View Full Version : Passive Agressive Teacher- Bands on Chairs


SpazzyJanet
09-09-16, 03:42 PM
I have a sweet 6-year old boy struggling with the start of the school year with ADHD.

His teacher is passive aggressive and spent the first two weeks sending me home long notes with laundry lists of everything Jack did that day littered with unnecessary descriptions- "Jack smirked," "Jack did not accept behavior," etc. They really come across as cold and contain no positives.

When I started offering suggestions she got really passive agressive: "we are doing 'many things' every day to support Jack's needs" and "perhaps as a positive reward, we could help Jack process why he decided to make the better choice?" I could go on and on. I ended up contacting the school principle and psychologist about a 504 plan because I felt Jack was escalating quickly and this teacher seemed more interested in painting Jack as a bad kid than actually helping it.

Well.. once that happened, the passive aggressiveness sky-rocketed. In the initial meeting with the school, she kept trying to insert "gotchas." "Oh, so you do think Jack doubles down (implying that he is intentionally defiant and not just frustrated." "I noticed you weren't at the open house (we were still out of state)."

Long story, I know but I am now in the throes of setting up a 504 for Jack. I am insisting on fidget toys and chair bands for the class and she keeps highlighting how challenging putting these in place without a class disruption will be.

Today was "I put the chair band on, and I can see that we will have to train Jack on how to properly use it as it was used primarily as a music instrument this morning." And "we will have to train him to use fidget toys as tools, not toys."

Ugh!!! Any advice on how to handle this? It's not good for Jack and it's not good for me and I am losing it.

Also, are chair bands really noisy enough to be musical instruments. Everything I read about them everywhere is they are quiet. So why are they so difficult to make work with my son? Help!

Lunacie
09-09-16, 06:59 PM
I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Hugs to your kiddo.

It sounds so much like the school my granddaughter went to for the first 5 years. I'm pretty sure it left her with PTSD.

For the last 4 of those years, we heard over and over how my granddaughter was being "manipulative."

They couldn't seem to get it through their heads that she was doing some things because she wasn't able to get what she needed.

And other things were totally beyond her control. She has autism and she was NOT wetting her pants to get out of doing arithmetic. :mad:

Our teachers were too afraid of our principal to speak up, well all but one.

You're facing a different situation with the principal letting the teacher steer the discussion.

We have a great special ed coordinator in our school district, but even she was totally frustrated by this principle and this staff.

It took 3 years for her to get my granddaughter moved to a different school ... the one for kids with behavior issues. :(

But that situation was so much better and she improved so much with a supportive atmosphere that she couldn't go back there the next year.

Fortunately, the special ed coordinator was able to get a new class started in a different school specifically for kids with autism and she has totally blossomed with that teacher. She's amazing. She totally "gets" which behaviors are typical for kids with autism and which are typical for kids of that age group.

School can still be difficult. My granddaughter just started high school and that's a whole new challenge for her.

I'm just so really very sorry we weren't able to get her out of the local school sooner. That was 5 years of literal hell for her, and for us, with the teacher calling us at least 3 times a week to come and take her home, often even before lunch.

aeon
09-10-16, 01:26 AM
It sounds so much like the school my granddaughter went to for the first 5 years. I'm pretty sure it left her with PTSD.

For the last 4 of those years, we heard over and over how my granddaughter was being "manipulative."

They couldn't seem to get it through their heads that she was doing some things because she wasn't able to get what she needed.

And other things were totally beyond her control. She has autism and she was NOT wetting her pants to get out of doing arithmetic. :mad:

When I read this, a part of me wants to be enraged. At the willful ignorance, and the disrespect of a child.

No child has the presence of mind at that age to manipulate anyone. And projecting that on to her doesnít make it real.

What spectrum are they on?, I wonder. I bet it has ignorant at one end (they can be saved), and tormentor at the other (they are lost).

I tend to forget that not all teachers are idealists. Some are punitive, and some are working out their own issues.


Ugh,
Ian

sarahsweets
09-10-16, 02:56 AM
Holy cow does this subject infuriate me!
My first advice is, skip the 504 and aim for an IEP. You have more rights for your child this way and more options for modifications. Has he been evaluated by the child study team or special services( whatever your district calls it)?
You have to remember that schools arent always ready and willing to offer the kind of help your son needs-it costs them money- not that everything is broken down into dollars but its a sad fact. A lot of schools will try and steer parents clear of IEP's and special education services because they dont want to use the resources they have for a child that they feel is 'bad' vs a child with an obvious special education need.
Google wrights-law. I can link to it here but it covers all of your rights (PRISE- parental rights in special education).
How dare she talk like that about your son!!!
How helpful is that? She seems more interested in her teacher review then she is at teaching students. To insinuate that he somehow is trying to be bad- that just furthers the stigma of adhd and special needs kids!
What is his diagnosis? Is he on medication?

SpazzyJanet
09-10-16, 07:58 AM
So, Jack was officially diagnosed with ADHD last Spring while he was still in Kindergarten. We decided not to medicate at that time because he was young, because it was close to the end of the school year, etc. He did have issues in Kindergarten, which is what brought us there toward the end, but I always at least felt that the K teacher at least liked him.

This year things got immediately off to a bad start in first grade. The two classrooms are right next to each other and were "buddy" classes last year, so this teacher already knew Jack going in and that he had adhd.

After one incident (Jack pulled out a pencil, declared "this is my sword!" and a little girl got scared and ran- Jack got upset, ran out into the hallway, had a meltdown), the school called my husband to pick him up, and by the time my husband arrived, he was calmly coloring in the counselor's office.

I emailed the Principle the next day, and asked how we could start formally documenting when Jack is sent home so that we can "keep track of how much school Jack was missing."

She called me a few hours later to repeatedly assure me that this was not their usual policy and that she had only "suggested" that he be picked up that day "because he was so upset." Sure. At any rate, I feel pretty confident that we will not be getting any more calls from the school to come pick him up :)

The school psychologist has so far been pretty proactive in finding ways to incorporate the accommodation requests, but the teacher has remained passive-aggressive about the whole thing. You are correct that she is far more interested in proving that Jack is difficult to support her performance review than in helping my son.

Yesterday, in response to her email about "using the bands as a musical toy," I responded, and cc'd the principle and school psychologist:

"Ms. XXX, please send us the same training information that you are giving Jack so that we can better understand how he is mis-using the band if he was, in fact, doing something improper with it on his first day.


Is he doing something other than kicking it or pressing it with his feet? If it is just the kicking and/or pressing that is the issue, then are you training him that he can only kick/press at certain times?


I have searched all over the Internet and have found nothing but positive reports of these being used as a non disruptive tool in the classroom (I actually found nothing at all about them being too noisy), so knowing what the specific way he needs be trained to better use it would help a lot."


I am not backing down. I will get Jack what he needs in the classroom.


As a side note, the school psychologist actually wanted to start Jack on an IEP initially, and ran some initial tests that so far support the previous adhd diagnosis. We resisted at first because of the "special ed" label. However, we are now more open. What's funny is that after we mentioned that we are pursuing possibly starting medication with Jack, the school psychologist has backed off of the IEP suggestion for the originally requested 504. Weird.

sarahsweets
09-10-16, 11:33 AM
So, Jack was officially diagnosed with ADHD last Spring while he was still in Kindergarten. We decided not to medicate at that time because he was young, because it was close to the end of the school year, etc. He did have issues in Kindergarten, which is what brought us there toward the end, but I always at least felt that the K teacher at least liked him.

This year things got immediately off to a bad start in first grade. The two classrooms are right next to each other and were "buddy" classes last year, so this teacher already knew Jack going in and that he had adhd.

After one incident (Jack pulled out a pencil, declared "this is my sword!" and a little girl got scared and ran- Jack got upset, ran out into the hallway, had a meltdown), the school called my husband to pick him up, and by the time my husband arrived, he was calmly coloring in the counselor's office.

I emailed the Principle the next day, and asked how we could start formally documenting when Jack is sent home so that we can "keep track of how much school Jack was missing."

She called me a few hours later to repeatedly assure me that this was not their usual policy and that she had only "suggested" that he be picked up that day "because he was so upset." Sure. At any rate, I feel pretty confident that we will not be getting any more calls from the school to come pick him up :)

The school psychologist has so far been pretty proactive in finding ways to incorporate the accommodation requests, but the teacher has remained passive-aggressive about the whole thing. You are correct that she is far more interested in proving that Jack is difficult to support her performance review than in helping my son.

Yesterday, in response to her email about "using the bands as a musical toy," I responded, and cc'd the principle and school psychologist:

"Ms. XXX, please send us the same training information that you are giving Jack so that we can better understand how he is mis-using the band if he was, in fact, doing something improper with it on his first day.


Is he doing something other than kicking it or pressing it with his feet? If it is just the kicking and/or pressing that is the issue, then are you training him that he can only kick/press at certain times?


I have searched all over the Internet and have found nothing but positive reports of these being used as a non disruptive tool in the classroom (I actually found nothing at all about them being too noisy), so knowing what the specific way he needs be trained to better use it would help a lot."


I am not backing down. I will get Jack what he needs in the classroom.


As a side note, the school psychologist actually wanted to start Jack on an IEP initially, and ran some initial tests that so far support the previous adhd diagnosis. We resisted at first because of the "special ed" label. However, we are now more open. What's funny is that after we mentioned that we are pursuing possibly starting medication with Jack, the school psychologist has backed off of the IEP suggestion for the originally requested 504. Weird.


http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145739
This is my son's story. Its easier than typing it all out. Give it a read and let me know if it helps.

SpazzyJanet
09-10-16, 12:20 PM
It does help. Thank you.

When Jack's psychologist tested him in the Spring, he landed in the 97th percentile on the visual/spatial tests and in the 82nd percentile for verbal. He loves maps, mazes, blocks. He's a smart kid. His working memory, on the other hand was in the low average range. This high discrepancy was one of the things that pointed in the direction of ADHD.

The H "hyper" aspect is very high for him, but emotional control and impulsion are close behind. Luckily, he has never been prone to dangerous activities beyond climbing and bouncing on stuff he shouldn't and the resulting bumps, bruises and scrapes that come from that.

Jack has always been very friendly, outgoing, and loving. But if he gets in an environment that is too restrictive or gives him too much negative feedback and enforcement he escalates quickly. This is why I have been so adamant about how POSITIVE reinforcement and against the "constant reminder" technique that lower elementary school teachers love to enforce. If my kid isn't in control, and he is constantly corrected, he eventually is going to explode and begin intentionally acting out (hey, he's already in trouble anyway, right?).

This gives the impression that Jack is "defiant" rather than ADHD, but the teacher doesn't get that ADHD is all over the situation (impulsivity, emotional control, etc.)

Sorry for venting- the husband and I have felt rather alone in this over the last few weeks as relatives don't get it and as in your situation love to give unsolicited ill-educated advice.

It is also timely as we are going in to discuss medication with the family doctor (based on the psychologist's recommendations) here in a week or two.

Caco3girl
09-12-16, 09:13 AM
As nice as I can say this, remove him from that teachers class, if you don't it will be a horrible year for ALL involved. I have lived through this with my son and it makes the kid feel worthless and dumb. Some teachers have this notion that they can "FIX this imaginary alphabet disorder with some discipline that the child is obviously missing at home." You WILL NOT CHANGE HER MIND!

With my son it was 2 teachers that tag teamed him daily, actually calling each other and saying "Have you sent him to the office yet today?" They use words like off-task and disruptive behavior but really it was that they lost control of their class and wanted to mentally beat my kid into submission. More than 5 times he called me from the office, with the admin, to tell me he was going into In School Suspension and he didn't even know what he had done. All the admin could say was "the form says off-task and disruptive behavior". It was a hard 4 months for my son, he was unsure he was even allowed to breath! He certainly couldn't absorb any information being on pins and needles afraid to be sent to the office. First half of the year with those two, in the ISS 12 times! Second half of the year with all new teachers, in ISS zero times. Seriously, don't bother fighting the battle, get him out of there now.

Our generation was trained to think of Special Ed in a poor way, that label was reserved for the "weird" kids....now I would LOVE for my kid to be in Special ed and am fighting to try and get him in there. Special Ed in Middle School and high school means extra support....that's pretty much it! Most classes are half special ed and half kids who struggle in the subject.

In my son's school the special ed kids like my son and your son are put into co-taught classes. Two teachers, instead of one, this means there is a teacher in the back whose job it is to refocus the students that are spacing out or overly focused on their pencil and even to refocus the kids who get up 9 times a class to throw something out. The classes themselves are geared to more hands on learning than learning by speech as well. They are still high school classes, but they aren't so rigid as conventional classes.

SpazzyJanet
09-15-16, 07:00 PM
Yesterday, he got in trouble at school for playfully kicking at a little girl and after getting in trouble, it escalated into him having a meltdown and actually trying to kick the teacher.

It has escalated further.

Jack has been put on emergency removal.

"Emergency removal" shall be the exclusion of a student who poses a continuing danger to District property or persons in the District or whose behavior presents an on-going threat of disrupting the educational process provided by the District. [See Policy 5610.03 "Emergency Removal"]


In the principal's voice-mail, she admits that Jack initially exclaimed that he was just "smarting around." She also admits that the meltdown and escalation was related to impulsion.


I am looking for help. I've read and it looks like they can put him on this as much as they want as long as it doesn't exceed 1 day and doesn't exceed 10 days in a given school year.


My son is only in first grade and needs an education. Please help, what can I do?

SpazzyJanet
09-15-16, 08:25 PM
Also, it frustrates me to no end that "a continuing danger to District property or persons in the District" is so arbitrary.

Especially when the principal herself admits that when Jack was initially kicking that he was "just smarting around." And that later when he did try to kick after being removed from the room that he did not actually make contact with the teacher.

NEOmom
09-17-16, 06:38 PM
I'm going to be very direct. GET HIM OUT OF THAT CLASS NOW! Change teachers, change schools, home school if you must. This teacher is making your son believe he is a bad kid. He is not a bad kid.
Screw the 504. He needs an IEP and he needs a different teacher. His need for an education is not as important as his need to feel like he's okay.

Little Missy
09-17-16, 07:03 PM
I'm going to be very direct. GET HIM OUT OF THAT CLASS NOW! Change teachers, change schools, home school if you must. This teacher is making your son believe he is a bad kid. He is not a bad kid.
Screw the 504. He needs an IEP and he needs a different teacher. His need for an education is not as important as his need to feel like he's okay.

:goodpost: Thank You!

Caco3girl
09-19-16, 09:55 AM
I'm going to be very direct. GET HIM OUT OF THAT CLASS NOW! Change teachers, change schools, home school if you must. This teacher is making your son believe he is a bad kid. He is not a bad kid.
Screw the 504. He needs an IEP and he needs a different teacher. His need for an education is not as important as his need to feel like he's okay.

Agree 100%. This is exactly what the teachers did to my son. My son would have an ADHD moment and they would escalate that moment. I believe whole heartedly they somehow got a sadistic pleasure in breaking my kid while trying to force him into compliance....which was never going to happen because he couldn't figure out what he had done wrong more than half the time.

ginniebean
09-19-16, 10:08 AM
Ugh i agree. Get him out. You won't change her. She will damage your son emotionally.

sarahsweets
09-20-16, 04:58 AM
The emotional scars he is getting and will get in addition to his self esteem taking a dump is not worth all of this. Look into your legal rights, call the school board, call an advocate but do not tolerate this for another second.

SpazzyJanet
09-21-16, 05:59 AM
Thank you, I did end up requesting an FBA. Right now, we are working toward the 504 but have told the school that we would like to keep the IEP on the table as a backup option if the 504 isnít working.
Itís been made clear to me that I already have one of the ďbestĒ teachers so that is one thing that, unfortunately, will not change.


We finally got in to see the Pediatrician yesterday and we will be starting with 5mg Focalin XR beginning today. I am really hoping that this starts to make a difference.


This is all very stressful and scary when itís your kids and you are trying to help them.

TygerSan
09-21-16, 07:10 AM
Is there a chance to observe the other teachers in action? The class that your son is in right now may have the best teacher overall. That doesn't mean that she is the best one for your son. Sometimes the perception of "best teacher" comes from maintaining rigid discipline, which makes for a great appearance, and may work for many kids, but clearly not for kids who are outside the mold.

Lunacie
09-21-16, 09:42 AM
Is there a chance to observe the other teachers in action? The class that your son is in right now may have the best teacher overall. That doesn't mean that she is the best one for your son. Sometimes the perception of "best teacher" comes from maintaining rigid discipline, which makes for a great appearance, and may work for many kids, but clearly not for kids who are outside the mold.

Yes, that's just what I was thinking.

Caco3girl
09-21-16, 01:58 PM
Is there a chance to observe the other teachers in action? The class that your son is in right now may have the best teacher overall. That doesn't mean that she is the best one for your son. Sometimes the perception of "best teacher" comes from maintaining rigid discipline, which makes for a great appearance, and may work for many kids, but clearly not for kids who are outside the mold.
^^^^THIS! I have written earlier that my son had two teachers that would send him to the office pretty much daily. After we went through the whole process and all the testing was done and he was switched out of their classes the school psychologist flat out told me "I am surprised that those two teachers caused you problems, I usually send them my more severe cases because they are great at keeping kids on the straight and narrow"...so I translated that to mean for hyperactivity they were great at keeping kids in their little box but for inattentive kids who didn't even know where the box was this was a serious problem.

I am so serious when I say my son was sent to the office almost daily, and maybe that works for some kids to get them to straighten out. The problem with my son is that he didn't even know what he had done wrong! Hard to learn the lesson when you have no idea what you did wrong. I remember one of the calls from the school they let my son call to talk to me and I asked him what had happened and he had tears in his voice (this was 8th grade) he said "I don't know, I really don't know, she got mad at me and told me to go to the office and so I did what you told me to do, I didn't argue with her I just packed up my stuff and left." I said "Buddy, what did she get mad at you for?" He said "I really don't know, I got up to throw something out and she said she wasn't putting up with me today and told me to go the office."

What he neglected to understand is he had already gotten in trouble that day for tapping, and humming, and when he got up without permission the teacher just thought he was being defiant. In a way I owe these teachers for trying to fit him into their little box, it was when he didn't fit I had him looked at more closely. However, if you already know what your kids issues are I would pass on anyone who makes them worse.

SpazzyJanet
09-23-16, 05:57 AM
Caco,

Your son sounds like he could be mine in 8 years. In trouble, but not knowing what he did wrong and just flat upset/angry that he is always being picked on or singled out by teachers.

This reinforced for me how this is likely to be a struggle for Jack into adulthood. The problem is that there are still a lot of people (and teachers are a subset of those) who think that ADHD doesn't exist. We've heard this from our friends, co-workers, families, etc.

If one of those people is a teacher and either sensitive or a control freak (like this one is), they will target my kid because they think that he is being rude/disobedient/disruptive ON PURPOSE. And this will likely only escalate in middle school as we encounters more teachers and those teachers have less time with him to actually GET TO KNOW my kid and how sweet/awesome/smart he can be.

I can't even get access to this principal without her inviting the teacher in to the discussion. The school has closed ranks on this one.

Things have died down a bit in the past week since the emergency removal (and resulting emergency meeting I held with them to ask wtf is going on). My son has also started meds so I am hoping that those will help alleviate things also.

In the meantime, I am curious as to the types of things you have negotiated into 504s/IEPs as ways to deal with a meltdown AT THE SCHOOL. I want to make it clear that I will not sign any document that supports "emergency removal" as the first line of defence the next time he has a break down at school.