It saddens me to read and hear about the allegations of abuse of students in the TEAM program. Yet another conflict between a committee of TEAM parents and District 200.

First, it was the conflict of interest in the curriculum and a committee of TEAM parents fighting tooth and nail to implement change in the curriculum. District 200 answered their request with the hiring of a consultant to train the TEAM staff on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The parents then complained that the TEAM staff didn’t move fast enough to evaluate the students in order to implement ABA. Another area of conflict was the lack of response from the special education administration to the committee of TEAM parents. Now, the new allegation is of mistreatment of students by the TEAM staff members. I think it is ironic that at a February committee meeting, parents stated that they were pleased with the changes implemented with the TEAM program; especially the case of a past incident where the student has already graduated.

My son is currently a sophomore, so I have been approached to join the ‘committee.’ I’ve kept a safe distance; monitoring the situation. There was really no need to jump on the bandwagon as my son had nothing but positive experiences with the TEAM program. Our experiences in IEP (Individualized Education Plan) sessions went very well. Whenever I had a recommendation to revise my son’s IEP, the thought was taken into consideration and then revised by the special education administration. My son has experienced ‘managing’ the freshman football team, and currently is ‘managing’ the freshman Girls’ softball team. The coaches love having him around. It gives him a chance to interact with many of the students outside of the classroom. I have attended off-site group field trips; showing up unexpectedly, never seeing any type of mistreatment to a student. I have a family member who works for District 200 and is located near the TEAM program. I have asked her numerous times what her perception has been with treatment of TEAM students and she replied that both the teachers and teaching assistants have never been negative and the students always look very happy.

I commend these teachers and aides! It is a hard job to teach students with a diverse level of learning disabilities in a classroom setting.

It seems to me that District 200 can never satisfy the needs of this committee. This committee also has to stop poisoning the minds of incoming freshman TEAM parents with solicitations of flyers, emails and phone calls. Let them keep an open mind and have their own experience and make their own judgment

I think those parents that are truly unhappy with the TEAM program need to evaluate the real reason why they are unhappy. Stop raising havoc! Enjoy life; you’re only here for a short amount of time.

Barbara White
Oak Park

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