Districts are breaking the law when they give parents a false choice to force disabled kids to wear masks or forfeit their right to special ed

Yes, parents of students w/ developmental disabilities are facing a huge problem choosing between the risk of attending school unmasked or staying home with insufficient services.

But this Riverside administrator and others like him that present parents with this false choice are exacerbating the problem:

"students with disabilities across California are either waiting to get their special education services or forfeiting them for independent study. 'The legislators put us between a rock and a hard place,' said Patty Metheny, an administrator who oversees special education in multiple school districts in San Bernardino County. "

No. Those are not the only choices. Districts can and must provide children their needed services and supports over distance learning and in the home. There is nothing stopping Mr. Metheny from sending the speech therapists and OTs and PTs and other specialists to children's homes so they can receive those services in relative safety. Nothing stopping him from sending a one-on-one aide who is already assigned to the student to the student's home to help them attend to zoom classes. And nothing stopping them from improving their distance learning paradigm - something they should be doing anyway in preparation for the next pandemic.

But instead, Metheny and others like him -- including an administrator currently blocking the proper provision of services to a client of mine -- are using the mask mandate as an excuse to save money by giving those speech therapists, OTs, and PTs a lighter caseload and to lay off one-on-one aides that were hired to help our kids. They are breaking the law when they present parents with this false choice: either do the impossible and make your kid wear a mask or give up all of your rights to special education services. This publication and the public should not let them get away with it.