This is a case of too much or not enough. They either ignore the problems or gloss over them or blow something out of proportion.
The school counselor called today. He was concerned about a cartoon my daughter had drawn and wanted to make sure that I knew about it. He read the cartoon to me and I thanked him for his concern, told him she draws cartoons and pictures a lot and they are simply drawings. They have no deeper darker meanings. I told him that I would look at it when she brought it home today. Then I hung up the phone and shook my head. I know my daughter.
My daughter likes spooky movies. Her favourites are movies like “The Ring” series, anything creepy. That is what the cartoons were, a spoof on “The Ring” movies.
I loved spooky things too as a child. I still do. I didn’t have severe emotional problems because of it. They were simply fun movies to watch and books to read. I didn’t go on to decapitate dolls and mice, grow up into a serial killer or a mail carrier gone postal, or even a kid running around with a gun in school seeking revenge. I was just a kid who liked spooky movies and books along with a hundred other things. I was well rounded. So is she.
She came home and I asked to see the cartoon. Apparently, she and one of her friends had drawn it out of school one day recently. The other friend had it in her backpack to give back to my daughter when a third friend went through her backpack and found it. She decided it needed to go to the school counselor. (Part of me says, “nice caring kid”. The other part of me says, ”know it all nosey Parker”.)
The school counselor called both my daughter and the friend who created it to his office to discuss it. He did ask them if it was a joke to which they responded yes and it was. It was a stick figure cartoon. It said cartoon of “The Ring 1 ,2 and 3” very clearly at the top and bottom of the page. It was a spoof on the movies.
Before anyone gets on my case about her watching those movies, she is in junior high. I tend to be overprotective. I am not the one who allowed her to watch these movies to begin with, but we won’t go into that subject.
My daughter has had problems with school bullies, thefts, destroyed projects she spent days creating, broken things, kids trying to trip her, you name it. When she came home after school one day with a great big project she had worked hard on and turned in that morning, totally destroyed, Mom went ballistic and demanded a meeting with the counselor and the teachers.( She was told that her project may not get a good grade because they had not seen it finished. The kids were told to put them in the classroom before class and no one was supervising. Someone pulled hers apart. Luckily we had video proof of what her project looked like. She had done a news commentary video about the event her project portrayed as extra credit to go along with the project.)
Their reactions at the meeting made me even more angry. It was basically,”not in our school” and “we will look into it” Nothing ever came of their “in depth” looking into the problem. While talking to other parents I found out they have had the same problems.
She has had problems remembering to turn in assignments that she did and struggles in math class. Not once was I aware of those subject problems until her report card came home and I pay attention to her work and work with her. I question her often and check her work. Where were the calls for all of these types of things? They downplayed them and said that they always take care of problems and bullies, help them with class and subject problems. They do not. Plain and simple, they DO NOT. In fact the math teacher she has who we have problems with had another parent come right in to the class one day and demand to know why he wasn’t teaching her child and the other children correctly. He wasn’t happy about it. I was. (The man has a serious case of broomitis, you know a stick where the sun doesn't shine.)
I appreciate that they showed some concern today. They actually called me. But why don’t they make a fuss over the real problems we run into there instead of making a mountain out of a molehill? It is too much or not enough. Most of the time it is none at all. She came home shaking HER head and showed me the drawing.
We called her step daddy, my husband, and he reacted the same way we did, except that he got mad. "*#&*@*#@!"
It is time to go cook my dark and disturbed daughter some dinner. At the moment she is listening to a comedian’s routine on her IPod with her stuffed bunny she has had since infancy sitting next to her and helping me by folding laundry. (I had better watch her carefully. She might be stabbing the laundry with a pretend knife.)
She will be telling me all about her next project with a friend while I am cooking. It is her spoof version of “Kung Fu Fighting” on video with fake fighting. It is quite funny. I saw the first cut last night. We better not put it in her backpack to send to the other friend though or I may get a call from the school counselor saying he is concerned about my child’s violent video. I think next time my response will be,”She learned it from the school bullies, you know the ones you looked into…”