Friday, October 18, 2013

Bullying of Children With Disabilities - Postccript III GAO Report.

Government Accountability Office
Government Accountability Office (Photo credit: dcdan)

After we finished the series on Bullying, the federal Government Accountability Office issued a report pertaining to school bullying.  The title of the report is "SCHOOL BULLYING:  Extent of Legal Protections for Vulnerable Groups Needs to Be More Fully Assessed." This relates to the hot button issue in special education law although bullying affects more than just special education students. The GAO reviewed research on the prevalence and effects on victims; and analyzed state bullying laws, and school district bullying policies.

After looking into the school bullying problem, the GAO made several recommendations. The recommendations included: that the Department of Education compile information about state civil rights laws and procedures that relate to bullying, and inform complainants about state legal options; that the Departments of Education, HHS, and Justice develop information about bullied demographic groups in their surveys; and assess whether legal protections are adequate for these groups.  Here is a summary of the GAO report.

You can read the entire 64 page GAO report here.
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  1. My experience at the junior/high school level has led me to believe we are making progress towards offering students who fall in the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity genuine support from bullying. This support comes in many forms such as clubs, literature, and open forums. I think this helps the entire school culture because it gives a “voice” to these groups, as well as exposes others to who they are.

  2. Bullying is happening everywhere these days. I believe we are more aware of this now than a couple years ago. Nonetheless, it is not enough to identify the bully and find the proper strategies to help them stop. Rather we need to focus on those being affected by the bully or bullies. We, as teachers need to be attentive not only to classroom bullying but informed of behavior at recess and lunch.

  3. Thanks Anon & Anon for your thoughts on this issue.