Day one consists of randomly shuffling tunes on my iphone up to 10...and what I feel about them. ALWAYS up for talking about music!! :)
1. Baby, Baby, Baby by TLC. TLC takes me back to the early 90s..a GREAT time in my life. This song has an amazing bass and cranks REALLY well in the car:)
2.Man, I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain. Late 90s....just a FUN tune easy to sing with...empowering, too! :)
3.What Kind of Man Would I Be? by Chicago. Oh boy. Late 80s...89/90ish. I remember totally being into this one when I was going out with Dan spring 1990. For a long time, it solely reminded me of him, but then as life went on, I was able to relate other things to the song's meaning. Truly one of my all time favorites.
4.It Feels Good by Tony! Toni! Tone! SCREAMING high school!!!! I am thinking senior year...going to East Lansing with friends....it brings back many feelings of way back then. To this day, it's one I will crank if it comes up in the car. Yea, I look like a dorky mom with the windows down and crusty music up, but I don't care!!! :)
5. A Little Respect--Erasure. Even though this was more 80s, I was really into this entire album in the early 90s. Erasure reminds me of my friend from high school (and I still talk with her), Heather... I always smile when I think of her...we had some great times and even though she lives across the world, I still love her to pieces.
6. Feenin' by Jodeci. I never really knew too much about Jodeci until the early 90s. I am thinking 92-93ish. A friend and I went to Sparty's (a bar) and a guy I really was into was also there. One of Jodeci's songs came on (I can't recall if it was Feenin' or Cry For You, but they are both great!) and this guy asked me to dance. That dance was ELECTRIC. I am not EVEN kidding. It was like cosmic...I felt in another world....and I think he felt it, as well, as he found us in the parking lot later and was all giddy about it LOL! Ohhhh...to be 20 something again!!!
7. Fire and Rain by James Taylor This is a VERY bitter sweet one. And I mean REALLY. There are times I cannot even keep it on if it comes on the radio or shows up in shuffle on my phone. A coworker from a PD I worked with brought over a James Taylor one night....this particular song he said he LOVED and then was trying to analyze it. I will never forget that night. He died maybe 10 years later.
8. Dance With Me by Orleans. SCREAMING 70s!!!!! Both this one and "Still the One" take me STRAIGHT back to my childhood..and I mean EARLY childhood. I remember distinctly driving in the car with my mom and hearing Orleans on the AM radio. And yes, I was sitting unbuckled in the front seat with her...hahaha. I LOVE songs that can take my that far back into memories. Bring it!
9.I Try by Macy Gray. I will admit, I HATED this song. HATED it. When it first came out, I was in radio and it played CONSTANTLY. Nails down a chalkboard. One afternoon, I went into the studio to discuss some things with my then program director (I always loved to talking with him)...Macy Gray was one tune that came on during that time (imagine that). Since then, it reminds me of that day.
10. The Cross by Prince. I first purchased this tape (oh yes...CASSETTE TAPE) in Chicago while on a band trip. Paid like $18 bucks back then, but it was the BEST album EVER. That was in spring of 1988 (I believe). In the fall of 1990, I went away to college. A roommate of mine happened to LOVE Prince as much as I loved him. My roommate also had Lupus. She was REALLY sick with Lupus and had always told me that when she dies, she wanted this song played at her funeral (This one and "The Ladder" by Prince). I don't know if that ever happened because when she died a few months later, I home sick with mono so I wasn't able to go. :( I will NEVER forget her and this song will ALWAYS have special meaning.
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
Taxable Life Insurance 240.00
Cash in Lieu of Insurance 4,800.00
Total Compensation $142,910.64
Taxable Life Insurance 216.00
Total Compensation $124,181.70
High School Principal
Salary $ 107,201.98
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.
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.
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.
PLAN OF ACTION
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.
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..
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, obviously..no 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.
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.