xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: jillsmo goes to Center Street

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

jillsmo goes to Center Street

So, I'm part of this group of parents who have kids in Special Ed at our district; okay, I guess you can say I lead it, but I didn't create it, it's been around for years, I just took over when somebody moved to another state. Anyway, as coordinator, I get emails and phone calls from people all over the place with a variety of different needs and questions about services at our district.

Last week I got an email from a district employee who had specific concerns that kids with IEPs in the district aren't being serviced properly (I'm going to be intentionally vague here, for reasons that will soon reveal themselves). I told her I would look into it, and I did. I talked to some people, I put out a few emails, I started learning some stuff.

The first thing I learned is that there is, in fact, a problem at our district, and kids are not being serviced properly, among other things. This happens because parents don't always know their rights, and the district is happy to take advantage of that by not informing them.  I've heard a bunch of stories today and I'm pretty pissed off about it, and I know there are probably more stories still to come. It reminds me of me at my first IEP meeting, pregnant with #2, totally clueless about what was going on. I had a nonverbal 3 year old with a formal diagnosis of autism, they were offering me 15 hours/week of a special needs only classroom, speech therapy 30 minutes/week and I thought I did pretty well. What did I know? Nobody told me otherwise.

Well, guess what, district? It's not okay to lie to parents about what their rights are in the hopes that they'll just accept what you say because they don't know any better. I know you've pretty much always been successful with that approach, but it's still not fucking okay, and if I have to personally call every parent of a kid with an IEP and inform them of their rights under IDEA 2004, I will do so. (Okay, honestly, I would probably get somebody to help me with this part. I mean, let's not go crazy).

The one thing I heard from every single person, however, is "I am X and and this is my problem but please don't mention my name because I don't want to jeopardize (either my kid or my job) if the district hears I've been talking to you." Everybody is just scared shitless of what kind of wrath the district will bring on them, just for talking. Well, guess what else, district? I'm not scared of you. My son has autism, and a well documented history of needing 1:1 support, are you going to try to deny him services because of something that I do? Fucking bring it on. I dare you.

I don't know yet what I'm going to do, but I'm going to do something. We'll see what happens....



9 comments:

frazzledmomma said...

You GO, girl! Give ME a list of people to call! I'm all about helping with things like that.

RacersMommy said...

I happens all over the place, hell its happened to me. Which is partly why Racer is in a NT kinder class and struggling socially and sensory wise and I blame myself.

Not Just Another Mother Blogger! said...

If the district is not doing what they are supposed to be doing, and they know this, that's a big deal. In our neck of the woods, the parent groups have essentially teamed up with an advocacy group. They share information, make phone calls, and attend the IEP meetings. It's been interesting!

Dani G said...

fuck. this sucks. I hate that they try to fuck us any chance they get. Please don't let them get away with it!!!!!

Ashley said...

Jill, I used to be a special ed teacher and quit because the district was asking me to lie to parents. Fight hard girl!

Cheryl D. said...

Fight the good fight! I wish I could express outrage at what you wrote, but, unfortunately, it's most likely the norm!

j* said...

Fa la la lala. Homeschoolhomeschoolhomeschool. Thank god I don't have to deal with those lovely people at our local schoolboard. Why is it the same all over, why?

Lynn said...

You go girl! Just I really just say that? Can't wait to hear the outcome...

Pie Maker said...

I wish I had you in my corner! Git 'em! I cannot tell you how guilty I feel for not knowing more sooner. I beat myself up often for my pollyanna ways. Never again. I got a HUGE wake up call and had 2 people at my daughters school LIE to my face (being intentionaly vauge here). I will never belive what they tell me without my own reseach again. I feel for those parents who are scared about a potential backlash from the district. I'm scared to blog about our school trouble for that reason too! SUCKS!

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