(This will be long, but should be fairly easy to follow in 3 parts)
I got a call last evening from V. She's the special ed supervisor over the elementary schools.
"Hi, this is V, I'm calling on behalf of the principal."
(oh? now the principal is refusing to talk with me as well?)
"Hi there V".
"I wanted to follow up with you- Jaysen should have his substitute teacher in place for him next Tuesday."
"He doesn't have any formal training with ASD, but he's coming from the middle school and has worked with ASD kids and explosive behaviors, so Jaysen shouldn't be anything he hasn't seen before. I'm thinking this will be a good match because he is familiar with students with disabilities, and he's a gen.ed teacher, so he's also familiar with gen.ed curriculum. He'll be able to support Jaysen the way that he needs."
"That's great. I'm really excited about this."
"I also understand you've been concerned about Jaysen's seating arrangement?"
"Yes. I feel that by sitting him off in a corner, with no other kids around him, is reinforcing the message to the class that it is okay to segregate him from the group."
"Well, we're looking at this being a temporary placement."
"I don't care how temporary of a placement you're thinking. This is not right."
"I realize that we are punishing the victim here, but I don't see any other options. We're hoping to do this for a week or two, then ease him back in with the classroom seating."
"V, he's once again being punished for something that is not his fault. You can't keep allowing this to happen. He needs to be included with his peers."
"The problem is...Jaysen's relationship with his peers...is, well...extremely...fractured."
(No shit, lady. I wonder why that is?)
"I understand, but you can't tell me that you expect me to believe that every kid in that class thinks he's a monster. "
"Of course not."
"Then sit him with those kids. He told me last night that there were three kids in particular that were really nice to him. Why can't you take those three kids into the hallway and ask them who would like to volunteer to be Jaysen's helper? Then you have those kids that want to help, sit at his table. There's more room at the round table, and they will be able to see that the behavior is being handled by the sub, and they may even pick up on some ways that they can help Jaysen too."
"That's a really good idea. I hadn't even thought of sitting kids with him. I don't see any reason we can't do that."
"Now, while I have you on the phone, I would like to address the anxiety concern."
"Yes, I'm aware of the concern that parents are feeling anxious about the situation."
"That's only part of it, V. We're now on the receiving end of sideways glances, kids being shuffled away from Jaysen, parents talking about us and confronting me about my parenting abilities and our home situation. This has got to stop."
"I agree. But sometimes confrontation makes things worse, just so you know. What would you like to do?"
"At this point, there has been too much damage done. If we ignore it, it's allowing it to continue. I think confrontation is the only option, and it needs to start with his teacher. I know firsthand that she has discussed issues concerning my son, to other parents- because it's coming back to me. She is the one who is creating this anxiety- she is the one who can lull it."
"I wasn't aware of that. It's hard to disagree with you, when I agree with you. Sp.ed or Gen.ed it doesn't matter. She can't be allowed to do that. I will talk with her and the principal tomorrow."
I hope she tears into her like Fat Albert into a bag of chips.
I want to feel a bit relieved, but every time I think things are getting taken care of- something else happens to double the drama. I am keeping my fingers crossed, but my guard is still up.
Now check this out:
When I dropped Jaysen off at school this morning, I told his sp.ed teacher of last night's conversation. She advised me to keep tracking the conversations. She is keeping her own copy of her interactions as well. Then she said the strangest thing that actually gave me chills.
"If I end up losing my job over this, all of my documentation will then belong to you. I will help you take down the system."
There is way more to the story. She knows something. She apparently knows a lot of things that I don't. What the hell are they?!?
"I will help you take down the system."
Those words are haunting me.
Damn...I want to know.