Well, I will keep it short today.
Yesterday Drawman disclosed to his psychiatrist (meds check visit) that he has suicidal thoughts while at school.
And I am not sure what to do about it.
He is miserable.
He is not being bullied. He is being distracted by some behavioral issues presented by peers. No, nothing like throwing desks or physical aggression. He is distracted by the kids in two of his classes that constantly interrupt, crack wise, say things to each other that scare him. You all know this from earlier posts.
I have been so busy trying to help him adjust and cope, to endure and ignore that I have not stepped back far enough to see how this is affecting Drawman psychologically and physically. I have underestimated the significance of the issue and how deeply it is troubling him. These troubles have taken over and Drawman would rather be dead than in some of his classes. Really dead. Not just wishing he didn’t have to go to those classes.
Why do we most often teach our hurting kids coping skills rather than address the offenders? You all know me well enough by now to know I do not mean we punish the offenders. Why aren’t we finding ways to engage those offenders? Why aren’t we finding ways to structure the school day to meet their needs so they don’t feel compelled to act out and distract, to stop the learning?
Why aren’t we emphasizing the arts and tech ed for the groups of kids so disenfranchised and disconnected from all that goes on in a school day?
Why aren’t we recognizing the kids who are disrupting and distracting are most likely just as depressed about school as my kid is? They just explode while my kid implodes.
And why the hell does change take so long in schools? The bureaucracy is hideous, stifling, and impedes progress. It stops kids from getting what they need.
Do I pull my kid from school and go with an online school? Then he will miss out on the good parts of his school experience. Art classes, social communication work with his gifted speech teacher, opportunities to interact with peers, learning to be in the world.
Do I leave my kid in school for three more years and force him to endure what he perceives as so bad he would rather be dead? Because in this state of being he isn’t learning. He is interacting less and less, participating in class discussions less and less.
Finding the right balance for Drawman is our challenge of the season as we have to solidify a plan for next year.
Meanwhile, what to do?