Looking for different perspectives--help

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by yfx4, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. yfx4

    yfx4 Dad of a former Candidate

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    I'll do my best to explain a complex situation concisely. I hope I'm not overreaching the intent of this forum. I am not asking for "what do we do?" rather for different ways to look at this to help us in our decision. Actually, this could be altered as an exercise ethical dilemma for military service....

    DW is to have significant surgery early next year. Based on past history she will need a lot of help from DS (AFA Candidate), DD (15 y.o.), and me for a couple of months. DS is in band, concert season coming up. Director is asking more time than in the past, including weekends, which I work. DS has been asked to help upgrade a competition robot for the national competition in Feb. which he has done before. We went to the school about the time issue, brought up that DS has more than satisfied his commitment to band, and asked about taking him out of band class, substituting a dual credit class or indep. study. All they had to say was that "We will have to notify The Academy that he quit band." No explanation of circumstances, replacements, etc. There is more 'stuff' but it will sound like excuses/whining.

    Will AFA care?? Will they see or consider a letter from us clarifying the circumstances??

    Our first plan is to sit down with the band director--who has a rep. for being unwilling to bend. We will outline the situation and ask for grace on the weekend commitments. Still, we will need a backup plan that will not hurt his chances.

    DS is devoted to his (hopeful) future at the AFA and in service beyond. We do not want to jeopardize his future in any way by making a decision that is good for us but becomes bad for him.

    What other perspectives can y'all offer up that we are missing??

    Other info:

    LOTS of students, including many of the 'stars' have left band for various reasons, mostly related to the dramatically increased time demands and the fact that they are not looking at band as a career. The increased demands from the new director are hurting other, more pertinent, activities. The band is suffering and does not want to lose more good people so are making it harder to leave, more so since there are not many good people coming in from underclasses.

    The school is being sued by the former director for racial discrimination (complex!!!). It seems they are covering their rear and making it tougher on the kids to leave band so the school is more defensible.
     
  2. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    A couple of questions.
    Has your son received his nomination and appointment?
    Did the Band director make the statement that they were going to contact the AFA?
    I don't know the answer to this, but if he did, it almost sounds like blackmail. They really have no reason to call the Academy to say anything negative about your son.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree with Devil, there is no reason to contact the AFA. I actually think this is a BS line for intimidation because it is the gc that enters the info on line, and it is from a verification issue. The band director would have to get the gc to contact the AFA. GC's are busy with every kid applying to college, this seems like an issue where the GC would tell the Band Director, YEAH, I'll do it, but throws it in the circular filing cabinet.

    We had an amazing ALO, I would contact your ALO and take it from that route. The ALO can speak to admissions to smooth out the situation.

    Keep your ALO informed. They are under-used asset when it comes to admissions. The L stands for Liaison for a reason.

    Best wishes and hopes to your family.
     
  4. yfx4

    yfx4 Dad of a former Candidate

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    Nope, (not yet?)

    The statement was from the College Counselor. Right after she said my wife needs to see a different hairsylist. DW suppressed the desire to suggest the counselor needs a new weight-loss program or a wider chair.


    It sounded that way to me too. But, since they do have some control over information and presentation of that information we need to play the game. I'm most curious about how the AFA would handle a letter saying bluntly he quit band when there is WAY more to it than that.
     
  5. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    If he chooses to leave band, then he should be pro-active and send a letter to his ALO and to Admissions stating that he is doing so, and what his reasons are, what the circumstances are, and that he will be replacing it with the class. If the director then does notify USAFA that your son left the band class, they would already have heard about it from your son, and have all the information related to it. Instead of thinking of it as a negative (he quit), think of it as a way to show USAFA that your son has the foresight to see a situation developing, the judgement to make a decision on how to deal with it, and the integrity to notify others of why he made the decision.

    Stealth_81
     
  6. yfx4

    yfx4 Dad of a former Candidate

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    Great Point!!! Thank you!
     
  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I, too, feel it is extremely important to alert your son's ALO and to keep him abreast of the story. This person can be a real asset to you, especially snaking your way through any sticky situations which might crop up.

    Sounds like some typical high school BS you've got going on there. Sorry to hear it!
     
  8. yfx4

    yfx4 Dad of a former Candidate

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    Yes, instead of ensuring that the kiddos are in a learning environment they are protecting turf and worried about trophies.

    I'll talk to DW (talk!?!) about it. We'll probably sit down with the band director and try to work itout there. If there is no joy we will pursue the other options and make the knowledge loop bigger.

    Makes me want the school to lose the court case.:eek:
     
  9. Gasdoc

    Gasdoc Member

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    I think Stealth_81 has given very sound advice.
     
  10. 1993A10

    1993A10 Member

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    As do I...
     
  11. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    Contacting admissions and the ALO will definitely be a good idea before the situation goes out of control, but I also feel like this can be resolved very easily by sitting down with the band director and talking it over. None of us (on the forum) know the entire story so it's very difficult to come up with a good solution, besides our generic answers like talk to the ALO and admissions. I feel like the band director should be on here so we can hear his argument.
     
  12. luv2swim

    luv2swim Member

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    Agree!! Although we don't know the whole story, this "strikes a chord" with me as well. There seem to be counselors and, yes, band directors, all over the place that let their small positions of power go to their heads. Does your DS sing? One of our kids opted to drop band and go with choir to stay in music but reduce the time commitment.
     
  13. yfx4

    yfx4 Dad of a former Candidate

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    Thanks for all of your input and advice. My uncertainty was how to handle it with AFA--Stealth81 is absolutely right.

    As far as the school/band goes. I don't know all of it either and I am involved. :confused: I do know that to drop any other class you just drop it. To get out of theatre or choir, you just drop it. To drop band you have to sit down with the Band director and the Principal. Something is afoot.


    We'll go over all this with him, reassure him that we will support his choice and help him act on it. Probably sit down with the band director first to see if he will allow some time out though.
     
  14. yfx4

    yfx4 Dad of a former Candidate

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    More drama

    OMG!!! You will not believe this. Or maybe you will.....

    DS has MOC interview Dec 11. That day is the fine arts festival at high school. My DS, being in band and being responsible, let the band director know of the conflict a week ago. Today the director informed DS and the other band member who is a SA candidate that they should reschedule the interviews. He said that putting AFA/USNA before band was unacceptable and that if they are not at the festival their grade will suffer. The asst. principal (in charge of fine arts, hmmm...) backed the band director up. They both said that the MOC should be OK with it, rescheduling happens all the time. Oh, the band director won't put this into writing==he seems smart enough to see it is bullying. Imagine, HS students putting their future goals and aspirations first!!!!!!!! (sarcasm intended)

    If it was not so pathetic I'd laugh. There will be NO reschedule. I will try to get an answer in writing. Just had to vent. Thanks for listening.
     
  15. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    Wow just wow…. the situation they are putting you and your DS through is so ridiculous that it made this lurker want to comment…

    I’ll try and put a good spin on a bad situation for you and you DS…. If he gets asked “Have you ever been in a situation where you had to make a difficult situation?” He could bring this very one up! Just remember to use STAR to answer the question… :wink:

    S/T (Situation/Task)
    A (Action)
    R (Result)

    I’m truly sorry for you and your DS and my prayers for a good outcome go out to you. Just keep your focus and stay the course and don’t let some idiotic band director get in the way of his future.
     
  16. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Ask him if he is willing to pick up the $400,000 for the education your son will be declining by skipping part of the admissions process.

    :unhappy::unhappy::unhappy:
     
  17. Dad

    Dad Member

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    As a teacher, I am embarrassed by the band director's behavior. We should have the students' best interest in mind in everything we do.

    Since that is not happening in your case, I would suggest to the band director that you would like to avoid legal action if possible. Continue to document your conversations, e-mails, etc. with your principal and band director. It may also be helpful to consult an attorney regarding this matter.

    Hopefully the situation will be resolved soon. Best wishes to you and your DS as you continue to fight the good fight. :thumb:
     
  18. yfx4

    yfx4 Dad of a former Candidate

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    It is just stupid on their part. This is a concrete, current example (and we WILL use it) of why DS needs to be out of that band. He is lead snare, plays at church, just a great kid. Maybe he'll go for DC at the AFA. We will see. Gotta get there first!! His AFROTC applic is all in too. He will have a great life--it is hard to look there when those that should support our future are in the way for their present. Really, in 20 years which can matter more--a nomination or one festival??

    Dad, (love the handle!!) thanks. We are documenting it all. I hope I can get him to write it out. I may even record any meetings with him if he won't write it. (Audio recording w/o consent of all parties is legal here.) We will probably save the threat of legal action for when/if grades suffer from this.
     
  19. Melosh3

    Melosh3 Member

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    Heh, I am in band as well, my director is just a crazy, if you quit band he cuts you off from everything, cant even be in the band hall and he wont let you go on the band trip or write recommendation letters

    He does, however understand we want to get into college eventually, he just let me be late to a football game for the SAT (he gets mad if you are even a minute late to practice, wont let you come if you miss the buses) :D

    Talk to the counselor about just dropping the class, it is technically just a class after all, and because your sons priority is obviously AFA, just go with that, tell your director you wont be at that event, and if he says no, just keep firm that you will not make it, and keep AFA a priority while fitting band in where you can, thats what I try to do!
     
  20. 1993A10

    1993A10 Member

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    Our band director used to have football players do the halftime show in their football uniforms instead of resting and listening to the coach like the rest of the team.
     

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