HELP - School targeting son as possible "Columbine shoo

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momsparky
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27 Jun 2013, 7:48 pm

Please do post back and let us know what happened. We are all pulling for you and your child no matter what course of action you take.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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27 Jun 2013, 8:15 pm

LMD1968 wrote:
. . . He was being bullied by a boy in class, my son was asked to leave, because his reaction telling the boy to leave him alone was disruptive to the class. He sat in the hall and was asked to write a letter to the teacher about what happened. He wrote an angry letter to the teacher asking her why she didn't do anything about the other boys behavior. Again, nothing threatening in the letter, perhaps a little disrespectful, but he was expressing his frustration. Again I was called in and told that my son was going to be suspended for a day.

I asked the school if they have ever had suspended any of the boys who had bullied my son (physical, verbal and online). They hadn't. I told the school they were discriminating against my son because of his disability and that they didn't understand kids on the Autism spectrum. They decided not to suspend him for the day. . .

It sounds like your son handled it just right. And a teacher with some snap would have had a pretty good idea which boys were involved, might have glared at them and said, 'Get to work.'

Being charitable, this teacher just lacks the skills. Being less charitable, she blames your son for "extra work" or something ridiculous like that.

Best wishes during this difficult situation. Once bullying becomes entrenched, even if your son had a twin who was neurotypical with excellent social skills, it would still be a very difficult situation.

=======

PS I AM NOT A PARENT. I do live my life on the Spectrum, and try and be a pretty good guy and help out where I can. :D



LMD1968
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28 Jun 2013, 5:34 pm

I have been recording the meetings with the Principle and the Social worker. The fact that they have admitted on tape that he is doing fine academically and their only concerns are ones related to the fact that he has PDD-NOS I figure will play out well if it ever does come to filing a complaint for discrimination.

I just find it so unfortunate that the media plays up the Autism/Asperger angle anytime there is a incident involving someone who is suspected to suffer from these disorders. It stigmatizes these individuals further, when they haven't done anything themselves.

I am sure it would be "easier" to pull my son out and send him elsewhere, but I feel the need to take a stand. Discrimination can not be tolerated, regardless of whether it is in a public or private school/workplace or otherwise.

The bullies need to know that they have to stop. Right now no one seems to care. Although our school has influence with the police and media (a huge drug bust on campus last year didn't end up with any arrests and or coverage in the local new papers). I am hoping if I force the issue and file a report for assault and contact the paper myself, perhaps it will bring the needed pressure to bare on the school to address the issue. I have given up being popular long ago, I have to fight for what is right for my child and others like him. Have heard from other families from our school who have removed their Asperger children because the bullying was never dealt with appropriately.

Until our children are accepted and treated like all others we can't give up the fight.



Sweetleaf
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28 Jun 2013, 5:40 pm

Unfortunatly a lot of schools find it easier to single out those being bullied and try to get rid of them, then to actually do anything about the bullying issues. It disgusts me quite a lot, but what do you do. I mean if the school is really singling him out would it really be in his best intrest to stay. I know the years of bullying I endured even from some teachers didn't help me in the long run, as much as I was willing to persist and just focus on my schoolwork.


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KILLASHNIKOV
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29 Jun 2015, 8:15 pm

If that story is true then i hope all of those school administrators and bullies fry in hell



InThisTogether
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30 Jun 2015, 6:25 pm

I am probably going to be very unpopular because of this post. I may even get negative pm's.

But I want to share a different perspective.

First, I want to say that I absolutely believe the bullies should be addressed. I don't want anything that I say after this to lead anyone to the impression that I think what is happening to your son is OK. It is emphatically NOT OK and the school ought to be doing something. I was bullied as a kid and it was WRONG.

But something you said caught my attention. That was that your son has poor frustration tolerance.

Taking the issue of bullies out of it...I agree that THEY are wrong and that THEY should be held accountable for it...I do not see anything wrong with having your son go to therapy to help him learn better coping skills and I don't think the school is wrong for asking for that. I doubt that any parent who's child actually has snapped and erupted in violence at school predicted it coming. Yet it happens. The school has an obligation to protect ALL of the students. Yes, it is true that many boys his age are fascinated with weapons and shooting. But I think that the combination of a fascination with weapons and shooting, paired with poor impulse control, paired with being outcast or bullied is a potentially dangerous one. In a perfect world, schools should be equally adept at sniffing out the bullies as they are at identifying at risk kids. At risk for harming others or themselves. It appears to me that schools are not good at either. This leads to tragic consequences.

I'm not saying your son will become the next Columbine shooter. But it won't hurt him to gain skills to deal with frustrations because they will happen with or without bullies. And, unfortunately and very sadly, this is not the first time he will have to deal with bullies and people who will mistreat him. No matter how much we all recognize that it is wrong and demand that the authorities (wherever they may be, school as kids, employers as adults, the police, the courts...whoever) bring the perpetrator to justice, we cannot prevent our kids from ever experiencing mistreatment. So I think our approach must be two pronged: 1) we have to intervene and help get the bullying stopped, and 2) we have to give our kids the tools to handle it in a healthy way.

I think some kids are prone to expressing their violence outwardly and some are prone to expressing it inwardly. As parents, I think we need to identify where the risks lie for our own children and mitigate it. Not act on the premise that no one should ever mistreat our kids. No one ever SHOULD, but that doesn't mean people WON'T. Both of my kids are prone to expressing it inwardly. I need to take steps to make sure neither of them are ever that kid that jumped off the bridge. Waiting for the world around us to change is not going to work. I need to see the potential risk and take matters in my own hands...by preparing my own kids.

I am truly sorry this is happening. Your son doesn't deserve it. But please don't focus solely on controlling the actions of others. Also focus on giving your son the tools he needs to cope with this. It is very sad when kids "snap" either way...either lashing out in violence toward others or taking their own lives. I think that we need to identify those who are potentially at risk and helping, just as much as we need to try to stop the bullying and mistreatment.


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Adamantium
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30 Jun 2015, 9:45 pm

Please note that Killashnikov was necroposting here. Whatever happened with school, happened two years ago.

I would be curious to know how things worked out.



InThisTogether
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01 Jul 2015, 6:36 am

Right you are. I "checked" and saw "June" and thought it was a recent post, though I admit I was confused about referring to columbine as though it was recent. I thought it was just something that wasn't tracking for me.


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militarybrat
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02 Jul 2015, 1:38 am

I am not sure about the laws regarding private schools but it does sound like they are specifically targeting your son based on misconceptions related to ASDs. I would definitely seek counsel from a lawyer with a background in disability based discrimination. I think you should meet with the school to show that you are trying to work out these issues with them unless advised by your attorney not to. However, I would have the lawyer present at said meetings if possible. Also, arm yourself with documents from your son's psychological team noting that he is not a threat and countering the schools assumptions as false and based on stigma and stereotypes rather than facts. There are now resources for parents and educators on how to best assist the Aspie student in the educational process. Check out some of these sources and maybe offer them to the school. For your son: See if the school/teacher can set aside a "safe place" where he can go to either finish his work or take a break to calm down when he starts getting frustrated or overwhelmed to stop the negative behaviors before they happen. Have the teacher be on the lookout for bullying as this is a major issue and if no-one is stopping it he may feel like he has no choice but to try and stop it himself (hence the yelling at the other student to leave him alone etc), and when children bully they are really good at hiding it from the teacher. Have them remove him from the setting when he is upset but wait until he is calm before explaining what went wrong and having him write an "apology" because he can't process what he did wrong and what he should have done before his brain has a chance to process out the negative emotion. Once he is calm, the teacher should address both students (not necessarily together) and explain the punishments accordingly [the scale method can be quite effective in showing/explaining what was done by each and whether the actions were equal, thus deserving the same punishment (both have to apologize and maybe a phone call to the parents or demerit from both) , or unequal where one would merit a larger punishment (one kid gets a rebuke the other a parent call) The teacher should be fair and consistent and properly deal with the actions of both students] because if he is "overreacting" he may not see it clearly and feel like he is being unfairly targeted unless it is broken down for him. Social stories can be helpful in teaching him to understand and best react to negative social encounters. An emotional thermometer is another tool he could use to address his feelings and their intensity. Learning relaxation techniques (deep breathing, yoga, meditation, etc) could also help him. We tend to feel things on much higher levels than neurotypicals which when mixed with our sensory issues can overload our brains very quickly. Hope some of this helps.