My Son

My Son

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Search Results: Thomeczek and Brink Law Firm

Search Results: Thomeczek and Brink Law Firm

The law firm that the former Special Education Assistant Commissioner for Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education went to work for.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Resignation From SEAP

Sherri R. Tucker

I am formally resigning from the SEAP. I have given this much thought and deliberation. Each year I see more and more of the parent positions being taken by employees of the State and school districts. As the parent of three children that have been left behind I joined the group in hopes of making change. I go to IEP meetings all over the region and see more and more children being left behind and parents that are frustrated and hopeless. I felt that my position on this panel could make a difference. I now know that it can not.

Missouri ranks very high in the use of corporal punishment. There is new legislation being offered that would make that punishment legal for children with disabilities. I feel that Missouri is not meeting the needs of children with disabilities and I am going to use my time to fight for new legislation and reform. Missouri needs to be held accountable for what is happening to our children and that is going to be my new focus.

I have enjoyed being on the panel and I have received a great deal of information on how the system works. I appreciate the opportunity that I have been given to participate. I wish everyone good luck and hope that the panel will begin to look at the dysfunction in Missouri’s special education and find ways to make corrections. There are so many lives at risk and so many futures are being lost.


Sherri R. Tucker

"It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home." Carl T. Rowan

Sherri R. Tucker
Cofounder MOAFAA (Missouri Advocates for Families Affected by Autism)
Cofounder Lee's Summit Autism Support Group

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Missouri Law States That Teachers Can't Be Held Civilly Liable For Abuse





7. All school district personnel responsible for the care and supervision of students are authorized to hold every pupil strictly accountable for any disorderly conduct in school or on any property of the school, on any school bus going to or returning from school, during school-sponsored activities, or during intermission or recess periods.

8. Teachers and other authorized district personnel in public schools responsible for the care, supervision, and discipline of schoolchildren, including volunteers selected with reasonable care by the school district, shall not be civilly liable when acting in conformity with the established [policy of discipline] policies developed by each board [under this section], including but not limited to policies of student discipline or when reporting to his or her supervisor or other person as mandated by state law acts of school violence or threatened acts of school violence, within the course and scope of the duties of the teacher, authorized district personnel or volunteer, when such individual is acting in conformity with the established policies developed by the board. Nothing in this section shall be construed to create a new cause of action against such school district, or to relieve the school district from liability for the negligent acts of such persons.

Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives

This is brought to you by:

Read Number 4. No good could ever come out of this.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Title IX Complaint Against Paddling Statesbr February 6, 2010

Title IX Complaint Against Paddling Statesbr February 6, 2010

Write a Letter To Arne Duncan

Sherri R. Tucker

1200 SE London Way

Lee’s Summit, MO 64081


Arne Duncan

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to you for advice. My child, Jacob Tucker, attended Lee’s Summit High School in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. We are in the state of Missouri. He was forced to drop out of school because he was receiving no services and was no longer progressing academically. He required medication to attend school because of the anxiety that attending caused him. He does not require this medication for any other part of his life. Once he was removed from the situation the medication was no longer needed.

The local school district, as well as the state education department, is unresponsive to our needs, and refuses to obey the regulations set down in IDEA. As result, my child, as well as others, are suffering and not receiving FAPE. Child complaints are not sufficiently researched and are almost always found in the favor of the districts. Even when the parent has documentation that the district is out of compliance the State finds in the district’s favor. Due process is out of the question as most parents cannot afford it and rarely prevail. The State and the district are co dysfunctional. Even the Special Education Advisory Panel is not set up in such a manner that it would be parent friendly.

My son has a diagnosis of Kanner’s Syndrome/Early Infantile Autism, Dysgraphia, Inattentive and Impulsive ADHD, and Anxiety Disorder. I requested, and received, an IEE but the district did not discuss it at the follow up meeting and simply stated, “We have all read the IEE.” That was the extent that it was considered.

My son has had an educational diagnosis of Autism since 1998. He had never received any services related to his autism. He has a nonverbal IQ of 123 and the interpersonal skills of a one year old. He received no OT services for his dysgraphia and was in regular education classes all day. He had an IEP, but it did not address his issues and the State and the district refused to allow his evaluation scores to be put in his present level of performance.

They also refused to allow the parent full participation in the IEP meeting. When we complained to the State we were told that parents do not have a right to be an equal partner on the IEP team. I have documentation for all of the claims that I am making and can provide them to you at any time.

I filed an OCR complaint. They found that my son’s IEP was not being implemented, but that it did not materially affect his education.

I would appreciate your guidance in helping me to explain the Federal regulations to the school district in such a way that they will comply with current special education law.


Sherri R. Tucker

The Associated Press: 3 acquitted in Ohio teen's restraint death

The Associated Press: 3 acquitted in Ohio teen's restraint death

Write the Right Thing: Sample Letters for Responding to Parents' Concerns

Write the Right Thing: Sample Letters for Responding to Parents' Concerns

D.C. school officials reported 220 abuse allegations against teachers -

D.C. school officials reported 220 abuse allegations against teachers -

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Story of My Son's Education

I was talking to a friend today and some things came to mind. Many people want to know why I fight with the school district and the State. I have earned quite a reputation as a crazy mom. There are many people that are happy with the education that their children are getting and wonder why I am not. Well, let me explain it to you.

I have known that my son has autism since he was three years old. I lived in a very small town in Illinois with the population of 1,200. I had twin daughters that were 5 years old and were in all day kindergarten. The town was having testing for children 3-5 years of age. I thought it was to see where they were academically and what they needed to work on prior to starting kindergarten. My son was three years old and the only child that I had home during the day. I signed him up for the testing and took him up to the school. I wasn’t sure if he would go through it because he was a screamer. I don’t mean that he screamed every once in awhile. I mean that he screamed 24/7. For the first two and a half years of his life he would sleep for 30 minutes and scream for the next two hours. This went on all of the time. He didn’t speak or even make noises. He never said MaMa or DaDa. He just screamed. When you tried to hold him he would arch his back. He never reached for me and even really acknowledged me. He just screamed. I had asked the pediatrician and he said boys don’t talk as early as girls and some babies cry more than others. So, they took him into another room for awhile and when they brought him back they said that if they felt that he needed to start Early Childhood they would call me within a week. Within three days I received a phone call. They weren’t sure what his issues were, but the district felt that he "wasn't right" and put him into school. They didn't know what the problem was, but they were determined to find out and give the best that they had.

This was a town of 1,200 people. Their resources were very limited. I didn't even know that my child had an issue. I was blind. Something that would affect my judgment for the next ten years.

These wonderful people put my son into a classroom of six students and two teachers. They gave him OT and ST. They worked on his social skills. They worked on any issue that came up. Not because they had to. He didn't even have an IEP yet. They did it because they saw a child that needed help to be successful in life. They treated him like a human being that needed guidance and support. He was not another drain on their budget. They had practically no budget. It didn't matter. HE mattered.

When he was four they did some educational evaluations. This was before the internet. This was before anyone knew anything about autism. They said that his tests came back with some very odd results. They said that he was way at one end of the curve on some things and at the other end of the curve on other things. There was nothing in the middle. They said that he didn’t make eye contact. I had never noticed this. They said that he didn’t play with other children. That he would only parallel play. They said that he used dramatic and constructive play, but not interactive play. He could name colors, count up to 12, and recognized numbers. He could sequence objects by size and understood concept of big. He needed a routine and things had to always be the same and if it was not it would throw him off. He would flap his arms and rock when he became excited. He couldn’t follow simple instructions. He displayed a short attention span. He was very interested in Thomas the Tank Engine and could name every engine, their color, and their number. He could tell the name of a Disney VHS tape just by the font. You could lay out the movies, without the box, and he could name the movie just because of the font. I never even noticed that each movie had a different font. They took all of this information and started reading. They found that he exhibited many language, behavior, and socialization characteristics that may indicate a pervasive developmental disorder. They included: late talking, limited variety of responses, non-use of greetings, lack of conversation, lack of playing with others, limited eye contact, perseverative language, echolalic language, arm flapping, strange attachment to objects, and an ability to repeat video scripts verbatim.

When my son was five we moved back to Kansas City. This is where my husband and I were raised. We carefully called and interviewed every school district on both sides of the state line. We wanted to make sure that Jake would get the best that Kansas City had to offer.

After several phone calls and interviews we chose Lee's Summit. I went and told the personnel here that the district in Illinois felt that Jake wasn't ready for regular kindergarten. They felt that he needed 1 on 1 or small group instruction for at least one more year. It stated it in his IEP. Lee's Summit assured me that they were a big district that could handle all of his needs and issues and that the best thing for Jake was going to kindergarten. Once again, I was blind.

Jake went to Prairie View from kindergarten through sixth grade. He had some amazing teachers there. They were kind, supportive, and made accommodations that his IEP didn't call for. We had no issues there. I truly felt that we had picked the best school district that we could have. I volunteered in his classroom every week for at least 2-3 hours. I helped with the school carnival. I helped with health fair. I wrote to the Kansas City Star and told them what an amazing job they were doing with my son.

I didn't know much about autism and I felt like the district was doing all that Jake needed. Little did I know that when he got into high school my only hope for him would be living in a group home. That is where we are now. On his IEP the district has decided that his transition program would be to live semi-independently.
WHY? Because the district never addressed his autism. They didn't address his dysgraphia. They didn't address his social issues. They didn't address his written language issues. Why didn't they? I didn't demand it. In seventh grade the only goal he had on his IEP was to be able to write a paragraph. This is a child with autism, dysgraphia, and a written language deficit.

I thought that you had to believe in the experts and trust them. That blindness has caused the loss of my son's independence. If I had educated myself and fought for him, he would have a different future. His future was stolen and I stood back and let it happen.

I gave the school district a five year old with potential. They have given back a child that will never leave home. I let them do this to my child. My silence and acceptance granted them permission to destroy my son's future. He could have been an independent taxpaying citizen. Now he will be a burden on tax payers. Not to worry, Lee's Summit. You have no group homes here, so he won't burden your city.

Your children still have a chance. Your children still have a future. I pray that none of you ever have to read the following and have it apply to your child. But, if you continue to sit back and do nothing, you will face the same situation that I face today. I let the State of Missouri and the Lee's Summit School District steal my son's future. I will live with that until the day that I die because Jake will be living with me until the day I die. What will happen to him after that, only God knows. I pray that you never have to go to bed at night and think about that.