The general experience in the public school/charter school or even private school can be pleasant where no advocacy is needed. Children can thrive in school with proper guidance and professional educators. However, sometimes the experience is not so pleasing for the parent or child, causing one to feel they have no avenue of recourse. Schools should be following IEP’s, 504 Plans, State Standards of Education, and district approved curriculum but rogue teachers or administrators have become a growing problem. Sometimes a parent will call/email the teacher or principal when they experience a problem but are often brushed off, becoming frustrated.

TPAU was created to help you understand, You do have rights and will find success when following proper process. An Elected School Governing Board can be your best friend and ally in this process of finding peace for your child when the administration or teacher does nothing. Many feel they need to speak out at board meetings which is a nice thought but often times, ineffective. Boards and administration has their minds made up and by the time you are speaking in front of them (3 minutes max), policies and procedures have already been decided. To better understand parent rights, feel free to read through ARS 15-341 and ARS 15-342

Communication Strategies

These are triggers for Admin to show you know your parental rights. These make them perk up and listen.

  • Also use the term, FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education) or if this is a Special Education issue, use IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
  • Keep the email fairly short without too much detail, only pertinent facts.
  • Do not get angry.
  • Always always always CC more than 4 ppl to the email. Top choices are: principal, teacher, counselor, assistant princ, one board member, and the district superintendent.
  • Cover your behind and document everything.

Keys to success in the school system/navigating admin:

  • Never ever simply call the teacher or principal
  • Always remember to keep emotion out of it.
  • Stick to facts
  • Cite catch phrases like, “Preserving the Peace and Tranquility if the public school system” and “Preserving Public Trust”

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