Education laws relate to how our schools operate. They cover matters like educational standards, school district and school board authority, student attendance, discipline, and dress code requirements. Education lawyers represent parents who have issues with their children's education. For example, if you think your child has been improperly suspended from school, an education lawyer will help you determine if challenging the suspension is within your legal rights.
Special education laws give children with disabilities and their parents important rights. Specifically, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) gives families of special education children the right to:
- have their child assessed or tested to determine special education eligibility and needs
- inspect and review school records relating to their child
- attend an annual "individualized education program" (IEP) meeting and develop a written IEP plan with representatives of the local school district, and
- resolve disputes with the school district through an impartial administrative and legal process.
"Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don't fit into boxes."
If you are the parent of a special needs child, make sure that you take time to take care of yourself. Whether or not you hire an attorney to help you navigate the bureaucracy of special education law, you are your child's number one advocate. Your child needs you to be at your best so plan some time to recharge your batteries.
A good place to begin searching for resources for advocating for your child is The Yellow Pages for Kids, a website dedicated to teaching parents how to be a more effective advocate
Attorney Jack Mannion has a special interest in the welfare of children. As a board member of a local adoption agency and crisis pregnancy center, he seeks to help couples to grow their families through adoption. At Mannion Law LLC, our mission is to obtain high quality special education services for our clients so their children will be prepared to lead productive, independent lives, to the maximum extent possible.