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If a teacher disrespects your special needs child

A high-profile incident has many California parents concerned for their special needs children. A California teacher was removed from her classroom last month after posting insulting words about an autistic student and the child’s parents. Specifically, the post labeled the child as a “hot mess” and the child’s parents as “crazy.” The teacher was removed from her classroom on the morning after the post went live on social media.

Most adults vent about their work from time to time. However, insulting or otherwise disrespecting students with learning disabilities is something that teachers should be held accountable for. These students are considered to be vulnerable due to both their ages and disabilities. As a result, it is important that they be protected from any sort of verbal abuse or unnecessary disrespect.

In the post, the teacher mentioned that she was about to enter the child’s annual Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting with the child’s parents and attorneys. These meetings can be uniquely stressful for parents and teachers alike. However, no amount of stress justifies the unwarranted disrespect of a special needs child.

If your child has been subjected to insults, disrespect or other unacceptable treatment, please contact an attorney experienced in special education law. The law protects special needs children from disparate and disrespectful treatment under a variety of circumstances. Whether the offending action was a misunderstanding, a poor but well-intentioned choice or an abusive action, an attorney can help you navigate the situation and sort out any legal options that might be available to you.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Special education teacher's Facebook post calls autistic child a 'hot mess' and parents 'crazy',” Rob Kunzia, Dec. 16, 2013 

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