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Ely, Attorney
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 219
Experience:  Attorney in general practice,
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This question requires some specialized knowledge of

Customer Question

This question requires some specialized knowledge of education law, specifically, dealing with a school principal and school district about discrimination and retaliation against a parent.
My child attends a school in one of the larger school districts in California. I am a member of the School Site Council and the PTA board there. Last year I started asking questions about a few things that made me concerned. Right away the principal started treating me differently. He started acting very cautious and businesslike. I helped a lot in my son's classroom at that time. The principal started showing up in the classroom all the time, supposedly to talk with the teacher about this or that. One day he was not on campus and I stayed during class to watch. Next thing you know, I got a letter accusing me of violating all kinds of school policies, like staying in the classroom way too long, taking photographs on campus, and disrupting the educational environment.
That was the end of my volunteering at school. I had to get the principal's permission before going on campus for anything, including picking up my son. The letter did not say how long it was in effect, but in asking around, I was told these usually go until the end of a school year.
Now this year, the principal makes me ask him to volunteer one event at a time, letting me do some things but not most, including anything in my son's class. He always mentions how much of a problem I made last year as the reason for still keeping me away. Every supervisor above him I talked to said they support the principal's actions because of what they say is "student safety."
I haven't been allowed to appeal the letter from last year or even have the principal prove that what was in the letter even happened. Right now I'm trying to just let time go by and maybe the principal will eventually let me go back to what I was doing at school before I started asking questions at School Site Council meetings. I know what he did was retaliating against me but everyone above him is agreeing with what he did. I don't have tons of money to sue the district, and it sure looks like the whole system is stacked against me. Also, I have run into other parents at different schools who had the same thing happen to them. What all of us got is called a "disruptive person letter" and every one I have read is so similar that it looks like all were written by the same person.
Please tell me what my rights are. How can I force the district to do a real investigation of this mess instead of ignoring it? Thank you very much.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

I noticed no one has picked up on your question. That's probably because the first question "what are my rights" is too vague to be able to answer and every time we try to answer a question like that the customer respond with "I already knew that" and gives a negative rating even though they didn't indicate they knew anything we told them.

However, I can answer the second part of that question and we can discuss that are if that will be sufficient. Please let me know.