statement: "I do not appredciate X's physical aggression toward me and would appreciate it if you would address it." He may only be 7 years old, but he will use those words, too. I cannot wait for him to do so.
I'm tired. I do everything I can as a parent to help my son learn to value education. I try to be as active a participant in his education as I can, backing up the teachers and administration. But through this process I am now starting to turn the focus on advocating for my son, who is being mistreated.

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