School board and attorney

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by whatamess, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    I submitted a document to my school board detailing years worth of issues (3 big ones that are have a component of a cover-up). The board invited me to speak, but insist they have their attorney there. Their attorney, I believe, has been a part of the cover-up in two of the instances. Do you think I have any chance/right to meet with the board without their attorney?
     
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Our School Board always has their attorney present to give input and certainly to make notes. I would assume that is pretty standard procedure. Perhaps you need an attorney or an advocate to speak for you or to serve the same purpose. Hugs DDD
     
  3. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Echo what DDD says. Don't forget your procedural rights, read that little booklet you can also file a complaint with the state board of ed I believe too.
     
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I imagine they will stick to their guns on that, seems silly since it is just a presentation. BUT, Can you bring someone...even an attorney with you? They dont have to know if it is a new person you hired or got to volunteer to come... At least see if you can get an advocate from ARC or an educational advocacy organization. If you have other witnesses along the line to your situation have them come... EACH ONE WITH A NOTEBOOK AND PEN TAKING NOTES CONSTANTLY. Doesn't matter what they write. Get introductions at the beginning of the meeting and have the people ask for how names are spelled so you have them on alert that they are being watched and heard by others.

    If you can tape the meeting, then do so for sure.

    Do you have a disability law center/legal aid type of place??? if you find someone who is interested (let them know this is urgent) they may actually get into this... especially newbies may think this is a good experience. Again, the board does not need to know you did this for the meeting, they can just think you have been consulting with legal folks all along (have you??).

    In the mean time, how are you going to handle if they cut you off, get defensive, etc? Sounds like a long document, they are not likely to go through each detail so how are you planning to present it?

    Each district needs to have a special needs advisory committee. This committee is made up of sp ed, parents, community people who are interested in Special Education and they can be a powerful voice for you too. Many parents join because of issues they have had so you tend to have "friends". If you can find your district's committee that may be another place to get support.

    So sorry for your struggles but I am really impressed you are bringing your concerns to them. Hope you can find some form of back up for your presentation.
     
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I actually think board is making a mistake having their atty there, esp if you won't have one with- you. It smacks of intimidation as well as having the deck stacked in their favor (i.e. they have benefit of legal representation while you don't). I know at one point I called school district's bluff by insisting that if they were going to have their atty, they needed to pay for mine - but I think the most recent IDEA rule change severely limits parents' rights to be reimbursed by school district for their atty fees. (JJJ - am I correct in that?)

    If you can't take your own atty, I'd bring along a couple of people to document the mtg - unreasonable for board to expect you to think on your feet *and* make notes of who said what. Recording mtg would be ideal, but I get the feeling they won't agree to that.

    Disclaimer - I distrust school district's in general and *especially* school district attys. In my cynical, many-times-burned opinion, school district attys are there to cover school district's posterior while the school district tries like crazy to not provide FAPE in LRE. But... I may just be paranoid. ;)
     
  6. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    I have been working with an advocate from our state's Protection and Advocacy agency for almost three years, so been on this treadmill for quite a while. I may write a book. The document I submitted was 265 pages long. District refuses even in the face of evidence to the contrary to admit any wrong doing.
     
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It just dawned on me this morning that I don't know what your goal is for your proposed appearance.
    When I read how long your document was and the reference to the three year period I realized you might be addressing past greivances and not current concerns. I am not asking you to share info that is confidential but in general terms that you are comfortable with...is this concern about inappropriate actions taken in the past? If so, I would bet my bottom dollar that they would never entertain your placement on their agenda with-o legal counsel present.

    on the other hand, if your child is not being treated appropriately now that is a different issue. Are you seeking supports that are currently being denied by the school administration? Sorry to be asking questions but sometimes I have "light bulb" moments where I realize that tell me, lol, I don't know what I'm talking about. Could you share the goal? Hugs DDD
     
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    This was my reaction, too...

    Sounds like the school district wants to cover its butt.

    However - I may be unjustly biased.
     
  9. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    We have current and past issues, but the document covered past issues (one from Fall 2010). They would not meet with me without their counsel and admin. I wrote a letter to the board members and asked them again to meet with just me, not looking like they will though. Department of public instruction was not helpful. What an insane machine special education admin is.
     
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Although I don't doubt that you have valid issues (and I do not trust "the system") if there are past misdeeds they would not be too smart to allow you to share concerns that might be mitigatable. I'm sorry, but I am an experienced and caring child advocate but I would not put the "entity" that I was associated with to be placed in jepardy if I were an elected official.

    Do you have any advocates or attorneys who are fighting with you to right the wrongs? I sure hope so. Being a Warrior Mom is stressful. on the other hand, you have to accept that litigation hovers over all meetings and a solitary parent really can't be acknowledged in a way that seems to be just "citizens talking to citizens". The concept sounds sincere but the realities of this day and age really requires a supportive presence. It's really very similar to when a child ends up facing Court action or the power of Department of Juvenile Justice. A parent really has very little chance of facing the system alone and winning. Many of us have learned this sad lesson. Hugs DDD
     
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    What is the goal of your meeting with them? Did you just want them to hear you? Do you want something specific to be done NOW? Just curious if that might be a way to approach this.... I have a feeling they will just be defensive if you go through all the things they did wrong.
     
  12. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    It is all quite ridiculous-the lengths they will go to make it all seem like no big deal. I include bits of praise where it was deserved, however that was not often.
     
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh lordy I know what you mean . I never wrote a single email or note without saying something like, once again, I appreciate all the efforts you are making...or I know this is a tricky situation... ONe day when the teacher said something like, "you know I didn't do that on purpose, I am trying my best" blah blah... I said, you know L. This one time, I cant take time to reassure you. This is about Q today. You know I have told you every single time we talk I appreciate what you do but I have to be able to tell you about my concerns without feeling the need to reassure you each and every time. I was over it by then. sigh.
     
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