Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In Case The Wild Animals Attack...

The Nurse Groupie strikes again.

For those of you who don't remember (or would like to forget like I would), the Nurse Groupie is a student who wants to see the nurse every single period of the day for one thing or another. Excessive doesn't begin to describe her desire to visit the nurse. We've had two parent meetings about it - Mom requested the second one because NG is failing several classes (including mine) because she's too busy scheming for a way to get out of class or her mom has picked her up and taken her home. I have her the last period of the day and she's absent from my class on average of at least once a week. (Oh yeah, and Mom emails me before spring break and asks if I would send some extra credit worksheets home with NG so she could do those since she's failing my class. Only problem with that, as I explained to Mom, is I don't have or offer any extra credit worksheets. Oh, says Mom.)

So, after the last meeting, which included our Assistant Principal Mrs. Sparrow, Mom emails Mrs. Language (who is NG's homeroom teacher) and informs her that she agrees with us, her daughter needs to stay in class and unless she's missing a limb or throwing up (and I wouldn't put it past this one to stick her finger down her throat to do so), we do not have to let her go to the nurse or call mom. Mom would stand behind our judgment.

Except now NG is coming up with new strategies to get Mom's attention.

Yesterday she comes in, jokes around and visits with her friends in her homeroom, and then informs Mrs. Language that she needs to see the nurse as she "doesn't feel safe."

Mrs. Language pulls her outside in the hall to find out what she means by this and NG can't explain. She just doesn't feel safe. Mrs. Language sends her to see Mrs. Sparrow. Mrs. Sparrow can't get anything out of her either so calls Mom. Mom leaves work, drives to school, and parks herself in Mrs. Sparrow's office for half and hour to talk to her child. What they talked about, we have no idea. NG went back to class and Mom went back to work.

Today during planning I head up to the front office to drop off some ISS paperwork, and who should I see at the phone calling home? You got it! Nurse Groupie! So now she's getting her elective teachers (that change every quarter) to let her call home or go to the nurse since her mean core teachers are on to her game. I find out who her elective teachers are, give them a head's up and then let Mrs. Sparrow know what's going on.

Apparently she had allergies and needed to go home.

Now, let me talk a bit about allergies. I've had them my whole life. I know allergies. We're talking years and years of allergy shots, medication, you name it. And I never, ever, missed a day or work or a day of school due to allergies even when I felt like death warmed over. And this kid has never sneezed, sniffled, or so much as coughed in my presence, and she certainly doesn't have the watery red eyes that most of my allergy kids (and myself) have on those special spring and fall days then the allergens are flying. So honestly, I'm not buying the allergy story AT ALL.

Anyhow, Mrs. Sparrow is now on a mission. This kid is staying in class. So she intercepted Mom (who picked her up so the kid missed a whole day of school, a whole day of review for our VERY BIG DEAL GOVERNMENT MANDATED TEST WHICH IS IN TWO WEEKS, and hell no, I'm not giving her any freaking extra credit (which doesn't exist anyway) and I'm sorry your kid is failing but maybe if she stayed in school she'd actually pass, but I digress.) and laid it on the line for both Mom and Nurse Groupie. Mom is missing work dealing with Nurse Groupie's desire to leave school and Nurse Groupie is missing class.

Mom supposedly agreed (we'll see). The new policy basically takes us out of the decision making loop. Nurse Groupie is not to leave the room. If she needs to call home or see the nurse we are to call Mrs. Sparrow. Mrs. Sparrow will come and make a determination if she is sufficiently sick enough to see the nurse or call home. End of story.

We hope.


Margaret Kravat said...

Lovely child. I wonder why exactly she's trying to avoid going to class. Is she anti-social? Is this a teenage cry for help?

kherbert said...

Allergies short of anaphylactic shock are not a reason to miss school or work. I love the fact your administration is supporting your team on this.

You brought up a funny memory.

BG: In the fall of my 3rd grade year, the class bully smeared peanut butter on me. When the school wouldn't call my Mom, I did what Dad told me to do. I grabbed a piece of furniture and screamed bloody murder. They called mom - who rushed me to the ER. (Yes I was going into anaphylactic shock from touching peanuts).

That spring the ligustrums were booming. We came in from recess or PE - and the teacher took one look at me and rushed me to the nurse. I was a red rash anywhere I had exposed skin and my eyes were swollen nearly shut. Mom's reaction - she picked me up - took me home -threw me in the shower - dosed me with medication - and took me back to school. I missed less than an hour.

It happened after PE in JH. Mom told the nurse to have me take my meds, take a shower, and she bought me clothes to change into.

I was allowed to go to the library and stay inside when those blasted plants were blooming for the rest of my time at the school.

Mom who had similar allergies told me more than once either you will learn to live with it or you won't.

ms-teacher said...

It is entirely possible that this student may have anxiety. I would not, however, discuss this in front of the student as the last thing you would want is to give her another reason to leave class if anxiety is not the issue.

Kids who suffer from anxiety as it relates to school often do almost anything to avoid being in school. Feel free to e-mail me if you want to talk about this further.

Mrs. Bluebird said...

We're not sure what's with this kid. She did this last year, and Mom supposedly took her to see a doctor, and they couldn't find anything wrong. She says she's not being bullied, threatened, whatever. She's a social kid with quite a lot of friends, she just doesn't want to be at school. Mom is a bit of a hypochondriac herself and will tell you about all the ailments the members of her family have (migraines, allergies, aches and pains, etc.) We suspect there may be an anxiety issue (guidance hasn't been able to get anywhere), or she just wants attention from someone (Mom, who will come and get her.)

The good news is that today she didn't ask a single one of us to send her to the nurse or call home. She made it through the day. Perhaps Mrs. Sparrow finally made an impression.