New Landmark U.S. Court Decision Sets New Legal Standard On Bullied Students And IDEA Special Education Violations By Schools
A learning-disabled third-grader who was cruelly bullied by classmates at highly rated PS 6 on the Upper East Side was deprived of her educational rights — and the city must pay for her tuition at a private school, a top appellate court has ruled.
The landmark decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that Principal Lauren Fontana “stonewalled” the girl’s parents, refusing to discuss the bullying or address it in her special-education plan.
The three-member appellate panel unanimously upheld a ruling by federal Judge Jack Weinstein that the city Department of Education violated the US Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
“I think it’s an important decision, not only for my family, but for all children with special needs who have faced these issues before,” the girl’s dad, Tracy Klestadt, a bankruptcy lawyer, told The Post.
His daughter, then 10 in a class mixed with general-ed and special-ed students, was taunted and abused daily during the 2007-08 school year, while teachers did little to stop it, the court found.
One student pinched the girl — whom The Post is not identifying — hard enough to cause a bruise and stomped on her toes.
Classmates ostracized the little girl, once refusing to touch a pencil she had used, saying it had “cooties.”
Others tripped her, laughed at her, and called her “ugly,” “smelly,” “stupid” and “fat.”
A teacher found a crude drawing demeaning the child, and tossed it in the trash. But a special-education aide retrieved it and showed it to her parents.
The girl repeatedly told her parents about the abuse. She dreaded going to class, they said, brought dolls for support, and cried when she came home. She lost her ability to function in class and focus on homework.
Fontana refused to discuss the bullying and the “stonewalling continued” while the school developed the girl’s Individual Education Plan, the court found.
“I think it’s an important decision, not only for my family, but for all children with special needs who have faced these issues before.”
– Tracy Klestadt
The parents finally pulled their daughter out of PS 6. They enrolled her in the private Summit School in Queens, for children with learning disabilities, and sued for reimbursement of the $28,000 tuition. Even though the DOE itself would be reimbursed by the state, it refused.
During the seven-year court battle, Klestadt said he forked out about $280,000 in legal fees, which he will now ask the courts to make the city pay.
Klestadt said the ordeal at PS 6 partly led them to move to Long Island, where the school district willingly agreed to pay for the girl’s tuition at Summit. Now a senior at age 17, she has “flourished.”
The parents’ lawyer, Gary Mayerson, said the ruling sets a precedent.
“Students have the right to expect they can attend school free from physical or psychological abuse,” he said. “And parents can expect that if they raise or communicate concerns about bullying, that those concerns will be acted upon in a timely manner and addressed.”
Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for the city Law Department, said the court “found a procedural error.” He added, “The DOE has no tolerance for bullying or discrimination and has policies to address this.”
New York Post – Susan Edelman
Dale Yeager Forensic Profiler and costar of the new History Channel series ‘True Monsters’, has published a new Amazon Kindle book for parents entitled “3 Myths About Bullying”.
Yeager who worked for the Boulder District Attorney’s office in 1997 on the original murder investigation of JonBenet Ramsey, has released an e-book on bullying titled “3 Myths About Bullying” What Every Parent and Grandparent Should know to Protect Children and Grandchildren. The book focuses on inaccurate information about bullying that Yeager says can endanger children.
The Department of Education is primed for a large data breach that could eclipse the one experienced by the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM), House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said last week at a Brookings Institute function.
IRRESPONSIBLE PARENTS? 7 Questions For Every Parent With A High School Or College Student Traveling Overseas
by Dale Yeager SERAPH
The terrorist attacks in Paris France have brought the issue of travel safety and students to the national spotlight. Families of murdered or injured students thought that France and Western Europe were safe. They were wrong.
It never ceases to amaze me how many parents trust the most valuable humans in their lives to teachers, principals and college administrators.
I routinely hear these statements when I speak about travel safety;
“Oh Dale, the high school French teacher has a lot of experience traveling.” or “The College / University has a lot of experience with semesters abroad.”
SERAPH CEO and Forensic Profiler Dale Yeager can be seen Friday October 9th at 10 pm EST in the new series True Monsters.
Mr. Yeager is one of three experts lending their expertise to the show. Each week the series explores the truth behind Myths Monsters and Legends.
True Monsters is a series that brings the scariest stories from our past and our present to life while delving into the truths that have inspired our favorite legends and fantastical creatures.
The Executives at WDBJ 7 TV are Responsible for the Murders of Cameraman Adam Ward and Reporter Alison Parker
While this may seem harsh, in my expert opinion the facts prove their culpability of WDBJ executives in this horrific crime.
I am angry because these types of crimes are not inevitable they are preventable.
Some questions about the murders of Cameraman Adam Ward – reporter Alison Parker and the wounding of Vicki Gardner need to be asked and answered:
The US Department of Justice has released a report that states the growth of criminal gangs is increasing in all socioeconomic areas of the country. The National Youth Gang Survey Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
A “Saturday Night Live” skit about a male student having sex with his female high school teacher painted the relationship as every teen boy’s dream, but drew a firestorm of criticism on social media.
The reaction to the comedy sketch reflected a growing view among law enforcement and victims’ advocacy groups that it is no laughing matter when a woman educator preys on her male students.
February 3, 2015 by Kiran Dhillon
Among the many factors that go into deciding where to attend college, safety is a one of the most important.
To find the colleges where the most crimes are committed relative to the size of their total enrolled student body (as of 2013), StartClass analyzed statistics from the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE).
New School Program To Provide Affordable Safety And Federal Special Education Grant Assistance For U.S. Schools
A new training program entitled the SCHOOL SAFETY ASSESSMENT CERTIFICATION PROGRAM which provides schools with federal level training to assist in securing Special Education funding has been announced today.
The new program trains and certifies school based personnel to audit their safety, emergency management and Special Education systems – known by the U.S. Department of Education as a Climate Assessment. This assessment provides important documentation for schools to apply for Federal grant monies.