“Are you going to say it or me?” I ask Dan as I hit the mute button. It’s time to throw down the gauntlet.
“Me.” He says firmly and sits up straight and pushes the speaker button.
“Jim, the bottom line is if we can’t bring in Dr. Hunter’s aides we are seriously considering pulling him from the school.”
I can almost hear the clang as the words drop on his desk. There is a few seconds delay and I feel as if we are in slow-mo.
“Pulling him? Where would you go?” He says and his voice is high. He seems agitated.
“We have some options we are looking at.” I say, trying not to sound smug.
“Where?” he sounds high pitched again.
“We are looking at various private schools in the area.” I again say trying not to smile. Like a kid with a secret.
“Oh…private.” He sounds relieved for a second. “I have to say, I’m shocked. I didn’t see this coming.” He trails off. Is he…sad?
“We’ve done our best to have a good working relationship with your family.” Again his voice falls. Yup its sadness.
Then I have a pang of guilt. I remember that Jim is pretty high up in the school district and doesn’t usually take part in the IEP’s. I found this out from another mother who was trying to get services for her son. We compared notes about our respective IEP’s and she did not have Jim there. She was surprised when I told her he was taking such a big part of ours. This woman’s son did not have near the issues Ryan did and I was surprised what lengths she was going through to get him services. She even hired an advocate and was getting nowhere with the district. After she told me the price of the advocate, it sealed the deal for me for just pulling him and moving on.
I feel I need to explain a little to him because he seems upset.
“Jim, we are very proud of our relationship with you and the district. We have been a great team and appreciate all that you have done for us and all the time you have taken with Ryan’s case.” Dan rolls his eyes at me as it is apparent I’m laying it on thick. I wave him away.
“We are not litigious people and did not want to go that route to get what we wanted for Ryan.” I let my pseudo-threat hang in the air for affect.
There is an uncomfortable pause and I’m not sure if he is still there, and then I hear him shuffling papers again.
“Umm, well, I see.” His tone has changed and I’m not sure what he is thinking. “I will speak to the school district’s attorney and get back to you with an answer.” He is back to being all business. This makes me a little sad as he had so many moments in our various meetings that showed he really did care about us.
“Thank you, Jim we appreciate your time. Goodbye.” Dan says mirroring Jim’s business tone. Dan hits the speaker phone to disconnect.
And it’s done. We sit silent for a second.