There’s Water on the Moon…What about FAPE?

Published on November 13, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

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I had a discussion with a client today that went something like this:

  • Client:  “I’ve about had it with this school district!  If things don’t get better, I’m going to move.”
  • Me:       “You’re not moving anywhere, especially until you’ve spoken with me to make sure you’re not going from the frying pan into the fire.  Some districts are even worse!”
  • Client:  “I heard they found water on the moon.   Maybe I can get decent special ed services there.”

At first I laughed.  This particular mother is a tough cookie, and I have no doubt that she could handle almost anything.  In addition, I happen to suspect that her school district might be more intimidated by her than she is by it.

Plus, it was a great, funny, timely comment.   I can just picture IDEA Mediation with school districts in a futuristic society.  Imagine, the parents of a child with special education needs right here in Connecticut will be requesting speech and language services after fighting for them for years.  Finally, the district will offer them…twice a week in a public school in Lunar Regional School District #1027.  However, no space suit will be provided to protect against the weightlessness.  The choice is, of course, entirely up to the parents.

Once we’d get them to give in on the space suit issue, I’d no doubt be arguing over whether the student was entitled to  transportation.  To the moon.  Which of course would invite the inevitable “we can transport there but not back” discussion.

Humor aside, it got me to thinking…do parents of children with disabilities feel so disenfranchised that they think there is no place on Earth they can find appropriate special education services?  Well, not literally, of course.  But the statement does say a lot about how deflated parents can feel when battling the special education establishment.

I wonder how long it will take to build courthouses on the moon.

3 Responses to There’s Water on the Moon…What about FAPE?

  1. Sara
    November 14th, 2009 | 12:08 am

    I hope that parents of children with disabilities know that there are public school employees who want to work, as a team, with them. I enjoy reading your blog, it really causes me to reflect on the amazing progress of special education and also the obvious need for continued growth.

  2. Mer
    November 14th, 2009 | 10:14 am

    It is clear that the problem is a systemic one which can be found anywhere. For sure there are many people working in school districts that want to do the right thing but are being controlled by a higher authority (usually the administration)who is more interested in pushing these kids through the school system or if they are pressured by the child’s family sending them to an out of district school ,the moon would be out of the question as it is too far and would not meet the allowed distance for a child to be sent out of district unless of course a parent hired an attorney etc,etc,etc. The bottom line is that the people who run our public schools are the ones that need to be educated on FAPE and stop trying to get away with the bare minimum for these children ,these children need a I have been told by people at the helm of my districts public schools that by law they only have to provide the children with a car it doesn’t have to be a Cadillac (now it would be a Lexus)well these kids need a car that runs properly and it may need some adaptive steering but with the proper instruction that child should be given every opportunity to learn how to use it!

  3. Dad2Luke
    December 17th, 2009 | 12:34 am

    We have become convinced that we will have to move to get services. We have a handful of outside evaluations all saying he qualifies for services. But the district’s response is “It’s not gonna happen!” For us even if we move to a worse district it will be the same – no services. I’d move to the moon if it would get services.

    I am positive that the want to force us into court or mediation so that they can impose a gag order. Every day I meet another parent who has a settlement with a gag order.

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