As I left our resolution meeting last week, I had a realization that this is probably not going to end well for us. Even if a judge rules in favor of allowing Parker to go to his home school for medical necessity of close proximity to his home, we will continue to face one obstacle after the next. After shaking off my anger at this sudden realization, I began to contemplate what I can do without the school district interference and harassment. I cannot simply change this big governmental system alone. I can and will try to change it over time, with the help of others that have felt the pain of dealing with this monster known as special education in the public education system. I dare say the whole system is not well, but, I don’t plan on taking on all the monsters, just one. Although, I have learned never say never. Anyway, my long term goal will be to change special education and make it more user friendly. After all, we as taxpayers pay for this mess and we should be able to access it. So, yes I do plan to take on this problem and help others that have to enter this system at a future time. But, for now and for my guy, I need a solution to getting him educated in a safe environment and with people who actually care about him. If the judge rules against us, I will simply home school. After all, I am a credentialed teacher and I can teach my own child. It also occurred to me, after hearing so many other special education stories of others that I should find other parents in my area, and see who would like to pull our resources and form a co op of parents to home school. We could decide on a place or places to meet and decide who will teach what and when and have parents available to help with the “class” and do this special education thing ourselves and probably even better. As a group, our kids will get to interact with each other and they will have the opportunity to be taught by several different parents. I don’t have all the particulars set in my mind yet, but, I know this is a good idea!
I also decided that I have another book to write. I plan to go into detail about my different school district experiences and help others who are just beginning this journey into special education hell. I also have started to put out feelers for other parents with stories to start writing them down. I am going to incorporate as many other parents and their stories as I can, and get this information out into the community. Nobody really knows what we are going through on a regular basis. The special education crowd is a relatively small group and we seem to suffer in silence. Most of the time, we are just trying to keep our heads above water and have no time for educating the public at large. No more silent suffering. I have a story to tell and so many others do as well and it is time to get them out and into the open. Who knows? Maybe exposing some of the shameful behaviors could modify several school districts’ practices. Doing the right thing for our kids does nothing to persuade them, but, shame can sometimes do what nothing else can. Although, after sharing with the district my sudden diagnosis of breast cancer they were not in anyway moved and it did nothing to help our case to keep our son at his home school. Maybe shame won’t accomplish anything, but, public pressure and scrutiny can sometimes help immensely. I am not above trying it all.
Once I realized that my son and I are not at the mercy of some school district; that I have the power to take control and do what is right for him, I suddenly felt okay about the situation and quite empowered. I no longer felt like crawling up in a ball and hiding under a blanket. It was like an “aha” moment. I all of a sudden felt God telling me that my purpose in life is to write about what I experience and get this out in the open and that my reason for becoming a teacher and only teaching for 10 years was to prepare me for what is next in my life, teaching my most important student. I always knew God would answer my prayers, but, this time the answer was very clear and I know what to do next.