My oldest is fifteen. He is a real pain sometimes, but overall, he is an excellent kid. He knows his manners, he helps everyone and he is extremely smart. He is still a teenager though, and I like to take a lot of what he says in stride. When I knew his grades were bad the end of the year, I assumed it was because he was again not doing his work. It is an ongoing problem.
I suppose that is how I screwed this one up. I shouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss what he said as an exaggeration, or a “prep” for the two F’s I would find on his report card along with the two summer classes he would need to take to get to 10th grade.
When I found that he had to take two “credit recovery” courses to make up for the two classes he failed, I felt it was a good lesson for him. I figured hey, if you choose to fail, you choose to spend your summer making up for it! Well, I could not have been more wrong.
See, at the end of the year he came home quite upset and said, “Mom, my history teacher pointed her finger at me and said ‘I’m going to fail you’ because I was laughing too much in class.” I shrugged it off because he likes to blame teachers when he doesn’t do well in class.
When his report card came, sure enough, there were two F’s staring at me. Here is where it gets confusing. His first semester was spent at his father’s in a different state. He had a B for the second semester there in History and Algebra both, the two classes he had failed for the year. On his final report card, however, showed something much different. The entire first semester was blank except for his history class – it showed two F’s.
When he looked at it he yelled at me, furious over the fact that he failed. He was very angry as he was telling me how his grades must not have transferred. I went to the school to request to see his transcripts from the last school, and sure enough, all A’s and B’s, including History.
So standing there my blood started to boil, and the woman who handles the registrations got a little irritated too. I talked to one of the Assistant Principals about his grades, and an investigation began. I got a call to come in and discuss what they found.
I sat down, and Assistant Principal looked at me with slight disgust and said, “well, he passed history, here are his grades.” I was so furious I began shaking. My son did not tell a lie in preparation for failing, his teacher intentionally failed him! So I started going crazy, maybe a little bipolar, and demanded this teacher be investigated. The Assistant Principal then made up an excuse that my son was listed “exempt” from all first quarter and second quarter work in only that one class, which ultimately gave him a ZERO for the first quarter!
Wow. Just….wow. I sat there and just stared at her. Really? Seriously? This teacher went in and instead of transferring his grades in from the previous school, exempted each assignment to be sure he would fail.
So once I finally finished shaking in a pure rage, she explained they would investigate to see if it was a simple, honest mistake.
Right. I want that teacher’s head! Well, considering that won’t happen, can I at least demand her job? Good grief. If someone is going to be a high school teacher, they should at least be capable of handling high school kids’ BS (in my opinion), and not fail a kid for being a kid!
Teenagers are extremely difficult, emotional, crazy creatures. I don’t expect these teachers to have the same level of love and patience as I do being his mother, but at least have enough patience to work with a kid rather than pointing a finger at them saying “I am going to fail you.”
So now he gets to quit the summer class for History, but must continue Math.
Our county has strict academic requirements to obtain a driver’s license or learner’s permit. By fixing this mess we also got the driver eligibility certificate we had been denied because he failed two classes. So basically, not only did this woman try to take his summer, she almost delayed him getting his learner’s permit by six months, which delays him being able to get his license by six months as well.
One person was able to wreak havoc in my son’s life with little effort, turn his entire world upside down, and nearly ruin his summer. It doesn’t look like she will face a single consequence for it either.
Oh how I’d love to string her up by her toes, and give her a piece of my mind!
Teacher photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 13 Jul 2012