Parents upset with how Clear Creek ISD deals with special education students

Before Monday night's meeting began, protesters were out in full force letting those driving by know how they felt about Clear Creek ISD when it comes to special education students and their parents.

"And remind the board of their role to be the watchdog of the district and be the ones leading an independent investigation," said Marty Brain, founder of parents for Clear Creek ISD Special Education Reform.

The parents say the district's own numbers reveal special education students were disproportionately disciplined in the 2016-2017 school year.

Special education students made up around 10 percent of the overall student population, yet made up around 30 percent of expulsions and out of school suspensions.

"They're placing children in isolation, which is illegal," said Brain. "There's abuse, there's mistreatment of children."

One parent told the board her son spent hours in isolation.

When it comes to ARD meetings, some parents say the district has attorneys present even when parents have no legal representation.

"The parents are not given equal opportunity to make decisions in their ARD meetings, and that goes against the Texas Education Code," said parent Jane Kline.

"They'd rather spend money with their attorneys," said special education advocate Lou Geigerman. "They've spent over $900,000 in legal fees with this law firm over the last five years."

Clear Creek ISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith assured parents their concerns will be taken seriously.

He has agreed to an independent investigation into the district's special education program.