Monday, October 11, 2010

Parents share Special Ed frustrations

Now that the outrageous and vicious conduct of Jenks and Broken Arrow school board members has put Lindsey's Law back in the headlines, the bill's principal author is starting to hear more and more from parents. State Rep. Jason Nelson is posting some of their comments on his blog. One parent writes:
As a parent of a special needs child I am supportive of HB3393. I do think that optimally public schools should be supporting our special needs children but from experience I can tell you that it is a struggle to get services. I did express my concerns to my school board rep in Union and from the response I got it sounds like they will be joining other areas districts in 'ignoring' the law. It did seem to me that a good portion of the response that I received was drafted by attorney(s) that are evidently advising the board.

Another parent writes:

I have now seen firsthand exactly what your campaign for HB 3393 is all about. … I was never aware of how serious these issues are for our delayed or special needs child until we had a son born with mild cerebral palsy. Since then I've sought out families across Oklahoma to learn more about their struggles with assistance for their children. What I've heard has been very sad.

At three and a half years of age now, our son … has only attended public school here … for the past 6 months. It has truly been a disappointment and a very sad state of affairs to see how these children are victims of bureaucratic policies that would prefer to see kids wait until a "later date" to really address problems. Please believe me when I say that I could go on and one about what really happens in the public school setting at IEP meetings, and what does not happen in the classroom that should. The same people that claim how critical it is to get these therapies (OT, PT, and speech therapy) at the earliest stages of brain development are some of the same people that want to deny the children many of these "life" critical foundation therapies. My eyes have only been opened by parents of other children who are already years down the road in this's very sad.

It seems that the only way to get the school systems attention frequently is to mention due process... very unfortunate and wrong. … We're much too smart and educated in this country to let our children wither this way.

And my personal favorite:

Dear Mr. Nelson, 
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The statements you made regarding Jenks and Broken Arrow in the Tulsa World today are 100% correct! People in Tulsa and Jenks are too afraid to publicly speak out against Jenks and their treatment of the special education students!

Jenks is currently being audited by the Office of Civil Rights for violating ADA laws and a list of Special Education Laws that they are in noncompliance. ...

Jenks also has a reputation for interpreting the law so that they don’t have to offer services and/or water the services down so it is very minimal. They also are in violation of offering the same services to all students rather than individualized as required by law. 
Jenks spends an unbelievable amount of money to keep the law firm on retainer because Jenks does not follow the law. I wonder what the public would say if they knew how much of our schools tax dollars went to pay the law firm? If the taxpayers had a say in whether that money went to the law firm or the general education fund I know they would say the money should go to our kids! It is disgusting how much money the law firm gets.

It is ridiculous that Jenks insists that they educate and care about their special education kids. Since we [have been in Jenks] my [child] has regressed two years. They have such low expectations and do very little to increase their intelligence and more to teach the kids "life skills."

Please don’t let up on them! No matter how intimidating they are and the law firm is ... Jenks thinks they are God and above the law and everyone else in this town and so many people and businesses cower down to them all the time. They have the attorneys scare everyone. Everyone knows this but no one has successfully been able to do anything about it. THANK YOU!

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