Do you have a child with autism who has just started receiving special education services? Has your child with dyslexia been receiving services for several years, but you feel that they are not making academic progress? Have your been frustrated over the fact that your school district is refusing to listen to your input on what you think your child needs, to benefit from their education? This article will be discussing two different court cases on parental rights, and how to use these ruling’s to get parental rights that you are entitled to!
I hear from parents all the time that are frustrated because their school district is refusing to allow them to have meaningful participation, in determining what special education services and placement their child needs.
There have been many Court decisions about parental rights and you can probably find them through a search engine such as google.
In a couple of the cases the court held that in order to fulfill the goal of parental participation in the IEP process, the school district was required to conduct, not just an IEP meeting, but a meaningful IEP meeting,
They also found that parents have a significant role in ensuring that their child receives a free appropriate public education, concerns that parents have for enhancing their child’s education must be considered by the team, and that IDEA grants parents independent enforceable rights.
These rights which are not limited to certain procedural and reimbursement related matters, encompass the entitlement to a free appropriate public education for the parent’s child. In other words the rights that IDEA gives parents are found to encompass not only procedural but also substantive rights.
So how do you use these court rulings to help you get your parental rights:
1. If special education personnel in your district are not allowing you to give input on your child’s education and services write them a letter and tell them that they are violating your rights under IDEA, to be part of the team that determines services for your child.
2. At your child’s next IEP meeting write a parent input statement. The parent input statement should be one page, and typed if possible, and include what you think your child needs in their education. This parent input statement should be brought to your child’s IEP meeting, shared with school personnel, and attached to your child’s IEP. Remember, that in the Deal case the court found that the parent participation must be meaningful.
3. Check with other parents in your school district and see if they are experiencing the same problem you are, with trying to have input in your child’s education.
4. If they still refuse, consider filing a state complaint for violation of IDEA. If other parents in your district are having the same problem, consider filing a systemic complaint. A systemic complaint means that the school district is violating many parent’s rights, not just yours!
IDEA states that parents are members of any team that determines placement and services for their child. This would be the issue of your complaint to your State Department or Board of Education. Include a copy of your letter and your parent input statement as evidence that you are trying to have input, and your school district is refusing to allow you to!
By having knowledge of what the court has ruled in special education parental right cases you will be able to effectively advocate for your child!