As some of you know, we have been in a legal fight with The Vanguard School in Colorado Springs for a couple of years now. Our 8 year old autistic son was expelled due to his disability. Today we found out that his federal case is a great precedent to parents and other attorneys.
At the COPAA** Conference in Philadelphia this year, attorneys from Maine made a presentation of the 40 most important federal district court decisions in the field in 2015. They listed our son’s case, Smith v. Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, 2015 WL 4979771 (D. Colo. Aug. 20, 2015) as number 22.
Yay! Fighting for your kid and not letting yourself be bullied by a school district DOES make a difference.
We also discovered that Robert’s case was cited by a federal court in San Diego, to overturn an ALJ’s decision that refused to uphold the “stay put” placement of a child in the school set forth in the child’s IEP.
This is a great victory for the parents and the child, not unlike the victory we achieved. Hopefully other school districts throughout the country will get the clue that they cannot continue to violate the stay-put clause.
Don’t be a victim of systematic bullying by school districts.
**The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates is a national American advocacy association of parents of children with disabilities, their attorneys, advocates, and others who support the educational and civil rights of children with disabilities.
Our children attend the much sought after Vanguard School, formerly known as Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy.
Those of you who know us or follow this blog, are aware of the legal battle we are involved in regarding the school’s treatment of, what they consider, “students not in good standing” due to their… disability. Yes, you read that right.
Our 9-year-old, Michael, is a nerd – I say this proudly of course. He loves science. His microscope, petri dishes, and science experiments are his greatest joys.
The other day Michael, took his petri dishes to school because his homeroom teacher said he could bring them to show the class all the bacteria he’s been growing.
On our way to his classroom, another teacher stops him, “What’s that Michael?”
“They’re my petri dishes,” he says proudly showing them off.
“Petri dishes? I’ve never heard of that.”
“You’ve never heard of petri dishes?” he asks.
I’m right behind them and listening in to the conversation. Frankly at this point I am FLOORED by this teacher’s answer.
“No, what are they?” asks the teacher.
“You grow bacteria in them.”
“Oh. Very nice,” she says.
Seriously? SERIOUSLY???? She’s never heard of “petri dish”??? She is a second grade teacher. An “outstanding” one at that according to the school.
The Vanguard School is extremely proud of its school and teachers.
“… I think you’ll be excited about what you find here. …”
No… not when a teacher has never heard of petri dishes. It’s such a BASIC thing to know as a human being, never mind a teacher.
“… So it is at The Vanguard School, where our students, guided by outstanding, dedicated teachers, are earning a reward from which they will reap benefits for a lifetime.”
Guided by outstanding teachers who will benefit children? Not based on experience and certainly not knowledge.
A lesson in current news is certainly in order. Even assuming this “outstanding teacher” does not teach science, there have been enough news stories about Ebola. A petri dish always makes an appearance. Hell, does she know what in vitro fertilization means? There’s a petri dish involved somewhere in there as well.
That’s like a teacher saying she’s never heard of the alphabet before. Good grief.
Assuming you are reading this, and happen… just happen to know about or work at this school, here’s a petri dish.
If I am not physically WITH the boys, they will invariably kill each other. This morning I have to go get an oil change and I am taking them with me. I don’t know what I’m thinking. Probably nothing… but I’m doing a lot of praying.
“Alright, you finish eating. I am going to get ready. No killing, screaming, or complaining,” I say as I am heading upstairs to get ready.
“No arguing,” responds Robert.
“That’s right. No arguing either.”
Thanks for the reminder honey.