02-23-2018 02:03 PM - last edited on 02-23-2018 05:51 PM by Nick-RO
(sorry for the long story. but we really need help right now. appreciate any suggestion)
My son is in middle school 8th grade. He has been hurt, harm and humiliated by his band teacher for long time. He does not have any problem or issue with other teachers in school. We have reported to school principal, vice principal and counselor, but they did not provide any help and support to my son so far. My son is continuing suffering in school band classes right now.
It's my fault that I did not pay attention every time when my son complained to me. He complained to me many times about this band teacher always single out him even he did not do anything. This band teacher threw his homework to trash can, my son has to dig it out in order to get credit. The band teacher also commented on my son's recording homework likes a trash can.
My son really likes Jazz music. He passed audition and joined school band for almost 3 years. My son has learned drum for more than 5 years and piano 8 years. He has two private drum teachers. one teacher is volunteering in school band. When my son was in 7th grade, the band teacher did not give him opportunity to play drum. Band teacher told him that the opportunities of playing drum should give to 8th grade because it's their last years. When my son is in 8th grade, band teacher let a 7th grade new drummer join the band without audition. Since the 7th grade new drummer joined the band, band teacher let the 7th grade new drummer play most of music. Band teacher even humiliates my son many times in front of class say the new drummer is much better than you. Band teacher never gives my son his feedback or comments at which part he need to improve. At meantime, the drum teacher thinks my son play very well. And most students in the band think my son play much better than the new drummer who just joined few months. Band teacher even used his power to replace my son play with the new drummer in one of biggest Jazz festival. He told school the decision is based on his professional evaluation that describes my son has less experience, drum skill is not good, music performance is bad. Again, the band teacher never provide his suggestions and the reason why he thinks my son play not well. The band teacher even talked to my son said "you are lucky that I still let you play in one of concert. but for high level performance, I want better drummer to play." My son got really hurt and humiliation from these words and actions band teachers has made. (ref: three judges from that festival gave badly comments to the 7th grade new drummer, please send me email if you would like to hear the judges recording)
After we started to communicated with band teacher and school for my son equal right of learning at school band. The band teacher became more aggressive to my son. He does not stop to single out my son in class, he intentionally isolated my son from group discussion and play. My son has to sit in corner and do nothing by himself. The band teacher does not stop hurting my son. Just few weeks ago, he gave my son referral discipline. This referral record will keep with student when they go to same school district high school. This incident and discipline is ridiculous wrong from this band teacher. At that day, my son was following other students. He went inside the locker to check if any trombone case in broken. (band rule: students can not play hide and seek in locker/locker room) when my son came out from locker, band teacher stood in front of him while they were other students there. The band teacher was mad and talked to my son "go to the office". My son has never been sent to office. He was so scared and he did not know what he did wrong. He asked teacher what did he do wrong. The band teacher ignored his question as usually and walked away. My son went outside the locker room and on the way to office. He described that he was so scared and couldn't breath, he has tightening in his chase. (my son has asthma, also in school medical record) My son felt his is going to faint and he had to sit on a chair. He just sat for less than 10 seconds, the band teacher saw him and rushed him to go to office again. My son stood up and ask band teacher "I didn't know what I did wrong, teacher can you please tell me what I did wrong.". Band teacher asked my son to follow him to outside of classroom. When they were outside classroom and only my son and band teacher. The band teacher lowered his voice and threatened my son "if you don't go to office now, I will call school security". Then the band teacher turned away back to classroom. My son went to office, but he did not know what to report to office at that time. After an hour, I received a very drama email from the band teacher and attached referral letter. In band teacher's email, he describes he is so care about students and their safety. With his care in mind, he saw my son was playing hide and seek in locker. He said he spoke with him about his concern and care, but my son began arguing with him and becoming very combative. In his email he also said he had to ask my son go to office 3 times but my son refused to go to office and was becoming more defiant and causing quite a scene. He also wrote that he told my son he would have to call the campus supervisor if he did not go on his own. This email and referral letter from band teacher is intentionally make up a incident to make my son in big trouble. My son explained to vice principal that he was on the way to office, he did not refuse and argue with teacher. He also mentioned to vice principal that he did not feel well at that time. But he still followed teacher's direction to go to office. Vice principal told my son that you do not have right to know what did you do wrong before been sent to office. He also said my son was nervous cause his difficulty breath. (my son doctor said he is not sure if it was asthma symptoms or anxiety) From the beginning of this incident, band teacher asked my son to go to office for his false accusation (again). Band teacher did not ask other students to go to office but my son (single out as usual). My son did not feel well but band teacher failed to notice my son may need his inhaler (in his backpack). Everything happened within less than 30 seconds from my son was in locker room to the office. We have communicated with school about this referral, but vice principal was insisted and honor teacher's referral decision.
Right after vice principal informed us the formal referral on my son's record, band teacher sent another email to school principal and vice principal with more false accusation of my son's behavior in his class. These false accusation includes often late for classes, not taking responsibility to setup drum, talking in class, using cell phone, kicking other student. My son was crying when he was writing back to school of all false accusation.
The band teacher is so powerful with protected right from school. My son has no power to defend for himself. We asked many time to have transparent conversation between band teacher, my son, principal, vice principal and parents. But school never responded to our requests. Instead, they sent us their investigated result which is always from band teacher's perspective.
We are still dealing with these false accusation, referral and other unfair learning right. If you could provide any suggestions or you know someone has similar experience, please let us know. We really appreciate any suggestions. Thank you so much.
02-23-2018 06:07 PM
Hi @mymom - welcome to the ReachOut Parents Forum. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Just a couple of things to let you know, we are based in Australia and I can tell by some of the language that you have used in your post that you are based somewhere different so we cannot give you any advice about your specific situation . It is great that you found us though, and you are really welcome here. We have an amazing and supportive bunch of parents on here who can offer general advice and support to you and I hope that that can bring you some comfort.
Also, I made a very small edit to your post so that it is in line with our community guidelines - I hope you don't mind.
My heart goes out to you - it sounds like a really horrible position to be in - especially considering that it sounds like your son has a real passion for playing his instrument and that some of his recent experiences might make him question his passion and commitment - it must be so hard to watch this happening as a mother. I know in my situation, I feel my teenager's pain and disappointment more powerfully than my own!
To hear about a situation where your son is obviously in distress (the anxiety or asthma attack) must have hit you really hard.
It sounds like you are really frustrated with the situation that you have been facing at school and that all of the responses you get are not really making you feel any better.
I was wondering - what kinds of conversations have you had with your son around this? I can tell from your post how caring and compassionate you are as a parent. Have you talked to him about how he feels about going to school at the moment? I know that you said that he was very upset by some of the things he was accused of.
I think it is so important, generally, to let our teenagers know how safe and loved they are at home - to support them and love them unconditionally and it sounds like you are creating that kind of environment for your son which I am sure is very comforting to him and will really help him be resilient and face some of the issues that he is being forced to deal with in music class.
02-23-2018 10:10 PM
Your post was an indication of how much you love and care for your son.
Is there a school counsellor at the school whom your son could speak with?
From your message, and from what your son has told you, it seems as though the teacher is actually bullying your son. Has the teacher been doing this to any other students and if so it might be worth talking to the other parents?
I would also ask again for a meeting with the principal. Especially because your son has been so affected with the anxiety/asthma.
Hope it works out for you.....am sure it will.
11-12-2018 01:54 PM
11-12-2018 03:14 PM
I'm really sorry to hear you had a bad experience with bullying in your school. It sounds like it was a really challenging time when this was coming from a teacher.
I do agree with your suggestion about speaking to the school's higher management - it is a good way to start the conversation and ask for action to support young people experiencing bullying.
04-07-2019 09:18 PM - last edited on 04-07-2019 09:41 PM by Taylor-RO
I was bullied at school in Perth Western Australia. Those incidents were severe and there were easily more than 100 occasions when I was verbally and physically assaulted. When we sat our end of year exams, and the teacher asked one student to hand out the exam papers, that student scrunched up my exam paper and that teacher, watched while I did my exam on mangled paper.
These are criminals acts and when teachers are also directing derogatory language at young children, they responsible as well. If a teacher doesn't respond to the bullying complaints of a student or actively monitors the lunch areas of students, they should be held criminally liable, especially when they are preferring to spend their lunch hour in the comfortable lunch room. No one should damage the innocent young mind of a child, especially while they are learning. The damage this causes while their brain hasn't hardwired scars them for life. When groups of delinquent teenagers direct insults at students 5 years younger than them, on a daily basis, this gets dismissed as kids messing around in the playground. Bullying is a serious criminal act.
I know what child exploitation is, one incident happened to me when I was 13, I got off the bus, after school one day, it was really hot and a guy in a car said he was a parent to another student at Hale school and I he gave me a lift home, because it was so hot, he then parked the car, and we drank cans of soda, making small talk, but then he started feeling me up and I asked to be driven home.
As an adult I am now able to understand the two types of abuse. The first one, bullying under the careless supervision of teachers. The second form which occurred through the exploitation of me as a child. It was the bullying that scarred me and caused me to have low esteem and develop an anxiety disorder and have borderline anxiety. That paedo guy was nice, very hands on, but he didn't assault me. I didn't become affected by it, I think of it as being nothing.
But It was the school, it subjected me to exploitation as a child. Its the bullying, it doesn't get the criminal recognition it deserves. You're talking about the fragile innocence of a child, a school needs a zero tolerance policy on bad language directed at other students. If students offend other students then a no contact rule between 2 students needs to be established, which would lead to suspension of the offending student. The most effective policies are ones that operates from day 1.
04-07-2019 10:05 PM