SD response to Legal Advocate letter/requests.....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by buddy, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. buddy

    buddy New Member

    FIRST, let me share this info....I looked it up though I knew the answer having been certified yearly and my friend was an instructor but I wanted to make sure....

    OK now...

    The legal advocate from the disability law center sent a letter to the school district requesting certain things be provided and completed due to the issues that have happened. She attached my letter of concern that I had written regarding the psycho.

    Here is most of their response....
    Dear Ms. (advocate) and Ms. BUDDY

    Thankyou for sharing your concerns...blah blah blah. I suspect many of my responses will be less than satisfactory. While we may not agree completely regarding all of Q's experiences at School, the most important point I want to convey to you both is that I am engaged and committed to working with you on finding a satisfactory placement for Q and a successful school experience.
    (then she went on to address the nine things that were asked for);

    1. relative to (psycho)'s non violent crisis intervention training... He was certified as a trainer in 2000. (HELLO>>>DO THE MATH)

    2. re: supine restraint...when Q VOLUNTARILY went to his knees THE SECOND TIME, Mr sp ed admin asked that he be turned OVER to avoid a prone restraint (FOLKS DONT YOU HAVE TO BE ON YOUR FRONT TO BE TURNED OVER??? THIS HAS BEEN QUESTIONED OVER AND OVER AND FOUR CPI TRAINERS HAVE READ THE REPORT AND THEY ALL SAY THEY ARE LEAVING OUT THAT HE WAS PUSHED TO THE FLOOR AND THAT IS WHY HE HAS THE INJURY AND WHY HIS JOINTS ARE HURTING FROM IT). Mr. psycho and the sub teacher turned Q over, Q was only briefly on his back before being released.

    3. AS for your concerns regarding Mr Psycho and Mr principal, those concerns have been shared with the director of secondary Education and the superintendent. Traioning regarding restraint and the use of PBIS is ongoing in this district. I will direct that the relevant staff at (school) receive additoinal training....

    4. The district agrees to continue to have the independent evaluator work with the team.

    5. Currently Q is receiving 1.5 hours of homebound per day, and it is my understanding that is appropriate given Q;s current needs and outside therapy schedule. The district is willling to offer additional tutoring time to Q. We can certainly reconviene the IEP team if you wish to discuss this further.

    AS for future options for Q. the district will consider the recommendtionas of independent evaluator when they are available. At this time it appears that the SUN program at (school) is best suited option to meet Q';s needs but other alternative could include the following.
    --continued tutoring at (school)
    --Exploration of an out of district placement (ISD the one we are looking at) (NOTE THIS NOTE DOES NOT SAY THE Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) PROGRAM)

    Your final request is for a written apology. While I can certainly say that the district is sorry that the events of XXXX were so distressing to the family, and caused a lack of trust, I also need to say that the satff of (school) felt they did the best they could in an emergency situation. (UMMMMM NO, THERE WAS A PLAN AND IT WAS NOT FOLLOWED SO NOT TRUE, PLUS YOU DID NOT HAVE TRAINED STAFF THERE, DUH) This is not to say that it couldn't be handled differently only that it is easy to second guess the response to emergencies that happen in a mere matter of seconds... (NO FREAKING WAY THAT HAPPENED IN SECONDS...THE REPORT STATES HE HEARD q BLURTING DOWN THE HALL AS HE WAS COMING OUT OF THE OFFICE...HE ALREADY KNEW HE WAS STUCK AND UPSET, COULD HAVE APPROACHED HIM LIKE THE OTHER STAFF DO WITH A COLD WATER AND OFFER TO GO FOR A WALK ETC... ALL IN THE PLAN AND WORKS EVERY TIME). District ### will continue to train and re-train staff on the use of proper restraint procedures. (UMMM A LITTLE LATE FOR US i GUESS)

    Well, obviously I knew they would not admit anything or whatever, but it is still emotionally so infuriating to see that they are not acknowledging they made a HUGE mistake in allowing this guy to have contact with any child who is explosive. He was not trained, had already shown and been reported to not have the right temperament as well as having been aggressive to this kid before. It is just so sad, all of it. I hope they really do train them, but I think if this was me, I would be doing all I could do to better myself. He needs to not work there. Not work with kids who have special needs. Why he is a psychiatric??? I just can't imagine. Probably grew out of his own issues.

    Another day of tears. So glad Q is out with his Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) worker till 8.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Wow, buddy, I felt my blood pressure rising while reading your post. I can completely understand how this was emotionally draining for you and I'm so sorry.

    Sending hugs, thoughts and prayers.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm split in two trying to respond to your post...
    On one side of me is the "I hear you" response... the pressure, the frustration, the need to vent and be heard.

    On the other side is the "so, next we..." response.

    And the two are fighting in my head, so I can't get EITHER response out in a format that makes any sense at all!

    If it's this bad for ME, I can only imagine what it is like for you...

    Have to run (long story), but I will be back... even if it has to be tomorrow.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    A few thoughts... numbers relate to the numbered items in your post above.
    Overall? Remember, they don't DARE do an apology. Their legal crew won't let them - that would be an admission of guilt. Beyond that? Brick by brick, they are building the case against themselves... it just isn't as fast as the rest of us would like. I'm sure your advocate is quite pleased with this particular communication...

    1. They might as well admit this - it will come out in a court case anyway. But... it makes the whole district look bad, not just this person. Obviously, certification isn't something that this SD puts much value on... (oops!)

    2. This adds to the picture that they are trying SO hard to not admit... but, they aren't psychopaths... so, like most of us, they leak bits of highly relevant info, a little at a time. This paragraph alone is quite revealing, but in conjunction with the rest of the evidence? very useful.

    3. I'm guessing the problem is WAY more than an issue with training on restraints... it's a problem with a whole approach toward challenging kids. Statements like this help demonstrate that the problem isn't a rogue principal and school psychiatric... it is the whole SD. Which means... there's no way you can trust a program like SUN in THIS district. (more ammo for your case for specialized placement)

    5. They aren't fighting you on using homebound... and if you can find a way to make use of more of it, they will support that too... or at least, they are on record now with that statement.

    And then they essentially have said that if where you end up wanting to place Q is in this other expensive option... they will support that too...

    The whole "training" thing? Totally wrong track. Yes, there needs to be people in the schools who know how to do the restraints properly... but more than that, there needs to be an approach to handling these kids that is far more logical, far more proactive, far more positive... THAT is the training that is really needed. And nobody at the SD gets that, yet. They might be forced to, by the time you and your team are done with them...!

    I'm guessing the advocate already has the court case building in her head... but won't pull the trigger prematurely.

    Hopefully, Q has some good riding time tomorrow and you get a bit of a break. Maybe you need to go riding too?!
  5. Buglover

    Buglover Member

    Well I don't know the whole story of what happened or understand all of it (how often do they have to get certified?) but I feel so bad for you and your son. He must be pretty distressed on the inside and it hurts to even think about.
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Man...Insane beat me to the punch again. See what I get for having a BUSY day!?! They ARE hanging themselves bit by bit. Let them. Since they are offering more homebound time for now, do you think that would work for now? How is Q doing with homebound being back at the school? Any increased PTSD stuff from him?

    As always {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you both.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This sounds like the same koi I'm getting from this state's Department of Juvenile Justice. Remember that local and state govs will typically back up any local person in their agency. It's all about funding and politics and they have employment safeguards that most of us only dream about. I can only recommend compiling factual documentation, writing a summary of the bad experiences with quotes from laws that state what should have been in place, keeping your emotion out of it as much as possible, and sending it to any fed agency who might be able to effect funding, laws, or do an investigation and step in.

    As you know, I've done that and still haven't heard back from DOJ but I'm planning to move out of this jurisdiction anyway. I don't know if it's feasible for you to move to another sd's jurisdiction that has more staff and programs in place that would help Q but it might be worth a thought.
  8. Rabbit

    Rabbit Member

    As Always Sending Prayers for u and Q. Hugs to u both Rabbit
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Insane said what I was thinking. There simply won't EVER be an apology because that means they were wrong and saying they were wrong means that you can get sanctions for the things they did AND financial compensation, which, in my opinion, should be one goal. NOT just being sent to the program in the area that will help Q but also to have them put $$ into a trust for Q because they abuse him. That would help toward long term financial stability for him.

    The letter DID say that it has been over a decade since Psycho was certified AND he used an uncertified person to do the restraint with him. Our district teaches ALL subs taht they are NEVER to participate in a restraint unless they personally have been trained and certified to use physical restraints. They tell the subs that if you wonder if you have had the training then you have not had it. If you have ANY questions about if you have been certified, then you don't EVER participate in a restraint. You can probably sue the sub personally for participating - in our state you can. You could also sue Psycho personally as well as suing the SD. I am sure your advocate knows all of this and is planning what will help Q the most.

    I am willng to bet that legal would NOT like this letter because it says they will support an out of district program and because it says taht psycho is not currently certified and that sub isn't certified. Of course, if they were certified then giving you a copy of the certificates would not be a big deal, so you already knew they were not cert.

    Either way, they are jerks and that won't change. So don't let them push you into anything, and let your advocate deal with them. They are so stupid and they have cut their nose off to spite ther face and soon they will learn this.
  10. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    This is just bull. Number 4 makes me sick-they agree to continue working with independent evaluator?? Ummmm.they don't have a choice. Frankly-having the substitute assist him under direction makes Mr. psycho totally responsible! As for their on going training district training: most training is optional for teachers and schools unless it is mandated by their positions and the staff is paid to attend (you can imagine why this is rare). So does Mr. Pscho have his 24 hours in? Who was supposed to police these certifications? Who pays for the yearly fees?

    If a whole school or program does not buy into PBIS it is useless. So has Mr. Jerkov (aka principal) committed his staff to PBIS? What will this SD do in the future to prevent this abuse? Unless they mandate some training in schools where special needs kids attend, this could happen again and it could be Q again. They have said nothing, responded with nothing and accomplished nothing. I may have missed it-but you are taking them to court I hope?

    Q's placement is critical and I would get him in another SD (maybe independant one if you like the placements) so that you can persue the lawsuit and he won't suffer retaliation.
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I am told the ed. aids were certified. How stupid they had them take the other kids out of the room and left the non certified people there. Where I worked we were all trained yearly. And our insurance made it clear (along with CPI regulations) that it had to be done yearly or we would be liable so there was no chance that we couldn't be certified. So I have heard directly from a (different) school district what their policies are and I can't imagine that this district isn't in big talks with their legal dept over all of this. Trying now to scramble and get people certified.

    They are not my problem anymore. I am going to fight for Q then once he is settled I will take them on. Both of us are stressed and it makes daily living harder because I am not as patient as I usually am. He is so stressed and anxious that he is pushing the limits and stuck in every thought in his brain. He is actually saying things like I am at my limit, my brain feels like it is going to explode, etc. It is the one reason I might be more willing to let him be in a less than satisfactory program because for him, just like at his old middle school, even when not ideal he is so much more relaxed having a routine that matches his expectations of what his day should look like.

    For the last few days, his obsessive has switched from worry about God to worry about snakes. Asking about every big snake, do we have them in our state? Can they actually eat me? Isn't it creepy when they open their mouths really wide and their eyes look scary? Can I touch them when they are with their owner at a fair? Then they wont bite or eat me. How do they do that? What about the ones that have poison (can you tell we just had this convo a few minutes ago AGAIN??)

    He went outside to play yesterday, I stayed out to make sure things went ok, and they actually went pretty well but at the end of the evening he refused to come in. NEVER got rude with words or aggressive, so there I am torn. HE wont come in but he IS controlling his behavior. He just so badly wanted to be with the others who were out enjoying this beautiful 60 degree MARCH day. But I am hormonal and had given him a much longer time than we originally planned with the agreement that if he did not follow the plan then no more going out this week. So, when he made that choice.... I stayed totally cool and he even came and took his medications at the right time. But when he asked I said, it is fine that you are having a good time, but you made your choice. We are sticking to our agreement. He came in at about 9:30 and by then I had all of the stations re-locked. I had been crying on and off for hours. I know it is hormonal because I woke with two pimples and I never get them unless it is that time. I am definately going to the doctor to see if I can get some relief for this because I am feeling over a totally much lower stress situaiton than the thousands that I typically handle with him, that he needs to live in a residential placement. Obviously it is my mind set that is not right here since I can typically handle dozens of issues way more intense. Partly it is the reality that there is no way I could change his mind any longer (I used to be able to) without force. And so I have to either do what I did and wait him out, which now that he knows the consequences wont make it BETTER next time, it will cause him more anxiety and attempts to get out of it--thru intimidation or whatever--when he gets stuck. I am trying to avoid that by focusing on his skill building.... he has even on h is own said, but I know I didn't follow your directions, did I do better with my words though? I said YES absolutely and for that you WILL get to earn watching your NASCAR race just as we planned. He asked about two other shows and I said for sure those were on the table because he made great choices about taking his medications and not being aggressive with words or actions. I want to focus on that not what he has lost. I feel like our summer this year will look very different. Last year we were with the neighborhood, enjoying everything. This year I fear we will be hermits. so scary. I am not doing that in his best interest maybe...maybe out of my being too stressed to risk him offending people any more. I am hoping I can get a hold of my hormones and settle this school thing, and then I will have the energy and drive to work on the summer social piece again. Would you guys do a do-over or would you stick to your guns???
  12. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I'm fighting a migraine, so this answer may or may not make lots of sense. My very first reaction to all of this is that you need to think long and hard about whether the outcome will be worth the cost not only in terms of money spent but the added emotional stress on you and Q. In a perfect world, I would say go after the district with all you have. This is far from a perfect world...

    I know some people might think I've gone off the edge for saying this. I was one of those people about five years ago. husband and I fought the school district with all we had. While we didn't get what we had hoped, we were thrown additional slices but not enough of the pie. Given the time, expense, emotional cost not only to difficult child 2 but also to husband and I, looking back, we probably could have gotten the same number of slices without having to go to hearing. Yes, don't get me wrong, most hearings come out in favor of the child. We were fighting for ADL's, social skills training, vocational training, and we were one of the first families in our area to do so. Most cases at the time focused solely on appropriate educational settings teaching math, history, etc...

    I would like to think that our case helped pave the way for some of the changes that are slowly being implemented in our area now. If this is the case, while I am extremely glad all of the HE77 we went through might be serving a much larger purpose, it is impossible for me to put into words what the actual experience preparing for and attending the hearing was like.

    Our case dragged on much longer then expected, although it was partly due to the fact husband had a heart attack the day before difficult child 2 was scheduled for another neuropsychologist evaluation, and only several months away from the first (?)/second (?) hearing date. (Some of the details are fuzzy right now, probably blocked lots of stuff out of my mind in order to move forward - Not sure this makes sense!) I thought I was holding together unbelievably well but my body told me otherwise. I've recently learned that some of the physical issues I now suffer from were most likely triggered by extreme, prolonged stress. I'm sure difficult child 2 was affected negatively by all of events/changes surrounding his life even though he never expressed this in words. Instead, we dealt with extreme "melt-downs," behaviors that challenged us daily even though we thought we could handle anything thrown our way after what we went through with difficult child 1.

    If you place Q in what you want to be a temporary setting until you find a more appropriate one, it can be more difficult for you to get him out of that setting later if the school staff shows he is making progress (even if they are outright lying.) on the other hand, it can work in your favor if you can prove he isn't making progress in the temporary setting. Be prepared though - You'll need expert witnesses and they are very, very expensive!! Not sure I'm making sense here!!

    Got to go. easy child/difficult child 2 starts school several hours later then usual this morning, got to get her breakfast and don't want her to see this.

    As always, thinking of you and Q... SFR
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Thanks for taking the time through your headache SFR! What you said does make sense. It is really hard to imagine what could happen ahead of time. I really am trying to do what you are saying. I actually brought up that they could keep data in a way that would show he is fine at this setting (our district) to keep him there. The sp ed director said why would we ever want to do that??? (LOL) I said, well just like what happened at the middle school, to push your agenda. The data that was being collected at first showed that Q was improving until the trained behavior aide left. The day she left the data changed dramatically. THEN when I confronted them with that, they said, OH well we changed the type of data we were collecting. I said, well you put it all on the same was labeled the same thing and there was no mention of that. The behavior sheets say nothing of that. THen meeting after meeting we said we need to collect data that matches what the BIP goal is. (reducing the number of times per day he went to red, increasing the times he was able to switch to green from red/yello. and speeding up the process of switching to green)....but instead they collected WHAT WORDS he was saying, how many times he said each word and our BIP didn't even target those behaivors. When focus was on those then they increased daily. YET they would NOT stop doing it. and if you are counting each word...actually putting tallys as they are being said, then there is no way your energy is on helping him to get to green, you are just enjoying the show and keeping evidence to get him out of your program.

    IN this program they then could do the opposite, they can clearly keep data that shows he is improving and ignore the things that are the issues I am worried about.

    She asked why??? Why would they do that??? UMMM It is all they have, they dont want to pay to have him go somewhere else. They dont want to expand the ideas for programming for him. What a fing stupid question. She looked SHOCKED when I said that, we would NEVER do something like that...

    I just hate these people right now.
  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Sadly the staff at Q's school reminds me way too much of the staff we had to deal with - Totally focused on one thing - Money. I've come to the conclusion that in our case, while I thought the sped directors (we had so many it was like they were playing musical chairs - here one minute, gone the next), adjustment counselor, guidance counselor, some teachers, etc., were stupid at first, I was wrong. They knew exactly what difficult child 2's issues were, they just didn't care. What mattered most was how much giving him a chance to live life successfully as an adult was going to cost them. One of the psychiatrists the sped director insisted do a home assessment, went as far as to say, why bother?, in the long run, the government will take over, providing SSI, housing, etc... I wanted to reach across the table and just choke her!! I hate all of those people you're dealing with right now too!!

    I've often wondered, how can they sleep at night, knowing that a child's future is at risk? What would they do if it was their own children who had the same issues as ours? The worst, most despicable, can't find a strong enough word, person I know is the educational consultant who worked for the school. I really don't think I should go into details here, all I feel comfortable saying is that she worked as an advocate for parents at a non profit organization. It's a small world. When difficult child 2 was about 4, she advised us how to get appropriate school services in the town where we were living at the time. We lost touch with her. Years later, after we moved, and just beginning our fight with the school, we contacted the same non-profit organization again. She was still working there and we were put in touch with her. She met with us, told us how bad the services were in difficult child 2's school, offered suggestions on how she could help, going as far as to give us lists of programs outside our SD that might be appropriate for difficult child 2. We later found out she did contract work for the schools. She helped the school make it's point that difficult child 2 didn't need the type of programming we were going after. in my humble opinion, she is the worst kind of monster there is...

    So sorry you're dealing with all of this... You're doing an excellent job, thoroughly thinking things through, asking the right questions, being the best possible advocate you can be for Q. Some schools play hardball right up to the end. There is always the chance that they'll weigh the total cost of going to hearing against providing appropriate services for Q and decide providing appropriate services is the way to go. Of course appropriate services doesn't mean the best possible services, but appropriate services, while not your first choice, might just be enough to give Q the chance he needs to live a happy, productive life.

    I think I'm rambling a bit too much... I could talk endlessly about this subject. Hang in there... Hugs... SFR