Discrimination in School

I just came across a news report which is frankly shocking to me.

It’s a combination of ‘Survivor’ and systematized bullying in a kindergarten class.

In Morningside, FLA, a 5 year old boy who is in the process of being diagnosed with Autism, was ‘voted out’ of class by his classmates.
How a Kindergarten teacher could allow this to happen (and actually facilitate this) is mind boggling.

According to a news report (click here to see the original news story), kindergarten classmates of Alex where given a chance to say what they didn’t like about Alex. After expressing their dislikes (apparently to Alex directly…), the teacher put Alex to a vote.

Unfortunately, Alex’s classmates voted 14-2 to kick him out of the class.

Alex’s mother picked him up – and won’t send him back to the school. She is reportedly considering legal action, and the school board is reportedly starting an investigation.

Although this story is about Autism/Asperger’s – I’ve written about it here on my ADD/ADHD blog for four reasons:

  1. Some of my readers are concerned about Autism Spectrum Disorders
  2. Often kids with ADD/ADHD are teased, bullied and isolated socially – so the same issues apply
  3. I am an advocate for all of child’s (and adult’s) mental health – so if I can help to bring awareness and stop ignorance in any way – I will use this blog to do so…
  4. If I don’t stand up against discrimination when it arises, then I feel that I am condoning it. There is no way I can do that with this one…

I just find this outrageous.
For all of the advocacy work that many of us do – for something like this to happen in 2008 (or any time!) is completely unacceptable.

I want to think that this is an anomaly.
I want to believe that there aren’t other teachers who are using the model developed by reality TV (i.e. vote a student ‘off the island’ like on Survivor) to allow their students to humiliate and bully the most vulnerable in their classes.

Beyond this, I’m finding myself at a loss for words…

What do you think?
Is this an isolated incident?
What can we do to prevent anything like this happening again?

Please enter your thoughts and comments in the space below.

Dr. Kenny

[tags]Autism, Aspergers, ADD, ADHD, School, bully, bullying, Reality TV[/tags]

ADDENDUM:
I’ve just found this video from CNN about this issue.
Here it is:

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Comments

  1. My 15 year old son was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was 13 years old. The symptoms – of course – were always there. However, 10 years ago the knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders was not.

    Like this boy, he was bullied and excluded as a young child because he was so very different. The administrators at his elementary school told us repeatedly that “he brings it (the bullying) on himself” because “he just doesn’t fit in.”

    I cannot tell you how my heart aches for this child and for the parents and how badly I want to talk (not so nicely) to this teacher. She should not be teaching.

    • hi dana i am 15 years old and i have autism i know what your son must be feeling it stinks to know that the school board does not do any thing about discrimination hate and bullying. i think that all the people that get bullyeld should ban to gether to stop it if you belive in it you should start a rally thanks! for reading my comment. :)

  2. My 12 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD and PDD (Asperger’s) just a week ago. As in many cases the signs were there for some time (that I can now recognize as signs…). His experiences at school were terrible. We changed schools few times to escape the students and, unfortunately, the teachers also. He was bullied a lot, and the same as in Dana’s case the teachers were telling us that he brings on upon himself.
    At one of the schools, the principal herself, set my son down (I was on my way to see him after he “misbehaved” again…) and told him that he will grow up to be a CRIMINAL if he continues being the way he is. My son was 7 years old then… I was horrified. And i do not think that was the first time she said that. Apparently she had a lot of conversations with him behind the closed doors without me or his dad around…
    I did contact the superintendent of the school, Toronto School Board worker, the principle “calmed down” a bit, I still changed schools. And couple of years later I changed the school board…

  3. I am the parent of a 13 year old son. He is a kind, gentle, lving, funny sensitive, witty, and intuitive boy who also has ADHD. He sees the world in a very different way, and has strengths that I admire, as well as other characteristics that I worry about. My son, though wonderful in many ways, does not fit into the one-size-fits all education system that we have too long accepted. I get calls from school all the time…little things….he talked during class, didn;t finish his work, was uncooperative, lost his materials, was late for class…..the list of minor infractions is endless. I want to scream from the top of my lungs, “HE HAS ADHD…WHAT PART OF THIS SURPRISES YOU?” Then to add insult to injury…unmedicated my son is extremely impulsive and highly distractable (and that is a true understatement). He attended school on his medication and also gets a dose during school. This allows him some added impulsive control and focusing ability…which he absolutely needs to approximate survival in school. Well….once home I do not give him his evening meds, as he struggles to fall alseep. Without sleep his medication does not seem affective, and he is an absolute mess, I choose sleep for him at night verses a third dose of meds. Given this, you can only imagine the challenges I face with homework. The quantity is ridiculous for students who excel academically….but for my son…..well, let’s put it this way, the earliest I’ve gone to bed and put him to bes since school began is 10:15pm. When he comes home from school he has a snack and unwinds until I get home from work, then I say a quick hello, survey the homework and/or other circumstances of all of the children, make dinner and begin to simultaneously work with my son. We break to eat, and I clean up, then back to work……typically until 10-10:30ish…then bed. What a life right? All of this time is spent organizing, explaining, reteaching, and rephrasing….oh, and arguing. I love my son, and would much rather take a walk around the pond with him. Homework is ruining our life. It is an unrealistic expectation to believe that an unmedicated 13 year old boy with ADHD can put in 6 hrs everyday doing something he hates and feels unsuccessful at, and then come home to a place that exists as his safe haven…only to do three more hours of the very thing that makes him feel like a worthless failure. What is wrong with this picture? And more importantly…..what can I do to end the madness? I am in education myself…..and can not understand how teachers can load kids up with what they should be teaching them. It is destructive to families when this much of their time together consists of homework. I need suggestions, help, feedback….something. My son is too important, too wonderful, and has too many gifts to be completely striped of his self-worth by some generic education system that is too blind to see the gifts he can bring to the world. I know my son will do well in life, if school doesn’t kill his spirit first.
    I think it is discrimination to hold a child such as my son as a homework hostage.
    Help the Worried Mom…PLEASE

    • Reading this brought tears to my eyes because right now I am going through the SAME EXACT THING with my 14 year old son. His principal stated my son is “another juvenile delinquent”, went as far as calling him stupid even threatened my son who has ADHD and ALL paper work (504,etc) is on record. My son was doing so good until this incident and has had a major emotional set back. I have noticed many people feel ADHD is over diagnosed and state parents use this diagnosis as “just an excuse” for a child with behavior and emotional issues. This is all just mess. I hope your son is well!

      Sharlyn

      • Sharlyn,
        My son is now 17 years old, and 4 years have passed since I wrote the post you replied to. I am thrilled to report that Sean just received his report card yesterday and earned an 81 average. He takes regents classes and is on target to graduate on time with a regents diploma. He is interested in entering the military (which has it’s own complications given he takes mediation). While the past 4 years have been challenging beyond what I could have imagined….I can say now…he was worth every tear, sleepless night, gray hair, and even divorce. Sean found a talent in music and drama that he decided to pursue in school. He found his niche…it wasn’t easy, but he found it. I also continued to advocate ferociously for Sean to have modifications that allowed the educational playing field to be equitable for him. I think that today he feels some degree of success in school….it still remains a place where his talents are no showcased, but at least he recognizes that he has some talents. All of these state tests and increase in standards are making kids and families crazy. When will the world of education stop trying to make everyone the same and step back and recognize the beauty and wisdom in fostering the development of children’s very unique talents and skill sets? I guess when we as parents stand up and say….these tests and assessments are discriminatory and we do not value them for all children. If I didn’t have a full time job I would get involved in a parent advocacy group. Keep the faith….talk honestly to the school about the impact this is having on your son an your family…don’t be afraid to demand fairness for him….and NEVER EVER give up on him. You will be posting a similar post in a few more years. Put your head down adn get through this….it was the most difficult phase for Sean and I….but we made it (and you and your son will too).
        Kelly

  4. Hi,
    I’m sorry to hear about your situation.
    Here are a few thoughts:
    1) Medicine ideas: a) maybe a non-stimulant like strattera could make a difference with concentration, and not cause insomnia; b) maybe one of the long acting stimulants will last into the evening without causing insomnia; c) maybe a natural remedy like Melatonin will help with his sleep; d) maybe a medicine like clonidine or guanfacine (tenex) will help with sleep. Obviously talk to your doctor.
    However – medicines are by no means the only answer here.
    2) Education: is there a way to get him an IEP – i.e. individual education plan so that the school helps out to accomodate his differences, or even modifies the expecations?
    3) Is there a different school/program he can go into?
    4) Have you considered home schooling as an option?
    Best,
    Dr. Kenny

  5. Oh I hear you. My son has the same thing going onat school. When are the teachers goind to get some training on helping our kids instead of hurting them. My son was originally diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, and anxiety three years ago. No meds really seemed to help for long and I think we tried them all. He was just recently rediagnosed with ASD highfunctioning and sensory defensiveness. He is currently on vyvance and celexa which he was on before the rediagnosis but these are not working real well either so we will probably switch again and any help on that would be appreciated. We have given him melatonin for sleep which works well.

  6. I will like to know is it discrimanating that my son gets ask every morning if he took he’s medication by the teacher and principal. just because he talks or moves to much in the school, it is fear that he is not aloud to go to a field trip because he didn’t take he medication that day whit out any call or comunication from school ?????? (Medication is given only on week days per Dr. request because of weigh lost and other issue.

  7. HI. My daughter is 9 years old and was diagnosed with ADHD about 3 years ago and it seems every year we have issues with bullying and the teachers never do anything about it. They just say she has ADHD and blow it off. This year we are having a terrible time and would like to know some suggestions on who we could contact to help us out. The teacher is the main issue this year, we had a conference today with the principle and shortly after her teacher and assistant principle told my daughter she was lying about the complaints we made.

  8. After listening to these people that have spoken about the way they evaluate kids with disabilities, it hurts me. I understand the challenges of how public school teachers have to deal with ADD, ADHD students!!! I personally think that there are way better methods of teaching participants that have these diagnoses a certain way of discipline comfortably to them, even if it requires accommodation’s. I’ve experienced it. I’m a strong believer in kids with all sorts of disabilities, no matter what background they were raised in should participate inclusively with participates that don’t have disabilities in school and everywhere else. Everyone racially should be reveled in the public. I personally believe in a system where in schools they should focus more on enforcing policy on teachers and students respecting each other not matter what racial background they come from if they’re different, skin color, religion, gay, diagnosed, disabled, sex, etc. IF not there should be consequences in a way where people can learn from their mistakes. Its no different than a workplace environment where people respect each other. When I was very little I was diagnosed with Autism, but I grow out of it. I’m not Autistic anymore and have adapted in reality. I faced a heck load of discrimination in my school life. I’m diagnosed with ADD. I was kicked out of my first elementary school, because of my behaver, even though felt very conferable there by teachers and friends, the Principle wanted me to leave, because I moved into a new neighborhood. Then I was transfered to a different elememtary school. I was teased, bullied, treated differently by teachers, and especially the principle. I alway had to sit by my Aid. and acquire and Aid to follow me around recess . I was really embarrassed and aggravated. I didn’t do well academically. So I took my frustration out on teachers and ran away many times even swear at them. After a couple years and a half, my parents wrote a letter to the City Board of Education complaining how I was irrationally treated there. All I wanted was to be treated like everyone else and accommodate me on my needs, in a way where I feel treated normally. So then the city board payed for me to go to this private school for kids with learning disabilities. I went there throughout grade 6 to grade 8. They had a great system for teaching students and I didn’t have any helpers, but was treated by teachers like everyone else. I did well. I won some achievements in academics, and sports. I also volunteered to coach elementary kids in junior high to play soccer. I made some a few friends. But I still felt very isolated from over kids. I was made fun of and was mostly a loner. scapegoated and i was the least popular. I made me feel tormented. I lost confidence in making friends there and it affected me socially in other places besides school What really ticks me off is that I was treated like I was stupid. So I stayed until grade 8 and left to a normal public Junior High. I made a few friends, and managed to get through it. It was a lot better for me. I learn a few organizational skills from that private school. I got through grade 9. I got through in High School and Graduated. When I was in High School, I also participated in Tai Kown Doe and I still do. I won some medals, like Gold in Sparing a city tournament and a provincial tournament. I also was other medals like Bronze and Silver. In High It was still difficult for me. I had a math 10 teacher, who didn’t want to even bother working with me seek knowledge of how to solve certain math problem, because he expected me to know everything from Grade 9, but I didn’t remember everything and I still did well enough back then even though I completed the Grade 9 math. So he made me drop out of his class to take the math 14-24 route which was the lower level of math. I manage to Graduate High School on time and now I’m working and planning to go to college soon. Sometimes in High School I experience bullying and some of my teachers didn’t do anything about even thought I reported it, because they wanted to see it with their own eyes. I over came many struggles in my life. Even though I had ADD, I felt like a normal person. Now I have lots of friends outside of school and from travel experience. From my experience there has been so many ways of people being treated equally and with accommodations for their rights. I have experiences teacher in Junior High and High School which where astounding to me and made me feel so comfortable learning from them and some that were good teachers to me. They are so many ways and ideas out there for the education system to research about schools dealing with kids with disabilities to make them feel accepted like everyone else should be. Throughout generation, we been advancing and updating throughout civil rights, like Martin Luther King Sr. and Jr. advocating for black people. Back in historic times woman where not treated equally. They were not allowed to go to schools and have jobs, but only work at homes for the rest of their lives. Now in our century they can do that. Today is problem still arises out in certain parts of this world. Jews where persecuted and have been fight to sustain their beliefs for 5000 years and is still going on today are in certain parts of the world. Natives are getting more individual rights from the government and getting portion of land back to them. They were treated in a brutal hospitality by teachers up until around the 60s. Gay Rights has been recognizedly obtained during the late 70sn, there are problems with Mental Institutions, and etc. There is so much we can do to make this world so much better, a certainly with people with autism, ADD, ADHD, and other disabilities and mental health. Me and My sister is an involve in an activist for woman rights homosexual, trans genders, etc which I strongly support. My older brother, older sisters and parents has been very supportive of me. Thank you for reading my post! Sorry if it was a bit long, but I just needed to clarify my feelings about this issue this and also share my personal experiences with you. If have any questions, comments, replies and anything to say, please keep me posted, and I can also be reached at my email hardegghead@gmail.com.

  9. My 7 yo daughter was diagnosed with ADHD. The therapist told me to have tell the school so they can make the appropriate accomodations. I went to the office and told the office assistant that I needed to turn in some paperwork regarding my child’s ADHD diagnosis, and she directed me to take it to her teacher. I went to the classroom and gave told the teacher the diagnosis, her response was that she was not shocked at all and was expecting it. She said she would submit a request for the school to test my child. My belief is that if it was such a concern she should have addressed it earlier in the year, as now my child is facing possible retention. My first question is, how long do they have to verify her ADHD? Is there a time limit for them to act? Also, after the discussion with the teacher, there was an outbreak of lice in the school. My daughter was sent home and we treated her for it, when we tried to return her to school, they sent her back a few times, for nits, although we searched her entire head and there were none. The nurse insists that my child has lice, but only found 1 bug and a couple nits in her head, and we took care of it. Every morning, she inspects my daughters head and is very rude, questioning us and trying to find an excuse to send her home. My daughter complained of a toothache two days in a row, so my husband took the day off to take her to the dentist. She is on antibiotics for 2 weeks before she gets the work done. I took the nurse copies of the prescriptions, and told her it was all being taken care of, and today childrens services shows up at my house because the school called them that i neglect my child. I spoke to the worker and she said that she interviewed my child and that everything was fine since I was taking care of the issues, but I dont understand why the nurse called them after we are out of the lice issue and are waiting for dental work. What should i do? Should I address this with the principal or the school district? Because she is in one of the “best schools” in the district, i feel like they dont want to accomodate her ADHD and just want to frustrate me so i can pull her out of there. What are my options at this point? please help me as I am lost and frankly very afraid of what is going to happen with my child. Can i question why I have not heard anything about her ADHD?? Please advise me as to how to handle this as I dont want to do anything to jeopardize my child or her rights in any way. Thank you.

  10. I’m afraid there are still problems out there with discrimination against ADHD and i’m sure other disabilities. I have been fight for my son who is now 9 since kindergarten. They’ve not accomodated his with his needs and have mistreated him. The latest was the teacher saying “your mom’s not here to protect you now”. And one of the latest accommodations was a monitoring tool, which my son is supposed to rate himself on how well he focused that day. This to me seems inappropriate and discrimnatory as they are making him rate himself on his disability. What kind of measure is that? We don’t rate people with physical disabilities. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this. And the teachers from what I’m seeing are just not trained to help the children or maybe it’s just too much effort. But I just can’t believe the ignorance that they think my child has control of this and can turn it off and on.

    • Linda, I believe the intention of this is to help him to reflect on his own behavior and functioning – which is a skill which needs to be developed in kids with ADD/ADHD. Its implementation may be problematic, but the concept is sound.

  11. Dear all,
    These stories of children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are absolutely appalling. Having been diagnosed with ADHD at the age of four, I was constantly bullied and socially isolated throughout my entire K-12 experience. Until high school I had: poor grades, uncaring teachers, and absolutely no friends (the latter extended into high school as well). I was often told by other children that I would amount to nothing and that I was a loser. How wrong they were! Parents, the best thing you can do for a child with ADHD/ADD (based on my experiences) is to give them your unwavering support as well as a sound social structure at home. When I look back on my time in K-12, I laugh. At the fine age of 20, I am now a junior at UC Davis and a successful university student at that! Most of the kids that teased me are either cretins or working at dead-end jobs back home (serves them right, too). Once again parents, SHOW YOUR CHILD UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and really push them hard to succeed. It meant the world to me, as it will to any ADHD/ADD child who “doesn’t fit in.”

  12. My son has AD/HD and was diagnosed when he was in 2nd grade. He is now in 6th grade. He was put on a 504 a couple years ago. He is only taken out of the classroom for big tests, such as the Benchmarks. For all other everyday testing, he is in the classroom with his peers. Here is my situation: Last week he was in his last class of the day taking a routine math test. He had been placed at the back of the room at the ‘bad table’, as it is known as, earlier in the class. After they had started the test, the principal walks in, talks to the teacher for a few minutes, then leaves the room. He re-enters the room approx. 5 minutes later (according to my son) and comes straight to my son’s desk and says “Is that all you have done since I’ve been gone??”. My son was very embarrassed that he had been pointed out to everyone that he wasn’t as far as the rest of the class on the test. I questioned my son about his behavior during the test, thinking that maybe he had been either posssibly talking or laughing or goofing off…anything that would require the principal to address him this way for being off task, etc….He assured me that he had not been doing any of that. He said the only thing he was doing was tapping his pencil and staring off, but as many of you know, kids with AD/HD tend to do that, especially when they are trying to focus!! I called the principal and retold the story, just as my son had told me, and as I have told it here. He asked how would I have handled it differently and I suggested he could have taken him out into the hall to speak with him…(then nobody would have had to know that it was because he wasn’t as far ahead as he ‘should’ be). The principal informed me that he disagreed with me and that if it would have been his own child he would have, and I quote, “jerked a knot in his tail”. I was appalled!! I asked him if any of his children had AD/HD and he said no. I told him that he had no idea then. He asked what I wanted him to do and I told him I feel it appropriate that he apologize for embarrasing my son. He flat out said he wasn’t going to do that. I told him that I would just have to take it to the school board then and he smugly said, “well you go ahead and call, any day of the week, any time of the day if that’s what you feel you need to do!” then without a hesitation, he said “you have a good day” and hung up on me!! I was IRATE to say the least. I feel my son was discriminated against in the most awful way in this situation. For one, to embarrass my child in this way when self esteem and confidence around ‘normal’ peers is already a factor for children with AD/HD and then to laugh smugly at me and be so defensive toward me for protecting my son and his rights! I feel so helpless right now just because I don’t know what to do! I DESPERATELY would like ANY advice on what to do now?? I won’t stop until something is done for the PRINCIPAL acting this way! I cannot believe someone in that position could act so unprofessional, innappropriate, and immature!! Where I am at this point is waiting for the school 504 coordinator to return my call. Thank you sooooo much in advance for ANY advice I can get in this matter.

    • MistyS, that is shocking and appalling. Such ignorance about ADD shouldn’t be there, especially in a school principal.
      Even without ADD, one would think that an educator would have some understanding that methods like that kind of confrontation don’t help.
      I would suggest that you need an ally on your side. Someone who can get through to the principal and educate him about ADD and how to support your son (and numerous other students in the school!) appropriately. Hopefully the 504 coordinator can help you out.
      Good luck.
      Please let us know how it goes.

  13. My son is 4 years old and has been diagnosed with ADHD. He has been unfairly targeted in his pre-school class. Whenever there is a problem between him and another child, he is always to blame by the teachers and I am often called to come pick him up early for his behavior. We are currently working with the CDU @ Children’s Hospital to find a medication that is effective and suitable for a child his age.

    I am having a hard time getting through to these teachers (or their superiors) who say they only have the other students well being in mind. Well what about my son’s well being? He is incredibly bright and does well in his school work when he is able to focus.

    I am looking for a resource that can help me with legal representation to make them understand. All they want to do is classify him as mentally ill. They have even tried to violate patient confidentiality by calling his doctors and attempting to gain information without permission. I am at a loss for what to do…

  14. I have a seven year old boy..his name is Steven he is a sweet and fun loving little boy. He was recently diagnosed in January with PDD and ADHD and I feel he as well has been part on mental abuse at school. He told me not to long ago that his teacher told him he would grow up to be a”BAD GUY” and I am constantly being called to school for school confrences about his so called bad behavior. I honestly am at my breaking point with this school district. I just feel like this is highly uncalled for and I just wish teachers would have more patience and be more understanding towards these special kids.

  15. MY SON IS 12 YEARS ON AND HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH ADHD WHEN HE WAS 9 YEARS OLD. WE LIVE IN A SMALL TOWN THERE FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS ALSO SMALL. ALL THROUGH HIS ELEMENTRY YEARS OF SCHOOL I WAS EITHER THERE FOR MEETINGS OR VISITING WITH THE PRINCIPL, ABOUT HIS BEHAVOR AT SCHOOL. THE TEACHERS WOULD BELITTLE HIM INFRONT OF THE OTHER STUDENTS EMBARRASS HIM TO THE POINT THAT HE DIDN’T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL IN THE MORNING. HE WOULD CRY EVERY DAY AND TELL ME THAT THE TEACHERS ARE MEAN TO HIM AND THAT THEY WOULD LET THE OTHER KIDS MAKE FUN OF HIM AND THEY NEVER DID ANY THING ABOUT IT. IT GOT TO THE POINT THAT HE WOULD NEVER DO HIS WORK AND THE TEACHERS WOULD SEPERATE HIM FROM THE OTHER STUDENTS OR MAKE HIM GO TO A CLASS ALL BY HIMSELF JUST TO DO HIS WORK. I TOOK A WEEK OFF WORK TO GO AND SIT WITH HIM AT SCHOOL BECAUSE I STARTED TO THINK THAT IT WAS REALLY MY SON. WHEN I WAS THERE THE TEACHERS WOULD BE SO NICE TO HIM AND HE LOVED IT. I RECALL ONE TIME THAT I WENT AN ARD MEETING AND THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER GAVE ME VOCHORS FOR BOYS RANCH. MY SON WOULD EVEN COME HOME AND TELL ME THAT SHE WOULD TELL HIM THAT HE WOULD REALLY LIKE IT THERE AND THAT IT HAD HORSES. KINDA LIKE BRIBBING HIM SO THAT HE WOULD WANT TO GO. THEY WOULD RECOMMEND ME PUTTING HIM ON MEDICATION. AN I TRYED SOME MEDICINES BUT FOUND THAT I DID NOT LIKE THAT HE WAS ALWAYS SICK WITH THEM. AS THE YEARS WENT BY HE IS NOW IN THE 5TH GRADE AND HAS BEEN SUSPENDED 8 TIMES DURING THE WHOLE SCHOOL YEAR. YES I KNOW THAT MY SON HAS ADHD. AND I MAKE IT A POINT NOT TO SHOW HIM THAT THIS IS HIS WEAKNESS. 4 WEEKS OF SCHOOL AND I HAVE HAD IT WITH THE SCHOOL. I CHECKED MY SON OUT OF SCHOOL AND SENT HIM TO A WHOLE DIFFRENT TOWN. I HAVE TO BE AWAY FROM MY SON BECAUSE I CAN NOT JUST GET UP AND LEAVE MY JOB. THIS MOVE HAS AFFECTED HIM AS FOR MYSELF,AND OTHERS. WHEN CHECKING IN THE OTHER SCHOOL THAT HE ENROLLED INTO THE PRICIPAL MADE IT POINT TO SPEAK WITH THE OTHER PRINCIPAL TO WARN THEM HOW MY SON WAS. BUT IF THEY ONLY KNEW THAT THINGS ARE GOING SO MUCH BETTER FOR HIM OVER HERE. HE LIKE SCHOOL NOW AND REALLY WANTS TO GO. THIS JUST SHOWS YOU HOW A SCHOOL CAN DISCRIMINATE AGAINST A CHILD WITH ADHD.

  16. My 7yr old has been diagnosed with ADHD for about 2yrs now. This has been the worst yeear ever for him and us as a whole.. Not only does he have adhd but also Encopresis. The elementary school he is attending has put him in garbage bags up to his neck, punished him for not paying attention. I understand that one but as a mother to him i know most times he cant help it.. then yesterday his teacher had the nerve to send me a note home saying “what part of no does he not understand” he wanted a chapter book and she said no and was being persistant. You do not talk to my child this way….

    I need help i dont know where to go or what to do about her and this school…

  17. An Important Question; if in adults we treat ADHD with medicine(concerta) Do you think that “creative” “out of the box” quality of the brain will get ordinary?

    Thanks!

    • Jan,
      That is a great question.
      Having worked with many people with ADD/ADHD – my experience is that it really depends on the individual. For some people, the creativity is still there, and now they can act on it. For some, they can focus better, but the ‘spark’ is less. I have to say that the vast majority of people have the first situation, and only a small percentage have the dulling of creativity.

      • I have been very creative my whole life. I was diagnosed with adult ADD 6 years ago after the birth of my son. I have been on meds for it ever since, and it hasn’t dampened my creativity one bit. I write for a living, and haven’t felt that the meds have diminished my flow or my skills. My son (also a very creative person) been diagnosed with ADHD, will begin meds this fall and I cannot wait to see how he responds to them. I hope that he feels the freedom of getting out of the mental quicksand that I did once I started my meds.

  18. Each of these stories mirror my sons story of having ADHD and of my story as a parent who is so fed up with a system that is suppose to be here to support and teach our children to grow into educated, productive adults. They support and teach allright, they support an environment in which kids who are “different” are treated as if they are nothing in society, they teach other kids how to bully, harrass and exclude those who don’t fit the norm. I just don’t understand how these so called educators can be so ignorant, intolerant, and just downright cruel to these children who never asked to be born this way. To top it off they then sit on their high and mighty perches in judgement of us parents who are doing everything humanly possible to help, nuture, and love these children into adulthood when their very disorder makes it so difficult to do. It’s not only the kids who are judged to be “less than.” To everyone else it must be that we are not doing our jobs, or it is something that we did during pregnancy, or we aren’t strict enough at home, or we are too strict, or we dont feed them right, or we must have done drugs, alcohol, or have poor diets, and the list goes on and on. I have now read thousands of articles from all levels of academia and the stories are always the same when it comes to kids and ADHD so how can it be that these teachers and educators and administrators who are supposed to be “Educated” people still be so very ignorant to this problem? How can they still be so unwilling to help these kids? How can they still just want to pump them full of medications that “destroy” their brains not help them? My own son is living a nightmare caused by a school system who has abused him in every sense of the word. He has been taunted, teased, bullied, harrassed, excluded, demeaned, & punished, repeatedly because of his ADHD. I want to pull him back out and homeschool him again but he is determined to stay there inorder to play his sports and participate in the programs that are his passion but I am afraid for him and his future if he continues to do so. We too have a lawsuit filed but only after years of naive thinking, thinking that these people, my collegues, would help him. Thinking and believing that surely these Educators couldn’t possibly do such harm to a child. Boy was I wrong. We must all speak out, we must let the world know of the damage being done to these bright, intelligent, creative, big-hearted kids. We must work to come up with a better way to educate them, to not succumb to “thee” system. Surely there is a better way! I am a huge proponet of homeschooling these kids but not everyone is in a postion to do that so we have to come up with a better way. We can’t let this happen to anymore of our kids. This is a huge problem that isn’t going to go away overnight but there has got to be a better way!!!!

  19. My husband, my 6 yr old and I made the decision today to start homeschooling. My son’s teachers seem exasperated with him – I’ve told him that he’s under the care of a ped neurologist, but it takes time to manage ADHD, anxiety and OCD. I’ve asked them to be patient with him, but it’s obvious that these disorders make them uncomfortable. My son feels it, too. He no longer looks forward to school, cries and begs to be allowed to stay home. His self esteem has gone into the toilet. I’m only getting criticism from the school, no offers of help or working with him. So I’m pulling him out of school Monday to start homeschooling. He’s excited about it :) He’ll be starting his ADD and anxiety meds this fall, and hopefully homeschooling will allow him to adjust to them and relax a bit. He’s such a sweet little boy, off the charts bright but his teachers have killed his joy of learning. I’d like to slap them all. It is discriminatory, for sure.

  20. my seven year old son is been having problems to concentrate in school,no fighting is just that he gets distracted very easy so they been having problems with him because of that,so they called me to have a teachers meeting and discus what we could do about this,it was myself and my son’s teacher and an few minutes later came the vice principal there he started complaining about my son but i felt as if he was referring to a criminal,he said that there’s was no more they could do about it and that it was so possible that my son need it medication,at that moment i told him that i already talked to a psychologist and that he has told me there were no need to give my son medication that he only need it therapy for his behavior,but still he keep complaining and then he said “WELL THERE HAD BEEN STUDIES THAT SHOW THAT SOME KIDS WHO LIVE IN HOUSING COMMUNITIES END UP BEEN BAD CITIZENS” that made me feel very very bad i am single mother trying to make a living for my 3 kids working full time trying my best to raise them.

  21. we just moved into a new area, my 5 year old son seems to be having troubles adapting to his new environment. His teacher has been sending home notes about how my son shows “no remorse” and is “smirking” behind her back and is “physical” with other students.. the other day we had a conference and the school is insistent that we as parents are not doing enough and that we need to enforce discipline at home.. Everyday he goes to before and after care.. the teachers there adore him and never have any issues with him. We bring this up that he can behave and control himself under the right circumstances but the teacher is dead set on stating that “she knows 5 year olds” and apparently our son is not a normal 5 year old. I have NEVER had issues like this come home before. He is hyper and often impulsive but he can be guided into doing things correctly. So now the school is pushing an ADHD diagnosis. He is 5 years old and every clinician has told me that it is not recommended to medically treat a 5 year old.. we discussed this with the school counselor, the principle and his teacher. The priciple is firm on stating that it has nothing to do with the teacher, his argument is that because the superintendent has his daughter in her class that there is nothing wrong with the teacher. Yesterday she called my cell 2 times and because she got my answering machine she called my husband and not being able to talk to us immediately decided to write an email about how appalled she was with my sons behavior and now he is not able to participate in the thanksgiving party they are having, it is important to mention that the two weeks before that he had been working very hard and stayed on green for good behavior. So now he will have to sit at the principle while the rest of his class has a party, the kids in his class don’t like him, a little girl even told him that she was upset that he hadn’t gone to black when he was behaving well. I really feel like this teacher is creating an environment that would force my son to behave negatively so she has justification for removing him or something. She is completely irrational and doesn’t listen to anything we have to say. I don’t understand how she can justify speaking to other adults in the way she does and i don’t understand the schools reaction when I bring up her unjust behavior. I could really use some help here, this is really starting to turn into an issue of discrimination against a 5 year old.

    • I empathize with your situation my 5 year old son has has just started a new school as well last december 2011. I knew adjusting to a new envioroment is not easy but his new school never gave my son a chance from day one I recieved behavoiral charts in his home work, several phone call about his disruptive behavoir, with in the first week he got suspended for allegitally hitting another child.I say allegitly because i asked what happened and the teacher said out of no where with out provoking him he just got up and hit a student. i know my son he has never had any violent behavoir at any childcare or school before. I set a meeting with the principle and staff to see what can be done to help my child adjust and what they are doing to structurly educate him. They told me they need me to give them permission to be evualated for indivisual education program and until i sign the form he would be placed on half days. so i wrote the emailed the board of education dfirector of my jurisdiction who then emailed the schools principles supervisor. which i gues struct a nerve becuase today again my son was suspended for hitiing a child five days ago inwhich i was never notified about until today. i beleive not every one in education is passionate about there profession and are simply collecting a check if your child is not a miniture mature adult wraped in the size of a five year old these so called educator will use the power of the pin to assinate defensless children characfters and make it appear the problem is the child when infact it is this poor educational system that does not care for our children or their future.

  22. I empathize with your situation my 5 year old son has has just started a new school as well last december 2011. I knew adjusting to a new envioroment is not easy but his new school never gave my son a chance from day one I recieved behavoiral charts in his home work, several phone call about his disruptive behavoir, with in the first week he got suspended for allegitally hitting another child.I say allegitly because i asked what happened and the teacher said out of no where with out provoking him he just got up and hit a student. i know my son he has never had any violent behavoir at any childcare or school before. I set a meeting with the principle and staff to see what can be done to help my child adjust and what they are doing to structurly educate him. They told me they need me to give them permission to be evualated for indivisual education program and until i sign the form he would be placed on half days. so i wrote the emailed the board of education dfirector of my jurisdiction who then emailed the schools principles supervisor. which i gues struct a nerve becuase today again my son was suspended for hitiing a child five days ago inwhich i was never notified about until today. i beleive not every one in education is passionate about there profession and are simply collecting a check if your child is not a miniture mature adult wraped in the size of a five year old these so called educator will use the power of the pin to assinate defensless children characfters and make it appear the problem is the child when infact it is this poor educational system that does not care for our children or their future.

    when are school going to focus on educating are children instead of ostrizing them and displining them for being children.

  23. Hi! I can relate to those stories and it’s so sad to treat our children like that.
    Is there any association for parents and children to cope this problems?
    Please help us!!!

  24. My son was bullied. My son was called a liar by the principal of the school after reporting the bullying. My son was threatened with a hammer to the face by the bully. My son’s LIFE then was threatened by the bully if any trouble came from reporting the issue. I was told by the chief of police that my son can get into trouble after reporting this issue to the police, as we feared for my sons life. My son failed 1 class and barely passed the others. The school refuses to provide any additional assistance for my sons grades or his protection. My son is currently on a 504. My son refuses to go to his current school anymore. My son refuses to go outside in our current home town anymore. My son is in fear.
    My son is a wonderful kid, nice and kind. He doesn’t deserve this, as future kids will not deserve it if the matter is allowed to continue. Justice should be served.
    ANOTHER MAJOR INCIDENT GETS SWEPT UNDER THE RUG BECAUSE NOBODY WILL HELP!
    My son is a victim of bullying. He has been physically and verbally abused for an extended period of time by at least 2 students within the Tri-County North School district. We finally reported this to school officials after finally getting to the route of the problem, as my son wasn’t willing to divulge much information about what was going on, as is the case with most bullying cases. Things had gotten so bad that I knew something had to be done.
    Prior to reporting the incident, we did know something was wrong. We went to the Preble County ESC for help. We followed up with phone calls to them. We received no help or assistance for my son. We then went to the Preble County Superintendent and the Ohio department of Education, also with no additional assistance provided to us.
    The bullying has gone on for so long it had escalated to the point that the morning after reporting it to school officials, one of the bullies threatened to hit my son in the face with a hammer, during first period, where there are hammers available to students. A witness (another student) to this confirmed the threat. They briefly spoke to this bully and returned him to class only to later make DEATH THREATS toward my son. When my son came home from school, he informed us that several kids came up to him and told him that the abuser said “I am going to kill him if I get in any kind of trouble over this” (referring to bullying him and the earlier incident). These witnesses were reported to school officials which confirmed the death threats.
    Throughout this whole ordeal, nobody saw or heard anything. As bad as it was, not a single school staff member heard anything. Not a single staff member saw anything. Not to mention, at one point though out the year, one of his teachers told him not to tattle. They expect the kids to speak up, tell someone when their being bullied, yet on the other hand, there told not to tattle. What kind of messages are our kids receiving from this school.
    We not only reported this one bully, we also reported another student that has, along with the other bully, been verbally and physically abusing him also. My son gave the principle the names of both of the students who have been bullying him for a prolonged period of time. The school informed me that for days they only had time to talk to 1 of the bullies. They would eventually get to the other one, they said.
    When my son was 1st called into the office, he said the principle called him a liar. The principle didn’t believe that the bullying was happening. I don’t feel he would have done anything about the bullying had my son not reported it as quickly as he did, and if there wasn’t witnesses to the death threats that immediately followed. This same principle told me he didn’t think the death threats meant anything. And when did the principle have time to speak to the 2nd bully, I don’t know. As of Wednesday morning when he called me on his cell phone because I sent an email to the high school secretary asking for any policies that the school had on bullying or harassment (he didn’t seem very happy with my request), he had not yet talked to the 2nd bully. He informed me at that time, he had already left the school and would be gone the rest of the day. At our meeting Thursday morning at 7:30 am, he had talked to the bully. I got to the school by 7:25 am, the principle was in the office when I arrived and the chief of police in his office. School starts at 7:30, so when did he talk to bully number 2. I don’t know.
    We did report it to the police, because of the death threats. According to the chief of police, the report would eventually be forwarded for possible prosecution of one of the bullies and my son. After reporting it to the chief of police, who came to the meeting that the high school principle set up with me and my son, he informed me that my son can also get into trouble for his part in this. His part? What did he do? Suffer for years! Become so distraught that he no longer wants to go to school or live because of the abuse and humiliation he has to put up with on a daily basis.
    Do you know why I reported this? My son had become so upset lately, his grades were going downhill, he didn’t want to do his homework, he had recent outburst which he stated “everyone at school hates me”, including his teachers, “no one likes me”, along with making reference to not wanting to be here(in this world) anymore. His world was ending, life was ending. Reasons to go on were few and far between. But of course, the high school principle found reasons to blame his home life. My son had informed him that he’s tired and worried about his dad. Yes, he is. Unfortunately I can’t take away the fact that his dad has a lot of medical issues that make us worry.
    The bully has already threatened my son’s life, not once, but twice in one day. What if he carries it out? I am afraid for my son. He is afraid for himself. He made it very clear to me, the high school principle and the chief of police, that he is afraid as soon as he steps outside the school doors. He has told me, he don’t even want to step outside at home because he is afraid a bully will be there. He also informed us that he don’t think the bullying will stop. He doesn’t feel as though the bully cares that he’s gotten into trouble, he will be back for more; to bully, harass, humiliate, torment and threaten again.
    During my meeting with the school principle and the chief of police, the principle informed me that the following morning, during first period, my son was laughing and carrying on with another student about this situation, more specifically, about the student getting suspended. The principle informed me that he needs to keep his mouth shut and not speak about the situation. When I asked him later (my son) what he was laughing about, he said it wasn’t about this situation because he was not knowledgeable of anything until 2nd period. So why is this principal once again trying to make my son into something he’s not? Why is he trying to blame my son for being a victim?
    There should be more that can be done. How can we take these threats lightly? Why is Tri-County North High School in Lewisburg, Ohio aloud to treat a bullying victim as if he committed a horrific crime himself instead of trying help him. My son said since reporting it, things at school has gotten worse. I don’t see how things could be worse, but that is how he feels. As sad as that is!
    I think this situation was not handled with any regard to my son’s well-being or safety. The situation was taken from bad to worse for him before very little was even done.

  25. OUR DAUGHTER HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED FOR YEARS WITH ADHD etal … SHE IS UNDER A 504 PLAN … BUT OUR DOCTOR IS TELLING US THAT THE SCHOOLS ARE NOT REQUIRED BY LAW (I.E. DISCRIMINATION) TO DO ANYTHING SPECIAL … OR TO DO IT “WELL” … SOMETIMES THEY COMPLY AND OTHER TIMES THEY DON’T WITH “PREARRANGED” CONCEPTS AND HANDLINGS … FOR FORGOTTEN HOMEWORK ETC … UNLESS THEY ( THE STUDENT) IS ACTUALLY ON AN IEP ???

    DOES ANYONE HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS ???

    SECONDLY, DOES ANYONE KNOW OF A NETWORK FOR ADHD LAWSUITS AGAINST SCHOOL DISTRICTS ???

  26. my heart goes out to those parents whose kids have problems ins school. I would like to put it out there that I have a daughter who has repeatedly suffered physical abuse in her class from a boy who has been diagnosed with ADHD. He has got an aid with him all the time. As much as you all feel sorry for yourselves and how your children are treated, please do consider the victims, be it physical violence or just constantly being interrupted while trying to learn.We go to an integrative school, so the nasty incidents tend to get swept under the rug. Sadly thinking about changing schools now.

  27. My situation? See everyone’s posts above. Solution? Is there one? Route toward resolution of some kind if not solution? Unknown. It doesn’t appear as though anyone really knows what to do, and kids like my son are routinely targeted at school by students and teachers alike without resolve. It doesn’t appear as though there are any real answers – just a lot of struggling families without anything beyond pure discussion stemming from desperation. Extremely disheartening.

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