Shame On Colorado

Dear Colorado Governor Jared Polis,

This Rocky Mountain PBS
video highlights two of our children who have so far survived unrelenting discrimination and retaliation against themselves by our Colorado human services agencies. I have a question for you. Do you really think that disabled children should be required to hire lawyers to sue their school district or access their rights to vocational rehabilitation or healthcare? Because that is the reality of their situation and any other child like them in our state right now. I wish that was not the standard advice you and your government officials are giving to parents of children with disabilities, but I do know that it actually is. That’s wrong.

These children shared their suicide stories last year. It’s been a really tough year since their story aired. They have spent this last year of their childhood fighting through the awful red tape of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, which was supposed to be assisting them with their vocational rehabilitation, and Colorado Access, which is supposed to be providing them with the healthcare they require to recover from the trauma they have endured in public schools. Instead, these systems have hassled them and dropped them out, just like our public schools.

It makes me feel ashamed to be a Colorado citizen and it makes me feel sick for all of our children. I hope that our State of Colorado officials will start to do their jobs with some compassion and operate our Colorado systems with some ethics and humanity because they are hurting children. I knew that already as a consulting expert for your Colorado Department of Education, but it is far worse than I understood. I don’t believe that disabled children should all have to hire legal counsel to be able to go to school or work. I don’t think that parents should have to quit working to personally educate, rehabilitate, and advocate for their children themselves. Do you?

I hope you will watch their stories. You are responsible for them as much as I am. I hope we can get them the support they are entitled to receive right now. They need all of it and much more. These systems are crushing their young spirits.

Sincerely angry,
Lisa A. Weiss, J.D.
Colorado Parent, Educator, and Community Partner

Published by stuckinmybra

First and foremost, I am a mother, but I am also an education lawyer and policy specialist, an advocate, and an activist. I've been told by my closest friends that I am a fighter. My practice area is disabilities and education, which is where I have been practicing since 1999, before I had my own kids who are now teenagers and are all educationally identified as twice exceptional. I write about what is on my mind, which feels like a messy file system of old and constantly new information. I think about my kids and the people they are and how to help them become who they want to be in this world. I write about issues that affect deaf people because one of my kids is deaf. I write about giftedness, autism, trauma, inclusion, mental health and chronic illness because those are all things that affect my family. I write about my own life and the people in it. I hope what I write touches peoples hearts and opens people’s minds because I think people in our world need to have more understanding and compassion. I'm here to tell the straight up truth.

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