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#1 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm having a major problem with the public school, and would like your thoughts. I'm sorry, this is very long, and I have a feeling I'll be doing some venting. I'm beyond livid, a little stunned, and pretty much at my wits end here. Consider yourselves warned.
Ariah started 7th grade this year at the public school. Before that I was homeschooling her. About a month ago her big toe got really infected. She didn't tell me about it and when I discovered it, her toe was disgusting. It's white and puffy and oozing puss. I immediatly took her into the doctor's office and they told us that it's an ingrown toe nail and she'll have to have part of her toe nail cut off. Ariah freaked out when they told her this, so the doctor gave us 3 weeks to try various ideas he had at home, and told me if it gets worse, to put her on an antibiotic. He said it most likely would NOT get better in that 3 week period of time, but she's welcome to try these things first.
So we do.
In the meantime, I write a detailed note to the gym teacher telling her what's up and that Ariah shouldn't do any running in class until the three week period is up.
Ariah comes home very upset and tells me multiple days that her gym teacher is basically sneering at her and making her run anyway. Despite my note. She then tells me that her gym teacher is basically harrassing her and she relays a story to me where she's late to class and rushing to get there. They gym teacher pulls her aside and tells her that if she can walk that fast to get to class then surely she can run in gym class. The teacher tells her that she is going to call our doctor and tell him that Ariah is NOT so sick that she can't participate.
OMG
I go into the school the next day and talk to the secretary and the principle about what's going on. They seem to be on my side and act like everything will be alright from there on out. They advise me to get a doctor's note and to also field all of this through the school nurse.
The next day I get a phone call from the principle telling me that he spoke to the gym teacher and she did nothing wrong. He verifies that she told Ariah she would call our doctor and tell him that she's not so injuried that she can't run. When I bring up how messed up that is, he tells me she within her rights to do so....I try to explain how she's a gym teacher, not a doctor and she hasn't even seen the toe she's diagnosing. He cuts me off and ends the conversation.
Fine.
I go and get the doctor's note and bring it in.
Only they are still making Ariah run.
And they are still harrassing her.
For instance, she brought her report card home and she's failing gym class.
I read the note the teacher wrote and it says "Ariah may not like to run, but it's part of our cirriculum.":
OMG.
The three weeks are about up, her toes a mess, so we go back to the doctor's office. This time we see a different doctor. He tells me that she should have been on an antibiotic and that her toe will heal if I'll put her on it. (The last dr. told me it cure the toe, but would prevent blood infection and to use the medicine if it got worse.) He claims she dosen't need her toe nail cut off-which is what we're there for.....deep sigh.
I go to pick up the antibiotic two days in a row and it's not called in. They also told her again not to run in gym, and wrote her an extension for her class. When we checked out, they forgot to give us the note.
There's a huge run around trying to pick up her medicine and THREE days later I'm finally able to get it. They just didn't call it in..........:
In the meantime, I call the school nurse and explain to her what's going on again. She's fine with everything until I mention the way Ariah is being treated. She got really snide with me and told me to basically not bring my shit to her. In so many words. I don't remember how she worded it. Something like "You've ALREADY brought this up with the principle...I don't see why you are telling ME this." That sort of thing.
OMG
But okay. She now knows that Ariah's got another note and should not be running. Should be fine right?
Except that Ariah comes home super upset again. She tells me that they made her run in gym.
And she tells me that they wouldn't let her call me. She finally got them to let her and she couldn't get ahold of me. To which her gym teacher and the nurse start insulting ME to my daughter. They tell her that I'm being neglegent with her toe by not having her on the antibiotic that was perscribed two days ago-even though I told them why she wasn't and that I was working my butt off to get her on it.
And they told her without the new doctor's note, she WOULD be running in gym.
Why won't they listen to ME as the parent and wait for the freaking note to be faxed? Among a million other things.......
My head is reeling.
I'm ready to send her in with a mini tape recorder and when they make her run, I think I may threaten to sue them.
What do you think?
And sorry this is so long.
I'm not even going to edit. I just need to dump and get your advise.


****longest post EVER.....:
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#2 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 07:47 PM
 
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I'd be tempted to keep her home from school altogether until the toe is healed. But then she's missing all her other classes needlessly. WTF didn't they just pull her out of gym class entirely until she was better?

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#3 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 07:47 PM
 
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Well it sounds like an issue you need to take to the head of the school district. Send copies of all the notes the doctor wrote (and your's if you have it) CERTIFIED MAIL WITH SIGNATURE REQUIRED. Carbon copy the teacher, principal , and the school nurse.

And get another doctors note stating clearly: ARIAH MAY NOT RUN . PERIOD. UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Make sure to state you are upset they are discriminating against someone with a disability. She should be given alternative course work to keep her grade from slipping. She can not participate in an activity because her doctor said so. Not because she is choosing not to. There is no way in hell I would accept a failing grade for PE. You should fight it.

Take it to the board. That is the Principals boss.
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#4 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 07:48 PM
 
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Ridiculous.

Go above all their heads directly to the district. Be THAT mom
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#5 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I honestly don't understand disrespecting a child like this.
They are making her miserable.
I also don't understand disrespecting the parent's instructions.
I also don't understand the school thinking they can overule our doctor.
WTF

Where I'm at with this is this:
I'm about ready to march my livid ass in there and tell them that Ari will be equipt with a tape recorder to record any conversation regarding her health and gym class.
Any violation of parental or doctors orders will result in a law suit.

What do you think?
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#6 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 07:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jillkuster View Post
I honestly don't understand disrespecting a child like this.
They are making her miserable.
I also don't understand disrespecting the parent's instructions.
I also don't understand the school thinking they can overule our doctor.
WTF
I went to public school and I can tell you they could give a crap about the parents wishes. The only way I was able to be exempted from anything was with a doctors note.

I think they think kids will do anything to get out of PE. And truth be told, I know I did.

But what they did was discriminatory and illegal (I am 97% sure).
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#7 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 07:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jillkuster View Post

Where I'm at with this is this:
I'm about ready to march my livid ass in there and tell them that Ari will be equipt with a tape recorder to record any conversation regarding her health and gym class.
Any violation of parental or doctors orders will result in a law suit.

What do you think?
No. Don't bother with them any more. Document everything by sending a recap of your conversation in writing. I would refuse to speak to any of them about the issue without a witness present (your witness not theirs). And GO TO THE SCHOOL BOARD!
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#8 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 07:56 PM
 
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Wow. I would be SUPER pissed. I am sorry you and your daughter are going through this.

I agree that you should make copies of everything, document everything that has happened and what has been said, and go to the principal and superintendent.

I would go there tomorrow morning with your daughter, go straight to the principal's office, and tell the principal that you will not leave your daughter there if the (stupid) gym teacher is going to put your daughter's health at risk. Get the principal's word (on tape, if you wish!) that your daughter will not have to run or do anything that might hurt her toe.

Man. I'm sorry they're being such huge butts. Do not let this go!

Mom to dd (8), ds (6), and dd (1)

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#9 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 07:58 PM
 
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Wow, I'd be pissed too.

I don't think suing is your best first move. First, get a meeting with the gym teacher. So far everything you're hearing is third hand. Insist that you meet with this teacher ASAP.

Assuming that gets you nowhere, I'd tell the gym teacher, nurse, principal, whoever, that you want it IN WRITING that they know she is not supposed to run on doctor's orders and that they disagree with the doctors and believe she should run anyway. Odds are they won't want to put it in writing. I would also tell them in no uncertain terms that your daughter WILL NOT be running until the doctor approves. (I think I would tell my daughter to walk out of class if the teacher tries to make her run or makes fun of her. They can't force her to do it or to sit and take the abuse.) I would also see if you can get statements from other students or their parents who may have witnessed the teacher harassing her. If you do get it in writing, you shoot it right up the school "chain of command" -- superintendent, etc. Copies of your letters, copies of doctor's notes, copies of the principal's and/or gym teacher's letters.

Sorry your DD is having to deal with a power-tripping teacher. :
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#10 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 07:58 PM
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Get a doctor's note in there as soon as you can. Sorry they won't work with you!

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#11 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 07:58 PM
 
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Okay- you need a lawyer. Like yesterday. A letter from a lawyer (in loverly threatening lawyer- language) often does the trick with schools when nothing else works.

Is pulling her out an option? How about arranging for her to be ELSEWHERE during gym? Sit in another class? In the office doing homework? Anything?

good luck!

-Angela
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#12 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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Oh yeah- tell her to walk out if they ask her to run Go straight to the office. Don't ask permission.

good luck!

-Angela
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#13 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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Okay- you need a lawyer. Like yesterday. A letter from a lawyer (in loverly threatening lawyer- language) often does the trick with schools when nothing else works.

Is pulling her out an option? How about arranging for her to be ELSEWHERE during gym? Sit in another class? In the office doing homework? Anything?

good luck!

-Angela
Good call!

Usually a Lawyer will draft a simple letter for a couple hundred bucks.

And I would tell her she has permission to leave if they try forcing her to run again.

Can you give her your cell phone so she call call you (without having to ask the school to use their phone)?
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#14 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 08:05 PM
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Arrghh.
Obviously non of them have ever had an infected in grown toenail. It is absolute agony to walk and run on.
Man I would be totally pissed. I'd probably send in the doctors note and pull her out till her foot feels better.
That or turn up to "observe" PE each day.
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#15 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Arrghh.
Obviously non of them have ever had an infected in grown toenail. It is absolute agony to walk and run on.
Man I would be totally pissed. I'd probably send in the doctors note and pull her out till her foot feels better.
That or turn up to "observe" PE each day.


That or turn up to "observe" PE each day.[/
What a good idea. (me and ezra-18 months......deep sigh.)
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#16 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 08:12 PM
 
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That or turn up to "observe" PE each day.[/
What a good idea. (me and ezra-18 months......deep sigh.)
Even BETTER!

Nothing like a toddler to make it obvious you're being watched

-Angela
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#17 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 08:38 PM
 
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That is absolutely insane! I agree with Angela and get a lawyer to draft up a letter. Send to the school peoples and the school board.

I think I would have asked the doctor to prescribe some sort of foot device (like those toeless velcro shoes that some people wear when there foot or ankle is sprained) so her toes wouldn't be squished in a shoe.

But then Ariah might be embarrassed about that.
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#18 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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I have to say that this is very common. Schools aren't "required" to oblige by your wishes, so therefore they don't. There are some great teachers that will try like heck, however the majority just aren't willing or able. Especially gym. Tell your DD that she will in no way be introuble by you if she doesn't participate, and that she is to tell teacher that she isn't allowed she has a Dr's note. Also DEMAND that the gym class give her replacement work for the time she cannot participate. When I was in school we would have to write a "sports" or "health" essay for every day we missed. No kidding!

Also I would start calling the office every day that she has gym, and reminding them that she cannot participate. Send a note reminding gym teach that she cannot participate.

From my own experience, an ingrown toenail will not heal with antibiotics. My sister had one, and they like you tried everything but it required removal. I would make another appointment with the first dr. just to "check" and tell the Dr. the kind of crap that she is going through at the school. See what he says, some dr's will call the school if they need to, or draft a letter. Don't let you DD deal with this.

You could come to school every time she has gym and pull her out of class for "treatment" of her toe- bring some water and salt and let her soak her toe- it may make it feel better the rest of the day!

I really hope that your DD starts to feel better soon.

Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

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#19 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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It is past time to get someone at the Board of Education involved. You should go in person, preferably with an appointment and have a written succinct synopsis with comments from all parties involved with you. Then you should make clear that this will be cleared up by the next school day or you will involve an attorney immediately. And then do so! Make it clear to the principle that if you even get a hint of smarmy, snarky negative comments from your daughter once this is settled that the legal option will come back on the table. Personally I would tell my daughter they can't MAKE her run and that she should simply refuse until you have been called for permission every single gym period. And if anyone attempts to "make" her physically, I would be calling the police and pressing charges for assault. There is absolutely no excuse for any of the last few weeks. And people wonder why we homeschool :!

I used to teach public school and I saw too much of this crap personally. That is why I got out of the system and have not let my four children near her.
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#20 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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WOW.

I am a public school teacher, and in the several schools I have taught in, dr.s notes were always respected. In fact, my most recent school also honored mother's notes about injuries that didn't warrent a dr.'s visit but were still painful. Of course, kids tried to take advantage. But the school's job is to sort out who is serious and who is faking, and a quick phone call to mom at work usually sorted out the fakers.

That's where you come in--let them know you are serious. You and your lawyer have an excellent case here.

Mommy to DD 5-07
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#21 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 09:11 PM
 
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I believe mentioning to the nurse that the nurse is practicing outside the scope of her license by telling Ariah that she is fine and physically able to run would be about enough to put the brakes on this. No nurse wants to hear those words or that you know those words. She can not make a determination about your daughter's treatment for the toe or for that matter override your doctor's order. She may think she can but your physician needs to put her in her place. Oh, and I highly doubt that the gym teacher has any sort of permission to call your doc and discuss ANYTHING related to your daughter and her health info so tell her to piss off, too.
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#22 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 09:25 PM
 
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Very good point above -- I don't think the doc can legally talk to the teacher anyway, privacy rights and all that.
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#23 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 09:58 PM
 
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At the middle school where I teach, a child will only be excused from gym with a doctor's note. However, if any child showed the gym teacher their toe, they'd send her to the nurse's office till they figured out what was going on. Are they sadistic? Have they seen the toe? I'd go to the prinicpal's boss, which here would be the superintentent.

Oh, and students who can't run usually walk and if they can't walk, they do some worksheet on health, drugs, etc.
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#24 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 10:15 PM
 
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When I bring up how messed up that is, he tells me she within her rights to do so....I try to explain how she's a gym teacher, not a doctor and she hasn't even seen the toe she's diagnosing. He cuts me off and ends the conversation.
No, actually, she is NOT within her rights to do that. Since when do TEACHERS have a right to students' confidential medical information? What the hell planet are these people on?

I'd be inclined to get a lawyer. These people are not rational.
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#25 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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I went to public school and I can tell you they could give a crap about the parents wishes. The only way I was able to be exempted from anything was with a doctors note.

I think they think kids will do anything to get out of PE. And truth be told, I know I did.

But what they did was discriminatory and illegal (I am 97% sure).
not only that but they'll outright lie to parents and students..So many gym teachers are on power trips, I don't get it..
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#26 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 10:33 PM
 
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Oh for goodness sake. Don't they have better things to do? I don't think I'd sue, but I'd definitely be making an appointment with the school district headquarters if the school principal is blowing it off. Seriously, I am a teacher and there are much better things to worry about than some student's toe and their participation (or lack of) in gym class.

What part of the day does she have gym? If it's beginning or end I'd just check her in late or check her out early until the matter is resolved. Not that you should have to do that, but if the gym teacher is giving her that much crap it might be worth it.

A supportive military wife and mama to my busy boy and sweet girl.
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#27 of 62 Old 10-25-2007, 11:07 PM
 
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Don't, don't, don't bring a tape recorder! That will give them ammo to say it is a frivolous/money seeking/you're just crazy lawsuit. Or to counter sue. I KNOW you are in the right, but I could see them tap dancing around a tape recorder, making YOU look bad. Skip that, IMO. Have a lawyer walk right in and lay it straight. That will make them wet their pants! I am a public school teacher, and believe me, suing a school can be tricky. Have you considered taking your daughter out of public school? They don't deserve her, I'll bet. If she is wonderful for the other teachers, you can point out that she's not a trouble student, so what's her motivation to be a pain about this? And doctor's notes are LAW in my district. We wouldn't dare ignore one. If a doctor to the time to write it, who are we to question it? Shocking, shocking, shocking!
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#28 of 62 Old 10-26-2007, 12:30 AM
 
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Just because your DD DID run on her injured toe (to get to class), doesn't mean she SHOULD run on her injured toe (for gym). It's that simple, and for the school not to be able to see the difference is beyond ridiculous. Where the hell is their common sense?

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#29 of 62 Old 10-26-2007, 12:47 AM
 
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Part of the problem may be that your DD's health issue is invisible to the administration. Unlike if her arm was in a sling or something. Why not take a picture of her toe and show it to them?

There's no question their approach is pretty awful, but is this really worth all that energy? And the cost of a lawyer? Before I went there, I'd make the injury apparent to them. If they continue to be difficult, then go for the gusto.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#30 of 62 Old 10-26-2007, 04:05 AM
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So, are there any updates on this today?

I have to say, I am currently dealing with an infected ingrown toenail on my big toe...and it hurts so badly that it makes me cry. I don't know why the doctor would suggest it should not be cut out because the thing with the ingrown nail and the antibiotics, etc. is that the antibiotic will kill the infection, but the nail will still be "ingrown" and uncomfortable (at best).

I had to have this same toenail cut out a week before I gave birth (5 mos ago), and I was TERRIFIED of the pain, the numbing needles, the whole thing, but I can honestly say that there was nothing to it. There was a little pinch when they stuck the first local anesthetic needle, but after that, I felt nothing...and once the job was done and the anesthetic wore off, it still didn't hurt...and the relief of having the offending nail removed was like a miracle.

Sorry to get off on the tangent...just wanted you to have that info for your DD.

As for the school, all of the PPs are absolutely right about calling the superintendent and board of ed. Write a letter explaining the entire situation, send it certified mail, and in the meantime, make an appointment with the superintendent and sit down face to face and demand to know what will be done about this problem with the school.
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