Looking for a new school
Dale and I agreed that it was time to get Vincent out of that school. I called to talk to Mr. X on Thursday again and was told he'd get back to me again. He didn't. Dale had to leave for another trapping session but said he'd call every night where there was cell phone coverage.
I was talking to a neighbor about our problems and she suggested the private Catholic school. She gave me the number of a friend who had her kids there and I called Mrs. A that afternoon. We met the next morning for coffee and she informed me that she was pulling her kids out of that school because of many of the same problems we were having. She had all the paperwork filled out to home school and gave me the phone number of Mrs. B, the woman who was the contact for Sumtown’s home school population. So much for the Catholic school.
Home schooling was not an option that ever in a million years I would have considered. I did call Mrs. B and she told me that all you had to do in Montana was sign a form stating your intention to home school and that could be obtained at the superintendent's office. Mrs. B was also the editor of the monthly home school newsletter and said there were copies of it at the office as well as other information about home schooling. I went there and picked up everything I could find on the subject.
On my way home I stopped at an elementary school that was about two miles away from home. I planned on talking to them about transferring Vincent but when I arrived I saw a boy with a bloody nose being led off the playground and several others being yelled at by teachers. I didn't even get out of the car.
Dale and I talked for quite a while that night. He'd never thought of home school either but was impressed by what I had found and read. I told him that I had an appointment with another Christian private school on Monday and we'd go from there.
Vincent and I had another crummy weekend. All he could think and talk about was his hatred of school, teachers, and kids. I told him about the private school but not about home school. I told him that Dad and I were trying to come up with a solution and to hang in there.
Monday I went to the Christian Academy with a fairly open mind. We weren't particularly religious but did believe in many aspects of religion. I liked the principal but was really taken aback by the gun he wore. He said it was for protection and that there were some crazy people in Sumtown who didn't like his church and school. He introduced me to several of the teachers and allowed me to watch a couple of classes. Parents were not only allowed in the classroom but were required to put in so many hours a week!! I couldn't get past the whole gun on his hip thing though and didn't want Vincent in an environment that required one.
That night Dale and I spoke again and decided to try home school. I didn't tell Vincent in case anything went wrong. Tuesday morning I filled out the form required by the state and took it to the superintendent. He tried to talk me out of it, asked me what made me think I could teach my son, what kind of education I had (two years of college), why I was doing this. I told him some of the problems we were having but decided it really wasn't any of his business. He did succeed in scaring me a little more than I already was but not enough to change my mind.
So, with freedom papers in hand I went straight to the school. I spoke with the secretary to find out which classroom Vincent was in and walked in on a lecture. I told the teacher I was there for Vincent and for him to get his personal stuff together. Vincent was bewildered of course, but when I told him we were going home and not coming back he had the biggest smile I'd seen in weeks. Mr. X showed up about that time and told me I was crazy, that home schooling didn't work. I asked him if he'd gotten my messages and said that I had tried to talk to him about the problems. He said yes, he had gotten my messages but didn't know it was so important. He'd thought it was about volunteering again...
I told him to have a nice day and walked off.
Vincent danced all the way home.