Gift To Student

  1. Hello All, I have a question or comment. A special aide student was given a backpack because his was in bad shape. I meant to call the parent first, yesterday but forgot. The dad came to school and asked for me the nurse. Long story, he said I shouldn't have given it to him. How would I feel if my child got something from a stranger. I told him I didn't consider myself a stranger. We have been giving him his med everyday for 8-9 months. He said he had been stealing and bringing "things home". I never heard any teachers saying he stole anything. I told him some students ask for my funny pens and I give it to them. He said his son, 15 who is normal accept for occasional seizure/disorientation (every blue moon now). Anyway, he seems to be a foster child but isn't. I forgot that a while back, the principal asked the clinic to report parents to cps b/c child was having multiple staring sz/disorientation. He was coming to school with bruises, cuts on body. I think mom was offended and suspected clinic reported her. Anyway, around that time my clinic aid gave the students some gloves b/c he missed his bus and came to the clinic with frost bit hands. Meeting came up and my clinic aid had to justify why she gave the student gloves. That was around Christmas time. Now I did the same dumb thing. I just overheard the principal's secretary rattling off the principal's tomorrow agenda which includes a meeting with this boys' family again. Anyway, I told him I would go and get the backpack which I have now. But it seems that they want to get the clinic back for the cps report in December. The principal usually lets the parent eat staff alive and keep you forever in the parent meeting's. I felt like saying, just throw it away if you don't want it. Why didn't you buy him a decent one? True, it's not my child, I simply forgot how they are. Your thoughts. What can I say besides I forgot? I meant to call yesterday but did forget. I asked the dad, would it have made a difference if I had called before I gave it to him? His reply, I don't know. He just wants to fight the school over petty stuff.
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Artistyc1
    "No good deed shall go unpunished". Still, as nurturing people, we continue to do them anyway. At least, I will.
  4. by   Jolie
    I understand your intentions were good, but I believe that the parents should be consulted prior to giving anything of value to a child that isn't essential for safety. (I wouldn't have a problem with the gloves, given that the childs hand were frostbitten, but I would have called them to let them know that the child would be wearing them home, and why.)

    As a parent, it is unsettling to have your child receive something from someone whom you don't know well, or whose intentions you don't know.

    A local businessperson recently sent a mailing to the students at our middle school inviting them to attend a party at which money and other prizes would be given away. My daughter showed it to me, and I went ballistic. I really didn't think that the guy had any nefarious intentions, but by sending the invites directly to the kids and not the parents, he seemed to be trying to circumvent the safety rules we have taught our kids (not accepting gifts or money from adults.)

    That's probably not the best comparison, because your intentions were simply to provide for the child's needs, not to gain anything. But I can understand the parents' objections and don't think they are entirely unreasonable. If he is in need of basic school supplies (a backpack), is there an avenue to address that that allows the parents to give input? Perhaps they chose not to give him a new one because he did not take care of the one he had. Perhpas he destroyed his own backpack and they wanted him to earn the money to replace it. Perhaps they felt threatened by the new backpack as an indication that they are inadequate providers or feared that they would be reported to CPS. Perhaps they were truly concerned that he stole it. I honestly think that the dad's reaction, while not pleasant, is understandable.

    A few years back, our family was seeing a therapist for problems with my DDs behavior. The school counselor, whom I consulted first, had not been helpful. Once we went into therapy, I sent an e-mail to the counselor asking that she NOT see my daughter without my prior knowledge, because she was giving information that contradicted with our therapist. After several weeks of therapy and marked improvement in DD's behavior, we saw a significant decline that we couldn't explain. I learned thru the grapevine that the school counselor was meeting with my daughter without my knowledge, and told her that "It was OK, because they were just having lunch." I'm sure I don't have to tell you what my reaction was. Regardless of the counselor's intentions, she violated my reasonable request, then left me to deal with the fall-out. Again, my example is probably a little more extreme than yours, but the father had already made his feelings known about giving things to his son, and you unintentionally violated that.

    I think your best bet is to apologize, explain that you didn't mean to undermine his authority and keep that all in mind the next time this comes up.
    Last edit by Jolie on Apr 21, '09
  5. by   Purple_Scrubs
    I would simply apologize to the father and say it will not happen again. If he continues to rant (which I can bet he will), just repeat the same sentance over and over. "I can see you are upset. I am sorry that I gave him the backpack without consulting you first. I will not do it again". Repeat calmly PRN until he gets the picture!
  6. by   Keepstanding
    your heart was in the right place though. you are an angel heartbeat

    praiser :heartbeat