What To Do When You Disagree With The School

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MS,

I am having such a difficult time getting my child the services I think that she needs. My child is having a hard time understanding the classwork and she is unable to do her homework.  She seems to be really struggling to keep up.  Although the teacher acknowledges that she’s having trouble in class, she says to wait until later in the year before doing anything about these issues.  She says that perhaps my child will have an “intellectual growth spurt” and catch up.

 I’m afraid that waiting will actually make the issue worse and that she may have to repeat the grade.  I think that we should start now to address the issues.

I have no clue what to do.

Concerned Mom

Concerned Mom,

I’ve been where you are!  It’s important to know that you do have rights as a parent and you have the right to disagree with the school and your child’s teacher.  In fact, disagreements are very common amongst parents, teachers and administration. 

If you believe that your child is having issues that may be caused by a learning disability, you have the right to request an evaluation.  The school, at least here in the United States, should pay for that evaluation. 

You can request an evaluation based on the trouble that your child is having in class and you should first go to the teacher to ask her to start the process.  If the teacher is not willing to begin the process, you can go to the principal and set up a meeting.

It’s important to keep all your comments very matter of fact and not lash out at anyone personally. Be polite, yet firm and whatever you do, do not lose your temper!  The conversation should sound something like this: “I have concerns about my child because she is having trouble in school and doesn’t seem to be able to keep up with the other students.  I would like to have her evaluated for a learning disability.  How do I go about requesting that?”

I stated before that disagreements between parents, teachers and administrators are common.  Because of this, school districts have created procedures for addressing those disagreements.  Most districts actually have a written handbook that they give to parents to go over these procedures. The handbook usually addresses parental rights and also responsibilities in addition to procedures for dealing with disagreements. This will go over procedures for taking the issue to a further level if you can not resolve your concerns after your meetings with the teacher and the principal.

Once an evaluation is done and it proves that your child has a learning disability, legally the school must take action to address those disabilities.

I am hoping that this issue can be resolved quickly and easily and that your child can get the help she needs to stay on track with her schooling. Good Luck!

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