Can we refuse to have our child sent to a non-public school?
During our IEP meeting the school and school district have decided to send our child to a non public school. Do we, the parents have any say so in the decision making? Can we refuse? The list of the non public schools are far away in another city and we, the parents, do not feel comfortable sending him so far away to a non public school. I believe the next step is mediation. What is mediation?
Visit the IEP meeting again with the players and express your concern. Your options are always yours; however, your tax dollars may only pay for what the school suggests. You can challenge the decision in court but it is usually the other way around--eg parent wants private school and school feels they can adequately educate the child. Kids are resilient. If this is the best option, give it a try.
Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
Mediation is when the parents and the school district representative meet with an unattached advisor that helps sort out the details of the disagreement.
You should have received a packet or papers titled (something like) "Parent Rights" from the IEP team at your school. This document states your rights as a parent and serves as a guideline regarding the laws of your state and SELPA (Special Education Local Area Plan). The federal government guarantees every student the right to a Free Appropriate Public Education. Schools must act with the "best interest of the child" in mind.
My advice is for you to find a reputable organization that represents parents of special education students. There are many good ones that can be found using the internet. Do your homework, research the laws of your state and don't be afraid to stand up for your child.