Yesterday, I shared comments from a Virginia Department of Education staff member, which appear in a Letter of Findings (LOF) to which she contributed.
Here’s another curious comment that appears in the same document:
“This is my justification for the length of the narrative in this case—they made me do it!! ? I wanted to separate the three categories of requests that Parent had initiated last summer — IEP, ESY, Reevaluation, Reading inventory testing. Sheesh. It shows the confusing atmosphere that FFX handled professionally. She was making lots of FFX staff work, sometimes in conflict with others. Please edit and make it better, ML.”
A few issues:
The parent being referred to was advocating for her child.
She does not work for Fairfax County Public Schools nor does she have any control over actions taken by FCPS staff.
Yet, “ML” states that the parent made FCPS “staff work, sometimes in conflict with others”.
How is that possible?
In addition: Where is the proof of the “confusing atmosphere that FFX handled professionally”?
AND: Joking—“they made me do it!?”—has no place in a process that is supposed to be an “independent determination”.
Instead, “ML” exhibits very definite opinions about the parent and FCPS, even though, the complaint investigation process is supposed to be a thorough, unbiased investigation.
“ML” is Kathleen Harris, whose email signature identifies her as:
Kathleen G. Harris, J.D.
Office of Dispute Resolution and Administrative Services
Division of Special Education and Student Services
Virginia Department of Education
This was confirmed by VDOE FOIA officer Rebecca Askew, in response to a FOIA request.
Parents have one opportunity to raise their child/children. There are no do-overs, no second chances.
Thus, parents take their advocacy seriously. We’re fighting for our children’s lives.
Advocating is hard enough without having to read joking and other questionable comments made by the individuals tasked with ensuring the implementation of our children’s rights.