|Complaint Department Grenade (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I do a lot of work as a mediator, complaint investigator and a hearing officer in special education cases. I also train folks who do these jobs. I have often noticed the animosity that people have for the special ed hearing system. I was at a conference once and said that I was a hearing officer, and one guy spat on the floor. This started me to wondering why people hate special ed due process hearings.
Here is another example from the cases decided last year. In Luo v Baldwin Union Free Sch Dist 60 IDELR 281 (ED NY 3/21/13), the parent appealed a special ed hearing decision. In their complaint filed with the court, the parents referred to the due process hearing as an "assh*** parade." They also described the proceedings as "bulls***." (Ed note: the parents spelled out the whole words; mine is the cleaned up version...) The Court had to threaten sanctions if the parents continued to disrespect the proceedings. Those are strong words; why were they so upset? This seems like a common theme.
So what are we in the special ed hearing business doing wrong? I'd be interested in your thoughts. Also look for follow ups on this in the Weekly Question and the comments thereto.