I found some inconsistencies in my last two blog posts, so I’ve made a few minor changes. Chapter 8 becomes Fighting the System and Chapter 9 becomes Old Movies. Hope this is not too confusing.
Scooter lived on a different time schedule than normal humans right from the beginning, fighting sleep in the evening and awakening in the morning. It was always a struggle getting him to pre-school on time. Sonny was accepting of the differences and struggles involved in having a handicapped child, actually still a baby in Scooter’s case, in school. After she left the new teacher was one of those rigid disciplinarians. What we today call a control-freak. This was not a good match for a class of multi- handicapped, multi-aged, very young preschoolers.
Scooter’s daddy Ray dropped him off to school on his way to work. The first time they arrived late, daddy got a warning. The second time the door was locked. And Miss L. wouldn’t open it. “You need to go to the office for a pass,” she yelled through the door. Daddy Ray flipped. He has a hairy temper when aroused.
“Who do you think I am? One of your students? We misplaced Scooter’s hearing aid. What good would it have done bringing a deaf kid to school without his hearing aid? Who do you think YOU are? The principal’s going to hear about this.”
Time passed. Things settled down, but the all the parents were grumbling about Miss L.’s rigidity and lack of compassion. Concern was growing like an inflamed boil getting ready to fester. Then it burst.
One day I dropped in unexpectedly to drop something off for my son. The door wasn’t locked, (We’d found that safety regulations forbade locked doors.) I entered, looked around for my son. “Where’s Scooter?” I asked.
There was a strange look on here face. “Oh my God!” popped out, as she raced to the closet door and yanked it open. There he sat quietly waiting. “Another student grabbed a toy away from Scooter, so he hit him. I put him in there to think about what he’d done.”
“You what?!” I was steaming. Another locked door? This time a closet? “This is an atrocity. You’re going to hear from the superintendent about this.” I grabbed Scooter and left.
With the strong support of PATH, our parent’s organization, and several hearings with school officials Miss L was ultimately dismissed. Yes! to fighting the system. We had power and wielded it.
And along came our angel with a name to fit – Miss Sunny Bates – to replace Miss L. Sunny was understanding of the differences and struggles involved in having a handicapped child in school, many still babies. Most of all she was a compassionate and exceptional hands-on teacher.
Next time – Old Movies. Remember you can continue to receive these posts by signing up with your email address.