I'm feeling a bit better. The principal, assistant principal, and teacher who felt "threatened" are very silly. But the guidance counselor and especially the school psychologist are reasonable people. In fact, I think the psychologist agrees that the reaction to the note was bizarre -- he used the phrase "knee-jerk reaction", but did suggest that his being called on to evaluate Benny (and of course he saw no sign of homicidal tendencies or rage problems) was wise. Of course, I agreed. It was the punishment and the ludicrous labeling as "intimidating, threatening, and engaged in extortion, violence, injury or harm to others" that was uncalled for. I was assured that this entry is not on any permanent record, just on a so-called "dean's record", and will be destroyed when Benjamin leaves Parsons Junior High, which will hopefully be in another year.
Then we moved on to a discussion of Benny's unacceptable schoolwork. There is a real problem there, a lot of it an attitude problem, and some of it an actual neurological deficit, or mild "learning difference" as they refer to learning disabilities nowadays in PC circles. Anyway with the silly teacher gone back to class, and the principal and assistant principal shutting up, the guidance counselor, psychologist, and myself were able to have a sensible discussion of this. Benny may indeed have "organizational skills deficits", and possibly some residual visual-hand coordination problems affecting his writing skills, but really there would be a HUGE improvement if he would have step-by-step plans and to-do lists, etc. for all his assignments, that he would follow. He needs to get motivated to make such lists. And I guess I need to have more input, maybe help him or urge him to create plans and lists for everything (if he doesn't fight me). We discussed getting an organizational-skills tutor, maybe through a learning-disabilities organization, but maybe that expense and trouble won't be necessary. If I can just get the energy to get off my tuchis and help make these lists (and such lists would be good for me too, regarding cleaning this disgusting dump!). I'm feeling slightly more hopeful now, and you're right, losing that sense of powerlessness and hopelessness even for a few minutes really lifts the depression. And the anger!! It's gone right now!! I'm really so sorry about the erupting volcano lately. I guess it's the uglier manifestation of depression for me. If anyone deserves to be accused of homicidal rage tendencies, it's me when I'm feeling overwhelmed and powerless!!
These are my thoughts right now. Hopefully I can hang on to this can-do feeling for more than a few minutes. Thanks for listening.