CALLING All My FellowTEXANS 2 Action!

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by TheOnlyMe, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. TheOnlyMe

    TheOnlyMe Relentless Warrior Mom

    TEXAS ZERO TOLERANCE LAW

    PLEASE GO TO SITE and click email committee, it only takes maybe five minutes!

    http://www.texaszerotolerance.com/index.html

    Texas House Committee on Public Education Heard House Bills 171 & 172

    Rep.Olivo's two major reform bills were heard before committee on Tuesday, March31. The hearing was pushed up from the expected April 7th date.

    I was at the TALAC Conference from TAMU-Difficult Child. My son and I spook to Debbie Riddle's Chief of Staff about this situation. I know of 8 and 10 year old under IDEA with inadequate BIP's or none at all, getting criminal records from this LAW!

    My own son got four tickets when he was in medication changes; I advocated for him and educated the attorneys; in two different JP courts, which had a reputation for no mercy. He turned 18 with a clean record. He now has a Homeland Security Clearance job, even though he has been in a relapse for 6mths, they have understood! This is very important for our children not to have criminal records and our rights as parents NOT be violated in the process. I had a responsibility to check criminal records as mandated by Federal Regulations for the position I processed applications and juvenile records DO SHOW up AND CAN AFFECT THEIR FUTURE EMPLOYMENT AND FURTHER EDUCATION!

    I am just asking if you have a Half of a thought about doing it; please don’t hesitate to holler for our Texas Youth!

    Thanks from the Future of Texas!


    PS ======>Sorry I haven't been on but I been dealing with a Medicaid, SSI, OAG, school district, Dars, gone to two scholarship conferences, and outpatient at the Hospital for treatments for my son three times a week. But I been standing in the corner watching :) (YOU NAME AND I am going thru it right now to the point; you cant even imagine! I haven't even been able to advocate or been to one ARD in March!) I will update the ECT as soon as I meet some deadlines in the next few days. SS....it has awaken his mind, but we had bureaucratic issues in the middle for two weeks.
     
  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Do you have a format for a letter that we can write to make it a bit easier for all of us to take a stand?
     
  3. TheOnlyMe

    TheOnlyMe Relentless Warrior Mom

    yes I will get it! from the site
     
  4. TheOnlyMe

    TheOnlyMe Relentless Warrior Mom

    The Site does not have one so I will make one! Just give me a lil bit okay?
     
  5. marianna37

    marianna37 marianna37

    Re: CALLING All My FellowTEXANS 2 Action!
    Short story... My son M was arrested last year at school by the police on campus. He was questioned, searched, and arrested all without my being notified or present. He was 14 years old. He had marajuana in his possession. He is a type one Diabetic very unstable, and has Bipolar type 1 and was going thru a medication change. (which the school was aware of ). His insulin was not provided by me for several hours due to the delay in my being notified. His blood sugar was not checked.

    New story...Dear Chief of Police,

    I found your name on the police website. I am sorry that I have found it necessary to contact you personally. I made three calls to the campus police officer and have not had my calls returned. I realize the officers have been at training but I spoke to one officer twice who would not pass on my message and request to someone able to answer my questions and concerns. I am very unhappy about that because my concerns are of an urgent nature, which I communicated clearly to the officer I spoke to. I usually take notes of the person's name but I failed to do so.

    My son is a 9th grade student. He left campus on Wednesday April 2. He left campus at 10:45 a.m. He was missing from campus for two hours before they noticed. I was not notified until 2:45 p.m. M is a Type 1 Diabetic who is very unstable medically. In fact he was just released from a children's hospital 3 weeks ago when he went into DKA. The school knows this. He is also Bipolar 1 and is in a manic state at this time. We are trying to get him stabilized on a new medication and he is not yet a therapeutic level. The school knows this. M is a special education student and is vulnerable and "at risk" for committing suicide. He is actively experiencing suicidal ideation. All of the above, singly, or in combination are excellent reasons why I should have been immediately notified of him being missing. M has a pattern of this behavior. Two weeks ago, my husband requested that M should be accompanied to the clinic, classes, etc. by a responsible adult. This was not implemented by the school campus.

    The principal I spoke to yesterday tried to put the blame back on M by saying that some students had commented that M had said that he was going to walk over to the senior campus, eat, and smoke pot. He did not do so as he walked to the public library and was there all this time. Isn't their assumption that he was off smoking pot an even better reason to contact his parents immediately. When I finally was contacted by the school, they still had no idea where M was. I feel that the sherrif's department should have been involved and invited to help locate M in this life threatening and dangerous situation. Do you know what effect using marajuana could have on a Diabetic child with high blood sugar? And the effect this could have by interacting with the anti-seizure medication he is on? M could have been in a coma or worse but yet the school failed to notify me of this situation.

    I am requesting from you to provide the CISD procedure to locate a missing student. The principal acted like there isn't a specific protocol for the school to follow. If there is not there certainly should be. I find it difficult to believe that the district does not have such a procedure in place.
    This was also forwarded to the superintendant of CISD.

    Another new story:

    M's blood sugar was over 500 at school on Thursday and He called to be picked up about 9:50 a.m. When I picked him up, he told me that he had been given three injections in an hour and a half. This was done under the supervision of the school nurse without the direction of his pediatric endocrinologist which can be reached on the diabetic emergency line number at any time. He was just released from the hospital three weeks ago after going into DKA. At the time I picked him up, the nurse told me she had seen him once and had one insulin correction. When I later requested documentation through phone and email of her written documentation of M's visits to the clinic on this day, she wrote me that he was there one time at 9:48 a.m. and left in a good mood. This is a serious discrepancy from M's account. I had him write out a statement documenting times he went to the clinic, teachers who sent him there, corrections he took, amounts of insulin administered, who was in the clinic, who authorized and supervised these injections.
    Please, does anyone know the law in Texas about clinic records, logging visits, times, actions by nurse, etc. Once again, M has been placed in a life threatening situation by the school and his health plan was not followed or procedures implemented. I want to file a charge with the Police but do not know if the school will have opportunity to change or "lose" his clinic records by the time they investigate this. I have called this situation and previous ones to the attention of the director of special services, director of health services and the asst. and head superintendant of the district. No response from anyone. No acknowledgent.

    One more thing:

    I am sending this email in order to express my deep concern with the decision to change M's placement for 5 days to the DAEP school. This is a dangerous situation due to M's hyperglycemic (very high blood sugars which can lead to DKA) condition. School officials are well aware of the condition of M's health. They are also aware that M is in a manic episode with unstable moods manifesting symptoms such as irritability,
    verbal aggressiveness, short temper, and rage without an obvious trigger. Also, racing thoughts, restlessness, impulsivity, over talkative, and grandiose thoughts such as M expressing his superior knowledge as compared to his teachers. He is taking a new medication which must be slowly increased incrementally in order to decrease the risk of life threatening side effects. My understanding is that there is not a registered nurse assigned to the school and present during school hours. Matthew was just discharged from a children's hospital last week when we had an emergency situation of his blood sugar escalating very quickly and he went into DKA. One of his teachers had called me to let me know that M was sleeping in class throughout the day. M was experiencing symptoms such as extreme fatigue, sleepiness, irritability, thirstiness, frequent urination, and nausea/vomitting. These symptoms were unrecognized for what they were and were misunderstood to be non-compliance and defiance on the part of M, when in fact, they were a warning sign. When ketones in the blood raise too high and insulin cannot clear them out DKA occurs. Because of the preceding very serious situations, M needs to have supervision by a knoledgeable person such as a nurse who could intervene in an emergency situation perhaps if M became unable to speak and give directions to the staff on what they should do. I provided the emergency number of the diabetic clinic at the hospital but in an emergency the response time would not be quick enough to effectively intervene.

    M is trying hard and at least making an attempt to attend DAEP in spite of his medical problems. He still has one day to complete because two days were not counted due to his unrecognized hyperglycemia. He is being penalized for a condition of which many factors are beyond his control.

    His suspension and placement at DAEP was actually a result of his manic symptoms which his BIP does not address and are misclassified by his home campus staff and administrators as his discipline referrals clearly show. My request for an emergency ARD were ignored and we didn't meet until several days after the incident. I never received any paperwork or Order of Placement Change. The school said it sent the paperwork home with M. As I have told her in the past this is a very unreliable way and correspondance should be mailed to our home. I have still yet to receive this paperwork although she told me she would get it in the mail over two weeks ago. During the ARD meeting on 2/13 M was continually blamed for his Hyperglycemia. Once again this in not the issue. M has very complex issues he has to deal with through no fault of his own and is functioning to the best of his ability at this time. He needs an atmosphere of support rather than condemnation and blame. He needs to grow in the skills to make good choices in his diabetes management. Blaming him is not helpful.

    A much better alternative would have been for M to be assigned ISSP so he could have access to the nurse who has knowledge of M's needs and is able to effectively assist M in an emergency situation and to keep me appraised of his need to come home to handle things here under the care of his pediatric endocrinologist support and direction. We would then be able to ascertain when M has a need to get to the emergency room and/or be admitted to the hospital.

    We are working closely with his diabetes care team, his psychiatrist and therapist to stabilize M's conditions and allow him to attend school in a healthy state.

    The school continues not to recognize the difference between truancy and necessary illness-related absences for Diabetes and mental health care. (When medications effects make it impossible for him to be in school such as a recent psychotic state which lasted for two days.) It is difficult enough to support and care for M without the added stress of the school filing truancy charges. Perhaps a thorough review of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act would assist in this case. Students with a chronic illness such as Diabetes and Bipolar Disorder cannot be penalized for absences needed to care for their illness.

    I am expecting this situation to be remedied and the school staff, teachers, and administrators to recognize the situation for what it is. M is being discriminated against for his disabilities and meets the criteria for this under the standards of Section 504, ADA, and OCR. This situation must be addressed before I see a lack of voluntary cooperation and file complaints with the necessary agencies to insure that Matthew receives the rights and protections under Federal Law.

    Thank you,

    M's Mother

    I have since found out that there are specific laws for the required care of diabetic students in texas. These procedures were not followed. I have also found out that his home campus failed to fax

    over to the DAEP his health plan and physician's orders. M also told me that on his first day a nurse from another campus came to the DAEP when his blood sugar was over 500, large ketones, nausea, vomitting, blurred vision, fatigue. She said when he requested to call me to pick him up that she remarked, "he can sit up so he can do his work".

    I'm sorry this was so long.
     
  6. TheOnlyMe

    TheOnlyMe Relentless Warrior Mom

    Sorry it is so late but it is in email format: Feel free to add your own tid bit to the bottom!!! Don't forget the Governor and the Lt Governor and your local House and Senate Representatives, I found out 10 is the magic number on call ins or emails so least make it a thousand!!! post on every group your are on and send out to your family business owners, anybody taxpayer can send Grandma's we have until TUESDAY MORNING-- APRIL 7th!!!!

    http://www.texaszerotolerance.com/Legislative/Action.html if you don't know your representatives or for the Governor and the Lt. Governor.




    Diane.Patrick@house.state.tx.us, Dora.Olivo@house.state.tx.us, Scott.Hochberg@house.state.tx.us, Harold.Dutton@house.state.tx.us, Dan.Branch@house.state.tx.us, Rob.Eissler@house.state.tx.us, tztinfo@yahoo.com
    Support for parents - Reply to Topic

    Subject: Texas House Committee on Public Education Heard House Bills 171 & 172 Texas Zero Tolerance

    Body of emails:
    The strictest law sometimes becomes the severest injustice - Benjamin Franklin

    When our children in Texas public schools can be accused, found guilty, ticketed, often times arrested and removed from school before parents are notified, then there is something intrinsically wrong with a system that claims to work in partnership with parents for the education and well being of our children.


    In the name of zero tolerance, Texas Public Schools are treating innocent children like criminal

    by Eddie Evans, Co-Director - Texas Zero Tolerance

    What does Texas and Afghanistan have in common? Both have systems in place that believe that punishing the innocent for the crimes of the guilty is not only permissible but is to be embraced so a message can be sent that any mistake whether intentional or not will be punished as harshly as possible. In Afghanistan this system is implemented by the Taliban. In Texas this system is administered by our public schools.

    Since 1995 when Texas legislators declared zero tolerance on Texas public school campuses for drugs & weapons thousands of Texas schoolchildren each year have found themselves suspended and/or expelled through the guidance of chapter 37 of the Texas Education Code. Most of these students are sent to alternative education centers known as Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs (DAEPs) or Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Programs (JJAEPs). The latest figures from 2006 show that 140,000 students in Texas were suspended or expelled for that school year. Education advocates estimate that 10% of these students were completely innocent of their purported offense. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research and educational think tank institute reported that there was no probable cause for charges to be filed in approximately 1/3 of all the cases where children are arrested under Texas’s current zero tolerance system.

    Zero tolerance, as enforced in the majority of Texas public schools today, is a policy that punishes the innocent for the crimes of the guilty. It treats children as adult offenders without the presumption of innocence, disrupts the lives and educations of good students nearly as often as it does those of troubled students, and treats all covered offenses and all students equally, regardless of age, intent, past behavior, or magnitude of the offense. Think Salem witch trials but without the trial.

    Zero tolerance policies for students adopt a theory of mandatory punishment that has been rejected by the adult criminal justice system because it is too harsh! Rather than having a variety of sanctions available for a range of school-based offenses, state law and school district policies apply the same expulsion rules to a six-year-old as to a 17-year-old; to the first time offender as to the chronic troublemaker; to the child with a gun as to the child with a Swiss Army knife.


    Adults - especially those who teach children - are expected to have the skills and knowledge to teach behavior in age-appropriate ways. Unfortunately, zero tolerance as practiced in Texas today is not rooted in theories of child or adolescent development. It teaches children nothing about fairness & has created countless injustices across Texas since the policy was implemented in 1995.

    When children in Texas public schools can be accused, found guilty, ticketed, often times arrested, and removed from school before parents are even notified of a problem, there is something intrinsically wrong with a system that claims to work in partnership with parents for the education and well being of their children.

    On the face of it zero tolerance sounds like a simple solution to a complex problem. Most parents would agree that school is no place for drugs or weapons. However, when innocent children wind up in the juvenile justice system and/or severely punished for honest or minor childish mistakes the system is broken. Texas’s current system falls into the severely broken category. Most parents don’t think zero tolerance will ever affect their child’s life.

    The school is to prepare our children for adult life, and as adults; we have a justice systems which gives us rights as American Citizens, which are children are not receiving with this legislation. Yet our children who are minors as well as American's and are still under the authority of their parents; are not being taught their civil rights by this No Tolerance Law.

    Their are better ways to determine progressive discipline with in a school system, than to use a the juvenile justice system and the school police department. This is not the appropriate way to teach our children to have a voice, choice and know how to advocate for themselves but it also violates our civil rights as their parents.

    I think the resolution is more specialized training for the staff of the schools from the administrators to the janitors, to build leaders in our children not criminals. The Pendulum has swung to far to the left in the last 15 years with this law, to this point, discipline is to change a behavior not to break the spirit of the child.


    So I am requesting your support on all the bills associated with the House Bills HB 171. HB 172 as well as the following HB 224, HB 2475I HB 3038.

    Sincerely Your Constituent,

     
  7. TheOnlyMe

    TheOnlyMe Relentless Warrior Mom

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