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January 26, 2007

Comments

Kathryn

Hi Sherry,

Great post and comment. I have heard in Massachusetts when parents sue the school because of these very issues - improper evals or non existent ones or bad IEPs, placements, etc. the parents mostly win and the school does not want the state to get involved and getting a closer look at their little fifedomes.

I have been under the impression that if you go through the pain of getting a lawyer, at least in MA, especially when the school is so obviously in the wrong, that you will get some justice. Also, document, document, document - dates, times, incidents, verbatim what is said, etc. So are you saying that this is not true? Just wondering if this is a state level issue where it varies a lot by state or a national one. Would love your thoughts on this. Thanks,
Kathryn

Sherry  Hollis

I have heard that most times when parents and schools are in court, the schools often win.
And even if the parents do win and the school is ordered to follow laws and do right, they will still not do it.

I am not sure if ALL cases are like this, but I have heard of this lots of times from the sites I'm a member of.

There is just no enforcement for schools to do right, and they know this.

''Just wondering if this is a state level issue where it varies a lot by state or a national one.''

Do you mean cases won by parents or schools, or do mean the level of corruption in schools?

If it's about corruption, This is rampant across the country regardless of what state it is.

Charles Fox

I do not believe that schools win more in court and often win less as the court is more apt to follow the law that some hearing officers, in my opinion. Problems with enforcement are throughout the country and frankly one of the single biggest issues.

Kathryn

Hi Sherry and Charles,

I meant the parents winning court cases over the schools. It really is obvious if you read a bit how rampant the corruption is in most schools when it comes to dealing with disability. We saw a huge issue with enforcement as well. The school would say, sure we'll do this. And then they literally only provided 0 - 10 percent of what they said they would do. They seem to bank on the fact that a parent of a disabled kid will tire before they will of the fight - you know- because we get our buts kicked every day by the fatigue of total care and the worry and stress of fighting for our child's rights. It's sick isn't it? What I want to know is at what point did the school folk lose their humanity and become so currupt and callous?

I still think that in MA parents win most of the time - but you are right the school can just be lame about enforcement...

Sigh.

Great site - glad you are hear.

Billie

Hi. I just found this blog after following a link from Kathryn's page.

I am the parent of twins with special needs, as well as a school psychologist. I am trying to do the best I can possibly do in both roles.

Being a parent is hands down the harder job, but being the school psych is hard too. I hate the politics and hoops we have to jump through in trying to get kids the best services we can. Personally, I find working with parents a hundred times easier than dealing with (some) teachers.

Anyway, my quote of the week, at an IEP meeting for a severely language impaired first grade student who (IMO) needs additional resource room services (he gets speech only for 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week)..."If he can't pay attention in a group of 20, he's not going to pay attention in a group of 5."

Said so eloquently by a special education resource room teacher. She had the parents convinced (though maybe not in so many words) that he needed to see a doc for ADHD meds before he could get additional services.

Anyway, I am encouraged to find your blog and will be referring other parents here for information. I have been working in my position for 6 years, and still don't know everything about the law that I need to know to advocate strongly for my own children, and the children I work with. I am committed to learning more!

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