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PEATC Presents Topical Institute on School Discipline

May 14, 2011 2:00 until 6:00 pm
Apr 23, 2011 The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) is proud to host a topical institute on the subject of school discipline on Saturday, May 14 from 2:00 until 6:00 pm at the Falls Church Senior Center in Falls Church, VA. The event will feature an attorney, two educational consultants, and PEATC’s Information Coordinator, all of whom work with children and families facing suspensions from school and other disciplinary issues.

The keynote speaker for the event is Arlington-based attorney Tom Spiggle, who handles student suspension cases. Spiggle will help parents gain a better understanding of the legal process behind a suspension while offering practical advice about what to do (and what not to do) when a parent learns his or her child is in trouble. “Navigating the many policies and procedures can be challenging and overwhelming,” said Spiggle, who has also worked as a school board attorney and a federal prosecutor. “It is crucial for parents to be informed and prepared before their child faces a suspension.”

The topical institute will also feature two educational consultants who help children and families in the Washington, DC area. Patti Murphy and Jacy Perkins, of Patricia Murphy Associates, will highlight the behavioral and emotional “red flags” that are often associated with student suspensions. Murphy and Perkins, both Registered Nurses who have over 30 years of experience working with families, will tell parents what to look for and how to help their children through therapy, academic counseling, and a variety of special programs.

Irene Moore, PEATC’s Information Coordinator, will discuss conflict resolution, procedural safeguards, and mediation options. She will also share effective communication techniques that parents can use while going through a difficult process. Conference attendees will receive the information they need to go from emotions to empowerment when advocating for their children. "Parents will have a renewed understanding of how special education works, how parents and professionals are working together to improve student outcomes, and the important role parents play in their children’s schools and in education reform overall,” said Cathy Healy, CEO of PEATC.

The event is intended for parents of children both with and without special needs, and the speakers will highlight the particular challenges that all children meet—from honor students who have never been in trouble to children who have faced emotional, behavioral, and academic hurdles for years.

The cost to attend the event is $5 per person and $7 per couple. Registration will be available at the door on the day of the event if there are any slots still available. The price at the door will be $10 per person and $12 per couple. Scholarships are available for those who might need financial assistance to attend the conference. To register, please send an email to or call (703) 923-0010.

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