Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Write A Letter To Arne Duncan

Sherri R. Tucker

1200 SE London Way

Lee’s Summit, MO 64081


Arne Duncan

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to you for advice. My child, Jacob Tucker, attended Lee’s Summit High School in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. We are in the state of Missouri. He was forced to drop out of school because he was receiving no services and was no longer progressing academically. He required medication to attend school because of the anxiety that attending caused him. He does not require this medication for any other part of his life. Once he was removed from the situation the medication was no longer needed.

The local school district, as well as the state education department, is unresponsive to our needs, and refuses to obey the regulations set down in IDEA. As result, my child, as well as others, are suffering and not receiving FAPE. Child complaints are not sufficiently researched and are almost always found in the favor of the districts. Even when the parent has documentation that the district is out of compliance the State finds in the district’s favor. Due process is out of the question as most parents cannot afford it and rarely prevail. The State and the district are co dysfunctional. Even the Special Education Advisory Panel is not set up in such a manner that it would be parent friendly.

My son has a diagnosis of Kanner’s Syndrome/Early Infantile Autism, Dysgraphia, Inattentive and Impulsive ADHD, and Anxiety Disorder. I requested, and received, an IEE but the district did not discuss it at the follow up meeting and simply stated, “We have all read the IEE.” That was the extent that it was considered.

My son has had an educational diagnosis of Autism since 1998. He had never received any services related to his autism. He has a nonverbal IQ of 123 and the interpersonal skills of a one year old. He received no OT services for his dysgraphia and was in regular education classes all day. He had an IEP, but it did not address his issues and the State and the district refused to allow his evaluation scores to be put in his present level of performance.

They also refused to allow the parent full participation in the IEP meeting. When we complained to the State we were told that parents do not have a right to be an equal partner on the IEP team. I have documentation for all of the claims that I am making and can provide them to you at any time.

I filed an OCR complaint. They found that my son’s IEP was not being implemented, but that it did not materially affect his education.

I would appreciate your guidance in helping me to explain the Federal regulations to the school district in such a way that they will comply with current special education law.


Sherri R. Tucker

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