Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The DAMN art teacher!!!

Nope I didn't accidentally use potty language. If you ask me... this is polite considering.
(as you read this... keep in mind that this particular teachers has had several complaints against her. She is known to be mean and cranky according to the kids. Justin likes art. He's good at it. He says she's mean, but I have never said anything because "mean" isn't exactly grounds for the wrath of mama.)

Back to the story...
Here in the good ol Sunshine State, some nut job came up with the idea of half days. Rather than paying our awesome teachers more money... they decided to give them more planning time in the form of a half day. On these days (which occur on average 2 times per month) our darling little children get out of school 2 hours early to give the teachers more planning time.

This just messes up their whole schedule.


This past Wednesday was a dreaded half day. When Justin gets home he says "I had to talk to Mrs. Principal today".

This statement caused mom to come to a screeching halt. "What was that buddy?". As my mind races through all the possible things the little stinker may have done to deserve this "talk" with said Mrs. Principal.

Come to find out... Justin and 2 other boys have been getting IN TROUBLE ALL YEAR because they are late to art class on half days.

WHY are they late? Because Justin has to go to the nurse to check his bg.

Here's Justin's schedule:
He goes to AGP (gifted program for math/science) right after the morning bell.
He leaves AGP at 10:10 and goes straight to the nurse for his am check. He does this E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y.


On the half day schedule... they get out of AGP early at 9:10 and are SUPPOSE to be in art at 9:10. (side note... they would be late even if Justin didn't have to stop by the nurse).

Back to the point...
On this past half day...
Justin runs into the nurses office frantic. Dropping things. Hurried.
The nurse has him slow down, but Justin doesn't want to get him and his friends in trouble for being late.

Off they go to class...
Ms. Art Teacher: "well let's just see how late we are today... 6 minutes".
Justin: "we were at AGP and then I had to go to the nurse".
Ms. Art Teacher: "I don't care about AGP and I don't care about the nurse".

THEN Ms. Art Teacher) turns to his friends and says: "Do you two think it fair that you have to miss the FUNNEST part of art BECAUSE OF JUSTIN?"


I guess Justin was upset. Almost to the point of tears in his eyes.

After art, the kids came back to class and surrounded the teachers desk. (Justin tagged along)
"Mrs. O, we feel really bad for Justin because of because of Ms. Art Teacher. He was really sad".

Long story short: Principal was called. Principal came down and talked individually to several students including Justin and his 2 nurse buddies.

Thursday I did a little confirming. Then I went to the Principal. Who, after listening to my concerns, thought we should have a "care plan meeting". Not what I had in mind, but if you want one.
She called the Art teacher and confirmed a conference for 2:45 Friday.

Before I made it home (10min away). The art teacher had already called my house. HMMM? I dismissed it.

The next morning I ran the kids to school. When I came home. This message was on my voice mail: "Mrs. Me. This is Ms. Art Teacher from Name of School (Duh lady... I know who ya are!)
I just wanted to inform you that I spoke to Mrs. O, I spoke to Mrs. AGP teacher and I spoke to the nurse. I have made arrangements for Justin to leave AGP 7 minutes early so that he can go to the nurse and get to my art class on time. If you could call the school and confirm I would appreciate it so that we can avoid the LONG LENGTHY CONVERSATION".

The tone of her voice. Her informing me that SHE changed Justin's schedule.

I.WAS.STEWING! Was she covering her ass? Was she trying to avoid this meeting because she knew? Does she think I'm stupid? Or a pushover?

Leave math early to make it to art... what doesn't seem right about this?

THEN it happened... not even 2 min after I listened to the voice mail. My cell phone rang.

This better not be her... this better not be her... IT WAS HER!

Same cocky tone to her voice. Part way through the 2nd sentence I stopped her.
"Ya know, I am not really sure why your calling me when we have a conference today with Mrs. Principal."

She continues...

I stopped her again. I then let her know that "we Will NOT be changing Justin's schedule
and again... I am not sure why you are calling me. All of these things WILL be discussed during our conference today WITH Mrs. Principal present."

At this point... I.WAS.PISSED!
She should have just let it go and attended the conference.

NOW mama's mad!

NOW the gloves came off (or I put them on... not sure which)

NOW I will be having more than a "care plan" meeting today.

At that point... I started to get prepared. I wrote down comments so that I could remember. I printed the Code of Ethics and highlighted the ones she violated (Yes, I went there). I was ready!

I walk into the meeting with Anthony who came home early to attend.

There was the Principal, the Art teacher and the school nurse.

We sat down. The principal started off with the typical speech of why we are all here and then she handed it over to me to "share my concerns" (I do hate this part).

I went over what was said in class that day.

I told her how she singled him out and how she made him feel.

I told her not ONLY did she do this to a child, but she took a child whom has been documented to have anxiety and low self esteem due to all that he has been forced to deal with.

I told her she caused him more stress because ALL YEAR he has been getting himself and his friends in trouble for being late.

I told her she embarrassed him in front of ALL his classmates and made him feel more different and alone than he already does. For something that he has no choice of. Something that he can NEVER change.

I told her how UNACCEPTABLE this is.

I told her how I WISH he didn't have to take injections and poke his sore fingers.

I asked her what would happen if Justin came to her in the middle of class and told her he didn't feel well? I asked her how I know he would be sent to check?

OR WORSE!! What happens if he doesn't tell you? What if, because of your behavior, Justin doesn't come to you? What if he waits 10 more minutes? What if that 10 minutes is to long? What then?

She tried to sell us this lightened version of her comments to the kids, but the principal chimed in with a students statement from an interview.

Hearing it out load made my blood pressure rise all the more.

I read this line out of the Code of Ethics: "Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement".

I told her that among others... she violated this part of the code of ethics. She cause a child embarrassment and emotional stress because of his medical disability. And that's unacceptable.

AND because she is known to retaliate with snide remarks...

I told her that if a comment is made to Justin or anyone one else about our meeting or my complaint that it will go WAY ABOVE anyone sitting in this room today. AND I would like to confirm that he will no longer be in trouble for being late to art on half days.

At some point after that she mentioned that she is going to "accommodate me". (UM you have no choice sunshine) The nurse and the Principal let her know that there is no "accommodation" necessary... that's just the way its going to be.

She said that since I didn't value art that it was fine for Justin to be 10 min late, but not the other 2 students. An adult from the office would need to walk him down. ~WHATEVER!

I then let her know... with tears in my eyes. I never said that art wasn't important. But having said that... I bet the families of the 3 children who have died in the last two weeks from this awful disease... would give ANYTHING for their child to miss 10 minutes of art right now.

I didn't have much else to day after that.


Meri said...

I went from, "YOU GO GIRL!" to, "OH NO SHE DIDN'T!" to, "OH HELL NO!" to, "GOOD!HELL!" to, "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!" to, "GO LORA! GO LORA! GO LORA! GO! GO!" to...tears.

I am so immensely proud of you! Standing up for our little guys ain't easy...but oh so worth it. You have won the Awesome Mom of the Month Award!!! I just made it up, but I still expect an acceptance speech at chat next Sunday...

(PS my kiddos get out of school an hour early every Wed. for said teacher planning. I wish it was Fridays...why Wed?)

Wendy said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT?????????????????????? This is crazy. CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!! I do hope that art teacher learned a thing or two....most notably not to mess with YOUR KID!


Unknown said...

THIS is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WRONG! I cannot even begin to imagine what this was like for you and Justin.

I was totally cheering you on as I read this. This Art Teacher clearly doesn't understand the nature of type 1 and she sure as hell doesn't understand the WRATH OF A don't mess with us! NUFF SAID!


LaLa said...

WOW! Lora, you did awesome. I am so proud of you!! I took lots of good notes. Justin is 1 lucky boy. You rock!

Jennifer said...

So proud of you! You always know just what to say. I agree with Meti!

Amanda said...

OH, that made me so mad. So, so mad. Where does she get off? I think you did a GREAT job!

Jessica said...

So proud of how you handled that! I cannot believe some people. What a lucky boy to have you fighting for him.

connie said...

OH BOY, OH BOY!!! I had a knot in my stomach the whole time I was reading this, I am so sad that your son had to go through that. This is one of my worst fears for my daughter, she is 4 years old and will be entering kindergarten in the fall. Our kids have to go through so much as it is with type 1 diabetes, the last thing they need is for ADULTS, supposed role models, to single them out and make them feel even more badly about a disease that has taken away so much of their childhood already, terrible!!!

I am so proud of how you stood your groung. I hope that she makes a strong effort to correct her bad attitude with your son. She could really use a lesson in compassion.

Kelly said...

Oh MAN! IM SO TICKED OFF! Heart broken! I'm SO sorry this all went on! ((HUGS))

Heidi / Jack's Pack said...

OMG! I can not believe that DAMN art teacher! I am sitting here in absolute disbelief. She obviously just doesn't get it. I studied art in college. I'm taking a graphic design class now. I love art. I love museums. I love that my children love their art classes in school. I love watching my kids with their crayons, clay and paints. But 10 minutes of art is NOT more important than my kids' health. Shame on her for not recognizing Justin's needs and shame on her for embarrassing him like that! I am so steamed by the way you were all treated. But I am so proud of you! Feel good about the way you handled this situation! Justin is a lucky little guy to have you as his mom!

Amy said...


Tammy said...

Wow. Danged glad I homeschool.

So sorry Justin had to go through that. I know how sometimes Joel is so self-conscious about being different. And you handled it fine! That teacher has a problem.

When I taught school I had a rule - never leave the room without permission. Unless you're about to barf and then you have automatic permission. Justin needs to have "automatic permission" to deal with his Type 1 stuff, even if you're the one to give it to him.

Donna said...

Lora - YOU ARE A ROCK STAR MOMMA!!!!!!!!!!
I am sooooooo proud of you! I hope and pray that if the day ever comes that I have to defend Jacob in such a way that I can do so JUST LIKE you did!
You GO, Momma!

AjsMommy82 said...

OMGosh!!! Her and Jada's teacher need to run off together, far far away and never come back!

Wendy said...

Oh OOHHH OH! I dont even know what to say!! Good for you Mama! You did awesome and handled it great!!!

Hallie Addington said...

Good Hell! I miss a day and look what happens! Do you need me to come down there and take her down? No, you don't- cuz you did an amazing, wonderful, perfect job!!!! But I'd do it! I would!

I don't think DAMN is too strong a word. That woman needs a swift kick. I can NOT believe ANYTHING she did or said. It sounds like she needs a new career because working with kids certainly isn't a good fit. She will go into my file of CRAPPY TEACHER stories that I share with our staff- and maybe her ignorance and horrid behavior can help others learn more about how NOT to act.

You should definitely win Mom of the Month award! Im so proud of you!!! She should win Worst Teacher Ever award! As a teacher, it makes me SICK to think of what she did.

I'm so sorry you all have had to go thru this. You rock- and tell that darling boy of yours that we love him and are sending him hugs from far away! Ave is still talking about her new friends!! She thought both of your kiddos were the best!!

Marc said...

Lora, I don't know what else to say - you are awesome, and Justin is one lucky son!

It's sad that we have to fight so hard for our kids to get even the basics at school. Right now in Ontario they are working to pass a law that mandates diabetic student's rights to unrestricted water and washroom access as well as unhindered self-management/treatment. This should be common sense, but the schools have proven that it needs to be law. It's hard enough, but with ignorant and uncaring teachers like Ms. Artsy-fartsy here, it's insane.

Luckily, many do care, but the unfortunate reality is there is more than one like her.

You are a great example to others. I have no doubt that your family is extremely proud of you!

Shamae (Ghost written by Loren her hubby) said...

Wow! My blood is BOILING!! What a dumb ass! Seriously! AHHHHH!!!! But you handled this situation w/ finess. Thanks for the example.

MomOfType1 said...

I'm with Meri--OH NO SHE DIDN'T!

Girrrrrrrl---OH MY GOODNESS. IF I KNEW WHERE YOU LIVED, I WOULD MARCH RIGHT DOWN THERE TO THAT SCHOOL RIGHT NOW. That's almost enough for a law suit. It's crazy how some people act like D is no big deal, and they don't have time to deal with it. This Mrs. Art Teacher needs a good beating by some of us fellow D moms.

**for the record, I'm all talk, I would NEVER beat anyone, but that makes me madder than mad.....

:) Tracie said...

You go girl! Good for you for sticking it to her. I'm very impressed with your ability to handle the situation...I would have been in tears the whole time. (I cry when I get frustrated)

Maybe next time in art class, they can all prick their fingers and use the blood to draw an abstract picture about diabetes. How's that for art appreciation?

snooty self absorbed unsympathetic bee-otch.

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