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Monday, November 9, 2015

DeWitt Public Schools Liberal Logic

In the DeWitt Public School System, parents are given a large list of school supplies their student will need. These are generally handed out at the start of the school year. Lists are just that: LISTS. We aren't talking a box of crayons and some glue. LISTS. Even in the lower grades, LISTS. I did NOT EVER have a list of supplies EVER. In elementary school, our classes had scissors, glue, crayons, etc. Now, these are things expected to be provided by the parents. Add to it, a LIST of things for the CLASSROOM (Clorox wipes, kleenex, etc and so on). Back when I was a kid, we had these things called TAXES that paid for supplies.

Even after school starts, the asking for money from parents doesn't stop. Here is email from a teacher recently:

Hi, this is just a friendly reminder that if you have not turned in your donation for the Wharton Center field trip and plan to do so please do this ASAP. We need to pay for our tickets tomorrow if at all possible. Our class is $36 short. There are two other classrooms attending and we are $92 short combined. This is quite a large amount for the school to make up.

The $6.00 donation pays for transportation and the ticket. If you have questions please let me know.

Also, if you have not sent in the $15 donation for the Big History Lessons week, that is due by the end of the month. We have to pay our Big History bill in December.

Now, keep that in mind when looking at the district's transparency report. DeWitt teachers are the HIGHEST paid in Clinton County AND in the top five in the tri-county area! This district isn't a large metropolitan district, either. When I was a kid, they were class C. I don't know if they use class ratings now, but my children average 225 in their grade. It's not the city of Lansing. It's not Detroit. It's not NYC. It's fucking DEWITT.

More interesting info:

Salary $ 135,000.00
Insurances 2,870.64
Taxable Life Insurance 240.00
Cash in Lieu of Insurance 4,800.00
Total Compensation $142,910.64

Assistant Superintendent
Salary $104,522.26
Insurances 17,443.44
Annuity 2,000.00
Taxable Life Insurance 216.00
Total Compensation $124,181.70

High School Principal
Salary $ 107,201.98
Insurances 17,451.36
Annuity 2,000.00
Taxable Life Insurance 240.00
Total Compensation $ 126,893.34

Now go back up and read about the begging for $36 bucks. SERIOUSLY. It's NAUSEATING. The superintendent ought to get off his lazy worthless ass and fork out $36 for this class!

Another building had the audacity last month to ask parents to donate a microwave to their school cafeteria. Like they couldn't take $60 from TAXES and go to Walmart and buy a NEW one?? SERIOUSLY?????? UNREAL!

***reminder: superintendent has a 143k compensation package***

A few weeks later, they then asked parents for a donation of a rug for the library. It's RIDICULOUS! Slash the fat ass salaries, for the love of God! The really sick thing is parents are right there ready to bow down to these schools giving them anything they want.


And it continues...

So even after I've CLEARLY spelled it out that Johnny is NOT to have any contact with Joey, the stupid-ass parents have failed to control their bully-kid. On Friday, he made contact on more than one instance with Joey. I found out about this when I spoke with the principal about a class transition. The principal told me it sounded as though it was "minor/petty" things.

Joey said he ignored Johnny and told the teacher each time. Apparently, one thing Johnny said was "What do you have for a snack? A DOG turd?".

Is it minor? As an adult, I'd roll my eyes at the person telling them to grow the hell up. In fact, I'd probably even tell a CHILD that says it the same thing. But to the child that is the TARGET of it, it is degrading and intimidating. I am torn between letting the principal know this is NOT acceptable and letting it go as Joey did make a classroom change today.

Why are parents FUCKING IDIOTS? CLEARLY, Johnny has issues and I blame the parent. For whatever reason, these kids have inside anger and self-esteem issues and they don't get these problems out of nowhere. This stems from a HOME problem of whatever kind. Add on to the fact parents are MORE concerned about OTHER kids than they are about what THEIR kid is doing.

An occupational therapist from that district told me a few years back "These parents have the attitude of 'not my kid'. They get a call about a problem at school, ask their kid about it, then turn around and say, 'well, Lucy told me she didn't do it'".

THAT is the mentality today and THAT is what is wrong with this generation.

Well, I'm the exception to their parent pool. I WILL make my own child accountable, but you better believe I will do what I can to make the other accountable, as well. Unfortunately, it's me against the world in this.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bullying Documentation to School

DISCLAIMER: Names have been changed. Though, you may use my letters as an example/guide, they are NOT intended as official ADVICE of any type and are not a guarantee to get any desired results. Your experiences will differ from ours and laws differ from state to state.

Documentation of Incidents

---Spring 2015: Shortly before Spring Break 2015, **** was coming home upset that **** told him (***) he was not his friend any longer. We were aware of a few instances that could’ve sparked this and nipped it on our end where Joey was concerned. Former teacher **** mentioned he would talk with the kids to see if they could get it worked out. After spring break, the kids seemed to be ok once again.

--- September 2015: Through the beginning of the school year, Joey would express ongoing concern that “Johnny won’t play with me” and “Johnny isn’t my friend, anymore”. I, initially, figured it was third grade “drama” and explained to Joey that if Johnny didn’t want to be friends and wasn’t being nice, then to just stay away from him PERIOD. Joey really wanted to try and make it work with Johnny as he had always liked him, but he still kept coming home with issues to which I tried to reinforce to STAY AWAY FROM HIM.

---September 30, 2015: I sent Mrs M email (I can provide copy) expressing concern in reference to Joey coming home saying he is being “treated like garbage” at school. There were some generic complaints of Johnny and two specific incidents not related to him. I asked Mrs M if Joey was doing anything that could’ve provoked being excluded by his peers, etc. She replied, “He has not”. She was not aware of the other instance I cited (this one did not involve Johnny), but did not seem interested in addressing that problem and I heard nothing else from her in reference to it.

--- October 20, 2015 Conferences: Because Joey was continuing to complain about being treated poorly (specifically by Johnny), I, once again, asked Kelly M about this situation. She laughed at, what I assumed was meant as “third grade drama”. She was very adamant they were very tight friends and had each other’s backs at all times. She said there was absolutely no problem between both kids.

--Week of October 26, 2015: Joey, continuing the complaints from the previous week, would come home visibly upset because of Johnny. Joey would always say “He isn’t my friend anymore”. When asked why, Joey mentioned TWO different occasions during this same week where Johnny kept telling Joey that he (Johnny) could “Take him down”. I believe it was Wednesday the 28th when Joey was upset because Johnny “punched him in the gut”. This same week, Johnny could be seen “staring” at not only Joey, but Joey’s father at drop-off.

OBVIOUSLY, there is a problem and according to the DeWitt Public Schools Code of Conduct found on the DeWitt Public Schools website, these accusations appear to fall under the “Assault” paragraph on page 14 and under the “Bullying” paragraph on the same page.


As a result of the documentation of incidents involving Johnny XX , please know Joey XX has been instructed to do the following:

1. Joey has been told to not have any interaction with Johnny. He has been told he is not to play with Joey. He has been told to ignore him in hallways, etc. He has been told to pretend he is not there. He has been instructed that if he finds himself at a lunch table directly next to him, he is to find another place to sit no matter where it is.

2. Joey has been told if he is placed into a school group (during class or otherwise) with Johnny, he is to request to be put into a different group. Joey knows that if this doesn’t happen, he is to leave class (regardless of other instruction) and go to the office and call home.

3. Joey has been instructed that if Johnny (or any other child) makes ANY action towards him that violates ANY category listed in the DeWitt School District’s Code of Conduct as it appears on the DeWitt Schools website, he is to IMMEDIATELY tell a teacher, principal, secretary, or any other adult. Joey knows this is CRUCIAL. We have explained to Joey assault is also a criminal act. Joey knows he is to use whatever means (including his martial arts training) to protect himself. Joey is aware he has 100% parental support, regardless of school policy(ies). Joey is also aware his ATA Taekwondo instructor will also give 100% support. Joey knows we, as parents and ATA Taekwondo instructors, have a ZERO tolerance of bullying.

4. Joey also is aware that if his educators at school won’t make his school safe for him, his parents will. This can (and will) include going up the chain of command within the school district/state as well as utilizing outside resources.

Formal Letter

November 2, 2015

DeWitt Public Schools
DeWitt, MI 48820

Dear Ms. Principal,

As a result of on-going issues with Johnny X (which CLEARLY fall under definitions included in DeWitt Public Schools’ Code of Conduct as found on DeWitt Public Schools webpage), please find the attached list of documented incidents as well as a plan of action as it applies to Joey. As you are able to see, I have inquired on more than one occasion in reference Joey’s complaints. It is very unfortunate DeWitt Public Schools have had numerous opportunities to remedy the problem and have failed to do so.

I understand that under Matt’s Safe School Law (380.1310b), Michigan public schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy. Under this law, students are to be protected under the policy. I am confident DeWitt Public Schools follow this law as written.

DeWitt Public Schools are NOT to interview Joey without parental presence and are NOT to interview him with Johnny X (and/or his parents) present. You may inform Johnny’s parents of our intentions with Joey per our Plan of Action. They can be assured Joey will be expected to have zero contact with their son.

Please contact us to let us know the school’s plan of action to keep Joey safe from Johnny X..

Hard (paper) copies to follow.


Parents of Joey P.

CC: Mrs. M., Overpaid Superintendent

"You Can't Talk to Another Student".....

So, Ms. Principal proceeds to ask me, FIRST THING, to tell her about the conflict between Johnny and Joey. I didn't realize it at the time, but she was setting me up to NAIL me.

***KNOW THAT STRAIGHT UP...these schools will play mind games with you***

After I explained the continued conflict, she NAILED me with the fact I spoke to Johnny at the museum.

"I can't have you speaking to another student. I just won't be able to have you chaperone, any longer".

FACT FINDING DUMB BITCH ALERT: I wasn't chaperoning. She assumed I was doing just that. She FAILED to get her facts straight before opening her mouth.

At that point, I was PISSED. I told her that if SCHOOL doesn't take care of the problem, I WOULD. PERIOD. I also, VERY CLEARLY, let her know I was on my OWN TIME and NOT on school property. She didn't know what to say.

It got better. She told me Johnny said "She told me to stop bullying Johnny and that she doesn't like bullies".

See how that works? I corrected her on what I REALLY said. I am not an idiot. I am not going to go and pose a threat to a 10 year old at a school function. DERP.

She further made the accusation that Johnny claims my husband "Swears about him". I had no idea what that meant, but in hindsight, I am guessing they meant my husband was swearing when using Johnny's name?

***KNOW STRAIGHT UP: These schools WILL attempt to turn things around on YOU/what YOU may be doing that is 'wrong'***

I told her I was NOT aware of any such thing but remained adamant that is school wouldn't take care of the problem, I would.

She then said "Well, you wouldn't want someone speaking to YOUR kid" to which I was nearly YELLING at her, "ACTUALLY, I WOULD HOPE that another parent or someone would intervene on my behalf and GOD HELP Joey when he got his ass home!".

But see the parent mentality now-a-days? If one of my kids were to come home telling me another parent said something to them, MY FIRST reaction would be to my CHILD, "WHAT are you doing to this other kid?!??!!" But now in today's society and CERTAINLY not in this entitlement riddled school district. These parents raced into the principal's office to bitch about what I said. Get a fucking life.

I made a formal list of history of correspondence and incidents, a formal letter to the principal, and a letter of action as it pertained to Joey (how Joey was to react to what Johnny does and says).

I heard nothing on Monday and decided that for every day they don't respond to me, I would do something one step further. That Monday, I filed a police report with the Michigan State Police for assault (Johnny punched my child).

On Tuesday, I still heard nothing so I sent the president of the school board email (who happens to work for a law firm....ironic?).

THAT got their attention REALLY quick.

It was then the worthless overpaid superintendent (he has a worth of 143K in salary) sent me email reiterating what the principal had told me Friday. He reiterated the word for word claim I apparently said to Johnny (so that wasn't corrected, surprise..again...they want to keep you the bad guy. He then stated they found "no evidence" of bullying.

Of COURSE they found no evidence! They don't want to find evidence! That means accountability, liability! They don't WANT to find shit. Unless your kid comes home with a black eye or otherwise, there WILL NEVER be evidence.

****KNOW STRAIGHT UP: These schools have THEIR liability top priority. What they do revolves COMPLETELY around that. PERIOD***

When speaking with other parents, I have discovered their stories are VERY similar to ours. School finds nothing and the shit continues. But the difference between me and other parents? I am not going to sit back and take it. I will hold them accountable in every way I possibly and legally can.

****KNOW STRAIGHT UP: There is something called FERPA. Because of these privacy laws, school will NOT tell you what they've said/done to another student. Therefore, you are left hanging and guessing and hoping like hell something may have been done. It's jacked up, but it is what it is***

At that point, I still wasn't satisfied. I then spelled out a letter, pretty much, telling school OFFICIALLY that Johnny and his family is NOT to have contact with Joey or my family. Any further contact in ANYWAY will result in a subsequent police report and a PPO will be sought (It is a Personal Protection Order in Michigan). Legally, once you tell someone they are not to have contact with you, that's IT. They legally are REQUIRED to refrain.

You fuck with my kids and I BECOME KARMA. Period.

I heard nothing after that and it was Thursday Joey reported after school Johnny indirectly tossed threats around to him by flapping his jaws "We know where you live and your phone number...." and proceeded to rattle them off to Joey. He further stated to Joey, "My dad wants yours in jail" and la de da.

Instead of email, I high tailed it right into the principal's office. She agreed that wasn't acceptable. I don't know what she did about it because of FERPA, but they know where I stand.

Long story short, she suggested Joey move to another classroom. Joey LOVES his teacher and I was NOT happy at that idea, but at the same time, I was DONE. It is VERY exhausting, stressful, and time consuming going up against a school full of administrators who are are advised by lawyers. It's one of you and many of them.

They KNOW I am watching them under a microscope and they KNOW I am not afraid to take things as far as I need to take them.

10 Year Old Bully

My son is 8 and in third grade. He made a friend last year in his class, Johnny, who is two years older than grade level. Naturally, this child has some issues I am unaware of, but Joey was his only friend, so it appeared. Joey was the only child that showed up to his birthday party (out of two invited). They were good friends, but this current year, something changed.

They were put in the same class again this year, but nearly from the get-go, my son, Joey, continued to come home with concerns about Johnny. It was ONGOING. It was always "Johnny this..." and "Johnny that.." and because it seemed petty at the time, I didn't think twice about it. I just told Joey to "stay away from Johnny if he isn't being a good friend".

Towards the end of September, Joey started coming home stating he was being "treated like garbage". He cited a couple of examples that were unrelated to Johnny, but still concerning. It was then I decided to send his teacher email expressing concerns. Mrs. M stated she was aware of one instance which was a misunderstanding between kids, but the other she wasn't aware of. She didn't offer to investigate what happened, but just said she wasn't aware.

At conferences a few weeks later, I, again, expressed concern about Joey continuing to come home stating he is being treated like garbage and showing continuing conflict with Johnny. I outright asked Mrs. M if Joey was doing anything to provoke Johnny or if he was doing anything to be "singled" out by any other child. She reassured me that Joey is doing nothing and there IS no problem. In fact, Johnny and Joey "are tight friends. They always have each others backs". She laughed at my claims as to blow it off as "third grade drama".

A week later, this class went on a week-long field trip to a museum. The drama continued. This week, Joey came home and stated "johnny told me he could 'take me down'...and "Johnny punched me". Of course, this was NOT acceptable and I found out about it towards the end of the week. My son claimed he didn't tell anyone because he was afraid he would get into trouble for tattling.

On Friday, I had to run money to the museum as Joey forgot to take it for the museum store. When I got there, Johnny was standing next to Joey. Sirens went off in my head and I had to go in bitch-mom mode. I said, "Are you Johnny?" He said yes. I said, "I"m Joey's mom. It's not nice when kids are mean to other kids".

No surprise at 4p, the principal called me up ripping me a new ass because I said something to this kid.

More to be continued.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Bullying in Schools

Yesterday, I was contacted by another blogger who had seen my posts about my son being bullied in school. He wanted to blog about it as he is an "Anonymous" type. I gave him permission to do so, but then he also encouraged me to tell our own story as it would be easier coming straight from the horse's mouth.

I think that is a great idea, though, I haven't blogged in over two years. It's VERY important to me to try and nip bullying in the ass as SOON as it starts (no buts about it). The problem we face, however, are, ironically, the school districts, themselves. These school districts have a top priority: their own liability. No matter what happens in their schools, they consult THAT before they handle anything. It's a "Cover Your Ass" type of thing. UNDERSTAND THAT STRAIGHT UP. They will tell you differently, but if you keep that in the back of your mind while dealing with them, you will see right through what is happening.

My intention here is to not only tell our own stories (Because I have another issue with school I ran around with a few years ago), but to help others out, as well. I plan on publishing the letters I have written (they are a tad brash, so beware!), too, to maybe help as a guide.

DISCLAIMER: though, you may use my letters as an example/guide, it is NOT intended as official ADVICE of any type and is not a guarantee to to get any desired results. Your experiences will differ from ours and laws differ from state to state.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mortality and Grief

I've posted before about my grandmother passing and how difficult it had been to deal with. I've posted about my out of this world experience of being at her side while she died. That experience changed my life.

I have a friend whose dad is dying of cancer. He recently has been admitted to hospice, though he is pretty upbeat and still jokes around. I cannot imagine being in this situation with a parent. I've always said that when my mother dies, prepare to dig a hole next to her because that is where I will be shortly thereafter. Yes, that is how hard it WILL be.

But what I've learned is the power of faith is extraordinary. I would not consider myself a "Bible thumper" by any means, however I saw God at work while I was with my grandma. I felt God at work. God gave me strength I never even knew I COULD have. Out of nowhere, my fears left me when I saw my grandma in that hospital bed unresponsive and zombie-like. She knew I was there and squeezed my hand, but she could not open her eyes even though she tried. My usual self would've expected me to curl up in a ball in a corner and bawl my eyes out avoiding seeing her like the plague. That would've been the self-fish and self-centered thing I would've done out of fear and pain. But instead, I went right to her side and stayed there as if it were an instinct and I've done it numerous times (which I never have).

Over two years later, I still can cry at the mere mention of my grandma. I miss her terribly. She still appears in my dreams at night, but I've taken SO much comfort in known I was there for her. I was there to help her, to talk with her, etc at a time when we are most vulnerable and in need. I take comfort in known that my grandma was not afraid to die. She's told me that NUMEROUS times in the past. What I experienced with nothing short of a miracle. Yes, DEATH is a miraculous experience. I felt it. I SAW it. I KNOW there is something more after we die. My grandma left us right after we gave her permission to go. It was within MINUTES after we got back to the hospital in the morning. She hung on. She knew she was going to die and held on before letting go. Why would this happen if she didn't see more after death? I TRULY believe she saw her parents, siblings, friends, my grandfather.

I take SO much comfort in knowing this. I feel amazingly closer to her than I ever have before. I can't explain it, really, but just can tell you to TRUST ME.