Failing And Passing Are Not Acceptable: When Your School District Pushes Special Needs Children Through
A growing problem exists within many school districts. As higher-functioning children with special needs get older, schools do less and less to support them. The idea is to encourage these children to make better choices and give them more independence. While that is an admirable goal, that does not always apply with many kids who cannot make good choices or who simply refuse to go to class knowing that the teachers will allow poor behavior. What you need is a special education lawyer. Here is what to do next.
Find a Special Education Lawyer
There are two kinds of special education lawyers-- administrative and those that deal solely with special education kids and parents. You do not want the administrative type, because these lawyers work for the school district and will side with them. You want a lawyer who works for the rights of students with special needs and defends cases where there are some major problems within the school district's approach to a free and equal education.
Meet with the Lawyer
You will need to meet with the lawyer and discuss all of the issues you are having with the school district. He/she will want to meet your child as well so that he/she (the lawyer) can get a really good idea of your child's level of functioning. Bring any documentation or other evidence with you that shows that the district is not providing the level of education you expect or failing your child.
Documentation can include:
- Report cards with C's, D's and F's present (shows that your child is not being adequately supported)
- IEPs and IEP goals that are not being met as promised
- Emails from special needs teachers showing that your son or daughter spends most of his/her day everyday in the special needs room and not going to class or that the teacher offers him/her a choice to attend class and your child refuses (which is not how that is supposed to work, since most children would refuse to go to class when asked!)
- Ratios of support aides to special needs children in the mainstream classroom and any time of the day when aides are not expected to be with your child/be present to support him/her
If you have any other documentation that you think would help your case, be sure to bring that at the initial meeting as well.
Your Child's Rights
You can sue the district to ensure better educational measures for your child. You can also sue the district for the cost of private school tuition where state voucher programs cannot assist you. Your child/children deserve better than the education they are currently receiving, especially when it is evident that the school district will just push your child on through, passing them and failing them without flinching.