When a Parent Makes Threats or Refuses to Sign an IEP
by Pat Howey, Special Education Advocate
I wrote an e-mail to my childs teacher saying that I will not
sign the next IEP if they do not give my child extra services.
not require parents to "sign" an IEP. Threatening to not sign
an IEP does not really mean much. Also, if you do not sign the IEP,
others may think you agree to it.
You have an absolute right to disagree with the IEP. Do not sit on that
right. If you disagree with the IEP, go ahead and sign it, but put a
note below or to the side of your name saying that your signature does
not mean that you agree with the IEP.
Read my article, Why
Do Schools Draw Lines in the Sand? Understanding the Playing Field,
Power Struggles, Schools Meetings & Follow Up Letters.
recommend that you take good notes.
If taking notes is hard for you,
take a tape recorder. Do NOT surprise the school. Send a note to the
IEP team coordinator advising that you will be taping the meeting. Offer
to provide a copy of the tape to the school.
leave the meeting, write a summary of all the things you asked for at
your childs IEP meeting. Write down the things that the school
agreed to do and the things the school did not agree to do. Sign and
date the note. Keep a copy for your file.
After the meeting, send a polite note to the person who chairs your
childs IEP meeting. Thank the team for meeting with you. Attach
your summary of what the school agreed to and did not agree to. If important
issues were not resolved, request another meeting.
to Advocacy has tips about how to prepare for meetings, how to use
a Parent Agenda and IEP Meeting Worksheet (see Chapters 25 and 26) and
how to write a letter to the IEP team about issues that were not resolved
(see Chapters 24 and 25) - these chapters include many sample letters
that you can tailor to your circumstances.
Read more Ask
the Advocate articles by Pat Howey.
Howey is an advocate who has helped parents obtain special education services
and resolve special education disputes.
a member of the Wrightslaw Speakers Bureau, Pat provides training for parents,
educators, and others who want to ensure that children receive quality special
Read more of Pat's answers to questions submitted by people just like
you in Wrightslaw's Ask
the Advocate section.
Special Education Consulting