Filing a civil rights complaint is one way parents who refuse to have their children participate in high stakes standardized testing can defend the children, against the following actions taken by school site or district administrators and officials….
To do that, one of these things have to occur.
- Administrator failure to adhere to parent’s decision to refuse student participation in testing
- Forced grade retention when proficiency has been demonstrated via other methods
- Course credit denial when proficiency has been demonstrated via other methods
- Forced remediation such as summer school or remediation classes in lieu of elective classes when there is clear evidence the child does not need remediation
- Unwarranted and punitive penalties such as detentions, inability to participate in extra-curricular activities and team sports, inability to participate in field trips, inability to continue in magnet or academy programs, or inability to be placed in advanced or gifted academic programs
Your child has the constitutional right and as a parent so do you, to not have them take this test… Since obviously your child will not be treated in an educational system that goes so far overboard protecting corporate interests over those of children… as a regular citizen of this nation you have the right and ability to take this matter to the highest court in the land, if necessary…
A third party has a better chance of seeing your side, as opposed to the guilty party. No business interest, no matter how well entrenched with local government, has the right to victimized young children for their own profit.
You can click here for the form.
Typically, complaints are filed at the school site first; however, in the case where an administrator is identified as the violator, it is best to file at the Civil Rights Compliance Office (CRC) or similar office in a specific district.
We are in Region 3.
Here is where we file…
Region 3 – Philadelphia (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)
Barbara Holland, Regional Manager
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
150 S. Independence Mall West
Suite 372, Public Ledger Building
Philadelphia, PA 19106-9111
Main Line (800) 368-1019
FAX (215) 861-4431
TDD (800) 537-7697
Fill out the above form with specific prompts. Describe each person who allegedly discriminated, retaliated and/or harassed you, please describe in detail, what occurred and specifically describe the exact event or action which you believe was discriminatory, retaliatory and/or harassing.
Here is an example:
Public schools are required to teach all children regardless of all impediments. The Smarter Balanced Assessment which guarantees a 70% failure is deemed to be an impediment to my child’s learning. When I opted out of my child taking the test, an action that is both legal and non-binding, I was punished for it in these following ways.
When citing this as the reason I am refusing to allow my child to test, District Superintendent____________ and Principal _________, and Counselor ______________ subsequently, via verbal face-to-face communication , on September __, 2016 and via written communication received on September __, 2016; denied my child the opportunity to continue to participate in _________ program in which she was thriving.
High stakes testing as documented by numerous of studies over decades, “has had the effect of segregating” children according to social class and racial differences. Were I to go forward with this test I, the parent, would be willingly and obligingly forcing my child to be stereotyped as a failure across his/her future, despite all other classroom evidence pointing to the contrary.
I obviously refused to do this, and for this, my child was singled out to be punished by the officers representing this school. This is a violation of my child’s civil right to receive the best public education which can be given. Were she treated the same due to the color of her skin, her religion, her gender, her sexual preference, or her philosophy, she would have behind her, the full support of the law.
As parent, we are given and have the legal obligation of making all choices in how to raise our child. One worthy example: if we feel vaccinations are harmful, we can opt out our child. Laws allow that. Against something that is far more dangerous to our child than a rare virus, something that could affect and ruin a child for life like this Smarter Balanced Assessment, we obviously have the same parental right. The law does not allow a parent’s right to be trumped by any governmental agency, especially if trumping that right can be proved to harm the child.
There is considerable evidence that the Smarter Balanced Assessment will cause children to suffer severe stress and emotional abuse, causing longterm educational damage. Against this claim the Department of Education has brought no evidence to the contrary. What we DO hear, is almost every child psychologist across America unified in saying that this test is very harmful to children’s development.
Things to remember when filing:
- Clearly identify your reason(s) for test refusal (political, disability, medical, religious, age, etc.).
- Clearly identify what violation has occurred (forced remediation, inability to participate in an extracurricular activity, etc.).
- Identify by full name and position all those that participated in the violation.
- Keep narratives short and fact focused.
- Attach all pertinent paper work (letters home, emails, letters to school, forms, etc.).
- Show up for all scheduled meetings for mediation that are meant to forego a hearing.
- Show up for all scheduled hearings.
Now call your principal and ask him when your child is scheduled to take the test. Say you want to remove him from school on those days, and you don’t want him to take the test… Tell him you are in contact with the Civil Rights office in Philadelphia and you have the right to opt out your child from the test and furthermore that he cannot be punished in any way for having parents who know the damage this test will cause and decided to prevent it from affecting their child.