WWYSD: What would your school do?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by daisycakes, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Jun 10, 2015

    I've been teaching 5 years at 2 different schools. At my first school, I was so unhappy, but my current school is pretty good. Now I wonder: are most schools like mine where they attempt to deal with/help students with behavioral challenges or are most schools like my previous school where admins refuse to deal with severe challenges? As a case in point, what would your school do in the following (true) scenario?

    Intelligent 6th grader. Has ADHD but mom refuses to get a 504 because she doesn't want him to have any stigma. Instead, she emails requests for accommodations constantly. I have him in a music class. One day, during class, he rips his instrument apart. Another weekend he throws his instrument down the stairs at home, destroying it. He also stomps on another child's instrument during the afterschool program. Parent seems unconcerned and simply pays bills. He bites people. One time, we are standing in a line, waiting to go on stage, and he leans over and bites the shoulder of the kid in front of him. Many other students report being bitten by him or humped. He is sexually aggressive. He tells other students (and myself) that he is raping his younger sister. During a field trip, he turns to his group and says, "Isn't my mom (a chaperone) hot? I want to rape her." He threatens to rape girls and boys alike via social media. I discussed many of these issues with his mom and she never really did anything except attribute all of them back to ADHD. When I took my concerns to the principal, he did nothing and encouraged me never to mention the rape issues to anyone else (not report to CPS). When I asked he not be allowed to return to advanced band the next year on the basis of destroying 3 instruments, admin at first agreed, then backed down when mom called to complain. The end result was that I was told by admin that I refused to see the good in him and that I judged him too harshly. Maybe if I were nicer to him and built a better relationship he would not behave so badly (even though many of these issues were outside of my classroom). Essentially, I was told this was all my fault.

    At my new school, if a student did anything half as bad as these things, they would be reclassified to a special class co-taught by a therapist almost immediately. I would not be expected to deal with these things on my own. CPS might even had been called for the story about raping his siblings. No one would make me feel like the behavior was my fault.

    So what is it like where you teach? Is everything, even emotional disturbance, the teacher's fault or are you supported?
     
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  3. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Jun 10, 2015

    Wow. Sad that this sounds familiar, minus the "raping" part. At my first school, I had a male student who was sexually inappropriate with students and borderline with teachers (wanting to give long hugs, etc), destructive, defiant, manipulative...All was excused by the P. saying he had a tough home life, etc. Now this was a private school with no special ed services so that wasn't even an option.

    I don't know about what exactly happens to kids with this level of issues in my current district, but I know for a fact they don't end up in my classes at the jr. high/high school level so they must be getting diverted into special classes/alternative programs by the time they would get to us.
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jun 10, 2015

    As a mandated reporter, I would have no choice but to report the rape comment to DHS. Our school counselor would sit with me while I made the call. Then, the student would be referred for school-based mental therapy due to aggressive behaviors.
     
  5. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Jun 10, 2015

    I wish I could speak for my school collectively but I am just one person. However, based on reading student description it sounds like mom is wanting to have it both ways. She plays the sped card when it's convenient for her to do so. She some how (in my own opinion) has gotten the idea that using the sped card gets her out of difficult or uncomfortable situations...by her own actions (refusing the 504) has eliminated her right to play the sped card. Either he is sped and has ADHD or he doesn't....she doesn't get to pick in choose when the child is "special". If she is not wanting the special services that having an ADHD diagnosis and 504 plan includes....the child should be treated as any other typical student. If a "typical" student destroyed school property what would happen? If I were you I would document everything, the kids actions, how you handled it, and dare I say the times you have interacted with parents/admin.....granted I know these kids are primary level...what happens when Susie goes home and complains that "Johnny" said he was going to rape her...or worse what happens when Susie gets hurt...and her parents come ready for a lawsuit??

    DOCUMENTATION IS YOUR FRIEND
     
  6. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    Jun 10, 2015

    In my school a CPS would have been called after the rape comment. I've never had to ask permission to call, but I let the principal and counselor know that I did. As far as the behaviors are concerned, a behavioral plan would have been put in place regardless of the ADHD diagnosis. Also, having ADHD here does not mean that a student is automatically in SPED or will get a 504. There would have to be evidence that the ADHD is affecting the child academically.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jun 10, 2015

    Teachers are mandated reporters and you could have gotten in legal trouble for not calling CPS. I understand why you would be afraid to if the principal said not to, but in the end I'm sure that principal would have thrown you under the bus if something happened- just something to consider for the future.

    To answer the original question, I've worked in 3 schools. The first was the best with behavior, IMO. The AP was the "let's talk about our feelings and why you're doing this behavior" type and the P was very strict, gave out harsh consequences, and truly made it so that kids were afraid to do the behavior again. It was great having both options and you could choose who to send the kid to based on the incident.

    My 2nd school was horrible. I had a student that would scream for hours on end, throw things, tear up materials, etc. and I could only send her to the office if she was physically violent with other kids. She knew this and would often do everything in her power to bother kids without physically touching them (screaming in their face, knocking things off their desk, etc.) Everything was my fault- my lessons weren't engaging enough for her, weren't differentiated enough, I was too negative with her, etc. The P said that she didn't want to "take away teacher's power" by having us send kids to the office for consequences (aka, she didn't want to deal with it). She said kids liked being in the office and it wasn't a real consequence. I'm sorry, but if you're the P and you realize kids like coming to your office for discipline referrals, you are responsible for changing that!

    My current school is somewhere in the middle. Kids that are truly disruptive are removed from classrooms if they're having a meltdown, and it's okay to send kids to the office. However, the school psych deals with most of the behavior and uses the "skittles and hugs" philosophy of discipline. She doesn't really believe in consequences at all. A kid will get suspended if they're violent, but that's about it. Kids get SO many rewards for doing the smallest things and I feel like we have pretty low expectations as far as behavior goes. We don't have any classes "co taught by therapists" (I've never even heard of that?) The kid described in the OP might get a small amount of time with the psych (30 mins. per week) but would definitely be in a regular classroom setting. Like a pp said, ADHD doesn't guarantee an IEP- academic issues would have to be present too. For a kid to be sent to a specific self-contained behavior program, the behavior would have to be way more significant than what is described in the OP.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 11, 2015

    This plus union back up.
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jun 11, 2015

    It isn't so much the school, but the administrators who handle the situation where I am at now. We've had two older administrators that would give kids candy when the kids were sent to them. One of them would believe every single lie a kid told, even when it directly contradicted a teacher's word.

    We had an autistic student that was sexually inappropriate. When his actions were reported to his caseworker and his grade-level principal, teachers were told to ignore it as it wasn't the kid's fault and he couldn't help it. He was 18/19 at the time. He made one girl pretty upset and nothing happened school-wise. But rumor has it that her boyfriend or her friend's boyfriend beat the crap out of him over the weekend and the autistic kid never approached a student or teacher at our school again. So he started skipping class to prey upon the middle school girls that were about a mile away. No actual physical contact made, as far as I know, but he was very threatening with his innuendos and gestures. One of the girls' fathers reported it to THAT principal and the kid was put on suspension for skipping. That's it.

    My take is that if he could temper his behavior when the threat of physical consequences were real, then it wasn't due to his disability.
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jun 11, 2015

    Wow! Your principal is the type that gives all admins a bad name... ugh.

    Here's what I would suggest. First, you need an ally, either his regular classroom teacher, the school counselor, the nurse... anyone else who deals with his behavior. Then you need to approach the P as a group with your concerns. It's much harder to tell a group of people to ignore the law and well being of children than it is to tell one. And in my experience, nurses don't play with the "mandated reporter" issue.

    If that doesn't work, then you need parent allies. Everytime he is sexually inappropriate, violent, physically assaulting, etc. another student, CALL THAT STUDENT'S PARENT! Say something like, "Mrs. X, I just wanted to tell you that your child was bitten today by another student. I have referred him to the principal's office, but as of now, I don't know what discpline has been handed out." If you do know, tell them that, "as of right now, he was given lunch detention" or whatever. Enough of those parents will start calling and screaming, and you won't have to do a thing. I would call EVERY TIME an incident occurs with another student. Let the parents be your supporter.
     
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Jun 11, 2015

    I never understand parents with this point of view. So instead of being "labeled" ADHD, you'd rather your child be labeled stupid, crazy, on drugs, a psychopath, or just a plain old jerk? Because those are the labels that will be attached to your child based on their behavior in the absence of any medical diagnosis.

    These aren't ADHD behaviors. Mom needs to take the kid to a psychologist and actually answer the questions truthfully this time.

    You should have reported the principal to the district. He should not be allowed to be working in any position of responsibility involving children if that is how he approaches a problem. The words unethical, unsafe, illegal, and incompetent all come to mind.

    It's charming that he claims to "believe any child can succeed." That's a nice idea, and a very lofty goal. However, the job of a school administrator is to ensure a safe learning environment for ALL of the students at the school, not just the one who are "at risk." Even if he is right, and something about you is bringing out the bad behavior, then removing him from your class will solve the problem. Any other solution will happen only at the expense of the other students even in the best case scenario.

    Maybe not immediately, but a classroom teacher would never be expected to deal with these issues without assistance. Minimally, the admin would assign appropriate consequences based on the student's behavior.

    CPS would be a no-brainer. Law enforcement would not be off the table, especially for the social media comments regarding other students.
     
  12. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Jun 11, 2015

    If you are teaching in California, you are a mandated reporter. You are required to report abuse, even if your principal tells you not to. I would call them immediately.

    If mom brought up or requested an accommodation, I would refuse to comply without a 504 or IEP plan. We can't give accommodations out like candy, you have to qualify for them.
     
  13. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    Jun 11, 2015

    I'm sad to see this happens to other people besides me, but I had something very similar happen last year.
    Child was diagnosed with autism, but parents refused to go through our sped dept. He was violent and disruptive and the parents and principal wanted us teachers to just "give him more time to learn the rules"... it's very frustrating as a teacher.
     

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