Saturday, April 27, 2024

Virginia School District sues parent

Be sure to read this article on about the school district in Virginia that is suing the parent of a special ed student.

I can sympathize with the parent.

From 1996-2009 I was an advocate for my stepson - from his Second Grade until he aged-out at 22. The Special Ed Department there hated me, because I would insist that they provide the accommodations to which they had agreed, in writing, in his IEPs.

I recall telling one of the male teachers after my stepson entered high school that I was glad I would finally be dealing with adults, meaning the teachers and spec ed staff. Boy! Was I wrong!

I remember the first IEP I attended, after his mother and I married. I paid his therapist and a professional Spec Ed advocate to be there with us. There were 11 (ELEVEN!) from the school district there, all jammed into the Principal's small conference room.

One of his teachers had told me in a parent conference something like, "Me and him went to the library." I should have challenged her but didn't. She even spoke the same error in the IEP! It's no wonder kids grow up with poorspoken language habits.

That IEP lasted three hours forty-five minutes - with no breaks! Toward the end the school district's attorney, who had tried to avoid introducing herself at the beginning of the meeting, offered us three choices and asked which we wanted. I said, "None." 

When I listed the three accommodations that we wanted (1. aide in the classroom; 2. in-school services (not bussed to a different school; and 3) I've forgotten the third), she agreed. That took five minutes!

It was over the years after that, that we couldn't get the District to provide the accommodations as written in the IEPs. The special ed staff would cry "Wolf", when I raised their failures, rather than admitting they just had not provided them.

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