Detention Detente

This week, Teacher X issued Bubs detention bc visit nurse during X class re hypoglycemia too many times. Bubs vaguely annoyed, very confused. Meanwhile crème brûlée torches shoot flames out from sockets where Bigfoot eyes belong.

Of course Bigfoot send email, inquire WTF but w. restraint:

Hi Mrs. X,

I heard from my son B and from [Nurse] that he has missed some of X class in order to check his blood glucose, and I thought I should check in with you about that.
 
B has had unusually frequent hypoglycemia at school this year, more than he has ever had before. As he adjusts to the new school year, B, his dad, and I have been lowering the doses that his insulin pump delivers to mitigate this. It’s a huge hassle for B and I’m sorry it has been affecting his time in your class.
 
I have faith that things will improve soon, and that B will not need to visit [Nurse]’s office so often. Until then, we are, unfortunately, stuck with the diabetes and these imperfect management tools. It’s a very inconvenient disease for everyone involved. Please let me know if there is something he should be doing differently when he needs to visit the nurse during X class. Thanks so much for your attention.
Anticipated Response:
Oh my gosh I am so sorry. You must think I am such a tool. I can’t believe I gave him detention when he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Poor guy. I will apologize to him as soon as I see him. I only hope I have not caused lasting damage to your child who is obviously incredibly well-adjusted and smart, thanks to your bottomless loving kindness.

Actual Response:

Thank you for your email.
Mrs. X
Bigfoot still confused. How will child avoid future detention? Write again, immediately:
Thanks for getting back to me. Please let us know if B is not handling this the way you expect him to—he really wants to do the right thing, follow the rules, etc.
Anticipated Response:
He is perfect. Of course he is doing everything correctly. I only wish I hadn’t been so cruel to him. I can’t sleep at night. Again, I am so sorry. I was wrong. Does he like Lego? I would like to give him a large set, as an expression of how sorry I am.
Actual Response:
Okay, great.
Mrs. X

 UPDATE, the next day, FWIW:

I sent something like what Autumn suggested, but slightly whimpier:

Hi again. So sorry. I don’t think I’m understanding what B should be doing differently if he needs to see the nurse during Class X. He has the  impression he has done something wrong, and wishes to not repeat that.

I guess what we’re looking for is some description of your expectation, so B can try to meet it. We’d love to be able to help him with that from this end.

Ideally, he’ll never have hypoglycemia during your class again, but just in case…we’d love to know what you would like him to do. Thanks!

And Mrs. X replied with a reply with sentences! It turns out her issue was with B not getting the correct kind of hall pass. I am going to choose to think that she has T1d herself and is extra-bending-over-backwards to not treat him differently from other kids (due to Scott E-like feelings of fury when treated differently at school), and so…since she is a hall pass stickler, she’s going to be a pass stickler with B. Or, in the likely event that hypothesis is not correct, I am going to assume she is a pass stickler for some intense safety reason. (Maybe years ago she lost track of a child who is still missing.) And it wasn’t like he didn’t get a pass because he was rushing to the nurse in a hypo-frenzy, he just didn’t take the get-a-pass thing seriously since his other teachers are more casual about them.

There is so much good advice in the comments. I feel like I’m already too deep into this to start doing it right paperwork/504-wise. If I could start over from scratch, I would. Ideally I would do what Pam did.

 

 

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35 responses to “Detention Detente

  1. Larry Here

    I am looking forward to seeing how long you can keep up the courteousness. At this point, I’d have about had it. Teacher X is a dick.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is Mrs. X a clueless young punk whose time is too valuable to send an email (hint: does it say “Sent from my iPhone” below the emails?) or an old fart who doesn’t understand how to use email?

    My suggestion:

    “Dear Mrs X:
    Since Bubs has not done anything wrong and, as I have previously explained, we are working dilligently to reduce these instances of hypoglycemia, we feel detention is not warranted. Therefore, we will not allow him to remain after school and expect him to come home promptlry after dismissal.

    Additionally, we will grant Bubs the permission to test his blood sugar and chomp on Skittles, Twizzlers, Pop Rocks, and sushi during class. (Assuming this isn’t forbidden already).

    Yours truly,
    Bigfoot”

    Anticipated response:
    “OK, whatever.
    Mrs. X
    Sent from my iPad”

    (I’m not implying iGadget users are necessarily lazy, but there’s a time when terse responses like these are appropriate, and times when they are not. Generally, it’s the clueless ones who don’t realize this)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Is the nurse nice and willing to do things for you/Bubs? Because my current *nice* suggestion is get the nurse to pull this beeping teacher aside and tell her what’s up. I also am not afraid to pull out the “mean” tone in emails. This isn’t something that is optional for him, or something that he is doing purposely to get out of class. This is his health and his life. Do you have a 504 Plan? Because, if not, I would request one, in writing, ASAP that outlines that HE CANNOT BE PUNISHED for missing class time to care for diabetes. That is recurring theme throughout my daughter’s 504 – that all of these things she has to do that are out of the ordinary (and even some that are ordinary for any student) should never result in punishment or grade being lowered, etc. I also would not hesitate to contact the Principal/Asst. Principal and bring them up to speed. It is their job to make sure that the teachers are not discrimination against students, and this is discrimination, plain and simple. We went through this last year and I waited a long time to talk to an administrator about my daughter’s teacher’s attitude and things kept getting worse. Things got better once I told the principal because the teacher has to listen to her boss, she doesn’t have to listen to a student’s parent, unless there are legal documents on file that says she does (hint: 504).

    Like

    • Also, is this after school detention? Or during school? If after school make sure Mrs. X knows that the nurse must be on campus if Bubs is and if the nurse is not available to be there then Bubs cannot serve detention after school.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was a lunch detention.

        Also: the nurse is soooooo good and is familiar with the teacher and said she’d talk to her to make sure everyone knows how to be.

        Part of why I feel I can’t do what you do, it might just be laziness, but there are FOUR kids with T1d, two in 7th grade and two in 8th, who have already carved out a good way of doing things. I mean, I’ve seen them in the nurse’s office, they have great relationships with her, no one gives them a hard time. I just want B to meld into that.

        Thank you for helping me.

        Now what about Home Ec.? (Gluten.)

        Like

      • Dear Katy,

        It’s never too late to ask for a 504. EVER. And just because there are 4 other T1 kids in the school means very little since diabetes accommodations are individual. Yes, a lot are the same, but every kid is different and every parent handles things differently. I am not really a betting person, but I bet you that at least 3 of those 4 other students have a 504. And I would also be willing to bet that if you brought it up to the 504 coordinator that you would like to have one for Bubs that they would probably be on board with that and work with you. The 504 is not a punishment or a “Holy crap no one here knows what the *bleep* they are doing”. It’s simply an instruction manual that is consistent for everyone. SO everyone who is responsible for him at school is on the same exact page with what he has permission to do, or what is required of them. Angelina was not the first kid in the district to have diabetes or an insulin pump. It does seem that she is the only one with a Dexcom, but it’s not like the nurses, etc. that had to deal with her last year should have been as clueless as they were about how diabetes works.

        A big part of our problem on that end was that a lot of the other parents apparently were less involved and either didn’t know what was going on, or didn’t know any better to ask for better. And because of that they resisted my involvement and fought against me because they wanted Angelina to be “different” in the same way as the other “diabetics”, not different in her own way. That is what a lot of our fight was about last year- was the staff realizing that because I was more involved, she was more involved and was capable of more and knew more about her diabetes than a lot of ADULTS do. But she’s also a kid and does need oversight. And, of course, the other big issue was that her teacher refused to learn anything about her diabetes or how it impacted her in the classroom and for that she was outed as being even more different because instead of handling things quietly everything was turned into a big deal.

        As for Home Ec – you could put things in the 504 to make accommodations for the gluten as well. Maybe B has to wear super long yellow rubber gloves and isn’t allowed to eat the food. Or, maybe they have to make a gluten free station and it’s a lesson in cross contamination and proper food handling. I didn’t have home ec/cooking until high school so I’m not sure exactly what home ec in middle school entails, but learning proper food handling, etc was a part of home ec as well.

        The point of all of this is – the 504 is for not only B’s protection, but also for the school and the teacher’s protection. It is a written outline of what is expected of them as well as what is expected of B and what he is capable of. I joke about it constantly “My kid comes with an instruction manual” – when is that ever a bad thing?

        P.S. – you know where my documents are. Our 504 plan is in there. I can get you an editable copy if you want so you can fill in the blanks with B’s information

        P.P.S. If you want to talk about this further not in the comments on your blog you can email me or message me on facebook.

        Like

      • P.P.P.S. Angelina has anaphylactic food allergies and I am not sure how we are going to handle that yet when she gets to a point in school where she has Home Ec or similar. But even then, it’s going to be easier because she is allergic to nuts and shellfish which aren’t in EVERYTHING like gluten is. Then again, who knows if she’ll develop celiac by then or not.

        Like

  4. I agree with Type1dmom. So sorry Bubs has to deal with this:-(

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mollyjade

    There’s no effing way he should have to attend detention, and she definitely owes Bubs an apology.

    And it might be time for Bubs to start learning that some authority figures are idiots and it’s OK to try to involve a second teacher/administrator when something like this happens. A hard but important thing for us rule-followers to learn.

    (I have so many horror stories from public school in the 80s and 90s.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fundamentally agree with your statement. I even went so far as to share that sentiment with my daughter last year when we were having issues. The only problem is that it escalated the issue because adults are more likely to listen to other adults than to a child when it comes down to a student being “uncooperative”, especially when said adults do not fully understand the child’s needs or situation. I got griped out by the principal for telling my daughter to have the school call me if the person who was supposed to be helping her wasn’t doing the right thing. This resulted in her being denied access to the phone unless the principal was called in, which resulted in it being a behavioral issue rather than a diabetes issue and most of the time I could have solved the issue had they called me from the beginning of the situation. I was told that by telling her to have me called to clarify what the right thing to do was I was “undermining their authority” to care for my child. The issue with this is even the people who were supposed to be trained in her diabetes care were not trained as well as they should have been and my daughter would know what to do and they would refuse her or tell her she was wrong and rather than calling me to clarify they would call the principal and say that my daughter was being uncooperative and she would end up spending hours in the principal’s office. We’re talking, for example, her coming to the nurse and saying she was 100 and dropping and needed a snack, and was refused a snack, but she refused to leave the office so the principal was called in and made her go back to class. 30 minutes later, on the bus, she was low where no one knew about it and came in the door at 55 and almost passed out on the floor. She had a letter in her backpack from the principal telling me that my daughter needed to stop arguing with the staff and outlined what happened. I was livid!

      Like

      • mollyjade

        I guess I’m thinking about more life threatening situations. I had a few occasions in school when a substitute teacher or an administrator refused to let me see the nurse or get access to food when I needed it. And as someone who isn’t good at breaking rules, it was hard to learn that I can and should disobey an authority figure when the situation is serious.

        It sounds like everything worked out pretty well in the end, though. It’s reasonable to require Bubs to follow rules about hall passes so long as it’s not a serious emergency.

        Like

    • What a scene! That’s crazy.

      Last night we did lay it on kind of thick about how part of school is to learn to deal successfully with all kinds of weirdos. Then I saw a worksheet from Mrs. X’s class—it was a match the word to its definition exercise using things like “empathy” and “good judgement” and “respect” and “personal values.” I got schooled.

      Like

  6. stacey

    I agree with the 504 request. This teacher probably doesn’t want to put anything in writing hence the short emails.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Autumn

    Dear Mrs. X-
    I want to be sure that all of us are on the same page regarding Bubs and how he handles his hypoglycemia during your class. Specifically, I want us to all be on the same page as to how he can avoid getting detention for taking care of a potentially life-threatening emergency during your class. Your previous short responses to my emails have lead me to believe that an in-person meeting may be the best way to resolve this issue. When would be a good time for you to meet?
    Sincerely-
    Bigfoot

    And yes, if you don’t have a 504 set up yet, get on that. It’s the best way to protect Bubs and helps teachers understand what is expected of all parties involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Whoa! I’m so impressed with all the responses. It made me so very sad that a teacher would respond like that. I’m with the rest. He does not get punished for testing his blood.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ann Adler

    I am furious! Completely unacceptable punishment. Perhaps she would prefer that B choose to ignore his symptoms of low BG, and that he keel over in a health crisis. That wouldn’t disrupt class at all. I would be ballistic; go up the chain as far as it takes to get a proper response.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anonymous

    Unbelievable! I would demand a meeting with the teacher, nurse, and principal.

    Like

  11. OH HELL NAH.

    Emailing the 504 as an attachment should clear things up.

    Dear Mrs. X,

    See attached.

    Sincerely,

    Bigfoot

    Like

  12. Lisa

    Her offensiveness is a problem. He lack of apology, and lack of answering your honest question shows passive/aggressive hostility towards you and your son, even after your email. Time for a heart to heart, up close and personal with the nurse first, and then with the 3 of you (nurse, teacher, you). Her behavior is childish, unacceptable and borderline discriminatory against a student with a disability (a legal offense). There is no closure here. How can a kid feel safe in a classroom with a teacher who wanted to punish him for taking care of himself. And who continues to show a lack of understanding? At what point will he react to her, and decide he can “wait” to treat, out of fear of her disapproval. This teacher needs to be schooled in discrimination against a student with a disability. Sucks.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Just to play devils’ advocate for a moment–(and to stimulate more conversation).

    I honestly don’t know what prompted this teacher to punish your son, nor do I know how the detention was ordered (does she really have the ability to explain WHY with her seemingly limited vocabulary?). In this case, do believe that he really did have low BGs and his visits to the nurse were justifiable. If there were any controversy, I’m sure the nurse would have the definitive word.

    BUT – kids with diabetes are not entitled to a blanket “get-out-of-class-free” privilege. Many CWDs can and will play “the diabetes card” to get out of class at times; just as kids without diabetes will ask to use the bathroom just so they can escape the boredom or sneak a smooch with their girl/boyfriend in the hall. The teacher needs to err on the side of caution, but also needs to be vigilant and make sure that the student isn’t abusing the situation.

    Finally, I would like to say, from a personal standpoint (and experience), when I was in school I would have been *furious* if someone considered me to have a disability which gave me additional entitlements beyond the rest of the class. For me, if I didn’t feel well, I would ask the teacher for a pass to go see the nurse, and that’s exactly how I would put it: not feeling well (though they would have been advised at the beginning of the year what the reason may be). I would want the same entitlements and accommodations as anyone else who was dealing with a stomach-ache or a nosebleed… to get out of class to get medical assistance. And I knew that if I abused it, I would be punished.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was playing devil’s a with myself too—I thought maybe he had done some other thing wrong like: throw a paper airplane or speak out of turn or make fart jokes, and then was blaming the detention on diabetes things to be crafty.

      If I’d had D as a child, I think I would have been the type to really work it. I admire you & little you! I don’t think Bubs works it, but he is extraordinarily fond of the nurse. She’s like a combination of a young Pema Chodron and Ina Garten.

      Like

      • A good fart joke deserves extra-credit, not detention.

        Signed,
        A 40-year-old parent who believes his two-year-old son’s incessant repetition of the “beans, beans…” chant is the most hilarious thing ever.

        Like

  14. WHAT THE MOTHER FUCKING FUCK FUCK?!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Pam

    During the first month of middle school we ended up in a meeting which included the nurse, guidance counselor (who’s the 504 coordinator for the school), principal and the special needs coordinator for the district. First I explained on a very human level Type 1 diabetes and the challenges it presents to my child every day as well as the tactics which work best for her to manage it. Then, with copies of pertinent documents in hand, I talked about state and federal laws which related to my child’s rights at school when it came to diabetes. It wasn’t fun but it worked out in such a way that we got the accommodation we were asking for and the staff appeared to understand why we were asking for it – not just on a legal level but on a human level as well. A lot of the issues we’ve faced over the years seem to stem from cluelessness about diabetes.
    What I’m suggesting I guess, is that a meeting is certainly in order and perhaps the more the merrier so you nip this in the bud before it happens with another teacher. Obviously this particular teacher has some unique issues but chances are she’s not the only challenging teacher at the school.
    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Your hatred makes me feel better. Thank you. Is it possible to have the popular Irishman in Silver?

    Like

  17. I’m having a hard time not getting on a plane and flying up right now to engage in fisticuffs with her. (Granted, I have no hand eye coordination and would probably roundhouse myself – and I’m broke.)
    That being over with, you have shown restraint.
    “Dear Mrs. X,
    After learning that Bubs was given detention for having to visit the nurse for a medical condition that he is trying to manage, I’d like to mitigate any further possible detentions by sitting in your class while Bubs is there.
    This will allow me to ensure that if he has another hypoglycemic reaction in your class, I can check his blood sugar and administer glucose right there so he doesn’t miss a moment of your teaching.
    Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!
    Hugs and Kisses,
    BigFoot”

    Is there a reason why he can’t check his blood sugar in the classroom? Carry glucose with him? I don’t know how kids and schools do it these days, being as I dragged all my crap around in a backpack. And all my teachers had LifeSavers in their desk drawers if they thought I was overly loopy.

    Hate that this is even an issue.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. skchrisman

    Goodness gracious! I started reading responses and now know that I have to carve out some “me” time tonight with an icy cold tall G&T (in your honor) and read through all these terrific responses – toasting everyone with a hearty “well done”.

    Do the 504 plan. Worth getting it in place even when the nurse is great, and you only have issue with one person. You are safeguarding your son for future instances like this. And then if you encounter Mrs. X Stupidhead Health teacher types in the future, you can send a one sentence email.

    Dear Mrs. X,
    Please read Bub’s 504 plan. He will not be participating in lunchtime detention just because he is being attentive to the needs of his body and acting in the responsible and independent manner we have instilled in him. Please conference with nurse if you have any questions regarding symptoms of hypoglycemia.
    Bub’s biggest fan

    Okay…so that’s two sentences…but it leaves you out of it, and puts ownership on the school and the protocol they have in place.

    Looking forward to my G&T tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Anne

    You’ve already gotten a lot of good suggestions in the comments as well as a measure of appropriate outrage, so I’ll just offer one piece of advice: Make sure any record of that detention disappears as a record of disciplinary action may cause him problems later on.

    Liked by 1 person

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