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September 18, 2006

Comments

Psych95

Thank you for the opportunity for this dialogue. I would be the first one to agree that ALL school personnel receive (additional?) training in conflict resolution/active listening/whatever you want to call it. Perhaps that is a workshop I will consider offering if/when I return to the public schools. Thanks for planting this seed.

Charles Fox

Dear Psych 95: What a wonderful idea for active listening and/or conflict resolution. Parents as well would benefit from such training. The Department of Education has a website called CADRE which has resources and training which I wish had a wider application.

Penny Cooper

I had the same kind of thing happened to me on 2 different occasions. The first was that I was communicating by email with one of my son's teachers. I thought she cared about he and I and the struggles we had been dealing with. I emailed her and talked about the wrongs that had been done to my son. We had an IEP meeting a few days later and before the meeting they had me wait for an unusually long time in the front office. I thought this was strange, but after I was asked to come in, I realized why. Already seated were about 10 school members. After being in the meeting for about ten minutes it was brought to my attention that in front of each of those people was the email I had sent to that teacher. The "TEAM" made many references to what I had said and in a very rude manner, moching me. I was so humilated I could have crawled under the table. There was even a member of the Board of Education who is second in charge of Special ED. She was the ring leader.
The second time something happened was when I asked my son's case manager who would be invited to the IEP meeting (by email). I received an email that was meant for the case manager, but was sent to me by mistake from the Board of Ed-Special Ed Dept second in charge (not the same person as before, but same position). He told her that she was to write on the invitation everyone that would be invited and I should receive it in the mail before the meeting (not 10 days notice either). She had forwarded my email to him. She wrote me back and said she had put the invitation in the mail, still not answering my question.

I am learning more and more about how important school environments are when shaping attitudes and actions. I have been in three different school districts, and being a vocal music director, I see EVERYONE. In the 8 school buildings I have worked in, I notice a difference in every single one when compared to one another. People really do make up a school climate, and it's unfortunate (not to mention against the law) that gossip bred the negativity into Charles' school. I'm fortunate to be in a place that has only a bit of negativity (They don't know how good they have it! If they could have been to my other schools, they'd know!), but they're excellent at keeping confidentiality. There are good ones out there! I hope some repercussions were taken.

CMC - EDL Cohort

Mom

It is true that the "baby" comment is a generalization--but I do appreciate you bringing it up anyway. I have sat in the presence of more than one crying teacher as I challenged various plans and decisions. The first was a teacher who was in the habit (which I know is by no means unusual) of putting a completed IEP down in front of parents for the signature and being done with it. She was my son's 2nd grade teacher in the 3rd school that he had been in since he started and the most recent change was one that I didn't choose and very traumatic. She understood that my desire to be involved in writing the IEP meant that I didn't trust her (this is where the tears came in). I pointed out that even if I trusted HER, there was no guarantee that she would be around the next school year to continue the work of the IEP. She wasn't--the principal restructured and my son was put in another room--with no warning and no transitioning. Of course this aggravated all his behaviors and guess what--he ended up being moved to a different building.

The most recent example of inappropriate tears was the teacher who sat through a Manifestation Determination meeting (the intent was expulsion) when he got in a fight with a kid who had been harrassing him for about a year and a half. She thought that this was just normal high school behavior (the harassment, not the fight) and couldn't understand why we were saying these terrible things about the school. This same teacher is one of the special ed staff who believes in keeping kids in the resource room where they can be just like everyone else.

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