This sections outlines how our family has been impacted by the treatment of our son at EVCS • I will post the report in 6 installments • This is part 6 • If you would like to read the dang, long pdf version please do so by clicking here
EVCS’s failure to fulfill their duty to educate my child has caused immense emotional and financial stress for our family. While my child was in class at EVCS, I was frequently called to pick him up early. I was essentially on standby for their convenience. When we decided to switch to online learning for the sake of my child’s mental health, I spent most of my time communicating with the school to get him the special education services he needed. My son returned to us hurt, under-educated, and disheartened. I have been occupied with visits to doctors, lawyers, therapists, tutors and I have been unable to work, not to mention the additional cost of private tutoring. Our family is not alone in this struggle (The Hechinger Report, 2022). Now that my son is safe, I hope to move on from this difficult chapter. This letter is my hope to save other families from this costly and traumatic encounter with EVCS. Since we have left, I have heard from several other families that EVCS continues to mistreat children with IEPs and 504 plans.
Cal is flourishing at his new school. When we requested that he attend this school, the district lawyer told us that Cal doesn’t belong with violent and disturbed children and that he should go back to EVCS. His insensitivity and judgmental tone about children in need of services was appalling. This school has a well-regarded program for children with a diagnosis and is staffed by experienced, qualified, and knowledgeable teachers. It also offers mental health services, growth mindset, positive reinforcement, kindness, a great gym, wholesome food, STEAM lab, and music program—many more bells and whistles than EVCS. Why would I be afraid of my child attending an elementary school with well-supervised, well-educated students who have their needs met? I fear broken school systems that promote toxic forms of positivity. I was repeatedly told about the success of EVCS even though they were unwilling to acknowledge their failure to provide basic education in reading and writing, putting all children at risk by selective reporting, denying required special education services, and bullying children with disabilities by formal and informal measures to remove them out the door to nowhere.
Our Best Wishes
Maya Angelou famously said, “Do your best until you know better. Then, do better.” EVCS needs to do better. I hope that as a stakeholder, you insist that EVCS does better by teaching all the children in their care to read and write and to provide for the special education needs of their students.
This report is my effort to do better, to speak out, to no longer be complicit in a system that favors one of my sons over the other. Both of them deserved to have the education EVCS promised in their mission.