Saturday, June 14, 2008

Our Kids

One week to go. I've got a couple of callbacks, so feeling pretty good.

At our last staff meeting, Relaxed Guy put an item on the agenda. He's concerned about the high level of physical abuse in our students' homes. Relaxed Guy is good with the kids, really good, they open up to him. Per him, about half the kids in his classes report some degree of physical violence at home.

We had a totally useless meeting segment on this. Jeckle commented that just because they write about abuse doesn't mean they're experiencing it--this is true, but they're talking directly to R.G. about it. Jeckle also stated that you don't need to/can't report unless the kid verifies abuse--this is not true. You're mandated to report if you have a reasonable suspicion.

Brief interlude here--one of our kids is now in foster care because we made the call. Administrators pooh-poohed the making of the call--I and another teacher were told that the kid makes stuff up. CPS apparently felt sufficiently convinced to get the kid the hell out of the home. And our great county's CPS does not have enough resources to waste them on nothing. Last year, I was told by an administrator that one of our kids claimed sexual abuse at home, but no one had called because the kid is a well-known liar, and the dad is a great guy. Sometimes I wonder if I'm in a ****ing time warp, or just surrounded by incredibly stupid people.

Mrs. Bluejeans Sr. wanted to know what Jeckle is afraid to ask--why? Why do we have such high rates of parents knocking the kids around? More than that, why would parents who care enough to go to the trouble of sending their kids to a charter school also be abusive? I tried to think why, and I have some ideas.

Our kids are honestly, many of them, hard to deal with. They have problems, emotional, academic, gang related etc. I think we may have a parent population that, while wanting the best for their kids, are also unable to deal with their kids. They try to find a school that will help their children, and the ones with health coverage get counselors, and they sit through SST and IEP meetings, but they also run out of patience and hit, or they think they can achieve results through discipline and they hit. I think some of the kids' problems stem from the adult's problems, too. The parents aren't evil, any more than their kids are, but I suspect we've got a fair number of parents with their own traumas and addictions and inabilities. And when they're panicked, or angry, you guessed it, they hit.

Meanwhile, I've got an administration, albeit only for another week, that thinks we shouldn't report abuse if the kid him or herself is known to not be a saint. Not that they said that, no, no no, no no no no no...well, yes.

Our kids deserve so much better.

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