Monday, June 06, 2005


Once again our wonderful, local school system has failed to recognize that Z is homeschooled!
Keep in mind that this grade 7-12 school has less than 400 students and 6 full-time secretaries.

We pulled Z out of school at the end of 1st semester as he had failed all his classes. This was the end of January. We submitted all the proper paperwork, in person, to the supt. of schools. We expected some confusion the first week. Every day we would get a phone call from the office saying that Z had been marked absent and that we hadn't called the school to explain his absence. Each time we would explain that we were now homeschooling Z. The secretary would say that she didn't have any paperwork on this. We told her that the supt had all the paperwork.

In March I got a recorded phone call saying that Z had missed his afternoon classes. L, laughingly swore that Z was home for morning classes, and wondered who was impersonating Z during roll call in his 3 morning classes. Two weeks later another recorded phone call said that Z hadn't served his detention for missing his afternoon classes, and would be suspended from school if he didn't serve the detention within 3 days. Alrighty then!
From that time until now we've received several recorded phone calls and mailings informing us about parent teacher conferences and school vacations.

Today we received notification, in the mail, that Z would not receive his final report card for the year until he returned his English and History books. Z's final day of class was the day we met with the supt., at the end of January. The supt. told us that Z's special ed teacher would help Z empty out his locker. The special ed teacher was responsible for inventorying and returning the books. The books were ALL accounted for at this time! In addition to the lost book SNAFU, we were informed that Z still hadn't done his detention and that "It is important that this matter be cleared so that grade reports can be issued. Failure to complete the detention will result in suspension and parent conference the beginning of the next school year." Oh yeah? BRING IT ON!!
Does this mean that we won't have to submit a 4th quarter report card to the school? Does anybody wonder why I mail all paperwork to the school registered, with return receipt requested? WE have a paper trail; trust NOTHING to the incompetent!

How did they ever know when Z was in class when he was actually attending their school?


At 6/06/2005 6:20 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

Did these folks ever attend school themselves? Can the superintendent actually read (I mean words with more than one syllable)? Are his/her cousins married to each other?

Are you sure you're in Minnesota? This sure sounds like Ottawa to me.

Idiocy is damn right.


p.s. I got a B in grade 12 gym, and only attended 2 classes. Am still wondering 37 years later, who flunked in my place.

At 6/06/2005 11:27 PM, Blogger MonicaR said...

That's what I'm wondering. Dang - if they don't even realize that he hasn't been there for MONTHS then what are they doing for God's Sake?

Thank goodness you have it all documented although it is a mighty pain in the butt.

PS - I was passed through from 10th grade to 11th after hardly attending for the year.

At 6/07/2005 12:50 AM, Blogger TaiChimp said...

Okay, you pushed my paralegal button. You need to protect yourselves, and Z in the future. I know it sounds funny that they will suspend him from a school he does not attend. It gives me the giggles. It reminds me of something I wrote elsewhere to the effect that there is only so much trouble you can get in.

This is aggravating trivia from a bumbling school. The humor of the situation does not, however, make it harmless. You must square all of this away in writing as soon as possible. I would try to get one comprehensive document covering each allegation this semester, have everyone who matters sign it, and insist on keeping a signed copy, and having a signed copy placed in his school record.

Legal action can be taken against you on the basis of their allegations. This can set the ground-work for termination of custody and parental rights. If you think that can't happen, just look at what you have already seen. It has long been my observation that child-protective services are always quick to take a kid from a good home, and almost always leave an abused and neglected child in a bad home.

Based solely on the schools allegations, Z can be declared an Unruly Child by a juvenile court.

I doubt it would happen that directly. More likely, his attendance and disciplinary records could be used against him in juvenile court for some other offense. I know, Z is a great kid: why am I talking about legal trouble? Among other things, people with Tourette's often invite unwanted attention from law enforcement. If you are in a small town, that can even be a vicious cycle, where the school tells the cops he's bad, the cops find a reason to pick him up, and he gets convicted because of the school.

Then, as a way unlikely, way distant thing, if he should ever end up in adult legal trouble, his school records could be important. Also, he might wish to persue federal employment in some discipline. You would not want anything in his record which might preclude his getting a security clearance.

Sorry to be the party-pooper. It IS funny.

At 6/07/2005 8:21 AM, Blogger Laura said...

That is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, it's comical in a way, but I'm not the one that has to deal with it. Hopefully after it's all resolved you'll have an interesting story to tell at parties. Hang in there.

At 6/07/2005 10:44 AM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Good grief! That is unbelievable. Someone is asleep at the wheel.

6 full time secretaries? Too many chefs, obviously. That's probably the problem.

At 6/07/2005 6:10 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

taichimp-You make several valid points here. I agree that Social Services is a totally screwed up entity. Rest assured that Z is in no danger from that aspect. The County Attorney is a close personal friend of the family and knows exactly where Z has been and what he has been doing.
I agree that TS can easily lead a kid into trouble with the law. Z's impulsive behavior was one of the many reasons we decided to homeschool. Constant bullying was pushing him into some scary behaviors. His impulsivity is getting a LOT better and he is turning into quite a thinking man.
The part I hadn't considered was the chance that this correspondence could wind up in Z's school record. I say chance, because these idiots have managed to lose, at least once, just about all of the documents that they have ever requested from us. This includes his TS diagnosis and NUMEROUS copies of his shot records. Our vet keeps better records! Our luck would be that these letters would be the one thing they wouldn't lose! I will definitely check into this.
Take comfort in the fact that I have a lot of leverage over the school. I have a folder FULL of papers documenting their ineptitude. The Supt. knows that our only recourse, other than homeschooling, is to sue the school for a tutor, laptop computer and many other things Z's entitled to, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Everybody-My first reaction to these SNAFUs is always WTF?, and I was extremely pissed off when I wrote this post. After I've cooled off, we generally make a joke of it. Yes, this can be quite entertaining at parties, since most people around here understand the school situation here. The sad part is; there's still 360 kids in this system. A lot of them don't have parents that go to bat for them. The school just can't understand why their enrollment is declining.

At 6/07/2005 11:45 PM, Blogger TaiChimp said...

Cool! Z is not only the unusual beneficiary of competent and persistent parental support in your community. By national standards, you are doing an excellent job! A lot of times, just good-hearted persistence makes a big difference, but with kids on the TS spectrum, your competence is making a huge difference!

At 6/08/2005 12:12 AM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

You know, sometimes I think schools intentionally like to harass homeschoolers. I'm serious too. I wouldn't be surprised if they're doing this intentionally.

At 6/09/2005 1:17 AM, Blogger Ben said...

welcome to the wonderful world of our school system, only question I have is how this would affect your son's social life. Does he still manage to hang out with old friends.

At 6/09/2005 4:04 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Zombie-It wouldn't surprise me a bit!
Ben-Z still sees his friends. He doesn't miss his bullies at all!

At 6/10/2005 5:21 PM, Blogger Vest said...

tshsmom: Did you receive my e mail message?

At 6/15/2005 12:04 AM, Blogger Shawn said...

Gee whiz... I can't imagine where all this talk about the education system failing our kids comes from.

Oh wait... maybe I can.

Truly amazing.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home