What Are Special Education Dragons, and 4 Tips to Deal With Them to Benefit Your Child’s Education!

Are you a parent with a child with autism or learning disabilities that receive special education services? Have you been trying to advocate that your child receive needed services to no avail? Then you may be dealing with a special education dragon!

When my first book came out in 2007, I included a section about why some educators lied to parents.

These reasons are:

1. Some lie or provide misinformation because they do not know the law (or pretend they do not know the law).
2. Some lie because they want parents to believe that the law gives them more power than it actually does.
3. Some lie because they believe the parent may be vulnerable in some way (divorce, single parent, etc.)
4. Some lie about a child’s progress (overstating such progress) so that they can deny intensive services.
5. Some lie, and state that they do not pay for certain services so that they do not set a precedent of paying for those services (Applied Behavioral Analysis, private tutoring, etc.).

An educator that would lie to a parent for any reason is a special education dragon, in my opinion.

A few more characteristics are:

1. They blame the child and/or the parent for the child’s disabilities and lack of educational progress (rather than blaming themselves for the child not learning).
2. They act as a gatekeeper to prevent children from receiving vital needed educational services (even when proven by an independent educational evaluation-IEE).
3. They intimidate, scream, manipulate the school team (and the parent) so that the parent gives up and goes away (I have seen this activity many times for my children and in my advocacy).
4. They retaliate against the child and the parent when the parent is advocating for their child (which is a protected activity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act).

If you are dealing with a special education dragon, here are a few tips to deal with them:

1. Dragons can be overcome by assertive and persistent advocacy for as long as it takes for your child to receive an appropriate education!
2. Knowledge of federal and state special education and disability laws (IDEA 2004, ADAAA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act—and your states laws), and use of those laws in your advocacy, will go a long way in overcoming dragons.
3. Using a well-trained advocate to attend IEP meetings, can also help overcome these school personnel’s tactics.
4. Become familiar and willing to use the dispute resolution processes that are available to you (State complaints, Mediation, Due Process, OCR complaints).

I have been dealing with special education dragons for a long time, and am amazed at their insistence that they are right, even when they are proven wrong. One time at a meeting I was frustrated with a school person who kept stating something over and over. I picked up my IDEA 2004 regulations, opened it up and read the section about the issue we were discussing and then preceded to say “There it is read-em-and-weep!” I would not suggest getting upset but they seemed to get it! Good luck—never give up fighting these dragons for the good of your child’s education!

Service, Education, Latitude, and Flexibility – The Four Pillars of Modern Security

As the chair of the school of Criminal Justice, each new class presents some unique issues to be addressed. Yet, there are always common questions which recur for each class. One of these always concerns what the modern security professional needs to be aware of in this changing technological era. With each incoming class, and with each graduating class, I have always stressed four key principles that they must beware of if they are to be successful in their new profession. In this article we will take a look at those four parameters and how they impact not only individuals, but the system of security throughout this country as a whole. The need to provide service, to continue education, to remember the need for latitude, and to understand the growing flexibility of the new technological age are the four pillars that will make a successful professional, and a successful system for security.


In the instruction of college students, we sometimes take for granted that their understanding of the world at large is the same as the professors that provide the instruction. This is seldom the case. In Criminal Justice programs for almost a decade we saw increasing numbers of young high school graduates come into programs with the intent of becoming police officers, or what we have grown to identify as public security officials. Over the last two years this process has change radically. With the economic pressure on states, counties, and cities, we have seen a reduction in number of public security personnel in the face of rising cost. The cost of training and maintaining the average police officer has increased over 415% since the 1980s as indicated in the department of justice and labor statistics. It is this extreme escalation in cost that has forced society away from public security and toward private security professionals for economic reasons. Yet service, a key factor that any security professional or organization must provide, has very different meanings for each of these groups. Police departments are and were created to provide protection to the population at large. This is often a very different type of service, and will continue to be a very different type of service than that provided by the private security professional whose creation and existence is often driven by contract to protect private property. Private security does not have the same posture toward people.

The nature of service is changing dramatically as we make the transition from large public forces, to smaller contract driven private forces in our society. Helping students to understand this distinction can often be traumatic for those that come to the educational institution with only the concept of public service as their vision. The study of contract law and the intricacies involved focuses the student on these differences. The distinction between the two natures of service becomes clear, if not readily accepted. An example occurred recently in Seattle that made national headlines. The City of Seattle operates a public bus system in the city. At one facility where buses would engage in turnarounds, security was not provided by police, but by a private security company. One particular evening, a young lady found herself under attack by a group of young men in this facility. The private security officers responsible for this facility could be seen on camera not responding to the individual who was in distress. A Public outcry resulted from this lack of response and service. Once the investigation was undertaken it became apparent that the contract which allowed these private security forces into this facility restricted their ability to respond to individual attacks. Their responsibility was the protection of property, i.e. the buses, the property of that company to which they contracted. They were providing service in according with the terms of their contract, but not in terms of the social contract that society often expects from public security entities. It is this new change in understanding that the public must grow to understand as we make a shift from public security to private security in many of these areas. In time, we will balance these issues of service but at present it is an area that the security professional must be aware of and understand more fully.


Twenty years ago the average police officer needed little more than a high school education, and some well cultivated connections on a local police force before being accepted for training in a state sponsored academy. Likewise, a private security officer needed the same educational background to be accepted into a program that provided minimal training before being allowed to carry a firearm and to use lethal force. Those days are long gone. Today the modern security professional, weather in the public sector are the private sector, faces a growing pressure for increased levels of education. At the institution where I teach, we hire a number of adjuncts to teach classes each year. Many of these people come from police departments, and others from private security companies and the court systems in terms of prosecutors both Federal and state. The minimum requirement to teach a course at our institution, and many other institutions is a master’s degree as a minimum. We see the same trend in companies looking to hire new graduates.

In many segments of the security industry, especially those dealing with information systems, the Bachelor’s Degree is the minimum requirement to get in the door of the company. The American Society of Industrial Security, the largest organization in the country for security professionals, has been one of the leaders in establishing higher educational requirement for all private companies across the nation. Likewise, public security agencies such as sheriff’s departments and police departments who for years have used the associates degree as the minimum requirement for entry level positions, have slowly begun to back away from that position. An associate degree may get you an entry level job with a police department or a sheriff’s department, but you will not be promotable. Over the last decade, as evidenced by U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, which keeps educational statistics for all colleges across the country, Criminal Justice programs had moved significantly away from certificates programs and associate degrees toward full bachelor’s degree programs for their students. This is driven in part by the complexity of technology graduates must face. This will not change in the foreseeable future.


Latitude as a concept is very difficult to explain to students, and often just as difficult for professionals in the field to grasp. Latitude deals with political astuteness, and the ability to have room to maneuver in current societal situations. The security professional whether in the public sector or the private sector must deal with individuals that represent different strata’s of society. They may be discussing issues with the CEO of a large multinational conglomerate, a politician, or dealing with a highly sensitive issue for a single family. Each of these requires a certain degree of latitude, or political astuteness. The professional must be aware of the political realities of changing situations. They must be comfortable in a wide range of political situations and understand what room for maneuvering is available to them in order to address the problems they may face.


In the world of today, and tomorrow, the security professional must be the ultimate utility person. They must be comfortable with a range of technological systems, and be comfortable with these systems. Whether they are dealing with psychological profiles to help them understand their community, or the personal data they will safeguard for that community, they must be capable of dealing with a bewildering array of technology. The security professional of today must have unparalleled flexibility to move seamlessly, and flawlessly between a large number of systems and to be proficient in their use.


In understanding what will be required in the changing economic, political, social, and technological environment of the future, security professionals must understand and add here to these four fundamental pillars of success. To succeed, the successful security professional, irrespective of whether in the public or private sector must understand the important and changing nature of service in the future. They will likewise be aware of increasing educational goals with in their areas and adjust their educational goals according. Finally they must obtain a firm grasp of the need for latitude, and its political subtleties as well as flexibility which is being driven by technological need in a changing world. If they adhere to these four pillars, that will be successful and society will be the better for it.

The Importance of Religious Education

Religious education deals with informing all aspects about a particular religion. It is also referred to as religious instructions and as part of this instruction, various aspects such as customs, rites, rituals, doctrines and beliefs are discussed. It is considered different from normal academic education.

It is often debated if religious educations should be conducted in schools. However, there is growing opposition to this because it goes against secular beliefs and also because children who d not belong to that religion will feel pressurized at being taught something that they do not generally practice. On the other hand, those who support religious education in school feel that it will only encourage children to be more responsible as adults and also behave more soundly. For example, it has been noted that, this education in British Schools has brought about an exposure to not just the Christian religion but also other faiths in the world and this in turn has enhanced the child view of the world and also their interests in religious pursuits and religious understandings.

Being a religious educator is an interesting career option and it is the best choice for someone who wants to pursue a career in this field. Teaching in the subject can be handled in an in-depth fashion and various religious beliefs can be explored such as birth life and death, in detail, with information provided on general beliefs and practices that need to be followed. This education can be done in a public schools and it ca also be done in private schools and in elementary schools.

It is an important facet of a person’s life and it is vital that it is undertaken at the right age, so that the value of religious beliefs, customs and traditions are imbed early on and are consequently followed in later years of a person’s life.