Meeting with Principal tomorrow - can you help?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by BestICan, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    Hi, I'm hoping for some guidance. First I'll cut 'n paste from my post on the general board to explain what happened on Friday:

    *******

    My 1st grader just got sent home today - first time ever. The principal told me it's the first suspension all year long. I'm livid. I'm mortified. I'm ticked at the system.

    My principal directed me to the handbook (Los Angeles Unified school district) to show me the reason he was suspended. When the teacher asked my son to hand her a little metal bolt he was playing with, he tossed it at her instead of handing it to her. He was sent home because he violated this:

    Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person

    I just got off the phone with his teacher. I asked, "Did you feel that he was trying to hurt you?"

    She said, "No, I don't think he was trying to hurt me. But it's an automatic suspension if you throw something at a teacher." She said he did calm down afterward, but that she was so angry she felt "it was time," so she sent him to the Principal so he would be sent home.

    Yes it's extremely rude, sure it's technically dangerous, yes she's put up with a lot of behaviors from him. But now it goes on his record that he was attempting to &*(ing harm his teacher? Aaaaaargh!

    ******

    My husband and I requested a meeting with both the principal and the teacher to talk over this. Here are the points I want to get across:

    1. We aren't sure of *all* his diagnoses, but the child has a neurological condition (temporal lobe epilepsy) that predisposes him to having poor impulse control. Even if he tries very hard, he's not going to grow impulse control overnight.

    2. He's on medication & therapy, and we are awaiting a neuro 2nd opinion that will happen next month. We are working on helping his behaviors every way we can. But it won't happen overnight.

    3. Next time, if he acts out in this manner, is there another option aside from removing him from school and putting a black mark on his permanent record? How about sitting him in the Principal's office for a bit? How about sending him to another classroom? How about calling me in to help keep him under control? (As an aside I know a little boy who actually KICKED his teacher in anger this year and was not suspended. Why did they throw the book at my son, who had two perfect behavior days and two sick days that week?)

    4. Is there anything we can do to amend or remove the reason for suspension in his permanent record?


    So that's what I'm trying to deal with - do you think I'm approaching it properly? The Principal would like to bring in the school psychologist. Do you think it would be beneficial for me to try to bring in difficult child's therapist? He's great and he knows the school system very well.

    Any input appreciated. I'm just sick over this.
     
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Hi Jen,

    I understand your frustration. Sounds like the teacher is having a difficult child moment. Tigger was suspended in 1st grade for making a gun out of legos. Course I sarcastically asked why he was allowed to play with such a dangerous toy as legos (I mean if they are dangerous enough to get suspended over, why are they in the classroom??)

    I wouldn't worry about the suspension being in his "permanent file". I mean, how many times do you need to use your elementary school file?? I would use the incident to try and get more services in place. Is there anything you wanted that they haven't given in on? If you think your therapist would help, I'd bring him but I'd have a meeting with him in advance to make sure you are both on the same page.
     
  3. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    JJJ, Oh - ma - gawd - suspended for making a gun out of legos? I love your response to it. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that!

    Regarding his record, he was identified as gifted and I'd like to get him to a magnet school in the next couple of years. Or transferred elsewhere if this school isn't a good fit. I'm worried that having this on his record will reduce his chances of getting accepted to other public or private schools.
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Couple of things.

    There's always more than one way to handle a discipline problem. Could be the child that kicked the teacher has an IEP with-positive behavior interventions.

    If the principal wants to bring in the school psychologist, it tells me they have concerns.

    Zero Tolerance Policies and children with disabilities are not a good fit.

    If your child hasn't been evaluated by the school district to see if he's eligible for an IEP, I recommend that you parent refer for the evaluation. http://www.conductdisorders.com/com...a-formal-request-for-iep-re-evaluation.22433/ is a sample letter if you need it. Be sure and send it Certified Mail, but you can carry a copy of it to the meeting if you have time to prepare it this morning.

    The CM kicks in time lines within which the school distric tmust perform the evaluation and other legal protections for your child. See Protections for Children Not Yet Eligible for Special Education in the archives.

    You can edit out the Parent Report info in the letter and submit it at another time if you wish.
     
  5. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    Sheila,

    Thanks so much for your response!

    I like the idea of "positive behavior interventions." Is this something that can be put in place without an IEP, or does it have to be a component of the larger IEP process?

    Thanks,

    Jennifer
     
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Is this something that can be put in place without an IEP, or does it have to be a component of the larger IEP process?</div></div>

    In theory, yes. In practice, it's real "iffy."

    Unless your child is evaluated and qualifies as a student with a disability, it's strictly at school personnel discretion whether they follow through with any type of PBI agreements.

    Even with an IEP, unless there are behavior provisions written into the IEP, students are held to the regular Student Code of Conduct. Case in point: your child's suspension even when it's known there was no intent to harm.
     
  7. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    Hi,

    Just a follow up. Because my son has epilepsy, the Principal recommended we pursue a 504 (hope I got that right), which would put some behavioral procedures in place formally for him so that they won't do the "zero tolerance" thing again.

    It was a positive meeting all around. I don't have hopes that my son will change any time soon, and his teacher probably won't change her ways either, but I think they *heard* me and I think they understand some of the root causes of his behaviors better. Fingers crossed for an uneventful few months 'til summer!
     
  8. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    The reason that schools so freely offer 504 plans is there is no enforcement mechanism and trying to get follow through is very difficult.

    It is always better to get an IEP when behavior and discipline policies are at issue.

    Martie
     
  9. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I would formally (in writing sent certified mail) request a full evaluation for an IEP.
    Many schools do not bother to implement anything in a 504.
     
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