A Devastating Lesson


The single most powerful tool for winning a negotiation is the ability to get up and walk away from the table without a deal
Paul Gauguin

After months of negotiating with the school to try and find a way to get Chase’s accommodations followed through, I happened to stumble upon the quote above. The only thing this constant meeting with administrators is resulting in is a decline in my health and a dangerous spike in anxiety. I realize, there are some fights I will just never win and there are people who will lead me along and pretend to negotiate when the only change that will even come about is the loss of precious time. I gave it my best fight. I still am saddened and disturbed that teachers will stand against what would help their students succeed. I am devastated that a vice principal and head of special education in the school would suggest maybe his struggle is due to lack of effort or laziness. I am alarmed that this same man will accuse me of attacking teachers because I have the audacity to question them and call them out. I am physically ill that a school would protect teachers who break the law and knowingly choose not to comply with a 504 and try and bully me to try and make me go away. I am disgusted that the school does not look out for the best interest of my child. Who will protect him? In Chase’s case, the most tasking thing we asked for are the notes. How can a teacher refuse when it is in the accommodations and especially when there is no textbook for the class? I realize now, it is not about the kids at all but rather a battle of control. Who loses? The kids every single time. 

Each and every night I go to bed I say my prayers. I pray that our lives won’t be ripped apart anymore by the ridiculous demands of school. I pray the palpitations and panic will eventually slow until they come to a stop. My biggest prayer though is that all this constant stress on Chase doesn’t start to take its toll. I pray that a test grade will never define who he thinks he is. I pray his self esteem will not be damaged everytime he tells me he thinks he’s just stupid because no matter how hard he studies he can’t seem to do better than a D on a test. I pray that my heart won’t break in half each night as I watch him struggle at the table for hours to learn and complete his work. I pray for some peace of mind, body and spirit. Maybe, just maybe that quote is right. In this case, maybe the only way to win is to walk away from the table. It is only there where they hold the power.


36 thoughts on “A Devastating Lesson

  1. For me, this cartoon says it all. As a family that has been through what you have been through, I feel your pain. This sums up our western world flawed education system:

    Intelligence is not determined by a class grade. It makes me sad that he spends so much time learning. It is futile. There are other great things that he can be spending time on. I hope things get better soon.

    Those teachers sound AWFUL.

    Keep the faith. X

    Liked by 5 people

  2. All is not lost. My family has a history of reading problems, speech problems, and poor grades. As each of us got older -they scored higher than many other people (as adults). Some people bloom late, and your son may, as well. Never give up -passing is a D. If that is the best he can give you now -show him how proud you are of the effort he is placing before the world, and assure him that tomorrow is just around the corner. After all, Einstein was considered dumb. Let’s go out there and get them!


      • Have you looked into the ODLC? The Oklahoma Disability Law Center is a federally funded protection and advocacy system for those living in your state. They are the watchdogs for compliance – they have a program that started in 01 called PEApods. Partners in Education Advocacy.
        Lookup: peapods.us
        There are accommodation protocol links and resources for nonstandard accommodations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Check out TARC, partner agency with the Tulsa United Way, they advocate for those children with developmental issues or children with an IEP within the educational system by attending mtgs on the family’s behalf with teachers and school administrators. The name in the article we read was that of Family Support Coordinator Sherilyn Walton. The TARC website is:
        http://www.ddadvocacy.net or 918-582-8272.
        Do NOT give up! This is your son. He has a 504. They HAVE to abide by this. If they won’t, you HAVE to go over their heads. They may not like it. So fucking what! He won’t have to worry about self-esteem when he watches you fight for him. He will feel his worth when he realizes how much you show him he’s worth fighting for! DO NOT give in here. Piss on the principal and his crappy teachers. This is YOUR child. Fight for him!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am just tired and defeated tonight. I won’t give up. They added to the 504 that the counselor and vp must monitor for compliance so atleast that is “legally” included once we sign the new forms. I still have no stinking notes. He does terrible on the test every single time. Then we have to study all over again for him to take it once we have a better understanding of what’s on it. Why the secrecy? When he has a study guide he can prepare and do well. No book and no notes and no info=fail. All that time went in for nothing only to have to do it all over again. So much time and effort to feel defeated. Tomorrow will be a better day. It has to be. Thank you for the information and help. My wordpress family is so wonderful and supportive. I am truly grateful ❀️

        Liked by 1 person

      • We understand. Believe me. It’s a yearly thing, constant battle, and yes, exceptionally frustrating. Fatiguing? Yes. Necessary? Shouldn’t have to be. Essential to the adequate education of your child? Absolutely. Hang tough. You know where to find us. Be well.


  3. I am sorry you are going through this trouble. A few years ago my sister had an issue with her son as he was being bullied (I believe he was in grade 6 at the time and he was new to the school.) After several attempts at contacting the teachers, principal, and even going above the principal, nothing was done. So my sister took her son out of school and home schooled him for a year. After that he went to different school and never had a problem again. I don’t know if you are able to home school yourself, but I think it might help in different cases. Especially if you can help him build his self esteem and confidence. Then when he goes back to school, you may have found a way of teaching him to learn the way HE needs to learn. Unfortunately, the methods at school are usually the same for everyone, but not everyone learns the same way. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. the-reluctant-parent

    When I read about these kinds of things, it makes me sad and angry because the very people who are given the responsibility to teach our children are shirking that responsibility for their own convenience and laziness because they don’t want to follow the law. The fact that the administrators are supporting this kind of clearly illegal activity is even worse.

    I’m not sure what grad your son is in but I hope the school system hasn’t crushed his innate love of learning which I believe everyone is born with.

    The schools are more interested in getting the right scores and correct numbers back to the federal government so that they can get even more of our money and it has nothing to do with actually teaching the children anymore.

    From what you wrote, as heartbreaking as it must be to walk away, it seems that it was the right choice and to have to be put in a situation where that was the only option by the educational system in this country is perhaps the saddest thing of all.



    • I hope they haven’t crushed his love of learning either. He is so interested in knowing how everything works. Always asking so many questions. Slowly but surely he is getting turned off on school and to tell you the truth, so am I. It is a real shame. I think walking away is my only option. Going after them will make them come after me and thank goodness we only have a few more months lest in that school. It’s really taken a toll on the entire family and for what? Thank you for your encouragement and support. I always value what you have to say.


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