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Trip to Boston

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Christmas Story



Trip to Boston

Thursday, February 4th:

About 8:30 am this morning, Mr. Notto called (instead of Mr. Foresman) to ask me what my problem was. He told me that what could I expect other than Incompletes on Anna's report card, when she hadn't been in school. I told him, EXACTLY, and the I was wanting to know how the week before, that my daughter had good grades, when they were incompletes.

He told me that somewhere along, I was misunderstanding him. I assured him that I was not misunderstanding him--that I was afraid I was understanding him perfectly. I asked him when my daughter was going to start receiving a tutor in our home, as she had already been out 2 weeks (one of the weeks being under the homebound order). He informed me that she was not going to get her tutor until we came back from Boston on February 26th, which was going to be late on a Thursday evening 3 more weeks away. That would make a total of 5 weeks that my daughter was going to be out of school with no tutor. (4 of which was from her 6wk homebound order).
I asked him when they were going to pull my daughter's Chapter 15 Service Contract like I had requested in the letter I had given them. He told me that the contract was nothing? He told me that he was not going to put it on her contract.

I told him that he most certainly WAS going to. I told him that there was no reason my daughter should not be being educated when she was a handicapped child, was under a homebound order, and that she was an honor roll student. I asked him why he was trying to have my daughter fail this year. His reply to me was that if she failed, it would be her own fault.I told him that it would be over my dead body. As we were definitely getting nowhere (This is his "working together" skills that I speak of in my fax & his reply to me),he told me to bring Annie in the next day to the school & he would have 5 of her teachers there. (3 from the past nine weeks, 2 from the present). I told him that I could not guarantee that Anna would be able to make it, as she was having a lot of discomfort in her foot. He told me that he could not help that, and insinuated to me that if we wanted her homework????I told him that I would try.

He told me that every Friday up until we went to Boston, that I was to bring her to school (over a homebound order) to get her homework. I told him that it was ridiculous, and that she should not even be in school, especially with the pain. I was mad. I felt helpless. I told him that her civil rights were being broken, that she had a doctor order to be at home,and I thought this was ridiculous, when a tutor could bring her work in, and we had 3 more weeks of lost time before Boston.
He would not budge one bit. (More of those working together skills that the letter from him and the secretary talk about).

So, we set up an appointment for me and Anna to come to the school the next day, regardless of my feelings.

Friday, February 5th:
I took Anna out to the school for 2pm. We were told in the office to go to the guidance office. When we got there, some of the teachers were there, as others were still coming in. Anna sat on the one chair so she could rest her leg on it.

The teachers all sat around in a circle (all five of them). We talked to all of them, explaining Anna's foot condition, and our concerns for her. We spoke to the three teachers from her last nine weeks regarding what she needed to do in order to take care of the incompletes. I have to say that I was very pleased with the teachers and their understanding of the situation.

Some seemed surprised to me that we were even having the meeting, and why the tutor was not taking care of this. Anna was speaking to the last of the five teachers, when Mr. Notto asked if he could speak with me a minute. I thought that we were finally going to get our tutor, and discuss that. Mr. Notto called Mr. Foresman in the office too.

He shut the door, and then proceeded with the biggest fit I've ever seen a grown man throw. I remember sitting there, looking in amazement, and thinking to myself that this man wasn't used to not getting his own way. He first was mad about me calling the superintendent the day before and voicing my concerns about the tutor. The next 15 minutes consisted of a grown man pointing his finger, giving orders, and pacing in a very short distance. He ordered me that I was not to deal with the superintendent, guidance office, nurse, anyone again over the situation with my daughter, and that I was to solely deal with him, and did I understand. He told me that if my daughter failed it would be her own fault, that he would not put on her contract that she was going to receive a tutor, and that he would be the one to decide if and when she got one. Mr. Foresman sat there pretending to be busy at his desk. I do not know how someone can be there for a witness when doing so much paperwork.

I sat there thinking to myself that this is someone that is watching over our children? I was sickened to the point of wanting to vomit. Other thoughts went through my mind also, but I am wanting to keep this story in clean reading content, so it is best I do not say them. He told me to threaten with an attorney, go to the schoolboard, anyone, as he didn't care, that he would just lie and that I couldn't prove anything. I said a not so clean word at that point. He also had told me that he was going to call my daughter's doctors. I told him that he was not. I told him that the excuses were enough. He told me that the doctor's should have called him. I told him that it was not his business, and why would he need to talk to them when he had told me that he had a problem with Anna's other physician's excuses. After he slammed out of the office, I looked at Mr. Foresman. He was done with all his deskwork, and I was so frustrated that I started to yell and cry. I told him that I was so frustrated, and asked why the school was doing this to us. He never mentioned a word--just handed me the Kleenex. I told him that the only thing that Mr. Notto hadn't done was kissed my child's cheeks with this vendetta, and said if there was any kissing it would be him kissing my A??. I told him that my child had went through enough, that we were paying for a lot of trips to Boston, and we had emotional & financial burden from this, not needing the school acting like that. He told me that I should do whatever I thought was best for my child. I told him that I most certainly would & had been.

I asked to see the superintendent. He pointed me in the direction of Mr. Vranasevic's office, as he watched me crying. I went up the hall hunting for the superintendent.

When I found the superintendent, he took me to his office. We sat down. Something had told me the night before to print out letters from our problems with the school over the tutor for the school board. I knew Mr. Notto's pattern. I honestly knew that he would keep his word about holding the tutor out of our home. I had the first letter that is on the main page of this story & gave it to him for the schoolboard & himself. I cried, explaining our situation with the school, my frustration over the contract & the school not following it, the harassment I got when I called every time my daughter was sick, the meeting I was tricked into, and everything I've wrote prior to this. I asked him why my child was being deprived a tutor, why they were waiting 3 more weeks at least to give her one--purposely putting her more & more behind. He shook his head, and told me that he would have a tutor in our home the very first of the next week--which would have been the week of Feb. 8th. I told him I would take his word & left. When I went back down to the office to get my daughter, as I had not wanted her to see me so upset--with the concern it would bother her foot, there was a tutor standing there.

She introduced herself to me. I couldn't talk. I told her that she was going to have to speak with Mr. Vranasevic for the arrangements, and then to call me. We left.
Wednesday, February 10th: No tutor as promised. I called Mr. Vranasevic, asked him why we didn't have one yet, as he had promised me. He told me that we would definitely have one Monday evening of the 15th. He said that she had just been approved. He also told me that I needed to bring Anna into the school for her tests in order to take care of the incompletes.

I told him that her foot was hurting. You see, I had discussed this with Mr. Notto at the meeting I was tricked into, and had told him that I should not have to bring Anna to school when she was on a homebound. In order for them to make arrangements for a tutor, I was told I had to take my child to school.

Thursday, February 11th: I had Anna get ready to take to the school for her tests. She vomited all over her bed, and I know it was from her nerves. I gave her some Advil, and loaded the wheelchair of my mom's in our vehicle.

We went out to the school, went to the guidance office, and Mr. Foresman brought some of Anna's tests into the meeting room. I sat with Anna, as I knew that she was scared that we were going to have another repeat performance of the week before. I assured her that we would not.
While Anna was taking her test (IN the Guidance Office), guess who shows up in there talking loudly? You got it.....Mr. Intimidation, that I had also forgot to mention had sat in my daughter's classrooms prior to her homebound. I can't prove anything, but harassment comes to mind here.
Anyway, I got up and shut the door, as it was visibly bothering Anna, and for goodness sakes, these were for her grades.

How many other students take tests under pressure of intimidation. How many of us parents like to have someone standing over us when we are doing something. This child's grades were riding on this, and if she had gotten a bad mark, it would have been told that it was HER fault.
When I shut the door, he asked someone out in the guidance office why I shut the door. Well, it was because of his loud mouth I did, and I want the world to know it. It is bad enough that our students get told to shut up, intimidated, harassed, when us parents are home, but when we are with our child???

Thursday, February 12th: I gave Anna pain pills, took her to the school & sat with her through the rest of her tests, determined that if this man did this again, I was going out in the office for a confrontation on my terms--not his.

Monday, February 15th: We still had not heard from the tutor. I called a student who I knew was receiving the same tutor, getting the tutor's phone number. I called the tutor that evening at 6pm. She told me that Mr. Notto was to give her permission to come in, but had not heard from him.
I was mad, as again I had been lied to. I called Tomi Boylstein (schoolboard member), and talked to her about the situation.

She told me that they had not gotten their packets (letters) yet that I had given the superintendent, but that same night was the pre-meeting. She told me she would call me late that same evening or the very next morning. I thanked her.

Tuesday, February 16th: No call from Tomi. I was frustrated, as I knew that this school board had these letters, knowing the situation. I called Debra Schrecengost. We talked, and she knew that it was her daughter that was with Anna in the office the day she was told to shut up. They had discussed this at the pre-meeting, showing that the school board most certainly was aware that I was telling the truth. She told me on the phone that Mr. Notto had told the school board that he could not understand why the tutor had not showed up at our house the night before, but would find out. He also told them that we were all working together, and that even Anna had been out at the school to take her tests the week before. They believed him and never even took the time to call me. I told Debra that this was a lie. I told her that he never called the tutor. I gave her the tutor's phone number. I told her to call her & find out for herself. I told her that the ONLY reason that I had my daughter out at the school for her tests was that we were THREATENED with our tutor. I was forced to take my daughter out, loaded with Advil, vomiting, cause we were forced to against a homebound order. Isn't that ILLEGAL??? Lawyers????

You see, that was again how we demonstrate "working together" skills. Forcing + HOMEBOUND = BREAKING CIVIL RIGHTS I believe. Deb was to look into this and call back. Why am I disappointed to not hear anything? Good thing I wasn't holding my breath.

3 o'clock that same day, the superintendent called me apologizing end over end, as he & Mr. Notto could not figure out why the tutor had not showed up at our home the night before. They were going to get to the bottom of it, however.

I told him that maybe if his principal would quit holding his grudges & have called the tutor to give his permission, she would have been there. I also told him that I had called her & had spoken to her. He was truly shocked. I do believe that he was.

Just by the way he paused, and said Thank You. I don't honestly believe that he knows the depths his principal will really go to.

It was mid-week when I spoke with Anna's tutor. We made arrangements for her to come in after we got back from Boston, because the school had played around so much, that Mr. Notto did get his own way. I thank you the schoolboard for helping put my child behind. She is having to work hard now to catch up thanks to you.

Our Next Trip to Boston:

Anna and I left Saturday, February 20th for the airport. This trip held a lot of events. We had a doctor appointment with the orthopedic surgeon on Monday, and Tuesday the doctors were going to give Anna injections in her foot. We knew that she would be in the hospital overnight from this, and that it would take a while to know if it worked. We also knew that we were coming home late Thursday evening---Which actually turned into Friday afternoon due to a snowstorm. It actually did work out for the best, however, because the trip home was hard for Anna. We had her foot packed in ice to keep the swelling down.

She was on percodan & was in a daze. It was a quiet, tiring trip on the way home.
The orthopedic appointment was frustrating to us, as we wanted to hear that they could do something (operation wise) with her foot. We were told differently, that he did not like to operate on vascular malformations. We had heard this years before.

I could have honestly sat and cried. I know we should feel lucky that it isn't worse, or on her face, but she has given up so much. I just wanted to hug her and cry. He wrote out the homebound paper for the rest of this school year (June). We were happy, as we knew that Mr. Notto was counting on us only having the 6 week homebound. You see, it had already been 5 weeks into the homebound order. Would he have possibly given us a tutor for the remaining 1 week?

The procedure on Anna's foot took well over 23 injections. That is how many holes we could count on the bottom of her foot.

They gave her steroids to keep the swelling down, gave her pain shots, and kept her foot packed in ice. She slept a lot, and I was glad, as it didn't hurt when she was sleeping. I did a lot of word puzzles that night, praying that these injections would help her foot.

We came home and had our tutor the following week. I cannot say enough about Anna's tutor. She is a very sweet person & Anna works well with her. I thought after the tutor started that things were over...that things would calm down finally for us.

I apologize for this being so long, and trust me, as I write it, I relive it. It makes me sick, and yet I feel that I have to do this.

My daughter wants me to write this. We've talked in great length over this, and she is so upset & angered over this that she has asked me to put her name in this & us come forward. I've worried if I were doing the write thing, but we both feel that this may help not only us, but other ones going through the same thing.

Another reason I write this is for the next part of my story...... Please go back to our main page & click on to the next chapter. It is certainly worth the reading......And it is the truth!

Continue with The Christmas Story

 

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Last modified: August 31, 1999 02:22:57 AM

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