Sunday, 8 January 2017

Adoptophobia

So the Christmas holidays are finally drawing to a close and we are all getting ready for going back to school.

The great joy of being a teacher in the same school as your children is that you share the same holidays - that's also the downside...

But, an issue when dealing with adopted children seems to be that other parents very quickly get to know that you are an adoptive parent and, what has surprised me the most, is the fear that some other people have about their children mixing with yours.

Let me explain.

Just before Christmas we had an incident at school - involving a few boys on the back of a bus using their phones to watch 'inappropriate material' - we all know what that means.

Luckily, my eldest didn't have his phone on him - my belief being that whilst he is on the bus he is ore likely to lose the phone and, if he is at school and I am at the same school then he can actually talk to his friends and, if he needs me, he can come and find me.

So the material was watched on another boy's phone and, yes, my son was involved. But, to be honest, I would put most of it down to curiosity and boys being boys. I was more angry that the school didn't seem to mind a bunch of boys heading off to rugby having their phones unsupervised. Luckily, since the incident, that has now been changed.

But, the upshot has been the way in which KC has been targeted by other parents - one in particular, who happily put pen to paper informing the school of the 'disgusting' behaviour of my son. Of course she may not just be put off by adoption but by same-sex parents - I can't comment really... Rather than claiming homophobia do we know claim adoptophobia?

So we are called in - no other parents were - and we were made to feel as though KC was a criminal, that because of his past experiences he was putting other, and I quote, 'hard working children's futures' at risk.

This was then all recorded and sent to us in a letter - which we received on the last day of term. The day on which I was having my hand shaken by the powers that be and wished a happy Christmas.

Needless to say the first week of the Christmas holiday was spent with arguments between myself and Papa, tears from KC - who felt he was being made the scapegoat because I was a teacher - and sleepless nights for me as I dealt with the polarising forces between keeping  a job I love and supporting my son.

Of course, there have been some parents who have been amazingly supportive and look out for our boys - but it only takes one to raise suspicion and immediately it is KC who bears the brunt. After all, it couldn't possibly be their child who is in the wrong.

Perhaps the problem is that we admit that our child has issues, has faults and we want him to learn from them, to accept that he is ultimately in control of his choices. Perhaps we should be like those parents who insist their child is innocent and then make the most noise - they seem to be the ones who are listened too. KC has an EHC Plan, which is great for getting learning support but also stigmatises him to certain parents.

But, KC has made amazing progress at school, he has good friends, we have a system that works for us - I won't let a couple of angry, ill-informed parents upset that - do I write to the governors, the local authority who issued the EHCP - it seems obvious that the powers that be in the school will simply pander to the loudest voices - or am i being paranoid? Who knows... ?

So we go back to school tomorrow - not sure of what will happen next.

I'll keep you informed... 

3 comments:

  1. A group of boys with a device connected to the internet will find "inappropriate material" every time, regardless of background, if left unsupervised. Terribly the blame was put fully on your son's shoulders - not a good lesson for the others on accepting responsibility for their actions. I hope the first week back has been OK.

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    1. Exactly Mama Bear - that was the point I was trying to make. oddly enough I was chatting to another mum who happily told me that the boy, whose phone it was ,had been told to be 'more careful in the future'. We had a call from the Head this week asking us to go in again and see him - I'll keep you updated. :>

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