Silence is non-verbal communication.
Silence is used by people in positions of power. The silent treatment is an informal act of social control.
Silence and ignoring parents emails is a common practice used in the education system. They use this as a strategy in hopes that:
- You will go away
- You will get tired
- You will feel weak
- You will feel you have no other choices
- For legal reasons they don’t want to respond
If administration is ignoring you, it means you have hit a nerve. You are onto something.
How do you deal with administration ignoring you?
You can either try to deal with it yourself by using specific language or you can also file an Ombudsperson complaint and ask for early intervention. They can do that too. I did that for the Ministry of Education ignoring me, and it worked.
1. Use language connected from the School Act.
Parents’ entitlements and responsibilities
7 (1)A parent of a student of school age attending a school is entitled
(a)to be informed, in accordance with the orders of the minister, of the student’s attendance, behaviour and progress in school, and
(c)to belong to a parents’ advisory council established under section 8.
(2)A parent of a student of school age attending a school may, and at the request of a teacher, principal, vice principal or director of instruction must, consult with the teacher, principal, vice principal or director of instruction with respect to the student’s educational program.
2. Use language connected to the Human Rights Tribunal
Words like accommodation, equality, access to education, ableism, quote a case
3. Use language connected to the Teacher’s Regulation Branch
There is the Teacher’s Act
Also the standards of teaching.
4. Use language connected to the Ombudsperson Act.
Here is the Ombudsperson Act. Ombudsperson is designed to be the last resort. If the school district has refused any communication with you, then that meets the criteria for Ombudsperson to step in.
Here is their fairness guide.
Sometimes you don’t need to come on like a twister. Using the legal language can be subtle and they will pick up on it.
Put a deadline on your emails, as to when you expect to receive a response. 5 days is adequate. CC: Multiple people.
Ask for confirmation that they have received your email. They may not want to respond to it, but for legal reasons they may need to confirm that they have received it.
Persistence is your own way of sending your own non-verbal communication that you are not going away.
You can be pleasantly persistent.
If they are forcing you to have a conversation over the phone, you can take all the notes from your phone call and send it as an email to confirm your conversation.
A tip from another parent: You can also request that all of your conversations are done through email and say that you need this for your own accommodations, and or you are a busy parent of a child with a disability and you have a lot on your plate and for your own organization and keeping track of everything, you need it done via email only.
You can always escalate your concerns/issues with the next level of administration.
You can always contact external organizations for assistance and you can always contact external advocacy groups for help in advocating.