I took Movie Boy to school today. And popped in to the office. Ms. Ap was unavailable. The Principal was unavailable. His guidance counselor was unavailable.
“Can someone make themselves available to me for FIVE MINUTES to discuss my son’s safety?”
A random guidance counselor, unrelated to Movie Boy’s program, talked to me. She called the cafeteria security person, Mrs. G, who told me they were in the process of “reviewing the security tapes”, but in the meantime to protect Movie Boy today, she would have him sit at the “detention table”.
WHAT? Where is a wall? I need to knock my head against it.
I left messages for everyone. I went to the office. I called several members of the administration. No one was available. I called a lawyer and set up a consultant for next week.
I sent this e-mail….
Dear Ms. AP,
I spoke with Movie Boy last evening. He said that he was in the cafeteria eating his lunch, when he was hit on his head from behind. He turned to see what happened, and saw that the student who had hit him was smirking about it. When Movie Boy sought out a teacher (he says he raised his hand) the student then suddenly changed from smiling to back-pedaling, trying to say that it was an accident. Movie Boy did not feel that it was an accident, he said this student “hates” him and the blow to his head was very hard.
Movie Boy talked to a nearby adult, as he was instructed to do. This adult did not handle the incident per policy, but instead told the boys to shake hands. He did not take Movie Boy to the clinic, despite having suffered a blow to the head.
Movie Boy then also informed his case manager about what had happened. The case manager took Movie Boy to the nurse.
I was called at approximately 2:30 to let me know that Movie Boy was in the nurse’s office after sustaining a blow to the head. My husband picked up Movie Boy around 3 p.m. and took him to the pediatrician. At that time he still had a headache, which he had well into the evening. Movie Boy is extremely upset about this incident, which is on the heels of another assault he sustained while in the cafeteria just last week.
As you are well aware, last Monday he was punched in the stomach while waiting in the lunch line. Yesterday, he was hit from behind while eating. In both cases, he was not immediately taken to the nurse for assessment. As you also know, he also sustained at least three injuries during 6th grade (last year) that required medical attention.
He also tells me that the girl who punched him in the stomach last week has been in class everyday – leading me to believe that she did not receive any significant consequences for her actions. She has not been deterred – just yesterday in science she took Movie Boy’ colored pencils and would not give them back when he asked.
I am convinced that this most recent incident is not an “accident”. However, if it is an accident, then consideration must be given to the layout of the cafeteria – if children must pass so close to each other that head injuries occur, then the layout if not conducive to safety.
I stopped in this morning to discuss this with you, but you were not available. I left my phone number but have not heard from you yet today regarding this incident or how my son will be kept safe at school. I also inquired about speaking to the Principal, Movie Boy’s guidance counselor, the Assistant Superintendent for Middle Schools, and the Assistant Superintendent for Equity Affairs– no one has returned my call.
Again, I request that you please contact me immediately to discuss how you will insure that my son is safe in your school building.
As soon as I hit send, Assistant Superintendent called me. He said that the school was “still reviewing tapes”. Still? He was not aware that they were reviewing tapes this morning. All day? Really?
He said that he thought it was really “odd” that a kid would just hit Movie Boy without any provocation. He also thought it was really odd that my son, even though autistic, would not seek out the help of an adult or care at the clinic.
I called the school to try to talk to Ms. AP. Was told she is out of the building at an all day meeting with the Principal. But… the Superintendent said they were “reviewing tapes”.
Wall? Come here. Need to knock my head some more.