The IEP meeting started at 8:30. About 15 minutes into the meeting the assistant principal kept mentioning that we had to hurry before the bell rang signaling the start of classes. It was about 9:15 a.m.
Mom was in the middle of explaining something about her son to the team and the bell rang. Two of the team members stood up and closed their notebooks and began to leave. I looked straight at them and said very firmly, “Excuse me, but this meeting is not over and mom has not finished what she was saying. Everyone knew we had this meeting and right now no one is leaving until it is over. I respect your time, and we will finish as quickly as we can.”
Then, looking to the assistant principal, I said, “This meeting is not over yet and everyone’s presence is still needed.” She agreed and everyone sat back down until the meeting ended.
Here’s what you need to know: Once an IEP meeting starts, everyone from the school is expected to stay in the meeting until you, the parent, excuses them. If you do not want them to leave, they have to stay. If they’ve said their piece in the meeting and you don’t have any more questions for them, then you can excuse them.
If someone leaves the meeting without your prior approval, make sure it’s documented in the meeting notes then, if you want to, if it happens frequently, you can file a state complaint.