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-   -   Help with 7yo school issue? (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1464382)

mommabritt 11-16-2012 09:48 PM

Help with 7yo school issue?
 
I need some advice on how to deal with a serious situation with my 7yo DS. Today in his backpack was an official referral from the principal that he cheated on his spelling test. The note says he was caught cheating by having written his words down on his test paper before the test began. His test was attached, he wrote three words, and not in order. Numbers 1, 3, and 17. It says he was informed and told if it happens again there will more serious repercussions. I have to sign and return. I did not receive a phone call from anyone about this. Just a crying DS and the note.

Background: DS is clinically diagnosed mild ASD, PDD nos and ODD. He doesn't have an IEP in place as the school said he doesn't qualify for one. Until recently, the last month or so, his behavior at school has been pleasant and mostly positive. Lately he has had trouble concentrating, disturbing others (not deliberately) by making noises with his mouth while he works, not following directions when asked, forgetting his work and planner to be signed. We heard none of this until his P/T conference a few weeks ago where I asked the teacher to please be in touch with me should his behaviors increase or should there be more trouble. I spoke with her yesterday about something unrelated and quickly checked on him and she said he'd been great. I do know that she has a young teen DS on the spectrum and she does have very strong opinions about how to deal with it. At times I have felt she projects her own parenting opinions onto us as if it is the 'right' way or our ds will be screwed up and fail as an adult (because she has a child who is older so she has btdt kwim?). I can add this is her first year teaching at his school, though she is a somewhat seasoned teacher.

So here's the thing... I am incredibly annoyed that I was not called either by her or the principal. He is 7, not 17. I feel I should have been called and informed of his action, that they were having a meeting in the principals office were he was being written up formally, should I like to attend (and teacher knows I am a sahm).

I know the seriousness of his actions and I am very disappointed. I am very surprised he would do this. The word list was not hard, he knows all but two by heart. When asked why he chose to cheat he said 'I just wanted to get an A'. I asked him where he copied the words from and he said they were on the big board. He says she handed out the paper, the class numbered the paper, and then she took the list down. That he wrote the words down with the numbers. I do NOT want to play down the fact that he broke the rules and made a wrong choice. He knows he did. A referral is serious and I am sure part of his permanent educational record now. That makes me sad. Dh and I discussed consequences and we feel he needs to write a letter to his teacher apologizing for cheating, explaining why he did it and that it won't happen again. We also told him that since he felt he didn't know the words and that he needed to cheat, he will write all 17 of them 7 times each (since he is 7...) this weekend. This is practically torturous for him. The connection of consequence to action is especially important here IMO, to help prevent this from happening again.

Does this sound reasonable to you? Would you contact the school in this situation? Please no flames (not sure where they'd come from but this is DS after all ;) ), it is late and my brain is tired.

Thanks for any help.

luvsviola 11-16-2012 09:52 PM

Re: Help with 7yo school issue?
 
I would email his teacher and just tell her that you are concerned about the referral you got on Friday, and you'd like to talk about it with her. Give her your cell number and tell her that you are available all day, so please call you during her prep so you can understand exactly what happened, so you can best help your son.

(I know you know what happened, but you have to have a spirit of "We're all on the same team" when you initially contact the school)

While yes, it probably went in his file, in the grand scheme, one referral is nothing and won't haunt him for life. :)

kimb96 11-16-2012 09:58 PM

Re: Help with 7yo school issue?
 
I think writing the words is a great consequence.

If it were me, I would let it go as far as the school is concerned. I think they handled it appropriately. Things like this are handled in a similar manner. Ds had alot of behavioral issues at school last year and we got several official write ups from the principal. We did request a meeting after the third one with the teacher and the principle to make sure everyone was on the same page and to discuss possible alternative disipline strategies for ds.

mommabritt 11-16-2012 10:05 PM

Kristen, I was hoping you'd pop in :blush: I always enjoy reading your 'teacherly' advice.

His teacher doesn't have an email (that she has shared anyway). I will gladly listen to her side of what happened, but if I am quite honest, her suggestions in the past seem harsh and do not mesh with how we parent. She is very 'strong hand approach because this is life, deal with it'. I don't want to give her the impression that I want her parenting advice. Does that make sense?

mommabritt 11-16-2012 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kimb96
I think writing the words is a great consequence.

If it were me, I would let it go as far as the school is concerned. I think they handled it appropriately. Things like this are handled in a similar manner. Ds had alot of behavioral issues at school last year and we got several official write ups from the principal. We did request a meeting after the third one with the teacher and the principle to make sure everyone was on the same page and to discuss possible alternative disipline strategies for ds.

Would it make a difference if your lo was SN or not? Is this a factor or should it not matter?

luvsviola 11-16-2012 10:29 PM

Re: Help with 7yo school issue?
 
Hmmmm...that is odd that she doesn't have email. Is it a public school? If so, you can go on the school's website and look it up. I can't imagine a teacher in this day and age not sending out a million emails to parents. It is fastest, easiest way to make sure parents get information!

If not, I would call or send a written note on Monday morning. IMO, if you have a concern, it is their job to talk with you.

Honestly, we are not allowed to submit a referral to the office without having contacted a parent first. What happened with your son would be against procedures in our building. How we work...teacher writes up offense, teacher contacts parent letting parent know what happened, and alerts parent that an admin write up was filled out, and then admin handles it and they contact parent to let parent know what they did. I would be formally reprimanded for turning in something without having contacted a parent. We have to document phone number called, date and time of call, and who we spoke with.

I know each school is different, but IMO, if it was on an official referral form, parent contact should be made.

isabelsmummy 11-16-2012 11:37 PM

Re: Help with 7yo school issue?
 
Is your son very bright? I just ask because my dd is 8 and she would never be able to figure out HOW to cheat even if it did occur to her.

But anyway, he's 7. He's still learning all kinds of things and honesty and integrity are one of those things. It's simply another learning opportunity. Honesty is actually a difficult concept I think. He can know that you shouldn't cheat but it is hard to really understand and explain why. More than punishing, I would research a lot of opportunities to reinforce those values.

mommabritt 11-17-2012 03:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvsviola
Hmmmm...that is odd that she doesn't have email. Is it a public school? If so, you can go on the school's website and look it up. I can't imagine a teacher in this day and age not sending out a million emails to parents. It is fastest, easiest way to make sure parents get information!

If not, I would call or send a written note on Monday morning. IMO, if you have a concern, it is their job to talk with you.

Honestly, we are not allowed to submit a referral to the office without having contacted a parent first. What happened with your son would be against procedures in our building. How we work...teacher writes up offense, teacher contacts parent letting parent know what happened, and alerts parent that an admin write up was filled out, and then admin handles it and they contact parent to let parent know what they did. I would be formally reprimanded for turning in something without having contacted a parent. We have to document phone number called, date and time of call, and who we spoke with.

I know each school is different, but IMO, if it was on an official referral form, parent contact should be made.

That sounds like a normal procedure..... THAT would have been acceptable to me.

And I looked on the schools site, there is no email listed for her. There are emails for some and not for others.

mommabritt 11-17-2012 03:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isabelsmummy
Is your son very bright? I just ask because my dd is 8 and she would never be able to figure out HOW to cheat even if it did occur to her.

But anyway, he's 7. He's still learning all kinds of things and honesty and integrity are one of those things. It's simply another learning opportunity. Honesty is actually a difficult concept I think. He can know that you shouldn't cheat but it is hard to really understand and explain why. More than punishing, I would research a lot of opportunities to reinforce those values.

He is. But that aside, I do not think she made it hard work to accomplish. I don't excuse the choice he made but who gives a test out and starts a testing process with the words on the board still?

jac1976 11-17-2012 06:35 AM

Re: Help with 7yo school issue?
 
Did they give you a reason why he did not qualify for an IEP? Does he have a 504 in place?

I have a 7 yo DS on the spectrum. If my son's behavior was deteriorating in school, I would request a meeting with the teacher and maybe even the IEP team (or whatever group of people made the decision that he didn't need an IEP.) I'd try to get to the bottom of his behavior. For my son sometimes it has been sitting with boys who tend to chat, or near a window- anything that sets his sensory issues off. Does your son struggle with anxiety at all? Did he say why he felt like he had to get an A? I think the deteriorating behavior and the cheating are big red flags that something isn't working for your son in this classroom, and I would certainly be meeting with the school to try to figure out what is going on and how it can be fixed.


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