IEPs and Legal Issues

need help with fight against school

Author Message
Joined: Sep 20, 2006
Posts: 2
Other Topics
Posted Apr 01, 2007 at 1:49:58 AM
Subject: need help with fight against school

After two years of trying to get his needs met at his school, we have had to remove our 13 year old son with ADHD from a public middle school. We have placed him in a small private school that specializes in children with ADD/ADHD and other learning "disorders" and want the public school to pay the private tuition. (Very minimual tuition costs) Which although technically allowed for in our district guidlines, we have learned no such case has ever been successful in our district.

To make a long story short, the school was not consistanly following his IEP and were punishing him excessively for even the smallest "behavoiral" infractions.

We need to highlight three areas in our case:

1) Not consistanly following the IEP caused our son to regually fall behind in school work. This in turn caused him to spend a minimum of four hours each night, get up early and spend weekends to work on missing or incomplete in class work. In addition he was very often required to go to school early, stay late, miss specials (PE, ART, Theather, etc) and/or work during lunch. Again this was to complete what was mostly in class work. (We were sure to always stay ontop of the home work) This in class work should have been monitored by at least three different teachers, according to his IEP. The constant pressure and lack of success caused our son great stress and he began to consider suicide. He felt it was no use trying when he was working so hard and nothing good was comming out of it.

We complained to the school board twice before going to our local education agency. The school board said they were doing what they should and we needed to give them more time (this was after a year and a half). The education agency says the school is not required to meet a child's IEP at all times. Basically they say as long as he is not failing his needs are being met.
We need to be able to combate these claims at our Due Process Hearing with something, but what? Any suggestions you have would be helpful.

2) In addition to the intence pressure he was under to complete and keep track of assignments, he was being excessively and frequetly disiplined for the smallest misstep in behavior. For instance, calling a boy a name earned him three detentions. Cursing at a group of children who were following him aroungs cursing at him, threatening to beat him up, etc earned him three after school and a saturday detention. For taking a donut off the tray as a boy was throwing it in trash, three afterschool detentions and was made to pay for the trash dounut. (When this same boy knocked our son's alpha smart off the desk and broke it, our son reported it and the VP did not believe him, she forced our son to continue to use the broken computer) The VP even wanted to assign detentions when he picked up an unclaimed box of cookies in the hall way! He picked up the box, another boy took it and threw it on the floor. This was observed by a teacher who said it was the other boy who threw them but they wanted to suspend our son for damage caused to this unclimed box of cookies when they were thrown by the other boy. When I disputed this detention assignment, the VP said "He has to serve these detentions. He chooses to act this way, he chooses to behave this way." Even after I had an email from the teacher saying it was the other boy who threw them! This same VP manufactured an accusation of multiple death threats and made him serve three days in ISS (During this time he did not have access to his Alpha Smart (accomodation for writing difficulites) and many assignments were not given to him, causing him to fall drastically behind) When she talked to me the VP said three boys came to her saying our son was making death threats. She claimed the parents called and were very worreied. She even said I was lucky she did not call the police. BUT when we asked to get a copy of his disapline records the reason she recorded is "He told a girl he was a canibal and was going to eat her and she is afraid of him" (He said this to her after she told him he looked like a zombie). This same girl tormented him on a daily basis, we filed four complaints against her with the VP, but as far as we know nothing was ever done about it. When we filed the fourth complaint the VP tried to make our son change classes. We told her we felt this change would make his problems in school worse and she tried to force us to allow the change. It took three days of fighting and the counsaler getting involved before they moved the girl.

In every IEP meeting we asked that the school ease up on its discipline practices of our son and presented documentation as well as a note from our DR saying that much of this behavior is out of his control and a part of his disorder. When we told the VP that this kind of disclipline has no effect on children with ADHD, She said "This type of disclipline is very effective with these kids" We asked the school board to provide documentation to prove that, they do not track the progress and disclipline of ADHD kids and can not.

We need to prove that most of the time "conventional" disclipline practices do not work on ADHD children and can infact make things worse. Because these "misbehaviors" have a direct rout in their disorder. This excessive frequent disclipline added to our sons suicidal tendencies. I need some kind of verifiable respected documentation, quotes from medical professionals, case studies, etc to prove our case. Any suggestions?

3)We asked the school to provide documentation about the success (or lack of) of ADHD children in our district. We asked for, passing/failure rate, disclipline information, etc. The school does not track this. Is there some kind of national or state (TX) tracking system for this and where can I find it? Something about the percentage or anything?

The school says it should not have to pay our son's tution because they are able to meet his educational needs. We say they are able too but they did not and this caused him sever emotional stress. They say they have not exhauseted every possible alternative to meet his needs, we feel two years is enough time to make at least a little progress (they made none instead things kept getting worse) and that they will always have an "alternative" bUT it does no good if the teacher's do not follow the plan and they have caused too much damage to our son by not doing so.

I know this post is very long, thank you to those who read this far. PLEASE for my son and his future self. Thank you soooooo very much.
[Modified by: acorn on April 01, 2007 01:51 AM]

Back to top Profile Email
Joined Oct 10, 2007
Posts: 2

Other Topics
Posted:Oct 10, 2007 12:42:56 PM

I know this is coming a lil late in the game from the time you posted but i have to get this out!!
hi my name is kristy and i have a 6 year old with autism and chemical sensitivity. i just joined LD today and was reading back posts just to see
what i could maybe learn. i came across yours and while reading it, i didn't get past the first of your 3 "issues" before i was, shall we say....irritated!! i can't believe it that in today's society we (as
well as the children) have to deal with such idiotic and ignorant ppl! and it's even more infuriating that it was in the school environment that he had to expereince that kind of treatment! i want to commend you on your actions and what appeared to be a patient parent tact i wouldn't have handled it quite so
well for such a long period of time lol! if you don't mind i was wondering if you could tell me how your son
is doing in the new school and if anything got resolved for you and your family? i'm not much on legal lingo and all that's what brought me to post in
here myself today but you've peaked my interest now!
From one fighter to another lol

Back to top Profile Email
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

Other Topics
Posted:Oct 10, 2007 8:46:48 PM

You need documentation. Have you documented all letters, phone calls, meetings with school personnel? Do you have a copy of all his school files, including discipline? Do you have a copy of the school/district discipline procedures? If so, make comparisons of what the procedures are for other students and the excessive treatment your son is getting. If you have filed any harrassment claims for the abuse students have been giving your son, that would be good documentation. Any information from teachers (letters, emails) that contradict what the VP has written or shows another side. Also look under the discipline guidelines layed out in IDEA.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

Back to top Profile Email