Thursday, March 19, 2009

Field Trip Update

After getting the information on the field trip for the eighth grade field trip in the morning, I was upset by the lack of thought or consideration shown to the special education kids. My anger grew as I received a note from the school stating that due to David's issues I would need to attend also. Along with the $50.00 for David I would need to pay $50.00 for myself if David was to attend.

I called and spoke with the vice principal and was told David wasn't being targeted since the others in his class were told their parents would need to attend if the child was going. She understood that coming up with $100.00 in cash overnight was difficult and she would speak to the principal and the teacher in charge the next day.

Yesterday I waited for the phone call and finally at 11:00 I called. Both the principal and teacher in charge were out sick. So, it should be alright if we wait until the next day and settle the situation then. My question was - would waiting the extra day prevent David from attending since we were told the paperwork and money was due that day. I was told "it shouldn't be a problem." But I couldn't get a firm answer that he would be included if we waited for an answer.

So I showed up at school at 12:40 to eat lunch with David and turn in David's paperwork and his money. I was quite surprised to see the (reportedly sick) principal there. Apparently, he had come in at noon so I was able to speak to him. It was settled that David would attend and I would go to oversee and could pay my fee sometime before the end of the school year. So David will be able to attend.

My concern goes beyond just David. I know that this situation is going to prevent some of the other kids in his class from experiencing the normal childhood experience of a field trip.


Kelly said...

That's just not right, Kim. A field trip experience is deserved by every child, and it's fair (and how can it be legal?) to design a field trip that has special "rules" for different children. That school should foot the fee for you to go, too. Where are you guys headed? I hope that it's somewhere exciting and fun!

Kim said...

Kelly, it's really not legal. But many parents aren't aware of this. Also the school has used the "We didn't realize they were forgotten" excuse. But, proving it was intentional would be difficult. I feel that when I fight the school that I fight not just for David, but for all the other kids with issues.
We are heading to Washington and David is very happy that he is going.

madame said...

I read both your posts. I'm glad David is going, and I'm glad you were strong enough to stand up for him.
You are right, all children should be able to take part in field trips, and no group of them should be "forgotten". Maybe you could get other parents together and express your disappointment jointly? One person can be easily brushed aside, but not a group.

Richard D said...

madame - You're right that a group would probably be heard better than a single individual.

But when it comes to defending our son, Kim brings new meaning to the word tenacious. She is not easily brushed aside, as folks well up the chain of command for the Virginia Public School System will attest to.

Kim said...

Madam- I have tried in the past to work with other parents of special needs children and found it very upsetting. One mother didn't go to the meetings set up at the school and then would call me and complain because the school wasn't doing what she felt they should. I explained that unless she took an active part in the meetings they never would. She would then want them to hold another meeting to change what the school was doing. Another parent just wanted to attend their child's IEP meeting and wanted me to do the fighting for them. I have also found other parents that feel their child is always right and the school is just too harsh on the child.
I have been known to go directly to the head of the cities Special Education department. I document everything, research and attend the meetings as if I were attending a meeting at a job. They then take me more serious.