As a parents’ special education attorney in Connecticut, I hear outrageous statements that parents are told by their school districts on an almost daily basis. But, sometimes, I am told something that passes the realm of outrageous, and crosses into ridiculous.
Today’s Ridiculous Comment
You really can not make this stuff up. So I am just going to give you the conversation I had with an educator at a recent IEP meeting:
Me: “I see under your signature it says ‘Behavior Specialist.’ Are you a Board Certified Behavior Analyst?”
Me: “Okay. So, I’m trying to figure out what about your background allows you to refer to yourself as a ‘Behavior Specialist?'”
Him: “I am a special education teacher. I am a certified special education teacher.”
Me: “Okay. So, I am still trying to figure out what about your background makes you a ‘Behavior Specialist.'”
Him: “Well, I’m a special ed teacher, and I’m just kind of known around here as ‘the behavior guy.’ ”
Yes. That is the ridiculous comment.
Folks, behavior, and the analysis of behavior, is highly complex. The behavior of children with disabilities is even more complicated. So why is this kind of mediocrity permitted in our public schools? Why is the behavior of children with disabilities considered so unimportant that we have virtually no standardization?
Can you imagine if I tried to pull this as an attorney? Can you imagine if, instead of having to graduate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, take and pass the bar, and being sworn in as an attorney after being considered fit to do so by the State of Connecticut, as I did, the following happened:
Judge: “Ms. Laviano, I notice that you filed papers with the Court but that you did not submit your Juris Number at the bottom as required. Why is that?”
Me: “Well, Your Honor, I graduated from college with a minor in Government. But I am just sort of known around here as ‘the law lady.’ “