My Son

My Son

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Letter From My Special Education Director to Missouri Commissioner of Special Education Regarding Concerns Expressed By OSEP

Reorganized School District No.7

301 NE Tudor Road
Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086-5702
Phone: (816) 986-1024 Fax: (816) 986-1160

Jerry L. Keimig
Executive Director of Special Services
December 22, 2008

Ms. Heidi Atkins Lieberman
Assistant Commissioner
Division of Special Education
Missouri Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education
PO Box 480
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0480
Dear Ms. Lieberman:

This letter is in response to concerns expressed by OSEP regarding Ms. Tucker. Ms. Tucker has responded to staff in our District with a continual barrage of emails and web postings on a variety of topics expressing concerns, sending general information regarding special education issues, and conducting personal attacks on staff.

Ms. Tucker continually voices her concerns regarding educational programming for her son. We would agree that he has specific areas that need to be addressed, but despite multiple District attempts to provide direct interventions for her son, she has refused many of these services. We have even developed additional course offerings in response to her concerns, but once in place, she has refused to allow her son to access programming. It appears that Ms. Tucker is more
interested in a personal attack on the individuals responsible for providing educational services rather than accessing existing services designed to provide educational benefit for her child.

It is the Lee's Summit R-7's School District stance that we have been extremely responsive to the concerns of Ms. Tucker having devoted hundreds of hours to discussion of said concerns and viable solutions. We would welcome an opportunity to present the district view to an independent panel either through a DESE child complaint or a due process hearing.


Jerry L. Keimig
C: Dr. David McGehee

Dr. McGehee and Mr. Keimig,

I requested and, just received, copies of all of the documents provided to DESE, related to my child complaints, that were provided by the school district. I also requested DESE's investigator notes/data as well. The following letter was in the information that I received.

My continual barrage of emails about general information regarding special education issues were meant to inform the staff of the issues that Jake faces and what experts agree would be the appropriate way to handle them. They were sent because the existing services that were offered to my son have been proven to be inappropriate and in some cases cause regression. It was my intent that educating those that work with my son might help them to understand his needs and allow them to offer an appropriate placement and services.

I continually voice my concerns regarding my son's educational programming because they are not being listened to and my son is losing his future potential. The only course offerings that you have developed for my son would include learning social skills by working with mentally handicapped children in a classroom with a teacher that I had already requested he be removed from. Those courses were already in place according to your staff.

I am not more interested in a personal attack on the individuals responsible for providing educational services rather than accessing existing services designed to provide educational benefit for my son. I am attacking the inappropriate services that are being offered and the fact that his progress is measured by observation. Observation is an opinion and not a fact. It can not be measured.

While the district states that they have devoted hours to discussion of said concerns and viable services, they have in no way spent the amount of time that I have spent on it. I have been forced to study special education law, IDEA, NCLB, autism, and Missouri laws. That is not what I would choose to do in my spare time. I have been forced to do it. If the district spent some of those hundreds of hours actually working with my son, we would all benefit.

I would like to know what direct interventions the district has proposed for my son and if they are research driven. I would like to know which of the following teachers have attended the school district's autism workshop and when. I would like to know why the district won't allow parents notes to be included in the meeting notes. That would clear up a lot of this confusion because you could then see that parents are not listened to and their input is ignored. If meetings were tape recorded it would benefit both sides.

I am not the only parent, in this district, that is having issues. There are many. One parent would get phone calls from the district telling her that they were having an IEP meeting and that they would be by to pick her up. One parent was told that PBM isn't accredited and that her child was being sent to Gillis. The process coordinator then wanted to meet her at a gas station to sign the 10 day waiver. One parent was turned into DCFS for educational neglect because she didn't want to receive homebound services at the teacher's child's baseball game. One parent had to put her child into private school because her son was going to be put into a life skills class because he was bringing down their MAP scores. One child, that is bipolar, has no BIP even though he has threatened a teacher with scissors. One parent had two school district personnel come to her home, unannounced, and tried to bully her into making an educational decision about her child. Three children were bullied and harassed by Todd Wilson the same year and nothing was done about it. Two of those children had to be removed from his class with a note from a physician stating that it was causing them emotional harm being in his class. My child has the same goals that he had 10 years ago. I didn't educate myself on special education and I believed the experts. They deleted goals that he never met and they stated he met goals that he never did. I TRUSTED them and look where we are today.

So, you may state that I am not interested in my son and that I just want to fight, but we both know that isn't true. We both know that this district has a history of denying services and misinforming the public. I have made it my mission to get the truth out. If you want to call that personal attacks. So be it. But, do NOT state that my child is NOT the reason that I am doing this. I am doing this for ALL of the children that are being left behind.