In Tips
Rochelle’s Special Education Tips

Didn’t Your Mother Teach You That If You Cannot Say Something Nice About A Person You Should Not Say Anything At All?

It is the end of the school year. Everyone is tired. But the IEP and 504 meetings keep rolling along. Some common errors are being made and we need to remember to cover all of our bases in the IEP development and implementation. For instance:

Do not take anything personally.
As soon as you receive such a communication, notify your supervisors. It does not hurt for your supervisor to notify the Superintendent, too. That way if the parent shows up at a Board meeting and starts to talk about you, the Superintendent can interrupt and say the Board does not allow discussion of specific personnel during Citizen Participation.
If the comments occur during an IEP team meeting, immediately refute them. If you do not, the comments will increase. Say, “That was inappropriate. Please do not make statements like that.” If the statements continue, take a recess or reschedule the meeting.
If you receive a letter or email with such statements, write back that you will not tolerate defamatory, uncivil statements and that you will not respond to any such communications, even in part.
If you receive a communication that contains hurtful statements about a colleague, tell your colleague not to pay attention to trash talk. Tell your colleague welcome to the rapidly growing club of staff who are picked on by this parent.
The only other option is to file suit against the parent for making defamatory statements. But in most cases it is not worth the time or money to do so.

As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, remember to always keep everything in perspective. Be glad you are blessed with your friends and family, your health, the fact that you have good jobs, and that we are incredibly lucky to live in the United States. We owe so much to the men and women who have served loyally in our military and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Stay safe this holiday weekend.

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips (“Tips”) are designed to be helpful and thought provoking, but should not be considered legal advice as they may not be accurate for use in all situations. Tips are based on my opinions and positions in accordance with federal and Maryland law and my over 35 years of experience in the special education legal field. – Rochelle S. Eisenberg, Esquire

Copyright © 2018 Pessin Katz Law, P.A. All rights reserved.
Tips may be reproduced for distribution within the educational institution, the individual school or school system and is for use by their staff. Additional distribution must be approved by author.

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