What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Even more to say

In this weekend's edition of Parade Magazine, there was an article entitled, "The Best Friend I Never Met". It was about people that connected and became friends via the Internet. As I read the comments on my last post to my husband, I would say, "That's my friend Sarah in Missouri and that's my friend Heidi in Colorado and my friend Mary in Oklahoma, etc. I read each comment and knew they were from my friends. Friends that I have never met face to face, but friends heart to heart. Thank you for every one of you comments, your caring and your support.

And so it goes. I decided to contact the Superintendent and let him "fix" it. I knew he would. I knew the school was srong and you can dispose of a child. I had all my emails printed out, my forms from the doctors, my "No Child Left Behind" at the ready, etc. I knew they were wrong. He would fix it.

I called to set up an appointment and the Secretary told me to call the Teachers and Principal to "fix" the situation before I contacted the Superintendent. I briefly explained my problem and she connected me to him. He was not friendly, did not seem to recognize who I was and sided with the school immediately. He confirmed what I knew all along, they were concerned that his Benchmark Test Scores might be low and affect the school's scores. I knew it was all about the Benchmarks. He said they were concerned he would fail. That's what the school said too. That's the dumbest piece of logic I ever heard. "I knew the car would run out of gas, so I didn't put any in." "I knew the groceries would get eaten, so I didn't buy any." Brainiacs, they are. I told him that he should have had the opportunity to fail, the opportunity to have poor Benchmarks. "That's not our job" he said. Seriously. "That is not our job."

He asked how long Home Bound Teaching had been established. I told him the school had not ever set that up. He said then I had failed as a parent because it was MY job to set up Home Bound Teaching. WTF, I never ever heard of Home Bound teaching until about a week or so ago when the Counselor mentioned it and said that she needed to look into it because she didn't even know exactly how it worked. How am I supposed to set up Home Bound Teaching when my kid is out of sorts, sick etc.? No one even seems to care or remember that he was going through HELL over here and not just watching TV and eating candy. It is unforgiveable. I asked for asignments, papers to be picked up, reading assignments and none of the teachers ever acknowledged me. Not once.


I have decided to HomeSchool. I will not have any person say that I failed as a parent. I did no such thing. I will have no person tell my son that he is "beyond help." I will not take any more, pardon me, shit. No. No more. Not me.

This is not to say that this is the end of it. I still know they are WRONG and I am right. Thank you to Vax Girl for suggesting the University Law Department. That sounds like a fabulous idea. Something they can research and see who is right and who is wrong. Part of me wants to do this the remainder of the year, then go back to school. But, part of me wants to Home School permanently or tranfer to another school. Most of me just wants to pack up and move to a tropical island. But, that's not logical. I have too much Junk.

So, for this week, as there is no school for Thanksgiving anyway, we are in a school free, worry free all out Holiday-Palooza around here. We are going to bake a turkey and pumpkin bread and roasted potatoes and custard pie and cupcakes (I provide the desserts at all the family functions) and eat and celebrate and decorate and par-tay. No school, no worries. (Well, not vocally anyway. Inside I am boiling.) But that will not prevent me from getting out my vintage Christmas lovelies and decking out the tree, the walls, the shelves, the house, and hell, the cats if they will stand still.....

I will be Thankful that The Bean is fine and he is actually looking forward to HomeSchool. And, so am I. It will be alright. But, I am still mad.

Thanks again everyone.


  1. I am mad on your behalf, as I think a lot of people are. The school is clearly wrong, and I do think it's time for legal advice. Document every conversation you've had, every instance you can think of, everything. You've requested school work, you've kept the school informed and done everything you can. For the superintendent to say you have failed as a parent is unforgiveable. And slanderous. You have done everything you are supposed to do, and they are just plain WRONG. Hang in there. If you do homeschool or transfer the Bean, I would seriously consider not ever going back to that school. They've already failed you and your son, they now have a track record that they should be ashamed of. If it were me, I would be afraid that it would just get worse and they would let you and the Bean down even more the next time. Hugs to both of you!

  2. I'm with Otter Mom...I'm so angry and frustrated on your behalf!! I can not believe how this is turning out! It is so unfair and so "corporate America" in my opinion. It seems they are so much more concerned about their "bottom line", in this case those scores, than the education of your son!!! They are wrong...plain and simple.
    I know things will turn out as they are supposed to, I'm just so so sorry you're having to go through this.

  3. Anonymous4:39 PM

    Well. That superintent sounds like a real bozo. How can you know about something you have never heard of. Sounds like my DH's old boss. Everyone called him the "coulda, shoulda, woulda man". I am so sorry that your family is having to go through this. I think if it had to happen, then this is a good time, because you can get him started on learning whatever they say he missed and probably caught up by the end of the year. Then the two of you can having a pressure free (well as much pressure free as possible when you are teaching your own child) spring semester. I'll bet he learns more than he would have in that school environment. Plus, you will have plenty of time to decide what you want to do about next fall.

    Also, there is probably a Home School group in your area that you can connect with to learn the ropes and that the Bean can meet other kids to do things with. My friend's grandkids are in one of these and they do field trips, sports and clubs together.

    Have a happy Thanksgiving and know that the Bean is healthy and happy with his family. One day this will be only a a memory and you will know that you did your best for him. Maybe you will get Mother of the Year!


  4. I am disgusted! Poor you! Go to your local counsellor (MP in the UK)then the press. It is amazing how things are resolved that way! Good luck. xxxx

  5. Anonymous7:15 PM

    Tears fill my eyes and bile is actually rising in my throat. But the mama lioness in me is baring her claws!!!! What in the world is wrong with those people. As I read your last two posts I wanted to scratch out some eyes, hire a big lawyer and sue them all and pack you up and move you away. I hate the way the secretary called you ma'am after all you have done at that school. I hate that the focus always comes down to benchmarks. I hate that the blame was put on you. As a former special ed teacher I can tell you that the principal at the school got a nasty memo from the Superintendent for note giving him any warning that you were on the warpath. But that does you no good right now. I just want them all to get the bu**s handed to them on a Thanksgiving platter. The school district here did something similar to my brother. He was in need of special education but the personnel all told my mom that he was fine and it was all in her head and she was doing this to my brother. Well, after she had him tested by a well known psychologist and it was shown how "slow" he was that district had to eat their crow. They had to fund my brother's tuition to a private special ed school for 4-5 years. I know this is not the Christianly thing to say but I sure hope you find a way to stick it to 'um.
    On a more positive note you sound like you are keeping a positive front for Bean and that is great. Enjoy your holiday. Enjoy the experience of homeschooling and don't focus to much of his attention on how he got there.
    Wow, now that I look back over this I don't know how much it really helps but I just wanted you to know that I am angry on your behalf. If I lived near you I would joined arms with you and picket the Superintendent's office!!!
    Le Anne Yard Sale Princess

  6. Boy is that school ever going to MISS you! Who is going to do all the PTA scut work that you have done over the years? Who's going to feed these stupid a** teachers as well as you have at every function that you did?

    One suggestion, if you really want him in this school, is to ask that he be tested NOW. See if he actually IS behind in his classes, because he may just not be.

    But I would have just been SO ticked at all this that has been going on.

    I hope it all works out!

    Now...put an ad on Craigslist for homeschooling supplies!


  7. Oh Shara...I am so sorry all this has happened to you...I have been reading along but unfortunately have not commented....you are so strong! Keep up the great work. Bean has a great momma!! Thinking of you!

  8. Shara, you have been heavy on my heart these past couple of days. :( How DARE that man accuse you of failing your child? HOW DARE HE?? Oh, it makes me absolutely furious for you.

    It makes me ill that rather than care about actually educating our children and helping to turn them into responsible adults, administrators are more worried about "numbers" because their butts are on the line. I think the NCLB program is deeply, deeply flawed and this is a perfect example of why.

    I hope that in spite of all this nonsense that you are able to enjoy your holiday, relax a little, and be refreshed and energized to face what you have to do. Definitely look into home school groups in your area; that can be a great resource. You do so much with Bean as it is to facilitate learning (like your cool field trips) that maybe homeschooling will be a really natural fit for you.

    I know it's not what you had planned and it will be hard to give up your alone time--it would be very hard for me--but I know you are committed to doing right by your sweet boy, and I applaud you for that. You have my support and all my good thoughts!

  9. Oh, Shara! I don't even know what to say. :(

    I know you're a good, strong Mama and will do your very best for The Bean.

  10. I still seriously do not understand what in the fuck is going on down there.

    Let me tell you a little story. I was teaching 7th grade science in public school before Jack arrived. I had a student, let's call him bozo, in my 3rd period class. Bozo never once even put his name on a piece of paper in my classroom. He never had a book, or a piece of paper. He had not a single clue what on earth was going on in my classroom. I would give him a test and he would sit there and fuck off and disturb the other kids, throwing pencils, making an ass of himself. He spent many, many days in suspension.

    I kept asking at those "meetings" over and over again, why in the hell I had to put up with bozo? What was the point? The answer was always the same "our hands are tied, we can't kick him out of school for being an asshole." He was 16 years old and in the 7th grade!!!!!

    I could go on and on, kids who actually ATE their textbooks in class, kids who never bothered to show up or showed up drunk or whatever.

    Not a single word was ever uttered about them lowering our test scores?????? I failed plenty of kids. And this is a first class school district with plenty of cash to go around.

    Sigh. What a mess. When I think about all those kids sitting in those chairs that just wasted my damn time and now a kid who likes going to school now is not allowed to go? A good student who actually contributes to a learning environment? Gah. It makes me want to puke. LOL


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