Psychiatry & Psychology--General/keeping siblings in one school
Hi, this question is not related to forensic psych at all but hoping you can help regardless.
I've an older child who is mainstreamed but has support in the classroom. It was the district's arbitrary choice to send him to a school 5 minutes from me instead of 3 minutes. Now they refuse to let his sibling attend the same school even though it's in district and there's plenty of space. Do you know of any studies on the benefits of keeping siblings together in school (esp when one is special ed and they are close). I know the benefits are OBVIOUS but I am appealing to people who seem not to care about separating siblings and not providing any reason. Again, there are no space issues. Any help would be appreciated. I tried doing google searches but all that came up was keeping siblings together in foster care and parents in cities where there are school lotteries for spots and that's not my situation (although I relate to their plight) As a psychologist, what would you cite as the predominant benefits? My kids are very close and the younger one really helps the older one express himself better. In addition, my younger son really expects to stay with his brother. I don't have the heart to tell him it may not happen and I am even considering not sending him the first year because of this hoping maybe I can resolve it in that time. Any help would be very much appreciated.
Hi, Sarah, thanks for your question. Unfortunately, I don't think that the school district will be much persuaded by research studies. For one reason, a study can only point to generalities - it doesn't necessarily apply to these specific children.
IMO, the best approach is to use regulations and laws. School districts must abide by these, so they are more difficult to refute. There are many different such rules - district regs, state statutes and rules, federal statutes and regs, as well as administrative decisions, and state and federal case law. The downside is that you will have to do a LOT of reading. The upside is that very few of the school administrators actually know the law, so if you find something on your side, it is very easy to use it against them. You will also need to become conversant with the school district's appeal process, as well as the requirements for escalating it higher. You will likely need to plan ahead, by gathering the evidence needed to prove your point, at the higher levels. The school district won't know what those requirements are, so they will likely shoot themselves in the foot. However, if you 'get all your ducks in the pond' (to mix metaphors lol) you will likely win.
You will be most unpopular, but that is sometimes what it takes. At least give them the opportunity to do the right thing, then when they are upset, remind them of those meetings.