D/S Disciplined because IEP Not Followed

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by cnels, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. cnels

    cnels New Member

    How do I handle this? The IEP states he is to have an escort walk back from resource room. They didn't implement the IEP and he went without an escort. He was wandering around the building (I posted about the IEP not being implemented already). My question is how do I handle this? I feel he can be disiplined, but they are going to make him pay becuase I had the advocate call the Principal. He never would have been disciplined if I didn't make a stink-and have the advoate call.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    He should not be penalised, if

    1) he was wandering because THEy failed to implement the IEP; and

    2) YOU are the one who notified them.

    Basically, they are punishing you for rocking the boat. This is petty and bullying behaviour, it must be stopped.

    I don't generally recommend this next bit, except for desperate situations - I have in the past had to resort to being a bully myself. I have to show the school that I can kick harder than they can. I've told them that if I feel that my child is being victimised because of something I've said or done, then I will take legal/media action, HARD. And even if their intention was not to victimise, it will come down to what I perceive - I will react IF, IN MY OPINION, he is being victimised by them.
    I also warned them that due to past problems being dealt with badly, I am increasingly paranoid and therefore much more likely to assume deliberate malice, rather than misunderstanding. There had been too many 'misunderstandings' at this stage and I was making it clear that I was no longer going to tolerate any 'wiggle room' or "We didn't understand."

    I would put your concerns in writing. begin with a bald statement of events. Quote the IEP. Ask why the IEP was not followed. Then ask why he is being penalised for what is a dereliction of duty by the school. You could also point out that if any child, including him, had been injured either by him or by any freak circumstance resulting from his failure to be chaperoned, that the school would have been left without a leg to stand on legally, financially or morally. If he had been out in the school grounds for longer than he should have been, due to this lack of supervision, and had as a result been in the wrong place and hit by a stray comet, the school would still be in trouble.

    Ask if what you have heard, that he is to be punished for this, is really true. Ask them to give you the answer in writing.
    Then either hand-deliver your letter (especially if the matter is urgent - he is about to be punished the next day, for example) or send it registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt to you.

    Having your concerns in writing, and being asked, in writing, to reply in writing, is scary for them because you are asking for something which could turn round and bite them on the behind later on if they get it wrong.
    Chances are, their response will be, "Wherever did you get the idea that he was going to be punished? Of course not! And we have chastised the staff member responsible."

    Good luck.

  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I totally agree with Marg. Your son should not be penalized because his IEP was not being followed and your notified the school. I would write a letter, sent certified, stating the facts. IEP not followed, behavior that occurred as a result, your notificiation, the school's response. Simple 1,2,3 statement of facts.

    Then, as Marg suggested, ask the questions and state the law. Make sure you as for a response. This situation is wrong.

  4. oceans

    oceans New Member

    I would document everything and write a letter stating the facts. I would cc the letter to the person who is the next level up..person in charge of the district Special Education program maybe. It is not acceptable for them to punish your child for something that is their fault (not following the IEP).
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    CC your attorney. Guarantee to get this noticed.
  6. cnels

    cnels New Member

    You guys are great. This is hard. But I can do it. They are taking away recess for 2 reasons 1) because the Behavior plan was not followed (he was disrupting other students and the behavoir plan states that he is to be removed and they didn't remove him. and 2) the IEP was not followed. Is this normal stuff done in schools?
  7. oceans

    oceans New Member

    I have constantly needed to document all goings on at the school and went in for many IEP meeting with advocates. It seems that if you don't hold them to what they are supposed to do, they sometimes try to do what they want instead of what is written. They will do it if they get away with it.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It is not HIS fault that these plans were not followed. However, if they choose to shadow him during recess, that is another matter. Frankly, it sounds like he needs shadowing as a routine.

    They are still getting it wrong, by the sound of it. What worries me more, is if they think that failure to follow the various plans is going to be HIS fault, on a regular basis? Like, "Oh dear, he left the room without supervision AGAIN, because Mrs W was still talking to Mr K when the class was dismissed. We'll have to put him on detention if he does it again."
    Or, a variant that we actually experienced - difficult child 1 was supposed to have his teachers either write his homework in his diary for him, or supervise him doing it and check the diary to see it was done. But one teacher handed out a major assignment notice on a SCRAP of paper (not even a full sheet) without explaining what the paper was for. Of course, once away from the classroom and distracted, he glanced at the paper, couldn't work out what it was and so threw it away. The teacher later penalised him for failing to do his assignment. The school's argument was that he should have had the maturity and responsibility for himself to write it all down in his diary without support. "How is he ever going to cope in the big wide world after school, if we coddle him now?" The whole point was, we knew he WOULDN'T cope, for the first few years. He simply didn't have the maturity to do these things for himself.

    Schools should help these kids, regardless of their own personal feelings on the matter. Especially if a student has an IEP in place - this is a legal agreement between the school, the student and the parents, for the school to meet the student's needs as specifically described. There should be no "If Johnny does x, we'll then do y" in it, the school should be saying, "Johnny can't do x by himself yet, so we'll help him do it, under supervision. If we fail to help him, we are in breach of our IEP agreement."

    Some schools take a bit longer to understand that it is twisted THIS way, and not the other, where the student takes the fall for failing to comply.

  9. cnels

    cnels New Member

    So they are mad the adovate called the Principal? What happens after that? Just wondering...does the principal yell at them or do they get written up? Or does everyone say I'm an overprotective mom? I am just wondering what they are thinking?
  10. Bon

    Bon New Member

    My son is also on a similar IEP due to his ADHD and Bipolar disorders. My husband is a HS teacher and has 17 kids in one class with IEP's (none of them the same). However, he manages to follow all of them and keep his class under control. Depending on the school district and the rules...this teacher could b in a load of trouble and at the very least be documented. IF the teacher is still on probation and there are enough complaints or documentation said teacher will not get his/her contract renewed for the next school year. Harsh as it may seem those IEP's are there for a reason and need to be followed not only was the child let down because of the lack of comliance but the other kids in the class were not able to learn what they needed to by the disruption. I don't think that you are overprotective. When it comes to what our children need if we don't speak up then we have not done our jobs as parents.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    cnels, you ARE going to get labelled as an overprotective mother. But you need to be, so ignore the critics. It's like, yesterday I was told that local kids are publicly calling difficult child 3 a freak, and hassling his friends for allowing him to visit them. There's nothing I can do to stop kids calling my son a freak. All I can do is thank his friends for sticking up for him and equip difficult child 3 with the skills to shrug it off and tell the abusive kids to get a life.

    I HATE to think what some people in our neighbourhood and at the local school are calling me. But if I let it get to me, it would severely cramp my style. better to be hung for a sheep as a lamb, I reckon. I carry on being the best mum I can be, and any critics can go and do something personally anatomical, for all I care.

    Once I embraced this attitude I found it very freeing. True, I never get invited to the more upwardly mobile social parties, but I DO get invited to meet with some very different but fascinating people. All the energy I would have expended in trying to conform, I now expend in activism and progress. I am respected by people I value. I know I'm disliked by others, and from those people especially, I view their dislike as an indication that there's something else I'm doing right!

    Kids like ours NEED us to be overprotective. Find yourself a network of parents of similar children, with whom you can meet socially. And if any of THEM say you're being a tad overprotective, THEN you can consider taking a step back occasionally. Because they've been there done that, they ARE speaking from experience.

    It's useful to keep in touch with the groundswell of gossip (it keeps you forewarned of misguided idiots about to do the wrong thing for your child), as long as you don't let it worry you in any way. Example: if you KNOW (because you've heard via the grapevine) that a certain teacher or the principal considers you overprotective, it gives you the chance to prepare your reply for the time they actually raise the topic with you.

    And totally digressing, but it reminded me of something i want you to watch out for - right now, you're having troubles because the school doesn't seem to be taking the IEP etc as seriously as they should, and on top of this they're not taking responsibility for the problems which have resulted. Now, in order for them to continue to hold to this attitude and point of view, they HAVE to devalue the IEP and the Behaviour Plan. So at the same time as they're trying to dump the responsibility onto your son, they are also likely to try this approach: "He's really doing so well, he's so high-functioning, that he doesn't really need this level of intervention that we have in place. There are other children who need this funding more, we don't have infinite resources and we shouldn't be too selfish and deprive a more needy kid" [WARNING _ spurious argument - inappropriate and inapplicable] The next one: "he's doing so well, he doesn't NEED this sort of help. And for his own sake, he needs to learn to cope without it. We should wean him off to a lower level of support."

    They HAVE to try this, or accept that they should be more fussy about applying the IEP etc.

    The version of this t hat WE got (and it still blows me away with it's stupidity): "difficult child 3 is doing so well now. I look out in the playground and he looks just like all the other kids...[it's called 'school uniform' - it means they blend in] ...he seems so normal and he's now talking so well, his language skills are in the normal range. HE IS NO LONGER AUTISTIC. Isn't this wonderful?"
    This was from a school counsellor, supposedly trained in psychology and Special Education.
    I quickly informed her that autism is for life. It's not able to be magically cured. difficult child 3's own description of himself is the most apt - "I'm getting better at pretending to be normal."
    But the danger in accepting the tiniest scrap of what she had said - t hey would have justified his apparent lack of symptoms (to a casual observer from 50 feet away) as reason for abandoning the IEP and any other form of support of consideration. He was only doing as well as he was through his own efforts, coupled with existing support. And he WASN'T doing as well as she seemed to think - it was a mirage, pure and simple.

    I always made a point of getting on well with the school staff, even the office lady who is unbelievably rude and insolent to everyone else (including the principal). It's a point of pride for me that she speaks civilly to me, I considered it practice for handling a difficult child. (I had thought - if I can win over a troublesome, independent adult, then I can handle anyone). But I never accepted any compromise when it came to their treatment of my sons.

    cnels, you are now a certified Warrior Mum. Embrace it. You can do it. And as you do, you are also showing your child that you love him and will fight for him. You are also showing him how to APPROPRIATELY deal with the necessary red tape, and to fight the system the RIGHT way. I've seen easy child in action, now she's an independent adult working in the health care system. I'm proud of her when I see how she handles other people, red tape and protocol. She learnt it at my feet. As will your kids.

  12. cnels

    cnels New Member

    Your words of encouragement are what I needed to hear. Once the principal emailed me the details of what happened (their version), I replied with...'this reminds us why we have an escort in his IEP'. You are right they are pulling away because he is doing well.
    FYI: When I asked the Special Education teacher about him getting lost on campus her reply, "oh, you found out about that?" I thought that response was horrible.
    They do want to change his IEP for next year, they want him out of the resource room. True his problem is the teacher he currently has but I am afraid to pull the resources.
    Thanks again!
  13. tryingteacher

    tryingteacher New Member

    This may have already been said but they can't take away his recess. They can structure it but they can't take it away. That is against the law just like they can't take away lunch or bathroom breaks.
  14. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    cnels, I sent you a private message.

    tryingteacher- wheteher they CAN or not is not always the question, MANY schools do not seem to feel all the rules apply all the time, and rules and laws are only as good as the enforcement of those rules and laws. - and in some areas, there is precious little enforcement.
  15. panda

    panda New Member

    my son does not have an iep just yet, i wasn't sure if he would need one. he functions at school he is at currently very well, but my friend has a difficult child who is autistic. she has to stay on the school all the time because the "school" is fighting putting him in the districts autism class. so i can sympathise. i do know one thing, no matter what any of the teacher and or parents are thinking, that is your difficult child. not anyone elses, they do not have to live, parent, or be with your child when it is at the worst meltdowns. so in my opinion, they just need to take care of your child exactly as the iep states, and your child should never be disciplined for something that he cannot control. hang in there, lots of hugs, amanda
  16. cnels

    cnels New Member

    OK! It happened, he got the discipline paper today and it states he will miss the 'extra' recess because of 2 parts of his IEP that were not followed. Help! I wrote the teacher that passed it out. I flat out asked why is he being punished when his support that we all agreed he needed wasn't being followed?
    What do you suppose they're reply will be?
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Here's something for you to try. Go to the school and ask who is doing the detention, since it should be issued to the person who broke the rules (ie failed to comply with the IEP).

    I would also offer yourself as the person to do the detention - not because you're the guilty party, but because it is as ludicrous as what they're trying to do.

    They broke the rules in not following the IEP. They are now compounding it not only by punishing the child for THEIR infraction, but by involving recess (which someone previously pointed out is illegal).

    It may be a case of sitting on their doorstep with a handy camera to document things, could be the only way to get your point across. If you do that and they ask you to leave, you will have to legally.

    Isn't there someone you can ring at a higher level, to ask them to intervene? This is crazy.

  18. cnels

    cnels New Member

    I am trying really hard not to cc the email to my advocate or the district head of education. But if it's as insane as you say, maybe I will. I did cc it to the principal and the school psychologist and the Special Education teacher.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Why not telephone the advocate and ask his opinion? You can keep it a bit more informal that way, at least to begin with. Consider it an information-gathering exercise. If he then says, "Yes, this is big and you need to make it official," then you can send hard copy.

    As I see it, the detention is probably going to be no big deal for your child. The issue is, it's THEIR fault, and they don't seem to see that. And if they DON'T see that, what else are they thinking wrong about implementing IEPs?

    This isn't about punishing the school for getting it wrong, it's about helping the school to get it right. And to do so without using punishment for the child as a way to make you back off.

  20. cnels

    cnels New Member

    I think it's crappy, and so does the advocate. It's not following the behavior plan. Here is a copy of the email I sent to the teacher.
    Mrs. SO and so, I am so glad the spring is going great for him. I got the notice of missing a recess. From what I understand he is missing this extra recess because of 2 different parts of the IEP weren't implemented. The first time for which he is being punished is when he didn't have an escort back to your class. FYI, as a mom I did step in and have him apologize and had him miss chess club, informing him I couldn't trust he would be with the group or wandering around the building. The second time, was from math class. Mrs. H. did call me on Friday and we discussed the issues in math (high frustration level with a new unit), she didn't talk to me about him being given a discipline action. She did tell me that he was disrupting the learning of others. I am at fault here because at that time I didn't inform her of what his behavior plan states. Maybe we could let her know if he has those negative behaviors in her class we will follow the BiPolar (BP) for a consequence. The behavior plan states, he is to be removed as a consequence for that behavior and escorted to the resource room. I am sure you can identify with my confusion in this matter, and I would greatly appreciate any additional information. My concern is that Caleb is being punished because he didn't have the support that we all agreed he needed. Could you email me back and explain to me why he is being punished when the IEP and the BiPolar (BP) weren't followed?