School Nurse & Marky’s Teacher
School Nurse: The school nurse repeats what the DCP&P worker told you, that Marky had ill-fitting clothes, head lice, and sometimes circles under his eyes like he wasn’t sleeping. Also: He’s looking much better recently. “He has clothes . . . and they’re clean! We were so tired of him looking like an orphan.” She has checked him a couple times and the head lice seem to be gone. She heard his mother is erratic, but she’s never met her. Marky’s a real sweet kid, maybe a little slow. He’s always polite. She feels bad for him. School records show that when it was time for Marky to enter school, he hadn’t had his inoculations and they had to call DCP&P in to make the family comply.
Marky’s Teacher: The nurse transfers you to Marky’s room so you can speak with his third-grade special ed teacher. She tells you that: Marky is a real nice kid but kind of serious for an 8-year-old. He does okay in arithmetic but is struggling to learn how to read. He almost never gets his homework turned in. It seems to disappear if he takes it home. Yes, he has an IEP,* but it might need to be updated. “We’re a little behind on doing those. I think Marky may have a specific learning disability instead of a low IQ. If it was low IQ, he shouldn’t be doing so well with his figures.” The kids used to tease him a lot for looking funny. She tried to monitor that, but it’s hard—kids can be so cruel, and after all he did look funny. He’s looking much better these days. Yes, sometimes he has circles under his eyes—not lately—and he’s come in with bruises too, but he always has a good explanation for those and they aren’t that bad. His parents have not been to the school. So what happened? Did his mother do something? Is he in foster care now?
- How do you answer her questions?
- If you suspect that Marky’s IEP does not fit him, to whom should you report that concern? How will you advocate for an update?