An Open Letter to My Son’s Teacher

                                                                 Dear Son’s Educator,

    Forgive me, but I’m not a confrontational person. I’m not a social butterfly or a people person. I couldn’t say in words how I feel and if I tried you would probably be subjected to hundreds of tears and random tyrants. I find it very difficult to be negative towards another person. My words are better expressed in written form.
     I just wanted to express my frustration in how things are being run at your educational facility. We have now reached out on two separate occasions for help in understanding situations that have occurred during time when our son was in your care. Both times were met with defensiveness instead of help, as if we have accused you of wrong doing. There was no malice or accusation intended from our end, we merely shared information and asked for you to assess the situation. Clearly things were misunderstood.
    When our son comes home and tells us something, we are going to believe him. I have known my son his whole life and I know what to expect from him. He has not come home and told us made up stories in the past. When we asked him what was going on, he told us a version of events. We responded by informing the teacher of what he told us, as we should have. We asked that you check into things.  We understand that you can’t be everywhere in the classroom and things are going to happen without your knowledge. Even in the best of classrooms, in the best of schools, there are bullies and there are children like my son who are targeted by these bullies.
 When he said someone was taking his lunch money, we as his parents and the people who are supposed to protect him, believed him completely. Why would he be untruthful? What would he gain from making that up? He is seven. He is also a very honest, kind hearted, sweet little boy. He has never been in trouble at school before. He has never made up a story like that before. The lost money, no matter where it was lost, was not the issue and never was. There is nothing that can be done for what has been done already.
     We reached out in hopes that you, who are also supposed to be protecting him, would insure that his lunch money gets from him to the lunch room as intended. What we got was a very defensive phone call from you, where our son was degraded, accused, and demeaned as he stood in the room with this person he is supposed to respect and look up to. And the words, “I think your son is lying.” You might as well have physically smacked me in the face. Regardless of whether he lied or not, that was hurtful not only to him but to me. When he told me tonight that his teacher said she didn’t trust him or believe him, I cried. He is just a child, what now if he does have an issue, you will never hear of it from him. You have successfully created an even bigger target for his future bullies. They will thank you.
      Also, it doesn’t matter that it was, “only a dollar,” or “a few of quarters,”  “a month ago,” we wasn’t asking for the money to be returned or for you to do anything to that child. We just didn’t want any future occurrences or for you to pay attention to what is actually happening. We just want our son to be able to go to lunch and have lunch money and extra money from treats which is why we send the money in the first place. Again yesterday money was sent but again it did not make it to his lunch account. I put it in his homework folder in hopes that you would have seen it and made sure it made it to it’s intended destination. I failed in my assumption that you would help us help him by even a gentle reminder to get his money to take when you left for lunch. I know it is his responsibility but he is also having some difficulty in remembering, all we ask is a reminder to him.
        I realize this time he may have been telling a story about someone taking his money or not telling the whole story but I think we could have worked things differently. I know my child is not going to always be perfect. I accept the fact that kids are going to be kids. I know that he changed his story and never really had a good reason for why his lunch money was missing. I know he may have lost it out of his bag somewhere or left it laying somewhere. He may not really know. That doesn’t mean he was “using it for other things and not wanting us to know.” He is seven what do you think he was doing with it? Buying black market hot wheels off the school street corner? That also doesn’t mean he was lying completely. I will always believe what he tells me. I will always take his word. I will always take his side. And I do believe it happened, at least once as he said, because he would not tell me another child threatened him and took his money if it had not actually happened.
       I have always consider us partners in this child’s future. Each of us has a part in who he will become. That might not mean a lot to you, but it should. You play a huge role in the creation of our future citizens. It’s your job to facilitate their education and protect them while they are in your possession. I’m not there. I wish I could be there with him every moment but I can not. I give him over to you in hopes that he will be returned in the condition I left him. I feel you have failed in that aspect. He is not the same and neither am I. I’m hurt, and extremely upset. I want to rip him away and protect him from any more of your brand of education. He is my child and I will always work to instill in him a sense of worth and power regardless of how much you try to take it away from him.
      I’m not a mother who is always trying to stir up trouble. I have never had a confrontation with another teacher. I’m not an interfering mother, I let you teachers do your job and only raise concern if necessary, which hasn’t been till now. I have never complained to a school official before this year. When my son came home with bruises shaped like shoes on his back and shoulder I reached out to you for help. I bragged on how I thought things were done. Thinking back, I’m not so sure now. I take back all those encouraging and uplifting words I have said and all that unfounded bragging I have done.
      Think on this for me. If it was your child who came home with bruises or came home and said someone stole his money, how would you have handled the situation? What would you have done? I’m sure you wouldn’t have done things as you have done them to my child.
     All I ask of you is for you to respect, care for, and educate my child. I hope that we can get over our misunderstandings to prevent my son from any future embarrassment or ill treatment. It is still my hope that we can work together on at-least amicable grounds for his sake. He is the top priority regardless of our feelings toward each other, I hope that he will be treated as any other student in your classroom.

Sincerely,
My Son’s Mom