Four days ago ... http://www.dr.dk/P4/Fyn/Nyheder/Odense/2013/05/24/062541.htm
Now ... http://www.avisen.dk/odense-kommune-har-naesten-droppet-foraeldrepaalaeg_219980.aspx
Our story ... We were told in December 2011 the Municipality wanted to investigate our family since we homeschooled, a last resort after leaving our beloved school in october 2011. We had tried out a stunning little private school where I concluded that my kids were very different. It was confirmed that we needed a Special Education for my youngest, and the the eldest needed a Gradeskip or Acceleration as it is called in other countries.
After consultng with more that several people kind enough to talk to me about such matters, being screamed at by others and flipping completely at innocents I gave my kid the options. Thus including everybody that knew my kid. Kind of natural considering she was at a school that had a Gifted Curriculum and bored out of her skull the year before that. A Gradeskip should be easy peasy or so I thought ... it's written in the law ... it's an option!
Well, there is the law and then there is tradition.
I asked immediately for the Socialworker to include our teachers, psychologist. They were not impressed and then I proceeded to make an complaint in january 2012 where the whole case was set to be co ordinated by our socialworker. The person that made that decision did not even care to see the "paperwork". See everybody was busy and everybody had their job to do. So much for being heard.
At the same time we got the "UU threat letter" as described in the above newspaper clippings about loosing my child benefits unless she goes to school "immediately", out of the blue! As first contact to another department that had a specific function, that we had not known about, and threatening me as if I was "one of those families". There they are by law required to make sure every child has a future "career plan". This plan is written, with parental accept, and after talk to the child - depending on the childs needs. I found all this out afterwards - after showing my overexcitabilities that were steadily growing.
In the proces I had to point out that the law says that homeschooling was not illegal and then they proceeded to write to me I was right, but that unless she is in "normal school" they will not give her career guidance. Again, their interpretation since the law indeed stipulates something else. The law was specifically passed to make sure all children are secured a school option, specific to their needs. I guess everybody is very busy.
Luckely, there was an e-guidance councilor that took over and was a superb help. She gave me exactly all the info I needed - fast and correct. She was so nice and had dealt with a case like ours before - actually she had done that a few times. And then I read about similar cases on the internet and did not feel so bad about getting such a letter.
And then the next letter, an even worse threat, that's seen from our perspective! Now her case is sent over to the department for criminal/school drop out kids due to structural changes in the Municipality - the very same type of school we were offered in summer 2011 when we just inquired about what our options were besides normal school.
That caused me to flip completely and jolly fast. Then I found out that there was no such structure change as mentioned in the letter, well nobody knew what that meant except the person that wrote the letter. Then suddenly the person that wrote the letter recalled all that paperwork, again cancelling all the planned interviews and meetings with no notice. By then I was fuming and people were irritated since they had to take off work ect. for nothing. Another month wasted.
So, we got transferred back to the original people that wanted to "investigate us" for the fact that we were homeschooling. Now enough time has passed and the grade skip was not possible anymore, and huge task of case co ordination has grown so big that I had no idea how to keep up. But the person that got the case really had no experience with school matters, her job was to find and resolve social problems - so she just found what she recognized and soon we had people knocking at our door to check up on us. It freaked me silly. Making matters even worse.
While all this was happening, I homeschooled her, and her brother not noticing that SOMEHOW she was not registered for her exams, as I had asked to be done ... and tough luck for us. More stress --> I do not do the registration --> again the e-guidance councilor was a superb help. Every problem she had a solution for. By now she was saying our case seems crazy, and I agreed.
The department of Education actually encouraged me to file an complaint when I asked for help concerning her exams, but when we realised that their case load was so big that she would be halfway through the next school year before the case got handled I dropped the paperwork.
Then people from our old school found out I was Homeschooling and after what seemed as an innocent Facebook chat we got reported for child neglect since my children that do not go to school ... well, there is a stigma as the newspapers so nicely describes, being a foreigner and all! And somehow the report was written by somebody that had not seen us? That stumped me. I was freaked silly.
Then UU and I had major meetings. The tapes were not as hillarious then as they are now, since for me the matter was very serious. For them it was business as usual and a very irritating mother. Again, the results of the meeting was useless, for us that is. I spent the nights reading and reading and found a solution.
Remember I did not know how the system works, and did not grow up here so this was hard work. And I had never tried to have a kid in high school either, nor Homeschooled ... and not to mention figuring out special ed on the side, taking several trips to the hospital too?
http://2e-giftedogdiagnose.blogspot.dk/2012_07_01_archive.html is a bit of what tones were used.
Note we had since then asked for a grade skip for 9 months at that point. Something that could have been clarified with one phone call to the teacher that had taught her for a year, while reading her school papers and she could have started school the very next day, thus there would not have been any homeschooling ect! Luckely for me she did get into Gymansium, via a national exam and social evaulation and naturally we were all stressed after this ordeal. See, not knowing what is going on is a huge stressfactor for a child. But she did very well and loves her school option today, traveling and all!
From the above it is clearly seen that our plan was not accepted - we had to deviate! We were not informed of our rights and not given the required paperwork. But, complaining is a total waste of time since kids need help fast. Again, once you have to reach for the law - go home!
Even worse the socialworker that had the case from the beginning wrote in her "evaluation" that my kidlets homeschooling is not up to standard. She even suggested that she goes to a tradeschool to get her ready for an trade exam (Fagskole gør hende parat til erhvervsuddannelsen, som just ikke er Gymnasium) An opinion and not fact since NOBODY tested my child. See, the Municipality has to come and check parents that Homeschool and test their children, parents then get three months notice to fix whatever or start in public school. We had none of that.
We ended up getting chased as some wacko family that was under investigation for "suspect behaviour". Well, we are not like the "norm" for so many great reasons. The only thing I said no to was to sit in Dialog with a teacher that had used suspect pedagogical methods, and that I required time enough to plan meetings so I could have our support person at the meeting. Four ears hear better than two, especially when overexcited.
Money, time and a case was developed. And not leaving me free to deal with her brothers case that indeed involved Special Ed as I found out teaching him to read that year. His ultimate Goal in order to play more Minecraft. And for her, the best we could do - where our plan B school option actually tunred out to be the best school so far. While we learned some valuable lessons too. More about our lessons another day. See, life goes on and opportunities just happen when you least expect them too.
So it's a great thing our Municipality does not sendt out "threat letters" anymore and has realized that Dialog is the way forward. It's not so great that we are a family that had to spend many unpaid hours figuring this out, not to mention that every action has an reaction - so bear with us as we sort out the reactions! The law might be tradition and take a long time, but we are learning to be patient.
And as of now ... lige seems to go on as before ... http://www.dr.dk/P4/Fyn/Nyheder/Odense/2013/05/28/074525.htm
Rådmændene i Odense Kommune er ikke enige om hvor vidt forældrepålæg skal bruges mod indvandrerforældre.
Municipality do not agree whether sanctions are to be used against families with foreign backrounds.
Der er ikke mange kommuner, der bruger økonomiske sanktioner. Fra 2006 til 2011 er det på landsplan kun brugt 97 gange. Odense står alene for 48 tilfælde.
Not many Municipalities use sanctions. Between 2006 and 2011 Denmark has used sanctions 97 times. Odense used 48 of these.
- barnet er ikke kriminel osv.
- adfærdproblemer er ikke set før end ved tvangsudredning efter 7 uger i isolation
- samarbejde --> det kan man altid diskutere!