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Bullying In Class, On Playgrounds and Online: Schools Still Out of Touch - featured October 4, 2011

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Bullying In Class, On Playgrounds and Online: Schools Still Out of Touch

By: Charles Fox

[Source: Special Ed Law Blog]

The Office for Civil Rights recently provided guidance on when bullying can rise to the level of a federal civil rights violation. Discrimination based on disability status was a topic covered in the OCR letter. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) prohibit disability-based discrimination. The recent OCR letter outlines several examples of harassment and discrimination, here is just one example and the letter's response:

Several classmates repeatedly called a student with a learning disability "stupid," "idiot," and "retard" while in school and on the school bus. On one occasion, these students tackled him, hit him with a school binder, and threw his personal items into the garbage. The student complained to his teachers and guidance counselor that he was continually being taunted and teased. School officials offered him counseling services and a psychiatric evaluation, but did not discipline the offending students. As a result, the harassment continued. The student, who had been performing well academically, became angry, frustrated, and depressed, and often refused to go to school to avoid the harassment.

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Tags: Article Bullying Newsletter 7 October 2011