Friday, September 12, 2008

Gary, His Dad and The Charter School

Things are not going well for Gary and his father. Basically his dad is becoming less available -- as in he is not calling Gary and has disconnected or changed his cell phone number so Gary can't call him. He also moved a while back and did not tell the state or Gary where he was living, so he does not get letters. I am a little confused about this, because one would think the letters would come back. Maybe is picking up the mail there? I don't know. I do know that Gary was in The Next Town Over and drove past a house where his father's vehicles were parked and toys he recognized were in the yard. He is confident that that is where his dad now lives.

I know I don't know all of the story, but Gary believes that this is all about his step-mother. She doesn't want Gary in their lives. Previously Gary's dad lived 10 days out of fourteen somewhere near his work site. Gary knew that if he called at a certain time in the evening his dad would be home and not yet asleep. The talked regularly. After Dad moved in with step mom there wasn't any time that he could call when his dad was not either working or at home with the fam.

And now he can't get in touch with him at all. Well, except by going to the house which would probably result in his stepmother trying to get him arrested for stalking or harassment or some such thing.

It is so difficult to watch. I know that Gary's heart is breaking.

In other news, Gary's girlfriend regularly stops by the office at the charter school where they tell her that they are slowly making their way through the waiting list of kids who said they wanted to get in. Gary is at the end of that list since he is out of district, but all the kids they have called so far, says the girlfriend, have said no. So Gary slowly gets closer to the phone call.

I am still hoping that he won't get called at all.

I don't think this charter school is particularly good. I don't think it is terrible, just not some place that I would send my kid to. Brian is going to a charter school for the arts. They have a new building that includes a really nice dance studio (the only PE they teach). In his geometry class some of his assignments are always to make drawings with the shapes. Last week he made a drawing of a curved shape with only straight lines. This week it was a drawing with overlapping circles. Everyone there is really committed to the arts.

At the charter school that Gary wants to go to everyone is really committed to safety and discipline. The idea behind the schools seems to be "OH NO THE GANGS ARE TAKING OVER OUR SCHOOLS! LET'S HIDE." Now, I do understand that sentiment, but I don't think that school whose defining characteristic is very strict classroom rules about (no) talking, sitting straight, and eating quietly is the most nurturing environment. Gary wants to go there because his girlfriend goes there. Of course his previous girlfriend (the one that he imagined was waiting for him while he was in the group home but who of course was not) goes there too.

So I am torn, as I have been. I had hoped he would get involved with things in the local school, maybe get a girl friend here.

Gary's charter school is not on the public bus route. Right now we all leave the house together at 7:00. Roland drops me off, then drops off Gary, and then goes to his school. We are both on the way. If he gets into the school, we would have to leave earlier and Roland would have to drive four miles past his school to drop Gary off at a neighborhood school bus stop. After school Gary would have to take a school bus to somewhere (probably a friend's, most probably his girlfriend's) and then walk to the public bus route. We will probably argue about how much time he may hang out and what time he has to be home. I have anxieties of Gary and his girlfriend being alone and unsupervised in those most dangerous of hours between 3:00pm and 5:00pm.

He has already suggested that if he is going to school there he might as well find a job there instead of here.

I'm beginning to think that we should just move to the The Next Town Over. Most of Gary's and Brian's new friends are there and they both want to go to school there. I'm just fretting here, spilling out the thoughts that run circles in my brain while I wait to see what happens. Roland is very calm about it. He also prefers that Gary stay in the local school, but he says he isn't going to worry about it unless something actually happens.

Amazingly, he can do that.

1 comment:

  1. That Roland, doesn't he know that old saying " Why put off worrying tomorrow when you can worry today?" I mean really.


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