Sunday, March 29, 2009

Filing for hearing to be in Chino

I filed the request to have the hearing conducted somewhere in Chino and not in Rancho Cucamonga. My grounds are that Rancho Cucamonga is far off and hard to find, and unable to accommodate the public - so that this effectively denies me my right to an open hearing, and also that Stephen needs the safety of being in public, a disability that he's entitled to have accommodated.

If you live in the Chino Valley Unified School District and you think having to schlep to the SELPA office in Rancho Cucamonga to attend the hearing would be difficult, you could help by faxing a letter to the Office of Administrative hearings at 916-376-6319 saying so, and you should also fax a copy to Jean Martin at 909-987-2279.

Your letter needs the following, but nothing else:

1) CASE # 2009020321
2) What you have to say about why the hearing should be in the Chino area so you can attend it.
3) Your name and address, and the date - and sign it.
4) A statement that you faxed a copy to Jean Martin at 909-987-2279, and be sure to do it!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"The Changeling," and more news

Great movie starring Angelina Jolie and directed by Clint Eastwood about the true story of Christine Collins, whose son disappeared in March 1928, and then the LAPD brought her another kid 5 months later that was 3 inches shorter, circumcised, and with different dental work, and insisted he was her son.

It's quite a story. Because she wouldn't accept this and wanted her actual son, the police wound up grabbing her and throwing her into the psychopathic ward of LA County General Hospital. It turned out he had been kidnapped by a serial killer in Wineville, now Mira Loma, from whom he escaped with two others, but may or may not have been recaptured and murdered. Collins searched for him the rest of her life.

The lengths that the LAPD went to to cover up, and the legal struggles she went through - with free representation by a great lawyer in LA - sure look familiar.

The abuse of Stephen and how far his tormentors have been willing to go is certainly much less severe, but the mentality of total indifference to the welfare of the kid and to common decency, the all-consuming obsession with covering up the wrongdoing of abusers, really is just as is portrayed in the movie.

As I was saying today to some women I met at Norma Torres's (61st Assembly) get-together in Montclair, the thing that really worries me is how common this mentality is - this really is a crooked and perverse generation just as it is written - and how clueless I am about it. I just can't see how these people can live with themselves, and neither could the others at the table, and there are so many like that - in the district administration, in the SELPA, in the "enforcement" unit of the California Dept of Education and beyond. As I've learned more about the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O'Connell, in the issues over which he's been dragged into court, the cruelty and indifference to justice toward kids in this man is really amazing.

There's something really wrong with me that such a large proportion of the human race is just beyond my understanding. It doesn't matter how screwed up they may be. It's not OK that I can't even imagine how they're able to think as they do. I'm pretty sure that I'll really need to see myself being the same way before I understand. May the Lord wise me up soon!

In current events, OAH granted me until the 17th to file an amended complaint, while I try to hire a lawyer, and the ladies at Norma's gave me a great recommendation.

Jean Martin of SELPA, representing CVUSD, filed an opposition to my request to change the place of the hearing to the district office from the SELPA. Monday I intend to file an amendment to my motion in order to accommodate her stated objections to the district office location while preserving Stephen's rights and mine.

Friday, March 27, 2009

More news in Special Ed

The Office of Administrative hearings (OAH) found most , but not all, of my amended request insufficient, so we had the resolution session. That didn't work out, so we're supposed to go to mediation on April 14th. It was clear at resolution that at this time CVUSD doesn't want a deal. They want to go to the wall in Due Process, so I have to hire a good Special Ed lawyer, whom I think I've now found, but we will see. I've filed a motion to give me another two weeks to amend in order to give my lawyer time to decide what to do with the Due Process request. If that's denied, then I'll have to take another spin on the hamster wheel, which will be more trouble to everyone, including CVUSD, who will have to write another notice of insufficiency (NOI), convene another resolution session with no intention of working anything out with us, and then move on to new dates for mediation and hearing.

It really is like being in prison. I can't just walk away; I just have to learn what I must in it like Joseph. And it's true that I keep learning and growing up. Gayle told me today that Maggie the cat has made me a nicer person, and it's true. And so have Ed Heatley and Jean Martin, although improving my life somehow doesn't seem to me to be their top priority!

I started building my Special Ed page. I plan to add to it in future. It needs links, and I look forward to any suggestions.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Slap and tickle, here and there

The Office of Administrative Hearings found my request insufficient on the 23rd, so I got more advice and amended it, getting the amended one in just in time yesterday. The judge clearly didn't read it, but as I said to the OAH mediator, if he was able to read it without seeing what it said, it needed reworking anyway. And indeed I did need to tighten up some legal points just based on the comments of Connie Huang from Disability Rights California, which is why it took me into the afternoon to have it ready to resubmit. I'm very glad I waited to hear from her.

I also seem to have made some progress on hiring a lawyer for the tort claim, and the Due Process request documents the violations that strip the district people of their qualified immunity and let us into Section 1983 suits against the Superintendent, the four board members involved plus the one no longer on the board, and others, if that's where we need to go.

We've had lots of excitement in Chino Valley Unified the past week or so. The arbitrator keeps ruling against the board in its dispute with the Lewis Company, and they just agreed on a program of cuts - closing several schools, laying of 285 people, bumping K-3 class sizes and more.

Now something like this is unavoidable, because California being in the shape it is and clawing back a lot of money we were counting on, what are we going to use for money? But this thing was first published on the 3rd and then adopted on the 5th, with no one getting a chance to look over the numbers. And lots of people know that the Superintendent lies about everything. If he could put about $1.5 million worth of obvious lying into his $2.1 million estimate to run the school in the Preserve, in about 10 line items, and he was able to show that not consolidating the agriculture programs was going to cost about a million bucks, when the truth was more like a tenth of that, most of which could be raised in donations, then who is going to trust his numbers on $44 million in about 100 line items - rammed through in two days with no chance for anyone including the board members to actually look anything over? And how much more when even a cursory glance reveals a good deal of mushroom food lying right on the surface, which Lewis, the union reps, and others will smell soon enough!

So they ram this thing through in two days before anyone can look at it, and they should be surprised that people don't want to hear it? You can lie your way into what you want a lot easier for a while when you're willing to forfeit trust, but things do come up in which you need a lot of trust in your account - and then it's not so good when you come up empty. In fact, it's not as bad as it sounds, because the rush was that they need a plan before they can send pink slips, and you have to give some notice in those pink slips. But that takes too long to explain to the union leaders and the people losing their neighborhood schools when they've seen the board condoning and covering up for the Superintendent's lying all these years.

In church news, the pastor sent us all an email regarding evangelism, and I responded with some biblical basics. Some people were happy, and some weren't, and the elders were scheduled to talk about it in their monthly meeting this evening. How that works out will be known soon. When I get some news I'll give it.