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2015 Teacher of the Year now fighting district over her son's educational rights

This article orginally appeared on WXYZ by Kim Russel.
7:09 PM, May 24, 2016
10:09 AM, May 25, 2016

WALLED LAKE, Mich. (WXYZ) - Last year she was celebrated by her district - named 2015 Michigan Teacher of the Year. Now one mother and teacher says she is being forced by the Walled Lake Consolidated School District to fights for her son’s legal rights. 

Melody Arabo showed 7 Action News video of her five-year-old son Adam writing numbers. He and his twin brother Ashton learned to write their numbers in kindergarten at Keith Elementary in Walled Lake Schools.

Meet the 2016 Ernie Reynolds Essay Contest Winners

Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. is proud to announce the winners of our annual
Ernie Reynolds Essay Contest.
MPAS holds this contest each year in honor of an outstanding disability rights advocate, Ernie Reynolds, who passed away in 2012.
The three winners of our essay contest each submitted an essay about advocating for themselves or others and described how they overcame barriers and achieved success.
Congratulations, once again, to the winners!
1st Place:

Advocates sue after Flint students ‘pushed out’

This article originally appeared in The Detroit News, 03.14.16, written by Jennifer Chambers.
(PHOTO CAPTION INFORMATION  - Rachel Kirksey talks about her lawsuit against Flint Schools in her Flint, MI home February 3, 2016. Behind her are several cases of bottled water. (John M. Galloway/Special to the News)

Flint — The calls came almost every day, while Marisa Sands was at work: her son Jea’len had misbehaved, disrupting the class, Flint school officials said. He had to be picked up.

Elmer L Cerano, Executive Director of Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS), on the Introduction of Legislation to Limit Restraint and Seclusion in Michigan Schools:

Elmer L Cerano, Executive Director of Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS), on the Introduction of Legislation to Limit Restraint and Seclusion in Michigan Schools

"This legislation is long overdue. Restraint and seclusion harms thousands of school children with disabilities in Michigan. We are excited that a broad coalition of policymakers, advocates, and educators has come together at last to address this serious issue. We look forward to adoption of meaningful legal limits on the use of these dangerous practices."

Elmer L. Cerano, Executive Director of Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS), on Lt. Governor Brian Calley's Special Education Task Force Reforms:

"I want to commend Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley for his success in bringing together the Special Education Task Force appointed by the Governor. Mr. Calley's leadership created an environment where people with a wide variety of diverse opinions were able to honestly communicate about the real and perceived obstacles to improving educational outcomes for all students.

Parental rights training in Flint

Advocacy groups to host parental rights training in Flint

MPAS Gets Federal Guidance on Behavior Support

One of the most powerful and effective tools for students with disabilities who have behavior issues at school is the Behavior Intervention Plan (or BIP). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (or IDEA) says that the use of a Behavior Intervention Plan can be an important part of a Free and Appropriate Public Education and may be one of the supports written in a student's Individualized Education Program (or IEP).

Self-Advocates of Michigan Seeking Applicants for Board of Directors

Self-Advocates of Michigan is now accepting applications for their Board of Directors.

•Members of the board must be adults (18 and over) with a developmental disability.
•Please type or write clearly.
•Incomplete applications will not be considered.
•Deadline for submission is 5:00pm, Thursday, January 7, 2016.

Federal Court Orders Flint Community Schools to Provide Access to Student Records

State-authorized advocacy agency, when acting with parents' consent, has access to records of students with disabilities

(LANSING) - On November 23, a federal court in Detroit ordered Flint Community Schools to provide copies of school records to parents of students with disabilities and Michigan's protection and advocacy agency promptly upon request.