Author Topic: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"  (Read 7785 times)

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BeagleMommy

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I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« on: March 19, 2013, 02:42:51 PM »
I had a call last week from the husband of a former student.  Two years ago, she had been academically dismissed from our program because she was asked to leave two internships and, therefore, failed.  She tried to claim she needed special arrangements but had no official diagnosis or education plan that is required.  She fought the dismissal all the way to the vice president of the university, but it was upheld.  Her husband wants her to be readmitted (to pick up where she left off) because he doesn't feel she was treated fairly and she "doesn't deal with conflict at all".

I explained that I could not tell him anything about his wife's academics because of federal law, but I would pull her file and have my director look at it.  Director said she could reapply but that was her only option.  When I spoke with the husband and explained this he said "That is not an option.  I'm paying a student loan and have not had any benefit.  You need to tell me what she can do to pick up where she left off."

Again and again I explained I was, legally, unable to give him any information even though she was his wife.  She had to contact the director or reapply.  He kept repeating that she "doesn't deal with conflict at all".

Director said he will email the student.  Ugh!  He just couldn't seem to understand that no matter how often or how vehemently he asked I was unable to do what he wanted.  I have a feeling this is going to get messy.  I think I did okay, though.

LeveeWoman

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2013, 03:07:06 PM »
I had a call last week from the husband of a former student.  Two years ago, she had been academically dismissed from our program because she was asked to leave two internships and, therefore, failed.  She tried to claim she needed special arrangements but had no official diagnosis or education plan that is required.  She fought the dismissal all the way to the vice president of the university, but it was upheld.  Her husband wants her to be readmitted (to pick up where she left off) because he doesn't feel she was treated fairly and she "doesn't deal with conflict at all".

I explained that I could not tell him anything about his wife's academics because of federal law, but I would pull her file and have my director look at it.  Director said she could reapply but that was her only option.  When I spoke with the husband and explained this he said "That is not an option.  I'm paying a student loan and have not had any benefit.  You need to tell me what she can do to pick up where she left off."

Again and again I explained I was, legally, unable to give him any information even though she was his wife.  She had to contact the director or reapply.  He kept repeating that she "doesn't deal with conflict at all".

Director said he will email the student.  Ugh!  He just couldn't seem to understand that no matter how often or how vehemently he asked I was unable to do what he wanted.  I have a feeling this is going to get messy.  I think I did okay, though.

It sounds as if you dealt with him effectively. I'd say the same things to  him again if he calls back.

Sharnita

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 03:14:04 PM »
You handled it perfectly, although I'd be yempted to tell him you don't deal woth conflict either and he will need to wait until your father can call him back.

weeblewobble

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 03:22:51 PM »
That's like the woman who attended pre-registration for kindergarten for her son the other night and tried to explain to the teacher (in front of the rest of the parents) that the teacher would have to let her son walk away from his desk and play at the fun centers whenever he felt like it, because he "didn't like to do worksheets unless he feels like doing them." They'd had major problems at the son's preschool with this issue.  So basically, the teacher has to wait until he is in the mood to do his classwork, but otherwise, has to let him break the class rules and do whatever he wants.  (While the other students follow the rules.)  The mom made it clear her son didn't have special needs, but they just raised him to "follow his instincts" when it comes to work.

DH and I walked out of the meeting and said, "Well, at least we know we won't be the problem parents next year."



 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2013, 03:24:49 PM by weeblewobble »

weeblewobble

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 03:23:26 PM »
You handled it perfectly, although I'd be yempted to tell him you don't deal woth conflict either and he will need to wait until your father can call him back.

Sharnita.  I love you.  I just want to make that clear.

LazyDaisy

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 03:27:37 PM »
That's like the woman who attended pre-registration for kindergarten for her son the other night and tried to explain to the teacher (in front of the rest of the parents) that the teacher would have to let her son walk away from his desk and play at the fun centers whenever he felt like it, because he "didn't like to do worksheets unless he feels like doing them." So basically, the teacher has to wait until he is in the mood to do his classwork, but otherwise, has to let him break the class rules and do whatever he wants.  (While the other students follow the rules.)  The mom made it clear her son didn't have special needs, but they just raised him to "follow his instincts" when it comes to work.

DH and I walked out of the meeting and said, "Well, at least we know we won't be the problem parents next year."

Isn't that the Montessori style of education? Sounds like she shares this philosophy and thinks that she can request this of a traditional school.

BeagleMommy I think you did fine. You have no ethical or legal right to give him any information. The communication and financial issues in his marriage are his problem to solve. He just wants to pass it off on to someone else.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

NyaChan

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2013, 03:46:29 PM »
That's like the woman who attended pre-registration for kindergarten for her son the other night and tried to explain to the teacher (in front of the rest of the parents) that the teacher would have to let her son walk away from his desk and play at the fun centers whenever he felt like it, because he "didn't like to do worksheets unless he feels like doing them." So basically, the teacher has to wait until he is in the mood to do his classwork, but otherwise, has to let him break the class rules and do whatever he wants.  (While the other students follow the rules.)  The mom made it clear her son didn't have special needs, but they just raised him to "follow his instincts" when it comes to work.

DH and I walked out of the meeting and said, "Well, at least we know we won't be the problem parents next year."

Isn't that the Montessori style of education? Sounds like she shares this philosophy and thinks that she can request this of a traditional school.

BeagleMommy I think you did fine. You have no ethical or legal right to give him any information. The communication and financial issues in his marriage are his problem to solve. He just wants to pass it off on to someone else.

Not really.  I went to Montessori and while we did have freedom to go to different stations, it wasn't a free for all.  We still had class rules and the teachers did direct us.

LazyDaisy

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2013, 03:52:44 PM »
Sorry, I didn't mean the "do anything (or nothing) whenever you want" I was more referencing the "follow his instincts" when it comes to work phrase.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

weeblewobble

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2013, 03:58:00 PM »
That's like the woman who attended pre-registration for kindergarten for her son the other night and tried to explain to the teacher (in front of the rest of the parents) that the teacher would have to let her son walk away from his desk and play at the fun centers whenever he felt like it, because he "didn't like to do worksheets unless he feels like doing them." So basically, the teacher has to wait until he is in the mood to do his classwork, but otherwise, has to let him break the class rules and do whatever he wants.  (While the other students follow the rules.)  The mom made it clear her son didn't have special needs, but they just raised him to "follow his instincts" when it comes to work.

DH and I walked out of the meeting and said, "Well, at least we know we won't be the problem parents next year."

Isn't that the Montessori style of education? Sounds like she shares this philosophy and thinks that she can request this of a traditional school.

BeagleMommy I think you did fine. You have no ethical or legal right to give him any information. The communication and financial issues in his marriage are his problem to solve. He just wants to pass it off on to someone else.

I don't think so.  She didn't mention a Montessori school approach, just that her son only worked when he felt like it.  Either way, the public school system isn't likely to accommodate her request.  Learning to follow rules and work when you're told are definitely core concepts you have to have down pat for upper grades.

BeagleMommy

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2013, 04:02:06 PM »
You handled it perfectly, although I'd be yempted to tell him you don't deal woth conflict either and he will need to wait until your father can call him back.

Sharnita.  I love you.  I just want to make that clear.

Me, too!

AnnaJ

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2013, 04:57:20 PM »
Chant FERPA, FERPA, FERPA until he disappears...no?  If he calls again I'd likely tell him to Google Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and read it himself.  I've occasionally had parents contact me for information and just tend to direct them to the website if they have a problem with my refusal.

Giggity

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2013, 05:00:34 PM »
Again and again I explained I was, legally, unable to give him any information even though she was his wife.  She had to contact the director or reapply.  He kept repeating that she "doesn't deal with conflict at all".

"There's no conflict, sir, just a course of action she needs to follow that every student in her situation must do."
Words mean things.

LazyDaisy

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2013, 05:10:44 PM »
I took the conflict phrase to be an explanation for why she was asked to leave her internships and failed (and therefore why they should readmit her); there was conflict in her assignments that she couldn't deal with, not that there was a conflict about reapplying. Am I interpreting this incorrectly?
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

nuit93

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2013, 05:15:09 PM »
Wow...what a snowflake!

mmswm

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Re: I Cannot Violate Federal Law Because Your Wife is "Special"
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2013, 05:24:55 PM »
I was an adjunct at a community college for a number of years.  I can totally understand where you're coming from.  I never had this issue with a spouse, but the number of helicopter parents that try to bully their way into getting information is truly astounding.

The title of your thread also reminded me of something I often times told the bankers I worked with when I was working in deposit operations research at a major bank.  Their customers would ask us to do things we simply could not do, due to federal law.  I was known to say something to the effect of "we really do love our customers, but not enough to break the law for them."
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)