This is PART 2 of a series. Click here to read PART 1: Your child is an “issue”… Kade’s Story: A Series
As a parent the first time you leave your child in someone’s care you worry. It doesn’t matter if it’s at 6-weeks at daycare or at kindergarten on the first day of school. You are trusting that the child care providers, teachers, administrators, aids, and everyone else in that building are going to take care of your child. Keep them safe. Treat them with respect…
Kade was doing what any 3-year old would do when they can’t explain their feelings. He was acting out. Why did it get worse? Because the situation got worse. When the behaviorist went to view the classroom she pulled him out of the class and waited with him in the office until I could arrive. Her answer was simple, she would never put him back into that environment again.
What did she observe? Well, let’s start with the fact that the behaviorist was in the room and the teacher and aids all knew she was present, yet this still occurred.
– Bullying. Not by other students but by the teacher and aids.
– Mental abuse. By the teacher, aids, and other students.
– Physical abuse. The aids were physically holding Kade down in time out.
Seriously?! No wonder he hit the teacher. I would have slugged her if I saw that!!! And the behaviorist seemed concerned herself. She didn’t bother to wait to call or write up a report; she told me, in the office, that she would never put him back in that classroom. She continued to say that there would be no way to salvage the relationship or environment because it was apparent through the events that occurred that the teacher would never be able to view Kade as anything but a problem.
Let me just state again: These were the things the behaviorist viewed in just an hour’s time with the teacher and aids aware she was in the room. What did they do when no one was present?!?!?! It still makes my stomach turn to even think about it.
The behaviorist called me the next day to tell me what was going to be in the report and asked if I’d like a copy to go to the school. She explained that during the observation the teacher called Kade “bad” and students called him names including “the bad kid”. She also observed the teacher and aids rolling their eyes, being extremely condescending, and yelling in his face. Just typing that… really… I’m shaking… 4 years later. Of course I requested a copy to go to the school.
Obviously, Kade never went back. I blamed myself. I was the bad mother that created this “bad child” and put him in this horrible environment. It might sound harsh but it was exactly what I thought.
Since this was an extreme case that seemed specific to the teacher and school my husband and I decided we still wanted to try preschool. So, just two months after he started in that class, we pulled him out of the school and I kept him home until after the holidays. He would start a new private school in January.
So often we don’t realize the impact such a short amount of time can have and we just wait it out.
Two months… That’s how long he was in that class and it took two YEARS for him to forget.
Two years for him to stop asking me why they were so mean to him.
Two years for him to stop telling me he was a “bad kid”.
But the story doesn’t end there. A new school, even though there was no bullying, or mental or physical abuse, was not the answer. Next week I’ll continue Kade’s story.