No Good, Terrible Awful, Very Bad Day

I should start by saying my whole day wasn’t bad. Most of it was actually really good.

And then came the end.

I work at a preschool primarily. But we also run a day care for school age kids before and after school. And during this time, my job is to be a support worker for a couple of boys with behavioral disorders.

And I love it and I hate it. But lately it has been really good. Because my boys have been making strides. They’ve been getting it.

But here’s the thing: They have behavioral disorders. They have aggressive, impulsive behaviors. They don’t interpret situations correctly, so they don’t react to situations correctly. They are never going to be “perfect” kids. (as if any 8 year old boys would be).

So one day one of them kicked a girl because she did something by accident, he misinterpreted it, and lashed out. It was dealt with. Consequences were handed out. But the girl went home and told her parents she was beaten up at school.

Now here’s the thing about the girl: She is a drama queen. She sensationalizes everything. And if she doesn’t get her way she goes off in a fit of anger. And her parents know this. So you shouldn’t take everything she says at face value.

But her parents do.

And they start complaining. And complaining loudly. And bringing in other parents to complain. And the girl starts telling all of our parents that she is being beaten up at day care. And we have to do damage control because it is simply not happening. But still the complaints come.

My boss says she doesn’t care. She’s not doing anything about it because these parents always have a complaint and always threaten to leave. Good, I think to myself, because he does not deserve to be kicked out.

But then came last week. Last week was a tough week for both of my boys. Things going on at home escalate some of their behaviors. So the same boy kicks a girl who accidentally hit him. Again, the situation was handled and consequences were handed out. And when we talked to mom she completely understood what happened and why it happened (she is a special education teacher).

But the girl saw it. And went home and told her parents. Her parents decided to use this to launch yet another very loud complaint. And this time my boss doesn’t defend him. She kicks him out.

Just like that. No warning. No getting the other side of the story. Just out.

And I am so angry.

Because my boss doesn’t stick to her guns. Ever. Someone pushes her even a little, she gives in. And because she never gets the other side of the story. She takes what parents tell her and accept it as the truth. But it’s not the truth. There are always two sides to every story.

Because if I believed for a second a child’s safety was compromised, I would be the first one to say something. But everyone was safe. Things happen when you have that many kids in a small classroom where everyone can do whatever they want. But no one has ever been unsafe in the classroom.

Because what are you trying to teach your child? The girl is only going to learn that if she complains loud enough she will get her way. That isn’t going to go well in the real world. She is always going to meet people who break the rules or you are rude to her or who are different then her. She needs to learn how to deal with this people! Not how to avoid it.

Because people expect perfection from a boy who will never be perfect but who was doing so well. His outbursts were decreasing. He has rarely been aggressive towards other children. And because he has a behavioral disorder. Clearly some people don’t understand what this means. It means he cannot always control his impulses. And it is our job to teach him how to. Which I was doing. And he was learning. And he was making improvements. And he was discovering how to react properly. How to recognize anger. How to control his anger. How to talk to people. How to make eye contact. The things he has learned is impressive. And now, because of one child, because of one incident, he is being told that he failed.

He didn’t fail.

He deserves better than this.

And that is what angers me the most.

He was never given a chance to succeed because the expectations were too high.

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