Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Not in jail...YET!

So today was the big hearing at the juvenile detention center. It turned out to be a meeting with other parents as well from all over. The meeting was at 1:30, I got there at 12:45 with the hopes of explaining my case and getting out of there. Well I made it through security and learned the "welcome" desk was closed until 1:00pm. Some welcome they give you! So I stood in the 10x10 space between the metal detector and welcome desk. Then at 1:05 this boy, maybe 21, shows up at the desk who of course past judgment on me and said "Oh, your kid doesn't go to school" I wanted to say "none of your bees wax"... in adult words, but instead I said "no his absences where not recoded properly". I could tell by the level of his nose he didn't buy it and by his clothes and wrist flicks I could tell he was much better then me on the social scale. Anyways, I figured out the gold signs on the wall saying this way matched the color of my sign in sheet and figured I could follow the gold paper trail and find out where I was going. As I walked away the bright boy says "but I didn't tell you where to go" my reply "no need to, your amazing color coding gave it away" Not sure if crushed him by taking a way his one task of the day or thrilled him because someone respected the time and effort he put into color coding.

I found the room and the St. Paul schools rep was there with a print out of Ryan's absents. As I compared them to the emails I had that I had sent to the teacher there was only one that should have been excused that was marked unexcused but no matter what there were only 7 days (from our Disney trip) but the list said 14. When I asked why I was told "Oh, must be a computer glitch" gurrr whatever. I am here, I put $2.00 in the meter, once those two bucks are up I am out of here!

At 1:36 there were 6 parents each one bitching for their own reasons. "My kids had his tonsils out" My kid had H1N1" "my kid doesn't like to get out of bed and then misses the bus, and I don't have a car." I am not sending my kid when it there is that much snow, roads are bad, or it is below 0". By 1:45 I think we were up too about 20 and by 2:00 when it was over I think we had 24... humm wonder why they get their habits from?

Anyways, we were in a room that had a vent to the room next door that was doing a courtroom training. It was very interesting to listen to when I first got there but then just as our speaker started they were done for the day and made a ton of ruckus. So much so I can't tell you what the first 10 minutes where about between the loud noises and the newbies coming in.

Here are the basics.
1.K is optional but if you decide to register your child you have to follow the rules of 7 years and up.
2. Also if you sent your kid to 4K they must go to K.
3. If your child has "too many'' (no number was given) absents or unexcused absents you get turned into the system... which is why we are there.
4. If you need help getting your kid to school pick up the welfare packet at the door. Or go to a non-neighborhood school so you get free busing.

Now that you are "in the system" What does that mean?
you can never go back and start over. From grade k-12 you can go through the steps ONCE.
1. attend this meeting
2. attend a one on one meeting with the Ramsey county D.A.
3. first apprance before a judge for "education neglect"
      a. fine of 300.00 or
      b. 30 days in jail or
      c. Child protection involvement instantly
4. Child prtection brought in
5. child(ren) taken away

I left feeling very frustrated and like I needed to see someone at Como ASAP. I went right up to school and when I got to the office the lady  tried to call the truant officer but she didn't answer her phone so then she asked "who is your child and what grade?'' As soon as I said "Special Ed" she said "Oooooohhhhh you have to go down to the special ed office" THIS IS THE PROBLEM 2 offices, 2 sets of rules, and (as I learned) 2 different ways of taking attendance. So when I got to the special ed office I explained where I had just been and I showed the emails I had explaining the absents and then questioned how 7 days can be  14 unexcused absents and how 3 excused can be 6? Well because many kids in special ed have doctor appointments and some in the autism classes can't do full days of school  they do attendance like this: 8:05-8:20 tardy, 8:20-11:00 absent AM, 11:00-2:35 absent PM. So if you are out for a full sick day  it shows up as two days. BUT the truancy lady wouldn't know that because she isn't  to be having anything to do with special ed kids. We are NOT to be calling the main office hotline when Ryan is sick. We are to be calling the special ed office or E-MAILING THE TEACHER!!! Yes, just like I had been all along! Are you wondering how I stayed calm or left any of my hair in my head? ya... me too! Anyways she made all the changes, said she was sorry I had to go to the meeting but she couldn't change what "step" we were on. Then she said normally you have to have 20...yes 20 unexcused days to go to those meetings and if they know you were on vacation or had funerals they don't count them. So we have 7, from Disney but we got to go! I really think Lucky is tattooed on my ass and I just can't see it!

Overall I am still mad because we get to deal with this for another 13 years after this year. (Ryan is going main stream K next year) I also want a meeting with the asst. principal (principal is ESL, Hmong) because the way the truant officer talked to me was unacceptable. 

Hope you had a wonderful Tuesday!

1 comment: