Friday, May 31, 2013


The last two days were polar opposites. Wednesday was down. Thursday was up.

What goes up must come down. Friday was down. Way down.

It wasn't long after arrival that there was a tantrum marked by yelling, crying, and throwing of items. I positioned myself in a way so that if a projectile was hurled, it shouldn't hit the other children. I guess it worked as the tosses were in directions to either side of me and out of range of the class.

The mounties were called in and we wound up in a special ed room led by two of the school's behavioral therapists. One of these magnificently skilled people talked him off the proverbial ledge. She's helped before in another setting. A marvelous person.

For the rest of the day, the volatility level was mostly low. There were a couple of episodes that were defused fairly quickly but nevertheless he was disruptive and distracting, and the overall experience was anything but great.

The school's main person for establishing action plans for its troubled students has devised a recording plan to get more info on this particular student. I've started logging every note I can regarding actions and things said. In the first 90 minutes today, I was pretty busy.

A certain reality has set in for me, and it's an unpleasant one. I'm resigned to the belief that everyone involved at the school could do everything exactly right. There are three of us in the classroom; there is a team of school professionals working on helping him; and there are teachers doing everything they can to get him engaged and in the right direction.

What good is all of this effort going to be in three weeks when the school year is over? Then, he will go to an unknown environment without the structure or discipline provided during a typical school day.

He's soiled himself twice in the last 24 hours. You can draw your own conclusions if you'd like; I've drawn mine.

He mostly comes to school with a single bag of juice and a minimum of food. Today it was a pack of six small peanut butter snack crackers and a piece of string cheese, which he opened but did not eat. He almost always opens the cheese and almost never eats it.

At lunch he had a bag of goldfish I brought him and a donated carton of milk, which he spilt most of and wound up with perhaps a few ounces in his belly. I brought him a granola bar with chocolate bits in it; no interest.

He isn't properly fed, his academics appear unsupported, he has unpredictable anger issues... and in three weeks, he won't have the order of a school day to work toward keeping him on track.

The colloquial term for this is: "He's doomed."

He's not ready for first grade. But if he goes back to kindergarten, unless there's a significant sea change in the way he approaches learning, he won't get through it. I think he can learn and do the work, but not without a lot of support. If that support disappears at 2:50 p.m., then what happens over the next 18 hours wins.

He's in trouble. Big trouble. I can help a little, but I don't know if it will make a difference. And today, I've gotten a lot closer to accepting that if it doesn't make a difference, I have to get over it.


  1. Question is, does what you see constitute abuse and/or neglect?

  2. I do not know the answer to that question, although as far as I am concerned, there are serious questions about sending a child to school without proper food. And chronically late. That's certainly on the parent.

    As for abuse... I'm concerned. I think the school is investigating this as much as it can and my role is to help monitor and gather information.