Check the IEP and Student File!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by susiestar, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have been seeing more and more on here lately about the school punishing our kids or holding them to different standards because we fight for their rights and educations.

    I KNOW that this is NOT all schools, families, school districts, police officers, kids, etc.....

    I do think that all of us parents/guardians of difficult children need to take the time, at least 2 times per year (more if things are not going well) to go up to the office and READ the entire IEP and student file.

    I found out much of it by READING the IEP that the school gave to me to take to the psychiatric hospital. She ADDED pages, forged my signature, and crossed out things. The IEP was given to me in a sealed envelope, with a note that it was ONLY to be read by the hospital staff.

    Well, my son, my right to read. I had my own copy in the file when I read it.

    With this proof we got a LOT of accomodations we otherwise would have been out of luck for.

    I think many of us will not find this, but if even a few do then it is worth the time.

    It needs to extend to the school file, even if you (or I) have to sit in the hallway and read the file. We have a right to know what is in there. We have a responsiblity to know what is going on.

    I know my timing was very lucky - another parent was preparing a class action lawsuit against this same teacher (Now the teacher is the principal of the alternative school!!) and I made a deal to get what my kids need however long one of them is in the district on the condition that I would NOT join the lawsuit.

    I think that this might give each of us some insight into what is going on, and some ammo if that is needed.

    Sorry if this rambled a bit.


    ps. Be sure you have YOUR copy of hte IEP handy when you read their copy. I wrote on each paper of my copy with a highlighter so I could tell them apart.
  2. LoneStar14

    LoneStar14 New Member

    Thank you! Its for this reason that I decided to HS difficult child. I was really concerned about "retaliaiton" for having to make special accomodations. Its been a difficult year and we're all ready for him to go back next year. I'm learning so much for the experts on this forum. I feel like I'll be more prepared to do the right thing for difficult child.

    I thank God for you guys and appreciate everyone sharing their expertise and experience. It helps us newbies make it through the tough days.

    As its been said so many times before, unless you have a difficult child one probably doesn't understand the range of emotions we can go through in one hour. For example:

  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Good Grief! It is just mindboggling how "the system" operates and how vigilant we have to be just to protect our difficult children.

    Can you believe that OUR school district had a press conference yesterday to say "some local citizens criticize us because our graduation rate is not as high as it should be BUT yesterday the national news was that many major school districts have a graduation less that than fifty percent". "We are doing better than that!" WTH????? It's nuts! DDD
  4. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    when I went to due process this all hit home extra hard. ABSOLUTELY always compare YOUR copies of anything to anyone elses. In due process our district excluded several things, made sure to blur several others and added many others. ALWAYS also save ENVELOPES things come in, stapled to what came inside the envelope. ALWAYS do everything IN WRITING and via certified mail. Always keep a copy-----

    Remember when you request documents from school, some schools may try to tell you you have EVERYTHING, but...very often you do NOT have "everything" in some districts you must go in person to EACH and EVERY division, dept, office etc and demand copies from THEIR records, even the administration bldg etc. Not everything is kept in one place. and my experience has found even with a court order, you can end up going to multiple buildings multiple times, even if your child has been in same school, same building for their whole school life (like mine)

    I also make sure to NOT sign release of information forms for AYONE- I HAND deliver copies of everything for anyone-----and I preview it first. Yes, even between doctors or doctor to school etc.
    This does not apply only to school issues, believe it or not, tdocs, psychiatrists etc also can have some things in records etc that might shock you, appall you, upset you, or even might be someone elses charting in your chart! When Buffy was inmpatient, and when husband was inmpatient, more than once, in spite of them haveing their little hospital bracelet on their wrist, nurses came with medications while I was there.....and handed them medications to take. I looked at medications and saw unfamiliar medications, and questioned it to find way more than once, at more than one hospital, the nurses were giving someone elses medications to MY loved one, never CHECKING the wristband or asking my loved one their name....- mistyaken identity. In case of my husband, twice it was a medication he is allergic to with an anaphylactic reaction.
    I picked up my own medical records once to take with me to a new rheumy and found several pages of medications I had NEVER taken, NEVER been ordered- turns out someone elses charting had been done in my chart!
    When I was purseing a legal case against our local mental health facility, I got reams and volumes of charting of bold faced lies and twisted recounts of incidents etc......

    when I got my copies of our transcripts for our due process? Very clearly forged, altered, not the testimony AT ALL.....and very poorly altered, I might add.
    You cannot trust anyone, I swear, not for anything. My name signed (not even close to my signature) on SO many documents.....and things I had given the school- the point I began to require reciept documentation of anything I did give to school, so they could not later say I did NOT give them something.

    It IS a FULL time job, it really really is. And if you have a less than honest district, they WILL alter and change whatever they can, in whatever way they can to be able to do things THEIR way. AND they often do it with a friendly smile on their face.

    Please notice, I DO understand not ALL districts do these things, please know I know sometimes innocent mistakes DO occur...... but, do also be aware to keep on top of things.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    She's right- in our case, I can't begin to tell you how much has been inaccurate, inconsistent, and some blatant lying. And it can be very detrimental. One incident was reported to me as "careless, unsafe, joking around" when difficult child cut someone else's paper with an exacto knife in art. What made it to his record - "slashing papers that the teacher had carefully made to help the students." And another- he was rough housing on bus with friends- got too rough and out of hand and hit girl (that he is friends with) and then she hit him back (they are still friends). Of course this is wrong and I don't condone it. How did it get reported in record- "punching on a girl."

    I guess there are parents who don't punish there kids and let them do whatever they want. Maybe the school thinks that of me. However, I would back up any reasonable punishment for what he does wrong. It is the incidents, time and time again, where a "normal misbehavior" gets turned into a nightmare with a punishment way out of proportion and a documented record that completely mis-portrays what happened that leaves me no other choice but to take his defense rather than working together to teach him a lesson. Case in point- 2nd or 3rd grade, cub scouts gives him a green or yellow plastic squirt gun as a reward at a meeting around 9:00 one night. Since the meeting had run late and difficult child needed to get in bed, I just told him put the squirt gun aside and get some sleep. Next day at school, he has big suspension with documented record of "brought look-a-like weapon" to school. Really, I would never have permitted him to take the thing to school and would have backed up a write-up and punishment that was in proportion for a kid who broke a rule, but I had to take issue with his record saying he brought a look a like weapon with no explanation or clarification.

    I could go on and on. I'll only add that when I got a copy of his complete school records, I also found where my letters to them clarifying or correcting things were not included and they were documenting (the parts that helped their case- not everything) phone calls, etc. of mine with notes like "tried to communicate with mother...".

    It is more than a little obvious that their position is "their way or no way" and your kid is out of there if you rock the boat. At least in this school district. Most of this happened before difficult child was even on an IEP and I can't help but wonder if he would have had the initial depression and resulting legal charges at school and mania if the school had handled things differently. The zero tolerance theory , I think, means that they expect these kids to be perfect, as much as, if not moreso, than adults. They don't look at it like kids are there to learn how to make it in society- they expect them to already know.

    Just my 2 cents- with another little vent!!
  6. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    klmno- I agree with you I spent far too much time and energy defending difficult child over injustices with how things were written in files or how they were handled etc.and yes, way too often rather than anything being any kind of learning experience for difficult child, it instead became a matter of clarification instead.
    I do think many schools DO hold identified difficult children to different standards, and while some might say a school holds a difficult child to a lower standard, my experience has been they are held to HIGHER standards..scrutinized far more rigourously. punished more severely and far more quickly. and it reached a point in my difficult child that altho she had never been aggressive or violent, she merely had panic attacks-----she wound up being punished so heavily and so severely, inccluding school trying to send her to an alternate school where all the kids were searched before entrance each morning and every classorom had a "time out cell" in it- a windowless soundproofed empty closet like space. 2+ hours by bus from home. Now HOW does THAT help her gain mastery over panic attacks and anxiety?

    My son could not read or write....even in grade 6, and I requested he not be passed on to middle school, becuz middle school told me in advance they would not do anything to help him, if he did not know how he should not advance. School refused to advance him and tried to give detentions and suspensions, saying THAT would teach him to read and write. (no, actually the letters etc I had from neuro and ortho and psychiatric etc all said Occupational Therapist (OT) and PT would help him)

    You walk in the hall at our HS here and you hear the cuzz words - like the one like heck and the one similar to poop------nonstop- BUT let a difficult child who has an IEP say it no matter WHY they said it or when- and you will see those kids suspended on the spot. Noone pays any attention when the non IEP kids at our HS say it.
    WEapon? OMG our school even HS the kids are only allowed plastic sporks, nothing else, even if they brown bag from home. strings on jacket hoods are now even considered a weapon.

    it all boggles my mind. school is NOTHING like when I went.
    The graduation rate? Maybe if they would stop psuhing and nudgeing and encourageing kids out the door, some might stay and graduate. Not one signle kid who was in Special Education when my oldest was made it to graduation. Not one. ALl her classmates from middle school got transferred out to alternate schools etc before freshman year ended.....and as soon as they came back to the HS< they got transferred out again. NONE of our Special Education kids were allowed to participate in ANY electives or extra curricullars, nor attend any sport events etc. DId not matter WHY they were in Special Education. I cannot tell you how many teachers I have caught thru the years grabbig my kids and shaking them, screaming in their face yelling at them.....talking on their own cell phones IN class......emailing personal email dureing class time.....nope, kids here do NOT want to hang around till graduation. and I am not even innner city. HA! our school supposedly is one of the more desired districts around. give me a break.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    DDD, dreamer, klmno and others, situations like the ones you described in this thread are WHY I posted this. We have so many newbies, and it is the last quarter of the school year, so things are going to be "rushed" and not done the way they should be. The schools are also trying to get us in for meetings for NEXT year's IEP in the coming months. So, we need to figure out where things stand NOW, so that next year we will be prepared to do what needs to be done.

  8. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    good thinking!