ACT TODAY!!
Comment by November 2, 2016 about Georgia’s Draft Proposed GNETS Rule
Is your child currently attending a GNETS program, been in a GNETS program, or struggled to get quality supports for behavioral-related or mental health disabilities in your neighborhood school? If so, it is imperative that your voice be heard by November 2, 2016. But don’t wait. Follow these instructions now and register your comments today!
As background, on August 23, 2016, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a Complaint against the State of Georgia about Georgia violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by operating a segregated, statewide program offering an inferior education: GNETS. See http://bit.ly/2bxN2Em.  

 

In response, the Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) drafted a new state rule governing the GNETS program and services. The Georgia Department of Education will say what changes Georgia should make to come into compliance with the American’s with Disabilities Act. The draft rule is in its preliminary stages, and the GADOE wants to hear what you think.  They are hosting three regional meetings for your feedback on the proposed draft rule regarding how Georgia provides supports for students with behavioral-related disabilities and the current GNETS programs. Details about the meetings can be found at this link:http://bit.ly/2dnljuV, and the meetings are listed here:

  • Gainesville, GA; Date: October 24, 2016; Time: 3pm – 6pm
  • Tifton, GA; Date: October 27, 2016; Time: 3pm – 6pm
  • Fayetteville, GA; Date: October 28, 2016; Time: 3pm – 6pm

At the meetings, speakers will have three minutes to share their thoughts on the draft of the new proposed rule.  If you cannot attend and want to provide written public feedback, you can email your comments to GNETrule@doe.k12.ga.us and sitara@p2pofga.org. The deadline to submit your comments is November 2, 2016. Georgia needs to hear from people like you who care about behavioral supports and a quality education in schools.

To make sure your voice is heard:

  • Second – Share your suggestions and any changes you would make if you were imagining a statewide system of behavioral supports for students in neighborhood schools. This can be done in person at a feedback meeting or in an email to the Department of Education. Remember, the deadline to share your thoughts is November 2, 2016.

Here are a few of the most important things that need to be part of Georgia’s new GNETS Rule:

 

  • Students should attend their neighborhood schools with their siblings, friends, and peers.
  • Students should be able to access good supports and services in order to be successful.
  • Georgia should fund and support services for students who need them in neighborhood schools.
  • Separate is not equal.
  • Teachers need and deserve training and knowledge about how to support students with behavior-related disabilities.

Here are a few suggestions to include as you form your comments:

  • If your child wasn’t able to attend his or her neighborhood school because there were no supports and services there, and you were therefore forced to send your child to a GNETS, include this in your comments.
  • If your child wasn’t able to attend his or her neighborhood school because there were no supports and services there, and you were therefore forced to home school or cyber school your child, include this in your comments.
  • If your child wasn’t able to attend his or her neighborhood school because there were no supports and services there, and there were not sufficient supports and services at the GNETS program – affecting your child’s behavior education – include this in your comments.
  • Please talk about what it would take to support your child in his or her neighborhood school. (Some suggestions we have heard include being able to eat lunch in the classroom, participating in small group classes with peers who are non-disabled, having teachers who are trained to support students with challenging behavior, access to academic tutoring, assistive technology, a sensory diet, specific types of reading instruction, and group and individual therapy, to name a few.) What do you think the Georgia Department of Education can do to make sure your child has choices and is able to live life in the community?

The Georgia Advocacy Office, Parent to Parent of Georgia, and the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities would like to support families as you develop your speaking points, and we invite you to join us on one of two informational conference calls, where we will discuss the draft proposed rule and upcoming feedback meetings. These conference calls will be held on Thursday October 20, 2016 at noon to 1pm and 6pm to 7pm. If you are interested in participating, please email llipson@thegao.org with your RSVP and we will send you the call-in information. Thank you.

7 thoughts on “GNETS Action Alert

  1. I believe GNETS as it operates currently is a conflict of interest…..much like a Judge owning a private prison where he sends prisoners.

    The directors are often women who are set in their ways and have lost touch with reality…..no real governance. Who managed these folks?

    Parents seem to get conned into signing in their kids after which there is no way out.

    The unfortunate assumption is that these kids would have been in jail……what about people’s decent you guys daughters and sons who given a good education would have become anything they want to be?

    Some lie about the therapeutic aspect, that really hurts.

    Some even have psychologists on their books who are too important to show up to work with the students…….n9 amount of complaints change this.

    1. Have you used the links above to share this story? Please do it by the end of the day if you can. The State needs to hear many strong voices speaking out for change. Your story is important.

  2. My son is being homeschooled because our local school failed him. He was often eloping out of the class, out of the school at times with no support added. I fought for a parapro which he had before moving to Georgia but despite many behavior issues, contant restraints, and no progress on the 3 year eval I was told I did not have enough data. My son was having epilepic seizures on his way to school and nightmares every night which stopped as soon as I home schooled him. He cried.”They hit me in school, And they hit me in front of everyone.” i witness underarm assists and restraints in the lunchroom. It was to loud for him. He was assisted and restraint until he calm down in the cafeteria. His seizures were caused by noise like the lunch room. There was no money for staff to watch him as he ate in a calmer area This should have been an easy accommodation because Hillside had 2 autisic classes plus a special needs class and all these children have trouble with noise. No one cares

  3. My child is having to attend another school because his school does not have resource rooms. They can’t accommodate him at the school he now attends.
    I don’t like this one bit!
    Don’t understand why all schools in my county can’t accommodate or have a middle ground that some children need. I say middle ground because this is what teachers are calling what my child needs.
    Please help!

    1. I have your email address from your comment. Is it alright if we use it to try to connect you with resources? If your child has ever attended one of the GNETS, please do share your story by the end of the day. Your experiences are important.

    1. We are, but we prefer to hear from people in Georgia, USA. It looks like you’re based in Germany, but we would consider writing by people who don’t live here on a case-by-case basis. If interested, please contact Larkin Taylor-Parker at ltaylorparker@gmail.com with your pitch.

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