Friday, January 18, 2008


I am so disappointed in our state department of education. I was told today that unless there was a court case, there would be no "written policy" for use of a seclusion room, and that it was up to the district to come up with a policy of use. They don't have to come up with a policy, they just should. I was told that the only thing a school has to comply with is the building code policy, such as what type of doors can be used. However, our department of mental health has a policy for the use of time outs and restraints, with statements such as:

Each department mental retardation facility and regional center shall have written
policies for the use of restraints and time out procedures, which may prescribe more
but not less stringent requirement for their use than those provided in this DOR.
Facility policies are subject to review by central office.

Of course the statement I kept getting from our department of education: "Not that I'm aware of."

I don't even know where to begin as far as looking into various laws.

It just seems wrong that a school can have every other policy on discipline, from detention to expulsion, but not one about putting kids in a padded cell? I read them all, and nothing.

Behavioral Expectations
Firearms and Weapons in school
Random Drug Testing
Student Participation in Secret Organization and Gangs
Enrollment or Return Following Suspension and/or Expulsion
Student Discipline Hearings
Discipline of Students with Disabilities
Reporting of Violent Behavior

And I'm not even going to get into what he told me about the education department's "view" on outside consultants observing a student in the classroom.

OK, maybe a little...

I explained how we are getting Notice of Action refused documents stating that is "district practice" not to allow outside consultants to observe special education students at the request of their parents. Not a written policy mind you, but a "district practice." And there are as many stories as to why this practice suddenly exists as there are exceptions to the practice.

The state guy told me they feel the school would need permission from every parent in the classroom. Oh. Come. On. There are people that aren't school employees in that school every fricking minute of the stinking day. If you send your kids to public school--gasp--people are going to see them and know they--bigger gasp--go to school there. They might their names! Because, well, people notice things.

But does that matter to an observer who has permission to specifically take data on a specific child? No. Nor does it matter to Mrs. Volunteer who told Mrs. Busybody that little Johnny Sometimesbehavesbadly threatened sweet Dottie Dogood with a pencil (even though little Johnny was just giving her the pencil, but that didn't stop Mrs. Busybody from telling Mr. Wasn'tlooking and Johnny subsequently getting thrown in the seclusion room for bad behavior).

And don't play the safety issue either. If a licensed, trained consultant has a background check and observes a child with parental and school permission at a scheduled time, and is not even interacting with the children, they are way less of a risk than your average volunteer.

Why should I have to go to Due Process to prove this when it is so so obvious as to why it is not a written policy? I'm telling everyone I know to invoke their right to an independent evaluation. Dang it.

Whew. I am fired up. Needed to get it out now. Deep breath. And... break!


Casdok said...

Im not at all surorised you are all fired up.

Stimey said...

I am also not surprised that you are all fired up. Aren't they supposed to be working with us to make sure our kids get what they need?