IEP Special Education Ire San Jose
Or Yes They Are Trying to Tick You Off
Many school districts meet in good faith, working to support our children’s educational needs. Others do not, and they are the subject of this article. There can be many causes. These include power, budgeting, concerns on how including disabled students will impact their test scores (we are talking about you, Cupertino), or incompetence. Some schools do not give our students what they need or are entitled to receive. A few are either actively aggressive or passively aggressive.
Special Education Regulations
These are something anyone can learn, given enough time and interest. There are many websites available including California Department of Education, California Ed Codes, American with Disabilities Act, and Wrightslaw. Many of our parents know a lot about the special education rules and regulations.This is a key part of the IEP process.
The Human Factor
People and their feelings are part of the IEP process. What we have noticed is when things begin to break down, some schools act in ways that seem calculated to upset and frustrate parents. Some even go far enough that it seems pretty clear they are deliberately ticking off parents.
While sometimes it may be inadvertent, other times it is a deliberate tactic. If you are upset or off balance, you are often thinking as clearly as when you are calm. The school and you are talking about YOUR child. Who is more deeply invested? Who lives with the long-term consequences? You, of course. These discussions are more deeply personal and important to you.
Susie and Leigh still see agencies behaving outrageously, and then deliberately using tactics designed solely to throw us off-center. It is awful, and it is common. If you allow yourself to react righteously, they suddenly develop the vapors and accuse you of being “hostile.”
Agencies that behave this way then can and will use this against you moving forward. If, for some reason, your case ends up in court, it will weaken your and your child’s case if they can paint you as irrational, emotional, or unreasonable. Do not give them this leverage.
What Should I Do?
Do what you need to do to process. Do NOT do it in front of anyone from the agency. Write them an email while being very careful not to send it. Do not put an address in the sender line. Write it all out in a word processing document. Talk to a friend or the child’s other parent and vent. Do whatever relieves stress for you. Besides being business partners, Leigh and Susie have often been on the end of calls from each other on this very topic.
Friends outside of the disability community have asked us how we avoid slugging someone or worse. We do it because our love for our children means we HAVE to take the high road, even if we would much rather not.
As parents, we understand, As experienced and trained advocates, we can help.
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