My 16 year old son wants to quite private school and go to public

believerNovember 7, 2008

This subject keeps coming up from him. At first I was afraid and angry. Now I think I will do some research and give it serious consideration.

He is at a private Christian school that is quite small. He has been there since 6th grade and is now a Junior. He has issues with the atmosphere at school being so stifling to anything out side of what I the call the "cumbya" mentality. All the upperclassmen act quite superior to those that don't fit into the mold that the group has constructed. My older daughter, now 20, really hated the school and now DS is at that point. They kids there are quite wealthy....we are not. They judge other students very harshly.

If I can be assured that he will have his learning disabilities considered and worked with then I think I should let him do it. The type of person that he is going to be is already in place.

I haven't talked to DH about it yet. Don't you all think that DS is old enough to help make these decision?

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Well, I think you should do the research and find a public school that would suit him better. Or a different private school. They all have their own "vibe". If your son isn't happy at school, how will you compel his cooperation?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 5:23AM
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colleenoz.....I am going to begin the process today. Your question "If your son isn't happy at school, how will you compel his cooperation?" Is a very important point. He attends a Christian school and there is a problem as the kids get into the upper classes, DS is a junior, of students passing a great deal of harsh judgement on other students that aren't exactly like them. It's something that I have disliked about the school in the past and something that I have brought to the attention of the superintendent before. Each kid handles things differently but it is obviously bothering my DS a great deal. I'm going to email his special ed teacher, he is dyslexic,and get her take on it. I will also call the school he is interested in and see what is available for him in the way of help with his learning disabilities.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 8:58AM
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I would, with him, look at other schools, pulic and private, in your area, and then decide... IF he has learning/spedial education needs make sure to discuss those with each school you visit...

My 16YO daughter was originally in a girls only Catholic private school (we ar not Catholic) and absolutely hated it, due to non-Catholic issues with the other girls... we looked around and decided to switch her to a non-religious affiliated prep school nearby and watched her blossom before our eyes... We moved our 13 YO son to the same school this fall from public school and are seeingthe exact same transformation... while I understandthat religious private schools offer a great education, I have to admit in our experience, they were not filled with very 'christian' administration or students... inclusion was not practiced... we also investigated a small christian school nearby... and there our major problem was the 'need' for all to embrace the ideaology that one must 'give back'... when you looked at what graduates were planning to major in and where they were going to school it was always a socially good field (therapy, speech, physical, etc... social work, teaching, etc...) and not 'professional (engineering, medicine, technical, etc)... andthe schools were small christian schools around the country... now I'm not saying that some portion of all classes don't head in these idrections... but it just seems like some brain washing was going on for the entire clas year after year to head this way...

Be open to other ideas besides public, especially if your public school system is not known to be a 'great' system...

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 9:02AM
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believer... Interesting... my 13 YO son is borderline dyslexic... the 'new' school this year was a bit concerned about htis, but it has not proven to be a problem... class sizes are very small (typically 12 or less) and there is plenty of opportunity to meet during extra help periods with the teachers... all who are more than willing to spend extra time with students...

Involve him in all you do, especially at his age this is important

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 9:05AM
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My daughter's children all attend a private Catholics chool...but for the one who las a learning disability. They found he was a lot better served in the public schools.
Not sure why you are insisting he stay when you already know from your daughter that the atmosphere in that school can be stifling.
My concern is, though, that as a Junior its' too late for him to go to another school and fit in.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 10:48AM
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lindac....where did you get the idea that I am insisting that he stay????? I don't believe that you read my posts correctly. I'm perfectly welling to look into it and see what we can do. The school that he would attend if he left the private school is a school that many friends of his left the private school two years ago to attend. He would know people.

He has had such a struggle in school since the beginning and I feel now that if he can finish out what he has left in a school that he likes then it would be nice for him to have that positive experience for once.

His changing schools is definitely an option for him. I'm disappointed that it has come to this but my insisting that he stay there serves no good purpose that I can see at this time.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 12:02PM
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My concern is, though, that as a Junior its' too late for him to go to another school and fit in.
Linda C

That's not necessarily true. My 16 year old daughter changed from French high school to an English high school for her 11th grade. She absolutely loves it! She was a child who was bullied before too.

DH was against it at first but then we discussed it and we agreed that it should be HER decision because it's her education. I always made my own decisions regarding my education!

The only thing that we asked of her was to write down all the pros and cons about staying at her French school and all the pros and cons about going to the English school. Then, after reading what she wrote, should make her decision.

She was scared at first. She was very unsure if she made the right choice. It was a great experience/opportunity for her to make a big decision regarding her life. It was the right choice, and it gave her a huge amount of self-confidence!

IMO, you should let him decide where he wants to go.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 1:25PM
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I think if he is willing the change schools then let him, if you have done your research into the other schools, and you are happy with them.

I have gone through the exact same thing this year. My 16 year old son goes to a private religious school. He has been there since he was 6. Over the years the school has become more and more religious incorporating religious comments into all his classes. They even said to him that Darwin had the devil with him when he went to the Galapogos Islands.

This subtle religious undercurrent, has worked against my son and he now wants out.

I looked at a lot of other schools, and have decided on another private school, for his last two years of school. He is going there at the start of the the next school year, which, here, is in February.

He was the catalyst for the change in his schooling life, and I was the facilitator.

I know it will be tough on him, it's always tricky starting a new school, but he will grow and benefit greatly from the new direction, new challenges for him. And there are no religion classes !


    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 6:33PM
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We are Christians and wanted a Christian education for our kids. What I have found out though is that many of kids at this school put themselves on a "I am a better Christian than you are" pedestal and judge very harshly students that don't follow their lead. My son is more outside of the box. He skateboards instead of playing football. Listens to harder rock "Christian" music than most and is does more his own thing. We are far from wealthy and don't run with they parents who are and who have seats on the board or contribute extra money to the school. My older daughter had the same experience and she left the school. She told me that the kids that got up on stage and professed their love for and commitment to Christ were the meanest, most two faced and hardest partying kids at the school. She never fit in either.

I have a concern of being able to get him to school when the weather is bad since I will have to be driving SD10 to school if he goes else where. The drive to the school that we have chosen, should he go, is about 20 minutes without snow or ice. That is something that we have to discuss.

My DH says that he will find those types of people at the other school and not like it there either. I agree that he will find those types of people there but since the school is much larger he probably won't be with them the entire day nor will the mold that he is expected to fit into be so strict.

I want to meet with the principal and see what they have available to address his learning disabilities. I need to speak to his special ed teacher at his current school and get her honest opinion about it. I emailed her today but have not heard back from her. I will also talk to the super at his current school and let him know why my son would be leaving and that he should take a hard look at what is being learned there about being a Christian as apposed to what is being taught. I think it's a shame.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 11:42PM
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I think it's good that you are looking at other schools but don't be fooled into thinking the same or even worse problems may not present themeselves at other schools. Around here, there's a lot more bullying and disrespecting of the teachers and parents and a lot more drugs in the public schools. Sexual promiscuity appears to be heavier in the public schools too. It's really a whole different atmosphere. So, if you leave, your child may have a smaller percentage of 'stuck up' and judgemental type kids (so to say) at his school, but you may find bigger more serious faults with kids at his new school. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 12:31AM
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Believer - we seem to have similarities - the same thing is going on at my son's school.

My daughter also (she is 21) went to the same school and says that the Christian girls were often the most nasty !

My son is also different from others, so I have managed to find a school that caters more for him.

It's the fundamentalism that is working it's way into the school that makes him feel uncomfortable.

I wish you well.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 6:56PM
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Right now, without having spoken to any of the professionals regarding his learning disabilities, my biggest concern is that he will driving on potentially slick streets this winter and the school is across town. I would drive both kids (SD at same private school....younger class) when the streets were bad but if he transfers I doubt if I can. I have to talk with him more about this. He isn't apposed to transferring his senior year....that would give him extra driving experience.....It really ticks me off that people would purposely make someone so irritated that they would feel like they needed to leave a school. Even being a Christian it really makes me made that other Christians would be such jerks. Why do some Christians make such lousy human beings?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 8:52PM
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I think there are lousy humans from all over the place.

Yes, I would be concerned about the driving across town on slippery roads.

I plan on selling my house and moving closer to my son's new school, which is a big upheaval, but I am ready for a change as well, so hopefully it all works out. Ideally I want him to be within walking distance of the school.

Do you have public transport that your son could use to get to the new school ?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 2:09AM
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Many public schools better serve children with disabilities than the small private schools do. The school I worked at had our special ed teachers going over to the private schools at times to help with their special ed needs. Many public schools are wonderful!

And in my experience when you switch schools mid-year it is easier than at the beginning of the year. If you switch schools mid-year you are the "new kid" that everyone wants to get to know.

If you switch at the beginning of the year then most people do not even notice that you transferred in, they just think they never met you before.

So if your son is unhappy go check out all his other options.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 4:12PM
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It sounds like you're absolutely on the right track Believer.
What better way to teach what Christianity really IS all about than by acting in protest about what it isn't?

My older son is also dyslexic and ADHD, and our experience was that private schools did not want to deal with it. We said 'dyslexic' and they heard 'LD' (and apparently also 'behavior problem' and 'not so bright') and said things like "not a good fit" and "very competitive admission standards".

Anyway - a public school might be just the right place for your son to find his own peer group -- one that is more accepting of individual differences and doesn't hold any single virtue above others. Of course, there will also be more 'vices' to resist, but as you point out, his character development is already well underway.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 9:57AM
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