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Specific Examples Concerning Education Law and Parenting

Attorneys at Law Timlin & Rye Jan. 4, 2014

Some educational issues Jeffrey J. Timlin Law Firm commonly handles are discipline, expulsion, response to intervention (RTI), individualized education programs (IEP), assessments, due process hearings, and state complaints. Here are two specific examples of how we help.

For example, your child’s grades have been slipping.

  • You ensure that your child does his or her homework, and follow up with the teacher regularly regarding class participation and work, yet your child’s grades do not improve.

  • Your child seems distracted and doesn’t understand the classwork.

  • You are concerned your child needs more help than what’s provided by the school, and you inquire with the school about your options.

  • The school tells you that you must participate in Response to Intervention (RTI) to attempt to alleviate the problem.

RTI is a program designed to address educational issues without assessing students for Individualized Education Programs, commonly called IEP’s. An IEP requires the school to provide a qualifying child with specific services that allow that child to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education, or FAPE.

The child must be assessed as having one of the federally identified disabilities, to qualify for an IEP. Identified disabilities include processing disorders, Autism, emotional disorders, learning disabilities, and some others. An IEP requires the use of both state and federal funds; RTI is virtually cost-free for the school. However, RTI could delay your child from receiving the services he or she may be entitled to for up to one year.

As part of RTI, you and the school will come up with a plan of specific interventions to attempt to alleviate your child’s difficulties. Examples of interventions are placing your child’s desk in a specific quiet area of the classroom, giving a child extra time during passing periods, and allowing a child to have a de-stressing toy at his or her desk.

These interventions could create an environment your child needs to succeed. If your child struggles continue a more specific intervention is needed. If this is the case, your child needs to be assessed for an IEP, and you may not know what to do next.

If the above scenario sounds familiar to you, we can help navigate the school, the school personnel, and the school district.

Another example is that your child is facing expulsion for bringing a knife to school.

  • Your child has had no other discipline problems and has average grades.

  • You believe that your child should not be expelled for this mistake.

  • You are fighting the expulsion, but the school is not listening to you and seems determined to expel your child.

  • You believe the school is setting your child up for expulsion, and you do not know how to proceed.

  • The expulsion process can be very confusing for parents. You are entitled to an administrative hearing regarding the issue, and you have the right to appeal any administrative decision to the district court.

Schools are taking a harder stance on expulsion; however, this doesn’t mean that your child will automatically be expelled from school. If your child is facing expulsion, we can help defend against expulsion and/or assist in formulating a new educational plan if your child is expelled.

When a school either fails to meet a child’s needs or address parent’s concerns, the child is deprived of a free appropriate public education (FAPE). This situation can cause the entire family much distress and can cause your child to dislike school.

We can assist in alleviating that distress by directly addressing your issues with the school district to ensure your child is treated fairly.

Call or email us with questions or concerns.