Had to file a Civil Rights Complaint to get school to finally do Jumper's supports

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am so tired emotionally from a two month fight to get Jumper's school to implement her 504 plan. For a quick refresher, since taking away her IEP last year, Jumper has failed every single test she has taken at school in every single subject. She does her homework and gets good grades on that and can pass multiple choice quizzes, but she can not pass a test without some promps. Part of that are her Learning Disability (LD)'s and a poor short term memory and par of it is severe test anxiety. She is diagnosed with SEVERE ADD (inattentive) so none of her teachers believed she had any problem as she is able to sit still and stares at all her teachers as if she understands all the stuff that they are throwing at her (she doesn't).

    Here is a brief rundown of last week's school highlights between me and hub and the school staff. We were only trying to find out why Jumper's plan has not been implemented since the agreement to do the 504 supports had happened two months ago. The first thing I did was call the Special Education Director, who had been working with us all this time. He said (not verbatim) "I meant to let you know I'm not working on the 504 anymore. If she had an IEP I would work with her, but she's not a disabled student (haha...this is MY input) so you have to talk to the regular school staff about this.

    Me: Ok, who is my go-to person?

    Him: Mr. B.

    Me: Thank you. (I hang up and call Mr. B)

    Mr. B: Well, Mr. M (school principal) is in charge of implementing the 504. Call him.

    Me: Um, thank you (steaming inside. I call Mr. M)

    Mr. M: Mr. B is in charge of Nicole's 504 and The Spec. Ed Director is in charge of when we will be meeting again. He's the one who calls meetings together.

    Me: But Spec. Ed Director told me he's not involved in Jumper's case anymore. He told me not to call him.

    Mr. M: No, he's in charge of getting the teacher's together for meetings. He's involved.

    Either the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing or I was getting the royal runaround.

    Hub and I decided, along with advocate, to file a discrimination suit. Advocate contacted her many higher up people and they called the school district. THAT got Mr. Special Education Director furious. He called Advocate and asked her why she did it. She told him that he was not cooperating...that the entire school district was not cooperating. I guess being contacted by whomever Advocate knows lit a big fire under the school district's, um, bottom. The next day, Jumper came home beaming and said that Mr. M had had a looooooooooooong, nice talk with her and that she had been able to use notes for her tests, as we had asked at the beginning of the school year. Jumper passed her first two tests all year. Basically, her mind goes blank and basic notes jar her memory during tests. She is allowed to bring a page of notes with her from now on.

    And that took since the beginning of the school year to get done. This, even though until last year, when Jumper had gone to a different school (that was even a BIGGER nightmare), this school had known she had an IEP. They did downgrade it to a 504, but the supports are pretty much the same so I don't really care what they call it. And I doubt they are going to pull any funny stuff on us because the last thing this small district, short of money, wants is a lawsuit.

    Jumper came home beaming again today saying she got a "C" in Science and only has one "D" in algebra. Last year she got all B's and C's, but we are slowly working our way up...she had Learning Disability (LD) supports last year too.

    I really hate how hard you have to fight just to get your child a small amount of supports. But over my dead body were they going to destroy my daughter's spirit. I am always amazed at how inept so many school districts behave. That's why I have been forced go over their heads. it's the only thing that works. They are one big good-ole-boy group and they stick up for one another. The Superintendent and school board at this school did nothing...except tell hub and I what great people worked for this school district.

    Great, my....bottom :)
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I'm a huge cynic when it comes to SDs. I think they pull this stuff because the vast majority of parents don't know their rights and will not push, or just get worn down to raw nerves and give up.

    I am beaming to hear that Jumper came home after some really positive days. It's about darn time, poor kid. I think it speaks a lot to her character to have kept plugging away in spite of the school district's lack of cooperation. And kudos to you, MWM - you kept on at it. I hope that school district toes the line more now, and that Jumper continues with her great work!
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Way to go, warrior mom! Ddd
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    We need a like button!!!
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Excellent news, MWM-Way To Go warrior mom!! Glad Jumper is happier!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, thank you...lol. This IS my fifth kid so I sort of learned the ropes. Rule #1: Never go into an IEP or 504 meeting EVER without an Advocate. Not only does an Advocate know the state laws, but she is a witness. The school district's minions can't say "I don't remember that" or "That didn't happen" if there are witnesses. We actually brought two Advocates...but one of them was the more experienced than the other. That was TWO witnesses and it helped as they took very good notes. Also, playing nice with the school districts or working within the school district is usually a waste of time. There are steps you have to take in order to file a complaint and each school has rules on how to file a complaint against a school decision. They are supposed to let you know this, but they often don't and often parents think that the best way to get it done is to be non-threatening. I started out that way and got nowhere. And I see other parents even here getting nowhere as they try to keep things within the district. The Superintendent is just the head of the District. He is working with allegiance to the schools, not for the parents (in most cases).

    I am thinking of becoming an Advocate in spite of all the classes you have to take and all the time it requires. No parent should have to go through this garbage. Most do not know their rights or are afraid that if they assert them their child will pay. That is not the case. If they have respect for you as a parent, even if they don't like you or what you did, they will be afraid to take it out on your child. That is called "retaliation" and can also be taken to the Dept. of Civil Rights. by the way, The Dept. of Civil Rights is in charge of 504's and the Department of Public Education is in charge of IEPs. Something else I learned. I actually think School Districts are more afraid of the Dept. of Civil Rights.