school attendance update

yabberMarch 18, 2011

Another update:

A while ago I posted on here that I wanted to go back to CPS. FDH already tried once before about 5 yrs ago but CPS saw no cause for concern... (if I was FDH I'd try for full custody once more, but he doesn't want to 'fight' anymore).

This time we have better 'evidence' of the neglect. The girls missing too much school, BM leaving them alone to care for babies when she goes out drinking, the girls roaming the internet without parenting controls & chatting to strangers in the middle of the night when BM is out, staying up till 4am in the morning waiting for her to come home, incidents at BM's house where the police is involved (recently they were there again because BM and her brother had a drunken argument that turned violent).

There's a lot more stuff going on but trying to prove these things are happening is always hard because of the lack of evidence. One example of something that happened that we cannot really prove: We got a desperate call from SD14 on New years Day around 11am because she had to go to work and BM had taken off after argument with BF around 1am and not come home all night. Couldn't be contacted either. SD's had been home alone looking after babies, worried sick. Of course we could have called the cops so we would have that evidence, but if we'd do that the kids would not call us again for fear of getting BM in trouble. And we do want the kids to ring us when they are in need, so we ended up going over there to help them out. Once BM came home she went straight to bed cause she was hungover and slept rest of day, SD14 came back home with us, SD13 insisted on staying with BM.

We have been unsuccessful trying to prove BM's alcoholism and related issues in the past (not calling cops to file a report doesn't work in our favor I know), but I do hope something can be done to improve the girls school attendance. At least we have proof that they're not sick when BM gives the school a note to say that they are. We have tweets from the girls showing they're doing just fine 'chillaxing' at home, up all night surfing the web, caring for baby siblings while mum goes out all night etc etc. Also work records for SD14 are showing she was doing shifts on days she missed school.

I was going to see CPS without telling FDH so he wouldn't have to stress out about it, he's desillusioned and doesn't want to try again, he thinks it won't help. But I find it hard to sit back and do nothing. Anyway, my friends advised me against it, warning me of the burdon of carrying a secret. They're right, of course, so I spoke to FDH about it and he doesn't want me to do it.

So now we are going back to the school, we've received info from the Dept of Education on the procedure that needs to be followed. If attendance falls below 90% over a period of ten-weeks, intervention strategies should be implemented. Guess what, SD14's attendance has been consistently under 75% and it has been 2 years (with this High School), and still nothing! I might post the letter that we wrote on here later, but it's a bit long and I already explained the outline of it.

Maybe that is the better way to go, after all perhaps CPS would also contact the school or Dept of Edu, so possibly we have the same outcome anyway. As I said; I would go back to court if it was my decision and fight for custody, but FDH doesn't want to go down that road again (although he did say something about it the other day which surprised me..maybe he's starting to reconsider).

I'll post an update once I know what's happening with it all.

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I feel for you Yabber. You obviously care about your FDHs kids. But if he doesn't want to do anything, there is nothing you can do. And I agree with your friends, filing to CPS after he (the father) doesn't want to do that, will only cause you problems and keeping the secret will Hurt you worse.

I can't believe the school hasn't said something about the attendance record. Hopefully they will do something. But if FDH doesn't want to fight you can't force him, he'll resent you later.

I wish you luck with that letter

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 11:02PM
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Schools and attendance can be tricky. In the school I worked in I had a student miss AT LEAST 1 day per week. His grades were D's and F's and students would make comments in class like "Oh E is not here...AGAIN!". I knew this student had NO friends at school and his absenses were not helping that situation either.

I talked to my principal about it. The school sent letters home about truency. But when it came down to taking action my principal would have had to go to court and something else was going on in the district at that time and he could not go to court. So the case got dropped!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 12:37AM
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In our district and I know a lot of the districts around us too so this may be state wide, if you drop below 90% attendance (tardies count 3=1 absence) we have a truency officer that will go to the house and get the kid. And then the parents are fined and they have to pay it. It's like a speeding ticket and you will go to jail on a warrant if it's not paid.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 9:39PM
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My step-daughter has a 75% absentee rate (both excused and unexcused) for most of HS (she is a senior). No one seems to care, especially if the mother writes a note. What the heck is that all about? She has no chronic illness' or any reason for missing so much school.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 4:36PM
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I don't know what kind of schools are these...Our district allows 7 days a trimester, and my DD's school allowed 5 days, anything more is loss of credit plus truancy

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 7:10PM
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It's the Australian school system, it SUCKS!!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 9:05PM
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Aww I'm in America -- sorry Yabber -- I didn't realize you were in Australia! And I thought only us American's had crazy ex drama!!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 9:23PM
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Haha how could you know? Here in Oz we have all the correct procedures in writing, it's all there on paper, but nobody seems to follow the rules!!! Aaaarggghh

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 12:49AM
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Our district has zero tolerance for exceeding the limits - absolutely none. Apparently one of the kids had to switch to online charter school because he was going to automatically fail for missing too many days - because he had made the US Olympic team, and was in Beijing!

I wonder if your school district is picking and choosing if/when to follow their policies. I know a lot of times here if there is chronic truancy that repeatedly ends up in court, the kids wind up in "the system". If the school district is not clear on the fact that SD's have another home in which they could be living, maybe they are comparing whether or not they think the girls living at BM's is better or worse than them living in foster care?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 8:53AM
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I really don't think the school even looks at doing/not doing anything about it. It doesn't even get to that stage. They just don't seem to worry about it for any of their students, just like the previous school (primary). And the Dept of Edu told us at the time not to worry, it was a good school. So we were sent around in circles :-(

And now we'll gear up for another round...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 7:50PM
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