Parents Debate How to Opt Out

Parents Debate How to Opt Out

by dianerav

This is part of an email conversation that I received. It is an exchange between two parents:

The first one writes:

“Hello Everyone!

“Well…it is that time of year again…TCAP testing. I really hate this time of year.

“As I have done for the past TEN years for all of my children, I opted my daughter out of the test. I sent my letter to the school district and of course, I am met with anger and tons of letters from the superintendent of Colorado schools saying that it is illegal for me to take my child out of this test. My daughter’s teachers are threatening her that she will be put in all remedial classes next year if she doesn’t take it and I am required to sign something that says I am aware of how wrong my actions are. Last year, my youngest daughter was met with such criticism and animosity that she begged me to take the test so people would leave her alone. Her teachers and the principal were so mean to her that she was afraid to go to school and afraid to not take the test. My youngest daughter has an anxiety disorder which comes with terrible panic attacks. The children are under so much pressure to do well on this test that she is up puking and crying before every testing day. I am so excited to do that again this year. :0(

“My question to all of you is….do you all have to deal with this? Does the admin at the schools that your children attend give you a hard time over this? The people at my kids’ school make me feel like an uneducated ignorant horrible parent. I’m just getting so tired of it and wondered if anyone out there feels the same.”

“Thanks for listening,”

Here is one of the answers she received:

“First of all, I wouldn’t sign a damn thing for that school.

“Secondly, if your child has an anxiety disorder then your child qualifies for a 504 since she has a ‘hidden disability’ under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ask your child’s therapist and/or pediatrician for medical documentation recommending she not be tested. This is what I have established for my kids and it is written into the 504 they are NOT taking TCAP or any other standardized district, state or national test.

“The school doesn’t bother me.

“Then, I would take my husband, brother or big burly male neighbor with me and tell the principal that if one more person at the school threatens my child you are going to sue and follow that up with a call to the district. Talk to the teachers at conferences and tell them the same thing. Tell them you will sue them individually; it’s child abuse.

“Next, those jerks have to leave school sometime; be waiting for them off school grounds. I saw my son’s ex-principal in Barnes and Noble and she couldn’t get out of that store fast enough when she saw me coming. She knew I’d make a scene and I would have.

“Lastly, tell your story of child abuse to the media and tell the principal and superintendent you’re doing it. Tell the principal and superintendent you’re going to picket outside the school and hand out leaflets telling parents how to refuse testing. Intimidation works both ways.”