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October 03, 2006

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Sherry Hollis

Schools blatantly do this because they do not want to help children who need it most. Since IDEA states that schools can't deny services because of lack of funds or services, I don't know the reason why they don't want to help the children. I guess it's because they can get away with it, since there is no one to enforce the laws and make schools follow them. And what's worse is, some state dept of education APPROVES AND ALLOWS their outright violations to continue.
In my case, when I asked for an eval by the sped dept at the school, they give my child an SST assesment instead and passed it off as the REAL initial evaluation specified by IDEA. When I requested IEE for this eval, school didn't respond so I filed state complaint. State told me I couldn't get IEE for this eval cause it wasn't covered by IDEA. What's worse, the school had me to sign the WRONG parent consent form for them to do the wrong eval. The state had PROOF of all of this and did nothing about it.School NEVER give me parents rights booklet or procedural safeguards booklets in ALL of the 8 years I have dealt with the schools in getting help for my 2 children. Furthermore, they did NOT tell me *I* could request the initial eval specified by IDEA and NOT have my child go thru the 'intervention process' first. THey told me that the SST determined my child didn't qualify for the IDEA eval, and that was that. I found out the law and filed state compliants, they jumped on the eval then. The events with this school spanned over 8 years. I sent state dept of education over 65 documents to PROVE all this mess. (state requested to see it all) State NEVER did a thing about it, never replied to me, and in fact violated their own laws.
There's no telling how many families they are doing this to, with the approval of the state dept of education in GEORGIA....

Sue Keller

This issue is my passion. It happens to every family with a child in special education, regardless of whether you have had to resort to hiring a lawyer or advocate in the past. If your hired gun is not with you at all times, the school system personnel will revert to their "don't tell" policy (which may also include outright lying). In the spirit of discouraging teachers and administrators from this behavior in the future, here are a few examples that happened to my child. The principal, Monica Smith, of Sandymount E.S. in Carroll County, MD, told us in my son's IEP meeting that he could not be accomodated at that school; we were also discouraged from using a paid adult assistant so that he could be in a regular classroom. That very same year, a child with Down's syndrome, was accomodated in the Kindergarten regular classroom with 2 paid adult assistants. My son went to the regional school for special ed., Hampstead E.S., instead. He was eligible for Extended School Year services. The supervisor of special education, Stephany Savar, instructed the teacher and principal to tell parents that no bus transportation was available to the school. Another parent told me to call Maryland Disability Law Center. The lawyer, Duane Scott, spoke to Ms. Savar, who tried to spin control the situation and claim that parents needed to ask for transportation in the ESY meetings (which had already taken place - no parents asked for transportation because they'd already been told it wasn't available!) Ultimately, we did get the bus because each of the kids had special education transportation specified in their IEPs. Every parent with a child in special ed. that I run into has similar stories; sadly, many of us don't realize that denial of services is illegal. However, even if you know it's illegal and tell school administrators so, you probably won't prevail without a paid advocate or attorney intervening.

M.L

As we speak I am going through a due process hearing without an attorney because I cannot afford one. My child 2 years ago was evaluated after she had been diagnosed with ADHD 4 years ago. Since the school did not tell me anything about everything and did not know what the heck an IEP was I was unaware of the loopholes they are able to jump through because they have my signature on the IEP, Now that I have educated myself (and still believe I don't know much) I have filed a due process complaint and request for hearing. Not only did they not implement the crappy IEP they wrote but they denied services left and right when I requested them not realizing I had the right too at the time. Even a government agency requested the services needed for my child and they still ignored them. They did not want to help my child FOR WHATEVER REASON and I finally felt I knew enough I started asking alot of questions about the law to them and then all of a sudden they stated my child could not go to the public school anymore. They stated that she was to learn her academics in the library because it would be best. They have no documentation of trying other strategies, applying other services requested, no positive behavior plan, nothing. They did nothing and when I say they did nothing I mean they did nothing. My child has failed all classes and not passed standardized testing OGT'S. She has something like 60 detentions and inschool out of school detentions I tried to fight and all the school kept saying was they could not accomodate to her. Amazing right? I have documents that I am using for exhibits that are 2 feet high. They are doing whatever they can of coarse now that we are going to hearing at the beginning of next month but let me tell that my statements are not going to be chicken scratch and vague as they did her IEP. The issues will not be ignored as they did me and the emotional distress our family has been going through the last for years I hope no child will ever have to endure what my child and family have gone through.

Tina

Yes, Georgia has a poor track record in education. We live in Sonny Perdue's (the hayseed governor of Georgia) home, Houston County Georgia and this has to be the worse out of all the places I have lived for receiving a good education. Don't let the "Schools of Excellence" advertisements fool you either. We have one child that has dyslexia, and they have no idea what it is or how to provide the proper reading instruction, so they keep us in the dark too. I think someone needs to keep their paychecks in the dark till they do their jobs. We own a business and plan to move soon so that our children can get a better education.

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