Telios Law

Colorado Education Law Blog

Colorado Education Law Blog (18)

Special education and civil rights in Colorado


You leave the doctor’s office more confused than when you walked in! You have more questions to ask, but your head is swimming. There is no way the doctor could be right—or could she? Being told that your child has a disability or developmental delay is hard news for any parent to take and involves a grieving process as well as tough decisions to make. Each child and his or her condition is unique; different disabilities take a different path. So what do you do now? How can you best help your child, whom you now know has special needs

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is required by federal statute for students with special needs in order to understand what accommodation, modifications, special education support and educational goals a specific child needs. The IEP process can be tedious, yet if you are equipped with the proper tools, is a maze that can be navigated. PEAK Parent Center is the Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) for the State of Colorado. It reports that the number one most-sought-after help is on the IEP for a child with disabilities.

Our understanding of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) comes partly from statute and partly from case law. It brings parents both hope for what schools can provide for a child, and disappointment at the relatively low bar for education.

Bullied KidBullying is inevitable. Whether it occurs in toddlerhood when children are learning to use “safe hands,” or when older adolescents engage in cyber-bullying, most children will hit an adversarial situation at some point in their young lives. Parents struggle to ensure that children are equipped with the proper tools to navigate a hostile world. But what if you are the mother or father of a special needs child? The atmosphere quickly changes and is even more frightening. 

behavior at schoolChildren with behavioral, emotional, and mental disabilities sometimes behave badly and can even be violent. If this happens at school, are the parents responsible? Recently, a teacher injured by a child filed a lawsuit  against parents, alleging that Parents were responsible.

considering special educationLast year, Telios Law represented Parents in a due process dispute that went all the way to a hearing (which is unusual). The decision was good news for the Parents. Here are five helpful insights for parents on how to handle special education disputes with a school district.

Theresa SidebothamHiring an attorney to help with special education or Section 504 issues will be a significant financial investment. What should you look for? Here is a list of six things to consider from an education law attorney who practices in Colorado.

kids hiding under bedInteractions between parents of children with disabilities and school districts can go wrong in so many ways:  refusal to evaluate a child; inadequate IEP; not carrying out the IEP; harassing or bullying the child; refusing access to extracurricular activities; and many more. This frustrates parents and students. When this happens, what can you do?

special kidsHow do you support your child with disabilities? In what ways is the school district required to help? Navigating the maze of IDEA and Section 504 can be intimidating. Some of the work you can do on your own (see the blog series “Access to Justice for My Child with Disabilities”) but there are also ways an attorney can help.

extracurricular activitiesEven when schools put in place an IEP or Section 504 plan for your student, they may not address extracurricular access. This can make it hard for your student to participate in extracurricular events. After a government report found that students with disabilities do not have equal opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, the Office for Civil Rights issued Section 504 guidance.

 
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