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DS Expelled - drugs

(102 Posts)
TapasGirl Sun 18-Dec-16 10:16:03

I have posted this in Parenting but see from previous posters on here that others have had similar experiences and would like to draw on those experiences if anyone is able to help.
DS is going to be expelled tomorrow year 11 for selling drugs to another student.
DS' explanation is that he and friends (who have smoked weed on various occasions, as it has all come out now) put herbs into a bag to sell on as weed to make some cash.
The pupil he sold to realising it was herbs reported him to the Head. Subsequently everyone has been investigated and it looks as if the evidence against DS is strong. Also when he was investigaged by the Head he confessed to selling Weed to the other pupil

So he/we are in the shit basically and I don't know where to go from here.

I did email the Head of Friday when it all came out to say that we wanted to withdraw DS as I did not want his expulsion on his record.
Since having some good advice from the Parenting forum I have withdrawn that statement, to say we need to be more informed before taking him out.

I do not want him to go to a PRU. I know lots of people say how good they are; how they have turned others lives around etc. but he only has 20 weeks left to do GCSE's and I know this will not work for him. He struggles badly has had Ed Psych reports which School have had. I believe he is probably on the Aspergers spectrum. He struggles socially; eager to please; doesn't get consequences etc.

So tomorrow I want to ask the School to keep him on roll and I will give up my job to support him through his GCSE's at home. But I will need their support to do this as I am not exactly academically gifted myself but sure between us we can scrape through a couple of C's - if we are lucky.

Do you think this might work with the School. Or do you think they will just want him off their roll.

I am absolutley terrified of what is to become of him and am in a very bad place. Your advice (particularly if you have been where I am today) would be really appreciated.
X

Pandamanda3 Sun 18-Dec-16 10:32:44

Morning op I have no advise im sorry but didn't want to read & run. You must be up the wall with it all, kids hey they drive you mad and often don't think ahead.
So am I reading right your going to take him out of school? I shouldn't imagine a head could expell a child ready to sit gcse's for one crime.
And let's face it the boy hasn't actually sold drugs has he it was herbs. I know it's not the point but surely they should be supporting him to get to a better place & overcome the issues.

His gcse's can be a stressful time. Don't jump into giving up work to home edu it's hard work I tried it through lack of provision suitable for my dc who has autism.

Id speak to the head & say whilst you support he needs to know it's wrong what he's done you do feel school have a duty of care to him to support him to overcome the issues so he has the best chance to gain gcse's
Op kids make mistakes and any head that can just Palm the child off for 1 mistake needs reporting themselves. How do they learn otherwise they should learn by example of course, talking supporting re-educating his poor choices and do what they can.

Don't get too stressed about it there are worse things, he's got a good mum in you and you sound like you will be supportive of his needs so take 5 have a cuppa and kick heads butt to help your dc
💐 for you x

TapasGirl Sun 18-Dec-16 10:43:52

Thank you P3 for your lovely post - really appreciated.

The problem is the Head will want him out; he will expel. He has other parents to think about and the reputation of the School.
There is no proof that the bag contained only herbs and to be honest I don't know what to believe myself. DS has confessed that he sold drugs to the pupil when he was interrogated by the Head. Also whether the bag contained herbs or other materials is probably irrelevant as the intent was there to deal.
DS is devastated; we all are. You don't think you will ever be in this position but from here I will never judge anyone again.
I will have to support him through his GCSE's as a PRU is not the place to go. Particularly as he is quite impressionable; eager to be seen as cool etc.

Zodlebud Sun 18-Dec-16 10:47:59

Was it a bit of basil and thyme he sold to the other student or actual marijuana? If it's the first then, whilst not to undermine the seriousness of the offence with regards to a zero drugs policy, it's more like he made a very stupid joke without really thinking about the consequences. Teenage boys do daft things all the time. I work with teenagers abroad in a residential setting and some of the things they do are bonkers. One lad bought a litre bottle of vodka and got really drunk on it. Well, actually it was a bottle full of water and he was acting. Total prat. He almost got sent home and the police involved until the truth came out. He just wanted to be seen as cool.

From the school point of view though, anything that might be interpreted as drug dealing on their property needs to be dealt with. Unless it was actual drugs then I would say work with the school on how best to manage it. Your son needs his tail between his legs big time, to admit it was a really stupid thing to do, and he didn't think his prank would have such serious consequences. Be prepared for suspensions, isolation etc, but if no drugs were on the school property or your son, I think you could argue that an exclusion over a bit of basil at such a critical point in your son's academic life would be extremely detrimental.

I do agree totally with the school taking such a strict stance and he will be used as an example. I do feel you should be able to arrange proper support for your son's studies quietly in the background though whilst being seen to back up their position.

Remember that we all make mistakes, we just need to learn from them and move on. Things always seem worse than they really are and working together with the school you should be able to come up with a happy medium.

titchy Sun 18-Dec-16 10:48:10

He won't be expelled tomorrow OP. There is a procedure the head has to follow which will take weeks, so don't panic.

CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 18-Dec-16 10:56:52

I can't see how this would not be a permanent exclusion. No school can support drug dealing. He will not be able to remain on roll - a permanent exclusion will mean he is removed from roll and the county / borough take responsibility for his education.

The PRU will at least be able to give him some 1:1 tuition to assist him and he will be able to sit his exams there. Unfortunately, you don't have other options. You could remove him from roll to home educate but it will not be easy to organise the exams etc. If he was in a younger year group then the PRU could try to place him in another school after a 16 week (often) period of assessment. However, at this stage this is impossible.

The school does not have a duty of care to help a student selling drugs to "get over it" - they have a duty of care to protect the other pupils and yes they absolutely have the right, and a duty to others, to permanently exclude for a one-off serious offence.

Sorry, I am not trying to be negative, but there is really no point going to the meeting with hope that he can remain on roll and get help from the teachers with his exams. PRUs are not filled with hardened criminals - there will be others who are basically good kids who have made bad choices.

CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 18-Dec-16 11:00:55

There is a period of appeal after the permanent exclusion decision, but even if you are successful, he will not be reinstated at the school.

ILoveOnionRings Sun 18-Dec-16 11:06:02

That it will take weeks for a permanent exclusion, if you include appeal time, is correct but he can be excluded from school in the meantime. I believe the current school only has to provide work for the first 5 days of the exclusion - someone more uptodate with the procedures may correct me.

Has he not been excluded already? I agree with others, the intention to sell drugs in school is a serious offence

maltwisney Sun 18-Dec-16 11:07:36

Hi op.
I was expelled from school twice, the last time was for bringing drugs in to school.
I attended a PRU and TBH it was the best place for me, I loved it and look back on it fondly.
I was a socially awkward teen with a hell of a lot going on in my head, the PRU provided me with so much extra support and understanding, and I left with a clutch of decent GCSEs.
Nearly 20 years on and people are stunned when they hear of my past.
I'm qualified, professional and earn a decent wage.
Just trying to say that a PRU might not be terrible and that it's not the end of the world for your sons future.
Chin up smile

MidnightVelvetthe7th Sun 18-Dec-16 11:08:04

Did you son know it was herbs he was selling, as if so then it could be framed as a prank. If however he thought he was actually dealing weed then that's not a prank.

ILoveOnionRings Sun 18-Dec-16 11:08:44

Apologies just reread post, he is formally being excluded tomorrow.

TapasGirl Sun 18-Dec-16 11:09:44

Thank you for the good advice all.

OK so if he is expelled as seems most likely - how do I get him into college? will they take him with his previous expulsion.

It makes sense that they won't find him another School at this late stage. I didn't think about that.

There is no proof that it was herbs so we unable to do anything there. Also when under pressure DS said it was weed - so who knows. The pupil who he sold them to is also in trouble but she has told DS that she will tell the Head that it was Herbs. This won't hold any weight though.

If I withdraw him would this be better? Can I educate him at home? The School has said they will help with exam boards but not sure if they really will.

Nightmare

CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 18-Dec-16 11:11:19

5 days is correct - the school has to make the decision to permanently exclude by 5 days (and they have to provide work during that period) then after that the responsibility transfers to the LA when they go on roll with the PRU on the 6th day.
At the permanent exclusion meeting, the governors will be there and can listen but cannot overturn a Headteacher's decision.
Any appeal needs to be within 15 school days. Even if the appeal is successful the child cannot return to the school which permanently excluded.

QueenLizIII Sun 18-Dec-16 11:13:08

One of my neighbours DC went to a PRU. She was just a kid from a difficult background (neighbours werent her parents, real parents alcoholics and taken away from them and placed with other family) who who struggled in main stream school.

He sits his gcses in the PRU, maybe goes to 6th form college to do his alevels. Beyond that who is ever going to know he was at a PRU? He was at his school practically all the way through save 20 weeks.

He might do even better with results with small class sizes and more support.

Tweasels Sun 18-Dec-16 11:13:47

I think he'll have a better chance of getting some GCSE's at a PRU than you teaching him at home. It'll be very hard to get up to speed especially with complex subjects like maths and I don't think you should leave your job. This stage will be over soon and it might not be that easy to get back in to work. You need to speak to someone about the range of options available. In my area, there a 3 different options after being expelled, one of which is for more vulnerable students - there might be something like this for DS. Don't panic, get all the information and options before making a decision. Best of luck OP

CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 18-Dec-16 11:16:08

Sixth forms and colleges are not allowed to refuse a place based on behaviour. As long as he gets the grades and they have a place, he would be taken.

Taking him off roll is risky in this situation as you will need help registering him for exams in an exam centre etc and possibly have to end up paying for these (and it's really expensive). I honestly think you're best off going the PRU route and taking advice from them. It's a relatively short period of time before his exams and they are in the best position to ensure that he passes and then gets into college etc.

BratFarrarsPony Sun 18-Dec-16 11:17:50

Honestly I would let him go to the PRU. Don't give up your job for this. They will do better with him.

ILoveOnionRings Sun 18-Dec-16 11:30:23

I would wait and see what the wording is on the official letter tomorrow. There are three things it can say, excluded for x days (this is a fixed term exclusion, he returns after so many days) or excluded for x days but this maybe converted to a permanent exclusion - I would take this as the school has not made up its mind yet as to whether to permanently exclude, I would then take all advice offered as to how to convince the school not to permanently exclude. You will then receive another letter to confirm the permanent exclusion, sometimes there is this delay as the school seeks further advice.

Final one is he is permanently excluded, I agree with others, to work with the LA and have him attending the PRU asap. Home Educating, I do not think, is the way forward. As others have said, can you really cover the curriculum content needed for the exams and the costs are very big.

It seems a huge minefield a the moment, knowing the procedure helps, don't make any rash decisions.

CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 18-Dec-16 11:41:28

I would say the most likely is that it's a permanent exclusion but that they will need to give themselves 5 days to put together the information for it.

Tardigrade001 Sun 18-Dec-16 11:45:21

Don't give up your job, even if he is to be home-schooled. At that age he shouldn't need someone with him all the time in order to study. Hire tutors instead, and use online resources - you'd probably get better results and won't lose your income.
I'd start with asking him what he wants to do, given the available options.

Heirhelp Sun 18-Dec-16 11:54:32

I posted on the parenting thread but I am a secondary teacher.

In the OP's last post she did not say herbs and it sounds like at some point he has sold drugs at school.

I think you need to go with what ever the la suggests. There is no way I could get a child through numerous different GCSE at home as I don't have the subject knowledge or know the exam papers or what the examiner is looking for. PRU have amazing ratio and often the students have a much better outcome than if they stayed in school.

What did the Ed psych report say? Did the school follow the recommendations?

TapasGirl Sun 18-Dec-16 12:27:51

Thank you all..
Hairhelp - thanks again, it has subsequently come out about the herbs. Although DS has confirmed that he has smoked weed outside of School what he put in the bag was kitchen herbs. Now there is no proof and a bit of a red herring really as no evidence but as things have come out over the weekend this is what he and others are saying.

It is good advice about even a Teacher not being able to educated him through every subject. I don't want to give up my job as i do love it but just want to do the best for DS.

The Ed psych report did mention that DS did not always understand consequences; the low self-esteem and also the learning difficulties. We have a meeting with the School in the summer and they promised to arrange some counselling from him which has never transpired. Also when DH had a meeting with them recently, he asked them about the provision for his learning difficulties and they said that they didn;t support SEN. He has been there 18 months and they have always known he has issues.

Amaried Sun 18-Dec-16 12:29:06

I think that you need to prepare yourself for expulsion . I can't see any school keeping him on in the circumstances however I agree that the pru might be a good option for him if managed correctly..

Talk to ht tomorrow and see what they suggest as to the best way to facilitate it, they won't want to throw him up the wolves

Please know that no one is judging you, I just read your post and thought that could be any mother...

CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 18-Dec-16 12:56:28

You're right - the herbs was a red herring. The student who bought them was under the impression they were drugs and presumably paid for them as such. If he smokes weed outside of school then he will need money for this habit and so ripping off other students with sales of bags of what looks like drugs but in fact is not is really neither here nor there. Supplying a substance as an illegal drug, whether or not it actually is, is illegal. The only reason he would do this would be to make money, surely, so it was deceptive.

In any case, your focus for him needs to be on getting the best outcome possible for the exams and then hopefully he can have a choice of courses to go on afterwards. One of the really good things about PRUs is that they have a lot more money per head pumped into them than schools and access to a lot more services, and they will work very hard and closely with the Youth Offending Team to prevent further issues and try and get your son on the straight and narrow. They will have access to setting him up on interviews etc and will have access to additional ed psych support. Ironically, this situation may in fact help him, so don't be too despondent.

Heirhelp Sun 18-Dec-16 13:18:26

If your child goes to a PRU his current school has to pay for it and his results will counts as theirs.

From the limited information you have given about your child's issues with school I would be pushing for a PRU.

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