More Drama from my ds's ex friend

mom2emallMay 10, 2010

I posted a while about my sons ex friend returning to his school and the immature behaviors this boy had at school.

The link below is from that post.

Since then the boys behaviors have gotton worse. He has told people that my ds is his boyfriend and called my son and other boys "fags" or "gay". My son has admitted to using these terms in response to the boys behavior and comments at times, to which I told him I do not like those terms and he should instead tell the boy to stop or just ignore the boy.

The other day in class he walked up to my son and another boy and told them that they masturbate!! They told the teacher immediately and the boy was talked to by the teacher. On the way home from school the boy had a stick and told my son he was going to use it to break his nose. My son told me he responded by challenging the boy, he told him he dared him to come closer to him and threaten him. The boy did not come closer to him, but went home and told his mom that my son was calling him "gay" and "fag", as well as threatening to hurt him. I had talked to my son about not instigating a fight even when someone else is trying to provoke him.

My son comes home and tells me about this stuff and is honest about his wrongs. So, when the boys mother called me to talk about it I was ready. She was nice, but acted as if my son is being mean to hers for no reason. I told her the things that my son said her son has been doing/saying. She immediately tried to defend her son and say he is just not exposed to that type of talk or behavior at home so she can not believe he is acting that way! (Like my son is??) I nicely told her that my son has been telling me these things for a while and he is not exposed to those things at home either. I did give her an out and point out that they do go to a school with other children who may be exposed to those types of things from t.v. etc. and that her son may have picked up things from them. I also said that I knew her son was having a hard time adjusting to being back at school and that I had talked to my son many times about trying not to add to that difficulty by joining in on teasing.

I told her that I would talk to my son again about not making comments such as "gay" or "fag" and instead telling her son to stop if he is being inappropriate or embarassing. I also told her that I can not force my son to be friends with her son, but maybe in the future they will become friends again on their own. I do not think that is what she wanted to hear though.

But really, what can I do? Her son is acting inappropriately towards my son and other kids have made jokes about it. My son does not want to be teased and I can not expect him to allow this boy to embarass him. I feel like all I can do is remind my son of appropriate ways to deal with this, like telling the boy he is grossed out by the way he is talking or telling him to stop.

As far as contacting the teacher or principal, that is not an option. To be quite honest they are both useless when it comes to issues. The principal has actually already been replaced for next school year because of her ineffectiveness in dealing with issues.

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Kids learn all kinds of things at school besides actual classroom lessons from other children they are exposed to. Short of placing our kids in total isolation, they are going to witness actions/language we really wish they did not.

The part you can do is as you have, openly discuss these things with your child. Just because so and so at school did/said this or that does not make it acceptable blah blah... And the 'report it to the teacher' thing. You're not there during class/recess/lunch, you can't take care of it for the child during classtime, and if teacher does not bother or want to be bothered ask for a meeting with your school board. Yeah, sounds extreme, but these people (teacher, principal, ect have to be responsible for what happens on school grounds whether they want to be or not)

Be sure that you request that your son and this other boy are not placed in the same classroom next school year. It's not good for either of them and takes away from their classroom learning experience. And hit that part hard. It's detrimental for both boys to be together. It's their job to see and recognize issues/problems. If they have a problem child on their hands, you expect for them to deal with it and you expect for them to deal with it in a sufficient manner that that child does not infringe on the other childrens living environment. (in other words, not your problem if they have to demand the child has to get counseling, be expelled whatever)

I once had a superintendent tell me "sorry there's nothing I can do, you'll have to deal with it"... I did, I called the police made a incident report at the schoolhouse front door with my lawyer next to me. Amazing how quickly that superintendent starting singing a different tune. I'm not saying what's going on at your school is or should come to that point, but don't let them get away with sticking their heads in the sand and pretending all is well.

And I'd stop accepting phone calls from the other parent, this is happening at school and school should be dealing with it. I'd also pick my kid up afterschool now through the end of this school year if possible so the other boy can't have outside school contact.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 5:56PM
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agree with justmetoo, if a school does nothing, then you must contact board of education.

If this boy threatens to hurt your son, you must call the police and file the report, no matter how young is a child. and keep calling and filing reports.

DD was bullied by a neighbor girl and it only stopped when police got involved. and we had to pick DD up from school for awhile to avoid bullying. that girl actually ended in juvenile for something else.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 7:37PM
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I'll say it again:

"He sounds like a child with a disability... Some children on the autism spectrum behave in ways that are socially inappropriate -- not (mainly) because they haven't been taught better, but because they simply have no innate social compass. They just can't tell when things start to go wrong -- at least, not until things have gone way too far."

I read where you said he's been diagnosed with ADHD but is unmedicated. That diagnosis may or may not be accurate, because many kids with ADHD also have social difficulties due to their poor impulse control. Also, many kids with more severe difficulties get misdiagnosed with ADHD when they're younger. Everything you've said about this boy reads exactly like what you'd see in a boy with Asperger's Syndrome -- a form of autism spectrum disability.

Since there have been problems at school, I would suggest that you call a meeting with your son's teacher to discuss your concerns about tis other boy and the difficulties his inappropriate behaviors cause for your son. (Odds are very high that the teachers are also concerned about this neighbor boy.) Tell them that you've spoken with the other boy's parents, but that they seem to believe the issues are not her son's fault or 50/50. Ask the school - teachers and counselor to intervene to get that boy the help he needs!

As to the statement on the other post that "The mother must know since she spends time with the boy at home..." please allow me to assure you that that is NOT the case at all. My autistic son behaves beautifully at home and with all of the adults at school. In fact, you never saw a more polite or helpful child; and that's a comment we hear frequently from adults who know him. But he is definitely inappropriate with other children! He's never intentionally hurtful or cruel, but he can say the weirdest things! And the fact is, we only hear about it second or third-hand when concerned parents tell us what they saw or were told by their freaked-out child. It happens...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 12:59PM
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Well another incident happened at school today and my son went to his teacher (again!). This time they finally got involved!! From what the principal told me they talked to my son today and he told them all that has been going on. In talking to the other boy he admitted doing all the things my son said he has been doing. The principal said that they are going to punish the other boy appropriately, whatever that means.

It just so happens that I have a meeting with the superintendant tomorrow on issues with the teacher and I can not help but wondering if that is why after a month of this they finally decided to step in??? And what was really funny was how the principal kept telling me how wonderfully my son dealt with this because he kept telling the boy to stop and he told teachers, which showed a lot of restraint!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 2:15PM
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Well, hope it turns out okay, but keep in mind what Sweeby has been trying to tell you, don't judge this little boy too quickly. If there is a medical reason for this child's behavior, punishment is not the goal, but a involved team (parent/school officals) working with the child would be.

Seeing that the child gets the help and guidance that he needs to function in his learning environment would be a more suitable solution for both the other children and the boy.

When I called the police it was not because there was a child with special requirements involved, it was because a bratty kid without any kind of medical disorders sprayed a can of mace in my kids face after school as kids were exiting building...kid got the can out of his mom's purse and thought it was the thing to do to the new kid in class he didn't like who was getting too much attention (in the kids opinion).

I'm ignorant on the disorder Sweeby refered to so I just did a quick glance at the medical condition...if that is what is going on with this boy, he needs help, not punishment... he's not a 'bad' kid. The longer the school/parent denies a problem the harder it will be for the child and for the kids he goes to school with.

My DD10 goes to with a boy who has some disorder (no clue what, it's none of my business) and this boy attends partial classes in the regular classroom and partial in the special ed classrooms. He does not have a learning disablity, kid is smart as can be and gets great grades, he just has trouble being in the regular classroom. He's been known to strike the other kids, be extremely disruptive during lessons and has on a time or two 'mooned' the class.

Some days boy does realy well and spends the whole morning with class and other times daughter will say '_____ had a rough day today and took his spelling and science test with his other teacher' (he spends mornings in regular classroom unless there is a problem). He takes art and music with the other kids all the time (he's very talented, the regular class teacher always has the boy's artwork displayed with honors)and it depends day to day on whether boy has lunch with the other kids in lunch room or if he eats 'with his other teacher and her students' as my daughter calls it.

There is only an odd rotten kid or two that tease this little boy, the rest accept him as their classmate 'who has a rough day now and then'.

I truly hope things can be worked out for the little boy in your case, Mom2. I think it sounds like your son is doing the best he can with something he really does not understand the whys and hows of.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 3:07PM
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..."the rest accept him as their classmate 'who has a rough day now and then'. "

You brought tears to my eyes.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 3:19PM
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"The principal said that they are going to punish the other boy appropriately, whatever that means."

If the boy's behavior is a direct result of a disability like Asperger's Syndrome, the appropriate "punishment" is none! Punishment should be reserved for willful misbehavior, for deliberate acts of disobedience or cruelty. But for socially inappropriate behavior caused by a social disability, the appropriate action is training and education (particularly role playing exercises that can teach him what to do), not punishment.

Justmetoo - I'd bet a hefty sum that the child you describe has Asperger's or a similar autistic spectrum disorder. That's typical of the kinds of behavior problems you might see. And I'm really glad to hear the other kids are so understanding. That's pretty much what our son has experienced also -- really nice kids who cut him the necessary slack, except for one or two brats.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 3:25PM
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Girls I agree with you. This boy needs help, not punishment. In talking to my son afterschool he did say that the school social worker was in the office talking to them during this all. So I am hoping that she is seeing what is going on with this boy and going to make sure he gets what he needs at school.

I am just relieved that they are finally dealing with it! The parents had the "my child would never..." attitude and the school was ignoring anything my son had to say about it.

But now that I am meeting with the superintendant tomorrow (following up on a meeting we had a week ago about the teacher being oblivious to things going on in the classroom and her refusing to follow my sons 504 the principal doing nothing when I went to her with my concerns)all of a sudden the teacher and principal are doing their jobs!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 5:57PM
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I agree with sweeby that he sounds like someone with a disability, but saying that...if someone threatens a child with a stick and plans on breaking their nose, disability or not, something needs to be done. And sometimes this something might mean just a temporary removal of a child or some medical intervention and so on.

Just to remind you that his parents sign the IEP stating that their child is the subject of school's code of conduct, which means he cannot freely bully, harass, threaten or beat others up. He is still responsible for his actions.

I generally in no support of punishments but when it comes to dangerous actions it is rather silly to say "well he has a disability, let him do whatever, well if he breaks other kid's nose, well you know he has a disability". Disability or not, there are norms that need to be followed to protect others.

And I am the first one to advocate for people with disabilities but i don't approve cavalier approach towards bullying and threatening no matter who does that.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 5:58PM
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justmetoo what you described sounds like a behavior of a child with autism. Other children usually are very understanding of this type of behavior, they know kids with ASD cannot help it.

mom2emall, it is too funny how all of a sudden they do their job. Very typical unfortunately. I am not surprised they don't follow 504, some teachers like to ignore it, it is harder to reinforce than IEP so let's just ignore it..."nice"

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:04PM
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it is rather silly to say "well he has a disability, let him do whatever, well if he breaks other kid's nose, well you know he has a disability".

I agree totally! Doing nothing is utterly wrong, and corrective action is desparately needed. But a 'verbal threat' made by a child who doesn't understand the consequences of his actions is a very different thing from a verbal threat made by a typical child, and should be handled differently. Again, corrective measures, not 'punishment' of the ordinary sort.

And yeah Mom2emall -- It's funny how a really squeaky wheel gets that grease!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:18PM
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My son said that the school social worker and principal asked my son how he felt about what has been going on. My son said he was grossed out by the way the boy was acting. They asked him if he is afraid of the boy and my son said no.

As for my sons 504 plan the teacher has tried to ignore it. She had done everything she can to have him not evaluated for special education services because it is added work for her. After I was turned down twice because the teacher kept telling me how smart my son is and that if he wanted to do his work he could I got an advocate. After going to the school with an advocate they finally started the case study and made a 504 plan. But it has been like pulling teeth to get this school to do anything!

Before we moved here I researched schools and this one had high test scores, good parent reviews online, and was in a magazine as one of the top 10 school districts in our state! I do not know how!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:22PM
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"But a 'verbal threat' made by a child who doesn't understand the consequences of his actions is a very different thing from a verbal threat made by a typical child, and should be handled differently."

I agree with your points, but when a child's gets her nose broken it won't matter if a bully had disability or was above average, it hurts all the same.

and who is to decide if a threat was serious or a kid didn't know any better? Should we just wait and see?

I think that a girl who periodically physically attacked my daughter had something going on with her, both parents did drugs, i know she struggled in school and possibly had a disability. But when she jumped on top of my daughter (more than once), completely broke her cello etc it wasn't my job to check if she has a disability. My goal is to protect my child.

I don't think it is mom2emall's job to figure out what disabilities that boy has and how he needs to be treated, seriously now. Her concern is her child.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 10:22PM
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