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Son has me so upset...

My 14 year old son has me so upset right now. He is disrespectful, doesn't care, won't mind, has been suspended from school, and is failing almost all of his classes. Today I ended up calling truancy officer, juvie detective, juvie probation office, everyone I could think of trying to get help. I can't afford military school. I just don't know what to do anymore. I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If your son or daughter is ever suspended from school, these suggestions may make the experience easier.

Get the Facts

* Immediately contact the school and request: 1) a copy of the student's school records, including records for attendance, grades, and any past discipline; 2) a copy of any administrator's, teacher's, or student's statements about the charge/incident; and 3) a copy of the school's or district's disciplinary policies in writing (if they have not as yet been provided to you). Review these materials and note anything you want to ask your child or the school about that may include issues relevant to the current situation.
* School administrators must provide students with notice of the charges against them, the basis for the charge, and an opportunity to tell his/her side of the story.
* Talk with your son or daughter. Ask him/her to tell you (or even better to write out) exactly what happened as soon as possible so you have a clear understanding of the details related to the incident. Make sure he/she is being honest about what happened.

Meet with School Officials

* Call the principal or assistant principal who gave the suspension and ask for a face-to-face meeting at a time that is convenient for you. Ask for whatever accommodation you need to enable you to participate fully in the meeting, for example, if you need to meet in the evening or need a translator if you do not speak English. There are five good reasons to request and attend a face-to-face meeting: to learn more of the facts around the incident, to verify that your child is being treated fairly, to ensure that your child is taking responsibility for his/her actions, to ensure that your child's educational progress is not adversely affected, and to learn of any opportunities or services that may help your child, such as counseling or other types of social, educational, or health services.
* Do not go alone to the meeting. Take someone with you who can serve as an advocate and provide you with support or make you feel more comfortable. This might be a friend, neighbor, community service agency representative, or clergy. Make sure that the school official is informed that this person will be present at the meeting.
* Approach the meeting with an open mind and a firm commitment not to argue or raise your voice.
* Write down any questions you have before the meeting and bring your list with you so you can ask your questions and have them answered at the meeting.

Questions that parents may want to ask about the situation:
o What rule did my child break? May I see this rule in writing? What did my child do to break the rule?
o What is the normal punishment for breaking this rule? Is there a different punishment for the first, second, or third violation of this rule? Are these things in writing?
o Why is my child receiving extra punishment?
o Where was my child when this happened? Who was the teacher in charge? Where was the teacher when the incident happened?
o What other students or employees were around when this happened? What are their accounts of the incident?
o Were other students involved in this incident? What punishment did the other students receive? Why is their punishment different?
o Exactly what did each person do? Exactly what did each person say?
o Could the teacher have handled this differently?
o Has my child had similar problems before? Is this documented in writing?
o Will this punishment cause my child to fail a class or be held back?
o Can my child make up his schoolwork and tests?
o What can the school do to help my child and avoid this problem in the future? For example, may my child change his seat in class or be transferred to a different class?
* Take your son/daughter to the meeting with you if he/she can act respectfully and take responsibility for his/her actions. He/she must admit if he/she was wrong and violated a school rule.
* Do not admit wrongdoing and do not let your son/daughter admit wrongdoing unless it is true.
* If your son or daughter admits wrongdoing, consider or ask what can be done to "make things right." For example, is an apology to a teacher or another student in order, or is there some other action your son or daughter may take to correct or make amends for the situation? If so, have your son or daughter follow through on this.

Ask For Help

To ensure the educational progress of your child.

A student can fail a class if he misses too much work or can be retained in the same grade if he misses too many days. If the suspension will harm your child's educational progress, ask the school officials to help avoid these outcomes for your child.

* Ask the school to provide all of your child's school assignments so your child can complete them during the suspension. Also ask for permission to have your child make up the tests that would be missed.
* Ask if there is help for homework in the community or tutoring help.
* Ask if your child could finish the punishment during in-school suspension.
* Ask if the school could assign another punishment.
* Ask for a hearing to request that a situation that would harm your child's educational progress be reconsidered, or appeal the suspension decision.

To get other services for your child.

The incident that led to your child's suspension may be related to an issue or problem that is not resolved by the suspension.

* Ask what other opportunities and services there are in the school or community to help your child. Consider and ask about services such as: ongoing counseling; testing for learning disabilities; opportunities to be mentored; peer mediation programs; special education services; special language programs; tutoring; drug counseling; mental health services; anger management, social skills, and conflict resolution training classes; and involvement in youth leadership activities, sports, camps, after-school programs, and community service activities.

To get support for you as a parent.

Often there are things that parents can do and learn about to be better advocates for their child's education and well-being. Schools and communities have resources or may know of support groups or opportunities that can be helpful for parents.

* Ask your school about groups, programs, and opportunities for your support and involvement in your child's education and development.

If You Believe Your Child Has Not Been Treated Fairly

* If you are not satisfied with the suspension decision, you may be entitled to appeal the suspension decision to the superintendent or his/her designee or to the local school board. Your school principal can tell you how to go about the appeal process.
* The United States Constitution and other federal laws prohibit any educational discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, or other difference. If you believe your child has been treated unfairly because of his race or other characteristic you may file a complaint of discrimination with the Office for Civil Rights of the U. S. Department of Education. There is a regional office serving your area. Call the Civil Rights Hotline at 1-800-421-3481.

If Your Child Is A Special Education Student

* Students who have Individual Educational Plans, called IEPs in most schools, and are special education students, have very specific rights concerning suspension. Discipline for special education students has specific requirements. There are parent centers in every state to provide assistance. In addition, there are other organizations that can help parents understand what their child's and family rights are in the case of suspensions. Parents should call 1-888-248-0844 or contact the Technical Assistance Alliance at