FAQ Friday: "Do I have a right to observe the class before agreeing (or not agreeing) to a placement for my child?
Parent Observations v. Student Confidentiality
by Pete Wright and Pam Wright
"Do I have a right to observe the class before agreeing (or not agreeing) to a placement for my child? The special ed director said I cannot observe the class because of confidentiality issues with the other children."
I have represented kids with disabilities since 1978. In all these years, I have never had an instance where a school denied a parent, or the parent's private sector expert, the opportunity to observe a potential placement.
The school board attorneys with whom I have worked over the years have always permitted observations by parents and the parent's outside experts.
When a school administrator takes this position, it creates an appearance of two things (both bad):
(1) that the program is clearly not appropriate and the parent will quickly discover this, and
(2) that the school is attempting to keep important information from parents.
I think many Hearing Officers and Administrative Law Judges would view a refusal to allow an observation as grounds to find that the proposed placement was not appropriate.
VIEW FULL ARTICLE
Staff of the Northwest Arkansas Community Parent Resource Center (including original content as well as curated links to various authors around the web.)
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