Friday, May 23, 2008

Stephen Attwood, "truant"

Having sent us a letter a couple of weeks ago calling Stephen truant and threatening to have him arrested, Chino Valley Unified School District sent Stephanie Johnson, "Coordinator Child Welfare and Attendance," to my door while I was at Orange County Family Court in support of Nate Tseglin, being reminded there that no matter how outrageously my kid is treated, there's always somebody else being done even worse. She left her card, and we talked on my phone on my way home. That evening, I sent her the following email, but first, the needed edspeak glossary:

FAPE is Free Appropriate Public Education, which all school districts are required to provide every student.
FBA is Functional Behavior Analysis.
AB2726 is a state-mandated IEP Mental Health Treatment Plan to be worked out with County Behavioral health.
Further note: I talked to Anne Savage today, and she never got the signoff from Erin, who she thinks just stuck it in the file - a misunderstanding I regret and and should have avoided.

From: Peter Attwood
Subject: Stephen Attwood: Attendance / "truancy"
Date: May 20, 2008 8:17 PM

This is to follow up on your visit and our phone conversation.

As I said, Stephen is not truant, because CVUSD still refuses to offer him FAPE. The placement at Keystone has failed, as I explained, because it put Stephen in memory of the failing H & H experience precisely a year before, which led to a treacherous act of abuse, in which CVUSD, under false pretenses, caused Stephen to be abducted from his home and family, and terrorized for three days in a mental hospital for supposedly being suicidal - and even the documentation that CVUSD has yielded up shows that he was not suicidal at the time. Unfortunately, Keystone uses the same manipulative management method Stephen first encountered during his false imprisonment at Canyon Ridge, the most traumatic experience of his life - and this too added to his fear and distress, making learning impossible.

Needless to say, your visit to our home today recalled this trauma to his mind. You evidently had no knowledge of this, but your supervisors, who in my view owed you a heads-up, are certainly well aware of it, and of the likely effect on Stephen of such a surprise visit from the agency that has so badly injured him and is still threatening him to this day. In short, CVUSD is showing the same willingness to traumatize Stephen, and the same refusal to work with us to assure him FAPE, that we have seen now since February 2007. The results in his life have been calamitous,
and it's my job as his father to keep that in mind and do all that I can to make sure it happens no more.

You wanted to know how you could work with us to get Stephen his necessary schooling. As my advocate has made clear before, the problem is CVUSD's refusal to offer FAPE. Distress at Keystone to the point of abreaction, with the result that he is less willing and able to do anything scholastic since he went there, proves for sure that Keystone is not FAPE for him, and yet CVUSD still obstinately refuses to consider anything else or to acknowledge that a placement that actually causes such regression and psychological distress is not "appropriate."

As I told you, and as no educational professional can fail to understand, the path to FAPE lies through proper evaluation of Stephen. After consulting with my advocate, I signed the authorization that Heather Williams sent me for the FBA, and I gave it Thursday the 15th to Erin Sandifer to take it with her to SELPA right after our IEP meeting with Joshua so she could hand it to Ann Savage.

Ann Savage has the paper and Heather Williams doubtless knows this, so it is now CVUSD's responsibility to bring this assessment to pass. I see nothing more for us to do or anything further to talk about until that is done, although if you do I will accommodate you, provided my lawyers are agreeable.

CVUSD has also said that they want an AB2726 evaluation. We'll do that as soon as CVUSD is up for it, as seems so far not the case.

In light of all this, it seems quite obvious that this accusation of truancy is simply an effort to further traumatize Stephen and to bully us to permit him to be injured in an injurious placement - just like the false imprisonment a year ago designed to force him onto psychotropic drugs as they had demanded for a month before.

CVUSD has behaved very well so far in the case of my other son, Joshua. Perhaps it would be best in this case to let the right hand learn from the left hand.


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