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No good deed goes unpunished

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
Caught this the other day online and was completely appalled!!

Ski school sued for discrimination

For starters, it's my local mountain (Mt. Wachusett). It's also one of the most agregious mis-applications of the law I've seen in quite a while.

The short version is that a boy with special needs (Attention Deficit Disorder, learning disabilities and neurobehavioral disorder) was signed up for group lessons. Apparently the mother never informed the school of the boys issues. The boy arrived late for his first lesson and was sent out with an instructor for what amounted to a private lesson. The instructor found that the boy presented a hazard to others around him and arranged to keep him in private lessons - where the boy was apparently quite happy.

So after getting the boy up on skis, giving him private tutoring for the price of a group lesson and having one happy skier, the boys father sues the mountain because they wouldn't "mainstream" the boy in the group. :

The suit is bizarre enough, but the Mass Council Against Discrimination has just found "probable cause" that the ski school discriminated against the boy and has ordered a "conciliation conference" to explore "voluntary resolution".

Looks like "politically correct" trumps "common sense" once again :
post #2 of 78
Better sue any public school which has any form of special needs (if that is the P.C. term) education.
post #3 of 78
Just another reason I'm glad that I no longer live in MA.:
post #4 of 78
Sounds like a no-brainer defense .... kid comes late .... can't reteach the whole first part of the lesson (missed), so the school wanted to ensure a proper first lesson was given = a private to keep all parties happy.

Duh? :
post #5 of 78
I'll be happy when all "special need" children are "mainstreamed". That's what their parents want, right?

Save a lot of money and instructor/teacher for the average kid, which this country really need for the future.
post #6 of 78
This has nothing to do with someone being overly p.c. and newspapers have a terrible record of accurately reporting facts and bases for legal claims. It's a case of a parent trying to take advantage of a requirement in the federal law governing children with disabilities, the IDEIA or another federal law commonly called section 504. IDEIA requirements costs public school districts millions of dollars a year.

However, the IDEIA and/or section 504 don't apply to the ski school unless its determined to be the Local Educational Agency under the IDEIA. (article says state of Mass controls ski schools, so that might make a difference in that analysis)

Under the IDEIA, a child must be provided a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). LRE is accomplished by mainstreaming.

Again, the IDEIA should only apply to the school district that has the overall duty to educate the child, which is not likely the ski school. However, if the ski school did have such a duty, i.e. it is the child's main school, then it would have also had the duty to figure out the child's need.

Looks to me like the parent's case lacks merit on the facts in the newspaper article. Anyway, does that help you understand the basis for the suit is a federal law designed to help disabled children?
post #7 of 78
I have never hard of the right to a group ski lesson. What is the basis for the lawsuit again? What right was violated? Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is a state agency, they do not enforce federal law.
post #8 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
I'll be happy when all "special need" children are "mainstreamed". That's what their parents want, right?

Save a lot of money and instructor/teacher for the average kid, which this country really need for the future.
Are you nominating the father for a Darwin Award?
post #9 of 78
The mountain met the ADA requirement to provide reasonable accommodation for student. In fact it went out of the way to do it.

Now, here's where the kid probably should have been taught, Wachusett adaptive. They have a great program at the Mountain. If the kid has developmental disabilities, as the parents stated, that is the place to take him.
post #10 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post
The mountain met the ADA requirement to provide reasonable accommodation for student.
Sounds like it, but as soon as you see "mainstreaming" arguments, they're talking about the IDEIA and a "Least Restrictive Environment." I think the parent's nuts, but I see that all the time when I handle IDEIA cases (on behalf of school districts).
post #11 of 78
I'm moving.:
post #12 of 78
This stuff is out of control. Our local district is bussing a kid 50 miles at some astronomical cost ... on a bus by himself .... because they don't have the shop curriculum that he wanted to take.

One family we were friendly with moved out of state (thank God), but not till Mom, who was one of the leaders of this movement for an all inclusive environment where each child can maximize his/her potential .... at like 500% above the cost of educating an "average" student ... well the short side of this was that her kid had extreme autism and didn't even know what planet he was on ...

Sounds like the parents in this case have their radar tuned on the high setting and are out looking for issues.
post #13 of 78
That report of the suit is pretty wild. Ya think his parents are non-skiers ???!!! When picking my kid up from his lessons last year, I just couldn't believe the things the non-skiing parents would do , & say. They would even run into the middle of the lesson & interrupt with demands whenever the class got to the bottom & were getting back into the lift line ! Geezzz such cluelessness!! Why do parents have their kids do something the parents wouldn't even go try & do ? I want my kid to be a skier, but I wouldn't ski ?
post #14 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
This stuff is out of control. Our local district is bussing a kid 50 miles at some astronomical cost ... on a bus by himself .... because they don't have the shop curriculum that he wanted to take.

One family we were friendly with moved out of state (thank God), but not till Mom, who was one of the leaders of this movement for an all inclusive environment where each child can maximize his/her potential .... at like 500% above the cost of educating an "average" student ... well the short side of this was that her kid had extreme autism and didn't even know what planet he was on ...

Sounds like the parents in this case have their radar tuned on the high setting and are out looking for issues.
Be thankful you don't have to deal with this stuff for a living. Districts are supposed to provide an "appropriate" education, not the "best" or solid gold level that many parents sue over. To give you an idea of the extent/number of these claims, our law firm has 10-12 attorneys who work full time representing school districts on special education cases. Yeah, I do the math on it every month...
post #15 of 78
Some *******s near here successfully sued a very small school district for 1/4 of their budget to send their kid out of state to a 24 hour care "education". Due to the extent of his disability, he the kid has zero chance of functioning in society at any level. He will spend his entire life with 24 hour care. Frankly as a society we should be speaking up against these kinds of abuses.
post #16 of 78
The laws that apply to public school districts and a business open to the gneral public are very different.

IDEIA, Sect. 504, and FAPE don't apply to a *ski school*, unless that ski school is also implementing a state-approved K-12 curriculum, is accredited by the state to do so, receives state and/or federal monies for implementation (that's really the binding part), has ski instructors that are certified in their state of practice within their content area, etc.....Only within those environments does any law of inclusion ("mainstreaming") come into effect.

This is more of an ADA issue, if it is one at all. I doubt that it is. The instructors did not deny the kid any opportunity and they provided a service that is equivalent or better than what he expected and was available to the general, non-accommodated public paying for the same service (group lesson).

But, it sounds like the parents are used to dealing with schools and school policies/laws. And the Mass. Council Against Discrimination seems like it is trying to do something to raise its profile.

It's a bunch of crap. But....and I almost cringe to say this....for every 500 of those kind of bozo time-wasting, misguided actions that grab press and make a bad name for well-intended policies, one comes forward that changes things for the better. Unfortunately, so many young social workers and ed. pol. hacks are trying to find and foster that world-changing one.

Someone just needs to smack whoever decided to make a bigger issue of this and just take her/him skiing.
post #17 of 78
now i don't have near the grasp of such legal situations as Dino. afterall, I'm just a lowly journalist working for an online publication writing about videogames and movies and music.

but just from reading the article several things stand out.

1. shouldn't the parents have notified the ski school about their kid's condition?

2. shouldn't the parents have gotten the kid to ski school on time?

3. the resort sounded like they went above and beyond the call of duty. They gave the kid a private lesson for the cost of a group one. That's a HUGE price difference. They didn't have to do that. They could have flat out refused to teach the kid at all. Heck, a lot of places have a no refund policy if you show up late for something you paid for, especially if it's a group thing. I mean airlines don't hold the plane if you are late. Neither do cruise ships. They don't hold up a Saturday SAT testing session if one student is late. If you're late you pay the penalty.

Basically the parents were neglectful on several counts (withholding information that could have put the instructor and other students in harms way; being late) and they were given a sweet deal (private lessons). So despite that they sue the ski school for not integrating their kid into a ski group?

That's just crazy.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it almost sounds as if the parents are embarrassed of their kids condition and choose to "hide" it or at least not bring it out in the open unless forced to.

If it were my kid I would have requested special attention and private lessons to begin with. It sounds like integrating him into group settings is something that needs to be done separately or should have been something they were working on prior to the lessons.

Anyway, that's my take on it coming from an entertainment journalism slant.

post #18 of 78
Until there are meaningful penalties for people who file ridiculous and frivolous lawsuits, there will continue to be ridiculous and frivolous lawsuits. It's become like a lottery here in the U.S. My home state - NY - is one of the worst. If something offends me, disappoints me, annoys me in the slightest, or hurts me even if I was completely misusing something (or burns me because it's served hot...even when it's supposed to be), I can sue for it....it doesn't cost me much because the lawyers grab whatever they can if we win...so what have I got to lose?
post #19 of 78
There was a very interesting story about Shrewsbury Ma on Chronicle the other day. Funny because I was looking at their budgetary issues and comparing with our town. They are among the state leaders in test scores and such.

Anyway some stats - the average cost of students with IEPs in the state: about $72000/year. Average cost for a "regular" studentL about $12000. Special ed costs are rising something like 7 times the rate of regular education (which already outpaces inflation btw!).

In Shrewsbury the costs add millions of dollars a year.

On the other side of this there are kids with ADHD and bipolar disorder who are now taking AP courses and scoring highly on standardized tests. Without the program they were barely scraping by. It's a tough issue because our property taxes keep rising and schools take up an increasing portion of budgets.

This example seems extreme since skiing is more of a leisure/luxury sport.
post #20 of 78
This story made me nauseous when I first saw it and this time is no better.
Excuse me while I go get a tums.

This dad should be ashamed of the example he's setting his son!
post #21 of 78
WRONG FORUM.

SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM AND CLICK ON POLITICS AND HOT TOPICS

/I really don't care to read about Yet Another Self Absorbed Parent and his Special Little Snowflake in my skiing forum.
post #22 of 78
Is it any wonder that people are home schooling and sending kids to private schools?
post #23 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
Is it any wonder that people are home schooling and sending kids to private schools?
WTF does this have to do with the original post? Or are you commenting on all the other asinine anecdotes that shouldn't be in this forum either?
post #24 of 78
I must have missed the notice that you have become the Epicski cop?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
WTF does this have to do with the original post? Or are you commenting on all the other asinine anecdotes that shouldn't be in this forum either?
post #25 of 78
There're always individual of questionable characters who wants trouble. You can't legislate them out of existance.

The key issue here is the "Council" for the disabled ruled against the ski school!!!

Excuse me. But I do work with the disabled. The best of them function well DESPITE thier disability. In this case, the disabled child was happy but the father wasn't. He's the one that needs "special education"! Too bad the "council for the disabled" didn't see that.
post #26 of 78
Alright, fine then, I'll just go ahead and state my opinion on all of the random crap having nothing to do with skiing in this thread. If you (AND TWO MODERATORS) can do it, so can I:

Cost of special education: I think we should just take people guaranteed to be of low value to society and force them at a young age into labor camps.

"Mainstreaming" of students: Please get your time consuming, distracting, useless people out of my classes. I'm there to learn, not to listen to your Special Snowflake mumble incoherently. kthxbye.

Members who aren't supporters and take an opportunity like this to regurgitate their uninteresting and unsolicited opinions on issues not even a little bit related to the original off topic post: My opinion isn't polite enough to print.

You may also be interested to learn that I routinely kick puppies, take candy from babies, and force meat down the throats of vegetarians. Also, I run a hotline encouraging young women to get abortions.

/think I covered all my bases there.
//Mods took the time to POST in this wretched thread but not to MOVE it.
///if you take anything I wrote outside of the bolded section above seriously, please try again.
post #27 of 78
I think you may take this forum a bit to seriously, it is just the Interweb afterall.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
Alright, fine then, I'll just go ahead and state my opinion on all of the random crap having nothing to do with skiing in this thread. If you (AND TWO MODERATORS) can do it, so can I:

Cost of special education: I think we should just take people guaranteed to be of low value to society and force them at a young age into labor camps.

"Mainstreaming" of students: Please get your time consuming, distracting, useless people out of my classes. I'm there to learn, not to listen to your Special Snowflake mumble incoherently. kthxbye.

Members who aren't supporters and take an opportunity like this to regurgitate their uninteresting and unsolicited opinions on issues not even a little bit related to the original off topic post: My opinion isn't polite enough to print.

You may also be interested to learn that I routinely kick puppies, take candy from babies, and force meat down the throats of vegetarians. Also, I run a hotline encouraging young women to get abortions.

/think I covered all my bases there.
//Mods took the time to POST in this wretched thread but not to MOVE it.
///if you take anything I wrote outside of the bolded section above seriously, please try again.
post #28 of 78


Internets = SRS BIZNESS

Duh.
post #29 of 78
I stand corrected. I forgot Al Gore invented it and that he is a Nobel Prize winner.
post #30 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
Also, I run a hotline encouraging young women to get abortions.
Aged based decriminations! Elder wimens need encourgemant two.
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