Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And in response I get...

See my last post for context.

I appreciate any response and the need for student privacy, but this emailed response seems pretty weak to me. My summary would be "this isn't your business and anyway we are blameless for this problem." Tell me if you think I've got that wrong.

I have received your message regarding a specific student which you characterize as a student with disabilities. Unfortunately, it is not possible for me to respond regarding any individual student—even to acknowledge the presence or absence of a disability—or to provide any additional information.

I know that you are concerned about all students—especially those with disabilities. Please be assured that we share your concern. You should know that the Fort Smith Public Schools have a long history of providing for the needs of all students and that it is our intention to comply with all applicable requirements of state and federal law as we seek the best level of educational service. It is also important to know that while our staff are well trained to address a wide range of student needs, we also utilize the services of a number of other professionals and agencies to access the appropriate diagnostic and educational services for each student.

Thank you for your concern.

Benny L. Gooden, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Fort Smith Public Schools
Box 1948
Fort Smith, AR 72902
Phone 479-785-2501

I realize that my perspective is biased, but I find the injustice of this situation heartbreaking. I really wish I could figure out a way to bring this into the national spotlight. Any help or suggestions welcomed.

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