Monday, March 4, 2013

Lexington parents call for investigation into 'seclusion rooms' - Lexington, MA - Lexington Minuteman

 Seclusion room
U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) - Lexington parents call for investigation into 'seclusion room'
[UPDATE - (abridged)] NOTE THAT WHILE THE INVESTIGATORS LISTED BELOW ARE LIMITED TO LOOKING AT RETALIATION IN LEXINGTON, MA, this email (below) provides a clear and simple way to notify authorities, including the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights in Washington, DC, about retaliation and harassment of parents seeking help for their children in other school districts across the country.
Dear [Lexington] Special Education Parents Advisory Council:
The US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights is investigating claims of retaliation against parents/students in Lexington Public Schools.
The Attorney who is investigating is:
Philip Catanzano US DOE OCR Direct Dial #: 617-289-0038
The Investigator partnering with him is:
Patricia Cox US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights Direct Dial #: 617-289-0042
I understand that the results of the survey the SEPAC did should show me that I’m not alone in my fear of retaliation and experience of retaliation from Lexington. It would be a good thing for the Office of Civil Rights to hear parent concerns if you are willing to share.
Examples of retaliation practices (in layperson terms, to the best of my understanding) look like:

On ___DATE_______, I ___did X________, and ___Name of LPS Staff or title_________ responded by ____doing “Y” (What s/he did)___________________.

that might be examples of the “X” action you took could include:

Requested an IEP Team meeting

Expressed concern about an IEP not being implemented

Tried to get more opportunity for inclusion

Called the Director of Student Services

Called the Principal

Called the Superintendent

Requested more services

Requested data

Expressed concern about how someone was interacting with your child

Reported that your child is being bullied

Tried to discuss and get resolution to a problem your child is having with a teacher or staff person

Tried to get change for instruction after noticing that your child wasn’t doing well or was having problems.

Examples of the types of things that would be an adverse response from a staff person, administrator, or other person:

Being ignored

Being ignored repeatedly

Being given a lot of hoops to jump through

Communication being restricted somehow, such as by not allowing you to talk with certain people, not allowing people to talk or share information with you, restricting your ability to communicate

Refusing to schedule meetings or attend meetings

Refusing to evaluate

Delaying meetings, evaluations, IEP reconvene meetings, especially in combination

Putting unreasonable demands on you

Belittling you

Saying you are a bad parent and expressing concern about your parenting in response to your advocacy

Reducing services

Refusing to include your parent concerns in an IEP

Sending N1 Statements attached to the IEP that have untrue information in them and/or misrepresent the facts

Putting you in a position of feeling afraid to advocate due to threats or suggestions of some kind of action that would cause you to worry about your child at school or that it will result in them taking away needed services, supports.

Saying that ‘if you don’t do X, we are/are not going to do Y’

Please feel free to email me with any questions. My best to all of you.

Barb Visovatti
Lexington parents call for investigation into 'seclusion rooms' - Lexington, MA - Lexington MinutemanFormer Lexington resident Bill Lichtenstein alleges his daughter Rose was repeatedly locked in a seclusion room while in kindergarten at Fiske Elementary School during the 2005-2006 school year.

By Hannah McGoldrick/
Posted Sep 12, 2012 @ 11:29 AM
Last update Sep 12, 2012 @ 01:20 PM

Read more: Lexington parents call for investigation into 'seclusion rooms' - Lexington, MA - Lexington Minuteman
Read more: Lexington parents call for investigation into 'seclusion rooms' - Lexington, MA - Lexington Minuteman

In the wake of allegations that Lexington Public Schools used seclusion rooms to discipline special-needs students, parents and concerned residents called for an independent investigation.
During public comment at a School Committee meeting Tuesday night, Sept. 11, resident Barbara Visovatti said her son had been placed in a “quiet room” on at least three occasions in 2008.
“There was one chair in it and the window was covered with paper,” she said.

The effects of this treatment, Visovatti said, became apparent in her son’s behavior, starting in May 2008.
“He started putting himself in our dark front hall closet, closing the door and staying with his knees to his chest in the fetal position,” she said.
Visovatti said she e-mailed her son’s teacher who said the quiet room would no longer be used.
Visovatti and her husband told the School Committee they kept their son home from school until they could find a different placement because they felt he was unsafe in Lexington.

Superintendent Paul Ash has stated the school district ceased the use of time-out rooms in 2007.

Jennifer Yaar, co-chairman of the Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC), said there is a need to restore confidence in the school system.

Read more: Lexington parents call for investigation into 'seclusion rooms' - Lexington, MA - Lexington Minuteman

"Life on the Autism Spectrum can be ENJOYable."
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing.