Footnote

As a footnote to Finn’s school saga, I contacted his former teacher (and cc’d the principal) earlier this week, inquiring about Finn’s classwork.  Nothing had ever been sent home with him – not a single writing assignment, coloring page, or art project.  Nothing.  I had been aware of it as the weeks and months wore on, but I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I kept expecting a big pile of stuff to come home with him.  But nothing ever did – not even when I officially requested his cumulative student record when I pulled him from school a couple of weeks ago.  So I sent an email earlier this week briefly explaining that nothing had ever come home with him and asking that any and all of his schoolwork be gathered together and left in the front office for me to pick up.  It took twenty-four hours to receive a response, and it was from the principal and not the teacher.  It informed me that Finn’s classwork was ready to be picked up in the front office.

I picked it up yesterday.  There was a fair amount of stuff – not nearly as much as you would expect from half a school year from a “typical” first-grader, but a fair amount.  Stuff dating back to the beginning of the school year.  A pumpkin art project obviously from October.

And this little gem, with my annotations:

School Rules

I’ll be honest: I don’t much care about the actual contents; it’s water under the bridge at this point (and most of it was worksheets that his aide had clearly had a big hand in doing).  It was the principle of it: why the fuck hadn’t his work been being sent home with him all along?  Why wasn’t he treated like a student instead of a problem?  I wanted to force their hand and get an explanation.

None, of course, was forthcoming.  I responded to the principal’s email asking her why Finn’s work had not been sent home at regular intervals all along, and asking if they ever had any intention of making sure we received his work, since it took me pointedly asking for it two weeks after he was disenrolled in order to actually get anything.  No response has been forthcoming, and I have no doubt that none will.

So, I’d just like to say to anyone who has ever hassled me for not falling all over Teacher Appreciation Week, for not buying into the whole Teachers Are Martyrs and Saints mindset: piss off.  We’ve had our share of negative, and even downright painful, teacher experiences.  Some teachers are truly wonderful – we’ve had those, too.  And some are damaging, or at least complicit in a system that is damaging.

So, I wash my hands of it.  I know that I need to find a way to let go of my anger and disappointment and move on, and do the things for my kids that school couldn’t or wouldn’t.

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8 Responses to Footnote

  1. nmykel February 12, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

    Marvelous! (I just wrote another comment on another page. I see why you were featured on “Scary Mommy!” Thanks for visiting.

  2. Ppp February 12, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

    Keep your dear teacher happy!!!!????? I am no psychologist but oh my that’s just especially wrong.

  3. Julie February 12, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

    Holy Sh*t! Rule #5? Way to make it about her and not about the kids and their well being/learning. Wow.

  4. Molly February 13, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

    I think you should share all this with the governor or … someone higher up. You have a powerful voice!

  5. Asha February 15, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

    Rule #5 sounds like something straight from North Korea!!
    Make your DEAR LEADER HAPPY
    WTF?!

  6. Sue February 23, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    I cannot believe the crap you put up with from this school district.

    • Lisa February 23, 2016 at 10:34 am #

      Me neither.

  7. Alyson February 25, 2016 at 9:10 am #

    I firmly believe that instead of Oregon you and your awesome family relocate to Canada – BC is an awesome, inclusive province and just a bit further then Oregon lol!! Seriously -while nothing is perfect and I have complaints about lots of services we have and our schools definitely need some improvements – it’s nothing like the US. Our kids all go to our neighbourhood schools – no matter ability- unless Parents agree to a change. I’m so sorry for the right you had to fight and ultimately the disappointment in your experience!!

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