Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Lunatics have Taken Over the Asylum…

It’s been ongoing for many years. The mainstream school system protects outrageous student behaviour and disciplines teachers’ reasonable responses to this behaviour. Let me explain.

successThere is a child in one of my classes named X (obviously not his real name). X is spoiled at home beyond belief. Whenever he commits an outrageous act against a teacher he ventures home to tell his mother that the teacher is picking on him for no reason. The mother then phones the school and screams at the principal for a good half hour or so. Sometimes she insists she doesn’t want her son in that teacher’s class anymore (oh happy day).

Let me describe the behaviour (no doubt it wasn’t delivered truthfully to Mother Dearest). X began my lesson with sarcastic comments about me and the subject I had arrived to teach. My response was to tell him this was unacceptable and he was to go to the principal’s office with work to do to keep him occupied. Not only did he throw a sarcastic insult at me as he left the room, he stood in the hallway after I closed the door, giving me the finger several times and snickering at the class as he looked through the window. I heard him explaining why he was in the hallway, yelling loudly “because of my stupid teacher!”

panic disorder picOne would presume his behaviour would be dealt with quite severely. A suspension perhaps. Move for an expulsion, since this behaviour has been ongoing for three years with various teachers. Nope. Not with this kid. His family claims he has Aspberger’s syndrome (a form of autism). This is their wild card, their ace in the pocket so to speak. When the principal moves to suspend the student (he has on 2 previous occasions), the family appeals this consequence based on X’s diagnosis. If this child suffers from Aspberger’s, the system won’t touch him.

Why? It’s a legality. Any child with any type of neurological disorder must be accommodated by the school no matter how outrageous the behaviour. The home supports his antics and his temper tantrums. They believe firmly that their child is innocent of all accusations by the school and that he is the unfortunate victim of a critical school system. Personally, I think this child should be directed into a behavioural school. Alas, such a move isn’t possible with any child in the province of Ontario, with the exception of children who commit assaults or other criminal acts within school, or on school property.

Suspending these children can be very difficult. All the family has to do is whisper “autism” or “Aspbergers” no matter how high functioning the child is, or that the child knows right from wrong, and the school will lose a legal battle. Once the family appeals a suspension based on anything to do with ADHD, ODD, CDD, Autism, and other disorders, the school has been trumped.

It’s a matter of time before X does begin assaulting teachers and students. Hopefully, police will be called and the legal system will get involved. JAIL-BARS--I-TRIED-TO-CREATE--psd24339It isn’t just for the school, the educators and the other students. This child needs guidance in his life or eventually he is going to enter the juvenile prison system. At that point in time however his family will still be claiming their precious son is not at fault. This time it won’t be a school that is picking on him unfairly. It will be the community and the harsh criminal laws he is obliged to follow. They will use the Aspberger’s defence in court. It is highly unlikely this will save him from a prison jumpsuit and a jail sentence, at least, not after enough criminal acts.

This is another role educators play in shaping a child’s behaviour. The idea is to keep children from choosing a self-destructive role in life. Unfortunately, the parents of such children don’t get it. They are running the asylum (the Education Act, not the schools). It’s a losing battle all around.