That penny’s dropped

I’ve been composing a letter in my mind. It’s to School District #68 to advise them that I am removing my son from their system and placing him with one of the alternative education centres in the area.

The penny jar as of January 15, 2013.
The penny jar as of January 15, 2013.

To be clear: we’re still at the intention level; we haven’t actually been admitted to one of those alternative centres yet. There’s still a lot of legwork to do, assessments to complete, and funding to secure. As the penny’s dropped though, it’s become painfully clear that we need to leave the public system. Today, midway through the year, the jar is nearly full (and I haven’t even seen a report card yet, which is bound to be good for another handful).

Back to the letter in my head… What I really want to say is, “In spite of your failure to produce evidence that you’ve done much to educate my son, you did manage to keep him out from under the wheels of a bus for the last 10 ½ years, and for that I am grateful.” And I am. His safety is important and, as babysitters, the public school system has served us well.

However, my higher/rational mind recognizes that this piece of correspondence needs to be more. As much as I would like to passive aggressively vent my anger and frustration, it’s my responsibility to communicate what has led to my decision and, perhaps, offer some things for the district to think about in their future dealings with children with special needs and their parents.

It’s scary. This is a huge step. And it’s also incredibly sad. We’ve lost so much time… I’m haunted by “what if?” thoughts… What if I’d pushed a little harder? Would he have done better? Would it have come to this? What if I’d pulled him out of the public system sooner? What could he have accomplished? Where would we be now?

There isn’t anything to be gained by spending a lot of time there, though. Now, we move forward. But we sure as hell aren’t going to go quietly.


  1. I/we have 3 boys two with autism being home schooled 1 the middle child now going to ndss. complicated? yes! worthwhile? yes! way more support? yes. Would I ever put a child with special needs in a public school system. NO!
    The decision is yours and it’s not an easy one. nor is it a cheap decision.
    All the best in your decision making.

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