The Good Fight – Fighting Against Systematic Bullying

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.

 

Where I Stand

In case you are wondering where I stand today… yes you, you know who you are…

Your obstacles feed my tenacity. You have strengthened my resolve in ways you can’t even imagine.

No, I am not done. You haven’t even tired me a little.

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… not today, not tomorrow… NEVER.

Is this clear enough for you?

Better yet… do you think I’m kidding?

 

Outstanding… teachers 😲

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.

You’re welcome!

bacteria-in-a-petri-dish-compressed

via unhyphenatedamerica.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You Dr. Piper (Oklahoma Wesleyan University)

I am not a religious person; I border on atheism but the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University is spot on in this letter to his students.

This isn’t about religion, but about learning that the world does not revolve around you.

Well said sir! I wish more had the courage to speak the truth as you have.

http://www.okwu.edu/blog/2015/11/this-is-not-a-day-care-its-a-university/

This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!

November 23, 2015

Dr. Everett Piper, President

Oklahoma Wesleyan University

This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love. In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.

I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic. Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims. Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”

I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience. An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad. It is supposed to make you feel guilty. The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins—not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization.

So here’s my advice:

If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.

If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.

At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.

Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up.

This is not a day care. This is a university!

Answer

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Any questions?