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Help please - Advice on Expulsion UPDATE #51


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#1 Winging it Mum

Posted 02 April 2019 - 03:55 PM

Hi, just had a call from school & DS12 nearly 13 is facing expulsion for deliberately hitting and saying awful things to people. This is not a one off incident, this term has been full of incidents.

We have an apt with his psych next week to discuss meds as I think with all his growing & reaching teenage years that they are not as effective. Whether it's dosage or we need to change I'm not sure. He's on a few already.

His anxiety is going through the roof. He's remorseful but I really think we are coming to the stage where he will be expelled and that saddens and terrifies me. He's at a private school so there's only so much they will tolerate and he needs quite a bit of help academically as well.

I'm not sure what I'm asking, but what do you do? He's been horrible all year but this, I'm not sure how he'll deal with this if it happens. On top of it my Dad who helps out each week has cancer and will be having treatment so he won't be able to help out like he does - which is another thing that will upset DS.

The principal I have not met before, he doesn't sound very gracious and he told my Dad that DS is facing expulsion. I'm not sure any of us are coping at the moment.

Thanks for listening.

Edited by Winging it Mum, 17 May 2019 - 10:10 AM.


#2 just roses

Posted 02 April 2019 - 04:10 PM

I’m very sorry for what you’re going through. But I would leave anyway, if before expulsion, then all the better. He needs the support he’d be entitled to in a public school. What are your public options like?

#3 Kafkaesque

Posted 02 April 2019 - 04:21 PM

Sorry you are going through all this OP. Sounds incredibly difficult. As the PP said I would consider leaving voluntarily and going to your local public school. There is little choice for a public school when it comes to supporting additional needs so it can sometimes be better to be public. That said I do acknowledge that not all schools are good at dealing with these things.

Good luck with your son and your dads illness.

#4 SelceLisbeth

Posted 02 April 2019 - 04:46 PM

Im really sorry to hear that OP. I can remember some of your other threads and I know that you have been working your butt off to find better psych and med support for your son.

Firstly, is school part of the problem? If so, I guess that needs to be dealt with. I know its not as easy as that, not by any means.

I cant remember, but does your DS have a child psychiatrist? If so, again, are you happy with them?

If I were you, I'd take stock of the supports your child, your dad and you have and start thinking about making some changes in areas where you feel you arent getting the right help.

Can I also suggest your local disability advocacy group and/or the association for children with disability to help you work out how to handle the school and where your supports can be strengthened?

You have loads on your plate right now, so do what you can to care for yourself too.

#5 .Jerry.

Posted 02 April 2019 - 04:59 PM

Is it a public or private school?

In public schools, it can take a while to be expelled (we call it "excluded" in Qld public schools).

There is usually an appeals process as well and you can then put forward your reasons why it shouldn't hold up.
If the child has a disability (assuming does), then you can use the anti discrimination legislation in your appeal.  The school would need to indicate the adjustments they made to support him.

#6 José

Posted 02 April 2019 - 05:16 PM

 .Jerry., on 02 April 2019 - 04:59 PM, said:

Is it a public or private school?



OP said its a private school.

i wouldn't wait for it to happen. id be looking to transition to somewhere else ASAP.


#7 Mumma3

Posted 02 April 2019 - 06:50 PM

My experience of private school and a child
With ASD is that we were a million times better off once we left.
Run. They’ve made it clear they don’t want your son there. I’d place money on him knowing this. I’d also place bets on the community (other students AND teachers)  provoking his behaviour as well.
Our experience was that ALL his undesirable behaviours completely disappeared when he changed schools as he was no longer reacting to situations with his fight/flight response.  (To the point that the new school questioned the reports they had been sent to check it was for the right child).

#8 Bam1

Posted 02 April 2019 - 07:02 PM

I would go straight to a public school, they may be no better at handling your DS but they will be forced to do more. The public school were no better at handling my DS than his previous Catholic School but once that became clear, he was able to be placed in a a specialist school which has seem a big difference.

#9 Orangecake

Posted 02 April 2019 - 08:56 PM

I'm sorry you're going through this OP.

Private schools are a law into themselves and I wouldn't be rewarding their attitude by continuing to pay more school fees while being threatened with exclusion.

I would contact  your local public schools and discuss options for your DS. Ask your psych/Paed for advice too.
Good luck

#10 MsLaurie

Posted 02 April 2019 - 09:02 PM

What was the original thinking behind choosing his current school? Has he been there long?

#11 afterlaughter

Posted 02 April 2019 - 09:08 PM

I agree if that’s the school attitude I would be looking to transition now under your terms. I would also be writing a formal complaint regarding the principal telling the non primary career about possible expulsion rather than yourself first. It’s really not ok to be telling anyone that except you as the parent.

#12 2bundles

Posted 02 April 2019 - 09:57 PM

This happened to us in yr 2. It was for the best. It was unbelievably stressful at the time, but it hasn’t had any long term impact. He is another private school now and they have been amazing.  

If you do think meds are the issue, then perhaps get an emergency appt and decide if it’s worth asking the school to defer the decision until the new meds are on board.

My advice is to take your time finding a new school. DS has about a month off school while we considered our options. Also don’t hide anything from the new school. If they don’t want him warts and all, then it’s not the right place.

Good luck.

#13 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 02 April 2019 - 10:09 PM

 MsLaurie, on 02 April 2019 - 09:02 PM, said:

What was the original thinking behind choosing his current school? Has he been there long?

Not sure how the private system operates but I would have imagined parents would meet the principal when a child is enrolled and that for a child with the additional needs of the OP's son that parents would be even more selective as to schooling options to make sure the school is on board.

#14 just roses

Posted 02 April 2019 - 11:32 PM

 Feral Grey Mare, on 02 April 2019 - 10:09 PM, said:

Not sure how the private system operates but I would have imagined parents would meet the principal when a child is enrolled and that for a child with the additional needs of the OP's son that parents would be even more selective as to schooling options to make sure the school is on board.
The problem is, private schools (more the smaller independent schools, rather than the elite schools) have a tendency to promise the world to get enrolments. Schools might talk up their differentiation and their learning support, but the reality falls far short of the promises.

#15 all-of-us

Posted 03 April 2019 - 04:32 AM

No I disagree with your comment just roses - our independent school made promises and they haven’t let us down in tow and a half years being there.

Good luck op -: my other suggestion would be to interview all potential school for your son - make sure what they say and the feel of the school fits him.



#16 2bundles

Posted 03 April 2019 - 06:25 AM

 just roses, on 02 April 2019 - 11:32 PM, said:


The problem is, private schools (more the smaller independent schools, rather than the elite schools) have a tendency to promise the world to get enrolments. Schools might talk up their differentiation and their learning support, but the reality falls far short of the promises.

In our case the school believed everything would be solved by their discipline and boy oriented program.  Of that class (single stream), they had expelled 3 by yr 5.  It is easier for private schools to expel a small child than get rid of a bad teacher.

#17 .Jerry.

Posted 03 April 2019 - 06:36 AM

Interesting that most PPs say just leave.  I would probably do the same, however it irritates me that private schools don't cater for a broad range of children:  including those with disabilities and those with behaviour difficulties.
No wonder the public system is stretched.

Those schools never have to step up and cater for individuals.


Sorry OP, just on the bandwagon here.  Hopefully you will find a school that helps your son.

#18 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 03 April 2019 - 07:56 AM

 .Jerry., on 03 April 2019 - 06:36 AM, said:

Interesting that most PPs say just leave.  I would probably do the same, however it irritates me that private schools don't cater for a broad range of children:  including those with disabilities and those with behaviour difficulties.
No wonder the public system is stretched.

Those schools never have to step up and cater for individuals.


Sorry OP, just on the bandwagon here.  Hopefully you will find a school that helps your son.

agree 100%.

public schools get such a bad rap - on here and IRL - yet they are the ones who will take without question children with learning and behavioural difficulties - the private school system will promise the world but when it all gets too much, or precious snowflake parents start complaining too much about “reputation” they just throw those kids under the bus. yet they get the funding, have the ability to levy huge fees- can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars “protecting” brand image, suing for defamation anyone who dares question or expose them, getting suppression orders on cases where the parents or teachers act out, - it’s all just one big glamorous expensive facade.


#19 Mumma3

Posted 03 April 2019 - 08:01 AM

LB - a thousand times this.

#20 Winging it Mum

Posted 03 April 2019 - 08:50 AM

Hi all, thank you all so much for your words, thoughts, it's all things to take in. DS has ASD & ADHD, with a lot of anxiety and sensory issues to deal with.

The hard part is he could have really hurt someone severely & permanently yesterday & then said some other unrelated dreadful things. Does he really understand, no, but he says he does & that's what the school will take at face value as well. I understand any school has to look after the safety of all students though, and that's where I think DS may have gone too far this time.

He's been at this school now over seven years and whilst at times it's been difficult we've been reluctant to change his world as that is not something that he will cope with. Some teachers have been awesome & this year was looking so promising.

Perhaps we should have changed sooner. One of the big things has been he has OSHC where he is up until Year 10 if he needs it. They have been fantastic with him. Go Public and this option is no longer there & that adds a complexity and whether I can continue to work.

LS, thankfully we are happy with our psychiatrist. We may have to look at seeing her a bit more often but DS has not been someone that's needed as much help as he does now. Options to though are limited, it took 3 years to see someone, then that person was not suitable, this one so much better. I do feel that the meds need tweaking as they are just not as effective at the moment to.

I'm meeting with someone today to get some advice on how to handle the meeting at school on Friday. I am also going to contact the Education dept to see what Public options we have. Thanks .Jerry I will look into the anti-discrimination.

Some of the difficulty will be he is in Yr 7 & would mean going to another primary school for a year and then to a high school - quite a lot of extra change.

I emailed the principal this morning, DH toned down my email somewhat. :) I wasn't happy with what they did to my Dad as he is not the parent & I was so angry about them stressing Dad out. So I have asked for future issues to be addressed directly to me or DH.

Thanks again all. I may vent again over the weekend once I've digested Friday's meeting.

#21 Winging it Mum

Posted 03 April 2019 - 09:02 AM

PS. I think I've liked all your comments, because they have all given me something to think about.

One question I didn't answer was what was our thought process behind choosing this school.

One reason was we didn't know that DS had ASD or ADHD at the time, just Global Developmental Delays all due to being prem at just under 24 weeks. I used to go on the bus with the high school students from the local school on my way to visit him in hospital & I do remember thinking, no way was he ever going to end up there. However that's a long time ago & really there probably wouldn't be much difference to the private school bus,

School tends to highlight a lot of issues & experts fobbed us off for many years & it took until he was 10 to get the ADHD diagnosis & another year to get the ASD one. The school were amazing, he wasn't toilet trained & they did so much for him. A lot of timed toilet breaks. I know a number of schools would have called us to collect him each time he had an accident but they often dealt with it themselves.

The school in their defence never promised us the world, then again we didn't know all the difficulties he would be facing either. When we have found out more we have involved the school & been completely upfront.

I think perhaps our decision may have been different if we'd known how challenging it would be as time went on, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Neither DH or I are anti-public, we were both publicly educated so it wasn't because of that. This school at the time did feel right.

#22 JoanJett

Posted 03 April 2019 - 02:21 PM

OP, good luck with the meeting.  

On the subject of school systems, I think we've all had very different individual experiences.  I would not like to generalise my experience of one public school to the system in general.   You are the best judge of whether your particular school is likely to offer continued support for your son and you as a family.  Even if the outcome of this meeting is to continue at school with some limits in place, it is worth exploring your other options as a back up.  

With respect to your son's meds, are they mainly for the ADHD component of his diagnosis?  I guess I would like to offer you some hope that changes in his meds could make a significant difference for you all - our son has recently changed meds (for a variety of reasons), and one of the very noticeable benefits has been that his anxiety levels have been much lower and he is less prone to anxiety-provoked angry/aggressive outbursts at home.  There have also been recent changes in the PBS, allowing more options for treatment for ADHD.  

Wish you well.

#23 Winging it Mum

Posted 03 April 2019 - 03:26 PM

Thanks JoanJett. The meds are mainly for the ADHD, but there is one also to help with the ASD & another to help with sleeping. I think the one used for ASD is the one I'm interested in as to whether we change to something that is specifically related to the anxiety.

The ADHD med will either need to be changed or upped. I think. Meds are a battle, you get to a place for a while (and it takes so long to get there) and it's great. When it goes downhill, it goes fast.

Definitely exploring options, but we are pretty much limited to one public high school because of zoning. I will still talk to them as I know if nothing else, there needs to be a backup in place.

I've spoken now to a couple of people in the Education Dept. and one of the main things is, if they are talking expulsion will they consider keeping him for the remainder of the year so as not to disrupt him now & again next year. If they are that point though, I'm doubtful they'd consider it & would it just be a waste of a year.

I need a crystal ball.

#24 MrsWidget

Posted 03 April 2019 - 03:42 PM

 Winging it Mum, on 03 April 2019 - 08:50 AM, said:

Hi all, thank you all so much for your words, thoughts, it's all things to take in. DS has ASD & ADHD, with a lot of anxiety and sensory issues to deal with.

The hard part is he could have really hurt someone severely & permanently yesterday & then said some other unrelated dreadful things. Does he really understand, no, but he says he does & that's what the school will take at face value as well. I understand any school has to look after the safety of all students though, and that's where I think DS may have gone too far this time.

He's been at this school now over seven years and whilst at times it's been difficult we've been reluctant to change his world as that is not something that he will cope with. Some teachers have been awesome & this year was looking so promising.

Perhaps we should have changed sooner. One of the big things has been he has OSHC where he is up until Year 10 if he needs it. They have been fantastic with him. Go Public and this option is no longer there & that adds a complexity and whether I can continue to work.

LS, thankfully we are happy with our psychiatrist. We may have to look at seeing her a bit more often but DS has not been someone that's needed as much help as he does now. Options to though are limited, it took 3 years to see someone, then that person was not suitable, this one so much better. I do feel that the meds need tweaking as they are just not as effective at the moment to.

I'm meeting with someone today to get some advice on how to handle the meeting at school on Friday. I am also going to contact the Education dept to see what Public options we have. Thanks .Jerry I will look into the anti-discrimination.

Some of the difficulty will be he is in Yr 7 & would mean going to another primary school for a year and then to a high school - quite a lot of extra change.

I emailed the principal this morning, DH toned down my email somewhat. :) I wasn't happy with what they did to my Dad as he is not the parent & I was so angry about them stressing Dad out. So I have asked for future issues to be addressed directly to me or DH.

Thanks again all. I may vent again over the weekend once I've digested Friday's meeting.

With regards to disability discrimination it’s really hard to fight in a private school. We’re going through it at the moment as my DS10’s school didn’t want him back this year and we are in the middle of a  very messy battle. Can I suggest contacting your local Disability Advocacy group. They have been great with us and can support you. Definitely don’t go to any meetings alone. Ask me how I know :(

#25 Winging it Mum

Posted 03 April 2019 - 03:58 PM

MrsWidget, I hope things work out. I didn't have much luck finding an disability advocacy group today, I will see what I can find tomorrow. I hope you get things resolved.

It's not easy.




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