In the 1970s I became a special education advocate for my daughter. Little did I know what I was getting into, because it was my belief that only a few teachers, principals, and superintendents of school districts were of the mindset to deliberately discriminate against the special education students nation wide. How wrong and gulliable I was to believe such an idiotic thing.
During the course of these years I have spoken to many teachers and school employees that continually tell me that the morale of schools are now hitting the lowest they have ever seen in many school districts. And now it seems that the bottom has reached. The reasons are many, and invariably falls upon the many top administrators of local school districts (LEAs) and Intermediate School Districts (ISDs).
The special education system as it now stands is more often than not adversarial, with the school districts hiring attorneys to help them to overcome ways to circumvent the federal and state special education laws. As lawyers are taught in law schools, "there are no violations of laws until someone complains". And usually the parents of special education do not know how to go about making the right complaints, let alone know who and when to make the complaint to. Of course I am speaking nation wide, not to just one particular school district.
One of the biggest concerns of mine has been that special education students are not receiving what is called a "free appropriate public education (FAPE)", due to the principal's and superintendent's actions. Recently federal judges have ruled that when school districts do not take a stand and do not stop bullying of any form within their schools, they are in violation of federal and state laws by not providing a FAPE, as well as discriminating civilly against those students.
In recent complaints against special education teachers for bullying their disabled daughter, the principal and superintendent did nothing to stop that bullying. The parents were told that if they didn't do anything further and drop their complaint, the superintendent would see to it that their daughter would receive the best education she could receive. That superintendent also told the parents they were being borderline liabled and he would bring a civil suit against them. Many other parents of disabled children have taken complaints to principals and superintendents alike, to only receive further threats from the top administrators to those parents.
There are many, many ways that districts do not provide a FAPE, other than bullying by teachers, to their disabled students, and continue to receive federal and state monies for their school districts. Futhermore, these top administrators are continually receiving their pay coming from tax payers monies to continually violate the civil rights of their disabled children within their respective school districts. Of course these parents of special education students pay their taxes to help these top administrators and teachers to receive their salaries.
One of my civil rights complaints back in the 1970s was made against a northern state ISD which consisted of more than six individual school districts. Most of the outlying disabled students were not being provided a FAPE because the one ISD was not providing school instruction to the disabled children for up to 4 hours per day, as they were providing regular education students within their respective school districts.
If all parents of disable children believe that all school districts are there to always help all students, including special education, they are so, so very wrong. Yes, there are many schools nation wide that will do what is required, but there are also many school districts that do not.
The special education federal and state laws are so complex and complicated that many parents of disabled children do not know anything about what their disabled children require, or how to force the school districts to provide that which is required by federal laws. Even the federal Office of Civil Rights will not inform any school district to do what they should have been doing all along, but only will negotiate with the school district to bring that district within compliance.
It almost takes parents to be a specialized lawyer to wade through the laws, rules, regulations pertaining to special education. Most parents are not lawyers and do not have the knowledge or the inkling to rock the boat of the special education field, but yet feel so overwhelmed and frustrated by lack of concern by top administrators for their disabled children.
Many, many, many disabled children for years have not been receiving that which is required to provide them by some of those administrators of school districts, because over time these bad administrators have learned how to conive and manipulate many parents of disabled children. I just learned of a child that was qualified to receive services when it was two years old, but now at six years old, has never received any service whatsoever.
This continuing belief that all school teachers, principals, and superintendents are always professional, of good character and a sound citizen that always does what is best for their disabled children and their parents is not always true. Many of these so called professionals have become worse than the common criminal on the street.
Therefore, I submit the above to the peoples of the United States to sign this petition. This is to have the Congress and the President of the United States of America to have a Congressional hearing and change the laws which have been broken since the 1970s. It is time to enforce the laws of this land in a simple forthright and efficient manner, than to have frustrated disabled students and good special education teachers, as well as professional principals and superintendents as well.
Changing that which has broken in special education for years will enable this country to regain that which our founding fathers intended. That all men are created equal and should receive equal treatment under the laws, especially special education children.
Will you sign this petition to help disabled children over come the civil rights discriminations being made against them by these so called professionals? All it takes is just a few moments of your time and a signature to this petition.
In short, these administrators believe they can do whatever they desire with your tax dollars that goes to pay their salaries and to discriminate against those disabled students that cannot fight for their own civil rights that so desire.
Thank you for signing this national petition.
Sgt Raymond L. Britt, USMC