March 1, 2014

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: An inconvenient child: My six-year-old son was suspended as a danger to others. His crime? A disability you could find in any classroom.

Within two hours of the inspector informing the principal that our family was cleared, she abruptly changed tack. Instead of accusing us of abusing our son, she now accused our son of sexually assaulting other children. The principal called me at work shortly after lunch that day and told me to collect my son. . . .

Looking back, the most charitable interpretation I can put on the whole experience is that maybe when large bureaucracies start moving in one direction, they reach a point when they can no longer resist their own momentum. Someone at the school made a bad judgment about our son, the system clanked into motion and from then on there was no stopping it. It certainly felt like we were caught in a machine that had no guilt about telling lies, no inhibitions about destroying children and families. And as far as we could see, there was no reason for any of it other than carelessness and arrogance and, in the end, self-protection. It served no function except, perhaps, to save the district some money on movement therapy. When the judge asked what could possibly justify the open-ended suspension of a first-grader from school, the district declared that our son presented ‘a danger to others’ – including a danger to the adults at the school. By this stage, our son was six years and eight months old.

Is sending your kids to public school parental malpractice?

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