Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's Not About Revenge....

Giving Andrew a voice and speaking out against bullying, verbal abuse, physical force, and harassment is not about revenge.  It's about making others aware of wrongdoings and standing up against these type of conducts against children, especially, special needs children.  If someone doesn't, nothing will be done.  Regardless of how big the school district may seem, I will make every attempt possible to make a difference. 

They cannot be allowed to continue practices that allow hiring incompetent teachers and allowing staff with a history of misconduct towards children to remain working in the district.  Does the school district have the attitude that because it's a special needs classroom that no one will find out?  I'm receiving many stories throughout the school district of misconduct involving special needs children and no one would take any action to correct the problem.  Are the adults that are entrusted with our children not required to follow the same anti-bullying policies that the children are expected to follow?  Shouldn't there be higher expectations from the adults?

I have experienced bullying from the school district during this process as well.  However, I will not allow them to use their power of position to intimidate me.  I will continue to push for change even if it means forcing them to change through legislation.  Some administrators in the district seem to think it's okay to bully parents.  I have experienced this at my older son's school along with other parents.  I keep hearing other stories throughout the district of bullying by administrators.  Some school administrators and the district seem to think that they are above and beyond the law.  It is time parents stand up against this type of practice and force them to abide by the laws.  As parents there are many rights in regards to your child's education.  The district would like you to feel as though you don't have any and don't want you to know what your rights really are or what the laws are.

"We have thoroughly investigated this unfortunate situation and have taken appropriate actions according to our policies."  This is the school district's response.  However, they have not told me of any actions that were ever taken and have stated that the investigation is complete.  I would like to know what "appropriate actions" they are speaking of!  There were no disciplinary actions taken against the teacher or the aide.  The teacher was allowed to complete her temporary contract through the remainder of the year and the aide was allowed to resign 3 1/2 weeks after the recording was presented.  Now they are free to go and repeat the same actions in another school district because there was no disciplinary action taken.  If nothing is done, there will be more children at risk.  The school district is more concerned with their reputation than the safety of children. 

After presenting the audio to the school administration, I have discovered disturbing information.  There are reports that the aide had been placed at 4 schools in less than 5 years due to the same type of misconduct towards special needs children.  Also, other staff in the school had made complaints to the school administrators in regards to the actions of the aide and the teacher and the administration took no action.  Even on the day of the recording when the aide returns from the office she states to the teacher, "She said for us to stop yelling at them."  On the day I took my complaints along with the recording, the administrators acted as if they were unaware of any such behaviors from these two staff members.  They even offered at that time to do a 'hide and listen', where the staff would not be aware of them listening to them.  If there were already complaints, why had this not been done earlier?  Therefore, the administrators failed to protect my child and the other children.  Is it also the attitude of some administrators that because it's a special needs classroom, no one will find out?  I guess they didn't think a parent would go to the extreme of using a recorder to discover what was really going on in the classroom.  Parents need to join forces and take any measure possible to bring about change in our schools for our children.  You, as a parent, do have rights in regards to your child's education.

There are too many good teachers to allow a few 'bad apples' in the system to remain when so many are losing their jobs to budget cuts. 

**As the moderator of this blog and Andrew's mother, I will no longer allow derogatory comments towards myself (Andrew's mother) or Andrew.  I will also not allow vulgar language.  This is out of respect for Andrew.  For me to allow such comments through would be disrespecting Andrew.  This blog is privately owned and is not a place for comments to exercise your right of 'free speech.'  I firmly believe in free speech and that's why I have this blog.  You may exercise that right in another location.  As the author of this blog, just like the author of a book, I have the right to say what is printed or not.**