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ADHD at School

ADHD Son's perception of "Principal Breaks Rules"

My son has ADHD and he is in 4th grade in a private school.  He gets accommodations from the school for his ADHD so he can succeed.  He tries his best to work hard to get good grades in school despite all the struggles and challenges he experience being an adhd.

This 3rd quarter of school year, his grades were high except for one subject because of the reason that he had missing school work and quizzes that he didn’t turn in to the teacher.  i requested the detailed grading and the workbooks that was indicated as “missing” and was given a zero point. after reviewing the workbook, i found out that he submitted some so the teacher admitted that it was an oversight and she changed the grade. after the changes his GPA went up to the minimum requirement for honor roll. in the school’s student handbook, to be qualified for honor roll, you should have a GPA of 3.66 or higher with no NI (needs improvement) on the behavior.  this quarter he got 3.6627 which is within the minimum and no NIs (he usually gets NI). so the teacher said that he could be in the honor roll and he was so excited to tell me the good news. then the following day expecting that he will be given the certificate, the teacher told me that according to the school secretary, the minimum is 3.666.  so i was surprised and talked to the president of the school.  i told him that 3.66 is also equivalent to 3.660 and it is very much different from 3.666.  he appreciated my concern and he said that he will discuss that issue with his principal.  it has already been a week and i have not received any answer.  since i feel that we might not have a favorable decision, i talked to my son last night and gave him the scenario that even if he didnt get the honor roll we are always proud of him for trying harder and doing his best.  before when we tell him these words, he would gladly accept. but this time he had a different reaction.  he said that “if they will not include me, then the principal is a rule breaker.  it is discrimination and it is unfair. they are not following the rules.”  these were the exact words he said.  now, more than the numbers, i am more bothered on the negative impact and perception of my son towards school authorities.  my thoughts on this are, is the school more concerned on the numbers or on the effect on the trust and confidence of my son towards school administration. is the school more concerned on the numbers or on the right modelling they give to students. 
i am not sure if my concern is so petty and not worth fighting for but i can feel that as an adhd child who tries to abide by school and classroom rules (we know how difficult for them to regulate their emotions and behavior) it will have a negative impact on him now or in the future.  is my concern valid?  should i again bring this up to the president of the school.  i feel that i sound like begging for this honor.  but for an adhd child being in the honor roll is a very good motivation for him to try harder.  i already emailed his teacher about his reaction and i will talk to her today to find out what her feelings about this concern.  any advice or sharing or ideas are gladly welcome.  thanks a lot.


I understand where you are coming from.  I would absolutely bring this up again. People who don’t have kids with ADHD do not understand how important it is for our kids to feel good about something that they do and how hard they work to achieve that.
Right now you are his battle buddy to speak up for what is right for him. If he was told that he receives honor roll, then they should do the right thing and honor that.
Good luck

Posted by my world my son on Apr 10, 2014 at 5:37am

I agree with my world my son.

His perception of justice is everything. If you finally lose the battle with the school over their interpretation your son will always remember your support for him.

I look at this as a potentially very powerful turning point for your son which will affect the way he looks at school for a very long time. If they do the right thing his grades will probably go up.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Apr 10, 2014 at 9:51pm

I second both of the replies before me. You child is in fourth grade and recognizes right from wrong, discrimination and such. That is to me impressive. I have faced similar challenges with my 10 year old. Knowing my son will have many experiences in discrimination, I came up with a saying “forget what they are going through”!

Posted by 1fatherslove on Apr 14, 2014 at 2:56am

The school secretary has no authority here… If it is in writing that it is 3.66 in the handbook, then 3.66 it is, and I would advocate all the way and then some for my child.  If for some reason, the school did not make this right, I would also bring it to the attention of the head of school the impression that not honoring what is written is giving the students at the school.

We have this problem with rules often with my ADHD dd… often our kids don’t like “the rules” but they understand them, and they find great injustice when they are not followed.  If a school or other entity, including us as parents, are going to go through the trouble of establishing rules, we need to be consistent with following them.  If we’re going to ignore them, it is easier to everyone not to have the rule to begin with!  For example, at our school, my DD hates the uniform and dress code, but if they are going to have one, she wants everyone to abide by the rules and have the rules applied equally.  It is very confusing to her to have rules, but then have to figure out which ones can be broken and which ones can’t.

Posted by MollyMS on Apr 19, 2014 at 7:35am

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