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IEP, The Drinking Game

A friend of mine and I were recently having dinner and discussing advocating for our children (hers is grown and has a PhD from Oxford), and half way through one of my stories she asked, “How much do you drink?”

My response?  “A lot.”

We both fell into giggles and talked about how the stress and struggle can truly drive one to drink.

That got me to thinking, have you ever gone into an IEP meeting and sat there watching the back and forth and thought, this would make one hell of a drinking game?

Bartender pours alcoholic drink into small glasses on bar

Well, I have, but, you can’t have a drinking game without understanding the rules.


  1. Every person around the table has to drink based on the rules of the game.  Clearly the child can’t be in the room.  This game is only for adults past the legal drinking age of 21.
  2. The type of alcohol varies and several bottles will be on the table.  This isn’t a game of drink what you want, it’s drink based on the scenario.
  3. All drinks, unless otherwise stipulated, are in shot form.
  4. Scenario to alcohol ratio:
    1. Bullshit = Whiskey
    2. Misdirection = Vodka
    3. Lie = Tequila
    4. Dysteachia = Schnapps
      1. This includes all manners of Whole Language and it’s derivatives as well as a lack of investment in a gold standard dyslexia programs applied with 100% fidelity.
    5. Corruption = Pure Grain Alcohol (legal moonshine)
    6. Abuse = Pure Grain Alcohol (legal moonshine)
      1. Abuse & Corruption are the same in level of intimidation
    7. Truth = Dom Perignon Champagne, in a fluted glass served with fresh fruit
    8. Science of Reading = Coffee, with or without alcohol, your choice
    9. Compassion = A fine French wine of your choice with charcuterie
    10. Integrity = Tea of your choice in a glass or mug, depending on if desired hot or cold, and cookies
    11. Belief in best interest of child = Large glass of ice cold bottled water and if needed a healthy chunk of bread to help absorb the alcohol
  5. If more than one scenario is named, more than one shot is required.  The definition of the scenarios are below.
    1. If more scenarios are needed, please comment and we will add to the list.  Keep in mind the game isn’t hard and fast and more rules may be necessary.

Now, when do you drink?

Different sets of scenarios apply.  I don’t mean to make this complicated, but it is complicated.  It is what it is. Get used to it.

The below is based on any action from a school or district representative at the table.

Infraction Based Shots:

  1. Every power play. (Corruption)
  2. Every eye roll. (Abuse)
  3. Every shake of the head. (Abuse)
  4. Every condescending remark. (Bullshit)
  5. Every attempt at parent shaming, either for lack of education degree or any other tactic. (Bullshit)
  6. Every denial of FAPE. (Lie and Corruption)
  7. Every  denial of Child Find. (Lie and Corruption)
  8. Every deviation off the subject. (Misdirection)
  9. Every reference to you in a 3rd person manner which demeans your presence in the room. (Abuse)
  10. Every time you are expected to show trust. (Misdirection and Bullshit)
  11. Every time they tell you 30 minutes a day of a program is a gold standard program and is to fidelity. (Dysteachia)
  12. Every breach of accommodations. (Abuse)
  13. Every time a voice is raised. (Abuse)
  14. Every time someone uses their physical presence to intimidate. (Abuse)
  15. Every time someone slams their fists on the table or throws their arms in the air. (Abuse)
  16. Every time someone produces a report meant to support a preconceived agenda item that is not in the best interest of the child, but represents an educational Easy Button to let the school off the hook. (Corruption and Abuse)

For the parent and / or advocate:

  1. For any action taken by the parent and / or advocate that results in any of the above, the parent has a choice of whether or not to drink to ease their pain, or make the offending party take their shot on their behalf, in other words, the offending party may end of taking two shots for each action.
  2. At any point where the parent and / or advocate is feeling the need for either some liquid courage, to bolster their spirits, to dull their pain levels, or whatever, the parent and / or advocate may choose to take a shot of the liquor of their choice.
  3. At any point where the parent and / or advocate is feeling offended by any of the above, they have the right to throw the contents of their shot in the face of the offending person instead of drinking it.
    1. Towels will not be offered to assist the person on whom the drink lands.

Note: Regarding the parent and / or advocate rules, it is possible to leave the IEP meeting without having had a drink.  If this is the case, the drinking game rules change allowing for freedom from the rules.  One may engage in any form of drinking of any libation of your choice, as you deem necessary, at your nearest restaurant, bar or in the privacy of your own home.


If the following is done, clink glasses and toast the beautiful child you all truly want the best for and intend to deliver FAPE to the level of Endrew F. without fail.

  1. Every time your question is answered accurately without hiding behind veiled political references meant to protect misguided individuals mired in a shroud of untruths. (Truth)
  2. Every time the district invests in a gold standard dyslexia program. (Science of Reading)
  3. Every time the district offers more dyslexia-centric teacher training. (Science of Reading)
  4. Every time the district removes all Whole Language derivatives, including Balanced Literacy, Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention, Lucy Calkins Teacher College, etc., in favor of Structured Literacy programs. (Science of Reading)
  5. Every time the district develops and delivers on goals that are a stretch for the whole team, but which best serve the child’s abilities with a determination to help the child overcome their obstacles.  (Truth, Compassion, Integrity and Best Interest of Child)
  6. Every time the district recognizes that the acquired program is not delivering sufficient results in a sufficient time period and switches to another gold standard program.  (Truth, Compassion, Integrity and Best Interest of Child)
  7. Every time the district focuses on the actual needs of the child, seeking to understand more, instead of making baseless assumptions based on anything resembling an Easy Button, misdirection, lack of knowledge, lack of evidence, a pile of assumptions or any other load of trollop.  (Truth, Compassion, Integrity and Best Interest of Child)


  1. The longer the meeting, the greater the infractions, the greater the chance of alcohol poisoning.  We recommend being mindful of the risk.  Understanding the rules and your part in the game will help to alleviate the risks of too much alcohol consumption.
  2. Shots are not measured for body size or time of day.  A shot is a shot.
  3. For the Win-Win any amount of food as may be desired may be consumed with the drinks.
  4. For the Win-Win the probability for a happy parent and / or advocate and a fortunate child is exceptionally high.
  5. For the Win-Win the probability the child will not be on welfare, go to prison, and actually becomes literate, rises exponentially with each passing year the Win-Win is adhered to.
  6. For the Win-Win, full collaboration with the parents resulting in positive exchanges, a reduction of stress, and a healthier and more supportive environment for all is guaranteed.


Clinking glasses with alcohol and toasting party

5 comments on “IEP, The Drinking Game

  1. Sharon Lauber says:

    I find this offensive. Really, anyone would compare this serious topic to a drinking game? I am a retired teacher. I do understand your frustration and I can share it. With all of your knowledge in the complexity in learning and reading, I’m sure teachers would welcome you to teach all of the secrets. I was taught many years ago, ways to teach dyslexia students. I too, believe that preservice teachers in special education have not been taught how to teach students with these needs. It has not been part of the training for elementary teachers. It would be wonderful master level classes for regular classroom teachers. You cannot expect all teachers to have this knowledge. It’s like expecting all doctors to be heart specialists.

    I understand your frustration. Believe me, I do. Continue your work.


    1. Thank you for your comment, Ms. Lauber. From your other comments on Facebook, I want to say thank you for always being a well meaning member of the team. Educators like you are a valuable part of a child’s education. I will say the post is meant to illicit emotion. For parents that do not have positive experiences, it is meant to poke fun at our reality. It is in the vein of “sometimes it’s easier to laugh than it is to cry” when your desire is to cry. For educators that do not uphold a true moralistic position in the best interest of the child, it’s meant to derive many emotions, but what I hope to achieve is inner reflection. The truth is too many experience poor meetings with less than well meaning people. As an advocate I support many parents who have had truly horrible experiences, are blatantly lied to, manipulated, verbally abused, shamed, and at the end of the day face denial after denial when their child is clearly dyslexic and significantly struggling. I am witness to testimonies and experiences that are abusive and cruel and the cost is the life of a child. We as a society have a moral responsibility to the best interest of all children, and in the dyslexia world, that moral responsibility too often falls onto amoral individuals who do not care if our children succeed or not. I’ll close here and again thank you for your comment and your service to children.


  2. Diane says:

    I just want to point out how well suited this game is now for a Zoom IEP meeting. I can simply set the shot glasses out in front of me and drink as needed. Perhaps you can print cards we can hold up to alert the offending party…?


    1. Genius!!! Excellent point! I think I need to write a COVId version of the game. Zoom definitely adds in a whole new layer.


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