Legal Question in Education Law in Massachusetts

I have a child on an IEP, the school has failed to administer the program; she is dyslexic yet there is no remedial reading program. She sits in homework help. She has failed every MCATS and every test in the ciriculm, yet they say progress is being made. She has been removed from all electives, included PE to attend resource room, yet will be unable to graduate because she has never taken PE. The school refuses to answer emails, teachers, principal, special education director and superintendent. They simply respond " file a complaint." the DOE has been notified, the Special Ed Director forward a blantant lie, stating the parent denied eligiblity, we have a signed copy of the acceptance. However DOE closed the file, their interest is in their own cause. They hold IEP meetings without us, when we have meetings the principal has stoped teachers from talking, we have it recorded. They arrive unprepared without any tests scores or grades. My child spent three years at the Landmark School, was making effective progress when we could no longer afford to send her, the local public school said they could handle it, yet we have seen nothing but abuses. We have had education evaluators, evaluate my child and the school,including Dr. Sally Shaywitz, yet their recomendations have been completely ignored. Please advise. Unfortunately, at this time I cannot hire an attorney.

Asked on 3/05/10, 8:37 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonas Jacobson Law Offices of Jonas Jacobson

First of all, take a deep breath. When it comes to a child, parents can become easily, and understandably, stressed. Second, it sounds like, from what you said above, that it is time for you to hire an attorney.

While you may feel you have little to offer, you should know that, by statute, attorney's fees may be available if you are found to be a "prevailing party" by a hearing officer or judge. That comes with a few caveats - if the parties settle, or if the school district even offers a settlement approximating the hearing officer's decision, they may not be, for example.

That said, incentive does exist for a special education attorney to talk to you. I do not practice special education law, but would be willing to make a referral. You can contact me through my website:

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Answered on 3/14/10, 8:56 pm

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