Teacher offended when parent asks questions

In a recent IEP meeting, a teacher indicated she was offended by the questions the parent was asking about procedures and practices in the classroom for his son. The questions were focused on how the staff was managing the student’s lack of interest in the instruction as well as curriculum.

The student’s needs in this area had gone unaddressed by the school staff for years and now the teacher was “offended”.  It was bewildering to see a professional perceive a parent’s questions as personal attacks.  It was bewildering to see a “professional” not recognize systemic problems in the school system that allowed the student’s predicament o to continue as long as it did.

The parent’s questioning enlightened those present that the “system” was failing the student, not just one teacher.

Additionally, this IEP team was planning the student’s next school year where he would be attending in another building with different staff.  Due to the lack of adequacy in the current scenario, the outlook for the following year had a bias; that is, a bias that the expectations were too low for this student.  No staff from next year’s school was present to contribute.

Advocates at theiepcenter.com  provide telephone consults to parents to help them prepare for these meetings.  Had these parents known earlier what the buzzwords are to “work the system”, perhaps the student would have struggled less.

Connect with a professional advocate who is a certified teacher:

sign up for  ezine “The IEP Center Advocator”:  http://eepurl.com/wsEID


New due process format forthcoming; Governor signs bill

Governor Nixon signs SB595 moving due process from DESE

On July 5, 2012, Governor Nixon signed the bill into law. Due process hearings will no
longer be conducted by DESE with the three-member panel. Hearings will be
conducted by a commissioner in the Administrative Hearing Commission.

I sent a letter to DESE Commissioner Nicastro last month asking when/if DESE is
accepting public comment regarding the transition; no response yet.

I am amazed how this made it through the legislature.

Although a signing ceremony was requested wiith the Governors office, I received
no response to that request.

I am glad to give up my role on the panels in the current system; especially
since the system was so monopolized by retired sped directors.

The new format is suppose to take place by the end of August, 2012.

I speculate that districts will now perhaps consider mediation with parents before heading into the “unknown” of the Administrative Hearing Commission. At this point it is assumed the AHC has no allegiances to DESE or school districts.

Special Education Legal Help Attorney Selection

Locating an attorney to help a parent deal with special education issues with the public school can be a daunting task.

If a parent hires a local attorney with no experience in the state’s special education processes, then a parent ends up funding getting this attorney educated about the process.

Parent’s can review state due process hearing panel decisions to learn names of attorneys who have handled those hearings in the past.   These decisions will list both school district and parent attorneys; a consumer will want to make sure they contact the right one.

Many of the attorneys for parents don’t do this line of work for the money.  So, they must charge fees to maintain their offices and staff.  If this is too cumbersome for a family, perhaps an advocate might be more affordable.

In Missouri there are some public interest law firms that accept some cases; usually a parent has to apply.

Missouri special education due process — avoid it!

Parents who are frustrated by IEP meetings where nothing is accomplished can pursue approaches other than “due process”.  “Due Process” is a lengthy process and is emotionally draining, and often puts a child’s education on hold while “lawyers” wrangle. 

If your child’s needs, which are listed in the IEP, are not being addressed by the public school, then a parent might want to consider filing a “child complaint” with our state dept of Education in Jefferson City.  A “child complaint” is where a parent presents allegations of how the school district is not following the IEP…and the state department of education follow-up by doing some fact-finding then making a decision of whether the district is “in compliance” or not.  

It is important to have accurate record-keeping so that if/when a parent files a “child complaint”, the documents exist to support an allegation.

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice***I am not an attorney and am not licensed to practice law in Missouri or any other state.  Nothing in these communications should be considered to be legal advice.    www.theiepcenter.com



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