In five days Jacob starts school again. At a new school. In Delaware, students go to middle school in 5th grade. Not sure why, but that’s they way it is. Jacob is very nervous. He already knows there will be some other students there that he had problems with in the past. Even some student’s parents as well. My wife and I explained to him yesterday that is all in the past, and the best way to forget about those times is to move forward. I think it will take him a while. With any new school for Jacob, there is the reeducation of teachers and students about his Tourette’s Syndrome. His new school will be very proactive about it.
On Monday, the teachers and staff are being trained on Tourette’s and what to expect. This was something my wife and I insisted on. We wanted it as an actual goal in the IEP, but we were refused on the grounds that it doesn’t affect Jacob’s educational outcome. I still disagree with that, but since the school agreed for all staff to be trained on it prior to school starting, each year, then I will take it as a win. Students will be trained in the first week or two of school. I know Jacob will be nervous and he will be ticking a bit. I just pray that no cruel bullying or teasing results from it.
Children can be cruel. We all know this. They don’t always understand what is different. Sometimes adults don’t either. I can deal with children being cruel, to a point. Once they know and have the knowledge to understand Jacob’s condition, and they continue to do it, to me that is bullying and discrimination. It’s no worse than making fun of someone’s race or religion. In Delaware, somewhere around 30% of bullying in schools is directed towards kids with disabilities.
When an adult does this, it is beyond intolerant in my eyes. It is shameful, and those people need to look inside themselves to find out why they think it’s okay to do that. There is no reason for any adult in this day and age, with what we know, to not understand that what is different about people is what makes us unique.
My wife and I have a transitional IEP meeting on Wednesday, the day before school. This will give us a chance to let his teacher’s know about his disabilities and what to expect with Jacob. I know one of his primary teachers was selected as a teacher of the year last year, so that gives me hope.
I am already dreading 5th grade Common Core homework. My hate and loathing of the CCSS has only grown since Jacob was in 4th grade. I know if I see one more math problem that takes three times longer to do than what I had to do, I may have to take a step outside and count to ten. Then I will come inside, take a deep breath, and attempt to help him with his homework. It is my fervent hope the Smarter Balanced Assessment will be a thing of the past by the time they have to take that monstrosity. I really can’t think of any other word for it. But no matter what happens, I have to be there for Jacob and help him with what he has to do, no matter how much I loathe it. Cause that’s what Dads do!