Dear Ms. Holloway,
I kept Beau out of school today because he had a pretty bad sinus headache. We have all been battling some kind of virus/flu/cold thing, and finally, after trying to kill this off with plenty of rest, liquids, vitamins, and sleep, and having no luck, I decided we needed to go to the doctor to get some antibiotics.
I wanted to go over a couple of things with you that Beau has been unhappy about. He mentioned that he has been very hot in school, and when I pick him up he is beet red and covered with sweat. Given that we have been dealing with pretty high temperatures, I want to be certain that the kids are not being made to walk or sit in direct sun, and that the air conditioner in your class is cooling things sufficiently. If it isn't, and Beau doesn't seem to think it is, will you please let me know so I can find a way to remedy this? I talked to a couple of kids in Beau's class and they said that you turn off the air conditioning at lunch and recess, and that it takes too long for it to cool down when they come back in. Perhaps this is the problem. I spoke with one of the kids in our carpool who is in Ms. Beanstalk's class and was told that she leaves it on all day, only turning it off when the kids complain of it being too cold. If this is the case, could we please try this so that while it's as hot as it's been, the kids can come in to a cooled room and not have to wait so long?
I'm just concerned about Beau being comfortable in school, and he's been uncharacteristically unhappy. Last year he loved school so much he didn't want there to be a Summer Break, and now every day, he is telling me that he wants me to home school him. I know you are new, and are probably just feeling your way, and I have heard excellent things about you, and am sure you are a fabulous teacher. I don't want to upset or offend you in any way, but something is happening with my son, he is unhappy at school, and I need to remedy this immediately.
Yesterday he came home crying. He is constantly telling me that he is bored in class, that there is too much work, (obviously you need to assign as much work as they can handle, but perhaps it needs to be made more fun and exciting?) that he can't use the bathroom when he wants to, and that he was so hot on Monday that he was sick and dizzy.
The other issue that I am uncomfortable with, and it's never been an issue with any of his other teachers before, is the rule you've set regarding bathroom breaks. These are not office workers, these are children, and when they need to go, they should be allowed to. Please forgive me if I am wrong about any of this, I can only go on what Beau tells me, what I've heard from the other children, and what I can glean from the materials that are sent home, but I truly believe that children should never be discouraged from using the bathroom when they might need to. Yes, they should certainly make use of the facilities at recess and lunch, in order to cut down on disruption, but kids have immature bladders, and even going at lunch does not always preclude someone from having to go again. I DO NOT want my son prevented from using the bathroom by a rule that says he cannot go unless it is a dire emergency! Certainly you must see that some kids will be too shy to get up in front of their friends under these conditions
I am aware that I am a bit oversensitive on this issue. I have Interstitial Cystitis, a very painful, incurable, disease of the bladder. It started when I was about Beau's age, and since I understand all too well how painful this can be, I simply do not want to see my son being made to sit uncomfortably in school. I don't know what can be done to remedy this, maybe I am the only parent who has complained about this, maybe not, but please will you consider softening your position on this issue?
Laura, please know that I am unbelievably supportive of you. The last thing I want to do is upset or offend you in any way. I think teachers are saints, truly I do. I know what you're up against, and how tough it can be. Several of my friends are teachers and I've heard it all, believe me. But in this case, when it comes to my son, I just need to be certain that when he is away from my care, he is comfortable, happy, and stimulated. Beau is a great kid, he has always had the best marks when it comes to listening to his teachers and behaving in class. He is a kind, super-creative, sensitive guy, who has always loved school, so this is unusual for him. I'm just wondering what we can do to make things better for him this year, so that he continues to love learning, and wants to come to school. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.
Thanks so much for reading this. I hope you can help put my mind at ease. You can call me any time. If I'm not home, and you get my machine, please let me know when a good time would be to either come by school, or call you at home. I would stop by to talk to you, instead of putting all of this in a letter, but Beau says you leave pretty soon after the bell.
Please pray that she doesn't take this out on Beau or feel too hurt, and that this somehow wakes her up and helps in some way. I'm concerned that I'm getting on her case when it's only the fourth week of school, but I just don't think my son should bear the burden of her being new, she should be ready to hit the ground running. What do you guys think?