Should I audio record my IEP?

(Heck) Yes!


Dear Chelsea and Steve – is it a good idea for me to record my IEP meeting? Is it legal? The district says that it may “inhibit open discussions”.

Pause Button Pressed in Petaluma
  1. Check to see if it can be stopped in your state. It is legal in California (don’t ask, look it up – they may not tell you the truth… they may not know the law).
  2. Even if they can say “No”, ask about it – “Do you mind if I record our meeting? We talk about so many important topics…. I don’t know how I could remember them all….”
  3. In California (check your state), you should give 24 hours notice of your intent to record.
  4. In California, if you don’t give notice, you can still record the meeting with your phone (better to let everyone know in advance).

This used to be a technical challenge, but most of us carry smart phones, so this is pretty easy… and pretty darn powerful. Typically, if you record, the school district also records – no problem… the more the merrier.

Don’t record it secretly! You may be in violation of the law.

Now, you may hear objections from school districts (and in some cases they don’t have to allow it)…They may say it will “inhibit discussions”… (nonsense)…it may make them more careful – in a good way… but, they will likely forget that they are recording it and you may collect some juicy data that you can use later… or at least have a record of what was actually said or agreed to as opposed to what the notes for the meeting covered.

What it does is give you is your own copy of what was said, what was claimed, what was agreed to, and lots of other goodies if you ever have a legal problem later.

I haven’t always done it.

I should have known better.

Now I do… and you do too.


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