Search

Federal Way, WA: Half the class has an IEP; discipline issues escalating, staff fears for safety

May 25, 2018, Federal Way (WA) Mirror: Teachers, parents share concerns over IEP, safety issues in Federal Way Public Schools https://www.federalwaymirror.com/news/teachers-parents-share-concerns-over-iep-safety-issues-in-federal-way-public-schools/ Teachers, parents and students brought issues affecting special education programs, safety and discipline issues in Federal Way Public Schools to Tuesday night’s school board meeting. Stephanie Mateus, a teacher at Sacajawea Middle School, told Superintendent Tammy Campbell, board President Claire Wilson and the rest of the board that she felt the school district was not properly meeting the needs of special education students. Mateus said she has 32 kids in her class, 17 of whom are on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). She also shared safety concerns regarding physical violence and foul language being used by students. “Since the first month of school, I have seen nothing but physical altercations between sixth-graders, eighth-graders,” Mateus said, noting a lack of protection from the district. … According to the school district’s most recent statistics, the number of special education students is about 14.5 percent, which is about 3,465 students out of a total population of nearly 24,000. In 2015-16, special education students represented 12.9 percent of the district’s then-population of 22,930 students. … Tammy Krupp, a registrar for Sacajawea Middle School, said she has seen parents pull students out of the school due to consistent bullying. She also referenced a hands-off policy, which she said wasn’t an official policy within the district, but was widely understood among teachers as the best course of action when dealing with distraught and disruptive students. “One-hundred percent of staff across the district are affected by discipline and safety issues,” she said. Krupp said these issues have at times escalated to physical violence, and family members of staff sometimes worry about their safety at work. …