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