Friday, October 31, 2014

Would You Revoke Your Consent if Your School District Wanted To Hang Your Child Upside Down?

As a parent, would you revoke your consent to an independent evaluation if a district doctor wanted to hang your child upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks?

That's what a former Fox C-6 School District attorney stated during a Section 504 meeting in May 2009 as an example as to why you may wish to revoke your consent to an independent evaluation for Section 504 eligibility.

How would you react as a parent if you had been told that during a meeting?

As the district attorney also explained during the meeting, if you choose to revoke your consent the meeting's over!

Wow! That sounds like an ultimatum to me. But, that's just the way things have been handled in the Fox C-6 school district for years. It's been a very easy way to make parents choose as to whether or not they really want to pursue having a Section 504 plan written for their child.

Luckily the majority of parents never have to go through all of the nonsense that a school district will put you through to write up a Section 504 plan. But, it's one of those memories that will last a lifetime if you had to go through it.

In the end, we were forced to go to Due Process in May 2010 as I predicted at the May 2009 meeting. It was quite easy to see that coming after having nearly a year to learn about the law before the May 2009 meeting and after talking to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (ED OCR) attorneys many times between July 2008 and May 2009.

I brought this to the attention of several of Fox C-6 school board members back in 2009 but none of them were interested in what was really going on in the district. Perhaps hearing what goes on in Section 504 meetings will be very educational for the board, the community as well as other parents across the country. That's also why it's very important that parents document everything including recording their Section 504 meetings because sometimes you just can't believe what will be said during those meetings to get around the law.

Fox's school board policies did not prevent the recording of Section 504 meetings. However, the district's policies stated that you could not record IDEA meetings without prior approval. I just wanted to make sure everyone knows what the policies state.

Filling out Section 504 paperwork is quite easy. However, many districts have been taught that having Section 504's in their district is a bad thing. School districts will go to great lengths to make sure that they don't have to do that "additional paperwork". Because, "It's a slippery slope. Once you give it to one child, you'll have to give it to all children." that are eligible. It's that sort of mentality that causes people to do and say really stupid things. It's also what makes administrators really upset when you persist in making sure that your school district properly follows the law.

So as a parent, would it concern you if a school district doctor wished to hang your child upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks as part of an independent evaluation by your school district?

Would you consider that to be an inappropriate statement to make to a parent during a Section 504 meeting?

I was infuriated by the fact that the district attorney made that remark during our meeting. When I asked former Fox C-6 Section 504 Coordinator Dan Baker about the attorney's statement while I questioned him under oath during our 2010 Due Process Hearing, Mr. Baker stated that the attorney "did not mean those words to come across as intimidation".

It was good that Mr. Baker remembered the district attorney's remarks from our May 2009 meeting because the attorneys comment have bothered me for years. It bothered me even more to learn 5 years later that derogatory and libelous comments directed at me were posted from Dan Baker's home.

Mr. Baker has very little regard for parents concerns when he dismisses a comment such as that and then posted defamatory comments online directed at the parents who he directly worked with at school.

Would Mr. Baker be bothered at all if the school district his children attend wanted to hang his kids upside down to see if they qualified for a Section 504 plan?

Since Mr. Baker was the Section 504 Coordinator for the Fox C-6 School District at the time that defamatory posts were made from his home about me, our school board should be asking to have his teaching certificate revoked by the state of Missouri for conduct unbecoming of an educator. Most parents and taxpayers have been appalled by the fact that the Bakers are still working for the district. At least they removed him from his position as the Section 504 Coordinator for the district.

Why the Bakers weren't fired from the district was even discussed on Donnybrook on KETC Channel 9. I wrote an article about that on July 25, 2014. Here is a link to the article below:

Additionally, everyone including our Fox C-6 school board members should read the article I wrote on March 9, 2013 about having teaching certificates revoked for conduct unbecoming of an educator for bullying and retaliation. Reading that article would be a good refresher on this topic as well. Below is a link to that article:

Back to the attorneys comments made during the May 2009 Section 504 meeting, the attorney emphasized over and over the fact that as parents, we could always revoke our consent if the district decided to perform a test that we didn't want them to do. He also wanted us to know that if we revoked our consent, the 504 meeting would be over and that the 504 process would end here and now. That was his way of threatening us into doing what the school wanted or you lost your rights to a Section 504 plan.

So, if you had to choose between hanging your child upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks or getting a 504 plan, what would you choose?

Yes, it's one of those decisions that you as a parent have to decide when dealing with the Fox C-6 School District as to whether or not you really want to pursue getting that Section 504 plan filled out for your child in the district.

Just in case you ever wish to request a Section 504 plan for your child, you can listen to how it was put to us at the May 2009 Section 504 meeting so you can be better prepared. There's also a little learning about the ADA Amendment Act and Section 504 law at the beginning of this audio clip that's important to hear. I contacted the ED OCR attorney in Kansas City after the meeting about the comments the district attorney made in the meeting that day because his comments about the law were incorrect. When the ED OCR attorney contacted the attorney about his comments, he told the ED OCR attorney that he didn't make those comments during the meeting. That's why you should always record your meetings. I emailed the OCR attorney my audio recording of the district attorney's comments.

Something else that you may take away from the audio above is the attorney's comment about "that's not the way Fox works" in reference to my comments about how other school districts in the area handle things differently than Fox. As the community has now learned, Fox definitely does things differently as we continue to uncovered numerous misdeeds in the district.

Fox probably hasn't hung any kids upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks in order to perform independent evaluations to see if children are eligible for Section 504. But, it might be a good idea to go ahead and ask the state auditors to look into that just to be sure.

Apparently, attorneys will sometimes use some bullying tactics to deter parents from signing consent forms for an independent evaluation. It's just a game that they play to intimidate and/or drag things out in hopes that you will give up and go away.

Hanging kids upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks for independent evaluations would be quite a sight to see at your school. It would be something that you will always remember.

What would it be like to show up to school one day to see students hanging upside down by their ankles with a sign that read, "Fox C-6 Independent Evaluations in progress for the next 3 weeks!"?

For me, the former Fox C-6 School District attorney's comments at our August 2008 meeting were the catalyst that got me looking into the things going on in our district and making sure that what was going on got straightened out. Most parents probably don't want to have their children hung upside down by their ankles for 3 weeks for an independent evaluation. The thought of doing so can get your adrenaline flowing.

Comments made by the district attorney and Fox administrators were also enough motivation for me to run 90 miles on the Katy Trail to the state capitol in Jefferson City, MO in May 2009. I run there to meet with state legislators and to raise awareness and ensure that the Allergy Prevention and Response Bill HB 922 would pass and get signed into law. Plus I needed to burn off a little energy because of the comments being made in our meetings would make any parent mad.

It's ironic that "acting" superintendent Tim Crutchley announced at the October 21, 2014 Fox C-6 school board meeting that Fox had just hosted a Cyber Bullying summit for area schools the day before the board meeting. It's even more ironic when you've been one of the persons cyber bullied by district personnel. I've been getting attacked for the last 4+ years because we asked for a Section 504 plan from our school district.

I can certainly tell you that comments like some of those made during Section 504 meetings by attorneys, administrators, nurses and staff will stick with you for a lifetime! That's why it's so important to audio record your meetings so you can preserve the nonsense that occurs in those meetings. Without documenting what really goes on in those meetings, it's just your word against theirs especially when Fox C-6 school board members don't want to believe that type of behavior is happening in their district.

It only took 6 years for the Fox C-6 district to fire the former law firm and properly provide Section 504 plans for students in the district with medical disabilities. You have to wonder how many parents were put through this type of behavior over the years from a "National District of Character".

There's plenty of proof that it was happening and hearing is believing!