Last Thursday I was at my wife's job with the kids saying hello. I played the 'I got your nose' game with my son, a game that I have played a million times. But this time it left a small dime sized bruise. He did not cry or even take note it was even there. The only reason I knew of it was because the wife pointed it out. And that was the last time it came to mind.
Then around 3:30 on Friday I get a call from the wife that DYFS wanted to speak to us about the bruise on our son. I thought she was full of shit, there was no way child services was called on this. It wasn't even that noticeable! But sure enough the school did, the DYFS worker was at our house in less than an hour after we were notified of this. Some children go years without so much of a visit after 15 reports, my little bruised up monkey got the red carpet treatment with just one call;he must be special!
I could not leave work because of the nature of what I do so the wife was the only one available to go home. Now, we are normal people who do not keep their home in spic and span shape so we employed the help of her mother and her brother to run over and do a frantic clean job. Which entailed taking all the laundry that was on the dinning room table to the basement, flash washing the few dishes that were in the sink and shoving everything else under the couch. I never new a couch/sofa could hold so many video games and Elmo dolls!
Now after all is said and done and the social worker is happily satisfied we have beds for our children, that we don't feed them Alpo and that all the S&M toys were out of sight we had time to digest all that had happened. We are not upset with DYFS, they did what they had to do and went away nicely. But I am upset with the school and how they handled their end.
Let me count the ways that the Elizabeth School system shows their fake concern for the children:
1) They felt that a child was being abused so they made a police report and even had the nurse make note that the injury required medical attention. This happened around noon, keep that in mind
2) Child services was called and he was sent back to his class. A child in need of medical attention was sent back to his classroom with no call to a real medical professional that could administer it or a phone call to his parents to state he needed it.
3) At the end of the day he was picked up by our neighbor and he was never informed of a medical condition. Now this point has 2 areas of concern for me. One: A child that has been abused is now being released to someone that might be doing the abuse.....and Two: If he did really need medical attention he was now 3 hours or so with out it.
3) We were not made aware of him needing this medical attention until the social worker told my wife we had to take our son to a doctor because the school nurse made note about it. She took him and got a written confirmation that it was just a minor bruise and nothing more.
4) It is now Tuesday and from what I can tell no one from his school has called to make sure he is doing ok or anything.
From all of this what I got is fake concern and adults coaxing a child into saying something that did not happen. Because according to the police report we got, the teacher said that our son told her that I was mad at him and pinched his nose out of anger. Hmmmmmm in a court room I think this might have gone down as leading a witness, because the moment his nose was bruised it was in the presents of about 5 adults one being an Elizabeth police officer that was at my wife's job working security detail.
The report also went on to say that my son then told the nurse that I pinched his nose because he, my son, was hugging his mommy and that made me mad. Notice how the story keeps getting worse. I am no shrink but I know bullshit when I see it. Part of my rant covers the artificial feelings of concern mainly because all the school did was call a government agency and then wash their hands of it. If there was a true concern here, my son would not have gone back to a home where this alleged abuse took place and a doctor would have been brought in ASAP. But what they did was hand off everything to a third party on a Friday afternoon knowing that they had done there 1% and they were covered. Not that the child was safe or that the medical condition the child was suffering from was treated.
I am tempted to send a letter much like this one to everyone on the school board and even any local paper that is looking for a fun story of neglect, professional misconduct and maybe even endangering the welfare of a child. I know there are many cases where children are in need of help and I do hope that someone spots it before it is to late; but this is not even a case of spanking. And yes I do spank my kids, not like the way I got beat but punishment never the less.
I dont think anyone from my area reads my blog but my son goes to Madison Monroe school 16 in Elizabeth, NJ. I have just left the principal a voice-mail, lets see how long it takes for him to get back to me.....Time and date of first call 12:40pm 10/28/2008.
And just in case you were wondering this is what the bruise looked like on Friday: