Is my son's school reinforcing negative behavior?
Here is the back-story, my little man Michael is 6. He is on the high-functioning end of the spectrum. After 2 years of developmental preschool through our local school district, he was mainstreamed into a regular kindergarten class. He blossomed and grew up over a year in those 9 short months. He is still behind academically and socially but was making amazing progress. I was thrilled when he qualified for Title 1 Summer School, if for no other reason because it would help further prepare him for the 1st grade. I discussed it with his kindergarten teacher, his doctor, his therapists, anyone that knew him and would have an opinion. Everyone (except his biological dad, that's an entirely different story) thought it would be great for him. Boy were we all wrong...
The first day I wake him up and get him dressed in his favorite green Yoshi shirt and blue jeans. He actually lets me brush his hair and teeth, he is excited and happy to be going to school. About half an hour before the end of the school day, the summer school principal calls to inform me that he had some problems that day. He was "being defiant" and "talking baby talk", so he spent all day in the principle's office instead of the classroom where he could learn. She informs me that they just can't have him there if he won't listen. I tell her that I figured today would be rough on him because he doesn't handle change well, ask her to give him another day to adjust and then we will re-evaluate. He wasn't talking baby talk, he has a severe speech delay and can only communicate at about a 3 year old level. He has 2 great days, near as I can tell because neither the principal or the teacher will give me any specifics. I even stopped by the school to meet her in person Tuesday and check his progress.
Then we get to Thursday. His school day starts at 8:30 am, they have breakfast for 30 minutes, then go to the class to begin lessons. I recieved a call at 9:38 informing me that he was just not going to be able to stay and that I had to go pick him up. So I gather my father, who is my son's second largest advocate after me, and we go to find out what is going on. I have never had this much trouble from a school, ever, and he was in school during his father and I's divorce.
When we get there, the principle wouldn't give us any answers. She just told us that she would keep him in In-school suspension everyday. From there we went to the district office and met with the Director of Student Achievement. She was much more understanding and was willing to work on options that could serve everyone. I also found out that this principle only had 3 weeks left before she left the district.
Within 30 minutes of leaving the district office, the principle called to arrange a meeting. When we walked back into the school, my son headed right for the chair he was sitting in when we picked him up earlier. This led me to believe that he had spent a lot of time there in the previous 3 days. The meeting did not get us anywhere. The only reason they would give for anything is that they don't have time to deal with any behaviors. My thought was show me a 6 year old that is perfect all the time, but kept my mouth shut.
I was left with 3 options, none of which I am fond of. I kept him out Friday because he was so upset over what had happened the day before, I would have had to pick him up 30 minutes after he got there.
1. Michael can just spend everyday in ISS. To me this serves zero purpose at all. It just reinforces that if he doesn't want to do something, all he has to do is throw a fit and he gets sent to the principle's office and gets out of doing what he didn't want to do in the first place.
2. I can attend school with him all day,everyday for the next 3 weeks. Though i don't mind helping in the classroom, this is a bit extreme. I have 2 other children at home that I would have to provide childcare for while I'm there. I also know that he will be less able to focus with me in the classroom and undermines any sense of independence that he has gained over the last year.
3.I can pull him out. This is where I am leaning because though I feel the program would do wonders for him if he were given the chance to participate, the choices I was given to keep him there will actually do more harm than good.
I will attend with him on Monday, and make a final decision after that. But I want some other mom's opinions too. My parent's believe I should make him stay to prove to him that his "behavior" is inappropriate. I feel forcing it would do more harm than good and my husband says it's not worth the hassle for only 3 more weeks and he is already so far behind because he hasn't been allowed in class.
Yes, I am angry and feel that this teacher and principle are either lazy and/or incompetent. I feel that he was labeled as unteachable on day 1. He wasn't given a chance, nor will he be given a chance to succeed. The evil little voice in my mind says that they know that he won't test well and will throw off their test scores so they want him gone. Bad scores means less federal money and this is a completely federally funded program. But i can't prove that last thought.