Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Glimpse of Small Town ISD Harassment

You've probably have noticed by now that I have plenty to say;)  Actually it is not very often that I am at a loss for words but now is one of those times.  I have been very honest about our struggles with the school system here in small town TX.  Our battles have led to me homeschooling three of our five boys.  It won't be too much longer before we pull the last two boys out of the system.
Unfortunately, I am not able to go into to detail about our latest battle quite yet because it involves legal action but I am going to share a few things that I have discovered about our ISD (Independent School District) along the way.  I want to be clear that I have met many wonderful teachers with in the district (some have become lifelong friends) and this editorial does not reflect upon them in any way.  No this is about the "system" and administration.  A system that is compromised at its very foundation, a system that claims to want the best for our children but prizes the almighty dollar above the child's welfare, football above education and shoves our SPED programs into darkest closet they can find.  This is my experience with Anna ISD.
When we moved here nearly four years ago from VA I was quite naive.  The school system we were in had an excellent autism program and we saw massive improvements in the two of our boys that were diagnosed at the time.  I mistakenly thought that the SPED system down here would be similar, after all it is federally funded and over seen.   But I was wrong!!!  From the moment we enrolled our children in the public school  it has been one nightmare after another.  They have constantly and consistently tried to get out of providing services to our children.  From losing my sons confidential records not once, not twice but SIX times (a file that is around 300 pages) to losing my actual child TWICE in the same school year we have seen it all.  Diagnosticians have tried to change the diagnosis on my children three times, diagnosis they received from actual doctors who specialize in autism.  I was once told by the then head of SPED co-op (now disbanded) that my son could not possibly be autistic because he knew his ABC's and could use scissors.  When I refused to sign paper work agreeing with this exercise in the absurd his paper work was conveniently lost......notice a pattern yet?
Teachers have been disciplined for talking to me about MY children, one teacher (one of the best in the SPED department) was actually pushed out of her job as a direct result of her involvement with our family and trying to provide the best education possible to my boys.  There is systemic harassment of any parent or teacher who dares to speak out against the ISD in any way.  Most parents simply pull their kids  and homeschool them or move out of the district because it is easier and less costly than fighting the system.  I say enough is enough!!!  I will not be bullied, I will not be silenced.  I dare any credible news agency to come and invsetigate the shenanigans going on here.  I guarantee you will be shocked by what you find.
Standing my ground-Kristine Skiff


Chris Howard said...

You are a very special momma. Thank you for being open about your struggles so that other families will not feel alone. Know that you are well supported and well loved!

Kristine Meier-Skiff said...

Thank you very much. Throughout this ordeal over the past few years it has been the love and support of our friends and neighbors that has kept us strong. Thanks again for always being there:)

Belinda Phillips said...

Hey Girl,
We too have had a similar struggle with our now graduating college son. He was put into special ed when my husband was first awarded custody. The Melissa Isd said that they would get him caught up. As a freshman in HS and my first ARD meeting as mom I confronted the teachers with answers from tests that were given to my son instead of helping him learn to study. These answers were handwritten by the teachers not by students or my son.

We asked that he be tested again for special ed and they told us that no one ever passes those test. We asked that he take the tests anyway. He passed with Flying colors.
What the Isd fails to tell parents is that they get paid per student for every student that is two years behind. What incentive does the district have to push those kids to do better. If the incentive is to challenge our children then the Homeschooling just might be a non-issue. We were told our child would not graduate. That he would never get into college and would not have a chance. That might have been true if we were to actually believe any of that....but we chose not too.

I have found that Homeschooling is by far the best way to fight the system. While we still have to pay property taxes and that is another battle for another day. I refuse to have my children caught up in a system that is really set up for failure. If YOU were to create a school that was to teach children, pay teachers and pay the utilities you would not use this model. In fact if you read about charter schools in LA after the hurricane you will find that these schools are thriving and fire at will if a teacher is not doing his or her job. They are not dependendant on Govt assistance althought they can recieve grants. The have waiting lines and lotteries for children to get in...they are devasted if they do not.

Fighting the system is a valient effort but making sure your child is educated to the best of his or her abilities is in my opinion the best way to fight the system. I do believe there will come a time when public school will become a thing of the past.
I can dream can't I?

Kristine Meier-Skiff said...

Wow Belinda! I am sorry your family had to walk through that. You're absolutely right about the state of our schools. As we know school choice is the best possible motivator to improve our schools. The past week has given me much to discuss with you. So many points of your Constitution class being made blaringly obvious once again.-Kristine

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristine, wasn't able to post my previous comment due to some annoying blogspot error, but the jist of it is this. I think your case would be better served if the ACLU or some other agency were to come in, rather than a news agency. They would certainly have more political clout.

I got the Texas affiliate's info off their site, and am posting it here. Maybe you're way ahead of me, but I thought I should suggest it, having read this particular blog. They would certainly be against the abuse of special needs students.

The head honcho's name is Terri Burke.
(713) 942-8146

Good luck!
Pusher A.

Marie said...


1. luv your new look:)
2. nice you know that you have to continue the story, right? you can't leave me hanging like that.
3. i will be praying for your school situation and for wisdom for you and your husband.

Kristine Meier-Skiff said...

Thanks Marie:) Iabsolutely am going to finish the story. It will be done as it comes to me;) i appreciate the prayers. We need them right now-Kristine

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