Friday, 4 February 2011

School Saga...part 2

As planned this morning I went to see the Principal about yesterdays "situation".

He started with "Violet went well at school yesterday" which I followed up with "well yes that's because she had her sister looking after her all day!" and "Why was Emily looking after Violet yesterday?" Then went on to mention that she had to toilet and be her carer for the day as no one else was doing it! I told him it was not acceptable for Emily to be taking on this adult role and that she needed to be in her own Year 5 class learning!

He said he had no idea that Emily was in the classroom with Violet. Which is hard to imagine as it's not exactly a huge school (69 students) and you would think he would have seen her in there or at least heard she was in there from the other teachers.

I also mentioned that Emily was left in the classroom on her own with the K/1 class for a few minutes...what if Violet had a seizure in that time while she was not in the room, the other children needed her or the fact that responsibility shouldn't be put onto a 10 year old.

He said he was not impressed on hearing this and would be taking it up with Violet's teacher as to why she had Emily in there. I said I thought this was discussed at our many appointments last year that Emily was not to be involved in Violet's care, which he agreed. I told him that I would be calling the DET Disability Support Itinerant Lady and he said he would notify her of this situation...hmm doubt he will do that!!

I also bought up the fact that Violet had fallen off her chair with a Vision Support Teacher at her side in the early morning which is bad enough on it's own but then not to notify me that she had fallen was not acceptable.

He again said he had no idea she had fallen! He has asked the office to advise him in the future of any falls she has (as outlined in her health care plan!)

He also said the staff had a 3 hour training session on Violet before she started! Which I said I think has gone in 1 ear and out the other. They have put her in the too hard basket already!

She also had a headache yesterday and they did not bother calling me to assess her or ask for her to be picked up. They have strict instruction that if she feels sick or had a headache to call me! Which they obviously didn't. They know it is one of the many first signs of shunt failure and they didn't bother to call me to even check!! I mean they are in the learning phase but you would think they would be over cautious if anything!

When she walks to class, she is made to line up last because she falls so easily, is slower etc but I feel that is wrong...disabled children shouldn't be made to be last when in their lives they come last in alot of things due to their physical disabilities. By the time she gets up to her classroom, all the other kids have hung their bags and are in the classroom...and where do you think the last hooks are for her to hang her bag? The furthest hooks away from the entrance to the classroom! So she has to walk the furthest out everyone to even do this!!

I was talking with a friend of mine at the school who suggested a great idea and that was to put name tags on the hooks so Violet could get a closer hook to the entrance, which she kindly offered to do for me. I passed on this suggestion to the Principal who said he would organise for the school to do it.

At 11.50am today, I get a call from the school saying Violet has a headache and she feels unwell. By this stage I am thinking is she really or are they just being too lazy to look after her! So, I said I would come and pick her up, so she was only at school today for 2.5 hours (they start at 9.25am)

I felt better knowing she was home with me, where I can look after her properly.

I am feeling very anxious about how the school will cope with her post op as they are having enough trouble now while she can still walk and do some things for will they cope then if they clearly are struggling to cope now? I have already offered to go in everyday after surgery (which will be 3rd week after surgery) to help with hoisting for toilet, lift etc. But they have told me they will have it covered...can't see that happening can you? How will they cope when the Kids on the Move transition funding finishes end of next week?


Mazzmerise said...

thinking of you and Violet with all the hurdles ahead. I hope the school take on their roles properly so you can try and relax a little, {{hugs}}

Missy said...

Oh Sarah, reading this made my heart sink, wondering like you, if this school is really serious about Violet.
The principal should be making a point of ensuring and following up that Violet's health care plan is being followed to the dot.

I think her needs reminding that he can either be your best friend or your worst friend. They seriously need to pull up their socks..

Sigh, its crap, the constant advocating and fighting you need to do in an order to ensure your child's basic care and level of safey are met.

hugs xxx

Alison said...

Oh Sarah - I am getting very worried about school next year after reading all this!!

It sounds like the principal is trying to be helpful?? Hopefully they will 'get it' soon.

I'm not surprised Violet came home feeling unwell - the weather has been revolting. Hope she's feeling better.

Josephine said...

Wow, Sarah, I am so sorry that this transition has not gone smoothly!!! I really hope that the teachers/aides/etc redeem themselves, because in these first few days they've really failed miserably. As if it wasn't stressful enough already!

Dianne said...

Oh Sarah :-(. As I read this, I just can't help but think again and again - none of this would be an issue if Violet had been provided adequate funding from the education department for more support :-(. It's just not fair. There is something seriously wrong with the system.
I am still a little baffled why the principal is so reluctant for you to contact the Support person yourself. What's that all about?
I know you don't want to burn bridges early on, but there has to be some serious shift changes in the school before what they are doing can be called acceptable.
Have you considered sticking around for a day or two next week and see just what is going on in the classroom? It could be very telling and you could maybe provide more hands on tips to all involved about how best to assist Violet.
I honestly can't see how it's not legally negligent for Violet to be being so failed by the very system that should be supporting her.
Massive hugs to you.

Korin said...

Girl you just keep on keeping on! You ride that principal like a bull! He will soon realize you are not one to be reckoned with and he will get on top of things. If he knows your going to be in his ear, calling him, going to the school to advocate for Violet etc...he will start to get on the ball so he doesn't have to deal with it. You know what i mean. A moms got to do what a moms got to do! He should be hearing your voice in his dreams and rightfully so! Maybe i'm to harsh on this guy or maybe it's my pregnancy hormones in overdrive but sounds to me like he needs to shape up and get his act together and know what is going on in his school ESPECIALLY when theres only 68 kids in it.

Laura said...

I'm absolutely appalled at the treatment she's been getting in school! Good for you for letting the principal have it and I hope some good comes from it. Do you have any other options for Violet if this school doesn't step up to the plate? I cannot imagine how very frustrated you must be! **hugs**