After the school meeting I went home and collapsed, not in a heap on the floor, I mean emotionally and mentally caved in. I walked upstairs, closed the bedroom door and wailed like a banshee for over two hours. I didn’t even recognise who I was and felt incapable of anything like rational thought.
I spent the following day in a miasma of worry and fear but over the weekend my thoughts cleared and something else took over; I began to feel angry. Really, really angry. I was furious at the schools intractability, lack of empathy and disregard for our vulnerable little boys’ well-being.
Sometimes anger is a good thing and in this instance it became a huge motivator for me. First things first…there was no way we were going to be pushed into any decision over whether or not our tiny son should be placed in a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)/special school within the 48 hour time frame the school had given us. Secondly I made the decision that he would go into a PRU over my dead body.
After teaching for over twenty years I was well aware of what PRU’s were used for. I believe they are effective and in many cases help children with social and emotional issues re integrate back into mainstream school. However many of the children in PRU’s have a host of behavioural problems that I believed would influence Buster in a negative way.
Also…he was only FIVE YEARS OLD! With only one term in mainstream school and a history of neurological and emotional needs around attachment disorder and ODD why on earth would we consider putting him in an environment that would make him even more anxious?
I rang the school at 8.30 on the Monday morning and told them we wouldn’t be attending the proposed “decision meeting” for that day. In fact we said we would contact them with a new meeting time once we had prepared what steps we thought should be taken next.