Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Coat Too Far

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It looks innocent enough. I didn't sense any evil coming from it and it hasn't done anything untoward that would make us think it was inhabited by evil spirits. In fact I think it looks rather forlorn, laying there, abandoned by its' owner.
The coat! How in heaven's name and all that is good and holy did a coat become a Waterloo?? An unpassable pass? A bridge too far? I do not know why Little Man's teachers have decided this coat is the everything of anything, but they have.
I realized yesterday, even though I want Little Man out of that school like yesterday, it was not going to happen. Monday will come and if the weather was what it has been it would be 27 degrees and I will have my son refusing to wear his "stupid" coat. My son with the weather related syndrome
Raynaud's Phenomenon who needs to keep his core body temp up or he can suffer from a very painful attack of his condition. He is most likely to end up in the hospital from this at this time of year.
So I call the teacher and explain to her that Little Man refused to wear his coat that day because she had called it stupid. She said, "well it is! It is a real pain in the butt!" I absolutely could NOT believe what I was hearing. I repeated to her that this was his only coat and he needed to wear it AND I would appreciate her fixing what damage had been done. I also said that no one else had ever complained about his coat before. She snorted and said she was surprised. When did people get so lazy??
If I was mad when I posted yesterday, I was even madder by the time I got off the phone. I called and called the district and even though I left numerous messages, by two thirty no one had returned my call. I called again and FINALLY got ahold of someone. I proceeded to vent my pressurized spleen at her for the next hour. She was saying, oh we can work this out, and I said NO! Absolutely not, we will not work this out, we will change schools. I repeatedly asked her to please call Little Man's after school program so she could talk to someone who had witnessed the teacher's unkind and brusque attitude with my son. I also refused to meet with their "team" unless Little Man's team could also be there. That would be the director of his afterschool program and his case manager from his
waiver program and of course me.
Yesterday afternoon when Little Man got home, there was a note in his backpack with an insincere apology about the teacher's comments about his coat. They were sorry for the way it made me "feel" and they were trying to teach him to put his coat on, but it was hard with that particular coat. Ya know what?? I do NOT care! Why are they so focused on his coat? Why not work on helping him with his underwear and pants and shoes and socks?? Why are they being so awful about it?? My thought is that they are using the excuse that he is struggling with his coat, but the real reason is they are LAZY and they do not like the extra step of having to make sure the sleeves are in a proper position. (His coat has a zip in liner so it has the layers he needs and he always has the proper attire, no matter what the weather.)
I will NOT be buying him a new coat. (Okay, I might, if he utterly refuses to wear it again, I will blame them and buy him a new coat, because his health determines it, not because his teachers are idiots.) Would someone like to explain to me why I am having to defend my choice in my son's outerwear at all? I am royally furious that I am having to explain why he is wearing this kind of coat, and why I don't want to buy him a new one. What if he didn't have a health condition? What if that the the coat he has? (and it is, actually) but I am so angry that I am having to do this at all!!! Why?? WHY???
So there ya go. We will be meeting next week and he will be going to a new school soon or some heads will be rolling. Gosh darn it all anyway. Like I needed this. Stupid people, don't they know better than to back someone into a corner? What else am I supposed to do? I need to protect my boy. I guess since they don't care about his coat, I had better double check on making sure they are putting on his mittens too, when the temp outside is below 50. Who knows what other short cuts they are taking with his health, safety and welfare????
Thank you for the abundance of supportive comments,I really need them.

9 Kids Who Want To Play:

Maya said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Sounds like they are lucky that you didn't make a trip to the school board meeting with a nice healthy rant and then the school buying him a new jacket that is not such a "pain in the butt".
How insensitive can they be? They don't need to apologize for your feelings (I deplore that). They need to ask for forgiveness for their behavior (a great distinction I learned in my foster parenting training).
:)

elizasmom said...

Wow. The only thing worse than no apology is the "sorry for how you feel" apology. I'm sorry they keep giving you and little man such lousy treatment. Sending more mamma bear vibes, good luck!

Jenny said...

Do any of these idiots have an e-mail so that we may petition some sense into their heads on your behalf? How about the teacher?
Perhaps 5 or 6 well written e-mails would open a person' eyes.

Jenny said...

I'm just spitting mad and looking for a way to help.

Jo said...

Jenny thanks for being willing to go to bat for Little Man. I will take a rain check on that and see how the "meeting" goes next week first. I feel so loved and supported, thank you so much!

csj said...

You are dealing with some real idiots.
There is nothing wrong with that coat, it is a very nice coat.
My son has had the same kind of coat(with a zip in liner)for the first four winters of his life. It takes two seconds to fix it for a child to put on by theirself. The lazy teachers. Sending extra prayers and good thoughts your way for your meeting.

Anonymous said...

You know, of course, *why* they put the meeting off till next week, don't you? So everyone would have time to cool off, and "forget" important details. Don't let them succeed in that. Stay mad. Because the stink you raise about this will likely go further than just the welfare of Little Man, and help other kids who are being mistreated, or at least ignorantly treated. Jo is Mama Bear, hear her ROAR! Sending you badass mama vibes.

Granny said...

Obviously I have some catching up to do!!

Meantime, I'm livid on your behalf. I'll come back in a little while and read the prior post but I get the idea.

Hugs

Liza said...

WOW...Bloglines falls asleep on the job and doesn't update me yesterday, and then today I come in on my own just to check out the comments (what, you don't do that at "your" blogs?) and saw this...YOU GIT 'EM, JO! GIVE 'EM HOLY HECK!!! USE THE BROWN WORD IF YOU HAVE TO!!!...seriously they are supposed to be able to provide Little Man with the services he needs in order to learn appropriately, and unfortunately for him (that's right, not for THEM, but for HIM) that includes taking extra pain-in-the-arse precautions with his health. Oh yes that IS part of their job, seeing as how he's not going to learn poo if he's in a hospital bed. I have Raynaud's Phenomenon myself, and while none of my children do (at least not that has manifested itself, I suppose I should say), I look at my oldest Animal, who gets off the school bus with their jacket balled up in the bottom of their backpack, merrily freezing and failing utterly to get my money's worth out of the daggone jacket...I can only imagine if my kid had what Parker and I apparently share, and if I had specifically told the school and offered them whatever documentation they might need in order to take proper stewardship of the child's health, and THEN seen him get off the bus without the thing...wow.
I think the teacher in question should buy Parker exactly the kind of jacket she finds easiest to help a child out with, in the color of his choosing. Win-win, no?