Friday, February 17, 2012
Sleeping Hearing Officer; Internet Gotcha
sleep (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)
Many special education folks heard this week about a sleeping hearing officer.This is a sad story, and here is the link to the Fox TV story.
My first reaction to the story was that it was inexcusable for the hearing officer to doze off during the hearing. Imagine how the parents felt; were they getting a fair hearing? What if you were the school district and the ho was so interested by the testimony about your school that he took a nap? This can't be good!
I spend all year extolling the virtues of the special ed hearing officer. This kinda thing does not help me in that regard.
But another part of the story bugs me as well. Is throwing bottles and books on the floor the way to go? Also at what point did the lawyer decide to take some cellphone video and contact the 6 o'clock news? And of course anything with a "gotcha" flavor resonates on the internet. Cellphones and the internet are now a big part of our lives. They are bringing us the twenty-first century, including Arab Spring and widespread distribution of knowledge. But they also get us video of cats and games featuring angry birds, not to mention instant "gotcha" moments. There may be a dark side of the force.
None of this justifies the hearing officer's snoozing during the hearing. This cannot be tolerated. But I say that the whole mess fails the whiff test. What do you think?