What can I do? Why doesn't the school have to give information to the victims parents?
My son was put in a choke hold from behind and had a knife a few inches from his neck. The school did report it to the cops and the DA is pressing charges. But because the child has an IEP he is returning back to school. Since my child has an IEP as well they are in every class together. I tried talking to the school, and I couldn't get information. All they would tell me is the talked to the teachers to prepare for this child's return to school. They didn't even inform me the child was going to return to school I found out from the officer in charge of the case. The school just kept telling me they can't give information about another student and all I wanted to know was what is being done to keep not only my child but all the children safe in that school. I don't understand how this incident doesn't call for a change in placement. Talking to the school, it seemed like their main goal was to try and make me feel like a horrible person. They kept repeating every child has a right to an education. I never said they child didn't. And I'm a firm believe they do, my child also has an IEP. But I feel I have the right to know what is going on in the school and what they are doing. Why wasn't I informed by the school this child was going to return to school?
The school is correct that they are obligated to admit the student back to school. It is very difficult to place a child with an IEP in an alternative setting. It can be done but it is difficult. The school cannot legally talk to you about anything relating to the other child (just as they cannot speak to the other parents about your child). What you can do is request a mediation meeting between your family and the other child's family with school representatives present. You can also ask for an IEP meeting for your child and during that meeting, develop a safety plan so that your child will not be as vulnerable around this more aggressive student...for example that your child will be supervised by an adult at all times.
My apologies, I did not see the first part of your story where you said the other student had a knife and the DA is pressing charges. It would be appropriate in that case for the aggressive student to be placed in an alternative setting for 45 days. If drugs, weapons or serious bodily injury are involved then children with IEPs can be removed immediately from the school. We did this with two students this year. I'm surprised it hasn't happened. Since the school cannot speak to you about the other student, there's no way to know how or why they made their decision to keep this child enrolled. Could be the school does not want to mess with this child's parents. In any case, it's reasonable to ask the question as to why this child wasn't placed in a 45 day interim setting due to the weapon.