School's discipline is ridiculous!

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    • #117124

      I need some advice.. sorry for the long post.
      My son is in 5th grade and is 11 years old with ADHD. He is in the top of the class for grades. Yesterday my son who has ADHD was sent to the office 3 mins before school got out for crumbling paper. Since he is upset, he sat there for a bit after the rings to calm himself down. They told him he may leave, so he does few mins later. As he was walking out to the bus he realized he missed the first bus stop and had to walk across the street to the high school to get on. There is a counselor that runs up to him and to talk to him, but refuses to talk and just walks. At that point he is back to already upset. When he gets to the high school, the buses already started leaving so even more upset he decides to walk to his aunts(6 blocks away) which he has MY permission too if he ever wants to. The school didn’t like this choice and called the police on him as a runaway and said he did not have THEIR permission to go to his aunts. They said he always gets on the bus. They call me I told them he is probably going to his aunts which was south. The principal lied to me and said he was going north,which threw me into a panic because my son knows best. Also told me they called me and his dad before the police. I went to the police station and it was dispatched between my and his dad calls. Then called my work phone. Anyways, he calls me 5 mins later he calls, telling me he went to his aunts like I knew he was. They had to have the police go to his aunts house pick him up take him back to school and then back to his aunts. to verify he was safe.
      They said he had to serve 1/2 in school suspension for the paper crumble and 1/2 in school suspension for apparently disrespecting school staff. Which in their mind not talking and trying to go home or to his aunts AFTER school is disrespectful.. I told them ok he can serve for the ridiculous paper crumble (1/2 day), but he isnt serving for disrespecting staff when they disrespected him making him more upset AFTER school. He was trying to go somewhere where he felt safe. They says he is serving them both whether I like it or not. (Lets see about that!) His grandpa went and took him out of school. Last day is a week away. I told them maybe he won’t go to school the rest of the year because this is ridiculous. If I do decide that, they threatened me with calling the county attorney on me.
      I talked to my mother in law, who has experience with this. (My son’s dad had severe ADD, ADHD, and bipolar.) Anyways, she is upset because she said they should of had a 504 plan or IEP set up with him years ago.. I had no idea what 504 or IEP was till she told me. So, I’m more upset now because they aren’t even trying to help him with his ADHD. It is more like they punish him hoping he just learn. I’ve tried fidget cube, sketch book, origami, Rubic cube to help him, but they take all this stuff away from him and sends him to the office making him serve ISS. They take his recesses away and make him eat breakfast and lunch in the office. I’m so glad school is almost over, but what is next year going to be like.
      What are your thoughts ? Am I blowing this out of proportion?

    • #117152
      Penny Williams

      Definitely pursue an IEP right away. They need to see an official diagnosis so they will treat him like a kid with a disability, instead of like a defiant neurotypical who “knows better.”

      This article outlines the process. Make sure you submit his diagnosis report with it:

      How to Get a 504 Plan or IEP in 12 Steps

      Free Sample Letter to Request an IEP/504 Evaluation

      And deliver a letter to the school stating that he is allowed to walk to his aunt’s house OR ride the bus. They’re responsible for him and his safety. Without your official permission, they need to know where he is all the time.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #117166

        Thank you!!! I did get a letter of diagnosis from his doctor today. We are set to have a meeting with the school about this next week for next year. I will write the school about him walking to him aunts, which I should if during school hours. I just feel like after school when this all happened was blown way out of proportion. I get they want to know his safety but they didn’t go through the right procedure into notifying me or my husband. They jumped the gun to soon and then making him serve ISS for it was out of line too. It was after school off their property. Thank you for your suggestions. Ill read more on it so Im prepared for the meeting.

    • #117185
      Dr. Eric

      There is a lot going on with this…
      Obviously, if they are lying, this is a different issue.

      However, I will add a few things to the conversation.

      #1 – Disciplining for behavior after school is the norm. Schools have legal responsibility for students until they are safely home or with parent. If a child gets in a fight half-way home walking from school, we are required to discipline them.

      #2 – Walking off campus varies by the school’s policies. My children’s elementary does not allow them off campus without staff verifying that an adult is present to take them. I work in a K8 school. Middle schoolers can walk home with written-parental permission. Elementary students must be picked up unless walking home with an older sibling with written parental permission.

      #3 – Here in CA, attendance is legally mandated. Depending on where you are, they can and will write citations for parents that refuse to send a child to school.

      #4 – 504 and IEPs have an affirmative responsibility to seek and serve. If a child could potentially qualify, they may have failed this mandate.

    • #119973

      I don’t see this as over reacting. I’ve gone to a variety of schools (my family moved a lot as a child) and I have never experienced or seen such strict actions taken for what you mentioned. To me, it seems as though there is something deeper going on. Unless similar disciplinary actions have been taken with other students who have performed the same/ similar ways, then there might be some type of bias towards your child. Perhaps I’m over reacting, maybe in your state there is a lot more stress on actions, or maybe he goes to a school with military values. but there is something off about this situation, their lack of respect for you, lying, it all seems to be a larger issue. I would start by asking other parents and your child about the way the teachers interact with the other students. if this is a unique reaction with pertains to strictly your child or to children with ADHD then you have grounds to raise this issue to the district which may result in accommodations for you child. I hope this helps!

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Claire.W.
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