A Stepmother’s Journey: Best Public Schools in Florida.
Stepdaughter’s mom made the decision to change schools before the Christmas break. She did not discuss this decision with D. In fact, she didn’t even tell him she had changed schools until January 7th, after school had restarted. D went to the new school to meet with the teacher and get an edline account (where they post student’s grades), they refused him because his name was not on the registration. They told him they could not discuss anything with him if he was not on the registration. Stepdaughter’s mom listed her own mother under the “other parent” category, effectively denying D his right to information about his own daughter’s schooling. It took a court order for this to finally be corrected somewhat, because she then placed his name under “other contact.”
It wasn’t long after the move and the changing of schools that D and stepdaughter were staying over at my house. Stepdaughter’s mom had given her and old phone to use while she was at our house, but she had failed to erase the old text messages from this phone. Yes, I looked through stepdaughter’s phone. I still do. I don’t think a child gets any privacy. Especially in the dangerous, unmonitored world of electronic devices. It’s our job to ensure their safety until they are wise enough to know how to protect themselves (some people are never learn, but that’s a story for another day). This phone contained old text messages that stepdaughter’s mom never bothered to delete between mom and a friend. Stepdaughter’s mom was telling her friend how much stepdaughter loves her new school, how it’s a great school. She also said she had told D about the new school and how mad he was that she had changed schools, “I finally told him about the school. hahaha he was so pissed off when he found out!”
Fast forward almost a year and a half. Stepdaughter was doing well in 3rd grade at her new school, she had friends, loved her teacher and had excellent grades. After the initial rocky start requiring D to get a court order to allow him access to his child’s school information, only a few other issues, like mom repeatedly taking me off the pick-up list, arose. Stepdaughter had been there over a year, and the school staff were beginning to realize that D and I aren’t the horrible people we were made out to be. It is, in fact, a wonderful school, “A” rated in Florida. Since it was very near an upper-middle class area of town, those were the majority of kids who attended this school. In fact, this school recently made this list of the 100 best schools in the entire state of Florida!
When D filed, and won hid bid in April 2014 to have his child support modified to reflect the fact that he was paying for after school care and insurance as well as having stepdaughter 40% of the time, stepdaughter’s mom became irate. She decided to move away to live with her mother in a town about 45 minutes from our house. Her comment (among many other, unflattering things) on social media was ” Hope they enjoy driving 34 miles 2 C his daughter b/c that’s exactly how far it is from her house where his gf’s house is 2 my Mom’s & as long as it’s 50 miles or less they can’t do anything about it & how far he will have 2 drive 2 pick up our daughter.” Her decision seems more about sticking it to him rather than doing the right thing for stepdaughter.
Because, you know, custody decisions are all about the best interests of the child.