Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Update



School should provide a safe and sound environment for young people to grow up and learn.

It's a motto that embedded itself in my mind many years ago and can be found in the law and in numerous schoolguides.

At schools for kids between 12 and 18 the mentors are the key figures in creating this safe and sound environment.
They should prevent bullying, communicate with the group and the individuals and keep in contact with the parents.

Ofcourse mentors are people with their own strong and weak characteristics, but the overall impression should be positive. Feeling a mentor can be trusted to mean well for the pupil is the basis for everything.

The girls have never ever caused problems to their teachers.
Instead they were called nice girls, helpfull people, caring persons and kids with their own identities.
We always got compliments for having raised them so well.

And we got the same when the girls were at this school.
Until recently someone reported us for an investigation by the Child Protection Services.
Many parents of autistic children are confronted by this, because many people take the meltdowns of the autistic children as signals of abuse.
People don't talk about this often, because they feel ashamed or are told to be silent about it.
But that way mistakes and injustice won't be mentioned and people suffer from them over and over again, giving the system far more power than it should have.

In our case the school reported strange things about our girls. They gave a description we didn't recognise, the girls themselves didn't recognise and their friends didn't recognise.
The descriptions were completely inconsistent with reality.

But we didn't know these descriptions were given by school.

We just felt treated very badly, like the researchers had many preconceptions about us. And I was even harrassed on the phone by someone who had nothing to do with the case.

I didn't understand the agression towards me, the way our parenting was commented on.
Until someone asked us if we were members of a religious sect.
That was at the end of a second series of interviews. So at a moment when all the work was done.

Turned out the school had told the investigators we were members of a sect and even worse: we suddenly understood why things happened the way they did.
The bullying at school, the exclusion of the girls, both by the mentor and the girls of the group, and some other issues I won't mention here.

Almost at the same time we finally got a copy of the first report on us.
Then we found out the school described our girls in such a way that one of them seemed to be a walking nutcase.

We contacted school and asked why they hadn't informed us so we, as parents, could have taken action.
"Oh no...it was not that bad at all. All kids had times they didn't feel well during puberty and had to find their place in a group again." The school didn't regard it as troublesome and it was not worth contacting the parents. No, it wasn't as bad as all.

So we had them write a correction to the investigators.

Not long after that a second report was send upon our request.
Turned out that some schoolcounsellor had given a description of my daughter which was much the same.
This was strange, as the woman never had spoken with my girls and didn't know them at all.

She mentioned that sometimes they didn't fit in the group, as she observed.
Well, my question was why she didn't take action then and helped them, as is her task. And why she didn't inform us.

It was clear she had taken the info of the school and had made this her own.

We filed an official complaint against the mentors and school agreed with us. In fact other parents had filed complaints before us.

They would send corrections on the second report too.

Yesterday I had to urge school to do so, as we have a talk tomorrow with the investigators about the behaviour lists the school and we filled in.
I'm sure there will be large descrepancies and I'm not sure the investigators will see it's the school's mistake to see our girls in the wrong way, and not ours.

Just a few minutes ago I received the corrections of school. I've sent them through to be copied without reading them.
It may sound strange, but we all feel OK at the moment and I don't want to introduce stress on this hot summer afternoon.
I don't want to be stressed myself.
It's too late to make school's contact person change his mind, so whatever is written is what will be presented tomorrow.

The mentors show far less adult behaviour than my girls.

The male one told another girls of the group not to tell the others that my girl spoiled the class gathering. He added later that she'd spoilt them all.
I asked several grils of the group if that was true and they all were amazed and a bit angry about the remark. My girls did nothing like that.

Being fed up with a person like that telling others what kind of a person my girl is we filed a complaint.

Yesterday he ignored my daughter, and everyone saw it several times.
Only when the contactperson was in hearing and sight distance he said hello to her.

I couldn't help myself to ask school if that's normal behaviour.

I can't believe that people so childish were given the responsibility for a whole group of new children at that school during two years.
They have made those years into a disappointing adventure and now I understand why they didn't take proper action against bullying and exclusion. In fact they were a role model for it.

I hope the investigators will see the truth and see that we're good parents and our children are well, even considering the fact that their teachers were more immature than they were.

After that I'll decide if I'll sue the school for negligence.
It's not often done in our country, but maybe it's time people will look into these practices.
We have agreed we'll report this to the schoolinspection.

We have tried to move the girls to another school, but there was no place. Homeschooling is not allowed here.

We're stuck with a school we don't trust.
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