theebrandenburgs blogspear

This page is designed to share information about our struggle to gain equity for our unique children and their learning styles in a public education system that is designed primarily to teach a single type of learner, and which is increasingly sidelined by fiscal and philosophical issues that challenge the core of its collective existence. We are especially interested in unique learners, and the talented people who teach them, their families, and our shared value as human beings. We seek the end of discrimination, the end of seclusion, separation, and isolation, as well as an end to chemical and physical restraints that are commonly used to assault our children and our unique interpretations of the world.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Repost- Sierra Madre Patch- by Cassandra Morris Parents of Autistic Child Seek Investigation of PUSD

Parents of Autistic Child Seek Investigation of PUSD

Tony and Mary Brandenburg of Sierra Madre allege that a PUSD board member violated policy and are requesting an external investigation.
Tony and Mary Brandenburg, parents of an 8-year-old autistic child at Sierra Madre School, have requested an investigation by an external organization over whether the Pasadena Unified School District and Board of Education violated policy.
The Brandenburgs made a formal request for their investigation before the Board of Education at last week’s public meeting. Any member of the public is permitted to put an item on the Board of Ed’s agenda.
The Brandenburgs are alleging PUSD and Sierra Madre School staff violated policy in a number of ways, including the following:
  • That behavioral reports filed regarding their son did not follow district protocol
  • That PUSD employees knowingly altered records, created false documents and made false statements relating to their son
  • That PUSD staff withheld, and are still withholding, public documents about their son
  • That a board member discussed confidential business relating to their son outside of an official board meeting
  • That a board member actively planned and participated in a meeting with a group of Sierra Madre School parents regarding their son. The Brandenburgs allege that this falls outside of the Board’s duties.
  • The PUSD made significant changes to their son’s educational program without their consent
Board of Ed Vice President Edward Honowitz maintains that he did not violate protocol.
“Every action that I took was certainly in accordance with ensuring the confidentially that all parents are accorded under law and was appropriate in relation to the issues that were at the school site,” said Honowitz.
Honowitz said that he can not respond specifically to the Brandenburgs case because of confidentiality issues that board members are required to follow.
“They have a right to say whatever they want to say… it’s their opinion of what is happening,” said Honowitz.
Renatta Cooper, president of the Board of Ed, indicated that the board will discuss the Brandenburg’s request at their next meeting.
The board can decide to move forward with an investigation, reject the request or table it for a future meeting.
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  3. You need to get educational advocate. Unfortunately, you don't have enough clout as parents to get these people to take this seriously. An educational advocate does. The advocate will also be able to get copies of all documents. They will also be able to find out if the staff has been properly trained to restrain the child (state law requires all staff members be trained to properly restrain a child).

    I'm also curious if your son has an IEP, why aren't his goals being met or even addressed? Does he have speech services? After reading a few of your blog posts, I realized he was having trouble communicating to you on a few occasions. This would indicate that he needs speech services. You mentioned he has seen various psychologists (none of which seem to have any training in dealing with special ed children, let alone an autistic child) but I haven't seen any mention of any other support staff he has seen. I hate to see a child endure what your son has endured because of closed minded school employees who have no business teaching.

    I hope this helps. My mother is a retired kindergarten teacher and speech therapist who had many children in her class that were very much like your son. We both know how difficult it is to have a child that is autistic but to also have to deal with district staff that are ignorant and uneducated would make it so much worse.

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