Columbia IEP recording policy prompts legislation

Should parents be allowed to video tape or in any other way record their meetings with their kids’ special education teachers? 

Currently in the Columbia Public Schools, you can’t record meetings with your children’s IEP coordinators. Victoria Ballou, a former special education teacher, who is now a consultant, says that’s ludicrous.

She says there are just too many things discussed during IEP meetings that even teachers sometimes forget what is talked about.

Legislation sponsored by Boone County state representative Chuck Basye (BAY-see) would allow parents to record their IEP meetings. At a hearing at the State Capitol this morning, Phyllis Wolfram, of an organization representing special education administrators says allowing parents to record IEP meetings would inhibit the free flow of ideas.

Wolfram says special eucation teachers are afraid that their words can be used against them.

But Ballou says the focus should be on the parents of special needs children.

She says parents often are experiencing strong emotions when they are discussing their children with their teachers, and often may not remember what is said.

The bill still needs to gain committee approval before moving on to the House floor for debate.