My Son’s School Is Going To Break The Law Everyday Unless I Stop Them

Jacob starts Kindergarten tomorrow. Yesterday I stopped by the school because I still didn’t know if my son was in AM or PM Kindergarten even after calling the school last week (they claimed they didn’t know) and emailing the Principal over a week ago (she later claimed my email went to spam). So the secretary looked it up and told me his classroom and teacher and I said, “okay so that’s a Special Education classroom?”. She told me it was not so when I told her my son was supposed to be in a Special Ed class she went in to consult with the Principal.

So the Principal comes out with her and says that that classroom is his homeroom and he also is in the Special Education classroom. I told her he wasn’t supposed to be in anything but a Special Ed contained classroom and she told me that his classroom was “unable to take attendance” (which makes no sense but whatever) so he would arrive at school, go into the General Education classroom (during the most unstructured time of day), stay for a few minutes and then go to his Special Ed classroom.

To some of you, being in a different room for a few minutes may seem like not that big of a deal. I know I would have thought the same years ago but here’s my problem…. My son has difficulty transitioning and difficulty in unstructured environments with little teacher direction. Putting him in a classroom with no teacher directed activity and kids coming in and wandering around is bound to cause issues. This is the worst time of the day he could be put into this classroom. His day would start off on the wrong foot for him because he has to transition off the bus, transition into the chaotic classroom, transition out of that classroom, and transition into his Special Ed classroom which is a lot of transitions in a 5-10 minute period of time for any kid, but especially one who has difficulties transitioning.

Then there is the fact that they are totally ignoring his IEP which is the biggest problem here. I checked it over again (it was written in the Spring) and like I remembered it says he is only supposed to be in the General Ed setting for PE (with an Aide) and Speech (with his therapist). The IEP is a legally binding agreement so what they are telling me they are going to do every single day is against the law. (Which makes me wonder what else they would do during the course of the day that would violate his IEP…)

So at this point I’m frustrated and ready for a fight today. I plan to reach out to the School District but that is not something I should have to do. The school should put my children’s needs first but they don’t. What is sad is that for every parent fighting the schools, I imagine there are so many others that don’t stand up and say anything because they don’t realize the school is trying to pull a fast one on them.

Have you ever had difficulties with your child’s school following the IEP? How did you handle it?


8 thoughts on “My Son’s School Is Going To Break The Law Everyday Unless I Stop Them”

  1. I had so many problems when my daughter was in school that I ended up taking her out and home schooling her. I am not sure that was the best thing to do but as a mom its what I felt I needed to do. Fight for your son what they are doing is wrong. If my daughter was still here I would fight for her all over again. I know have a son entering kindergarten and I am not sure I even want him in public school.

  2. So sorry that you are having to deal with this. We just got an IEP at the end of last year after many battles with a useless 504 Plan. As a teacher and parent, I have learned that the words “Non-Compliance” are magical and make the schools squirm. If the principal is not listening, perhaps it is time to talk to the CSE chairperson to let them know. Remind them of the IEP and how this can completely turn your child’s day around. This is our first year with an IEP and I am cautiously optimistic. Of course, we will know more in September when we see how everyone follows the plan. Good luck and be strong, you know you are your son’s best advocate.

  3. My grandson is in Special Ed. and he started out in regular K5 with a lot of problems. We fought throughout the school year to get him into special ed. It took until the end of the year, but it got done. He’s now going into the 4th grade special ed. We haven’t had anymore problems, but I jnow where you’re coming from. Good luck.

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  5. OMG Alicia. This makes me so upset.

    I am a veteran with this kind of thing – having been through the special ed and advocating for many through my years of education.

    I have little doubt they are doing this to foil an attendance/staffing mandate. This way they can say only five students (for example) were marked into Mrs. Special Ed Teacher’s classroom (assume in this example five students is the max allowed).

    I’d ask what the student/teacher ratio is in the special ed and see if it meets the law. Start there and document, document, document. Every phone call, who you spoke to and what they said. Get yourself a big binder. It’s gonna be a long haul through his school career.

    Wrightslaw should become your new best friend. ( There’s a plethora of info there.

    Write more than calling, and when you call – follow it up in writing (i.e. “Thanks for your time today on the phone. As we agreed, Billy will be ____, and I appreciate you doing that effective tomorrow.”)

    If they are not going to budge until you jump through a few more hoops, I’d go into the class with my child until they had successfully transitioned into the spec ed class. I’d be there to help him. It is always your right to be in the class with him (any parents – not just spec ed). If you meet any resistance, have that written in the IEP. Often, parents don’t have enough written into the IEP. If there’s any gray area, it’s likely the school will exploit it.

    If they won’t be reasonable with you and do what they are supposed to do by law, call another IEP meeting. You can do this at any time. I would not ever have an IEP w/o the principal in attendance. I also taped each one. There’s a way you have to do this, though. You say something along these lines: “The amount of info we cover in these meetings is often a whole lot for me to digest and process so quickly. You wouldn’t mind if I just taped this so when I’m home I can go over it to understand completely what your assessments and suggestions were, would you?” *Remember, they legally can not refuse. They will likely at that point tape it too, to cover their butts.

    Please let me know if there’s any other info or support I can offer.

    Your post has me upset, too.

    • Excellent Advice! Couple of follow-up questions.

      1) Does the school your son is attending have an actual separate (segregated) special ed classroom or is it strictly a resource room (meaning children are in and out all day as they need help)?

      2) If no full-time special ed classroom, are you prepared for your child to attend a different school?

      With that said, it may be your son’s school has faced more parents of children with special needs that demand/request their child be included rather than excluded from the mainstream classroom and students and therefore attempt to include all children first. However, if your son’s LRE (least restrictive environment) is a segregated classroom then that is where he needs to be. If however, he could handle being in a regular classroom with the proper supports (that is the key) then that is where he needs to be. One thing that went through my mind when I read your post was this mom wanted her son in his “home school” not the school the district usually sends “kids like this” and instead of following the IEP exactly as written they are going to follow the normal pattern using a resource room. (I found in our district the special ed resource rooms were never ready the 1st week of school and my son ended up spending that 1st week in the regular ed homeroom, which really wasn’t an issue for him except that once the regular ed teacher had a routine worked out the special ed teacher was usually ready for him in his/her classroom in the morning and he rather go play/hang-out there than stay in the regular ed classroom where he had a “job” to do.) BTW, my son just graduated this year with a modified diploma. He had one more year of eligibility but we chose to let it go due to the district not having what he needed in place and not being up to battling the district and my son to make sure he got it.


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