I wrote to the state worker today to see if he could tell me anything about what was going on in the TPR process. I got back a very short email saying he was writing a report, needed run it by Gary to be sure he got his facts straight, had the parents' addresses, and was going to be writing them each letters telling them what was going on. He also said that should pass on any messages that Gary wanted to send.
Friday, September 25, 2009
After reading that and reading a bunch of stuff on-line about the TPR process I realized that I was pretty confused. I know all sorts of stuff about it, but I don't know what the real process is.
Like, where I work, if you were going to be denied tenure or fired for cause, you would be able to resign at any point in the process. In the history of the college some people have been given an opportunity to retire early with certain benefits. People who are not going to get tenure are sometimes given a chance to resign before any document saying they shouldn't be tenured is put in their file. The handbook is is full of information official notification, procedures, time-restrictions, appeals processes, but nothing says, "if the dean at the time is not a jerk, you will know this is coming and you will have plenty of time to resign before anything official happens." That this is the case is both good and bad. It could allow a bad dean to manipulate people. On the other hand, people are allowed to resign. We can't insist that they go through reviews and hearings if they just want to quit.
So I don't know if the letter the social worker is talking about is official notification or if it is parallel to the dean telling someone, "we're about to initiate this whole thing. If you prefer you can just call it quits now."
I find the whole thing heart-breaking.
I emailed the social worker back and confirmed that Gary was available the day he wanted to talk to him. I also told him that if it was appropriate I wanted him to tell his parents that Roland and I did not ever want to be an obstacle to a relationship between Gary, his parents, siblings and other relatives.
I asked Gary if he wanted to send anything and he laughed and said, "You suck." He imagined that for a while, enjoying imagining a scene in which a social worker is being professional and explaining things and then say, "Oh yes, I have a message here from Gary. He says, 'you suck.'"
I didn't pass that one on. I also was careful not to be disapproving. I told him before that he could express whatever emotions he was having. Wanting to tell your parents who have hardly paid you any attention in years that they suck is not an unreasonable emotion.
Well, I have to leave for a required training. I'm going to publish this though I am not sure that I got around to saying whatever it was I was intending to say.