One more week until school…

I started off this day with a long walk in a nearby greenspace, listening to the wind in the trees while avoiding poison ivy. And in exactly an hour, Jeremy’s getting picked up to go to an end of summer pool party with the other UU youths from our congregation. It’s hard to believe while I’m sitting enjoying a leisurely summer day, that in one more week he’ll be at school.

I am not looking forward to printing out 40 pages of information for Jeremy’s teacher on our school board (and Canada’s) policies regarding trans and gender nonconforming youths. But then again I’m equally not looking forward to another year where she chides him on the length and colour of his hair, encourages classmates to tell him how much better he’d look with short hair, criticizes the length of his nails, and talks to the students about how boys and girls are supposed to behave.

I also need to write a letter to his teacher, not just regarding gender nonconformity but dealing with electronics as well. Jeremy finds writing a lot easier by computer, which makes sense considering he has fine motor skill difficulties, language based learning disabilities, and processing issues. His teacher has refused to do anything regarding this, claiming computers are for the kids with severe speech delays and he doesn’t qualify. Now he has my old netbook with an external keyboard and wants to bring that in. I’m foreseeing a lot of issues with this. I’m hoping they’ll look at what he needs instead of fretting over him “bringing gadgets to class”. Gadgets being their name for just about anything he wants to carry with him.

I get that he can be a holy terror at school, I really do. I mean he referred to his teacher as “the asshole” a couple of days ago so I know he’s not an innocent bundle of sunshine. And, yes, I call him out on this behaviour. The flip side is he’s planning on dropping out as soon as he’s 18 years old (his class runs through to 21 years old) because he feels the teachers and principal all hate him and don’t want him there. He’s spent a good chunk of this summer worrying about next year and fretting over things that have happened at school over the past two years. And he’s got some valid concerns.

Sigh, can I flip the calendar back and have it be July again?

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11 thoughts on “One more week until school…

  1. Yeah, I think if I’d had the option of having the last two years, 16-18 years of age at school (3 minutes fast walk) or at the local further education college(45/50 minutes fast walk away), I’d choose the same now as I did then, the college. I was just ready for a change (and not just for the freedom to wear masculine clothing). I was really sick to the back teeth of being with the same people/bad teachers/restrictions/attitudes.

    I totally sympathise with him, I wasn’t all sunshine (though already about as rainbowy as I’ll ever be) but was pretty darn good, and I didn’t start with a similar deck of cards to Jeremy’s. I really don’t like the sound of his teacher, trying to get other pupils to shame your student is a bit twisted. Does his teacher think it’ll not reflect so badly on them if someone else takes a turn at bullying him? No wonder Jeremy’s been finding it hard.

    • Sadly, the teacher doesn’t even see it as bullying… she thinks she’s simply encouraging him and can’t understand why he’s taking it badly. I wish college was an option for him; right now he’s working at anywhere from a grade 3 to grade 6 level so it’ll take years of upgrading before he could get into post-secondary. Hopefully this year will be better.

  2. I am so sorry….school should be a safe place where people learn how to build relationships and his teacher should be building him up, not tearing him down. You are a good advocate for him and a great mom! I hope this year sees a positive change in his teacher’s perspective and voice.

  3. Man I hated school, from the beginning of kindergarten right through to the end of grade 12. Apparently I went from being one of the happiest kids my parents had ever seen to sullen and intense almost as soon as it started (though I don’t really remember that). And my mom has been resentful toward the school system ever since, lol.

    Here’s hoping you and Jeremy get through the next year without too many difficulties.

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