Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eleven Year-Old “H”

H is an 11-year-old sixth grader in Queens. He has an IEP with a classification of Emotional Disturbance, and has been diagnosed with ADHD. H was repeatedly bullied from the time he started middle school. His parents wrote to the school each time a bullying incident occurred, but very little was done to address the situation. In February 2012, a boy pushed H into a wall. A moment later, the assistant principal walked by. H became extremely upset that the AP hadn't helped him or stopped the other boy. The situation escalated, and H was suspended. He pleaded no contest and received a 30-day suspension. H continued to be bullied at his suspension site, so the school requested a safety transfer, and H was placed in a new site. At this second suspension site, H was suspended again. On the day in question, H found a broken piece of pen on the ground and was holding it in his hand. According to H's teacher, after he confiscated the broken piece of pen and was leading H to the principal's office, H (while no longer in possession of the pen) stated, "I feel like stabbing someone." For this alleged comment, H received a suspension for the rest of the school year. He is now at his third suspension site since his February suspension. 

He is still being bullied, and his teachers are giving him busy work to complete instead of appropriate schoolwork that would allow him to progress. Because he has transferred suspension sites so many times, he has not received grades for the last marking period, and despite his mother's attempts to figure out what this means and what the implications are, no one has been able to give her any answers. H has been out of school for over 3 months now for what began with an incident which could have been addressed by mediation or guidance intervention with H and the boys who were bullying him.

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