Friday, November 06, 2009

Grave injustice

A grave injustice was inflicted upon my daughter by her school and it has me beyond fucking pissed off. For the second year in a row, she was shafted and not inducted into her school's chapter of the National Honor Society. Supposedly the reason is because she got too many negative reviews from teachers. Unfortunately they won't reveal the names of the teachers, nor will they verify that these teachers have ever even had any contact with my daughter in order to be able to offer a "sound, professional judgment" as is required per the NHS rules.

In the past, particularly last year, we had a lot, and I mean A LOT, of problems with just the attendance office alone confusing my daughter with another student who shares the same name, despite the fact that this other kid is MALE! Even though I would always provide her student ID#, which was clearly different from this other kid's, they were still screwing up her attendance records, marking her truant for days I called her out sick or marking her truant for classes she had attended. It got to the point where her counselor told us to stop calling the attendance office and call him instead any time my daughter would be absent.

Given that experience, and the fact that I've heard nothing but praise from all of her teachers about what a wonderful student she is and how they wish they had more like her, we strongly believe that the teachers giving her bad reviews are mistaking her for this other student and are teachers that haven't a clue who my daughter is since she's never been a student in any of their classes.

Yet we have no recourse. There is no appeals process available and she is just screwed out of an opportunity she richly deserves. Academically she outranks at least 50% of the students that were accepted into NHS. When it comes to volunteer and activity hours, she knows for a fact that she has more than twice as many as most of her friends that are in NHS and she volunteers on her own time, not because it's required for certain classes like many of the other students.

The response we've been getting from her teachers that are now learning she wasn't inducted is one of shock and disbelief. Even students that she is less than friendly with that are in NHS are expressing their own shock. The principal of the school even believes my daughter should be in NHS because he knows her from when she was on the student advisory council, but yet he won't intervene on her behalf because he says his hands are tied.

Another kicker in this story is that the teacher that oversees NHS at her school, and is the one that sent her the rejection letters both this year and last, is the very teacher that adores her so much and thinks so highly of her that she wrote a glowing letter of recommendation, a letter my daughter needed for her application to Northwestern University!

There are serious red flags going off that these supposedly bad reviews are not legit, and surely someone has the power to say "wait a minute, we need to do something", even if there is no official appeals process in the bylaws.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, she actually had to sit through the entire induction ceremony and watch as all these other students received an honor she should have gotten. She's in chamber choir and they sing the National Anthem at the beginning of the ceremony and the school's fight song at the end. Sure she could have refused to go, but that would have meant letting down the rest of the choir and she was not willing to do that.

I cry every time I think about this situation. My daughter has had to overcome so many major obstacles in life to get to where she is today and instead of being rewarded for it, she's being fucked over. This could potentially hurt her chances at winning merit scholarships because she'll be up against students of the same caliber as herself academically, and being in NHS (or not) could be THE deciding factor on who gets the money.

My daughter just wants me to let it go. She says since the induction ceremony has passed there's nothing we can do to get her inducted now, even if we submit a formal complaint to the national level (all they'll do at national is investigate the chapter and make sure they are adhering to the rules in the future, they won't actually do anything to help an individual student that's been wrongly rejected). She tells me that if I continue to ruminate about it and continually get upset by it, then she will as well and then guess what? They win. She will have allowed them to beat her down and make her feel inferior, something she refuses to let that happen.

Even in the face of adversity and a glaring injustice, my daughter wants to take the high road and be the better person. That right there is a HUGE testament to her character and honor. Too bad she can't list that on college and scholarship applications.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire that you are a pitbull when it comes to sticking up for your child.
The next time something goes smoothly in my life will be the first time. I'm sorry bad seems to be heaped upon bad at a time when you least need it.
You have given your life to a great cause...fight on!

Jim (a loyal reader and fellow sufferer)

11:45 AM, November 08, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honey right now I am excessively mental but one thing I can assure you of: There is ALWAYS recourse.There is ALWAYS a higher up.There is ALWAYS a way around the BS.

If you want to email me privately I assure you I WILL find out how you can get these idiots to cooperate with you. My psychotic specialty is pulling apart chains of command and finding out where to strike the hardest.

Suffice it to say that creditors, school districts, lawyers, and HMO's do not even want to see me coming. They'll throw whatever I need at me to keep me away.

If you need help-let me know.

Many Blessings

3:04 PM, November 08, 2009  

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