If you are advocating on behalf of your student, a school district is prohibited under federal law from retaliating against you in any way. Recently, the U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR) resolved two cases in Virginia concerning two individuals who were working on behalf of students. In one case, a mother who was employed by the school district was terminated from her job after advocating for her child. The district argued that it had fired the mother because of job performance, but OCR found that the reasons given for termination were a pretext for retaliation for the mother’s work on behalf of her child. In the second case, a school district instructed all of its staff to stop communicating with an advocate who was working on behalf of several children, going so far as to block the advocate’s e-mail account. The case was resolved when the district agreed to restore the advocate’s access and conduct a training program for its employees.
If you have experienced conduct by any school employee which you believe is retaliation for your advocacy on behalf of your student, you can read about the Office for Civil Rights’ complaint processing procedures here. Professional assistance in filing OCR complaints is not required, but is often a good idea.