I find it difficult to muster any pity for the 'bullied' administration workers. As a parent and, indeed, a parent of a special needs child in Wake County PSS, I know that I speak for hundreds, if not thousands, of parents when I point out that we are the ones that have been bullied for years by the people in WCPSS administration. For years, we were told that if we didn't like something, we were welcome to homeschool or attend private school. To our faces.
They integrated the special needs children without bothering to consult with or train the teachers and principals; when the inevitable disasters happened, the teachers, parents, and, especially, the STUDENTS, were given no support whatsoever. Principals felt comfortable telling parents that their special students were not welcome in their school, because they knew the administration had their back and would come armed if the parents tried to complain. I am thankful that I did not experience that, but I live in a solidly middle class section of NW Raleigh. The horror stories have been endless, as I attended Wake SEPTA and now SEIC meetings and training sessions. Every month I meet at least one person who has a nightmare story to tell about WCPSS administration.
I am sure I speak for thousands of parents when I say that they were bullied when their kids were shifted to different schools every year, being bussed for hours, at the whim of the previous administration.
Mr. Tata changed all that. He sat down, listened to parents – not just of special needs, but all parents – and the teachers, and asked them what they needed. And then he told the people in the administration to get it done. I can see by this article that they were highly offended by this.
Mr. Tata stopped my daughter's OT in the hallway of her school and asked her who she was; what she did; and what she needed to do her job effectively. And he not only listened, he went and asked the WCPSS administration to get it done, no excuses.
Mr. Tata hired Dr. Grillo, who has now resigned, to head the office of Special Education Services. We now have support staff at the actual administration building (who knows for how much longer) instead of scrambling around and attending ECAC meetings to find out what we need to do, and what our childrens' rights are.
Mr. Tata commissioned a transportation survey for special needs kids, after hearing some of the horror stories. The entire survey, complete with all comments, was published for all to read. This was boht good and bad, as some people had put personal information into the comments. But the abuses our children have suffered over the years was set out for all to see – and to know that the previous Superintendents had ignored us for years.
I could literally go on for much, much more. I would like to close by saying how disappointed I am in Indyweek for publishing such an one-sided hatchet piece. I have, over the past 20 years, thought that you were a pretty independent publication leaning somewhat to the left, but at least trying to be fair. This article is none of those things.
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