Father Claims School District is Discriminating Against Son, District Disagrees
A father in Bronaugh, Missouri claims the school district is getting in the way of his son’s education. District officials say that’s simply not true.
All Michael Millman wants is for his son to get the best education possible. He says the Bronaugh School District is impeding on that.
“I’m the best advocate for my son. But they’re supposed to be the ones helping me, not fighting me and I always seem to be right back here asking for the things that he’s entitled to,” says Millman.
His 15 year old son Michael has autism and goes to school at the Ozark Center’s Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism in Joplin. The center has a contract with the Bronaugh School District.
IEP meetings are required by law to plan an educational program for children with special needs. Millman says school officials have failed to show up to meetings that were scheduled after his son was briefly hospitalized. Meetings he says the Ozark Center is requiring.
“I personally feel like the district is discriminating against my child by not doing the IEP. We rescheduled the IEP from Tuesday to 8:00 Wednesday morning. The superintendent agreed to this,” says Millman.
The superintendent has a different story.
“We had one scheduled in January and the father told us the day of the meeting that he wouldn’t be there. We had to reschedule for February and the same thing happened. We had one scheduled for Tuesday and apparently there was a mix up he thought it was in Joplin and it was scheduled to be at our school,” says David Copeland, the superintendent.
Copeland says the meetings are historically held at the school with the occasional exception. Millman says meetings are always held at the autism center in Joplin.
Bronaugh school officials say every student’s education is always the top priority
“We want to provide quality education whether it’s in house at our school or somewhere else but I hope through this, that the lines of communication are open more than they have been,” says Copeland.
Millman wants just 1 thing.
“I want my son to be a productive part of society and in order to do that he needs to be able to get the same education as any other child out there,” he says.
Millman also says he was informed the district hasn’t been paying the Ozark Center as it’s contracted to do. The superintendent says that’s completely false.
The center is part of Freeman Health System, officials there couldn’t comment, only saying it’s a school district issue.