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Kindergarten Roundup…..Kinda!

April 1, 2009

Last night was kindergarten roundup at Logan’s future school. Well, what was going to be his future school anyway…..

We live in a rather unique area for a lack of better terms. The school that Logan would have started going to in the fall was built just five years ago so it’s very nice, very modern and is just up the street from our house. Well within walking distance or a very very short car ride on rainy or very cold days. We live in a nice middle class neighborhood in a house that we really like and have friendly neighbors. Unfortunately, when you drive outside of our little neighborhood and into any other part of town it’s not nearly as “Leave It to Beaverish”. The rest of the neighborhoods in town are low to very low to downright poverty stricken neighborhoods.

Since there is only one school in town, all the kids go to the same school here in my neighborhood from kindergarten through the 8th grade. The high school is in another town close to us. We were warned about some of the children being “bad apples” by a teacher that teaches there who I just happened to have grown up with and is married to my best friend. The school itself is a wonderfully new modern learning facility but A LOT of the students are just “bad apples”. Ryan, our second youngest child has had many problems with many of his classmates since starting at this school 2 years ago when we moved here. He has been bullied in the classroom ending up with stitches, a kid picking a fight with him and stealing his coat and the police having to retrieve it from him, and the latest incident was a kid chucking an aerosol can at him the first day of Spring break hitting him in the head and me rushing him to the hospital to get staples in his head and the police having to be called once again.

My wife and I had ENOUGH! He is not going to finish junior high there and Logan is not going to step one foot into that school. My mother and father-in-law offered for us to use their address so that Ryan could finish this year at a different school with his cousin. Ryan was totally fine with the school switch and we were happy to see him going to a different school. This however required my mother and father-in-law to meet with the principal of the new school along with my wife and lie to the principal’s face so that he could switch schools. They told the principal that Ryan was moving in with my mother and father-in-law. They never asked why so it was never discussed. This of course made my in-laws quite nervous as well as my wife and I. Nobody likes to tell a lie, especially when the lie can get you into a lot of trouble. They had to sign a statement saying that Ryan was in fact living with them and that lying about it was against the law and punishable. Needless to say, I think that would make anyone nervous. Ryan will only be there for a very short time so it should be easy to “get away with”.

This new school was having their kindergarten roundup this evening. It’s a chance for the kids to see their classroom, meet their future teacher and parents to get acquainted with the school and the school’s policies. We took Logan to it and he seemed to really enjoy it and is VERY ready to start school. My wife told my mother and father-in-law about the roundup and they always go to things like this to be involved with the kids. My wife thought it was really “odd” when they didn’t show up. My wife was fully convinced they didn’t come because they are pretty nervous about lying to the school for the next 9 years about Logan living with them when he indeed does not.

My wife and I talked it over and have come to the conclusion that it’s just too much to ask of my mother and father-in-law. My wife will be a nervous wreck for the next nine years about the whole situation as will my mother-in-law. Honestly, it really is a long time and a lot to ask of them so we have changed our minds about sending him to that school.

So what to do? Well, we have decided to send him to a private school. We started “shopping” for a school last night and will continue to do so until we find the right one. UGH!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2009 8:32 AM

    I just have a couple of questions. Do you think maybe Ryan got “picked on” because he started that school at a later age and didn’t know anyone? It might be different for Logan if he starts there from day 1. This whole thing angers me. Why should the bullies call the shots? I think private schools are fine, don’t get me wrong but the reasoning behind it seems so unfair to you. Your already paying for the school that you live near. It’s to bad you don’t have open enrollment. It would be impossible for me to lie like that too.

    It just seems sad to me is all. I hate bullying and it seems like they are chasing away good people for a few “bad apples” and it’s not right. They are winning and it makes me sad.

    • April 1, 2009 10:56 AM

      No, I don’t think he got picked on because he started school there at a later age. He quickly became one of the most popular kids in his class. He get’s along with EVERYONE and everyone seems to like him as well.

      It is very frustrating! I just don’t want our boys around this!!!

  2. April 1, 2009 8:39 AM

    Have you checked into open enrollment? Where we live I drove my daughter about 15 minutes each way to school. As long as we didn’t have an issue driving and they had an opening it was fine. ON THE FLIP SIDE THOUGH….we did that for 2 years and I still wasn’t happy with the school…that’s where homeschooling came into play. Have you given that idea any thought?
    We’ve had regrets..but for the most part and hearing what is going on even in the good schools in our town and especially the high school I am sooooo glad I did it.

    • April 1, 2009 10:59 AM

      No, we have not checked into open enrollment but I think we should. I don’t think either one of us thought about that. I don’t know if that is available but I’m going to check into that. Thanks for saying something!!

      I gave home schooling a thought for about 10 seconds. 😀 I don’t know that I would have the patience for it to be honest. My son also has me wrapped around his little finger so to speak and if he didn’t want to do something he would get away with not doing it because I’m a sucker. I don’t think it would work out very well. 😦

    • April 1, 2009 11:35 AM

      I was just informed by my wife that we don’t have open enrollment here so I guess that’s not an option. 😦

  3. April 1, 2009 9:10 AM

    Gary, if I said you are a stay at home dad. I grew up in New York…my husband, New Jersey. Part of who we are was developed at an early age because of our school experiences with ” the bully,” If you are able to, why not help in the classroom, it is your right. You can see first hand what is going on, if anything. Private school is OK, but they follow different guidelines. I home schooled one of my sons…it was OK, for a while. I put him back in public school and he now attends UCLA! In other words, he managed! The kids are not the problem, it is the lack of parental involvement and support. This is a tough decision. Weigh it all out before you do anything!

    • April 1, 2009 10:24 AM

      I was actually thinking along the lines that Luisa mentioned with the volunteering at the school. That way you are there and you’ll see what’s going on. So many parent’s don’t get involved at school and they really need us there sometimes. I just didn’t know if you’d be comfortable with that.

      It’s also a part of life that needs to be learned. Bullying sucks but it happens in life. Even to adults and what if you’ve never had to deal with it? Will you ever learn how to handle it? The only thing that scared me was the hospital visit. That’s beyond bullying. This is very hard but I really do agree with Luisa. Think about this long and hard.

      One other thing to check out. Make sure the kids don’t have to go to the public school for things that the private school doesn’t qualify to give them like music and gym. The school that I worked at had many private school kids come to the public school 3 times a week in order to earn these credits. Because “those kids” don’t have an easy time of things just going to those couple of classes. They are new and have no circle of friends and that’s really hard on those kids. They seem alone and don’t “fit” anywhere and that is really hard on them too. I would see the scared look in their eyes when they got dropped off. We can try to protect our kids but sometimes and some things they have to learn.

      I would like to see you try and make a change in this school somehow.

    • April 1, 2009 11:04 AM

      I am a stay at home dad, yes. Much like you, part of who I am was because of bullies as well. I had planned on helping out in the classroom or at the school whenever I could no matter what school Logan goes to. I would very much like to be involved in his life both at home and at school.

      The kids DEFINATELY are NOT the problem. It is the lack of involvement and support by the parents as you said. I don’t believe for the most part anyway, that kids are born “bad apples” but if they don’t get guidance and support fromt their parent’s it’s just a matter of time.

  4. April 1, 2009 11:15 AM

    There is a little more to this story that I left out as to not make the post longer than it already was. Bullying is not the only problem that is going on here. MANY of these kids at 12 and 13 years old are already using drugs and alcohol. We personally have had alcohol stole from our house from one of these little punks. A lot of them have been in trouble for stealing as well.

    When I took Ryan to the hospital, the hospital called the police to file a report. The officer was a really cool guy. Anyway, my wife said I know you can’t name names or anything but if I name the names, can you tell me if you would let YOUR kid associate with them. He said “SURE”. My wife started naming names and one right after another, the officer shook his head no no no no no. What really amazed me is that this officer knew EACH AND EVERY kid’s first and last name. He knew it because they have already been in a lot of trouble with the law for whatever reason at the age of 12 or 13. My wife was naming kids from Ryan’s baseball and basketball team and a few others he hangs with. He then went on to say all of those kids are kids “TO STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM”.

    I also thought it was sad when my son tried to give the phone number of the kid that hit him in the head with the can to the officer and the officer said “don’t worry, I already have his number.”

  5. April 1, 2009 1:10 PM

    Wow I don’t even know what to say that hasn’t been said already. We go through this with Bailey but for other reasons. Not because of bullying or drugs or anything. I’d say you’re making a good decision just in the fact you are deciding something NOW. Bailey is almost in the 4th grade and has been friends with some of these kids since preschool. You have to do what you are comfortable with. I see nothing wrong with private schools, if that is what you feel safe with. That’s the whole point, feel safe every time your child goes to school. Not to say there won’t be peer pressure in a private school too. Tough call but from the sounds of this school I think you are making the right decision. It really makes no difference why he was bullied. Before I got kicked out of my first high school, they started busing kids in from other districts. It’s always going to be bad news. You have the kids that have been there defending “their territory” and then you have the ones that think they can come in and take over. It’s just a recipe for disaster. If the same things started happening at the high school here in our town, I’d considering doing just what you are doing. GOOD LUCK!!! I guess for not knowing what to say …I said a lot huh? Oh well!

    • April 1, 2009 7:36 PM

      Thanks Nikki! We thought it would be best to make some concrete decisions BEFORE he starts school instead of sending him to one school and then to another. As far as peer pressure goes, there will ALWAYS be that no matter where he goes to school like you said. I certainly understand that.

      I’m glad you said a lot! I like reading what people have to say!! TYPE AWAY!! 😉

    • April 1, 2009 10:19 PM

      before you got kicked out of your first high school???? ROFLMAO!!! Did I go to school with you or skip school with you?

      • April 1, 2009 10:26 PM

        that was to nikki! 🙂

        it’s hard…trying to figure out what is right for the kiddos. I fkd up big time during the early homeschooling years. We are making up for it now but I was all gung-ho..for the first 2 years. Everyday ….schedule. Then I fell into whatever hole that was I couldn’t climb out of and took the kids down with me. I spent a good part of the year on the couch curled up in a ball with the shades pulled while they watched tv and did a few little workbooks. I lost ALL control that year and it’s been hell trying to catch up. My daughter is just now graduating through an online high school at age 21. She takes 4 more tests and is DONE! There will be a party! Alot of it is my fault. I yanked them out of school for many of the same reasons you mentioned. The year I yanked my daughter out of school a kid in kindergarten was ARRESTED for threatening kids and teachers with a razor blade. That was one of the “better” schools.
        I know that’s a lot of rambling. Had we been able to afford the private school and even find one around here that might have been an option. You gotta go with your heart when it comes to kids. Might it be a mistake..yeah …but maybe it’s not. Good luck with all of it!

        • April 2, 2009 1:31 AM

          It is hard JJ!! As a parent, I am scared to make the WRONG decision ya know. He is totally dependant on us and I just don’t want to make a wrong decision and make him unhappy.

          Uh oh… sounds like you may had been suffering from depression? Certainly NONE of my business!!!

          Wow, your daughter is just graduating now at 21? That has to bum her out!! I’m sorry to hear that. How has she handled it??

          A kindergartner ARRESTED for threatening kids AND teachers with a razor blade? WTF??? Kids that age don’t do and say things like that all on their own!!! He/she heard that somewhere or saw it somewhere or SOMETHING. Unfortunately, it was proably from mom or dad or older brother or sister. That’s SAD!!

          You just touched on a concern of mine when you talked about affording a private school. It’s NOT going to be cheap. I’m sure we will have to tighten our belts on quite a few things to be able to afford to send him. We certainly are NOT rich. Another concern I have is,and correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t MOST kids that go to private schools have money? It’s usually not the average income families that send their kids to private schools. I kind of worry about that because as he get’s older, I can see my son growing somewhat jealous of what the other kids have that we just wouldn’t be able to give him.

          Thanks for listening, commenting and your well wishes!! 😀

          • Sue permalink
            April 2, 2009 12:37 PM

            Well, I’m a day late, but figured I’d throw my 2 cents in! Don’t assume that just because kids go to a private school their parents have money. At my high school in 7th grade we got the private school kids from a little town down the road. I made friends with a couple of them right away, but let me tell you, we all thought they were going to be stuck up snots with lots of money b/c they went to private school. You know what? 98% of the kids lived on a farm and had parents who were farmers! The farmers here are not rich by any means, but they wanted the best education for their kids. And, don’t assume that private school is out of reach. Our public school district (Where my kids go now. One in 3rd grade, one in preschool) is so short on money they are going to start charging parents for all day every day kindergarten this fall. For the last 6 years, it’s been free b/c they budgeted around it, but now they need $$ so bad they cut it. Anyway, Christopher could go this fall so I got the info about the options for kindergarten and guess what? They are charging $200 a MONTH for all day every day classes. $1800 a year for kindergarten!!! Now, there is the free option which is all day every other day, but every teacher will tell you that those kids in this option are behind the other kids who went every day when they get to first grade. So, you feel like a shmuck no matter what you pick. Sorry, back on track…the private schools around here DON’t CHARGE THAT MUCH for their kindergarten programs!!!!!! WTF is up with that! It should not cost more to go to public school than private! We decided not to send Christopher this year (he’s a late summer birthday) so I can put this decision off 1 more year! So, look into what the private schools charge and it might not be as bad as you think and they might have scholarships or different payment options. Not that I’m gun ho on private, but it’s an option worth looking into.

            Bullies are bullies and they’re everywhere you go so at some point your kids will have to learn how to deal with them. It is very unfortunate that the cops have been involved and can tell you which kids to stay away from! At least you had a cop that would tell you that info. It’s also too bad you guys don’t have open enrollment. That is a lot to ask of you mother and father in-law and 9 years is a long time to lie about it! Explore other options and good luck. It’s not me yet, but I know it won’t be long until it could/will be!

          • April 3, 2009 8:34 PM

            about the graduating thing. I think my daughter was at first upset about being so late but actually when I see what’s going on with the kids her age…I’m really ok with it.
            Yes it was some sort of depression/bipolar thing I went through..then got put on all kinds of meds so I pretty much was comatose for a good part of a year or maybe close to 2.
            The daughter is graduating though. For that I’m thankful cuz for a time I thought she wouldn’t. I took some part of the blame for her being so behind but at a certain age they are responsible for doing their homework etc. I couldn’t FORCE her to do it. I could force her to sit at the table for hours but that’s what she did. (she’s kind of bullheaded like that..not sure where she gets it 😉
            I’m just thrilled that she is finishing. She is taking another test tonight and 2 more and they send her a diploma…and we are going to party! 🙂

            • April 3, 2009 10:22 PM

              I could definately see her being a little upset about graduating so late. Don’t feel bad JJ, I take depression meds also. I would get VERY edgy and annoyed VERY easily. I didn’t want to go anywhere, do anything or have anyone around me. I just wanted to be alone and not talk to anyone or be around anyone. The meds I take are AWESOME and I feel like a new person!!!

              Glad to hear your daughter is graduating!! GOOD for her. My oldest son is graduating next month!!! Wish her luck on her tests from me!!! 😀

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