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Child being unfairly judged by school

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My child is in Kindergarten and the Principal approached me in the hallway about how my child was very clingy.  She based this on a one time episode where my child cried and ran up to her because about 180 kids were marched into a room without being told why they were going there and just let them run around the gym for a while. My child did not see her main teacher and got upset over what I am assuming was a chaotic situation.  The principal was able to calm my daughter down and then they started playing a game (bingo) and my child was fine.  Based on this, she wants to have an intervention and referral team, where the school nurse and psychologist will evaluate her.   My daughter's teacher has never mentioned anything like this before. Okay, yes, my daughter has some small things that she is working on like everyone else but overall, she is progressing very well academically and socially.  I do not want any meeting or testing done but the principal indicated they the school has the right to do this veal without parental consent.  PLease help. I did write a letter from myself and my husband  right after that morning's talk with the principal and write down that we object to any evaluation at this time as she is doing well academically and socially.  I am so angry. The principal doesn't know my child and is trying to blow this out of proortion, even telling me at the start of the conversation that my daughter is "so clingy".  She is usually not a clingy person at all.

post #2 of 8

Hi Annie,


The school can evaluate without your consent but there is a lengthy process to do so, If parents respond but refuse to consent to the initial evaluation, the LEA can seek an order from the due process agency to permit the evaluation. 34 C.F.R. sec. 300.300(a).  Please read about it here http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/tests.evals.crabtree.htm

post #3 of 8
I have no advice for you but wanted to say I completely understand why you are upset! I would be too. It sounds to me that your child did what any child her age would do and there is no need for any evaluations. My very social daughter is five in preschool and I can see her reacting exactly as your child did. I hope everything works out and this principal recognizes that this is pretty typical behavior in the situation you described. Good luck mama!
post #4 of 8

Good grief. :eyesroll Your daughter had a pretty reasonable reaction to a situation that anyone ought to be able to realize could be upsetting.  The principal should take it as a good sign that your child turned to her for help--many children are afraid of the principal--rather than screaming for Mommy and begging to go home.


That said, I see no reason to fear the evaluation.  Most likely it will show that your daughter is quite normal and there's nothing to worry about.  There's also the possibility that it will uncover some other problem that you hadn't noticed yet, so that you can start working on it early.  I'd go ahead and do it.  When I was 4-6 years old, I had several professional evaluations of my cognitive (gifted) and physical (mildly impaired) skills, and I did not find these frightening at all; I thought it was interesting to have a "scientist" studying me so closely.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

THanks for responding.  SO, the Principal can have her evaluated by all kinds of people without parental consent?  SInce I wrote an email (In writing) stating that we don't want testing at this time, what steps does the Principal have to take legally now?  Can she proceed without giving me a written notice about it and can she proceed without telling me she is proceeding (as she said that if parents say no, she can do it anyway and then let parents know what what reported afterward).  Also, the principal herself said that it is the teacher that needs to start this process (and the teacher neve implied to me that this was necessary)

Thanks for clarifying.

post #6 of 8

We homeschool and reading something like this - is hard to read.   Why do people so often want to put labels on kids.  Your child is so young and is away from home and is just expressing how she is feeling.    I work with young people up to the age of 23 at a youth shelter, I do the intakes, and  almost all of them were diagnosed as ADD or ADHD when they were pre teens or early teens.  After a few years they seemed to "out grow" it. Now these young people may have issues, but suddenly the ADD stuff "is gone."   I am not saying that ADD or ADHD doesn't exist, but it must be so hard on children who are not able to be the way they are needed or expected to be.  

post #7 of 8

I'd reach out to the teacher, who knows your daughter - ask her what she thinks.  I think the kindergarten teacher may be more realistic about the needs of a 5 yo in a chaotic environment than the principal.  If you've heard nothing to this point from the teacher, then a single incident in a chaotic environment doesn't sound like a problem.


I don't like the thought of a school being able to intervene and assess a child without parental consent without other mitigating circumstances.  This is not a case where an outside party needs to step in for the good of a neglected or abused child who may need special services or advocacy.  I suspect these are the types of scenarios where after the right process is followed, a child might be evaluated.


Stay calm and confident and make it clear that in absence of any convincing reasons from your daughter's teacher who knows her that you do not want your daughter evaluated.  As late as it is in the year, I'm sure you've probably already had a parent-teacher conference and this type of issue would have already come up.

post #8 of 8

I suggest contacting your DD's teachers and setting up a parent meeting ASAP. Sit down with the teacher and ask what she is seeing day to day, and ask why the principal wants an eval.


Evaluations are expensive, and it is extremely unusual for schools to do them for no reason. Schools generally don't request them unless they are having trouble meeting a child's needs in a general education setting without any accommodations. What kind of small things is your daughter working on?

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