Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Slap Squad

Years ago I was part of a listserv for parents of children with conditions similar to my daughter's, and there was one particularly spirited woman on there who came up with the Slap Squad, who could be dispatched to punish whomever was getting on our nerves that day. The intended targets were usually uncooperative teachers, school administrators, insurance companies, or providers of services like speech or occupational therapy, those kinds of people, against whom some special ed parents are continuing battling. Reasonable Man and I have tried hard over the years to not be that perpetually-squeaky-wheel type of special ed parent, but everyone has their limits, and we have fought the occasional battle, and come up against the occasional foe who could use a visit from the Slap Squad.

This is our daughter's first year in junior high, and hence her first year with multiple teachers. In the past seven years, we have been lucky enough to have seven teachers who really wanted the best for our Mermaid, and this, her first year in junior high, we have been lucky enough to have six teachers who want the best for her. This is great, except for the fact that Mermaid has seven classes, and the seventh teacher is such a complete and total tool that he a) he seems to attribute the trouble Mermaid has in his class to her having an attitude problem, b)he manages to get RM and me all aggravated and riled up on almost a weekly basis, b) Mermaid starts crying pretty much anytime the subject of his class comes up. Clearly this is not cool. I could describe his latest offense for you, but why? It's just more of the same we have been suffering for the past several months. I am actually beyond the point of finding comfort in picturing him dealing with the karmic ramifications of picking on an autistic student. And for that, Mr. Seventh Teacher, you have earned yourself a visit from the Slap Squad. Not that I expect it to do you any good, but I will enjoy imagining it happening anyway.
And as long as they're out there doing my bidding, I decided I might as well come up with a list of others who have incurred my wrath and need a good smacking-for-hire:
People who don't drink coffee, or don't watch TV, or don't read Harry Potter books, and are kind of self-righteous about it (not to be confused with people who don't do one or all of those things and manage to say so without making you want to kick their pompous asses about it);
Dr. Phil, for constantly telling people "I always say don't substitute my judgement for your own" when that is basically what he does on every damn show, and what would be the point if he didn't;
The people in Hollywood who are now complaining about the writers' strike, not because the writers have been getting screwed over for years, but because the Oscars might get cancelled;
Sociopaths who appear on reality TV and are arrogant enough to think no one will notice there is something seriously wrong with them;
George W. Bush and everyone in his administration who has not yet resigned in disgust;
Everyone who has made the current presidential election seem like it's already been going on for two years when there are still ten months to go.
So that's it. Let me know if there's anyone I need to add to the list!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there
I'm a junior high teacher in Davis. I am so sorry for the trouble you are experiencing with your daughter. I don't know which school your daughter attends, but if it is Holmes Junior High, I assure you I would do my best to look out for her in the next few years. The frustration and bouyancy of your letter was very typical of parents who have dynamic and special needs children. It seems that some teachers tend to forget that fairness is not everybody getting the same thing, but rather everyone getting what they need.
If I can be of help, please feel free to email me at
Best wishes!