Janet Stotland worries that parents of special-education students can sometimes face having their parenting skills put on trial - literally - by school districts frustrated by their children's emotional and behavioral problems.
As co-director of the Education Law Center, a nonprofit legal advocacy group in Philadelphia, Stotland is on the lookout for situations in which she believes districts are inappropriately referring special-education students to the child welfare system.
A child misbehaves in school, fails to perform adequately, is absent and disruptive. Is this due to bad parenting? Should child protective services be involved?
Ahh. There are no easy answers here. Yeah, it could be bad parenting, or it could be "EBCD" (emotional, behavioral and cognitive disorders) arising from disease, bad genes, bad luck ... Or it could be both; a parent will often be affected by the same neurocognitive disorder that afflicts their child -- a disorder that is unlikely to promote omniscient parenting.
Of course the last thing one needs, when struggling to be the best possible parent for a child who's ill-suited to our modern world, is to also get stuck with a court date. Talk about adding injury to injury!
PS. Got this one from the special ed blog in my blogroll (see sidebar).