Education/Human Rights Workbook
Speaking Up BC
Kim Block, BA, DSW, FLE
January 1, 2023
Here is a guide I am offering to parents/guardians advocating in the education field. Pulling out the facts of your child’s education struggles and matching them with policy and law can be overwhelming and a daunting task. Filtering out the extra non-essential information and picking out the relevant information can be very challenging. However, keeping that in mind, context is also important and shouldn’t be thrown out.
We sometimes have everything just all floating around in our heads and when people ask us what the issues are, the response is a blank stare as we don’t even know where to start. My question is, how much time do you have? That will tell me how much detail to include in the story. However, presenting our stories to friends and presenting it to lawyers for help, or human rights clinics for advice are two different situations. If we can focus our stories on the key issues, asking for help and communicating our stories will be easier. We may also get higher-quality answers and the exact information that we need.
If you would like to learn more about me or the information I have learned along the way in my journey, please visit www.speakingupbc.com. My goal is to provide as much information to parents as possible and empower you on your own journeys. For more information on the topics that are connected to the guided questions, there are links at the end of the document.
There are many parents advocating in the education field, and we are certainly not alone. Please reach out.
Kim Block (she/her)
BA, DSW, FLE
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’ – Margaret Mead
Write/type/orally dictate/video yourself – get out everything out that you can remember in a timeline. Chronological order. From the very start of when you noticed issues, until today. Include people’s names, dates, times, and locations. The point is to just get all of the facts, and your opinions into one document. This is for your own use, to refer back to only.
How does the school know that my child has a disability? (Did you provide documentation? Where their meetings?)
|What is the adverse effect my child is experiencing? (Negative experience) Describe it as much as possible. Are they avoiding school? What is the emotional impact? Physical impacts?|
|How does this negative experience (adverse effect) connect (nexus) to their disability?|
|Duty to Inquire: Did the school ask me questions about my child’s disability and how their disability impacts their learning/education?|
|Duty to Consult: What communication has happened between me and the school? How did we communicate? Emails? Phone/texting? In-person (casually)? In-person (formally?) Whom did I communicate with? (Name and Role)|
|Duty to Cooperate in good faith: What have I done that has been in cooperation to help facilitate my child’s learning/education? What has the school done in cooperation in good faith to help facilitate my child’s learning/education?|
|What is my main issue or concern? Summarize in 3-5 sentences. If this was a 30-second commercial, what would you say is your key issue?|
|What is the school’s reason for their decision? (What is their defence or argument?) Is their reason/ defence connected to evidence? Policy or law? What are the strengths of their argument? What are the weaknesses of their argument?|
|What policies, Acts (School, FIPPA, Ombudsperson, etc) are connected to my main issue(s)?|
|Are there any current case law’s connected to my issues?|
|What do I think are the strengths of my argument? What are the weaknesses?|
|What kind of evidence do I have? (Emails, Handwritten notes, documents/reports from professionals, photos, videos, recordings, witnesses)|
|Who has been a support system for me and my child in the past or currently?|
|Who do I think I need to still reach out to for more support? (Non-profit organizations, BCCPAC – PAC’s, Human Rights clinics, Lawyers, Support groups, Independent advocates, etc)|
|What information am I confused about or need to find out more information about?|
|On a scale of 1-10, 1-I am mentally feeling strong|
10-my mental health is suffering Where are you on the scale?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
|On a scale of 1-10,|
1-I have strong self-regulation skills that I practice regularly
10-I need guidance and feel I need to learn more to self-regulate for my own mental health
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
|Am I experiencing any kind of communication/behaviour from the district that makes me feel uncomfortable, not safe, bullying, silence, or anything else that I feel needs attention or to be addressed for me to continue to advocate? Do I have any proof of this behaviour/communication?|
Understanding the Duty to Accommodate
Policies, Acts, Laws
Where do I Start?
Human Rights Tribunal
** To do your own research click on Education Law – http://www.speakingupbc.com/education-law/
And scroll down to the bottom of the page for instructions.
To provide any kind of feedback on this document, please send it to Kim@speakingupbc.com