SchoolHouse Connection’s “Making the Case” series will share real students’ situations and walk through making the legal case for providing the support the student needs. Let us know if you find this document helpful (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we’ll provide more.
Making the Case: Legal Language to Support Students
Beth McCullough, a seasoned McKinney-Vento liaison, inspired this new series from SchoolHouse Connection, “Making the Case.” Beth suggested:
“None of this work can be done without the law. Maybe we need to give liaisons the words. ‘If you think you need more time for this job, here are the parts of McKinneyVentoand ESSA that back you up.’ We can be great homeless education liaisons, but we
can’t do this job without the support of laws behind us, allowing us, mandating us, and providing us the opportunity to make great things happen.”
This series will share real students’ situations and walk through making the legal case for providing the support the student needs. Let us know if you find this document helpful (email@example.com), and we’ll provide more.
She doesn’t have parents. She has a team of social workers who gather once a week to make decisions about her life. She has refused mental health counseling due to years of therapy mandated by judges and family workers. The liaison chimed in during one meeting, “You come to my office all the time. Why don’t we set up an hour to meet once a week after school, so we have time to really discuss some of these things that you find troublesome?” She was hesitant, but the liaison reminded her she was in complete control of the meetings. No judge was mandating them. The student agreed.
“I am just not good today,” she said during an early session.
“Not good?” the liaison asked. “That could mean a lot. Sad? Angry? Scared? Irritated? Give me a hint.”
They had to talk a few minutes before the student settled on sad. “Do you have any sense where the sadness is coming from?”
“I don’t know,” she said angrily. “It is just sad, just sad.” She suddenly pulled her sleeves to cover her arms where she had cut herself in the past few months.
The student is a junior, behind on credits and totally uncertain about her future. She’s changed high schools a few times, but now is staying in her school of origin. She wants to stay after school for tutoring, but how will she get “home” after? She wants to participate in a school-sponsored lip-sync contest, but how will she buy the music and costume?