Anger lifts you up, in a way. While idling on Twitter this morning I replied to some friends that a rant was like a job, but with swearing. But I didn’t expect to be the one raging.
I slept well, and late. While slouching about in the kitchen, I heard the post. A letter from L’s school was on the mat, addressed to me. I smiled expecting a certificate of achievement or some award for her outstanding hard work in catching up at school. But no. Oh no, nothing like that.
Last year, L applied to take part in an activity at school that involved climbing for a day in Wales. Climbing, you know the intense calorific activity. Already underweight, I refused to allow it although her father signed the form. I didn’t share the reasons with the school – at the time we had no diagnosis, but it didn’t seem their business. The school had too many applicants for the course anyway. Then we had a letter from them, demanding payment or L would be refused permission to attend any future school trips. It read like we were petty criminals, and I was incensed. I replied and said, fine, we accept L’s punishment. I heard nothing back, no reply or acknowledgment.
Until today. The letter again demanded payment but this time the threat had been ramped up. No longer content with withdrawing school trip, presumably realising this isn’t much of a sanction, they would withhold her exam certificates. Her prized certificates, the subject of all her hard work, will be withheld from her. For a sum of twenty pounds. For twenty quid, members of their staff have taken the time to write and post letters to the family of a seriously ill student, have thought about what threats they can make next to make them pay up. And of course I could pay. But I won’t and L wouldn’t want me too. This is war.
Once L’s exams are over, I will name them in the press. I will stand outside the school and leaflet every parent on their next Open Evening. I will challenge their actions using the Equality Act and I will do whatever it takes to make them regret they ever decided to pick on L, who has been a star bloody pupil, constantly asked to give up time to showcase the school to read in Open Evening, to show visitors around or to perform in assemblies. They have picked on the wrong mother, but it makes my blood boil that they choose to ‘pick on’ anyone at all.