504 meeting in an hour!?!?

Posted on: Fri, 10/19/2007 - 2:16am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We have been having problems with my son's 504 and some of the things in it not being followed. I wrote an email to the principal asking for them to be followed. Well she stopped me in the lobby in front of my son and several other people and told me that they were doing the best they could. I said no the 504 needs to be followed and that was why it was put in place. So she said it sounded like we needed to have another 504 meeting. I said fine and she said well the sooner the better right. I said that was fine. I told her that I would need a little notice because my younger son only attends preschool 2 days a week and I would have to find someone to watch him. Which is hard.
So she called me on Wednesday and said can you meet for the 504 meeting in an hour or two? I told her no I was sorry that I was at work and my younger son was with me and I was not prepared. I told her that I was waiting on paper work being mailed by his allergist to me that would support my position. Then I told her that I would be glad for her to talk to his allergist. She said no that was all right she would call during the meeting if need be.
What is the deal? Can she do that? Can she tell me as little as an hour before that we are about to have a 504 meeting? Am I going to look bad because I could not come right when it was convenient for her? I really think they are trying to pull something over on me. I contacted my lawyer and asked him. He said that maybe they just knew that I was concerned. He said if he went with me that that might make things worse. What do any of you think about this.

Posted on: Sun, 10/21/2007 - 1:24am
lilpig99's picture
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Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

I can't see how anyone would think it reasonable to try to convene a meeting in an hour. So don't worry about it. She can't demand you meet at 12:34 no more than you can demand she meet at 12:35. It must be reasonable for both of you. It was an unrealistic expectation on her part.
I think your principal's answer of 'we're doing the best we can' is weak. They are [b]legally bound [/b]to provide the accomodation. If they consistently violate the provisions of your child's 504, then essentially, you don't really even have a 504 do you? You're no better off than someone who doesn't have a 504 are you? You are left to the mercy, the good will, the attitudes of 'do I feel like doing x,y,z for Johnny today?'. Wrong wrong wrong. If you have agreed as a team that an accomodation with be provided and they do not provide it, they are in violation of a legal agreement. Now, you must decide at what point do you consider filing a complaint form with the Dept of Educations Office of Civil Rights? Usually there needs to be a history of repeated violations. You may want to document the violation for your records, I would. You may even want to show the school you are documenting a violation and at the same time request compliance. You may even conveniently tell the school you will be in contact with the DOE OCR in regards to repeated violations of your son's 504.
You will set the tone, in regards to what it is you expect of them...to take this seriously or not...whether or not you have a lawyer present. I mean, have you exhausted all other avenues? Have you utilized the enforcing body for 504? (the OCR) See the beauty of this 504, is that they actually told the world (or at least the Dept of Ed ;), that they legally agreed to do this. And as 504 parents, we have the power to hold them to it via the OCR.
Good luck with any upcoming meetings! :)

Posted on: Tue, 10/23/2007 - 9:14pm
AngelinasMommy's picture
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Joined: 08/19/2007 - 09:00

I have looked around on this board and I am not sure How to get or how to start a 504 plan . Can either of you shed some light on this subject for me. I need to try to get started and I am not sure where to begin. Thanks for your help in advance

Posted on: Wed, 10/24/2007 - 1:04am
stephklem's picture
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Joined: 02/03/2006 - 09:00

Hi, Angelina,
I would call the principal and let him/her know that you want a 504 plan for your child. If your child has a food allergy, they have to provide one if you ask for one. The major life activity impaired is "breathing" due to anaphylactic reaction.
Stephanie

Posted on: Wed, 10/24/2007 - 2:22am
lilpig99's picture
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Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

Angelina,
The school does not have to give you a 504 designation just because your child has a food allergy. What they do have to do, is evaluate your child to see if he is eligible according to to the language of section 504. Having a food allergy does not automatically qualifiy one for protection. There must be an evaluation of those knowlegable about your child and his condition, the food allergy generally will be considered life threatening.... significantly impairing at least one of the major life activities mentioned in section 504 law.
It is true that most folks and their doctors will argue that breathing is impaired, but no, they don't simply have to provide you a 504. There is a process to the madness :).
Please check out the thread I just raised. It's about section 504 and has some good info. On page 4, you will the link to the newest version Rhonda's 504 out line.

Posted on: Wed, 10/24/2007 - 3:08am
stephklem's picture
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Joined: 02/03/2006 - 09:00

Yes, there is a process, and perhaps I misspoke. What I do mean is that they cannot make that determination without a meeting. I am finding out that apparently some school districts will argue about the need for a 504, however, if breathing (or another life function) is impaired, I find it difficult to see how they can argue against it! We (in our sd) have never told someone that they cannot have a 504 for a food allergy that result in anaphylaxis. That is our interpretation of the 504 law.

Posted on: Wed, 10/24/2007 - 3:20am
lilpig99's picture
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Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

Stephklem,
I tell ya, if all school nurses were as understanding of how FA impacts the school experience and the needs of FA kids, we'd all be better off. It's good that you clearly see how kids with LTFA's qualify under 504....unfortunately many school/district's do not go easily down this road. It's probably more the rule, in fact. But anyhow, you would think it would be so obvious to them!
Thank you for supporting those with LTFA's in your school and helping them to acquire 504 protections.
lilpig99

Posted on: Wed, 10/24/2007 - 9:45am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Angelina,
lilpig is right. You need a meeting first. Be prepared and contact your childs doctor as soon as possible. Tell the doctor that you are about to ask for a 504 and see what they think. As someone told me, be sure that your allergist is supportive. Thank God that mine is! Research that thread lilpig mentioned and adapt it to your child's needs. Make sure when you go that you take with you all about your childs allergies. Descriptions and what anaphylaxis is. Be strong. Do not let them try to push you around. My son's 504 is being updated now. Just remember that if you get it make sure they follow it. That is the problem that I am having now. But I am on top of it and you will have to be too!

Posted on: Wed, 10/24/2007 - 10:51pm
MFA Mom's picture
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Joined: 08/31/2007 - 09:00

Hi, I just went through the 504 process...here is what I did:
1. write a letter to the 504 coordinator for your school. Our coordinator is the school principal. Simple letter stating that you wish to have a section 504 eligibility meeting for your child's food allergies. A phone call is not adequate as these requests should be in writing and documented.
2. The school has to respond within a time frame (30 days).
3. At the eligibility meeting, you need a letter of documentation from your child's doctor stating the allergies, past reaction history, etc. Ours gave definitions of food allergies, gave the information about his chronic asthma (puts child at higher risk for anaphylaxis), stated the section 504 law, definition of hidden disability (food allergies are hidden disability), that the life activity of breathing is affected.
4. Once eligibility is granted, then you have an accommodation meeting. We have 4 documents attached to the 504, one is food allergy action plan, IHP (individual healthcare plan), EHCP (emergency health care plan, asthma action plan and accommodations page).
5. During the eligibility meeting, we had principal, nurse, guidance counselor, teacher and parents. Other meetings involved nurse and princiapl, parents only.

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