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August 4, 2016

Portfolio Reviewer Attacks Child

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SCOTT WOODRUFF Contact attorney for Maryland

When a homeschooling mother recently brought her child to a portfolio review, she hardly expected her child to meet with verbal abuse and humiliation for having a learning disability.

At the review, however, the school employee yelled at the mother and child and was incredibly rude. She said the child’s work looked like “crap.”

The reviewer also said, “So, the child has a learning disability? Really? Did a doctor prove it or is the child just full of it?” She called the child a “retard,” threw the papers back at the child, then stormed out of the room.

The child said, “Mommy, I don’t like it here. Let’s leave,” and cried all the way home. The mother complained, and a supervisor sent an apology. That particular reviewer is no longer employed in the school system involved.

Portfolio reviewers sometimes urge parents to bring their child to the portfolio review, claiming that the child needs to be there so the reviewer can “observe instruction.” HSLDA strongly recommends against this.

Granted, this is a particularly egregious example of mistreatment. Perhaps no other reviewer will ever be so astonishingly cruel and unprofessional. But why risk exposing your child to what the next portfolio reviewer might do?