Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Teaching a lesson.

On Monday I pressed that magical button in my email box, "Send". Not a moment before asking Bryan "Do we need to add more details?", "Does it sound diplomatic enough?" As he rolled his eyes at my concerns, with a huff, he responded "Just press the button." And it was done. We emailed our letters of complaint about what occurred at the Tae Kwon Do class. I sent them to several of the YMCA's staff to be sure our voice was heard. We even attached a file to the email, the YMCA's very own mission statement and standards that were clearly violated. We quickly received a return email and a prompt phone call from the Associate Executive Director of the YMCA branch. He was understanding, though shocked to hear of what happened. I talked with him for quite some time. Explaining what happened, how this man's words were hurtful to our family, in addition to the other parents that witnessed the event who offered their support to us during the class. We were not alone in hearing this mans damaging words.

The Tae Kwon Do classes are offered through the YMCA as a YMCA program, but taught by an outside 'company'. This company is small, owned and operated by the man who clearly demonstrated inappropriate behavior. His partner being his wife, who we originally talked with and explained our situation to...on two separate occasions. The first in person, with Maggie and Wyatt by our side. My husband pointing out our son's necessary attachments to be sure that she was fully aware before commenting. We mentioned to her that we would make his attachments as minimal as possible during the classes, in an effort to make it easier for him. The second a phone call the following day, in which she returned after receiving our original message inquiring about the class. And I briefly discussed the situation again. Both occasions we were told by her our son would not be able to 'advance' in the program, but he would be able to participate. During the class and one of our discussions with the owner, particularly after he confidently uttered the comment "you can't just show up and expect your son to be able to participate.", we pointed out our previous interactions with his wife. Now realizing that we didn't just show up as he hastily judged, he retorted with a snarky comment noting he was the owner and the only one that will make these decisions.

In my conversation with the Associate Executive Director of the local YMCA branch I was told this Tae Kwon Do company pays the YMCA to use the gyms and to promote their classes. And they are allowed to do so as long as they follow the YMCA's mission and standards, which clearly they did not. I was assured that he would "make them" refund our money. He was going to contact the couple to discuss the situation and then get back to me. We haven't heard from him again, as of yet. I plan to contact him tomorrow if he doesn't contact us before then.

I was conflicted on our actions beyond a complaint. Part of me wanted to return to the class week after week, standing our ground. Teaching this man a lesson. Possibly, a life altering lesson for him. A lesson that he clearly needs! I think Wyatt could potentially teach this man what strength really is, more than any Tae Kwon Do belt could offer him. Though, I'm unsure this mans head or heart is open enough to receive the lesson that could be taught by our incredible 8 year old boy. The other part of me wishes to protect my children from the cruel acts of this world as much as possible. I don't want to support this man's thoughts or his program with our money. I wish to teach him a lesson, one that he will never forget, but while shielding my children.

I feel the YMCA should discontinue their relationship with this man and his Tae Kwon Do company. I have an urge to send an informative complaint letter and/or email to each and every YMCA branch and community center that he teaches these classes at. He should be held accountable for his behavior. I want him to be held accountable. I don't think he should be allowed to teach children. I want no other child with a medical condition and/or disability to hear his harmful words. The Mama Bear inside of me wants to take him down. But "How far is too far?", I ask myself, wavering ever so slightly. I have the letters printed, addresses to the community programs that he's associated with written down and begging to be printed on stamped envelopes, ready to rock this arrogant mans world. I want so desperately to teach him a lesson.

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  1. I'm thinking a newspaper artical would be an awesome way to spread awareness...and educate others of this mans thinking. Hugs!!!

  2. Send it to the and print...send the letters...the man is rude and should be brought down to earth...what right does he have to treat a child who wants to try...even though he can not advance. Totally behind you. This is bs!!!