« Special Needs Students Taking It On the Chinn | Main | A Metaphor for Our Lives »

January 22, 2007



I do believe that more care can be taken in parental notification for many decisions that "teams" make but I also believe that, just as we discussed in class" we are all doing what we believe is the best we can do. Lord knows that it is hard enough to be a teacher and being a SPED teacher takes someone who truly cares about kids. I find it very hard to believe that these teachers above all would intentionally do anything that may be detrimental to any child. I believe that the issue may be realistically dissected three ways.
First would be the original complaint that schools are being negligent in there duties and therefore are liable.
Secondly, I would contend that schools are understaffed when it comes to the bureaucracy involved with current and potential IEP and 504 students. These teachers come early, work late, and still don’t seem to have the time to get the paper work done. When do they have time to teach?
Finally, the third piece would be the parents. Not always, not even often (depends on the year) I see parents that will ignore a school. They seem to have the attitude that when the kids aren’t home, it’s not their problem and conversely when the kids aren’t at school it’s none of our business. These parents routinely change their phone number or move from place to place without notifying the school. When you do get a hold of these parents the show little interest and do whatever they can to expedite the conversation and or meeting so they can “Get the heck out of there!”
“We do the best we can do at the time we do it”

Sherry  Hollis

To Thad,
It is usually not the teachers who undermine the children and parents, and violate the special ed laws. It is usually the administrators above them. Although, I have heard of lots of teachers that refuse to follow children's IEP's and this is a violation of federal IDEA laws.

I understand that there is not enough time, not enough staff, etc. and teachers are put in a very hard place. But they STILL have to abide by the laws.

When it comes to our kids, parents want only the best for them (the ones who care, anyway) and want what they are entitled to by law.

I am sure that if teachers have their own children who need help with special ed, they would also want this. They would also be appalled to learn that most schools blatantly violate laws to not help children.

I have read about lots of teachers and other school personnel who quit the profession when they learn how corrupt the special education is in public schools.

I have found that most teachers don't know the federal and state special ed laws they are suppose to follow, and so they just do what the administrators over them say. They do not know the administrators are violating laws in what they are telling the teachers to do.

And parents usually don't know this either, not until they find out about the laws and find out that most schools across the country are blatantly violating laws and not helping the children who need it the most.

We pay these people's salaries and trust them to help our children, and they blatantly use OUR tax dollars to hire lawyers to fight us.
They are fighting us with our own money!

Back to the main point of this thread, which is the forms the schools IEP teams are suppose to give parents when they propose of refuse to do anything for the child, here is my version in explaining this-

When IEP teams make decisions for a child in special ed, whether to agree to do something or to refuse it, they have to have LEGAL reasons for their decisions. And, they are suppose to give these reasons in writing to parents. They are suppose to give specific reasons (account for 7 areas of making their decision)

I have never heard of an IEP team do this correctly. In fact, I have never heard of an IEP team to give this notice to parents at all.

And the reason is, IEP teams know that most parents don't know the special ed laws. So, they make their decisions ILLEGALLY.

For example, they might tell parents 'your child can't have an evaluation done because they are too young' or 'they can't qualify for special ed because they get good grades'.
Both of these reasons are illegal.

And WHY do schools make decisions illegally, you may wonder?
It's because they DO NOT WANT TO HELP CHILDREN who need it the most.
And the parents believe their reasons and drop it.
Just what the school wants.

In giving parents the prior written notice forms, schools can not and will not write ILLEGAL reasons for their decisions to refuse things.

If an IEP team makes a decision to refuse something LEGALLY, they will not mind or hesitate giving this notice to parents.

But like I said earlier, I have NEVER heard of a school giving this, so that tells me that schools do NOT make decisions legally.

If parents knew the laws, they would know that they can take legal action to MAKE the school give this notice. And if they do this, the school will then back up and do what the child needs instead of refusing it, because they don't want the state or federal education dept to know they made decisions illegally.

Schools have the upper hand over parents because they KNOW parents don't know the laws and KNOW they can violate them without repercussion. And parents do NOT know the laws and are at the mercy of the schools crap.

They also do not give this form because they know that there is no one to enforce schools to follow the laws.

Whenever a parent DOES know the law and follows the legal process, this will cause the school to HAVE to follow the legal process and do what the child needs. BUT, when a parent does this, they are labeled by the school as the 'bad parent'.
It's funny how schools can do all this crap and do WRONG, but when the parent does RIGHT, they are labeled as bad and schools even retaliate against them AND their children, which is ALSO a violation of federal special ed laws.

I have been thru this crap for 8 years with 6 schools in 3 different districts for 2 of my children and one grandchild, who is blind. They are doing horrible things to a BLIND child, for heaven's sake!!!

I have had over 30 people in these schools (lots of teachers included) to say and do all the same horrible things to me and my children.

There are LOTS of websites that are out there for this very reason.
The most important ones are www.wrightslaw.com, www.reedmartin.com and www.schwablearning.org
(their parent to parent message board)

Everyone can learn a lot about the truth of special education in schools by looking thru these sites.


Sherry  Hollis

Wow the procedural safeguard notice is very understandable. No wonder schools don't give this to parents. If they did, a lot of their crap would be cut out.
Is this notice the same as 'parents rights booklet'?
If so, the so called parents rights booklets I have seen from schools are so confusing and over your head that parents just can't understand them.

Charles Fox

Sherry-yes the safeguards notice is meant to replace the parents rights guides that have been delivered for years. Universally they have been found to be hard to read and understand for the average or even above average parent.

A Parent

Coming to this post at very late time, but thanks to Charles, and to Sherry, for articulating what my experience has been. I am an avid reader of Wrightslaw, and others. I have asked for prior written notice of decisions--not to be sticky and enforce the filling out of another form, but to attempt to get in writing the reasons that I was given orally for denying services.

Sometimes what I had requested was altered beyond recognition. Never does the illegal rationalization (we don't have that in this school) appear in writing. My personal favorite is "everyone but the parent agreed." But, basically the district has gotten very adept at putting in place acceptable language ("he was denied education in a regular classroom because his needs are better met in a smaller classroom with fewer distractions."). It meets the basic justification, in ways that are unlikely to be measureable (ie: do fewer students, with higher need levels, make for more or fewer distractions?), and doesn't address the fact that the "smaller classroom" is not teaching the general curriculum, nor is it succeeding (based on test scores) with most of the students.

I would still say go for it--if enough parents ask for prior written notice, they put the fear of God (or the federal government) into the schools. And the first time through, there might be encough of a surprise factor that they will either write down the illegal answer (so you can file due process), or actually rethink what they are giving you.

The comments to this entry are closed.


About Me


Clients' Testimonials

Become a Fan