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The Forum > General Discussion > Where To Now?

Where To Now?

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If you read my first posting, you'd be familiar with my plight as regards my son. Well, here's the latest - the school he attends has allowed me to remove my son at recess and lunch, effectively preventing him from harm. Although a remedy, in itself it is not the best solution. It prevents him from having any social contact outside of the classroom. I want to work with the school, but again, they are not being co-operative.

I have now proven my point, that with adequate supervision, my son is safe from harm. How am I to explain to him that he is being isolated and in fact ostracised for having legitimate medical problems and recognized mental illness? Where do I go for help?

The school psychologist says this is not a solution, I say this is not a solution, the principal says I'm not rational and not sensible, that I am overreacting. Is it overreacting to want to keep both your child and the school safe? Am I irrational for caring?

I am actively persuing a letter writing campaign to anyone and everyone for help. Anyone have any ideas on contacts I could try or arguments to use in my letters? All ideas welcome.

katheedavis
Posted by katheedavis, Saturday, 7 October 2006 9:31:50 PM
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It is a can of worms that the Education Dept won't touch.A parent supervising their own child at school would probably have legal ramifications whereby they could be sued.Our institutions are camatose with fear and won't make decisions outside the shadow of litigation.

Then we have the issues of the responsibilities of schools as being institutions that cater for children with medical disorders whether they be mental or physical.If one child gets one to one care,then the rest of the children at the school are entitled to that care.Who is going to pay?
What are the primary functions of schools?Literacy standards have fallen dramatically.Can schools be all things to everyone?

Why did we close our mental institutions and not put the money into community care of the mentally ill?They are the most neglected people in our community.

Good luck Kathee,you'll get ignored on this one because it is in the too hard basket.
Posted by Arjay, Sunday, 8 October 2006 7:20:53 AM
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Kathee Davis - Hi.

All schools - whether public or private have a common law 'duty of care' to consider regarding their charges (students/pupils/teachers/staff) when they are on that school's property.

In Darwin recently, a young lad later died in hospital after a large tree branch fell on him at his school. As I understand it the 'church' school has now been forgiven by the parents of that boy, which suggests they have absolved the church of any responsibility.

If your child is being bullied, whatever, the school has the onus of providing all measures that constitute 'duty of care' to your son, and ultimately to the school community at large to prevent any harm coming to any person on their property. They may well have had advice which construes that 'care' as removing your child from their property, - sounds like a cop out to me though.

This is why we pay taxes to supply funds to allow our children's attendance at public schools for those parents without the means to send their kids off to private schooling.

Certainly write to the Ombudsman's office, outlining your treatment and any documentary evidence from the school itself. Also write to the relevant Dept of Education Minister detailing the issues, and certainly get some good legal advice.

Obviously going to Channel 'X' and airing your greivances there may get some quicker action.

Hope that was of assistance.

Best of luck...Albie.
Posted by Albie Manton in Darwin, Sunday, 8 October 2006 2:28:08 PM
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katheedavis. Hang on to your hat if you want to take on the Department of Education. They have the process set up so that you go around in circles and the persons who process your complaints are the ones that you allege are responsbile and the more that happens to you and the more that you complain the more reason that they have to discredit you and present you as vexatious, pushy and a trouble maker. You become their target.

I tried what you were trying in relation to my son (Catholic School) and requested whether I could attend at recess and lunchtime to help them supervise the playground. My son is on the other side, the side that found the ADHD child so unpredictable and often so aggressive that he was scared to death at school and the lack of action by teachers made him believe that they were not on his side. My son says that there are not enough teachers on playground duty and the ones that are on often donít want to be there and really donít care. They refused to allow me to come to watch over my son due to legal issues. I think that they just didn't want us to see just how bad things were.

On medical advice we ended up putting our son on Distance Education for a year on psychological and medical grounds as he became very anxious, depressed and sick. He worked from home and recently he has returned to school. He is 8. He is now in a public school that is much better with discipline and attitude and all is going well.

Maybe you need to pull your child out of school for a while, put him on Distance Education, get him to get his head together and then return to a new school where all 'that stuff' is behind him. I think sometimes kids need a break, school does not suit ADHD children at all and trying to make them fit often makes them worse.
Posted by Jolanda, Sunday, 8 October 2006 6:13:15 PM
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Jolanda..you are soo right, my experience with my childrens school..I must say though a call to head office pulled them up short, but then I guess it too does depend on the issue at hand..

They do want to brand you as a pushy troublemaker, then they are not forced to take you seriuosly and you are dismissed..

I say save yourself the grief, unless you are immune to assaults on your nervous system and and attacks on your character and credibility as a mother.

The education dept is a joke and I give them no due respect at all.

They cover each others arses no matter how small the perceived infringement which makes it impossible to get anywhere with them
I found I had to go to the top..district office 1st and if no joy there, the top.We all answer to someone..you could always threaten to bring negative publicity to their school and go to ACA or Today Tonight..they will make them sit up, but you will bear the brunt of it.

But hold on tight.I would absolutely home school my son, the kindest option for you both..he of all pple doeasnt need the stress and you dont either.I was homeschooled for about 5yrs, it was wonderful.
Now he can join his classmates via the internet...All is not lost..just try a different approach.
Enlist the help of family and friends also and build up your support network during this.
Posted by taurus29, Tuesday, 10 October 2006 11:21:02 AM
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Thank you all for your comments.

Taurus, I have already been on ACA, and in both local and state papers. Nothing much came of this, and it was only when I stood outside the school with a sign that said the school was not helping us that they stood up and took notice.

I must say here, that they think by giving in a bit I'll go away. That is not the case. I am in this for the long haul, and I don't give in easily. I am tougher than they think.

The top of the education dept sounds like a plan...regional directors don't have to open mail it seems! Keep the suggestions coming...nothing is in the too hard basket for me at this point - I just need ideas on where to go from here.

katheedavis
Posted by katheedavis, Tuesday, 10 October 2006 3:19:18 PM
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