Monthly Archives: February 2022

Comments Off on Minnesota Education Commissioner under Gov Walz is against giving families choices to educate their children – what?

Alright – so, ever since my son was suspended on May 3rd, 5:18pm in 2018 by union-protected teacher Kelly Morris and lobbyist-protected principal Jaysen Anderson in Bloomington public schools, I have been advocating locally and nationally about this issue without any meaningful success thus far. Education is by far one of the hardest areas I have ever had to advocate. No one wants to make any real changes. It is all talk and more talk every year. Sooooo frustrating. At any rate, the senate education finance and policy committee has been trying to help a bit by passing legislation that would give parents choices and better opportunities to educate their children.

I was saddened but not surprised to read your written testimony to the committee on 2.21.22. I want to ask you where was/is your grave concerns when students like my son are kicked out of school. Where is your grave concern when so many students fail and do not learn in public school districts? where is your grave concern when MDE pays these districts even when the student is not there or when they do not graduate? where is your grave concern for parents like me who have been traumatized by public school districts?

You see Commissioner – free appropriate public education (FAPE) does not mean success to many students. Yes, free but not appropriate. My son’s teacher was not trained on autism behavior intervention, positive behavior support, data collection, functions of behavior, sensory needs and so much more. Yet she was an autism teacher. My son’s paraprofessionals were trained even less. The system just gives more money to these public school districts without accountability and consequences when our kids fail and are kicked out.

MDE has been silent in this area and in so many educational areas. I for one am waiting to see what the state office of legislative auditor report will say. Not only have the schools failed our kids but you and the state education agency have also failed us in so many ways and more than you can ever imagine. I am not naive and understand public education is more about politics and less about teaching kids.

Did you know that what Bloomington did to my son has caused me trauma and anxiety? Did you know that our story is not the exception? it happens to so many other families and we get no help from MDE at all.

The above words, do not reflect any candidate, committee, or agency.

Idil Abdull – Somali Autism Mom & Advocate who would like to retire.

Comments Off on In Support of MN State Senate File #1525 – Giving Students & Families Educational Choices

Alright – so, Sen. Chamberlain introduced legislation (SF 1525), which wants to establish education savings accounts for students.  He did this last year as well but the DFL House controlled were not having it. Nor the union liked Gov Walz.

Here is my take on this and what I sent to the Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee.

Dear Mr. Chair and Members, Idil Abdull here again whose son was suspended for five days by a union-protected teacher Kelly Morris and lobbyist-protected principal Jaysen Anderson in Jefferson High school in Bloomington Minnesota. My son who has non-verbal autism did not understand nor understand now what suspension is. The teacher took away his communication device, disrupted his daily routine then called the principal and kicked him out of his educational environment, all while his mama bear was waiting to pick him up in the school parking lot.

This was on Mar 3rd, 5:18pm in 2018, ever since then I have been trying to advocate for a policy and a law that would protect the kids with no success thus far. I have never taken him back to public school district. Instead, I took my son to a charter school that was welcoming, inclusive, and understood his autism disability. If MN had an education savings law, I would have taken him to an even more suitable educational setting that can better meet his needs.

There are quite a few states who have this and serve students better than public schools. If and when (which is often), public schools fail our children, we should have choices that can help and teach them. If the ultimate goal is to educate the student to their best ability then giving parents choices is the best answer. Some would say this discriminates against students with disabilities because not all private schools are equipped or will take them. That is not true. Yes, many private schools are not equipped, but as a parent, I would rather know that up front and not take my son there. I would rather be given the choice and look for a school that can. In fact, many autism families move to Florida and Mississippi for this very reason.

I wish the committee had another public hearing this session and asked parents to give their perspectives. I am not surprised public schools would be against this because they want to fail our children, not have any accountability, and still be funded while the student fails and/or is suspended. At the very minimum, please hold schools accountable for failing students and when the student is not in school, do not pay them.

As always, I thank you for your time and the opportunity to give you my perspective.

Idil Abdull – Somali Autism Mom and Advocate who really would like to retire.

The above words do not reflect any candidate, committee, or agency.

Comments Off on Dozens of Minnesota Group Homes are closing in a few days – oh my goodness

Alright- so, while I was cleaning – I was watching Minn Human Services Reform Finance & Policy Committee (Sen. Abeler’s). Yes, I know who does that? most people listen to music or watch a show or something. I relax by watching legislature committees, weird.

Ok, let’s not get excited; I only watch committees when there is some autism bill or language going through. On this day (2.24.22), the committee had a language of taking out the QSP being present for coordinated care conferences which is a good idea. I then stumbled into them talking about group homes closing. Sen. Nelson gave an impassionate speech and asked what we (all of us) can do to keep these vulnerable people in their homes. Not surprisingly, the current MN department of human services commissioner (Jodi Harspstead) was there and gave – oh what is the word….what is the word that describes her demeanor…yes, I got it… disconnected.

Let’s digest this for a moment. The HUMAN services department leader did not display any emotion, empathy, or care for people with disabilities losing their homes in 8 days. This is so depressing.

It was interesting to see the faces and body language of the GOP members who in my humble opinion displayed empathy and compassion then the DFLers (Murphy) said something about something, oh who can ever remember what she says. Remember, she was against Medicaid paying for autism services for the poor when she was in the house. Yeah, let’s not ever forget that. Then Sen Hoffman spoke. He praised the governor’s solution then praised Abeler’s views just to brown-nose. It was a canceling message. I am never amazed at how much he talks without saying any meaningful words. I am not a fan of him and can’t actually see how he wins elections. He was also against kids with disabilities not being suspended by school districts. Why, you ask – because he was a school board member. I know Abeler likes him and I respect and like Abeler more than I can ever express.

Anyway, I think at least for me – I want to help these people especially any group home that have individuals with autism. I hope you all contact DHS or your county and ask how you can help. The problem seems to be people who work in these group homes are not and were not ever making a living wage. With the pandemic, things have gotten even worse. I suggest we invest in ensuring these amazing and wonderful care professionals get the rate they deserve and the thanks we all owe them.

Abeler discussing this.

The link to this hearing.

The above words do not reflect any candidate, agency, or committee.

Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Advocate