Special Education Lawyer Apologizes for Conf. Remarks

March 31, 2004
The following is a public statement released today [Wednesday, March 31] at the request of
Mr. Zvi Greismann, senior attorney for special education for the Montgomery County Public Schools.


I want to express a sincere apology. My remarks ten months ago at the LRP national conference on special education law created the unintended consequence of appearing to be disrespectful and disparaging of students with disabilities and their families.

This was certainly never my intent. As the father of a profoundly disabled child, I know all too well the challenges faced by parents with special children. As an attorney who has devoted the past 18 years to providing appropriate services to children with disabilities, I understand the sensitivity with which such matters must be handled. However, I did not foresee how my comments could be interpreted outside of the context of the conference. I was invited, along with others, to use humor during last year's luncheon to help conference participants (including parent advocates, attorneys, and educators) deal with the intense emotions and stresses associated with this field of work.

Nonetheless, I have cancelled the invitation to present again at this year's LRP conference. The four-day conference itself is a nationally recognized event focusing on legal issues associated with the education of students with disabilities and the lifetime struggles of such children and their families. I will continue to attend this conference as an invited lecturer on special education law, but I will not accept any further requests to use humor in the context of special education.

This apology is offered as a good faith gesture on my part. I want to emphasize my continuing commitment to upholding the rights and privileges of students with disabilities. I continue to work diligently and professionally to ensure that children in the Montgomery County Public Schools receive the free and appropriate education and services entitled under law. This remains my pledge to each and every student with a disability and to each and every parent of a child with a disability.


Zvi Greismann

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