Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the confusing world of special education.
Creative ways to help disaster victims; is it legal to send disabled kids
home from school early; who is protected under Section 504; early reviews
of Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board; rights
of children in after-school programs; discrimination & Brown v.
Bd of Education; free newsletters & journals; Wrightslaw programs
in VA, OK, FL, NJ, OH. Download
this issue of The Special Ed Advocate.
1. Creative Ways to Help Disaster Victims
We have great sympathy for the folks who were hit by hurricanes and tornadoes over the past few weeks. One year ago, Hurricane Isabel slammed into Virginia. For weeks, we had no lights, no running water. (Power is Out, Our Long, Dark Wait) Our community is still recovering from this disaster.
We wanted to help these disaster victims, and thought you might want to help too. We checked the Red Cross website and found that it doesn't take a lot - even spare change will help.
How You Can Help - Donations
Matching Gifts Many companies offer matching gift programs that will increase your donation. Check the online directory of matching gift companies to find out if your company will match your contribution to the Red Cross. If you have questions about your company's matching gift program, please contact your personnel office.
2. Is it Legal to Send Disabled Children Home Early?
A teacher asked, "In my district, special ed kids are sent home from school early - from 30 minutes to an hour earlier than general ed students. This doesn't seem right. When I asked about this, I was told, 'All special ed students are released early' and 'That's the rule.' Is this legal?"
We continue to receive questions from teachers and parents about school districts that send "special ed kids" home early from school. Are these districts guilty of discrimination against kids with disabilities?
For answers to these questions and to learn how a parent group changed "the rules" in their district with an OCR complaint, read Is it Legal to Send Disabled Kids Home Early?
3. Who is Protected Under Section 504 - Children with AIDS? ADD? Asthma?
"Who is protected under Section 504, but not under IDEA? A student with AIDS? A student with ADD? A student with chronic asthma?"
What do you
think? For our answer, read Who
is Eligible for Protections Under Section 504 . . . but Not Under IDEA?
4. Surviving Due Process - Early Reviews
"I was surprised at the aggressiveness of the attorneys and how well the witnesses were prepared."
Surviving Due Process: When Parents & the School Board Disagree takes you through a special education due process hearing, from initial preparation to testimony by the final witness. See exciting direct examination, dramatic cross-examination, objections, and arguments between counsel. The DVD has chapters so you can easily skip to a scene that that interests you. This feature makes it easy to use this DVD in training programs or classes.
"I saw how people on both sides saw the problem, why each side believed so strongly in their program, and why making a decision was not as clear-cut as I thought it would be." - Melinda
5. Kicked Out! Do Kids Have Rights in After-School Programs?
A parent writes, "My son was kicked out of an after-school program run by a nonprofit agency in his elementary school. He has ADD and some behavioral problems and has an IEP at school. The program director said, 'He has an oddness and intensity that frightens other children.' Don't they have to try to include him?"
Bob Crabtree answers these 's questions and describes student rights under
Section 504. Learn about rights to protection from discrimination and
reasonable accommodations under Section 504 in Accommodations
in After-School Programs.
6. Discrimination: Brown v. Board of Education
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the landmark civil rights decision in Brown v. Board of Education. In Brown, school children argued that segregated public schools were inherently unequal and deprived them of equal protection of the laws.
When you read Brown, think about how language in the decision could be used to describe the plight of children in segregated special education placements today. The Court framed the question before them as follows:
"We come to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools, solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other 'tangible' factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does."
"To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone . . . Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children . . . A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn."
the Supreme Court found that African-American children have the right
to equal educational opportunities and that segregated schools "have
no place in the field of public education." Read
7. Free Newsletters & Journals
You can't beat a good newsletter for up-to-the minute information. Although the newsletters in this directory represent different interests, all are free. Please download and distribute the Free Newsletters Flyer so others may learn about these resources.
The Beacon is an electronic journal published by Harbor House Law Press. The Beacon publishes articles and essays for attorneys, advocates and others who are interested in special education law and practice.
Each issue focuses on a theme and includes practical and theoretical articles. The next issue will focus on disability discrimination and harassment in public schools.
Subscribe to The Beacon. Read back issues in The Beacon Archives.
Directory of free education & special ed newsletters.
8. Put a Wrightslaw Program on Your To-Do List
a marvelous conference! I often leave sped presentations angry and/or
guilty because of all the things that were done or not done. This
time I left encouraged, inspired and armed!"
Oklahoma City, OK (FREE to Oklahoma
parents & educational caregivers!)
don't procrastinate - register today! These programs are often
"sold out" ahead of time.
Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education
legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers
receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers
on Wrightslaw books.