Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Really Bad Day

***Really bad language. I am that mad.***

The teachers still never called. I went to the damn school to tell them other children were at risk. They acted as if they felt it was important. Still no call from the teachers. Ava's teacher did call and I began to speak about her sticky fingers and was interrupted. She didn't want to hear it. She was only calling all the parents to be sure the kids came home. That's it. I was already pissed off about another situation and basically said, "Great! You enjoy her.". I will not help her find her missing items, as they are sure to disappear. I will not explain 200 times that I never received that note or that item. She blew it. I had the same issue last year with Ava's teacher. I hope she just gets the good stuff but I know Ava.

The other incident I was talking about is actually the reason I am having a glass of wine. As many of you do, I go through great lengths to give the school and all their employees directly dealing my children a heads up. We always have issues on the bus. The driver is vulnerable b/c she is alone with so many children and usually many of mine. Knowing the stress Patches is under to fit in and the fact I feared the school hadn't explained the situation to her, I wrote a letter explaining that she has to sit directly behind the driver with her sister. I was polite and clear. I kept it as short as possible without leaving any doubt as to the seriousness of my concern. She completely disregarded it and handed it back to Cyr when she got off at school. At the end of the day, she allowed Patches to go to the back and sit down. Two 8th grade boys began harassing her about sitting in the back with the older kids. They called her a few names and she went off. She started screaming and kicking the seat. She tried to destroy her book bag. She was crying her eyes out when Cyr told the driver to pull over. She had called me on a friend's phone and I got right on the road. The driver told her to have me meet them at the school b/c she was bringing her back.

I arrived at the school before the bus. I went in the front door and loudly begged for assistance. They kept chatting up. I was livid. I interrupted and insisted they tell me where the bus would let her off. I knew she was in a bad situation and everyone was in danger. They pointed to the back of the building. I had no idea where to go. I headed over to the special school she is in and found the Asst Director. She told me to go to through the cafe and out the back. She was calling for back up. The driver never even called the school to let them know there was a problem. I saw the bus approach and the driver smiled and waved at me. I took a second look b/c surely she wouldn't be happy. The damn woman had no clue what I was talking about when I stepped up on the bus and went off myself. I asked her if she read the letter. She claimed she wasn't given a letter. I asked Cyr and she told her very respectfully that she handed her the letter and told her to read it and call me if she had any questions. The driver then said, "Well, they walked right to the back so I couldn't tell them to sit by me." SO she read it and just didn't listen. Big mistake! She will surely get written up for it. All she had to do was keep her close. She would have felt safe. This redneck woman thought she knew better than me and could handle a bunch teens. Now my child had a humiliating day and can't handle getting back on the bus. She will focus on it and will never live down the episode she had. The county will now be sending a little bus to get her. That will cost them a pretty penny. Stupid people piss me off. This happened b/c she was being stupid. Now people will know Patches is crazy. She has been doing so well and hoped to continue that this year. She has a grip on her behavior and outbursts. I want to throw a hissy fit myself.

10 comments:

r. said...

Wow, I wanted to shake from frustration just reading your post. Sorry you had such a crappy day.

Mongoose said...

Maybe it would have been easier for you to make other arrangements ahead of time instead of putting her in a situation that you know is a disaster waiting to happen.

Tudu said...

Patches has had issues on the bus but none to force her into being kicked off or anything. This would NEVER have happened if she was near an adult. She was picked on and it threw her over the edge. The boys were mean. The school insisted we try the regular bus since she hadn't been suspended from it before and was easily managed with a seat up front. She really wanted to ride the bus, too. She has "friends" on there. I really try to keep their life as normal as possible. Patches sticks out like a sore thumb and it is getting worse. She wants to fit in and be social.

Annie said...

As a casual reader of your blog, and a person removed from the situation (and probably more impartial, therefore), I'm angry too. I wish people would LISTEN to people who are in the know about things, rather than assuming that things aren't important. I'm not really sure that there is anything you could have done to make your message more clear to that driver.

Ashley said...

No, I agree, Tudu. Complete and utter ball-dropping on the school's part. (Driver's part!)

You are doing your best to strike the delicate balance between letting your kids do their best to fit in, and giving them the proper support.

Ava's teacher not listening will come back to bite *her* moreso than it will Ava in the end... but Patches...

As a (former) child with anxiety and physical disabilities, my heart breaks for her, and for you who tried so hard to help her get a fresh start

Lee said...

I have only begun reading your blog over the past few weeks. My experiences trying to get assistance for my child w/ aspergers were horrific but pale beside what they did to your daughter. You have my sympathies and every right to be enraged. Schools rant *all the time* about parents being involved and communicating, yet IMHO when we do, we are ignored. We are belittled. We are told we don't really know. And then ignored some more. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Tudu, I went through massive abuse by my peers on the school bus (and school). My parents had threatened me saying that if I got into a fight or got in trouble at school I'd be in twice as much trouble when I got home. Long story short, I was abused...truly abused, physically and emotionally on the bus. And my parents thought I should just find a way to work it out on my own (and I tried EVERYTHING...being nice, telling the driver, telling the principal, etc. NOTHING worked). When I finally "broke" I was being beat up by another child, and I fought back. THAT was what made the other kids stop hitting and abusing me. There were times that I was covered in bruises or had blood drawn on me or my siblings from my father's abuse at home. I've also had memories of other kinds of abuse. For me, the abuse I had by the kids at school was worse. I wasn't with my father most of the day...I was with the kids at school. A part of me says YOU GO PATCHES! There is a sense of empowerment that comes with fighting back....and the other kids will think twice before they do that to her again.

I thank GOD that you are so active in protecting your children. All kids need a parent that will protect them and help them protect themself.

As to the stupid bus driver...well, my experience is that the public school system is full of these idiots that think they know better than the parents. Good luck with that one...they'll learn by listening to you, or they'll learn the hard way. Either way, they'll learn.

Lindsay said...

Poor Patches. I'm so sorry that this stupid, ignorant woman put your daughter in this situation. I hope you are able to find a way to help her deal with it and move on.

Lisa said...

I am so angry for you and Patches that I'm in tears. We have had too many experiences like this to count at this point. I am like you, I want to give the schools/bus drivers a heads up so that there is no question about what will work for my kids and of course, let them know what to watch for. I don't want my kids hurting anyone else, nor do I want them humiliated and abused. Time after time, I am ignored. Time after time I want to SCREAM in frustration when I find out my 15 yo (4 ft. 8 in. 81 lbs) is sitting in the back of the bus (because he wants to - he's required to be right behind the driver). Bad things happen in the back of the bus - bad things have happened and will continue to happen because one bus driver cannot watch an entire busload of sneaky kids and keep her attention on the road at the same time. Then when I complain? I'm told this or that didn't happen - even when I have witnesses calling me constantly telling me it did. Deny, deny, deny and you don't have to deal with it. Somedays I wish I could live in that world.

Keep on them, I admire how hard you work to help your kids in every way imaginable. This is THEIR PROBLEM, not yours.

The Bus Driver said...

Hugs, I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with a bus driver. I know I definitely try to help parents out as best I can whenever I'm transporting their children. I've had quite a few parents request that their children sit in the front seat of the bus, unfortunately due to the limited space, I usually bargain with these parents that as long as the children are within the first 3 seats, (three in back of me and 3 on the passenger side) that I will keep an eye on their children specifically. If a mother is more insistent, then that child WILL be in the front seat no exceptions! I'll move other children to accommodate.

That bus driver was ignorant and seemed to be improperly trained as to how to notify in the case of an emergency. I'm glad Cyr was there to help Patches and that Cyr understood the situation and was able to contact you.

I'm sorry that Patches needs to be singled out to ride a Special Ed bus. Its unfortunate the driver was unable to work with you, but then again after hearing what you had to say, I wouldn't trust that driver with my own children.