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Moving to Florida From a Different State? Get your child’s IEP reviewed before you relocate and before you have your first IEP meeting in Florida.
Mother walking daughter to school

When The School Calls You Often About Your Child’s Behavior

Mother walking daughter to school

When The School Calls You Often About Your Child’s Behavior

Sometimes kids have a hard time in school and they have different kinds of behavior problems in school and the school doesn’t know how to help them, so they call you. They call you as the parent. I’ve had some parents who call me in tears that they don’t even want to be by their phone because the school calls them so often to report problems, that their child is having this behavior problem, or the child did this wrong or that wrong. Sometimes the school will call parents and say, “You have any ideas on how we can work with your son or your daughter, because we don’t know what to do for him anymore?” Or they’ll call and they’ll ask the parent to come pick up the child from school because they can’t handle him anymore, or that he’s not in the classroom, he’s in the principal’s office, whatever.

Well, let’s get a couple of things straight, okay? First of all, it’s the school district’s responsibility to intervene, to evaluate and to support a child who has behavior challenges at school. That is what they’re there for. In addition to academics, reading, writing, and math, we all know schools are responsible for that, they are also responsible for behavior, for social emotional support, to help a child overcome the behavior and be successful at school in spite of the behavior, that is their responsibility. If they don’t know how to do it, then they have to find help in order to help the child overcome the challenge.

There are several ways that this can be done. First of all, if your child does not have an IEP and the school is calling because of behavior problems at school, your child needs an IEP, period. Okay? Period. Sit down, send an email to the principal, tell them that you want a meeting because you want your child evaluated for an IEP, okay? If your child has an IEP and there are these behavior challenges, then if your child does not have a behavior plan on that IEP, a positive behavior plan, then you need to sit down, write a letter to the principal, request an IEP meeting, so that you can have the school start evaluating your child for a Behavior Intervention Plan. This is a positive plan to teach the child appropriate behaviors.

If your child has an IEP and your child has a behavior plan, and you’re still getting calls, you need to sit down, write a letter to the principal and say, “The behavior plan isn’t working. We need to have a meeting and I am requesting that another behavior plan be created, that appropriate data be collected and that a new behavior plan be written because this one isn’t working.” All right, and you need to do it today. Do not wait. The behaviors aren’t going to change, they’re just going to get worse.

If the school is calling you to come pick up your child, I get it. If you’re concerned about the child’s safety and welfare and wellbeing, and you need to pick your child up, of course, you have to do that. But if you don’t, and if this has become something that the school’s doing, you don’t have to pick up your child. You can tell the school, “Look, you’re obligated to come up with a plan to help my child. You need to come up with a plan to do that. That’s not my job in the school district. I take care of the child at home. That’s your job, okay?”

If you do go pick up your child, make sure you sign them out, go to the desk and sign your child out, and on the sign out sheet put, “School called me to pick him up. School called me to pick her up.” You want documentation that you’re pulling your child out of school because the school told you to come and pick them up, all right? You have to make sure that the school is intervening, that they’re creating a plan. It is not acceptable to just keep calling you as a parent and saying, “Come get them, come get them, come get them.” They’re shirking their responsibility, all right? And so, make sure you write the letter to the school and have a meeting in order to deal with the behavior. If you need help with this, please call us. We work with this all the time, and you can’t have the school calling you and you can’t have your child continue to have these behaviors, because they’re not learning, right?

There is definitely a way to fix this and we can help you. Take care.

The IEP Advocate is your best shot at helping your child succeed in school (and life). We help parents get the school to approve and follow individual education plans (IEPs) for their children who are struggling in school. Even if the school is saying “no” to you, we’ll get them to say “yes” to us!

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