I absolutely love the zebra line!!
I just noticed this. The advice to get a private eval on the expectation that the school will pay for it is NOT good advice. You will owe the money for the eval, and even if you have insurance it may not be covered. Although there are circumstances where districts do pay for private evals, they are rare. Generally, school districts eval students using their own staff.
This site has good information on the IEP appeal process:
but everything has pros and cons
I wouldn't lawyer up at this point-May cause unnecessary extra tension, and I don't think they have done anything illegal. Yet.
What I would recommend is asking for written documentation (not anecdotes) about the behaviors, their lengths and severity, and a description of interventions used and their outcomes. This is supposed to be done before any type of referral, anyway.
And I have always been told that if school staff recommend/insist on outside evals, they pay.