Utah Family Sues Over Common Core Retaliation

shutterstock_159412961A Common Core lawsuit was filed in Utah February 6th, 2014. Among the things in the petition Common Core is mentioned in relation to retaliation by the school district for the parents of the child involved reaching out to Anti Common Core groups.

The lawsuit alleges that a talented and gifted 11 year old boy in a Utah school district was assigned to a new room. Shortly after this move his parents began noticing a change in behavior and attitude. When corresponding with the teacher the parents suggested possible boredom due to the work being assigned. The parents kept in constant contact with the teacher and the counselors at the school.
The nature of the correspondence with the teacher quickly turned contentious as the teacher unprofessionally used name calling in referring to the student; she calls him “the goof,” at one point. Said teacher also alluded to the child being “lazy” and not turning in assignments on time.

As the parents continued to worry and insist that something at school was causing the depressive behaviors they were seeing the school district continued to insist the child was okay.

The concerned parents went for an IEP (individual education plan) or 504 to help their child. They were informed that he did not qualify for an IEP. Chances were also unlikely that he could get a 504.
Pertinent parts to the petition sent to me by the family’s lawyer include:

Taking into account the totality of the Petitioner’s experiences, written documentation via emails to the Petitioner’s spanning over a year, apparent violations of “Child Find’ obligations by the District, callous inter-office emails between the VHMS staff and Alpine District Administrators, the inclusion of invalid “testing” materials into the decision making process despite multiple and specific formal objections by the Petitioner’s Advocate regarding multiple serious ethical errors and practices associated with testing, submission of emotional “testing” results from the VHMS that indicated that Student T displayed absolutely “perfect” mental health, the Petitioners and Advocate Dr. Gary Thompson believe that this “decision” was made prior to the meeting with Petitioners, and the decision was merely relayed to Petitioners at the meeting……

These actions resulted in multiple and repeated violations to the educational and civil rights of Student T, and ultimately has resulted in a denial of FAPE (“Free and Appropriate Public School Education). Petitioners will prove via documentation, expert testimony from a pediatric neuro-psychologist, peer reviewed research in child clinical psychology, email exchanges between the District and the Petitioners, copies of email communications between VHMS and Alpine District, and transcripts from the IEP meeting that Alpine District knowingly conspired to deprive Student T from obtaining special education services afforded under the 2004 IDEA, which resulted in a blatant and dangerous denial of FAPE…….

The VHMS team forwarded what they purported to be, all assessment results to the (Student T’s) family on Friday, January 24, 2014. A review of their assessment showed that absolutely no valid testing or inquiries into Student T’s confirmed anxiety and depressive issues were part of the assessment performed by the VHMS Special Education Team. This dangerous pattern of conforming evaluation protocols and results to preconceived, “one-size-fits-all” evaluation procedures not only resulted in a final evaluation that was invalid, unscientific and not comprehensive in nature, it was the final piece of conclusive evidence that joined a long line of factual events, evidence and behaviors which led the Petitioners and a experienced Education Advocate to conclude that Alpine District performed a fraudulent, unethical and ultimately dangerous evaluation of Student T…..

Given the totality of the record, counsel for the Petitioners, licensed doctoral level clinicians and advocates for the Petitioners, and the Petitioners themselves are shocked at the level of apparent disconnect and callousness exhibited by Alpine School District towards Student T. Petitioners allege that Alpine School District retaliated against the Petitioners for exercising their rights of parental choice and involvement in their child’s public education experience, and expressed contempt after the Petitioners retained the services of Early Life Child Psychology & Education Center to assist them with obtaining relief for their wonderfully complex, quirky and gifted child.

Interestingly enough, on “the record” (the entire IEP Determination meeting was digitally recorded, in open view of all attendees, and after advance written notice of intent to so record), Dr. [Gary] Thompson summarily informed the [school district] team that in his experience of attending close to 500 IEP meetings, he has “never seen the amount of unethical, illegal and harmful behavior by a group of public school educators in his entire career.……

Many things have gone wrong in this child’s educational career during his time at VHMS and it’s truly heartbreaking to see the damage that has been done.

A couple things that stick out to me as a parent who fights the Common Core are these points taken from TAE:

1. Allegations of retaliation for utilizing professional help linked to “Anti-Common Core” advocacy.
2. Allegations of unethical and invalid use of psychological testing to conform to predetermined outcome.
3. Allegations of ignoring parent’s desperate pleas for assistance for son.
4. Allegation of callous attitude towards parents as exhibited in 50 pages of “obtained” Alpine District inter-office/district emails.

It begs the question; is this what it looks like to be a concerned and involved parent in your child’s education in the era of Common Core?

Macey France

Oregon PolitiChick Macey France is co-founder of the Stop Common Core in Oregon and is working with parents across the state to educate and help them to learn how to advocate for their children's education. Macey has spoken at many Common Core informational meetings across the state of Oregon. Macey's articles on Common Core have been picked up by various news outlets and she has been a guest on many radio shows across the nation. Macey's article about The Bluest Eye was featured on a panel on Al Jazeera America and was nominated for a CPAC Blogger Award for Best Sunlight Post of 2013. Macey is a strong conservative with libertarian leanings, making her more of a "conservatarian." Preserving the constitutional and moral values of that this great nation was founded on for her children is her priority. She is a stay at home mom of two boys who are now in elementary school. As a mom who has always been interested in politics, religion and all of the taboo subjects, she has always had a lot to say about the state of the nation. When she realized the Common Core Standards were not only bad news for children but a government coup over education, she decided to fight back and is now considered one of the nation's leading experts on all-things-Common Core. When she's not having uncomfortable arguments with strangers on Facebook she can be found spending time with her husband of 15 years and two sons. Find Macey France on Facebook and Twitter: @MaceyFrancePC

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