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When should you call DCF on Childs' school?

I waited too long. I'm sharing this post with the intention that other parents and caregivers can save themselves from years of guilt and permanent damage.

*Future Boynado, if you are reading this, I am so so sorry I did not speak up sooner. Mommy loves you so much. I'm never going to stop fighting for you.

It's 2022 and all anyone can talk about is school safety. As a CT resident, Sandy Hook is top of mind daily. Much like 911, we never forget. Protecting our kids is a priority. I'm here to tell you that our kids are in danger inside school too.

If your child is a mainstream or a neurotypical child, this intel may come as a HUGE SHOCK to you. If you are a parent or caregiver of a special needs child, you're nodding your head saying, YUP. For all those Yuppers out there, you are not alone.

In the last month I've had to call DCF on my childs' school 3 times. He arrives home traumatized, sobbing in Autism meltdown mode, covered in cuts & bruises. Most recently he's suffered a fractured hand & finger that the Yale Ortho says was caused by extreme force.

*Our child {non-verbal for most} can't tell us, and despite our best efforts to fight an advocate for him, it's keeps happening.

So, when should you call DCF on your Childs' school?

The fucking hot second your gut tells you something isn't right. And if your questioning it, EMAIL ME.

Even if you don't want to believe it, call. There is zero risk in calling your state DCF hotline. They are here to help protect children from abuse and neglect. They want to hear from you. Be patient, stay on the line, they are here for YOU. They will be attentive and respectful.

And now, a bunch of stuff nobody else is going to tell you...

The schools know all the loop holes. When injuries to a child are "unknown" schools are supposed to "self-report". They have their own phone number and they often get to DCF before you - ON PURPOSE.

WISDOM: Call DCF before you let school and your district know your calling DCF.

Take photos & videos. A picture and digital visual is worth a thousand words when you're advocating for a child on the Autism Spectrum. DCF will want photos, and they will be your best defense when fighting for change.

Right about now you're asking yourself - but aren't their cameras in schools. The answer in CT is NO. There's a totally fucked up law called NERPA that was developed to help protect kids identity, however schools are using as a shield to protect themselves from getting caught abusing our children. NERPA even prevents parents from knowing the names of their childs' classmates specifically to keep families from connecting, communicating and uniting. NERPA fuels isolation of disabled families and protects habitually known abusers from being help responsible. I agree, this topic is worthy of it's own post. Consider it under cre8tion.

Document every mother fucking detail in-writing. My biggest advocacy mistake thus far has been allowing others the power to speak to me via phone. It fucks you every fucking time. Even if you're recording it. I was recently blessed with a call from Disability Rights CT and their lawyer gave me this advice:

Follow up emails after meetings or phone calls where important issues are raised, discussed, and/or when decisions are made. It can be very helpful for everyone to have a summary email to document a concern was raised, what the discussion surrounding that issue was, and what decisions, if any, were made about how to address that concern. If there were follow up action steps discussed, it can be helpful to list out your understanding of who will be doing what and confirm the timeframes within which those steps will be completed.

{basically} follow up every phone call with an email that bullets the items discussed in the phone conversation. Yes, this is tedious. Yes, its a full time job. Yes, your childs' life depends on it.

Contact your local State Representative ASAP!

When it comes to advocacy, you gotta let go of the bipartisan bullshit. Democrat or Republican, these are elected officials who are here to serve us as American Citizens. If they don't know, they can't help. The more parents sharing, the more "ammunition" they have to fight for us.

My local state Representative here in Branford, CT is Robin Comey. {KEEPING IT REAL: Robin is a BranfordLoving friend & colleague, I cre8ted her campaign logo, we get together for lunch for no reason at all.} When I contacted Robin about my DCF concerns, she immediately help make connections for me. She invited me to the Capitol, she gave me the Leslie Knope Red Carpet Tour, brought me into the House as bills were being passed, she introduced me to numerous House Chairs, Non-Profit Leaders, and yes, even made some email DCF connections that afforded me conversations with the State's Advocacy attorney and beyond. I'm not special. Robin does this for all her constituents. Contact your State Rep. That's why they are here. Goddess Bless America.