Mediation

Representing Clients in New York & Nationwide

When disagreements between parents of children with disabilities and school officials arise, the two parties are sometimes unable to come to an amicable solution. However, because the relationship between parents and educators is necessary and ongoing, good communication and goodwill are extremely valuable. Therefore in resolving such disputes, Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP can help you through a process of mediation before taking any legal action.

Disputes between Parents and Educators

There are many occasions in which disagreements can emerge between educators and parents of children with disabilities. Parents and school officials may have differing views about a child’s needs and abilities that lead to disputes over goals and outcomes in their Individualized Education Program (IEP) or about the implementation of the IEP. Often faced with budget shortfalls and funding cuts, school districts may suggest cutbacks in services that parents oppose because they feel the services are necessary for their child’s success. In addition, some disabilities in children lead to inappropriate or disruptive behavior, especially when the child’s needs are misunderstood, creating disciplinary problems.

When disagreements occur, Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP works to support parents and act as advocates for their child’s best interests. Parents naturally can become very upset when the issue at stake is their child’s education, well-being, or safety. Therefore, resolving disputes through mediation with an impartial mediator can often help both parties reach a resolution that satisfies everyone. Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP has years of experience working with parents of children with disabilities and educators, which gives us considerable knowledge and skill in resolving disputes to protect the best interests of the student involved.

We will help you prepare for, and participate in, mediation sessions by organizing and effectively presenting your views and concerns. In the meeting, we can be there to support and represent you in advocating for your child.

Compromise Instead of Conflict

With the strong backing of our disabilities education legal team, you can rest assured that school officials will take your concerns seriously. Not only will we help you communicate your point of view in a given dispute, but we will help you find solutions that resolve the root issues of the problems. In other words, our goal is to facilitate not just the resolution of one dispute but to help ensure that you are satisfied with your child’s educational program and environment in the future.

If after mediation sessions you feel that school officials are still not listening to your concerns or are not adequately providing for your child’s needs, Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP can also help you initiate any necessary action. This may include impartial hearings and even litigation. Mediation is an optional step and parents have the right to ask for an impartial hearing at any time. However, to maintain a positive working relationship between parents and educators, we are available to help you reach a satisfactory compromise first.

If you currently have or anticipate a disagreement with your school district, that may benefit from mediation, please contact Goldstein, Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP for a free consultation to find out how we can be an advocate for you.