IEP Team Member Apology: A Template for “Not Knowing It All – After All”

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Have you just committed a real faux pas but find yourself at a loss for words to apologize?

Perhaps you are a celebrity who needs to apologize for disability-related comment…  A teacher who needs to apologize for outrageous classroom mistreatment…   Or, a personal favorite,  an IEP team member who knows it all…

Terri Mauro can help you out!

Using her wonderful sense of humor, Terri designed three user friendly apology templates you can easily adapt. If you find yourself at a loss for words (imagine that), Terri’s templates offer you three options for an apology that:

  1. is sincere or at least looks that way
  2. lets you keep a little street cred
  3. tells the cold hard truth

If you “need a laugh,” check out her All Purpose Apology Templates at

We’ve reprinted our favorite below. Thank you, Terri.

IEP Team Member Apology Template for Not Knowing It All After All

My Personal Apology
 (Pick one from each group of choices)

I understand that your child has

  • triumphed over low expectations.
  • performed in a way not supported by the data.
  • been successful, though that sort of thing is really in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?

I am, of course,

  • delighted to hear that.
  • going to note that in the file.
  • exceedingly skeptical.

Your child deserves

  • our praise and pride.
  • the benefit of the doubt.
  • exactly what was found to be appropriate under the circumstances.

If it seems that I have been less than supportive, please realize that

  • I have a large caseload.
  • I’ve learned not to get my hopes up.
  • you are very perceptive.

I will do everything that

  • I can
  • I’m instructed to by my administrator
  • you require me to by court order

to make it up to you and ensure that you are treated with

  • respect and collaboration
  • carefully vetted civility
  • sarcasm you can’t see through quite so easily

in the future. Please be assured that we at this school

  • want every child to succeed,
  • want to stay out of due process,
  • hold you in as much contempt as you hold us,

and accept my sincere apology for ever doubting

  • your child’s ability
  • your belief in your child’s ability
  • your ability to make a fuss.

Need a different template?  Let Terri help you out!

  1. To Sharon L. – You are very fortunate you never had to worry about your school district taking it out on your child. I live in Ohio and believe me when I tell you, my school district did just that. Please don’t ever take filing a complaint against your school district lightly. My child suffered unimaginable harm from these “wonderful and caring” school teachers, principals and Special Education administrators once the complaint was over and the state DOE was no longer on their backs. I attended 12 IEP meetings in 6 months and sat across the table from what I consider to be true evil. Your advice about starting a paper trail is so true. I would highly recommend either video taping or audio taping meetings as well. They do owe parents answers, just be very careful. Choose your battles wisely. I lost my sense of humor 2 years ago!

  2. Joy, Forget the apology. I have been is situations off and on for my son’s for over 25 years even prevailing at due process one time and no apology. Instead you need to focus on the best you can do for you child. They owe you answers. You can request the answers in writing, send certified letter and start a paper trail. I think they will followup with you if you start to do this. Remember they are not your friends only a business relationship. In the years that I have had issues with the IEP team my children have never had it taken out on them personnally so I did not worrry about it.

  3. To 3-Joy: I would have said, “You are not accommodating ME–the LAW says that you must accommodate my child’s documented needs.” To 2-Melissa: I use the phrase with my school district (who likes to say things like “you are asking for a Cadillac education in a Chevy-kind of town”)…..”I am asking for my child to have full access to a _______ District education that is supposed to be provided for ALL children in this district. How do you propose to do this?” The variation on that theme for the school building leaders is “I am asking for a ________ School education for my child.” This means that they need to provide the means for access for the same level of education that they provide for students who do not have a disability. To: 1-Miranda: it is good to have a lighter moment to poke fun at the process.

  4. During one phone call from the AP “Mrs.—-, What more do you want from us? We have bent over backwards to accommodate you.” … During a meeting I pushed for to have my questions answered re: concerns about an event at school the SpEd Supervisor lost composure and screamed and called me a liar and ended the meeting – the same AP said AGAIN “We HAVE bent over backward for you!” and… the questions were never addressed! Is there an apology for those situations and comments and many more like them?

  5. “I’ve never doubted that you are passionate about your children.” This after they refused to address safety concerns and I lost it and told the District Admin her head would “be on a platter” if anything ever happened to my child.

    “She wants the best for her child and is willing to advocate for such just as any good parent would but we don’t have to provide the very best education.” This was their opening line in Due Process.

    “We are going above and beyond in providing any extended academics to your child. Providing such is not necessary for your child to make progress in the general curriculum as she is already above grade level.” This in response to child not being academically challenged since start of the school year and lots of documented promises in IEP meetings that they tried to get out of.

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