New Years Eve. The transition from one year to the next. Like I said a week ago, this blog will be changing gears soon, and it will be going against the grain. Some things need to be talked about, and there needs to be an honest conversation about it. It exists, and it is seldom talked about anymore with all the other talk in Delaware about priority schools and corporate education reform. I understand teachers are pissed off, and I am to. I can’t stand what has happened to education in the past ten years. But one thing gets me angrier than anything, and that’s this:
This is an MRI scan from a boy with special needs. He got hit in the head two days before Christmas on the last day of school. This was his 8th physical assault this year. That is 8 too many. He got a concussion from the blow, and it’s considered moderate to severe. He has had headaches and nightmares ever since. He will be spending the month of January at home when the rest of his peers will be in school. He will have homebound instruction with a tutor.
This child has an IEP, and he was approved for a one-on-one aide, but a permanent one has not been hired yet. His IEP team was told on day one that he can say inappropriate things at times based on his disability, but it was his parents hope the social skills training in his IEP accommodations would help. It would have helped this boy if that social skills training was given and not used as a punishment when he said something inappropriate to someone in his group. Because of that, his social skills accommodation was taken away, and his parents weren’t even aware of this until weeks later. He lost this accommodation for well over a month and much of the bullying and physical assaults against him took place during this time.
His school wants to say much of what is going on with him is behavior and not his neurobiological disability. This has caused his parents to become very upset with the school on many occasions. The boys parents feel they are not treated like peers, but as “guests” in this public school district. The school has no problem in making my son take responsibility for his actions, but when it comes time for the school to do the same, things get very quiet.
There is so much more I can and may say about this boy. His father understands the plight of teachers. He understands the impact the Delaware DOE and Governor Markell, and all these bizarre shadow organizations have had on education. He is against the current teacher effectiveness program. He hates the priority school initiative. But this father has to look out for the safety of his son, and when his son has to get an MRI because the doctor is worried about the results of an impact test from the concussion, this boy’s father has to start tackling the biggest problem in Delaware schools. The problem that has been present for years in ALL Delaware schools. The problem that all too often gets swept under the rug. This boy has Tourette Syndrome, and he is my son.