AUSD Policy Outrages Parent


Imagine going to the hospital and the medical team only treats you with medications and procedures that you were already aware of. That’s the standard of practice for the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD). If you have a child with a developmental delay and or a deficit of any kind, the school district is federally obligated to help your child reach what would be considered a typical school experience. 

Wheelchair access is an example we are all aware of, but — unlike wheelchair access which can instantly be measured and physically seen — developmental access cannot always be as apparent. Let’s take a child who may need speech therapy. 

The amount of therapy needed may be 30 minutes a day, three times a week. The school district actually has staff to try to reduce this therapy to potentially none if the parent is not aware of what the child needs and is entitled to. Now let’s give this child immigrant parents who speak little to no English and who have not a clue about how the system works. The school district will take advantage of this by mentioning how wonderful the child is (over and over and over again) while having these parents agree to a program based on saving the district money without any regard to helping this child catch up to his or her peers. 

Chances are most parents don’t have the money to hire an Individual Education Plan (IEP) attorney to stand in at a meeting to determine whether services are offered or not. 

Now imagine going to a restaurant and not being handed a menu and the waiter comes over and asks what you would like. The decor and atmosphere give no clue to what type of restaurant you were sitting in. Now imagine that the staff of the restaurant is not allowed to help you choose. They are not allowed to give you any clues whatsoever of what is served. This is standard practice at AUSD. 

The administration bullies the aides and teachers to a point that any normal person would consider it a hostile work environment. So in other words, the people (who generally are the kindest people on earth) who spend all day with your child (who cannot talk) are not allowed to talk to you. They will literally speak to you like a spy in a movie. They will talk without moving their mouth. 

They will private message you on Facebook and remind you to please not let it be known they contacted you. All the while all you’re discussing is the best interest of the child. Also keep in mind no one is asking for huge expenditures, we’re talking about speech therapy, physical therapy etc. — most of which the school district is already staffed for. 

Next time you’re bored, look at the paid staff under special education at AUSD. Most of these people have one role, minimizing services. It would literally be cheaper just to provide the services in most cases than to deny them. I am lucky enough and blessed enough to be able to hire an attorney to represent my son.

My outrage goes out for those families who do not and have no choice but to take what is offered or in most cases what is not offered.

My outrage goes out for that poor child who will not receive the services he or she is entitled to and desperately needs. Now for those of you who have a moral compass I ask, why are we, as a community, allowing a school administration to create a hostile work environment for special-needs instructors and deny services to those who are unaware or financially unable to represent themselves?