“Bridging the divide between what parent’s desire for their children and what the law requires school districts to give is the biggest challenge to cover” – Neeru “Nina” Gupta
Neeru “Nina” Gupta, Partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, spends her time on the district side of the table hearing the concerns of special needs parents interested in the education of their children. As a legal counsel, Nina finds herself spending a great deal of time softening the often harsh sounding legal terminology into a more empathetic digestible form. Parents are understandably intense about the welfare of their children, and part of Gupta’s job is to put them at ease.
There is a gap between what districts are legally required to do and what parents want for their special needs children, and this creates friction. It’s important that all parties understand it is a collective process that will be forever morphing and changing.
Nina Gupta salutes the efforts of advocacy groups who do a yeomen’s work when facing the bureaucracies of special needs yet warns against leaning on adversarial approaches to negotiations. It’s a collaborative process that requires understanding, patience and giving from both sides of the table. Everyone wants the best education for ALL children.
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