Saturday, March 10, 2012

Don't listen to the Dreamkillers

Dreamstealers be gone! (Dreamkillers was actually a great Aussie band)

This wee k has been tough for us as a family. Unfortunately we have had many issues with my daughter's high school in the past few months. Primarily its just been lacking in professionalism and communication. It has been frustrating but I let it go because I was hoping they would prove to be okay and if my girl is happy that is the main thing.

On Friday evening at Karate, the sensei hosted an inspiring meditation session. The students were able to hold a black belt and imagine it was their own. What would the senses be like when you reached that level? Av and I both found this helpful. "Don't listen to people who tell you Karate is silly. Its not silly. Hold onto your dreams, whether its about Karate or anything in life, don't let people steal your dreams. Don't listen to the dreamstealers."

I have been asked a few times what is going on with my daughter and the school so hope to write a clear report for those are interested, I may forget some things, ramble and repeat myself.

Earlier in the week I received a phone call from the high school year7 co-ordinator.  I didn't think high school would be like this. I got a phone call saying my daughter needs medical certificates when she is sick. I said that wont happen, which I could tell was  not what she wanted to hear. The year 7 co-ordinator  told me my daughter has detention for an hour. What for? For being late to school. I thought it ridiculous. What happens if students hurt others or property? Bully? Nothing aparently. Be late, go to detention, it continues you will be suspended. 
She chose to enrol in high school. Homeschooling is a very real option for her and has  been for a few years. Her primary school was respectful of her, didn't treat her like a baby  and things were great. Anyway the year 7 co-ordinator hung up. I get a call from her 'colleague' telling me there should be no excuses for lateness. Condescending much?

I can totally understand they need kids to be at school on time but I have a problem with detention after school for an hour. What is my 8 yo meant to do while she has it? It sounds like more wasting time which is what school really is in my view.

Go back a few months, we went to the information evening which was terrible. Lack of info night is what they should have called it.  I was never given a booklist or policy book etc. They messed up her uniform order and wouldn't give me a receipt.  Messed up EMA, and were generally unorganised. We called in advance to make sure she didn't need a booklist and tell them we didn't receive any information. They told us the students do all their work on their netbook and needed no books. My daughter was embarrassed when all the other kids had books but she didn't. We never received anything from the school except  a student process report for the first 4 weeks.
Also they send SMS to notify you about detention. We don't have a mobile! Maybe they can send it to my daughter. ;p

We see the year 7 co-ordinator  at the school and she does not listen to anything we say -only says  we have these very strict boundaries and policies.  Insults our parenting (apparently we don't support her and don't understand that kids only need 8 hours sleep, should force her to do things and not offer choices.) and delves into double talk. She is so young, only 12 she says. Well why are you giving her detention.  ?
They treat them like babies but then punish them for little things.
I told the co-ordinator, this can lead to my daughter no longer enjoying school, she chooses to go to school and this is ruining it for her. I mentioned homeschooling a few times....Oh that is not best for her as she is in the ACE program, repeating again that she is their best student. We want to do what is best for her.
I highly doubt it.
Only we as parents care enough to do what is best for her including giving her the choice.
It was obvious that she felt that her word goes and our opinion was not worth a thing. She said many things that didn't much sense such as "Your daughter is only 12." Then why punish?"  This is not about your daughter" Then what is it about?

She rudely said she had to go back to detention, she was not willing to talk to us. She asked where ^T was, she should know if she was holding detention. She then told T what we were talking about (she should have been n the meeting) though twisting  as if she is a baby, in particular "Do you like school?"  T said she felt intimidated and knew she couldn't  just say no.
She made it clear her policies were more important than the students.
I understand some people will say "What the school says, goes." This is why I don't want my daughter attending such a pointless arbitrary policy led school.

I am incredibly frustrated by how incompetent they have proven to be, they disrespect the students and wont communicate with the parents. My husband was in two minds, he hates the way we have been treated but does want her at school  as much as   he believes it is socialist nonsense.  I don't understand that but at the end of the day we both want her happy. Aftermuch discussion,with each other and others, we can't (in good conscience) have her attend this school.

Expecting perfection from the students but being so hopeless as a school makes me livid.
After themeeting, my instinct is yelling- get her damn well outta there!!! For goodness sake, they are going to ruin her. They don't understand large family dynamics, or gentle parenting. Heck even people. Or communication.
Just so incredibly frustrated,  irritated, and done with high school (thought it was bad enough when I attended myself).

PS Talz actually enjoyed detention!  They copied paragraphs out of the newspaper, hmmm.

The school has a policy where 90% attendance is required, lateness isnot tolerated and only 25% pass rate is needed. I don't feel comfortable with a school who values  students being at school but only being mediocre.

 My daughter was in a primary school with high expectations. This was not laid just on the students but also on the teachers and the school. They didn't punish for being late or for wearing the wrong socks (though it is interesting the high school policy states dresses and skirts must not be shorter than 10cm above the knee but this is not adhered to since I continually I see girls wearing very short ones. But I digress). I am very frustrated with the school because of their incompetence and because they wont communicate with us. We don't argue that she is allowed to be late, we argue that 1 hour detention is excessive.
Government policy suggests a staged approach and detention should not exceed 45minutes (to be used to complete work),allowances should be made for students taking public transport and care for siblings. My daughters travels on train and bus with her brother.

The lines of communication between the school and parents are not open or respected. Giving detention does not prepare you for the workplace in my view, which is their argument (as is that th is their policy and they are strict about that), the workplace prepares you for the workplace! School is not the same. Being insulted about our parenting is not the way I would expect to be treated by a school that says they care about our child. I wouldn't expect a workplace to treat her with such disrespect, so I can't have a school do same. That is a lesson I think she needs to know.

I am not angry at anyone directly now. I feel I have the responsibility to care for my children and do what is best for them. I only have to discuss this with my husband as he is also responsible as a parent. I am grateful to this incidence as it has helped me to see that high school is not ideal for us. We are not going to conform as parents to their policy, our daughter's happiness is so much more important. I am grateful to this year 7 co-ordinator for telling us that we need to be offering parental guidance. So instead of forcing her to go to school (which she was referring to), we will guide her in her learning and she can be much happier doing it on her own terms.
Hearing the stories of other students who are cutting themselves and are very unhappy in the school, as well as another parent who has been making numberless complaints against the school to the point he must also homeschool.
I really enjoyed school except for the politics! I was bullied, unfortunately teachers were also bullies. I wont tolerate teachers who bully students and us as parents.

This is a short eplanation why we have decided homeschooling is a superior choice for us. The best thing we can do is to protect our children from being disrespected, a lesson I want my children to understand.

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