It has been fairly quiet here on Experiencing Parenthood. Our family has experienced quite a bit of negative “excitement” if you will and have made some changes to our lives.
Unfortunately and fortunately, these events prompted our decision to homeschool K, grade 4, and B, grade 2.
One month ago, this all started. Let me start out by saying; my kids have gone to the same public school for the past 2 years. This was their 3rd year at this school. We have never had issues with the school. The principal is amazing. I have never had anything but good things to say about the school, but 2 months into this school year, I could tell it was going to be a long, unsafe year if we did not take action.
Event 1: The story goes that B was playing soccer at recess with friends, kicked the ball, and it hit a girl in the stomach. He said it was an accident and he apologized to her, but one of the boys on the bus thought it was mean of B and decided that he was going to punch B in the stomach upon getting off the bus.
While not pleased with the situation, they are boys, they are 2nd graders, it happens. I reported it to B’s teacher and it was dealt with by her and the principal.
Event 2: A few days later, the same week, K arrived home from the school bus to inform me that B was left at school. Her story was that she saw him playing on the Kindergarten playground (there is a Kindergarten playground and then a big kid playground) with a friend. She stated that she told the bus driver and the bus driver shrugged his shoulders and left. Being that it was after school and we are currently a one car family; I couldn’t drive up to the school and the school wasn’t answering the phones.
I called hubby who was leaving work and then called my father in law to head up to the school because I had zero clue where my son was at this point in time. It was already going on 30 minutes after school ended and he wasn’t home. No one was answering the phone and I was left sitting at home clueless about where my baby was!
Hubby finally got through to the school by calling the school district. At the same time he got a hold of the school, my father in law arrived. It was only then that the school was aware he did not get on the bus.
It took us several weeks to figure out how was responsible and I will get to that in a few.
It was at this point that everyone – the principal, office staff, teachers – were in search for him. They were walking around the school, inside and out; and teachers got in their car to drive to search for him in case he walked home. They were calling his friends to see if he went home with them too.
Y’all, my son was literally missing and no one knew where he was. No one.
One hour after school initially ended, the bus arrived at the end of the drive way with my son. The bus driver found my son WALKING HOME from school and picked him up close to our house to bring him home.
School is 1.7 miles from our home. I have walked it before and tracked how far the walk was. Horrible for a 7 year old? Probably not. BUT, he had to cross TWO major, busy streets to get home! Our house is one block from the main freeway so all main roads surround our house remain busy at all times because of our proximity to the freeway.
The horrible things that could have happened to my son! I will leave your imagination for that.
The worst part? We pulled the kids out of school on September 30th (the event occurred September 10th) and we didn’t get answers to this particular event until October 2nd.
The school claims they were not informed that my son was not on the bus. The bus company claims it wasn’t the bus driver’s responsibility. The school says that if he wasn’t on the bus and my daughter told the bus driver that he wasn’t on the bus (which she did), the bus driver should have let the teacher in charge of buses that day that he was not on the bus so they could get him and get him on the bus, or have him sit in the office until the bus returned or we could pick him up.
Needless to say, we have found out that the bus driver did not inform anyone that my son was not on the bus.
Event 3: At recess one day, K was sitting on the swings next to a boy that she liked and he liked her. While minding their own business, a group of girls came up and started teasing them and kicking K. Fortunately it was reported to the principal immediately and he looked into it, but still, in our minds, that was the second physical “something” that happened to my kids.
Event 4: At recess, a boy approached B and asked him if he liked “crushed nuts”. Not knowing what that meant, B said no, but then said “wait, I like pistachios”. The boy then punched B in the privates. I was appalled and reported it to the teacher. When I reported it to the principal 3 days later (because I had not heard back) he had no knowledge of the situation.
Needless to say, at this point, we were on the edge of going crazy because our children were clearly being physically assaulted and there didn’t appear to be any type of resolution happening.
Event 5: The final straw. K came home from school saying that a 2nd grader threatened to kill her with a pocket knife that he claimed he had in his pocket.
It was then that hubby decided the kids were not going to school the next day. He contacted the principal the next day to inform him that the kids would no longer be attending and informed him of the threat that he had no knowledge of.
It was the that broke the camel’s back so to speak.
It is my belief that when my children are at school, it is the school’s responsibility to keep my children safe and they failed to do that.
We have been homeschooling for a little over a week now and I cannot wait to share how it is going. It is unfortunate that the school has let my children and me down, but we are doing well with homeschooling and I am excited to see where this adventure takes us.
Do you homeschool? Do have any advice for us? Tips? Resources? We would love for you to share with us!