Mom says changed ‘continuation’ certificate amounts to ‘bullying’ by teachers

DENVER — Desiree Conklin says her son is dyslexic and, as a result, a victim of some “teacher bullying.”

Her 14-year-old son attended Grant Ranch School in Denver, and as he was going through 8th grade “continuation” ceremonies last week, he noticed the word “completed” had been crossed out and replaced with “attended” on his certificate

His mother was furious, “That was the last straw!”  Conklin says the word was crossed out, even after school educators were instructed not to do so.

She played a voice mail for FOX31 Denver that she says is from the school district, apologizing.

Conklin says her son has been “bullied” by some of his teachers over the past four years for “not being at grade level.”

The Denver Public School District released the following statement:

“We are extremely disappointed and disheartened that this happened, and we have apologized directly to the students and their families. The school’s principal gave explicit instructions as to how the ceremony was going to proceed and directed the staff that all students be able to participate in the continuation ceremony and be given certificates. DPS is currently investigating this matter in order to determine why the principal’s directions were not followed and whether further action is necessary. Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, the children should not have been hurt in this way.”

2 comments

  • Jo

    That’s right, teach your child entitlement. Give them trophies for participation and not achievment. Yes, I too am dyslexic and obtained a college degree back in the ’90s. It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t demand a diploma. That child will not be able to obtain a job or keep a job if taught to be a victim and demand equal treatment. This life isn’t fair. I’m 5’2″ and don’t demand to be on an NBA team. I wasn’t born with that ability. The child needs to be taught how to push his/her way into this world and be successful on his/her own merits.

  • mm

    Holding a child accountable for his actions is NOT bullying – if the child did not meet all the requirements to “continue” then he shouldn’t get a certificate that says he did. If he has a disability then he should have a plan, called an IEP, that helps him meet the standards with whatever accommodations he needs. If despite that he fails, or chooses not to do what is required, then that is his choice and he alone bears responsibility for those choices. I find it hard to believe that this child suffered 4 years of teacher bullying and the mom is just now speaking out. It sounds like she was checked out for her son’s academic career and is just now not happy about something. She should get a certificate of poor parenting. And if this school tries to throw the teachers under the bus for this, that would be the true travesty. If this kid’s record shows he didn’t meet the requirements, then he didn’t and it’s his fault. He is the only one to blame. The kids who met the requirements to “continue” earned that right and should be honored for earning that right. If this kid, or any other, didn’t earn that right, then they shouldn’t get the reward. Don’t get me wrong, I wish this kid all the best in whatever he chooses to do next. But he should be rewarded for what he accomplishes, and if all he did here was attend, that is all he should be recognized for.

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