Hearing Officers

The Things Hearing Officers Say: Deference to Educators

Too often, “deference to educators” is a trigger phrase among parents of students with special education needs.

While there are educators who are of great worth, parents too often have sat in IEP meeting after IEP meeting, opposing educators whose lack of training, lack of experience, lack of empathy—and sometimes all three—are negatively impacting students. Add to this, educators who make a parent’s opposition personal, to the point they oppose everything a parent states, just to oppose it, with all focus on their egos rather than the needs of the child.

So, what happens when the school division counsel argues for deference to educators as part of his due process hearing final brief? Does deference have to be given to the very educators who have so often been the root of all the problems?

Feel the Need to Include Judgement of an Advocate’s Skin Color in Your Legal Decision? You Might Be A Virginia Hearing Officer

Virginia Hearing Officer Frank Aschmann thought it appropriate to judge the skin color of a parent’s advocate, and include his judgement of his interpretation of her appearance in his due process decision.