I am slowly getting over the bad feeling I had with Colegio San Agustin and some of its educators. They recommended Marcus to be transferred to another school because of his behavior. It pains me because some students would repeat grade level several times or attend classes every summer while Marcus who doesn’t study much never gets a failing mark. He even gets very good grades in major subjects like math and science and yet he was ‘kicked-out’. I must admit he’s really a handful but we never tolerated all those bad actions that he did. I just thought that my efforts in explaining to concerned personnel that Marcus was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD wouldn’t turn out to be a futile attempt. The teacher was telling me that I could ask the Principal (a foreigner priest) for a reconsideration. What for? For me and my son to make promises to him and make my son feel that he is a terrible child. Never mind.
I know that one factor that made matters worse was when a parent wrote a letter to the Principal and PTA Officers to petition Marcus out of the school, treating my son like a monster. The adviser admitted that the parent was a bit over-acting. I humbly asked the adviser that I am open to a discussion so that the parents could hear my and my son’s side of the story. They didn’t ask for one which made me more convinced that those parents didn’t care a bit about my son.
I would have wanted to pull-out Zach as well but Zach was doing good and he likes the school so I cannot really sacrifice that just because I had a bad experience with my other son. But given the chance, I really would.
I just have a few message to those parents and concerned CSA educators;
1. I thank you because you made me realize that I shouldn’t have entrusted my son to CSA in the first place. I just thought that I enrolled my son to the best school within the vicinity. I was so wrong. Australian International School (previously Esteban school) is way way better than your curriculum and more importantly in how they handle children like Marcus. Marcus’ class is composed of less than 15 students. In Grade Six they are taught World History (instead of repeating Philippine history every year), Spanish or Mandarin, computer programming and advanced lessons in major subjects. They offer clubs without additional fee so now Marcus plays soccer and basketball on top of his PE. They believe in Marcus and they never branded him.
2. To the parents. You may have succeeded your way of protecting your child from one bully (which is what they think of Marcus), without thinking about my child’s future. Let me just remind you that there will always be a bully around your child, even after school. Protecting him/her that way will make your child weak and dependent. My child is not a monster. ‘Bullies’ need help not judgement from people like you. Besides, we’re doing something about Marcus’ condition. He doesn’t want to be like that.
3. To CSA, what about your anti-bully campaign? Is it to kick those bullies out instead of helping them? Or are you just scared of letting the ‘more powerful parents’ down. Letting them ‘bully’ you.
I don’t say Marcus has changed a lot already. It will be a process. But I can see that AIS family loves him. I pray that it will finally be Marcus’ second home.