Content warning: language
As she watched little Gracie enter the building, Kimberly let out an exhausted sigh. The first two weeks of the school year had been difficult to say the least.
Gracie was the new kid, and that was always hard in and of itself. It’s easy to forget how mean kids can be.
Then there was the matter of Gracie’s IEP. Gracie was hard of hearing and wore bright purple hearing aids in both ears. Gracie also required motor support, and she had a sensory processing disorder that required near-constant stimulation. And the damn Texas school district refused to accommodate any of that.
Kimberly didn’t know which excuse infuriated her more, but she was damn sure she’d heard them all:
“We don’t believe Gracie is really hearing impaired. Why doesn’t she have a speech impediment?”
“Gracie is having outbursts in class, and she keeps touching all the other students’ belongings without their permission. Maybe we should evaluate her for an emotional disturbance.”
“You know, Gracie really seems to struggle with her social skills. Have you had her tested for autism?”
Despite the countless hours that Kimberly had spent waving the diagnoses in the guidance counselor’s face, the school refused to provide accommodations without conducting their own testing, but they “didn’t have the resources” to finish the testing until October.
It was f*cking August.
Back in her car, Kimberly pounded her forehead into the steering wheel and shrieked her frustration.
It already took four f*cking years to get the testing done in Massachusetts. Four goddamn years where Gracie had been tested for what felt like every disability imaginable, four motherf*cking years of nonstop advocacy in Gracie’s schools, only to come to this new F*CKING school district and have to start all over again.
Kimberly felt hot, angry tears gliding down her face and quickly swiped them away. She was fed up with this goddamn broken system that kept judging her kid and refusing to give Gracie the help that she, legally, deserved.
Then there was that f*cking teacher. Kimberly felt like she needed to sound an alarm and let the world know that her daughter’s school decided to let this bitch from hell teach second grade.
Kimberly had attended a PTA orientation meeting last week and, on her way out, decided to sneak by Gracie’s classroom. When she rounded the corner to the second grade wing, she saw Gracie sitting in the hallway by herself.
“Gracie, honey, why aren’t you in the classroom?” Kimberly was a whirl of motherly concern as she crouched in front of her daughter.
“Mrs. Masters said I had to sit out here ‘cause I was playing with Jacob’s toy without asking.” Gracie sniffled.
Kimberly bristled. Gracie was supposed to have her stim toys in the classroom with her. F*cking Mrs. Masters was supposed to give Gracie lenience with her sensory processing disorder, especially since her IEP wasn’t processed yet. Instead, that bitch’s solution was to send Kimberly’s 7 year old to the hall by herself.
“Sounds like Mommy and Mrs. Masters need to have a little chat.”
Kimberly rose to her feet and knocked on the classroom door. She saw Mrs. Masters look over and clench her jaw before walking over to the door.
“Ah, Mrs. Mayville, what a nice surprise!” Mrs. Masters said in her best fake-nice voice, dripping with good ole Southern hospitality. “To what do I owe the pleasure? Class, say hi to Mrs. Mayville.”
“Hi, Mrs. Mayville,” the class chorused back.
“Gracie, why don’t you take a seat?” Mrs. Masters said with that sickly sweet smile of hers. Kimberly would gladly smack it off that bitch’s f*cking face. “Class, I’m gonna talk with Mrs. Mayville for a moment. Keep practicing your fast facts, okay?”
“Yes, Mrs. Masters.”
Mrs. Masters turned to Kimberly, giving her another fake-ass smile. “And what can I do for you today, Kimberly?”
“Why was my daughter in the hallway?”
“She was taking other students’ stuff again. They got upset. She was disrupting class, so I told her to go sit in the hallway for a few minutes.” Kari blinked innocently.
“Kari,” Kimberly intoned in a threatening whisper. “I thought we talked about this. She has a sensory processing disorder. She needs to stim.”
Kari’s features morphed into a damn good impression of sincerity, but Kimberly wasn’t fooled. “Sorry, Kimberly. You know I can’t do anything about that without an IEP.” She started to turn back to the class but paused. “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
Kimberly glared at her. “Yes, actually.” Kari narrowed her eyes. “I thought you should know I signed up to read to the class next week. Got these nice books picked out all about hearing loss and sensory processing disorder and accepting differences. I think you’ll like them.” Kimberly smiled broadly. “Anyway, I’ll see you next week, Kari.”
Kari seethed through another fake-ass smile. “You have a good one, Kimberly.”
Now, with reading time upon her, forehead still pressed into her steering wheel, Kimberly glanced at the books in her passenger seat. It was time to go inside.
The reading went really well, despite the displeasure of having to share the room with Kari again. The children asked Kimberly questions, and at the end, when Kimberly asked what they learned, one of them shouted, “We just gotta be kind!”, which made Kimberly chuckle delightedly.
After she finished reading and was getting ready to go, Gracie ran up to her. “Mommy! The kids in those stories were just like me!” Gracie wrapped her little arms around Kimberly’s legs. “I love you, Mommy.”
Kimberly smiled so wide, she felt like her face might break. “I love you too, sweetheart. I’d move mountains for you, you know that?”
By the time October rolled around, Kimberly had Kari in her place. She was watching that bitch like a guard dog, and Kari knew it. The school did their f*cking unnecessary testing, and, lo and behold, Gracie really did have hearing loss and sensory processing disorder and fine motor skill challenges. Kimberly reigned over that motherf*cking IEP meeting like a queen, and no one dared argue with her as they finally transferred Gracie’s IEP over. She had been right the whole time, and they all knew it.
After the IEP meeting, Kimberly snuck by Gracie’s classroom. Inside, she could see Gracie bouncing on her stim cushion while doing her dictation. Kimberly smiled as she snuck away again.
Mama bear, for the win.