Anyone know an advocate to help with public school issues? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 01-21-2011, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! Wise mamas - does any one of you know someone knowledgeable on the Portland Public School system and willing to help/available for pay?

 

We have a second meeting coming up regarding our youngest child. We had one to ssee if he had any special needs issue beyond exasperating stubborness. He is doing fine now and his teacher is fantastic. Unfortunately my experience with the vice principal has been hostile and unnerving/strange.

 

The last time we had a meeting, I mentioned that he had been tending to like alone time (goes in his room and unwinds). This got written up as "mother says child is often left alone" !!! This is most definitely NOT true as youngest son is extremely inventive and NOT the sort of child I would leave with out an adult around.

 

During the meeting, my husband talked about how our son is good at things our family participates in other than the standard baseball/soccer. One of these things was going to an medieval event where knive throwing was happening. Although our son was too young to attend a class, during practice time my husband was allowed to stand with our son behind the line and throw knives into the target. Our son also took classes in archery, leathermaking (little ball) and marble games. We also discussed his love of bicycling, swimming and skiing. None of this got mentioned. Rather this was written up as "son is good at throwing knives". Anyone reading this write up of the minutes would assume the worst! I asked by e-mail for these to be amended and was told they were but I don't know if I even believe it. Why write it in such an inflammatory way in the first place!?

 

So I am very nervous about having to have another meeting with these people. My husband feels they have to follow up the last one for protocol and if we don't go they will have youngest son alone in there.

 

Does anyone know someone who would be a good third party to bring to this meeting?

I really do not want my words to be twisted up into something strange.

 

Any help is much appreciated!

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#2 of 4 Old 01-22-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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I'm an ex-teacher and district curriculum leader.  Administrators have to spend much of their time face-saving and trying to distance themselves from liability, so they're going to be infuriating to work with, even if they really do have your child's best interests at heart.  Does your school have a counselor?  Go to him or her and ask for mediation during the meeting and note taking to allay your fears.  Chances are the counselor doesn't have the same agenda as the admins that are causing such strife, and he or she can be a good presence there for you.  You may also wish to ask that a special education teacher be present as well, if you are working to get your child evaluated for special services.


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#3 of 4 Old 01-23-2011, 05:45 PM
 
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Try contacting www.ofsn.org . They are Oregon Family Support Network, and may be able to refer you to an educational advocate, or at least help you understand your rights in this situation. I agree you need some help in that meeting.


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#4 of 4 Old 01-26-2011, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both so much. :)

I will look into the link. 

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