If you disagree with IEP

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jules71, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I read all the time, if you disagree with the IEP - DO NOT SIGN IT.

    Ok, so then what? Our district only has you sign that you attended the meeting. I always sign my name and write "in attendance but not necessarily in agreement". Still, then what? So they know you don't agree and they simply don't care. Then what?

    What if the last IEP said all schoolwork (including homework) was to be done at school - and this school doesn't like it, so they remove it? Then what? I have stated very clearly my position on the issue and they don't care. No one cares. The sped teacher doesn't. The principal doesn't. The district staff don't.

    Is there any legal language in IDEA that deals with this? Is my only option due process before an administrative law judge? So. sick. of. this.
  2. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    In our district, an unsigned IEP means unfinished. We work toward settlement of the disputed parts of the IEP. Until a new IEP is signed, there is a "stay put" clause, meaning all aspects of the last signed IEP are still in force. Those goals have to still be worked on, the agreed-upon accommodations honored, services delivered, etc.

    For example, I have a student whose parents haven't signed an IEP for two years. We can't work on any new goals, so we are stilling working on the same ones. The same services have to be delivered, even though they aren't really appropriate anymore. The district and the parents cannot come to an agreement (although my district is usually extremely flexible, unless they really feel the students needs won't be met at all if the parents get their way--although they usually do). So, if there are specific goals and accommodations that aren't being honored, you have a good case against the district. And once you do a little research and can figure out how many hours of services your child has missed out on (like speech, Occupational Therapist (OT), APE, behavioral support or whatever), they owe those hours to you--compensatory services--until everything is caught up.

    The school cannot cherry pick and remove parts of the IEP that they don't like after it's been signed. On the last IEP, did an administrative designee sign it? You signed it? (I'm talking about the last annual or triennial that you did and signed and have supposedly been operating off of). If those signatures are on there, that is a legal binding contract and they are seriously out of compliance if they aren't providing the services they signed off on. Can you get an advocate? They're free and just by their presence, can put a little scare into administrators. And don't sign an IEP that you don't agree with, or let them let it slide. Such BS. There are timelines to be observed and if they can't be observed for one reason or another, there are forms to be filled out and signed. I've got a foot in both camps, and you are in the right.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I do know that at any point you can stop an iep and say you are not in agreement. It is my understanding the meeting must immediately stop and next time you could bring an advocate with you.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If you do not agree, the IEP cannot be finalized and remains "open". Always make sure your comments are included in the permanent record - I always specified, "I would like this part of the record" and then would hand them something in writing or make a verbal statement.

    In regards to the law, here are some great links for you:



    Finally, for a little lighter reading and a chuckle, check out this link - top ten most ridiculous comments heard at an IEP meeting!


    Good Luck!
  5. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Yep, I have an advocate and have used one in the past. It doesn't seem to make any difference.

    Yes, the previous IEP was signed by me and by the school staff - but like I said, our district uses a signature page that just states you were present for the meeting. Basically it says "IEP Participants" - nothing else.

    It's not really about services - the only thing he gets is 50 mins daily of specially designed instruction for social/emotional/behavioral and he gets that in a class called Study Skills. It's bogus, but that's another topic. The issue is the accommodations. The sped teacher took things out and I told her the ones I wanted added back in, that I do not agree those things are no longer needed. She is basically saying too bad.

    The main issues I have are the homework one - and removing him from class and sending him to the ISS room if he doesn't start working. My point has been that they are automatically assuming he is REFUSING to do his work, rather than considering his disability and trying to help him where he is stuck. I explained by removing him from the class and sending him to ISS, he gets further behind which is a problem to begin with. Their response "The district reserves the right to remove any student to maintain a safe learning environment for all students."
  6. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Do you know if this is a federal thing? I would love to find something in writing along these lines. I would like to write a letter and quote something that says since we are not able to reach an agreement on the following points of the IEP, the previous IEP remains in effect.
  7. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Thanks for the links! The one you provided for a chuckle actually listed one I was first told when I very first requested testing for Special Education services.

    Ridiculous Statement #5
    We can’t test your child for an IEP until we have first tried Response to Intervention.

    Fact: This ridiculous statement was used by so many School Districts that on January 21, 2011 the United States Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services issued a memo reminding School Districts that Response to Intervention cannot be used to delay-deny an evaluation for eligibility under IDEA.
  8. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    99% sure that it is. My district is very large with a high number of students with moderate/severe disabilities, mostly autism. I'm sorry I can't make a cite, but our SPED administrators are a pretty savvy bunch and very compliant with ed codes. I'll bet you'll find something over at wrightslaw.com or if you ask the questions in just the right way on Google, you get the quote and the numbers you need.
  9. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    This does not pass the smell test. At all. At some point, the district agreed to that IEP and nobody can take anything out without an amendment, signed by you and them. Jeesh. And pulling the old "violating the least restrictive environment needs of the other students BS" is just that. They sound uninterested or don't know how to find a teaching or behavioral technique to support your child, so they blame it on the kid. (I'm doing a slow burn here).
  10. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Yes, thank you!! They are not willing to do anything other than send him out of the classroom for not working - or punish him for behavioral stuff. The attitude of the principal is "I am completely within my rights to do so" - same with the district as you saw from what I posted above. The thing is, when he is not working, it is not a "safety" issue, so wth?
  11. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Found this but not sure what state-

    If a parent does not agree with the school, they do not have to sign the IEP. If they disagree in writing to some or all of the IEP within 10 days, the safeguards apply (at least in my state). Parents can write polite letters to explain their disagreement, request an additional IEP meeting, request a facilitated IEP meeting, request mediation, or file due process. - See more at: http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?page_id=6763#sthash.vFyMSlGW.dpuf
  12. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Jules - I've lived in 3 states where my signature on IEP was only indicating I was present. Did not indicate agreement with IEP. The times I didn't agree, my child's former IEP remained in effect until the issues were ironed out.

    A teacher cannot pick and choose which accommodations will be followed from the IEP. When you said she took them out, was this at an IEP meeting or just her not following the existing IEP? If it was at an IEP meeting, then a certified letter stating that you did/do not agree with the removal of accommodations should be sent to sped director, at the same time requesting another IEP meeting. If she's just picking and choosing from an existing IEP, that's simpler - she's failing to follow IEP. Cert letter to sped director advising of that. It's a procedural violation and if you end up having to go to due process, procedural violations tend to be easier to win. Procedural violations are our friends, lol. (sorry about name of website in link, but the list is excellent).

    "Their response "The district reserves the right to remove any student to maintain a safe learning environment for all students."" It is the district's right to remove a student, but it is still the district's responsibility to *educate* the student. Especially since there is an IEP in place. UGH! Removal from the classroom does not constitute education, and if the behaviors are directly related to his disability, it's another procedural violation. And don't forget the 10-day rule. If a child is removed from current placement for 10 days, it constitutes a change in placement and requires an IEP mtg to address said change of placement. At one point, my difficult child was getting ISS extremely frequently. That counts as being removed from current placement, especially since his behaviors were directly related to his disability.

    The prior IEP stays in effect under the "stay put" rule (link to federal rule is at bottom of this article). "``(j) Maintenance of Current Educational Placement.--Except as provided in subsection (k)(4) (my note: subsection k basically deals with conduct violations that are not due to disability and the unilateral placement of child in alternative educational placement during due process), during the pendency of any proceedings conducted pursuant to this section, unless the State or local educational agency and the parents otherwise agree, the child shall remain in the then-current educational placement of the child"

    Districts cannot implement new IEPs that parents disagree with without providing you with Prior Written Notice about their intent to disregard your concerns. Failure to provide PWN is another one of those procedural violations.

    I think it's time to get advocate involved again.
  13. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Thanks. When they sent the revised IEP yesterday, it included PWN stating all of their responses to my requested accommodations. The sped teacher, including head of spec services for the district removed accommodations from the previous IEP and did not include them in the new one even though I made clear I wanted them to remain. They even removed things that were in the 1st draft and were not areas I contended. Sneaky if you ask me. Good thing I wasn't just reviewing the areas I had disagreed with.

    Basically they have the attitude that they can do whatever they want.

    I've been trying to tell them when they remove my child from class for not producing independent written work they are essentially denying FAPE. Are they? I think so.
  14. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Did they provide any objective data supporting the removal of the existing accommodations? Think that's a requirement.

    Yes, removing from classroom for failing to produce independent written work (and that's right up there with one of the *dumbest* reasons for removal I've ever heard, unless he's tossing desks while failing to produce!) is denial of FAPE.

    Yep, call advocate. Hope s/he is good! Hang tough.
  15. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    No, they did not provide any data or explanation for removing them. They think he is capable and just refuses to work and so therefore if he applied himself he would not need those accommodations.

    Nope, not flipping desks or anything bad. Just sitting and not starting. I've told them he has exec function deficits and those include initiating, planning, organizing, sustained mental effort, etc. They mention refusal, unwilling, not motivated, etc whenever he won't work. He has one teacher who really works thru it with him but his sped teacher automatically goes to refusual.

    We've had advocates. The SD doesn't care. They are not scared. The principal has told me time and again she can discipline him period.
  16. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I'm sorry Jules. If I recall, we're in the same state, and I have to tell you I think a better use of sped/support dollars would be to post signs at the border stating that folks with disabilities are not welcome. But I've lived here waaaay too long. :whiteflag:

    Sometimes it just boils down to how far are you willing to fight. With both of my sped kids, I just eventually gave up. I still feel bad sometimes but honestly, I'm not sure things would've turned out any differently/better if I had had the stamina to fight on.

    For me, in the end, it boiled down to ensuring that my kids were as well treated as possible (and that's a really sorry statement, I know). Caving in to the SD definitely made my easy child's treatment much better. As far as my difficult child - he wasn't treated badly so much as he was allowed to make bad choices, and .... while maybe having a more realistic IEP/transition plan *might* have helped, my gut says no. He had to figure it out himself. He did, eventually, but it was a heck of a trip to get there.

    I know the SD doesn't care. I honestly believe that the policy is to deny, deny, deny services until the parent either ponies up and holds them accountable for what they should be doing or just gives up. I know when I filed due process for easy child, I was astonished at the deceptive lengths my SD and their absolute barracuda of an atty went to. Who behaves like that? Who treats kids like that? Why the heck are these people in education in the first place? The deck is stacked.

    I truly do understand where you're at. I'm so sorry.
  17. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Very well stated. I agree with all you said. I have considered revoking my consent for sped services. I just don't know if that would bite me in the butt later.
  18. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    After reading the new IEP for umpteenth time, I discovered they also removed a goal that was not met. In one of the last meetings the sped teacher was complaining that it was too hard to measure/track. Then surprise - she removed it!!

    I have been writing letters to the team indicating all the things I disagree with. They basically told me they met, they considered my input, they decided. I made the mistake of not going to the IEP meeting but I did provide written input. I don't want to meet in person any longer. I want all dealings in writing. They can't demand I meet in person, can they? I've been screwed over by them for years. I want it all in writing.

    What they are doing seems illegal to me. Do we have any lawyers on the board?
  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    They cannot demand it but if you are not there they will do exactly what they did and tell you they read it. If I were you, I would ask for a parent advocate. It could be from the school district (we actually had one that was helpful) or from someone else.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why won't you contact your DEpt. of Public Education. They will not treat your kids badly if they are in control (quite the opposite. They need to look good to the DPE). If you don't, then you gave up your best card and your children won't get help. I don't know what state you're in. If it is IL or WI, they DO respond to the department of public ed..in fact it scares them. And a good advocate will take the district to court, which also scares them. They tend to behave when you take control. They know when they are breaking the law. I wouldn't use an advocate that is with the school district. You don't move forward if you only work within the district that is not cooperating.

    It's your call, but it doesn't have to be as bad as it is. You are just not trying anything new.

    I think most school districts will get away with what they can. This is all states. You have to contact somebody who can tell them they have no choice and who can make sure your kids are not mistreated. Top men on the totem poll is the Dept. of Education. I don't think my autistic son would be half as functional or have as much knowledge if he had not gotten the supports he needed and nobody ever treated him anything but nice. And I had to fight for services just like you. They didn'[t want to do it. My advocate was a pitbull and had taken several school districts to court (on their dime) and won. You need a good, confident advocate.

    Nobody picked on their kids with a court order in place and the DPE watching them.

    Up to you :) Good luck, whatever you decide.