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Author Topic: Leter to GAL. Please Critique  (Read 5914 times)

NeverGiveUp

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Leter to GAL. Please Critique
« on: Nov 25, 2003, 01:35:59 PM »

The short story.
Under TRO and almost never see my kids.  The X filed an order to show cause asking to have my visitation reduced to virtually nothing.  One reason is she claims I don’t make them do their HW when they’re with me (considering they are with me ~25hrs a month and almost never during the week I don’t know how I can be responsible.  But nonetheless . . .).  Just got Childs report card and it don’t look good.  She’s failing two classes and has missed a lot of school.  Spoke to teachers and they all indicate assignments are not being completed and excessive absences.  My attorney has asked me to call the GAL and let her know but I feel a letter may be the better approach.

Letter below.  Comments please.  






Ms GAL,


   I’m writing to express my concern for Child regarding her academics.

Last Monday Child’s music teacher, Ms Teacher, called to inform me that Child has not turned in her Class notebook, divider, and class contract.  As of yesterday these items have still not been handed in.

   I have recently been informed that Child has failed two of her classes this past quarter and may be in danger of failing a third.  Last week I received a copy of Child’s report card and contacted some of her teachers to find out what’s wrong.  Child’s E teacher Ms Teacher2 informed me that Child is failing because she has not been completing assignments and has been missing a lot of school.  Child received a 12/100 on her essay last quarter and has a second essay due this quarter.  The second essay is on the book “Good Book” and Child should have read through chapter 9.  I spoke to Child about this on Saturday and she informed me that she has not read any of the book yet.
   
   I also spoke to Ms. Teacher3, Child’s Other teacher and received a similar report, "Child is not completing homework assignments".

   Child has been diagnosed with a learning disability and I’m concerned that if she falls too far behind she will never be able to catch up.  I have attempted to obtain more information from Child and Child2s' school but they are reluctant to speak with me at this time.


Me



StPaulieGirl

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RE: Leter to GAL. Please Critique
« Reply #1 on: Nov 25, 2003, 02:10:14 PM »
Someone else would be able to critique your letter better than I, however I was curious about your daughter.

Has she always had problems in school?  My son's academic record is a nightmare, despite working for 11 years to try and find a way to get him to study.  He's 16, and imo, he needs to get a job and quit wasting everyone's time.  Basically he practices passive agression with a vengence.  He would not participate in therapy, but would sit there and let me and the shrink have lovely chit chat sessions once a month.  His high school seems terrified of losing funding, more than seeing the situation for what it is.  He currently has 32 credits towards hs graduation.  He needs 220.  Wonderful.

Until this year, my 9 yr old girl had no problems at school.  Now she cries and doesn't want to go.  Her work is slipping, and she is petrified of her teachers.  My ex could use this against me, even though I do nothing but bust my butt on their schoolwork.

Has the school tested your daughter?  If so, is she in special classes?  If the child is motivated, it will do her a world of good.  Education is so important, but some of these teachers are a mess.  Did you get a sense of the teacher when you talked to her?  The teacher could be your daughter's problem.

Good luck!

Indigo Mom

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RE: Maybe you should call Ms GAL.......................
« Reply #2 on: Nov 25, 2003, 04:05:59 PM »
That way, any questions she has can be answered by you on the spot.

I've never shot off a letter to a GAL, I prefer speaking to them.  One reason is because in letter form, the GAL can't "understand" your emotions behind the words.

Now, if you "do" have to send off a letter, you "might" want to add the part about your parenting time being decreased because on the little time you do have with the kids, X says you aren't doing homework with them.  

See, a PBFH will take this letter and scream "PROOF" that your time needs to be decreased because this is exactly what she's saying to begin with.  Defend yourself in this letter, please!!!  Don't leave it open for the PBFH to run with.....

TGB

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RE: Leter to GAL. Please Critique
« Reply #3 on: Nov 25, 2003, 05:10:38 PM »
I would add that you checked your child's attendance and noted that the child missed XX days of school and missed part of the day on XX occasions so far this year.

When my children had a lot of absences, I pointed out to the GAL that missing that much school (averaging one day per week) was like trying to read a book with every 4th page torn out. Of course a child will get discouraged and quit trying when they can't understand what is going on because of all these absences.

You might also comment on the child's past performance and the results of any standardized testing.

See [a href=http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/provepas.htm" target="new]You Don't Have to Prove PAS[/a]. This high absenteeism and failing school is a pattern I see repeated constantly in Parental Alienation cases. It's part of the pattern of emotional abuse.

Oh, and by the way, don't take the X's word for it that the child has a learning disability. Ask the school if the child was evaluated and ask to see the paperwork (get copies if there is any paperwork on this, and study them carefully). Quite often I find that disabilities are used as an excuse, as is proven by showing that when attendance and homework completion are good, so is the child's comprehension and overall performance.

MKx2

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RE: Leter to GAL. Please Critique
« Reply #4 on: Nov 25, 2003, 05:47:57 PM »
I think you've been given excellent advice by all posters ... however, since you want to write a letter - do it with one addition.  CALL and tell your GAL that you're sending a letter, this is what is says, can she comment/ask questions.  The purpose of the letter is to have it in YOUR words on record.  The purpose of the call is exactly what Indy said.  Emotion in voice is tenfold what black marks on white paper conveys.

I realize you said that you're more comfortable with a letter, but consider the call at the time you send it.  After talking with you and THEN reading the letter, the GAL will have more time to think about the issue and may call you back with further questions.

I'd add a paragraph at the close of the letter something to the effect of "I appreciate your time with this matter and please feel free to call and discuss it with me.  The best time to reach me is between XXX and XXX at 123-4567."

Good luck and let us know what transpires.


StPaulieGirl

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Bingo
« Reply #5 on: Nov 25, 2003, 05:53:36 PM »
"I also instruct parents trying to document the effects of alienating behavior to look for behavior problems in the child, including discipline problems at school and/or arrest records. The alienating parents I have been acquainted with tend to be so enmeshed with their children that they cannot discipline them properly, and they will help the child make excuses for failures instead of encouraging the child to succeed. These parents will sometimes be involved in disputes with the teachers or school administrators over discipline, taking the side of the child and refusing to allow anyone else to try and correct the child’s behavior.

[p]This stuff never ends.  I remember when my son was in third grade, and a teacher called home to complain about the boy's behavior.  Mr. Wonderful took the call(which rarely happened, thank God), and bitched out the teacher.  Everyone picks on the kid and blames him for everything.  I wanted to crawl under the rug, I was so embarrased.  It was and is the boy's fault 99.9 percent of the time.  

[p]My ex went to one IEP meeting back in '99, because I was out of town taking care of my mom.  That caused the boy to be mainstreamed into regular classes in his first yr of junior high.  I finally got it straightened out, after he almost got expelled from the entire school district for issuing terrrorist threats(that was complete overreaction that time), and had him put in an SED enviroment.  

[p]I don't know whether it's the teachers, her grandma passing away(father's mother that time), or the fact that Mr. Wonderful mailed the school a letter demanding their school records, but her interest in school went down the tubes last year.  Yes I am worried.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

[p]It's up to the boy to either knock it off, or quit school and get a damn job.  Their absences are making me look bad, but like I said to the IEP team a few weeks ago, I'm not strong enough to drag him out of bed anymore.  Their suggestion of dumping ice water on him isn't an option.  He just needs to do hard labor until he pulls his head out and realizes that he needs to go back to school.  Then there was the 2 weeks when he got pneumonia again.  Last year, the HMO dr kept giving him amoxycillin until he finally looked like wax.  I took him to the emergency room.  He had walking pneumonia.  I always take my kids to county, because the rest of them are too stingy to run chest xrays.  This time I told the doctor to give him Biaxin.  He gave him Zpac(sp), but it cleared it up.  I called for homework.  All his classes are lectures, so there is no homework.  You have to take notes.  So much for that.

[P]Because there is no longer a reason to stay down here in the city, my kids and I decided to move back where we used to live.  It will mean not only shortening the drive from where Mr. Wonderful moved, but I can try homeschooling for the boy.  My girl always loved school up there, and that school district cares more about their kids, than being number one in the state.

[p]My ex has done some pretty bizarre stuff in the past, I wouldn't put it past him to mess with them over schoolwork.  The question is...why?



NoNicky

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RE: Leter to GAL. Please Critique
« Reply #6 on: Nov 25, 2003, 06:01:24 PM »
In our area we have the "Opportunity Center" for kids grades 7-12 who are in danger of dropping out or are not cutting it in regular classes for various reasons.  Most of those are the passive agressive you talked about with homework.  My oldest is one of them.  Having him there is such a blessing.  From flunking pretty much every subject since 6th grade to the interim report I got today, 3 As, 1 B, 1 C.  It is nothing like the regular school.  Every child has their own studies even if several are taking the same subject.  They can work in groups when they are doing the same things.  Everyone works at their own pace and the boredom and pointlessness they feel seems to disappear when they can do that.  My son made up an entire credit of English in less than 9 weeks.  That would have taken a year in the regular school.  

Not trying to be bossy or nosy.  Just wanted to let you know there are options sometimes available.

NoNicky

For God has not given a spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  1 Peter 1:6

StPaulieGirl

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RE: Leter to GAL. Please Critique
« Reply #7 on: Nov 25, 2003, 07:33:45 PM »
My son has been in those programs in the past, and they worked for him.  When I put him in SED, his GPA went up to 3.82.  He isn't stupid, and that's what's so frustrating.  He and I can have completely adult conversations on politics, local news and whatnot, but regular school settings just don't work, because he won't conform.  Especially this school district.  The one where they all went to, and his adult sisters graduated from, would work with you and not make you feel like a criminal. I went to school in this current district.  They've had an attitude problem for the whole time.  I thought it was because I came from a Catholic school, but they're just...I don't know.  I wish I hadn't moved down here, but I'm going to fix that.  My son, I don't know about, but I want the girl to have a good school experience.  

I'm hoping that I can put him in charter school, which is basically homeschooling with a one day a week class visit.  Last ditch effort :/

Thank you for posting that.  Sometimes parents don't know there are other options available, and any help is good help :)

NeverGiveUp

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RE: Leter to GAL. Please Critique
« Reply #8 on: Nov 26, 2003, 06:20:15 AM »
Maybe a bit more detail is needed.

The child in question has had a poor academic background and has been diagnosed with LDA.  There neither is nor has there ever been a disciplinary problem.  Last year I tried to enroll her in a special school for learning disabled children.  My X shot it down.  I complained about it in our Psych evaluation at the beginning of this year.  Not surprisingly, no one cared.  I truly expect that no one will care now either.  But I suppose I must keep trying.

NeverGiveUp

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RE: Leter to GAL. Please Critique
« Reply #9 on: Nov 26, 2003, 06:22:10 AM »
I agree.  I'll call first and then send the letter with a copy of the report card.

nosonew

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RE: Leter to GAL. Please Critique
« Reply #10 on: Nov 26, 2003, 07:02:52 PM »
Just FYI, they don't care because you aren't CP, if you had been CP, you would have gotten what you wanted.  I realize you probably already know this, my dh was ncp for ever, now as cp, gets almost everything he wants. (but is still fair to cp who is unreasonable).  When bm was cp, and requested unreasonable stuff, usually got about 3/4 of what she wanted, now it is almost zip.  Just fyi.

 

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