HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Back in July of 2016, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights found Hampton City Schools illegally retaliated against an employee that advocated for her daughter with disabilities.
Three years later, Kriston Granger is still waiting on the compensation she’s legally owed.
“I just felt like it wasn’t fair because the job I was doing had nothing to do with my daughter,” said Granger.
She says she was fired back in August of 2014 for nothing related to her job performance.Granger says it all stemmed from her getting a disability advocate to step in for her daughter’s IEP meetings at Captain John Smith Elementary School.
IEP meetings are a support service for students with learning disabilities.
Granger says she couldn’t always make the meetings because she worked full-time or was sick from her Crohn’s disease.
To help her, she hired a local disability advocate, Regina Johnson, to go to the meetings and relay information back to her.
“It’s so hurtful because nothing we have asked for or requested or fought for is against any regulations,” said Johnson.
However, the school told Granger she couldn’t have the advocate. She says when she asked for a policy on why, they fired her from her contracted counselor job with the school division.
“I had to go to another school system, traveling back and forth getting after-school care for my daughter… it was a big financial hardship for me, physically, mentally, I had to go to therapy,” Granger explained.
Looking for answers, she contacted the Department of Education. They ultimately found the school in violation and part of the agreement was compensation for lost expenses, which for Granger is more than $10,000.
“I even sent emails to the school board — they were very nasty. I even spoke with the superintendent, he just blows you off and it’s like we’ve taken the chain of command more than once because we follow the rules, but all they do is just bump it back down,” Granger explained.
10 On Your Side reached out to the school board and school system to find out why, years later, she still hasn’t been compensated.
A representative says the school division cannot comment on the status of an active case with the Department of Education and told us to contact them instead with further questions.
An official with the education department has been made aware and tells us they’re checking into it. We’ll update you here, on WAVY.com.