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A Young Boy's Story

The following testimony was provided by the parent, verbatim.


Calvin's Story

Our son was adopted from foster care and was abused and neglected. He had attachment issues and developmental delays. He was on the level of an 18 mo old when he started Kindergarten.

We put him in Kindergarten in the Grandview school district. He was in the MR classroom at Meadowmere Elementary and had an IEP (this took an advocate from MoPAC to get a functional IEP in place). One day, in speech therapy Calvin would not sit still. The ST put a seat belt restraint on him to keep him in his chair. For several days afterward, he ran and cowered when we took his belt out of his drawer to put on his pants. He did not have the mental or physical capacity to undo the belt in the event of a fire. He was traumatized by the episode. When confronted, the director of special ed said that the seat belt was an "educational tool" and the superintendent backed her up.

Later that year he was moved to Martin City Elementary in the Autistic Classroom. This teacher created a behavior plan for him. The plan included a safe room. The use of the safe room gradually increased in frequency and duration. He was required to stand on a taped "X" in the safe room until a timer went off. One day, he was so 'bad' he stayed in the safe room for the entire afternoon. The room is an empty room with a window in the door. He was in there alone for hours. Afterwards, at home and at school he would say, 'don't lock me in the closet.' He was traumatized by the safe room and his behavior became more vindictive towards the teacher who kept using the room. Calvin eventually bit the teacher and Calvin was suspended. The school district moved him to a private school, Gillis.

Gillis did not use restraint or a safe room, but the teacher did not follow his academic goals on his IEP. She could not produce any work by him and could not produce a grade book. We filed a complaint with DESE and shortly thereafter the teacher wrote down his 'progress' on his IEP goals, but nothing to back up her claims. One day, he urinated in his pants while waiting for the bus ride home. The teacher put him on the bus in wet, soaked down to his knees, pants to ride home. We disproved of this and the teacher said that we didn't 'like' her. A flurry of behavior reports came home shortly thereafter. Calvin pushed the teacher in the back and the school suspended him. The school district 'changed his placement' to Nova Center. We have another advocate from MOPAC.

He is at Nova Center now. They do not use restraint or a safe room and he had a large, male teacher who followed his IEP. He met all of his goals and had new ones for his new IEP. Within a few weeks of his new IEP, budget cuts forced layoffs and his teacher was forced to leave. (The Tuesday before Thanksgiving 2008). Calvin's new teacher has not demonstrated that she is following the academic goals on his IEP. She was 'not in' on a day I called to check on Calvin and there was no substitute teacher, only the aids. She is not in the classroom when Calvin's behavior therapist goes to see Calvin weekly, and she was nowhere to be found when I came to visit Calvin this past Friday (2-6-09). I called an IEP meeting to discuss Calvin's progress with the new teacher. I have serious concerns. We still have the advocate. I am maintain hope, but I don't see a solution.

Calvin has been in 4 schools in 4 years. One used a restraint and one used a safe room. The two private schools have not used those tools, but also do not consistently teach him.

Calvin does not get an appropriate education through Grandview school district.

Scott and Andrea Bilyeu


District Information:

Assessed Valuation: $452,239,053
Total Enrollment: 3903

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