Fear Me. I Am My Son's Advocate.

The school has decided that Micah will not be participating in the full kindergarten graduation ceremony as originally planned.

Oh, yes. They did.

Let me say that this was not his teacher's decision, and that his personal aide is just as hacked about this as I am. Those two are rock stars in their own sense, and are cherished members of Team Micah.

Also let it be stated that I did not just roll over and allow this to happen. Can you all say discrimination with me? I stopped at the school today just to address this issue. I am aware that diplomacy is always the best bet, and I started where I knew I would be heard; with his teacher. She said that sometimes Micah will sit down or kneel during the standing times and that other kids around him are following suit. This makes him stand out and disrupts the ceremony.

I bit my tongue and moved on.

I suggested that they move him from front and center (where he is currently positioned) to front and wing. (He cannot be in the back because of the bleachers.) That way there would be less kids around him and he would be less of a distraction overall. She said that she would suggest this to the teacher in charge, but the agreement has always been that Micah could participate as long as he wasn't a problem.

I nearly bit my tongue in half. I struggled to move on.

I was never told that Micah had stipulations to his participation. As a parent, I have the right to know these things. And let's all say discrimination together again. I just do not get the part where my son can be asked to sit on the sidelines until the end just because he's in Life Skills Class. If a kindergartner in a mainstream class was sitting down during standing time (or poking the kid in front of him, or picking his nose instead of singing) you can be assured that he would never be asked to sit on the sidelines. In fact, they CAN'T ask a mainstream child to sit out half the program.

Let it be stated right here, right now that I do not care if Micah is in the full ceremony or not. That is not the issue at hand. The issue is that my child is being discriminated against, and that's not going to fly with me.

If my diplomatic suggestion doesn't seem to work, I will next address the teacher that is in charge of making these decisions and smile warmly as I mention the words discrimination and law suit.

Micah will be attending this school for the next six years and the last thing that I want to do is make an enemy there. But my son will not be treated any differently than his peers just because of his disability, especially when he's perfectly capable of doing the very something that they're asking him not to.

You don't mess with my son. I'm afraid that a few people are about to find that out the hard way.


Burgh Baby said...

Dooooood. Kick some ass. If that doesn't work, offer every kid in the class a cookie if he or she sits during the ceremony. I'll help bake the cookies.

Gina said...

I give you Exhibit A on how "mainstream" 5 year olds act at graduation: http://tinyurl.com/qjszg5

KG said...

what a load of crap! I challenge them to find a kindergartener who wouldn't do something similar. It's not like he's screaming and flinging poop or something. To get discarded for sitting is inane. I'm angry for you. Micah deserves better. He deserves to feel part of something. He deserves to be part of a group. He doesn't deserve rejection.

Viv said...

What a crock! As it will be Micah's school for the next 6 years allow me to suggest that if honey doesn't work...kick ass. Forget talking to the teacher, talk to the principal...if the principal doesn't 'get it' take it to the school board. I can tell you from experience that miracles do happen when you go to the school board.

I am so sorry that you have to deal with this. Ugh.

Quarantine Hobby said...

Good for you. That is completely absurd! I highly doubt that every other 5 year old is acting perfectly throughout the ceremony, so discrimination is right.

I like BurghBaby's idea, if all else fails ;)

Wineplz said...

That is the biggest load of crap and most blatant example of discrimination I have ever seen. Our kids' daycare just did a Mother's Day presentation and there were at least 3 or 4 kids in the Jr. Kindergarten and the Kindergarten classes that were not in lock-step with their classmates. And frankly, the others weren't exactly in lock-step anyways. I say go with Viv's advice and firmly work your way up, because, like you said, it's the principle.
Good luck, and let me know if you need some obnoxious muscle--I'm willing to put cement shoes on creepy people on behalf of Micah. ;)

Keri said...

I'm so mad I could cry. (I'm a cryer, sorry.)

This is just plain wrong and you're calling a spade, a spade. This is most definitely discrimination.

I like Burgh Baby's idea too. Give all the other kids a big swig of Jolt or some other caffeine drink before the ceremony and promise them some super good sweets if they rebel.

I would also tell the "teacher in charge" that if she could not rely upon Micah's teacher's and aide's opinions and suggestions then someone else should be in charge. I'm CERTAIN there is a kindergartener in his/her class that is disruptive more days than not.

Also, I wonder what the local newspaper and tv stations would think of this story?

Andrea said...

Wha wha what??!! I would be mad. I think you are being a lot nicer than I would have been. I can't believe that they didn't even try to talk to you first about the decision and try to work something out to where he could join the group. I think I would be furious!! How completely rude of them not to try their best at including him. And who cares if he doesn't stand? What parent is going to sit there and say, "Uhm...that kid is not standing!"

Seriously!! Doesn't Micah participate in church things where he is standing and sitting?? The world isn't perfect and neither are Kindergarten graduations. The head teacher needs to get over herself and her little graduation program perfection.

Anonymous said...

Ummm no,I dont think so.My girl was at the elementary school for four years,I made enemies the first year...but they did right.I instantly become raging bull when there is talk of leaving my girl out,which there never is because my "white trashy side" has come out more than a few times.It sounds like even the ones who are being "nice" need to be educated.

Show em,girl!

Flea said...

It sounds like you're doing well, working your way up the ladder nicely. You could always sit in the front row. And let the puppy you've smuggled in your purse loose on stage with the kindergarteners.

Pam said...

I'm sorry you are dealing with this- I feel terrible that this is happening. I hope that it gets resolved!

stripeycat said...

you give em heck!!
Micah deserves the same as every one else!!
Hugs and BIG support from far away.

Cecily R said...

Uhhhh, Isaac sat down during HIS Kindergarten graduation ceremony and everyone but me laughed (I was too busy burying my head in my lap). That kind of discrimination is just WRONG. Gives me a stomach ache thinking about it.

I like Burgh's idea...I'll donate cookies too. They may be burned, but I'll donate them proudly.

Aimee said...

A. It's kindergarten, not Broadway. these kids are not trained performers, right? Someone's always going to do something.

B. kneeling or sitting sounds like pretty small potatoes "disruption"-wise. I mean, he doesn't have anyone in a half nelson.

C. If I had a nickel for every time someone at Fiver's school told me that his behaviors were causing disruptions because the other kids were following him, I'd be a rich woman.

D. Go, Mama, go.

redpenmama said...

I don't have any advice, but I agree with pretty much everyone here that it's ridiculous for the school to be making this kind of decision. If the school my girls goes to were like this, Bun will not be attending her kindergarten graduation -- that girl can't sit still to eat let alone graduate. Geez.

I really feel for you, Karen. And I'm rooting for you and Team Micah!


Kimberly Wright said...

My mouth is hanging open. I am with you, and I am saying discrimination. OMG. Can I say the F word here or B S. Cause that enrages me! Can I come bitch slap the people who even thought this was acceptable?

I am lucky that the school my son went too never discriminated against him or any other child for that matter (and several sn kids have gone there).

What kind of message does this send to other children, other parents, and to your son?

Fight. Take them to the mattresses.

SunflowerStories said...

I'm glad you are challenging them. It's ridiculous! I kope you knock some sense into them.

Karen Deborah said...

This is just plain sick. Give me a break, we are talking KINDERGARTEN and 5 year old kids! Isn't it still cute when they do what little people do?
I'm surprised you still have a tongue. I took care of patient recently who did bite her tongue nearly off and it wasn't pretty, I don't recommend it.
I do however recommend that you get you Wyatt Erp, Sam Elliot and a whole bunch of other cowboys with their pistolas on and go whoop ass! This just plain p----- me off. He's just a little boy.

My baby Tigger was a hyperactive child she got kicked out of 3 PRESCHOOLS. I admire what your doing. I couldn't handle people so callously rejecting her and so we home schooled. You have the fortitude to fight so put up your dukes and WIN!

Michelle said...

Funny, when you were saying that he sits down in the stand up parts, I was wondering what other kids also did that. And ummm, who the frick CARES if they sit down or stand up? They're kindergarteners and it's all for fun. Who will it hurt if they do it "wrong" -- and who, besides the teacher in charge, will ever know?

Can't wait to hear the conclusion. Go. Roar.

And the six years at the same school? I've got the same concerns. Especially because I have Little Miss following behind.

pghrugbyangel said...

Totally agree that this is NUTS!! Since when are 5yr olds expected to be perfect little people?? If Micah chose not to participate - for whatever reason - then so be it. However, they SHOULD NOT exclude him. No. Matter. What.

Will also help Burgh Baby with the cookies if need be. (And I have a very tiny oven, but I'll bake the crap out of some cookies if needed!)

Good luck with the smiling warmly etc. I know I couldn't do that - EVER. I'd be freaking out entirely.

I'm also available to tackle anyone for you should you feel that is needed, gladly. I need extra practice anyway... :-)

My Two Army Brats said...

That is messed up something fierce!! I pulled both my kids from public school this year. My problems started when I had issues with my special needs kindy kid at the time and ended when my youngest was sexually assaulted when he was in kindergarten and that kid got got stay in class with my son with no repercussions. My kids love homeschooling but there are some days I wanna send their butts off to school!

Good luck! Stir the waters, you're his only advocate so you might as well show your tail now and maybe they won't mess with ya for a while. One can hope.

the planet of janet said...

not now. not ever.

go get 'em, mama bear.

Karen said...

My Two Army Brats - I'm so sorry that you've dealt with that crap. For real?! The kid had no repurcussions at all for sexually assaulting your son?! That. Is. Not. Right.

Anonymous said...

I think you are sooo awesome..I fear the folks that stand in your way!

Karen said...

Anon - thank you. And contrary to what you surely must think after reading this, I loathe confrontation. I am a peacemaker at heart. But Dude. You don't mess with my kid.

Leanne said...

I can't believe this. How about involving the other parents? If I had a child in Micah's class and I found out this was happening I'd be starting a protest to make sure he was included. You shouldn't have to tackle this alone, everyone should see this is wrong. I mean it's a KINDERGARTEN ceremony.....let's put it in perspective people.

Trisha said...

I am standing on my chair cheering for you. As a teacher I understand the desire to keep things orderly but you are absolutely correct - if a "regular" kiddo did the things Micah did, they wouldn't remove him.

You go, girl! Advocate for your son!

CC said...

Ugh!!!!! I'm just picturing my students who are mainstreamed in the music performances. Yes, some of them start flapping in the performance. Some sit when they should stand. Some totally turn around and watch everyone else. But they are still there participating, with their peers. Because that's what "least restrictive environment" means!

Brandie said...

Wow, that is blatant discrimination. Who do they think they are? Let 'em have it!

The Sports Mama said...

First, you've got a standing ovation here!

Second, I'd offer to join Burgh's Baking Brigade, but we'd end up with a worse situation since we've determined that I actually poison people with my culinary skillz.

BUT.... I will proudly fight alongside of you.

caramama said...

Wow. I cannot express just how angry this made me. Absolutely ridiculous!!!

How could anyone possibly think that trying to keep a bunch of kindergardeners standing or sitting at a certain time is more important than making sure everyone is included?!?! This is not only discrimination but also completely age-inappropriate expectations of any kindergardener!

You release your Mama Bear on them! You take it up where you need to. If you get labeled as "that mom" at the school? All the better. People don't want to mess with "that mom!"

just jamie said...

Dude. You rock. I love your attitude all.the.way!

As a teacher of mainstreamed kids who poke and pick and stand and kneel and distract and disrupt... um, yeah, I'd take Micah ANY day. Keep going! That boy deserves COMPLETE participation. Duh. (And maybe even an encore.) :)

Susan said...

Ditto, ditto, ditto!

Thinking of you...or more importantly, I should think of them once you're through with them, huh?! ;)

imbeingheldhostage said...

I'm speechless. Totally dumbstruck. I'll be watching Fox and CNN for you, smile for me.