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What would you do if your child's school did this?


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Joined: Aug 28, 2009
Posts: 5
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Posted Aug 28, 2009 at 7:27:33 PM
Subject: What would you do if your child's school did this?

Hi All,

I'm new and I'm upset, so I'll try to keep to the facts.

My child goes to a public school in a small town with about 300 students. Today, I received a form letter that was mailed to everyone in town. It basically told all the kids in town what classes they were in. The letter explains that kids were assigned to classes alphabetically and it listed a table that looked like this:

Teacher A: Last Names from A to H

Teacher B: Last Names from I to S

Teacher C: Last Names from T to Z
(Including Students: Smith, Jones & Roth)

The children mentioned as "Including" in the brackets are all classified with learning disabilities. My 13 year old son is one of them. Out of 300 students, only these 3 are separated and mentioned by name.

My son is mortified. He feels embarrassed and humiliated to be singled out in a letter mailed to everyone in town. His LD has given him self esteem issues that he can contend with under normal circumstances, but this is extreme. He feels that when he steps into his new class on the first day of school, the other students will immediately think less of him, especially those he has never met before. He feels his social standing has been badly damaged before he even entered the classroom.

I'm really angry. The school didn't have to handle it this way. They could have mailed these 3 kids separate letters. They didn't have to single them out in front of the whole town.

Does anyone know what recourse I have?

Thanks,
RickRun
[Modified by: RickRun on August 28, 2009 07:38 PM]
[Modified by: RickRun on August 28, 2009 07:41 PM]

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:Aug 28, 2009 8:15:01 PM

Well, i think i would be angry as well. And they did mess with his social standing. They told the whole school he is other not normal subject to special situation bla bla bla. They have NO right to do that! This is a MEDICAL issue. It is no different than if they went to the school roof top and shouted (your son's name) has AIDs!!!! To everyone passing by. They had NO right or reason to do it. Issueing an apology will not be good enough as they have damaged something they can not fix. His image in his own eyes but more importantly his social image in the eyes of others. You should sue the crap out of them for violating your son's civil rights for making it known that he has a learning disability. For damaging his standing in school. You should make them pay for a private school for the next several years one that will treat him fairly and not make his medical background and issues that are legally a privacy issue public knowledge to kids who by the nature of being kids are mean. I would go to the news media with this story. I would see how the school likes it when their "issues" that don't show them in a positive light are made public. They can not fix this. Expecting him to walk into that school ever again would be cruelty to your son. The kind of cruelty he will under go at the hands of other students also would be horrendous because kids are mean. They may have a no tolerance policy, but hey, how can you trust them after what they have just done? You can't. Sue them go to the media do everything you can to ruine their good name as they have just ruined your son's in the eyes of his peers.How dare they.

As for what actual recourse you have i have no idea, but one would think this is protected by the right to privacy and as such they just opened themselves up to a major lawsuit???

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RickRun
Joined Aug 28, 2009
Posts: 5

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Posted:Aug 28, 2009 10:36:27 PM

Mandi, sincerely, thank you for your response. I'm furious and I want to take legal action. How can I find an attorney who's sensitive to this issue?
-RickRun

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Rosco P. Coltrane
Joined Jun 28, 2007
Posts: 47

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Posted:Sep 02, 2009 3:55:07 PM

Yes, you have a right to be upset. What's more surprising is that only 3 kids out of 300 have been identified with a learning disability. The number seems a little low.

http://education-law.lawyers.com/

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leigh
Joined Sep 08, 2009
Posts: 1

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Posted:Sep 08, 2009 6:18:06 AM

Hi Rickrun.

I just read your post. My son's school also has been sloppy with confidentiality, and there is no excuse for what they did in your case.

What I would do is file a complaint of FERPA violation, with your state department of education. I don't think you need a lawyer to do this, and it will be on your school's record. FERPA is the federal law that protects students' privacy, and even if the school did not say your son and the other two were on IEPs, they were singled out in a suspicious way.

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Sep 20, 2009 4:59:44 PM

Did the letter specifically tell everyone that the children in "Including" section have LD? Then maybe the other 300 kids don't know why those kids are in that other class. Personally, I don't find anything legally wrong with what they did. Even if they did something that wasn't really nice or appropriate, they wanted to play those students in that class for a specific reason. And what are the chances that the other kids even care?

I do understand you are upset, but do you know the other 2 students? Would you have known that they have LD if you did not know why your child was in that section?

I just think that talking about taking "legal action" is a bit overboard. If I were you, I'd spend my time and energy focusing on helping my child.

I think a letter to the district superintendent explaining your anger would be sufficient.

Bottom line, I don't think you'll win a law suit, so you'll be wasting your time and money on lawyers. And you'll draw more attention to yourself and your child that way.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:Sep 20, 2009 7:28:05 PM

Hmmm... And what if we all gave up because we knew we would lose? Women would still be barefot in the kitchen blacks would still be out in the fields calling some jerk who beats them mastah.... The declaration of independence never would have been signed. Oh right, and my favorite, Finland would be Russia today. And many more things that aren't would be.

Winning not winning, it doesn't matter. Smeone's right to not be humiliated over what many consider a medical condition was in spirit peed all voer with these letters. Which may i add were NOT necesary to be done in such a fashion. It did not have to be done that way at all. The kind of insensitivity involved was a crime. The violation of the right to prvacy was also a crime. Singling out 3 children in a school of 300, damaging them and hurting their feelings ins uch a way is not only unkind and cruel it is abusive. It sets a tone for the whole school year. A tone the school didn't have to set. It sets them up for all sorts of failures both academic and social. Weather a difference is perceived by themselves or by others makes little difference.

Those with LD are not stupid. They are not lacking in the same feelings and ability to feel as others do. They are the same in that respect and frequently that fact goes ignred and so rudely stepped on by institutions of education that should know better and by other people and society that should know better.

Yu have an obligation as a parent to protect your child. And what is more to teach him or her how to protect him or herself. Weather that means fighting the good fight win lose or draw so they can hold on to some small amount of dignity or self respect that has been stripped away fromt hem so cruely and insensitively. Also, because, though it may not help or work this time, it opens a door for the next person with LD who fights a similar battle. It ups their chance at success. So, either way, it is a win. Even if it doesn't prove proffitable for you personally.

I don't know what the right move is for the poster of ths letter. But some kind of stink and mean as major as can be made should be made. And some kind of public aplogy or somethng should also be made to this student. I don't know. But the school has an obligation to protect it's students including their right to privacy regarding medical conditions. Sounds like they did the exact opposite and to top it off they were insulting about it. And they should have some kind of consequences for that to ensure they don't do it again. Who knows, the next child they do it to may not be as strong as your son. That child may as a result go hang themselves with a belt from a doorway. Lets have a little compassion and respect here even for those society has pretty much declared throw away people in every way that matters. Because weather or not you consider them throw away people, they are still people. And that, means they have the right to some common decency and human respect.

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RickRun
Joined Aug 28, 2009
Posts: 5

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Posted:Sep 23, 2009 11:03:46 AM

Thank you all for your feedback. I appreciate it.

I've read all you have written and have taken it into consideration.

Apparenlty, all the parents of the children named in the letter complained.

I went to see the Principal and the child study team. I expected to be dealing with bureaucrats but to my surprise, they immediately admitted their mistake and accepted full responsibility. They offered to do what they could to correct the issue. Though they can't take back the letter they mailed out, they did not group all the kids in one class. On view, they determined that each of these kids had different issues and there was actually no reason to group them as one.

I feel if they are going to cooperate and focus on ways to help my child going forward, I'm going to work with them. Still, the experience has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Not only did they mishandle the information, they also assigned all of these kids to be grouped together without a good reason to do it.

If there is a lesson to learn here, it is this: Watch what your school is doing. Be in close communication with your school. Know how they intend to address issues BEFORE they put it into action. Don't assume that because they are professional educators, they don't make mistakes and are always doing the best thing for your child.

All of you, thanks again for your advice.
-RIckrun

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:Sep 23, 2009 1:04:17 PM

I understand the whys but i feel for your kid. This is horribly unfair. So i hope it goes better from here. But i still think you should have done alot more because once they establish they can push you around with just sweet apologizees... It tends to become their typical treatment of both you and your child.

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Testaclese
Joined Oct 23, 2014
Posts: 69

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Posted:Sep 29, 2009 1:26:31 AM

Quote RickRun:

Hi All,

Quote RickRun:

I'm new and I'm upset, so I'll try to keep to the facts.

Quote RickRun:

My child goes to a public school in a small town with about 300 students. Today, I received a form letter that was mailed to everyone in town. It basically told all the kids in town what classes they were in. The letter explains that kids were assigned to classes alphabetically and it listed a table that looked like this:

Quote RickRun:

Teacher A: Last Names from A to H

Quote RickRun:

Teacher B: Last Names from I to S

Quote RickRun:

Teacher C: Last Names from T to Z
(Including Students: Smith, Jones & Roth)

Quote RickRun:

The children mentioned as "Including" in the brackets are all classified with learning disabilities. My 13 year old son is one of them. Out of 300 students, only these 3 are separated and mentioned by name.

Quote RickRun:

My son is mortified. He feels embarrassed and humiliated to be singled out in a letter mailed to everyone in town. His LD has given him self esteem issues that he can contend with under normal circumstances, but this is extreme. He feels that when he steps into his new class on the first day of school, the other students will immediately think less of him, especially those he has never met before. He feels his social standing has been badly damaged before he even entered the classroom.

Quote RickRun:

I'm really angry. The school didn't have to handle it this way. They could have mailed these 3 kids separate letters. They didn't have to single them out in front of the whole town.

Quote RickRun:

Does anyone know what recourse I have?

Quote RickRun:

Thanks,
RickRun
[Modified by: RickRun on August 28, 2009 07:38 PM]
[Modified by: RickRun on August 28, 2009 07:41 PM]

Self-esteem? What's that?

Is there some wrong with having LD?

Is there something about LD for which to be ashamed?

Is there something wrong with people knowing someone has LD?

I have LD and I tell everyone and if they have a problem with then they can go F- themselves.

BTW, if you expect your school to do right by your kid you will be very disappointed.

I am an old fart and when I went to school we were simply called slow or lazy. As a kid who refused to take crap from anyone and as a kid who realized rules were made to be broken I took no crap from anyone. When I was through getting mad I learned to get even.

These days boys are sissies. This kid needs to man up and say, "YEP I got LD and screw you!" This kid had better learn really early on that we are not judged by the content of our character but rather we our judged on our financial potential. That is our worth and that has been our worth since we crawled out of the primordial ooze.

Your son need to know that he is a human being and as such he has value whether this materialistic and vulgar society values him or not.

He probably has many strengths and talents so forget about the school crap because he biggest losers in the world are educators. If some BS letter from some BS school can wreck his "self-esteem" then he never had any of it to begin with. The problem with self-esteem is that it is conditional.

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