Censored then harrassed
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

When a parent like Katy Franklin, who has a child with autism, donates time to aid other parents, it is a gift. 

Time is at a premium in her life. She is helping other parents navigate the special needs program of the San Francisco Unified School District.  Katy is a member of the Community Advisory Committee on Special Needs of the San Francisco Unified School District School Board.  The Committee sends out a newsletter twice a year from the committee to the parents of extra needs children in the district, that is distributed by the San Francisco Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA).

One issue was sent out, and then the difficulties began. 

When given the second newsletter in July 2007, the SELPA manager David Wax assured the Committee that it would be translated into two languages.  This took until January 2008 but came back without any translation. A further delay was caused when the Committee was told there were “issues” with the ‘frequently asked questions’ section of the newsletter. 

Katy had included the questions the Committee members are continually asked by parents in an effort to increase the knowledge of the parents.  It became an issue for SELPA because these questions and answers educated the parents on their rights in getting an equitable education for their child.

At that point, SELPA and David Wax sent a letter from a law office telling the committee that they were not allowing pages two and three to be sent out (including the question/answer section). This is a case of a government agency censoring, without authority over the Committee, but it gets worse.

Under the guise of investigating a complaint of Katy’s, SELPA sent a lawyer to Katy’s son’s school to investigate his homework and all communication between Katy and her child’s teacher.

It gives you goose bumps.

You can download the newsletter and the letter from the law office and see for yourself what SELPA doesn’t want parents to know.

After you listen to the interview that Senior Dad Stan Goldberg has with Katy Franklin please listen to the closing segment as Katy perhaps provided us with the clue for us to tease out an answer as to why some autism numbers in the SFUSD appear so out of proportion.