Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Safe Schools Sacked!

Yesterday it was annouced the policy of SAFE school is being sacked here and for that can I say I am thankful as a parent........

Dont I want my daughter safe at school? Well yes of course...But the zero tolerence policy goes into play EVEN if a child is in grade 1. My daughter Roo got her first suspension when she was two months into her FIRST year of school, because of zero tolerence. Many of the suspensions are for 1 day only which are non debatable and there is nothing a parent could do about it either. Rachel got 4 suspensions in grade 1. The zero tolerence policy left principals without wiggle room and kids without skills to redeem themselves so it was a LOSE LOSE situation.

Let me give you an example of a ssuspension Roo got. Last year she was working very hard on a project, she was creating a new toy for a science project. It had to have moving parts. She got upset after the project broke in front of her and was in tears, she was frustrated of course. The teacher went over to comfort her and well Roo pushed the teachers HAND away...she got suspended for pushing a teacher. It was a bit much for a child who had been diagnosed but the principal used the zero tolerence to take Roo out of school for the day. I have seen suspensions often given to kids who need services instead of suspension.

This year Roo was not offically suspended at all but her principal and me worked together for the first 4 months of the school year and some days when she was having a hard day at school with behavior I would come and pull her for an hr or two and then she would go back. By doing this she got what she needed at the time yet was back in the classroom as soon as it was feasible. Since she has had an EA she has not needed to come home once, again a child was needing help not time at home.

I was glad to hear they scrapped the SAFE schools because as the kids become teens the suspensions lead to expelling etc and leads kids with no where to turn but a pretty yucky world with no skills and without healthy support that can help them learn to control behaviors.

For Roo working with the EA's and teachers this year she has really began to bloom. She is making friends and when problems come up she is using skills to try and solve them instead of lash out at first. Yes she still makes mistakes along the way but she sure has come a long way and this mom is so very proud of her. I do credit so much of where she it at with the school she is going to RH Mcgregor! The staff there are the best! They have done so much to help her get the skills that she needs and with that she has had many successes lately and for that I am so grateful!


Lynn said...

I've read this book "Raising your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka that has helped me tremendously in understanding and working with Laura in just the kind of issues you are talking about with Roo. She too gets upset and frustrated and sometimes uses her hands or body instead of her words to display her emotions and I've learned a lot of ways to help her with that...even at age 3. We're still having to do a lot with her, but I'm hoping next August to be able to send her to preschool and for it to go well for her AND the students and teachers. It sounds like the school system made a good choice in sacking this policy if there was no leeway given for the individual situation. Zero tolerance only works if the policy is open to understanding all the ramifications. Good for Roo for coming as far as she has, and good for you,'ve always worked so hard and been such a great advocate for your girl!

SAAM said...

I agree with you
Marissa had a one day in-school suspension this year (probably deserved!) She sat in a room with 2 other kids who were suspended and had the "best, funnest day EVER!!"
I don't think that ANYTHING is black and white and lots of factors should be considered
You ROCK, Hollie!!!

HOLY said...

Kids are getting expelled and suspended for the smallest things now....what used to be standard playground and classroom antics are now zero-tolerance.

My son's friend got suspended a day for a snowball throwing incident that led to a bit of a fisticuff on a weekend outing through the ski school but because the ski school had ties to the school district, his school was notified. Which is fine but my daughter's friend is about to get suspended for calling all the girls sexy one too many times.

It's a different day and age I guess from when we grew up.

But it scares me so we've warned our son, as they approach sex ed this spring, to make sure not to utter a joking word of any kind just in case....

Katy said...

Isn't it weird how something can start out as a good idea, and the reality in a school is ridiculous. There are a lot of programs like that. Really, I think discipline dealt with a fair and understanding hand is the only way to go--not stupid policies.

The Beach said...

Hi Hollie! How have you been? I am very shocked after reading this that they actually suspended the kids for such minor infractions. It seems like a positive thing that they have gotten rid of safe schools. I am happy that Roo is coming along day at a time, right? I love your writing and I will certainly be back. Have an awesome weekend!

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