Monday, February 09, 2009

WTF are you talking about?

The meeting with the principal didn't go as well as I had anticipated it to. Actually, I think it sucked. Period. I walked into her office, sat down, and she asked me to tell her what's going on. I told her that Ethan's been coming home, pretty much on a daily basis, upset about the kids in his class picking on him. I explained that they're cursing at him in Spanish, they're hitting him, they're making fun of him, and they're telling lies to the teacher just to get him in trouble. I then told her that he's absolutely miserable in this class because he doesn't have a single friend. I explained how ostracized he feels and that it's not healthy for him because he's the kind of kid that thrives on friendships. I told her that it's affecting his classwork and it's affecting him at home. And then I requested that she switch his class. After saying all of that to her, here's what she started with: (my percentages may be slightly off)

"This school is very diverse. We have 57% Hispanic children, 18% Asian, 11% Middle Eastern, 8% White, and 6% African American. All of the classes are a mixture of different races. So switching his class isn't going to put him in a less diverse class."

I was sitting there wondering why the fuck she was telling me the percentages of the different races until she said that switching his class isn't going to put him in a less diverse class. I immediately chimed in and told her that the diversity of the class isn't the problem. I told her that I didn't know what it is I said that would make her think that, but I have no problems with the children of other races. I have a problem with the children in Ethan's class who are relentlessly picking on him. She was like, "Oh, OK."

The rest of the conversation pretty much left me feeling like she didn't believe a word that I was saying. That in her mind, these kids aren't doing those things Ethan's claiming. She also made me feel, based on what she was saying, that Ethan is the problem because these kids don't act that way.

Now, if Ethan was the problem, I would do everything I could to help correct it. But prior to coming to this school, Ethan's NEVER had any problems with kids like he's having now. Sure there'd be the occasional spat here and there, but nothing serious at all. Of course, he'd have kids who sometimes joke around with him and Ethan couldn't take the joke. But again, nothing serious. Never has it ever been like this. I am not the type of mother who blames everyone else for what problems her kid may have. But I know when something's wrong, and this time is one of them.

I told her the teacher told me that this is the worst class she's had in her 10 years of teaching. That the kids are very disrespectful. I tried and tried to say everything I could to convince her to switch his class, but the bottom line was that she's not going to switch his class because "she doesn't do that." Instead, ETHAN is going to see the counselor and she's going to have a talk with ETHAN. I asked her about the kids who are being mean to Ethan and she said, "If I find out that the kids are in fact doing the things that Ethan claims, they'll be dealt with accordingly."

I don't understand what happened in that meeting, but whatever it was, I'm not satisfied. At this point, all I can do is keep talking to Ethan and hope that the meetings with the guidance counselor will teach him how to handle the kids being mean to him in a better way.

Deep Throat of the Day: Am I a racist because I said the kids were cursing at him in Spanish?


The Lily said...

This county is so far stuck up its own butt it's ridiculous. I am sorry that you and Ethan have to go through that.

NWJR said...

Wow. I just don't know what to say (not that that ever stopped me from saying anything).

Have you considered taking his case to the school board? I know that might sound extreme, but maybe there's someone on the board you can speak to privately about the possibility. The principal certainly has the power to switch his class, and from the way you're explaining it, your request does not seem unreasonable given the circumstances. Clearly the principal is not listening to what you have to say, but is playing a game of "blame the victim".

Your conclusion may be the only thing you can do. At the very least, Ethan is learning a difficult lesson about how bureaucracy works in the real world.

Anonymous said...

No, you're not being racist. If the problems continue, don't stop there. I don't know how it works where you're from, but where I'm from you can go to the Superintendant of schools or whoever is the pricipal's boss.Dont' let these kids keep making your son a victim. If the situation were racially reversed and white kids were picking on a mexican kid, then the school would consider it a hate crime. We as white people need to realize that its ok to stand up for OUR race and call HATE when we see it. Frankly I'm tired of rolling over and letting other races crap all over me and not pointing the finger back when it's obvious THEIR bad!

Grant said...

I don't think noticing that the other kids cursed at Ethan in Spanish makes you prejudiced, but mentioning it could cause people to jump to conclusions. Like when people who don't seem to be racists suddenly make an odd remark like "There sure are a lot of black people around here," it makes you wonder why they felt the need to say it. Would you be happier if they insulted Ethan in English? How about Swahili?

I had problems with a teacher in school and we ran into the same problems when my mother tried to get them to switch me to another class - the problem couldn't be with one of their classes or teachers, it must be the individual who is complaining. Those situations are easier to solve, by which I mean ignore. Any chance you could home-school him to get him through this year?

April said...

Lilly: I keep telling Joe that the kids (and people in general) are just so much different in this county. He keeps telling me that I just need to get used to it because it's not going to change. I suppose that I'll have to accept it, I just hope that Ethan doesn't turn out like these brats!

NWJR: I thought about going higher up, but I figure I'd try out her suggestion first. I've given it a 1 month time limit and if it's not better by then, then he WILL be switched to a different class.

Anon: In a school where my son is the minority, I would think it's easy for there to be "reverse racism" as the media calls it, but as far as I'm concerned, racism is racism regardless of which race is being racist. If it does continue, I will take it to a higher level. And you know, the principal is black. I hate to throw race into the picture, but I guess because I'm a white person complaining about someone who's not white, it's automatically about race. Which is fucking BULLSHIT!

Grant: Yeah, the point I was making to her about the kids cursing in Spanish was that the teacher isn't Spanish and doesn't know what those kids are saying. But hey, gotta worry about being PC to everyone these days, right? And unfortunately I have to work and am unable to home-school Ethan. I wish I could though. I'd be the meanest teacher he's ever had and he would hate it! Bwahahahaha!

Southern Sage said...

Well I dunno how you could have 50+ hispanic?
No you aren't racist. thats crazy.

I do know this. You pay them, and I do and everyone else who pays taxes, you need to TELL them what they will do, nicely of course, then if that doesn't work go to every meeting they have. EVERYONE. Stand up and speak you piece. Write in to the paper etc. I promise if you make enough trouble for them they will move him. Or change school district.

I can not imagine they are allowed to speak any language other than English in the school house at all, even amongst themself. Thats utter insanity. The political correctness is the biggest bunch of bullshit I have ever heard of.

I am completely dumbfounded by these stats.

Someone please vote to stop this...

Jim McKee said...

I agree, take it to the school board. Ethan is NOT the problem.

(And if the school board is also full of assholes, you should run yourself.)