Friday, December 12, 2008

Sutton's Mold Issues

Because of the looming storm yesterday, I made a run into town to make sure we were stocked up on provisions just in case we were stuck here for a few days. Its not something that is unheard of in Vermont, in fact it usually happens at least once during the course of our long winters. While I was standing in line to check out, I noticed the local paper sitting on the counter, and the headline that read :"Sutton's students start vacation early; Mold closes school until at least Jan. 5th". As I read through the article I felt a couple of different emotions course through my body. One was relief; relief that my children were away from that school and their issues. Relief that I am not one of the parents who has to scramble to find childcare for their kids for the next 3 weeks or more. Relief that I have the opportunity to be able to teach my children the things that they need to know from the comfort of our own home. And definite relief that I was not one of the parents who walked into the school a couple of weeks ago and was immediately assaulted by a horrific smell and then had to go to the office and ask what said smell was...and then have to go home..and wonder if it was actually going to be investigated, and if whatever it was was dangerous to my child. If you haven't read my issues with this school, let me just tell you that communication is not one of their strong points.
The other emotion I felt was pure anger. I suppose it was dredged up from hard feelings that happend last year...but I have to wonder...did the mold have something to do with affecting Zephryn's behavior? And if it DARE those people make him and my entire family feel like it was all our fault that he has issues, and how dare they just brush him aside like he never mattered. OK, I know my kid isn't perfect, I know he has sensory issues, he always has, but the fact that his behavior at that school was so unlike any behavior we had ever seen makes me wonder. He had always been the type that when he got overwhelmed or stressed he would withdraw into himself. But starting in the first grade he started lashing out...only at school. They looked at me like I was crazy when I told them he had never attacked me at home, or freaked out like he did at school. When they sent him to Cornerstone in St. Johnsbury, the administration there told Mike and I that they didn't see the kinds of behaviors that Sutton reported seeing..and while he was there he was an exemplary student. When they sent him back to Sutton, he did really well for a month, then when they took his para educator away and he started slipping back into the bad behavior, and they once again sent him back to Cornerstone where he, once again, turned around and became a responsible member of the school. Maybe I'm just looking for a scapegoat because I don't want to have to have all the blame laying in my lap, or maybe I'm looking for something I can fix, I'm not sure, but it just seems odd to me.
It's all speculation. And I know it's me that's holding on to this anger, and I need to let it go. I really just need to concentrate on the fact that all of my children are thriving here, they are happy and learning and I don't have to worry about all the things that went along with having to send them to school. I don't even know what kind of mold it is..and they aren't talking...and there are so many parents just hanging there, wondering if they should be taking their kids to the doctors or not. They say right in the article that no one is complaining of any health issues..but what constitutes health issues? How many kids have asthma? Or have had pneumonia or bronchitis or any other allergic reaction that has been dismissed as something else. And how many kids behavior issues are because its how their bodies are dealing with the mold? And how do you even go about finding out if the mold is a factor or not?? It is really scary stuff. It will be interesting to see what happens...or if anything happens. Knowing Brian Rayburn, he'll find a way to cover it up and keep it hush-hush. It's a good thing my kids don't go there anymore...because this would chap my tractor-riding-arse...and the cold is doing a good enough job of that already! :-P
Homeschooling rocks, Man!
Peace-out! :-P


Firefly mom said...

First, let me agree with you that homeschooling rocks! Of course, I am biased ;)

I don't think that a failure to communicate is only with your kids' old school. It's a pretty common thing (at least when it comes to them admitting mistakes/problems on their part).

And though you can't "prove" that the mold was an issue with your child, it's probably a pretty safe assumption. If the mold is so bad that they've had to close the school, chances are there was a problem last year that the parents were unaware of. And as the mom of a mold sensitive child, I can say with all certainty that it takes a relatively small amount to have an effect.

Kimberly said...

I am so happy and stress free this year! I started homeschooling my oldest son last year and we were able to take him off of his ADHD meds. He had gained 40 lbs and looks like a normal kid. My two younger ones were jealous and joined us at home this year. We really enjoy each other company and I have seen them blossom with the freedom to work at their own pace. The colds and allergies are at a minmum.

My niece is in Kindergarten at their old school and she has come home with the stomach flu and pink eye already this year. Not to mention 2 colds. Not my kids! LOL

Anonymous said...

Your kids are incredibly lucky that you are willing and able to homeschool them! I feel sorry for those other kids at Sullivan whose parents won't or can't.

Off to remind my kids again how lucky they are. ;)

Gayle said...

My Nick is allergic to mold, and it most definitely could have affected his behavior. I love the idea of homeschooling, but do you worry about the kids being socially behind? Of course, my older kids wouldn't leave school for anything, but I could homeschool the younger two. They are both already so shy because of lack of interaction. Would I be making it worse? Glad you aren't at that moldy school either! :)

Stace said...

Gayle- My kids get out and hang with other kids so the socialization isn't an issue..they do tae kwon do, we do play dates/homeschool activities with other families, lyli does tae kwon do, gymnastics, ice skating and girl scouts...and to be honest, my kids are MUCH more social now than they were when they were in school, and they arent made to play with kids only their ages..Zephryn does MUCH better with older kids, he just relates better to them. I used to worry about that too..but seeing how much better they are now, I wouldn't ever worry about the socialization end of homeschooling again. :-)