Marcie Roth Takes School Fight To The Media
January 22, 2003
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND--Many readers know Marcie Roth as a relentless advocate for people with disabilities.
Roth assumed the role of Executive Director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association last year after several years as the Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the National Council on Independent Living.
What you may not know is that she is the parent of two children with disabilities, including 11-year-old Dustin.
For the past four years Roth has been battling with Dustin's school district and the Maryland State Department of Education to get a "free appropriate public education" for him as required by federal law.
Her efforts have been met by costly, time-wasting delays.
Last week, according to an email from Roth posted on Internet email groups, she intervened just in time to stop Dustin's school from having him transferred to one that uses 4-point "holds" and time-out rooms to "manage" students' behavior.
"Those of you who know me, know that I know the law very well, I'm not intimidated by power, I know the game and I won't back down. Heaven help those families who are without knowledge of their rights and the energy they'll need to fight an ugly and lonely battle for their child."
Roth has found an ally in Jay Mathews, an education columnist from the Washington Post, who told Dustin's story in a column that ran Tuesday.
"Jay listened very carefully as I shared my ongoing efforts, and frustrations, in a series of emails over several months. Today, with exquisite honesty, he has brought that story to the readership of the Washington Post."
"Washington Post Joins My Fight for My Child's Rights!" (Marcie Roth)
"The Frustration That is Special Education" (Washington Post)
National Spinal Cord Injury Association