This meeting is as crystal clear to me as if it had just happened yesterday. I walked into the school with my trusty folder, my daughter's MRI's, a letter from our doctor, and a letter from an expert in the field of hemangiomas and vascular malformations.
I also had copies of laws, copies of the fax I had sent Mr. Notto, and copies of the
reply letter. I also had a book about my daughter's condition that the expert had written,
and a good outline that I had written. I wanted to make sure that I would not be
intimidated into forgetting what I wanted to cover. This was a very important
meeting--This was for my child. I walked into the guidance office, and was ushered into a
conference room. Mr. Notto was clearly put out with the meeting, as he felt it was not
necessary, and felt that anything that happened in the past was just that.
I was continually interrupted & kept having to repeat that Mr. Notto was going to
listen if it took all day. I showed the three that there was a history of the school
knowing about Anna's foot condition from the middle school up through the high school. Mr.
Notto denied, but Mrs. Walker corrected him. She admitted that it had been on Anna's
records, and that memos had been sent out. I showed the letters from the doctor &
expert in malformations, re-educating the three as to what my daughter's problem was, what
her needs were, and how we were going to strive to meet those needs. I showed Anna's
MRI's, showed the book, and showed Mr. Notto that by the school district's own handbook,
my daughter was not guilty of breaking policies and procedures--they were. I asked how
misunderstandings from one year turned into broken policies and procedures the next. Mr.
Notto's memory failed Quite a bit during that meeting, and I was really concerned that he
may need checked for alzheimers, as the personal care home I had worked had residents
whose memories were better than his. He told me that we could not use the past, but wanted
to use past attendance from the middle school. Contradictions were made. I brought up
about Mrs. Baum giving Anna the Quarter, and I even offered to pay it back if that was the
Mrs. Walker agreed with me a lot & was interested throughout the meeting. Mr.
Foresman sat silently, acting as if afraid of Mr. Notto. I insisted on a Chapter 15
Service Contract for Anna, as it is a Civil Right's contract, that protects her &
addresses what the school is to provide for Anna.
Mr. Foresman walked me to the door of the office. He told me quietly that he felt Anna should receive a contract now, since we had that meeting. I walked from there to Mrs. Walker's office. We talked about the meeting, and I felt comfortable with her.
I went directly home and called our family doctor, as there are only a handful of specialists in the world who can help my daughter. I was in the process of trying to work arrangements with the malformation expert prior to this meeting, but knew that any physician's excuse is legally good. Our physician wrote out an excuse to show that Anna would be absent due to her handicap, and also wrote out that she needed her bus stop moved. I faxed the excuses to him, called him, to be told that he had a problem with our physician's excuses. I told him that legally, he would accept them. I called the doctor, and told her what he said. I felt relieved that maybe things were finally working out. I was lead to believe that the school would work with my daughter's condition. Please keep in mind that didn't ask for much. I asked for ice, elevation, crutches, wheelchair as needed, books at home, and to be contacted when my daughter had a problem with her foot. I felt that with the nurse meeting with her, Anna could address problems she was having with the school, and it would be taken care of. Any child, whether they be handicapped or not, should be provided with ice when needed.
The Next Day: I came home from work to find Anna lying on our couch. I could tell that she had been crying, and knew in my heart that it just had something to do with the meeting the day before.
I was right.
Anna had went to band, and had been asked into Mr. Varola's office. Now keep in mind
that his office is a sound proof room. The door was shut. Anna was questioned about what I
had said at the meeting the day before. She was interrogated, and was told, "I didn't
say your name". Well excuse me buddy, but you didn't have to. In fact, you didn't
have to bring all this up in front of the class either. No, but you did. You made my
daughter feel like someone who had committed a crime, when in truth, if those kids had not
been able to compete in the level they thought, it was due to you not wanting to make the
Something had also crossed my mind. Is it wise to take a girl in a room by herself? No insinuation of course.
Continue with The Contract
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