Recently, I had an opportunity to share some of my school’s inclusive practices with a special educator from another district. I told him about using general education peer-tutors, inviting general education classes into self-contained classrooms for shared lessons, and helping typical and non-typical students change the school climate with respect to students with disabilities.
While my colleague was personally connected to the mission of inclusion, he was unsure that some of these practices could actually occur at his school, due to parental and administrative concerns over confidentiality. He cited a few incidences of parents who were quite protective of their child’s right to privacy within an education setting. I couldn’t help but wonder why I had never encountered this “right to privacy” issue at the school where I teach.
To be sure, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act includes a number of definitions and legal requirements, especially with respect to evaluations, personally identifiable information, and access to records. But I’ve never interpreted these rights as contrary to the mission of inclusive practices within schools.