School Meeting

Yesterday I posted under The Teacher From Hell about what happened to Jonathan at school on Monday. Well, today we had a meeting with Ms. Todd (Assistant Principal), Mr. Thompson (Guidance Counselor), and Dr. Woodard (Principal). The meeting started out with Dr. Woodard telling us that she was sorry for what happened to Jonathan yesterday and that the teacher who was filling in for his regular teacher (Ms. Saunders) was not aware of Jonathan’s requirements. TMT, naturally, got all blustery and loud and said, “I want that teacher in here. I want to know why she put her hands on my son. Nobody in this building is to put their hands on my son!”

I just glared at him out of the corner of my eye and tried to explain things to Dr. Woodard in a calm, rational manner. I told her how Jonathan was affected by the whole thing – that when he got off the bus yesterday he was just as white as could be (hard to do when your a mulatto child I can tell you that!) and he was visibly shaken up and upset. He didn’t want to play his games, he didn’t want to play with his brother, he didn’t want to do anything. He just curled up on his bed after he told me what happened and was quiet. Jonathan is not a quiet child by any stretch of the imagination – even when he’s sick!

According to the ST (substitute teacher) Jonathan and another student were horsing around while standing in line waiting for the bell to ring to dismiss them from class so they could go get on the bus. She claims she asked him several times to stop and, when he did not, she put her hand on his shoulder and forced him to face her and told him, “Jonathan, stop it this instant and go sit down till the bell rings.”

You don’t put your hands on Jonathan. We learned this through trial and error in kindergarten. Especially if you do not know him and he does not know you.

He got defensive and pushed at her arm to get her off of him, so she proceeded to follow school procedures and put the crochet hold on him. This entails pulling the child’s arms behind them and hooking your arm through theirs behind their back and holding one of their arms with your hand while the other is trapped behind them as well until they calm down and aren’t a danger to themselves or others.

Now don’t get me wrong. I understand the need for this with some students. Jonathan is not one of them. Jonathan just needs to be taken to a quiet area and talked to in a calm voice and he’ll settle right down. When you approach him in anger or touch him in anger, his immediate response is to fight back.

I blame dad for that but that’s another story for another day.

To make a long story short, TMT would not leave until the ST was brought to the office and Dr. Woodard specifically told him she would not tolerate him yelling at the ST because they – the administration – were taking the blame for this incident because they did not warn her about Jonathan’s actions or place Jonathan with another teacher that he is comfortable with and knows.

So the ST came in, and she was a little thing not much bigger than Jonathan, and I could tell just from watching her and listening to her she truly was sorry if Jonathan had gotten hurt and that she did not know he would react the way that he did. So I had no problems accepting her apology provided she understood that she was not to put her hands on my son again should the need ever arise.

TMT is still pissed but what else is new? He stays pissed off about the damnest things that make sense to nobody else but him.

The plan in place now is to update his IEP so that it clearly states that Jonathan is not to be put in a situation where he is with a teacher he does not know or does not know about his situation. If the need ever arises again where one of his “regular” teachers needs to step out and a ST needs to step in – Jonathan will be sent to one of his other teacher’s rooms until they return or he can go to the guidance counselor’s office and hang out with him and do some homework. If all else fails, I told them that a phone call home to me or to his father so we could talk to him and calm him down would work just as well. We’ve dealt with these issues and are well equipped to handle them and know what works for him.

Jonathan knows the GC from his school last year – I believe he transferred as well or he did visits to the school Jonathan was in. Either way, they know each other and Jonathan is comfortable around him. He is the one who went into the classroom yesterday and got him out of there and calmed down and talked to him. Thank heaven for Mr. Thompson!

So, as the saying goes, all’s well that ends well. Now I’m off to the library to return some overdue books and drag the little rugrats with me. What fun THIS should be!

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