I was told by the school that it wasn't an academic issue, but a social one. I don't agree.
I requested information supporting the claim -- interventions, reports, any documentation illustrating his social issues. I haven't received anything.
My child is in the 3rd grade, and would be repeating the year with the same teacher. I have a meeting scheduled with the principal, teacher, and maternal grandmother (who I share custody with).
What recourse do I have if the meeting does not go well?
The school has said it is between the grandmother and I. They'll promote him if we both agree, but it's doubtful we'll agree.I found out he was being held back the last day of school due to an inappropriate note a teacher wrote to my son about how he would be her right hand man next year, and how much fun they'd have.
Because you have joint legal custody, you should have been included in this major decision. You may very well wish to consult with an experienced family law attorney before any meetings so that you can discuss all of the facts in greater detail and make an informed decision as to a course of action, including trying to work this out with the other parent.
Gather as much information as you can about the situation during the meetings, especially about the pros and cons. Learn what behaviors they are concerned about. Then counter with your own observations and goals for your son. What other options are there? Summer activities to build skills? It sounds as if the school understands they cannot hold him back unless both joint legal custodians agree. While you are doing this make sure that your name and contact information is included in all the school records and you are notified of parent teacher conferences, IEP if one is involved, so they know you are to be included appropriately in the future. If you and the other joint custodian cannot agree, you can apply to the Court to make the decision for you. You could also individually or jointly seek more information from a professional who deals with children and their development to learn more and support your position (or help you to learn the benefits to your son of being held back if there are benefits to be considered). The old fashioned approach was that holding back socially immature boys is good for them in the long run. Maternal grandmother may be guided by that. You will want a decision based upon your child's best interest. Good luck.
If you have joint custody with the grandmother, then you should have been included in all meetings, or at the very least advised of the meetings. I suggest if that is the case you bring the joint legal custody order to the meeting with you to show the school. Participate in the meeting and gather all information (you can even record it). If things do not work out to your satisfaction, I suggest you speak with an experienced attorney to discuss your specific facts and circumstances.
You have a small window of time until the new school year starts. If your meeting with the principal, teacher, and grandmother goes well and you and grandma agree that the child goes to fourth grade, that would be great. However, you have stated you doubt there will be any such agreement. A big problem in this matter is that if the child is placed back in third grade again, you may have a very difficult time getting him out. I would recommend that you consult an experienced Family Law practitioner immediately, because if you do need to bring this matter to Court, it is better to do so before the start of the school year. In order to get this matter heard by a Court before the school year starts, something needs to be filed almost immediately. You really should consult an experienced Family Law practitioner immediately.
The foregoing answer is submitted for informational purposes, and is not intended as a specific answer to the question posed. Always consult with an attorney prior to signing any and all agreements. The firm of Newman & Ingemi, LLC does not represent you unless and until you enter into a signed Retainer Agreement with the firm.
Ms. Ross gives good advice. Additionally, it sounds like a wonderful note from the teacher, far from inappropriate, geared to make him comfortable with a situation that neither of the two of them made the decision to do.
This should not be considered legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute a contract for legal services between any parties. Answers are given to questions for which there may be additional facts not mentioned which might change the legal issues or consequences.
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