Special eduation nightmare

Discussion in 'General Education' started by wldywall, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    34

    Feb 27, 2016

    So this horrible situation that I am in has gotten worse. First it started with a student that had an IEP with an ohter health impairment, but no doctors note showing he had a health impairment at all. They just gave him services, I find it and try to fix it per state law. The district refused to pay for the doctors appointment as the state said they should. Now the kid is up for expulsion due to sexual harrassment of another teacher. However the state and ISD has said he cannot be expelled due to the missing doctors note. I have been told I have to be at the expulsion hearing, and I must be ready to present the disctricts case for expulsion to the board. I cannot break the law and ask for an expulsion that we cannot have (we must first pay for the doctors appointment).

    So how would you handle it?

    (and yes I have an attorney who has been helping me navigate this mess, but I need to hear from fellow teachers how you would proceed.)

    Thanks
     
  2.  
  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,294
    Likes Received:
    760

    Feb 27, 2016

    If you do what is right, you can hold your head high and sleep at night. That's easier said than done when dealing with realities of jobs and other people's expectations.

    But I prefer having a clear conscience. Hugs to you. I don't envy your position and admire you for taking the high road in your dealings with this outrageous district.
     
    dgpiaffeteach and bella84 like this.
  4. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    2,253

    Feb 28, 2016

    What a horrible situation. This won't be the last of the mess for you since the district is so out of compliance on many things.

    I'm confused. The ISD says he can't be expelled because there is no note. If the district wants you to be prepared to present the case to the board, it seems straight forward since you said that the district said he can't be expelled. Do you have documentation of that position? That would change what I would do.

    Barring documentation, I would present the incident and that he has an IEP. I would be so vague that the board would have to ask questions which I would have to answer truthfully. If I had documentation, based on what my lawyer said, I would either address this with the district ahead of time indicating that you will not lie or omit documented information in order to present a case for expulsion or I would include the documentation from the district in my presentation citing incomplete information about the student to prove that the action was not caused because of his disability and without such information a determination can't be made.

    But as I said, all of this depends on what my lawyer was saying. However, I would not lie under any circumstance.
     
  5. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    34

    Feb 28, 2016

    I have documentation as to what the ISD has told me to do. I can prove what I am supposed to have done, whata I have tried to do and what the district has not done. I will be informing the principal tomorrow that I have reported the district for non compliance, therefore fully protecting myself under the whistleblowers act. However, I am required to go to the expulsion hearing. Even if my boss hasn't gone on leave yet, I am still expected to be there. So even if I don't present, I will be there. If I am not presenting, do I tell the board that the kid cannot be expelled or keep my mouth shut?

    I just want to leave this disctrict with my repuation intact and able to be employed elsewhere. I am tired of the stress.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,680
    Likes Received:
    1,743

    Feb 28, 2016

    Be honest and forthright. There is documentation showing and ongoing mishandling of IEP paperwork. This mishandling is something you've been dealing with for months. Unfortunately, it is probably going to result in this student's remaining at a school where he is a menace. This is not your fault. Being less than open about this could be construed as complicity after the fact. Let's get you through this year in one piece and into a better situation.
     
    wldywall likes this.
  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    1,971

    Feb 28, 2016

    I'd love to tell you to throw your district under the bus but I don't know what that would look like legally.

    Put the law first here.
     
    wldywall likes this.
  8. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    34

    Feb 28, 2016

    Backroads and Catnfiddle,

    I have already turned them into the state. An audit has begun. They even gave me a chance to fix the tiny stuff I did wrong (I still hate tiny boxes, I miss check them all the time).

    I also already know what the state is going to do, it will be devestating to the district. At this point I just wanted to know how to handle the situation with the expulsion hearing. Do I interrupt the boss if she is there and she is lying to the board? I don't feel right allowing him to be expelled on false information. He had a behavior plan that none of the staff were given, then they claimed in the manifestation hearing that the teachers followed it...just because I made sure he had his point sheets (one tiny part of a two page behavior plan).

    More than anything, do not want a record out there that I was anything but forthright and honest and above board at all times while working for this district.

    This school was started by a very powerful man, and I need to be sure that I am in a place where I am going to leave at the end of the year protected. Otherwise my career is over.

    Funny thing is, I told them in the interview that I left a district earlier this year because they refused to follow special education law (a 9 year old in the same class with a 16 year old, and 19 school schedules in three weeks...ugh) and they told me that is what won me the job, the fact that I respect IDEA and want to follow the law. Then I find this mess, what the heck did they think I was going to do?
     
    Upsadaisy likes this.
  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    1,971

    Feb 28, 2016

    I would speak out against lies, if your lawyer supports.
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    887

    Feb 28, 2016

    Answer questions directed to you truthfully and honestly, and whenever possible, with supporting documentation in hand. I personally wouldn't speak unless spoken to, or unless your own reputation is put into question. Treat it like a legal proceeding. You wouldn't walk into a courtroom and call a witness a liar while they are on the stand. Same situation here.

    Truthfully, I don't understand why having the letter would make a difference in this case. You're over-servicing the student, not under-servicing, and in a manifest review situation, you'd look at the current IEP. The letter from a doctor seems like an issue for a special education due process, not expulsion proceedings. I also don't understand why the school would be expected to pay for a doctor's appointment in any circumstance.

    Side note, if you haven't turned in your resignation yet for the end of the school year, you should probably go ahead and do that. Whistleblower laws or not, I'd expect the district to do everything possible to blackball you, and that's harder if you've already officially resigned.
     
    Caesar753 and Backroads like this.
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,601
    Likes Received:
    2,711

    Feb 29, 2016

    I will admit that I am quite confused by this situation.

    I think that you should seek advice from the attorney who is assisting you. He or she is much more adept at navigating these waters and can offer much more helpful advice.

    I personally wouldn't jump in and interrupt anyone at a hearing, even if I thought that the person was lying. That's not how these things work, and it's up to the governing board or whoever is in charge to ask the right questions of the right people and sort out the truth.
     
    wldywall likes this.
  12. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    34

    Feb 29, 2016

    I should clarify, I believe I will either be required to present the districts case as I have been expected to in the past or as the SPED teacher be directly questioned by the board, as they have done in the past. I would never interrupt, they will ask me, and in that case I won't lie.

    The state is requierd to pay via my state law. I have the statue, the law is clear, if the only think keeping a kid from recieving services is a missing doctors note, the onus is on the district to make sure that note is procured to include paying for the appointment. As mom does not have insurance, we need to pay.

    Not sure any of this matters, I have been ordered to appear before the SPED director and the head of HR tomorrow for a meeting about my conerns with the SPED department (I sent official notice that I turned them into the state today, so I would be covered under whistleblower, an hour and a half later, I am called to HR). My lawyer will be there, as I believe they will try to fire me. We will argue to keep me till last day of school and I will leave on my own, and they can't black ball me.

    In a week, week and a half the full audit happens as will the "compensotry education action" (ie fines)
     
  13. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,763
    Likes Received:
    1,718

    Feb 29, 2016

    I have been following this saga and I'm so sorry for all this stuff being thrown at you. Good luck with your meeting and I know you will leave that room with your head held high and your moral values intact.
     
    Backroads and wldywall like this.
  14. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    2,253

    Mar 1, 2016

    Thinking about you today. I hope the meeting went well.
     
  15. Kippers

    Kippers Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    15

    Mar 1, 2016

    Forgive me for not understanding this. I am a special education teacher and it sounds like I must be in another state. But SPED laws are based on federal requirements, so we should be similar.

    No doctor's note is necessarily required for OHI, is it? For example, no school psychologist has certification to determine if a child is eligible to be diagnosed as ADHD, but we can say that a child's extreme inattentive behaviors are negatively impacting a child's ability to learn in a large general education setting, and a child can qualify as OHI. I'm guessing that this might be a more extreme mental health issue that might qualify as emotional disturbance or ED?

    We have a Manifestation Determination meeting after a child has been suspended for 10 days due to behaviors, where it is discussed and documented if behaviors are a direct result of the child's disability. I'm guessing you went past Manifestation Determination and straight into expulsion that followed district's code of conduct.

    If the child is receiving services, as per the IEP, and the team has met and documented meetings regarding escalating behaviors, an a behavior plan or at least a goal was implemented (with documentation proving this), then appropriate steps were likely followed. Situations like this in our district are usually handled and directed by program specialists- it is their job to make sure that the district does not go to due process, etc. because of lack of follow-through or protocol. Plus, it is extremely expensive for the district.

    I would feel bad for any child facing expulsion who has special needs. But expulsion is a consequence for choices that student made, provided that student is capable of making a determination of a good or bad choice, etc. Expulsion doesn't mean the end of education, but a removal to an alternative program. Sometimes alternative high schools are a safe haven for our out of the box kids.

    Again, please forgive me if I missed a bunch of this. I do remember earlier posts with noncompliant general education teachers. It sounds like a hot mess.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    2,253

    Mar 2, 2016

    This is the federal law:
    '“(34 CFR 300.8(c)(9))
    (9) Other health impairment means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that--

    (i) Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and
    (ii) Adversely affects a child's educational performance. '

    Only a medical doctor or a psychiatrist can diagnose a health problem. A school psychologist can not. Note that the federal law says AND and not OR.
     
    wldywall and Backroads like this.
  17. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,934
    Likes Received:
    1,923

    Mar 2, 2016

    Many timeline and other requirements vary from state-to-state. Although we're all operating under the same federal law, the law gives some leeway for states to make some of their own decisions, which I'm struggling to accept having recently moved between two states. What's true in one state may or may not be true in another.

    My experience is that a doctor's note identifying a medical diagnosis IS required for OHI.
     
  18. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    887

    Mar 2, 2016

    But since parents and the school signed off on eligibility, that seems like it would be irrelevant in this particular situation. The district in this case is actually overservicing the student, not underservicing. At least in Virginia, revocation of eligibility requires a parent signature (I just went through a speech-only triennial process where we found the student ineligible, but will remain on a stay-put IEP until parents give consent for another status); whether the student should have been found eligible in the first place is a separate issue.
     
  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,934
    Likes Received:
    1,923

    Mar 2, 2016

    TBH, I'm a little confused about this particular situation. I was just replying to the comment that I bolded in my response, the one about everyone operating under the same federal law.

    In response your post, I'll add that this appears to be one way that states differ. In my current state, a signature is also required. Not the case with my last state. The team made the decision. The parent could disagree. But they did not have to give consent for anything other than evaluation/re-evaluation and initial services. If they signed anything other than those two documents, it was just to state that they were in attendance, not that they agreed, or that they were waiving 10 days before implementation of new services. After 10 days, it didn't matter whether they had signed or not, unless it was for initial services.
     
  20. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    34

    Mar 4, 2016

    Now that the hearing is over and I have told the school I have reported them to the state, I can give more information.

    This student was deemed to be eligible for special education last year January, when it was determined it would be OHI (other health impairment) as the qualification the decision was made by my boss to provide services THEN ask mom to take the kid to the doctor to get the diagnosis. This was based upon the reasonable belief he has ADHD due to a screening done at his qualification and at a previous school. Mom was unable to even get him into a family doctor as her insurance changed and every local doctor that accepted her form of Medicaid was not taking new patients. She told the school this several months later, to which my boss said, no worries we will keep providing services without a full eligibility. Forward to this year, when I was doing his renewal IEP in our computer system I realized I didn't know which qualifier for OHI he had, so I looked at his eligibility document. Then I realized it had never been finalized and that he was ineligible. I said oh crap, and went straight to my boss who told me, no it is okay, just do the renewal IEP and provide services and we will remind mom again to get the note. So I called the ISD, knowing my boss had given me bad information.

    The ISD was clear, we had to provide help getting an appointment, help with transportation and if necessary pay for the appointment. So I did just that I made an appointment was was able, due to it being part of an IEP process to get around the needing a referral... a hurdle mom could not get past on her own. The school then refused to pay for it when it learned mom's insurance had lapsed. I once again called the ISD for guidance, they told me that was not an option we HAD to pay for it now. So I immediately hung up and went to talk to my boss who told me she just hung up with the exact same person at the ISD who had told her to help mom get insurance in place and keep providing services. So I finished that meeting and called the ISD back and asked her point blank had they talked to my boos recently. They went on the record they hadn't talked to her since the fall.

    This is when I knew I was the middle of a mess and started to look at all the documents with a close eye, then I found many many many more problems.

    So fast forward to the manifestation, I was told because my boss never gave the behavior plan to teachers (his behavior goal was to follow his behavior plan) that we didn't follow the IEP therefore it HAD to be a manifestation of his disability. In the meeting, we found it was NOT. Fast forward to the expulsion hearing last night (which I recorded), which should not have been held per the ISD until the doctors note was obtained, the student was expelled. AFTER my boss answered there was NO IEP.

    Yes, please be confused, because how can a mess get this bad. But I took all of your advice and said nothing, as I was asked nothing. The ISD thanks you and says now that the audit has begun it will help sink the school.

    BTW they tried to fire me on Weds, but I brought my attorney....that meeting very quickly turned into "lets talk about your concerns" which my boss twisted all around to make it seem like I was crazy, misinformed and if I had just communicated better there would have been no concerns. Needless to say my attorney didn't buy it.

    I need more wine than is healthy. But thanks for the advice to keep quiet, it made for a much better recording. :D
     
    a2z likes this.
  21. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    34

    Mar 4, 2016


    This is exactly the section of law the ISD sent to me to back up why we needed the note. They also included another portion that said the responsibility is on the district to provide the appointment if necessary.
     
    a2z likes this.
  22. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    1,971

    Mar 4, 2016

    I'm kind of hoping your boss gets fired. Yikes.

    I also feel rather bad for this family.
     
    a2z likes this.
  23. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    2,253

    Mar 5, 2016

    Hugs to you. By keeping quiet at the school board meeting you allowed the district to sink themselves.

    It is very unfortunate that there are some administrators and teachers who feel they are above the law. It is also unfortunate how many fail to understand the laws that schools and teachers are required to follow. It is even more sad when those who know the law and see people breaking those laws sitting quietly.

    You allowed, rightly, the district to take this full circle and produce easily demonstrable harm to the student which is often a huge barrier to getting problems corrected. Hopefully the state will step in immediately and get this student and family the help he deserves and bring the full weight of the law down on them.

    I understand all of it and with what I have seen and heard, every bit is believable. It truly is amazing the ignorance and the purposeful lying that is out there within schools.
     
    Upsadaisy likes this.
  24. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    2,253

    Mar 5, 2016

    I do too. Sadly, this isn't an isolated occurrence.
     
  25. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,680
    Likes Received:
    1,743

    Mar 5, 2016

    That poor mother must be losing her mind right now. NONE of this is your fault, and you did an admirable job trying to help her and her son. By coming forward, you're probably helping dozens of other children in the future.
     
    wldywall and Backroads like this.
  26. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    1,971

    Mar 5, 2016

    Certainly she was trusting the school to have ducks in a row. She has no doubt been lied to as well.
     
    wldywall likes this.
  27. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    34

    Mar 5, 2016

    Yes, she was so very upset at the expulsion hearing that she said unkind things to the teacher who got the email, but I understood where it was coming from. I knew, and she said in the hearing, that she was upset at being told by me that the school was to pay for the evaluation and the school calling her and saying it was her fault it wasn't done. Is this mother a bit to deal with? Yes, but I get her issue. She doesn't want her son called disabled, when she hears that word she hears wheelchair, full time care, not learning disabled. She wanted us to use learning differences, which is accurate and no problem for me to use. If we had just stopped saying disablity every two seconds at the manifestation hearing the mom would not have gotten so upset.

    Anyway, this isn't the only problem I found, only the most convoluted. There have been students who got services who have never had IEPs, students with IEPs that got forgotten about, students that are getting too much time, not enough time, and one elementary kid who had an IEP and service hours but no goals. There is more, so very much more.

    For now I am biding my time, I have to stay till the end of the school year because there are no other jobs. So I fight to keep the one I have and then I will walk away from this sinking ship with my roll of duct tape intact. I am not wasting it on them trying to patch holes.
     
    Backroads likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 358 (members: 1, guests: 339, robots: 18)
test