Well, I suppose the dung just hit the rotating blades.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Just got the mail today. Got the notice of meeting from the school for the next IEP meeting.

    The school attorney is on the list.

    I guess here we go...

    So much for sleeping tonight...
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Do make sure you have some advocacy with you.

    At least they gave you notice. But it sounds worrying, as if they're more concerned with lawsuits than doing the right thing by the child.

    Maybe they're wanting someone who knows the rules, to keep them on track with their obligations?

  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Take your advocate, if you don't have one get one, and I would also contact an attorney also. Can't hurt. Maybe you can find a low cost or pro bono one? Good luck. I would not sleep much either.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I think you have like three advocates who worked with you on this latest IEP. Call them and bring them all! Don't worry about this - you are coming from a position of power in this instance. You have an amazing history of abuse, neglect, and plain stupidity with the school - you have evidence of your son being placed in a friggin broom closet for goodness sakes. There should be absolutely no fear on your part. This is a chance to show how your son's academic needs are not being met and how the school's inability and refusal to accommodate those needs has exasperated his emotional situation.

    Prepare, prepare, prepare. Go back to your records over the last several years and document every incident, every suspension, every phone call, every early pick up, every time they didn't follow their own plan, every time you insisted a trained para, etc. I guarantee that if this case went to the state level, you would win. This school is one of the worst I've heard of in eight years on this board. Look at this as an opportunity to make a difference for Wee and perhaps a bigger difference for the children who might have struggled in the future. Go into this with a positive state of mind. This is your chance to really make a difference for you son and those who follow.

    You can do it. Stay strong, calm and focused.

  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sharon's right. For many people, hearing that the other side in a minor dispute (which could turn major) is bringing in a lawyer, can often be enough to have them drop the dispute and walk away.

    At this point you need to think - am I right? Have there been genuine problems? How badly do I want this resolved? Is there any way at all that they can make it look like this is all my fault, and make it stick?

    Think about this.

    If you choose to continue, then go in loaded for bear and ready to stick with this to the bitter (or joyful) end. But if you find tis getting too scary and you choose to walk away, also bear in mind the cost of walking away - they would forever know that you back down when threatened with lawyer involvement, you would be walking away from getting any satisfactory help for Wee, this would keep happening over and over with every new learning placement, Wee would soon realise that his problems would be continuing, that he would be copping unfair treatment and that you are not able to protect him from it.

    There are costs to each choice and benefits to each choice. You have to choose - but whichever you choose, own it and stick with it. Once you start down this road, you have to continue. If you back off, it's like a pole-vaulter who chickens out just as they stick their pole in the ground and begin the jump. Abort at the wrong time, and it's worse than not trying at all. But follow through, and you can win medals. You just need courage.

  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    You should challenege his right to stay in the meeting. At the beginning ask him what "knowledge or special expertise" he has regarding Wee. While federal law does not prohibit the attendence of their attorney, it does strongly discourge it.


    Work closely with your advocates, the fight just became a heavyweight bout. Remember that he is not required to be truthful with you, he is required to represent his client -- the school.
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I would print out JJJ's link and take it with you. After asking the attorney about his knowledge or expertise, I would simply lay the print out on the table. Let them see (as if they don't have a clue at this point) that you didn't just fall of the turnip truck.
  8. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Bringing in their lawyer is a classic intimidation tactic. Don't fall for it. I repeat, do not fall for it!

    Short story: I used to bartend and two of my town drunks were the local town (for the actual town) attorneys. They were nice guys and all but they weren't particularly bright or skilled, just average licensed paper shufflers who had probably been C students with rich Daddy's. I used to talk law with them and the only advantage they had was easier access to case law. So what...

    The attorney's presence doesn't make the school more right. They are *hoping* you are the average person who is easily scared by law suits because most people are. (how many people use "I'm gonna sue" as a threat as if it is bad like a boogie man)

    I say to heck with them. If you are right and have proof I would go in there bold as can be. I would posture like a huge peacock and not back down, that should really scare them. If you are immune to their tactic that will freak them out because they aren't prepared for that. They aren't prepared for parents who know the law and don't take "no" for an answer.

    Don't believe a single thing the lawyer says. Like another poster said, he is there to represent the school. His version of the law won't be the same as your lawyers if you had or decided to get one. Don't let anything they say scare you, worst case scenario you don't get the iep you want but it's not like you will face fines or jail if you lose right? There is nothing to be afraid of except their continued abuse and inaction.

    You have every right to defend your son and every right to pursue the matter legally without penalty. Let your inner momma bear out, just mind your manners so they can't use anything against you.

    RECORD THE MEETING!!! That way no one can deny anything (illegal) they said later on.;)

    There are times you have to err on the side of caution in order to foster a team attitude that helps your child and then there are those other times that you just have to take the gloves off and smack the #%^& out of the school. :mad:
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    No advice to add- I just wanted to offer support and tell you I'm sorry they continue to look for ways around educating your son.
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thanks, all.

    JJJ thank you for that link. This next meeting was supposed to be a "working" meeting. I think they just took working off the table. I will be sure to give the advocates that link, and despite what they do with it, I WILL be taking a printed copy with me.

    I have heard thru the grapevine that the atty isn't someone to mess with, but I would venture a guess that the atty doesn't know diddly about my kiddo, and since the district, themselves, have stated in the past that this is the worst dyslexiic they've dealt with and they don't know what to do, I'm guessing the district atty doesn't bring much additional sped knowledge to the table.

    I don't think I can get an atty on this short notice, but maybe the advocates can pull a trick out of their hat. Maybe we fight fire with fire? Right now, I just am not sure.

    But I will not back down. At least not until that atty shows me some instance or evidence that just trumps everything I've got. At this point, Wee has nothing to lose that he hasn't already been losing for 2 years.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sheesh. I'm sorry that it has come to this, but you know your stuff, and you're right--he has no special knowledge of Wee. if the school doesn't know what to do, they need to make a plan that has Wee's best interests in mind. Period.
    When is this mtng taking place?
    Best of luck! Let us know what happens.
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Heck can't hurt to call around and just see if any atty. is available? One might want the challenge. You never know. Even is the Atty. isn't that well versed in school law and IEP's just the presence might help as well!

    I would bring anyone I could as well and record.
    I am sorry it has come to this but it has looked like this for a while.
  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Shari, you have more than enough to prove that Wee isn't being educated. Get your advocates on board, gather all your info, and go get 'em!
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Shari, you have a right to take an attny if you wish and they can reschedule the meeting to accommodate that. Although I should also mention that I had heard from a few experts in my state that if an IEP meeting gets to a point that attnys from both sides are there, it is inevitably heading to due process. I don't know if that's cut in stone in all states or not. I agree with the poster who said this would most likely be an attempt to intimidate you into backing down and letting them do whatever they want with Wee without questioning.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, my question is coming from perhaps a different cultural environment - but Shari, is it appropriate for you to ask WHY the school feels it is relevant or appropriate to have their lawyer present? What does the school say is the purpose of having a lawyer present?

    If they insist that their lawyer's presence is necessary, I would be insisting on the meeting being openly recorded, so both sides can have a true record of all discussions openly on the table. Surely there should be no objection from either side, of all openness? And if the lawyer is the one objecting - the question comes back to: who is he, and why does he have a right to attend what is only supposed to be a Learning Team meeting? He is not a member of the Learning Team.

    Of course, we can privately guess why the school wants their lawyer present - they're gearing up to be obstinate. But I feel perhaps the starting point is - sir, you have nothing to do with the special needs of my son, you bring no Special Education expertise to the table.

    Something I've done for years, Shari, with this sort of meeting - even if I can't record it, I take minutes. Detailed ones. I type very fast so I take a laptop in with me and take notes as I go. Often I add my own private analysis (in square brackets or between other easy to access but unusual characters, so I can find them easily later on). I will also offer my minutes to the school (minus my private square bracket notes). There was one occasion where I was sitting typing on my laptop, but I had secretly also set SoundStudio to record, from my laptop. It was not visible on the desktop. However, since at that meeting I was the one doing the talking, that was about all I recorded - my own voice, and the other blokes saying, "We'll look into it and get back to you."

    Mind you - if you illicitly record the meeting (as I did that time) you can never use the recording as evidence in any way. However, I was known to be typing my own notes through the meeting and was using my recording to confirm what I wrote down. My notes would have been able to be presented if necessary.

    I've also grabbed paper of any kind to make notes on. A very important (it turned out) phone call re difficult child 3 came in on my mobile while I was in a shoe store - I think I grabbed the paper bag my shopping had been put in, and wrote my notes with an eyeliner pencil! Those notes were vital, I had to be sure I had accurately written down what the other person said, so I could quote them back at her when she later tried to deny it.

    Notes are important. If you're in a meeting and taking notes, and things seem to be moving too fast, ask them to wait while you complete your notes. If they get impatient with this, tell them that a faster alternative would be to allow you to record the meeting. Their choice.

    Shari, I wish I could go with you as advocate/note taker. But there's a flamin' great ocean in the way!

  16. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I believe Missouri is still a on-party state for recording. It might be worth a quick phone call to an attorney to check. You might be able to record without telling them.

    Either way -- I would have two tape recorders running the entire time. This would not be a meeting to have one break.
  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm not gonna lie to you guys....I'm scared. But its mostly of the unknown an of the prospect of having us laid out in the open for public viewing and comment. I know what they have done to Wee is wrong, and I feel strongly that others will see it, too. That doesn't mean the idea of getting from here to there, tho, is even remotely entertaining. We're a small, small town. We'll be the subject of every letter to the editor for months. But there's no choice at this point.

    They can either spend their money on a teacher and an aid, or they can spend it on an attorney, and a teacher, and an aid. I don't really care.

    Hopefully the meeting will prove this guy was brought in to make sure they are covering their butts and doing what they need to do, and it will still be a collaborative meeting. But I'm not holding my breath.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    In my experience, they only do that after they try intimidating and manipulating and learning that you still won't back down and are a potential threat of filing due process on them...that's when they look at whether or not they have all their ducks in a row...but it's a lst resort for them. I'm not trying to scare you and it might be different where you are. But be prepared to use your warrior mom armour. For whtaever reason, they sometimes do seem to prefer money be spent on defense rather than resources that could actually help the problem. Look at my son- they could have saved a lot of taxpayers dollars going about things in a way that helped him and didn't cost me my job but they didn't- it's usually about what the money is allotted for, unfortunately. In your case, the school district might feel like they don't want to spend some of the money allotted for a kid on an IEP if they think it won't be a success so they kick it over into an area where money that is allotted for defending the school district is spent on the "issue".
  19. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    They are likely bringing in their attorney directly as a result of you brininging in three advocates. I don't think they are trying to intimidate you, I think they are trying to cover themselves in case this does go to due process.
  20. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    This school district spent a small fortune to send him to an early intervention preschool. When he left that EIP, he was a model student, yet the EIP recommended things such as 1:1 aids and modified assignments to assure he transitioned smoothly to the mainstream classroom and did not fall back into old habits.

    They denied it then, and I told them, if you don't spend the money now, you'll be looking at trouble down the road.

    But what did I know?