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"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."
                 ~ John Dewey


Consult: Sometimes parents just need some advice and guidance. School districts always have an attorney, even if he is not at the meeting.  Parents consult an attorney to level the playing field.  
Hire: Some parents are intimidated by CSE or Section 504 meetings, or they have a complex situation. These parents want an attorney to advocate and negotiate on their child’s behalf at the meeting. Having an attorney at the meeting makes it less emotional.
Hearings and appeals: Other parents have reached a point where the best option is an impartial hearing. They need an experienced special education attorney to carefully review the situation and make that determination.
My Letter to the New York Times Editor, published October 11, 2016

"I am an education attorney who represents students who have been suspended from school for saying far less than what Donald Trump said to Billy Bush in the recently released tape. Mr. Trump defended himself in Sunday night’s debate by explaining that it was “just words” and not deeds. The words are enough to earn a student a long-term school suspension. The deeds would get a student arrested.

What should I tell parents whose children have been disciplined for far less offensive words than those used by Mr. Trump?"

BARBARA J. EBENSTEN