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I would like to know some opinions from you well rounded, well educated women.
My 16 year old son Ryan failed his sophomore year last year. Im not making excuses but here is the reality of the situation. Our home was in turmoil through the last year. My oldest daughter was missing most of the time with a heroin addiction, we lost my father, 2 aunts, an uncle a cousin and a very dear friend to our entire family especially Ryan. This was all within about 12 weeks, all while my daughter was out there who knows where. Our families finances crashed as well. We were in the most dire straights of our 28 years as a couple.

 Ok.. bear with me..heres some background.
Ryan has been an amazing kid his whole life, EVERYBODY in our town knows and loves him. He is a proud member of the student body government, was freshman class president and captain of the freshman football team, has been to every dance with a different nice girl every time. He has been on the football team with this same group of children since he was 4. Plays baseball, wrestles...active kid.
The dilemna....
Because he failed he is ineligible for sports this year. Tough break kid..you can play next year! Thats how easy they make it sound. His football team, his brothers for the last 12 years are going to the state championship tomorrow and my son is elated for them but severly heartbroken. He was wrong, we know that, but when does it stop being black and white? There are gray areas. This child does not deserve this kind of punishment. He started this school year full of vim and vigor. Hes doing great, hes trying and accepted his “punishment”
Now..he started wrestling practice last week. The coach talked to him about everything..if his next report card is as good as the first..hes on the team...just come practice with us everyday and come January, you’ll have a spot. Guess what? They wont allow him to practice. Now he’s falling into a depression, withdrawing, sleeping all the time.

So after all of that my question is...
Does this not seem like cruel and unusual punishment for a kid that is GOOD and TALENTED and just went through the year from hell. My gosh...there were weeks when I could not get out of bed last year..our entire family went through a dark depressing year and we are slowly rebounding now. Lots of counseling and prayer but we‘re getting there. Ryan has been coming home from school this entire week and going right to bed and sleeping until the next morning. we have had him in counseling in and out of school but it doesn’t seem to be working. If this football team wins the State Championship tomorrow, and I hope with all my heart they do, It will be such a bittersweet moment. Rys practiced for this his entire life and to not be apart of it is just devistating.

Shouldnt the powers that be have some sort of program in place where kids who are just going through a rough patch should be allowed to participate after a certain amount of counseling and bringing their grades back up?  He failed US History ..but got a 100 on his final exam last year.

Drugs are such a major problem where we live and keeping kids active in positive after school activities is the number one way to combat them ever picking up...then why is that the first thing they take away from them when they are in trouble??? Am I missing something?

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Member Comments

    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Dec 2, 2011
    • Ree I am sorry for all that you and your family have gone through.  

      As for Ryan I’m sure the school has “blanket” policies. Was there any point when the school counselor or his teachers stepped in to advise of his failing before he actually failed?

      Have you talked to his counselor or principal at school about what all he has been through?  

      In this day and age I’m sure it is very hard for schools to individualize situations or circumstances due to funding or rules.

      Maybe you need to appeal to the Board of Education.

      I’m not really sure what else to tell you other than to find out if he can be involved somehow (assisting) or what he can do (tutoring, extra credit) to expediate his ban on sports.

      I hope things work out and in the meantime I will send prayers your way.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Dec 2, 2011
    • I’m so sorry, Ree. I know you’ve been stretched to the limit and this is must feel like the final blow. And I know that, as a mom, this breaks your heart.  I see this as yet another thing wrong with our education system.  I’ll run this past my husband later and get his opinion but here’s what I think: I’ve seen kids at my husband’s school go through family situations that effect their academic performance. My husband will bring them and also the family in and come up with a plan to allow the child to begin to thrive again.  But, this is one of the things that the headmaster of a private school can do - he’s not tied to the policies of the department of education. He can make his own policies.  I agree with Vikki, maybe appealing to the Board of Education would help, especially if you bring in the opinions of some of their own people - supportive teachers and the counselor. I don’t know if it would do any good but the worst they can say is no.

      You’ll be in my prayers.heart



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie Hempsey wrote Dec 2, 2011
    • Thank you ladies! We were aware of Ryans failing..as a matter of fact he was in danger of failing alot more than history at one point. There was no reason to get him a turor..he has an IQ that is higher than most peoples. He is extremely book smart/ street smart/and has common sense. A trio that not many can say they have. AS i said in my  post, we were all in terrible shape last year. I cannot even explain what we were going through. We are a close knit bunch and this thing with my daughter ripped us apart. I pray to God none of you ever have to go through this and i do know that some of you already have and I am so sorry. She is only home clean less than 2 weeks with 49 days clean before that in rehab. It is such a daily struggle and constant challenge for all of us to let her back and have her try to be apart of our family again but we all are making that effort. It is effecting Ryan again terribly but he s keeping up in school but to look at his face and see the sadness from the consequences he is suffering is just heartbreaking. Even his guidance counselor said just today that it is NOT FAIR..there should not be blanket policies. There is data to support children with no extra curriculars such as sports after school are more likely to start using drugs than those participating in one and to the contrary ...there is NO data supporting taking these things away make any difference in a childs over all performance. Figure that one out!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mzd3 wrote Dec 3, 2011
    • Im so sorry that your family is going through so much. I hope that Ryan is able to get through this. I understand how hard it is, my son went through it in high school too, only with a math teacher that didnt like him. It was very hard on him, and my husband too ! As bad as it is right now , it will get better when he is able to get back on the team. We went as far as the board of education and got nowhere.My son did go on to start playing college football, for a year, then he failed math again... it is rough out there.



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