Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bullying- New Hot Button Issue


is the hottest of hot button issues in special education law.
Generally the claim of the parent is that the student cannot receive the benefit of his IEP if he is being bullied. Bullying is a growing problem that is starting in earlier grades and lasting longer. (San Diego Tribune, 7/9/07). Courts and hearing officers are beginning to hold that disability-based harassment may result in a denial of FAPE. In Shore Regional High Sch Bd. of Educ v. P.S. 41 IDELR 234, 381 F.3d 194, (3d Cir. 8/30/04), the Third Circuit held that the school district’s failure to stop bullying may constitute a denial of FAPE. Bullies constantly called the student names, threw rocks and hit him with a padlock. Despite repeated complaints, the bullying continued and the student eventually attempted suicide. See also, Preschooler II v. Clark County Sch Bd of Trustees 47 IDELR 151, 479 F.3d 1175 (9th Cir. 3/21/7); Stringer v. St. James R-1 Sch. Dist. 45 IDELR 179, 466 F.3d 799 (8th Cir. 5/3/6); Scruggs v. Meriden Bd. of Educ. 44 IDELR 59 (D.Conn. 8/22/05); RP & MP ex rel KP v. Springdale Sch Dist 107 LRP 9778(W.D. Ark 2/21/7); Walden v. Moffett 46 IDELR 159(E.D.Calif 8/28/6).
Other courts have ruled that in certain cases involving bullying, the parent need not exhaust administrative remedies before proceeding to court to pursue possible money damages. See, Blanchard v. Morton Sch. Dist. 420 F.3d 918, 44 IDELR 29 (9th Cir. 8/19/05); Walden v. Moffett 46 IDELR 159 (E.D. Calif 8/28/6); Scruggs v. Meriden 44 IDELR 59 (D.Conn 8/22/05). These issues may well transcend special education. The Columbine tragedy raised our national consciousness concerning bullying and harassment of all kinds in the schools. The issue, however, has a big impact upon special education. Many children with disabilities report that they have been bullied. In one study, the number of disabled children enduring bullies approached 80% (Education Guardian 6/18/07).
Hearing officers and courts should anticipate more cases alleging bullying.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We've Won a Blog of the Day Award!

We are pleased to announce that we have won a Blog of the Day Award for July 15, 2007. We understand that it was a Serendipity Sunday Award. We are now proudly displaying the Blog of the Day brag badge. Thanks for the award. Here is the Blog of the Day link http://blogofthedayawards.blogspot.com/

Please remember that we are still in the running for best education blog and best business blog for the blogger's choice awards. We are getting votes for these awards. If you'd like to vote, you need to register at this site http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/

Thanks for your support. Also remember that you can vote on the new poll feature on the bottom left portion of this blog. Lotsa voting going on.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

NEW Internet Poll: Is the due process system fair?

We now have the capability to add an occasional poll to this blog.

The first poll is about the state due process systems. Do you think that the hearing system is fair? Please register your opinion on the poll found near the bottom left-hand side of this blog.

We are not pretending that this is a "scientific poll," but we suspect that the results will be interested. Let us know how you like this new feature.

Friday, July 13, 2007

JoLeta Reynolds Award

JoLeta Reynolds is one of the best people on the planet. Many folks who work in special education know her well. She is a senior policy advisor for OSEP. She was instrumental in the re authorizations of IDEA, wrote the federal regulations after the 1977 reauthorization of IDEA and she was key in the writing of the new regs. She helps everybody who has a question. Many times she has helped me personally understand the nuances of the regs; she is very patient and supportive of me. She has persevered through obstacles that would stop many of us in our tracks. She is great!

A couple years ago, LRP, the company that publishes special ed decisions, started the JoLeta Reynolds award. If you know somebody who works for state, federal or local education agencies who has had an awesome impact upon the lives of children with disabilities, consider nominating them for the award. Here is a link: http://www.lrpinstitute.com/joleta.html

Being nominated for this prestigious award is a great honor. People who have a big impact upon special education deserve recognition. Once again, JoLeta makes the world a better place.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

We're Nominated for Blog Awards

I am honored to report that this blog has been nominated for a blogger's choice award in the categories of best education blog and best business blog. If you want to cast us a vote, or if you like lotsa blogs, look at this website:


Thanks and keep on bloggin'.