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Schools Say the Darnedest (Craziest, Meanest, Most Ridiculous...) Things!

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confused boy scratching his headWe received two emails today -

  • one from a parent who requested providers sign a service log - the school refused. The principal told her that by law they don't have to sign off on services. Of course, there isn't any law about signing a services log.
  • then, an email where the school is stonewalling and refusing to provide records. School refuses to confirm whether or not they took any witness statements, will only say the matter has been turned over to HR.

Why can't schools just provide the information a parent needs?

Obstructionism, lying about what we don't have to do, certainly gives us a unique view of what so many schools are like.

Mark Hendrickson said it well in the WP when, remembering Art Linkletter, he wrote about people in high places who say dumb things.

"…adults say the darnedest things, too. Sometimes they give us a window into their egos or their ignorance. Sometimes their comments contain important truths. Other times, they don’t even make sense."

Can you make sense of these?

1. When we moved to another state, we met to review the IEP from our previous school...

Well, we don't write IEPs here, maybe you would like a 504 instead?

2. When I said the IEP goals were not realistic…

The principal rolled his eyes and said, "He should be able to do this. It's just not that hard."

3. When I was concerned about my daughter's reading level and requested an evaluation…

We can tell that your daughter has something going on, but she isn't delayed enough for us to evaluate her.

4. When questioning the lack of progress toward social skills goals…

We know your son has Aspergers syndrome, but we are just NOT equipped to handle his needs.

5. When I asked to speak with the speech therapist about my son's goals that were recently changed…

They are OUR contractors focusing on OUR goals.

6. After 10 ARD meetings and still no appropriate program developed, when I asked for an aide...

While we are totally out of ideas to help your daughter, we are not ready to go that route yet.

7. When I voiced my concerns about keeping my son's IEP confidential…

We didn't know it was against Federal law to give the kids a copy of their IEP to carry around or that distribution of their confidential files required prior parental consent.

8. At the MDR, I asked to review the Behavior Support Plan (BSP) to ensure it was appropriate, the general ed teacher says…

No, I don't follow the BSP … I'm too busy and frankly, it's not my job.

9. When asked to sign a form indicating that I had received advanced notice of the meeting by mail, I refused. I had not received any notice…

Oh you can sign the form, that's just semantics.

10. When I requested that we initiate the IEP process for my 3rd grade daughter…

She's not retarded. And if we label her as special Ed that stigma will stick with her through her life.

11. When changing to a new school, we met with the school to discuss implementing the current IEP…

We know he has an IEP. But, we don't really want kids like him here. We are not a Title 1 school, so we can say this.

12. When concerned about symptoms of autism, no eye contact, repeating everything, obsessively lining up things, the school psych says…

The kid isn't autistic, he is Chinese. It's a Chinese thing.

13. When my son's grades started to drop in middle school, he forgot to do homework, couldn't seem to follow directions, had difficulty reading his textbooks, I asked if he could possibly have ADHD or a NLD…

There's no such thing as Non-verbal Learning Disorder.

14. When I asked the school why they are not teaching my 4th grade child to read…

We can't teach your child to read because it's not in his IEP.

15. My daughter is very smart, but she is failing 4 classes. When I asked if she was eligible for special instruction…

Your child’s emotional disturbance is interfering with her academic performance, so she doesn’t qualify for an IEP.

16. Many of my child's needs are not addressed in the IEP. When I asked for goals to meet these needs…

We don't want too many rules to follow. It becomes too hard to remember.

17. My child was diagnosed with autism and is having difficulty with his school work. His behavior at school is changing…

He's not autistic at school, we don't see him flap his hands. Your child does not have disabilities at school.

18. After a long IEP meeting, we had not finished and I still had questions. My child's teacher asked...

Can you go ahead and sign this IEP, it is after 4 and I need to go. I am sorry, my day ends at 4.

19. While discussing age of majority, we informed the team that our child would be executing Power of Attorney so that we could still navigate educational services. We were told by the school district's attorney...

Power of Attorney is not recognized by the school district as a legal document.

20. When writing IEP goals with the team (as if we could all run a 5K if we set the finish line at 12 feet), the school said...

We like to make the goals flexible, so the child can meet them.

21. We asked the school what method of assessment they would use for my child...

Oh, it's just a blank we have to fill in with 2 things, but we can use whatever we want.

22. Our son is gifted but struggling in school, we were concerned that he might be a "twice-exceptional" child. When we asked the school if he could possibly have a learning disability...

I’m sorry, your child can be gifted or he can be LD. It’s against district policy to be both.

23. When we asked the school for ESY services this summer they replied...

"You won't want ESY - it's not very good."

We appreciate our readers who posted the experiences above on our Wrightslaw FB page.

Find a little more humor on The Lighter Side of Special Education.

 

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