Saga at Robinson part 3

Hi Principal Meier,

Thanks for your return email.

I understand your need to stand by staff that bullies and discriminates and I will take the necessary actions to ensure that this does not happen at Robinson again even if your hands are tied.

I have not worked with just ordinary tax payers before with my FCPS legislation work now secondary to the issue above but I have gotten quiet a bit of interest in Dillon’s story as most people really want to know why he needed to be in self contained which will cost them more now and in 10 years.  They are further curious that if Robinson was not capable of educating Dill in the mainstream what you will do when mass of kids with autism hit in about 8 years.  You will have a lot to deal with when all is said and done and I doubt they will accept the,”Don’t worry nothing to see here” pat on the head you just gave me.

I am off to get started with Monitoring and Compliance and Pete Wright maybe Lisa C whoever has time to listen on the disability side.  I went to school with Lisa F (worth a Google) but I don’t want to think legal about Dillon until I exhaust the available resources the school has in place.

Last and personally I was pretty horrified to hear about the drinking problem that seemed pervasive at the football game last Friday with parents all over Facebook about kids taking shots during the game.  Not to be overshadowed by the celebration at the game of 3 Robinson students to stupid to wear their seat-belts at the game; who thought this did not send a message?  Yes, Robinson is a big school but wow the issues are too.

Having given up that my son’s own issue and that of other kids and tax payers matters or a parents abuse by your staff will be stopped in the future I felt the need to say what so many are saying and a few said they would actually bother to tell you but had little hope you would do much, apologies for the candor on an email about a school I should have so much faith in but have been told to stand down on IDEA.

Shannon McGrail

On 9/17/2012 7:00 AM, Meier, Dan wrote:

Hello Mrs. McGrail,


Thank you for your email and the information pertaining to Dillon’s schedule.  I think that it is unfortunate that things have gotten off to a less than ideal start but I am sure that we can resolve the matter in short order.  I have full confidence in Mr. Bergquist and I trust that in time, you will too.  Despite our size, we manage to meet the needs of most of our students including those with special needs.  We will do our best to ensure that Dillon, Andrew, and Kathleen as well as our 3900 other students have a productive, successful, and happy school year.


Daniel F. Meier


Robinson Secondary School



From: Shannon McGrail []
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2012 2:12 PM
To: Meier, Dan;; Bergquist, Scott R; Taweel, Lisa J.
Subject: For Mr. Meier about my son at Robinson


Hello Principal Meier,

I am the mother of 3 kids at Robinson and the wife of a Robinson graduate class of 1990.  His name is Kevin and he owns a small computer company in Fairfax and has strong ties to the community.

My husband and two of my three children have had a great experience at Robinson thus far and reports from most friends in the Kings Park West neighborhood we live in have been favorable.  DILLON’S TEACHERS (except Basic Skills) ROCK…I need to be clear about this because Mr. Bergquest sounded rather threatening when I only wrote it in email 3 or 4 times over 5 emails and I would hate the teachers to be misinformed.

I understand from Mr. Bergquest that you are abreast of an issue we are having with our son in 7th grade which for the most part is resolved for him with regards to classes.

My concern is that you might be unaware of more global issue at Robinson not just what my son Dillon is facing.

When Mr. Bergquest and Mrs. Taweel suggested that my son be placed in a self contained classroom a few things happened.

  • they violated IDEA as he is entitled to the least restrictive environment
  • they made a statement for the school about their view of  a recovered child with autism
  • they made a statement about children with an Learn Disabled label at Robinson (my son does not have a medical or education label of autism) but how many kids with the LD label were told they need to be in self contained?  Is this more discrimination???
  • they made a statement about children who pass their SOL’s, get great grades, have never had a behavioral issue.  How many kids with no behavioral issues and pass their SOL’s are offered self contained as placement?

Essentially when a child who could go to a 4 year college after graduating with a standard diploma at age 18 is offered the most restrictive environment where the teachers in the classroom while special ed do not necessarily have the credentials to teach what the SOL’s actually contain. Robinson is now creating another “disabled person” from someone who could be a tax payer.

You are giving tax payers another child in a system which will cost almost double in staffing for self contained vs. team taught.

You are offering this child an additional 4 years in a school he should graduate at 18 instead of 22 more typical for the self contained kids.

Dillon was given the diagnosis when kids with autism were 1 in 1,000.  What exactly are you setting Fairfax, Virginia the USA and this world by putting him in a self contained room when you have 8 short years before that number of kids is 1:100 and very very few are like Dillon.  Leading autism speakers Carbone and Caffrey have,”Never seen someone with autism” like Dillon and they will be shocked to hear what is being done to kids that high.

If Dillon who passes his SOL’s is not entitled to be in the LRE and someday pay taxes who is?

How many of these self contained rooms will you need in just 8 years when the 1:100 kids with autism shows up for an “special education?”  What is special about discrimination?

So far the only special I see about this education is that Mrs. Taweel and Mr. Bergquest can aggressively push that a future standard graduate/tax payer become another “disabled person” with ZERO accountability as to why he needed that placement.  Dr. Ritter from Laurel Ridge (currently standing in as Cluster 6 director) asked Mrs. Taweel WHY Dillon needed to be in self contained if he had never been in the past at the IEP in front of 9 witnesses and one lawyer (my mother in-law) who was acting as his grandma not counsel.

I plan to work on this issue as I have had great success with legislation both in FCPS and Virginia but I would like you to consider if the people making choices about which little boy and little girl should be in self contained is a good one.  I really doubt tax payers would agree especially with the Tsunami that is coming!

I am cc’ing Mr. Bergquest as he was fairly bullying and threatening to me on the phone which actually amused me and I would hate for him to thing that this tact worked and I was afraid to let me know what I had said to others.  I hope to see he and Mrs. Taweel Monday or Tuesday for the schedule change I requested.

Very Best,
Shannon McGrail



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s