Monday, April 28, 2014


Character is what you do when you think no one is watching, or listening.

Four days ago, a teacher at our oldest kids' high school called and left a message asking why we opted Bailey out of the ACT test.  Her message said that it was a "State mandated" test and that she would have to make it up. (Not true, by the way, you can opt out of ANY test - you'd think they'd know that.)

As she went to hang up the phone...The call didn't disconnect.

I was able to 'listen in' on a conversation this teacher was having with another teacher....Calling our family dysfunctional....and how she couldn't understand how our family would keep "reproducing"....Creating MORE dysfunction.....

How <her - the taxpayer> would be the one footing the bill of our dysfunction for the rest of her life.

Then laughing.....Saying that at least it was "Job Security" for them (or for us, It's not completely clear, but either way, a classless an clueless conclusion).

My first thoughts after hearing over-hearing the message was -- That I couldn't believe that a teacher that I had grown to respect could say ANYTHING that hurtful...I had to replay the message a few times, just so I could clearly understand the words that were being thrown around about my family....and then laughed at.

I have known this teacher for 3 years.  She seemingly took Bailey under her wing and set in place a GREAT schedule for her and told us it was her job to ensure the IEP was being followed. The fact that it hasn't been followed is, frankly, fodder for another post entirely.

The school administration took action quickly, and assured me today that she will NOT be back, and that the counselor on the other side of the conversation will be investigated as well, and my kids will no longer report to him -- But this brings little comfort to me, as she was going to be retiring in May anyway.  Her words are forever OUT THERE - and the knowledge of how she really feels about our family, about my children - makes me wonder how well she ever did her job, how much she ever looked out for Bailey & Braden, and how many other students didn't get the true care they deserved because of the attitude hiding underneath her public face.

I have heard from people high up on the school board....That things like what happened to our family, happen ALL THE TIME....And that just breaks my heart.

I will probably never speak to this teacher again....Or hear her reasons for saying such cruel things about my family....But in case --By some chance she reads this blog post....

Dear Mrs. Norman,

I am so sorry you have such bitterness in your heart about my family. I know that WE had only respect for YOU.  I have sent you many e-mails, telling you how much I appreciated all that I thought you had done for us.

If I could I would wave a magic wand...So that people with disabilities would never be thought of as a "burden"....or...Like you said -- someone that YOU (the taxpayer) had to take care of the rest of their lives.

I hope you have a nice retirement....And are reassured that our "dysfunctional family"...Will go on to do GREAT THINGS.....Even if YOU don't think so.

I wish you well,

Kristi Hopkins
CONTINUING TO THRIVE WITH NF....Despite people like YOU, who think we shouldn't..


  1. Kristi, I am so sorry you've had to be exposed to such ignorance from someone you respected and cared about. I'm not sure I wouldn't go to the head person about it, and let them know you DID over hear it.... but that's me, I tend to want to hold people accountable for their actions and behavior. I'm just so sorry. And I know my lack of patience with teachers who say things like this goes back to teachers who told my parents "She seems like a bright child, but...." Bah!

    I do not believe the fallacy of "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me". It is a lie. We've always taught our children a different version "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will break a heart". What one person may intend to be "funny" can wound a person for life.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. No, Kristi! She NEEDS to see this and she NEEDS to know what you have to say. I know you are a much stronger person and a much better person than I am; I would have e-mailed this directly to her or confronted her directly. But this is unacceptable and wrong. This woman is a saumensch. She does not deserve to "retire" she deserves to be fired. I wish I could e-mail her myself and give her a very through lashing.

  3. What a 2-faced witch! Retirement is too good for this woman. She's getting off easy! She should publicly apologize to your entire family. ESPECIALLY your 2 children that had to be in her presence.

  4. That makes me so sad. I sometimes expect more from adults.

  5. I know Mrs. Norman....And this is not the first time she has done this. She has talked about other families in such a horrible way many many times. The MAN on the other end of this conversation is laughing and agreeing with her....HE SHOULD BE FIRED TOO!
    And that laugh.....OMG....What a HORRIBLE EVIL WITCH!


    Absolutely DISGUSTING!

  6. Our prayers are with you and your family. May you heal and thrive on!
    Rest assured there are places for people like Mrs. Norman. Thank God she never had children that were less than perfect right?!

    CONGRATULATIONS Bailey!!! :)

    & Loric :)

  7. My heart fell into my stomach and then my stomach churned. So sorry this has happened. Keep THRIVING and continuing to inspire.

  8. Talking about people who should't reproduce its people like that with the negative attitude are the ones that spread that kind of stuff, they are the ones that should not be able to reproduce. This world would be far better off without people like that... I have been bringing up peoples negativity in my Blog as well the last few posts.. Its so not fair. Good for her to opt out of the test, that's another thing that needs to be abolished is all this standardized testing BS. Its one thing to struggle already at school, I sure did but at the time I didnt know my NF was causing my learning problems, and I gave up. Took those tests and did so poorly that I tried to go back to school today, I would have to go back to high school and get a GED even though I have a diploma. All because of Standardized testing. Hang in there!