Yesterday I met with Kerri's school principal. And bully boy was sitting in the office, yet again, for putting his hands on someone in the class. It is a daily occurrence. And Kerri is starting to show signs of distress.
For awhile now, we have a terrible time trying to get her out of bed to go to school. She says things like:
"School is boring!"
"I hate school!"
"I don't want to go to school!"
And no matter how I try, I cannot get an answer out of her as to why. So I decided to go see the principal and ask for the social worker's assistance.
When we met, I told her there were three possible reasons I thought this was happening. My first possibility is that Kerri really has been affected by the bully boy, even though he has pretty much left her alone this year so far. But she sees him bullying others every day. And there was that one incident when he was put in her class and her teacher had no knowledge of his issues or what had happened between him and Kerri last year, and therefore she sat him right in front of my daughter. And Kerri came home and said she was scared because bully boy was in her classroom.
The principal advised that they had to gently talk to Kerri regarding the bully boy, because apparently, when he was shoving another kid around, she got in his face and told him: "Stop that! You can't do that!". So she was reminded not to talk to him, and I reminded Kerri later to seek out an adult or teacher instead of confronting bully boy herself. I know my daughter will not cower, and that she will defend others every time. She seems to "mother" those that are younger, or weaker than her.
My second concern I discussed was that Kerri needed to be tested for OT, and that her SDP problems were already impacting her in class. She tunes out and is so focused on one thing, that she does not hear anything else. And even though I met with her teacher and warned her to look out for this, the teacher did not remember and Kerri was reprimanded for not listening. Kerri came home beyond upset, since she has never been reprimanded in school ever, and could not understand why the teacher would chastise her unfairly for wanting to ask a question (because she never heard the teacher's complete instructions once she tuned her out to focus on her activity). Kerri insisted she never wanted to go through that again.
My third point was that the therapy liaison in the school told me Kerri was gifted. And even though I am not sure that is the case, I want her tested. Because if she is gifted, that would explain why she thinks school is boring. I don't think Kerri is a genius. I just think she has spent a lot of time with adults and with her Mommy nurturing her curiosity with books. So she is a bit more mature than kids her age, and her vocabulary and knowledge is that of an older child. But she is equally behind in social skills, since she is still learning how to share and not always be the leader.
The principal wrote everything down and promised she would look into the social worker, the OT testing and the gifted testing and get back to me. And when I picked Kerri up, we had a talk about my meeting with the principal. I wanted to prepare her for what was to come, and she was unfazed about the social worker or the OT testing. But when we discussed the gifted testing, she asked what would happen if the tests showed her as being gifted. I explained the school would then give her more challenging work to ensure she does not get bored. And Kerri happily clapped and said: "Yay! That's exactly what I want!".
Life with Kerri makes me shake my head in disbelief sometimes.
When I went to pick up Kerri at school today, her teacher pulled me aside to talk. She was concerned she had received an email from the principal. She claims she is "on top" of the bully issue and "that is being handled". She had no idea about Kerri confronting the bully, and no one had told her it had happened. She also did not understand how Kerri was bored, when she was happy in class, and very talkative (which she encourages) and sometimes taking longer to do her work (which she said is normal at this age). She does not think Kerri is gifted, but thinks that the morning routine is "just a stage" Kerri is going through and probably perfectly normal for her age.
When I got home, there were two forms signed from the principal requiring my signature: a referral for the social worker, and one for OT.