Mother Believed The Principal And Wanted Daughter To Be Punished But Strangers Opened Her Eyes.
My daughter Amanda (F13) has Cerebral Palsy. She is able to walk independently but cannot walk for long periods of time and cannot walk on anything other than even ground without assistance (i.e stairs have to have rails, can’t walk on rocks/sand/etc). She has an IEP for this – that states what she can and cannot do in PE, excursions, etc. It’s relevant to note that Amanda catches the bus home – but can only catch a specific route as the other route the school offers drops her off at a road about a mile away that has no footpath.
I got a call at work at 11am today telling me that Amanda had spoken quite rudely to a substitute PE (gym) teacher who tried to make her climb the rock wall that her school has. Apparently Amanda did say “I can’t, I have Cerebral Palsy and I have an IEP” but when another child said “Yeah! Same here!” the teacher didn’t believe her and became insistent – standing over her so Amanda told him to “f off” and wouldn’t repeat anything but “f off” until she was sent to the office.
It is in the handbook that this type of offence is a same day after school detention. But when the Principal called me I said “absolutely not”. I told them that they were welcome to do a week’s worth of lunch detentions, or even schedule it so that I can change my work schedule – but absolutely not this afternoon. My husband is away for work, I have to work until 6pm and I need Amanda to be on her regular bus because I have nobody who can drop her off home at 4:30 when detention finishes. They told me about the “late” bus and I reminded them why Amanda couldn’t take that bus and was told “well, sounds like a natural consequence to me”. This isn’t your average kid refusing to do something, being rude and deserving a long walk home as well as detention. This is a kid that could be seriously harmed if she was made to walk that far and on that road.
The Principal told me that I was “making excuses” and that Amanda needed to face consequences and I didn’t technically need to give permission – they were making me aware. I agree that Amanda needs to face consequences for her language (which are that she’s grounded for the weekend, and has to serve any lunch detention the school gives her and apologising to the teacher for specifically her language – nothing else) – but putting her in danger is NOT right and that if they were insistent on this – I was insistent on taking my lunch break right now to drive over and pull her out for the rest of the day.
(EDIT: The school called back and said she had 2 days of lunch detention – but my sister who lives interstate thinks I’m being one of “those” mums and told me I was in the wrong, hence posting) Am I A Jerk ? What should I do? Can I even do anything?
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