This is going to be short, but I really have to share.
With approval from the main office and support of the PTA my neighborhood elementary school was going to let me rent space for ONE hour to have a meeting for parents and professionals. Titled …”Back to School Coping Skills”.
The flyer read…..
BACK to SCHOOL coping skills for parents, teachers, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Resources Teachers and related support professionals!!
- How to spot academic issues early.
- How to request services.
- What to ask for and when–
- if you think your child is having concerns.
- What is an Occupational Therapy Evaluation?
- What is psychological how are the 2 different?
- AND THE BASICS
- Handwriting matters–the answer why it does.
- Homework strategies.
- Behavior–it’s not just about the kids.
- Sometimes you need to talk to the teacher–
- how to handle that.
- Report card responses–the child and you.
- And more……………..
What this principal took offense to was “the list of topics”. To quote, “…I do not want someone in speaking at my school telling parents information that is not approved by the county.” In other words parents should not get information that can help them help their children.
I was floored!! Not wanting parents to have information is a contradiction to the Parental Rights each school is obligated to share with any parent who asks, and must be shared at all IEP Meetings.
Of course it is in size “5” font and is in a trifold brochure, and at the moment a parent is handed “their rights” leaves little to no time to read them.
Not all parents have sat on the other “side” of the table like I have, professionally. So when it came time to advocate for my own children I knew what to do. But still I was intimidated. Are these people going to be mean if I push the issues? ETC.
But when I was told to “just trust them” I flipped off the fear and said ..”that in 10 years I will not remember their names but in 10 years I will still know my child. So trust aside, let’s get to the purpose of this meeting which is to create a happy and successful learner!”
So it is threatening to give this information to families??
Parents, BEFORE you have an IEP, 504 or any meeting with your child’s school READ your parental rights in advance. http://www.parentalrights.org is a good place to start, and also look them up for your specific state.
Has protection of educational domain replaced the mission of education? At least it seems at my local elementary school it has.
The law is on the side of the child and the parent–invoking it appears to be at the discretion of the principals, take back the power you were given no one will protect your child like you will.