10 December 2009


J had his expulsion hearing on Tuesday, and yes, the Chairman upheld the expulsion and sent him to a different school. J will be going to the same Junior High that his brother T went to. Except that J has to wait until Tuesday for his intake appointment. The Principal of the new school is in China on a school trip and the Vice Principal isn't comfortable doing the intake without her. Grump. It's his job to do it. But I do see their point, they didn't choose to have J there, the funding for the school has already been set so they won't receive extra money for J's attendance, they just have to follow the School Board's decision and allow J to attend, and maybe the Principal will have a set of rules or conditions for J that the VP isn't aware of. Whatever. By then J will have been out of school for just about three weeks, he'll (hopefully) attend school the remainder of next week, then be on Christmas vacation for two weeks. He will have some catching up to do.

The hearing itself went fine, J was given a chance to talk and explain himself. J learned that just having a knife can be considered threatening, as is simply bringing it out to show someone. The Chairman seemed quite surprised that J did some things because his friends told him to and without J questioning why. J was mostly pleased because the Chairman spoke to him firmly, but kindly, and didn't ask the same questions using different words (J hates that). The Chairman made sure J knew he was accountable for his actions even though friends told him to do stuff. The saddest thing the Chairman said was that he's had expulsion hearings with no parents present, only the child. Can you imagine being a child at an expulsion hearing with nobody to support you? I don't agree with what J did but I still love him and support him.

What was really insulting during the hearing was the Principal talking about J like he's too 'bad' for his school. Even the Chairman asked why this hearing was taking place as J doesn't have any other suspensions and his discipline record was clean (except for minor misbehaviour). The Principal couldn't really explain that, but made it clear he didn't want J to come to his school. At the end during closing statements Principal said that J was a threat to others and he didn't want J in the school any more. Only when pressed did the Principal agree that J could get counseling and a mentor in the school should he return. During my closing I said that if J was returned to the school then my next step would be to have Principal call another school and refer J so that J can transfer. I didn't believe the school was a healthy environment for J now that I know about the bullying he was receiving and the school's lack of concern for it.

Now that J is in between schools, he thought it would be a good idea to go to his old school and see his friends. He stayed in the pool building which is owned by the city and had his friends come to him. Although the school and pool share a parking lot and land, I really do believe that the pool is not owned by the school and therefore not included in J's expulsion. When Principal saw J (he had to have been tipped off) he hauled J into his office and called me at work. I was significantly less supportive with this call than I was with the suspension call I got. I told Principal that the pool is not considered school property and so J is allowed there any time. When Principal pushed the issue I told him I'd need to see documentation of what the legal boundaries of the school are and until then to stop harassing my son. Then I hung up on him. Not professional, but I don't care.

I did email the School Board with loads of questions when I got home, though. I want to know exactly where the school begins and ends, and in writing. I want to know how long the expulsion is for, and can J play on the field when school isn't in session. And exactly what 'in session' means as that school runs a different timetable compared to other schools. I hope I didn't sound snarky in my email, but I probably did.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your open honesty about Jacob's situation. Its unfortunate that he has to change schools, but if bullying was a factor, then the change might be a positive thing for Jacob.

I totally support you and am very proud of how you have handled this situation. I am particularly impressed with your willingness to question the status quo regarding authority in the pool area.

However it all eventually turns out, I'm glad Jacob has you in his corner.

Love, Mom

The Hyperlexian Aspie said...

wow, difficult stuff going on. the expulsion is probably for the best, considering that you wanted to switch j to another school anyway.


Chantelle said...

The expulsion sucks but hopefully things will get better for him. Are you going to send him to counseling even though he's going to a new school?