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Feds Warn Schools On Bullying Of Kids With Disabilities IDEA Crackdown

In response to a record number of complaints about bullying, U.S. Department of Education officials sent out a detailed letter to the nation’s schools outlining their legal responsibilities to students with disabilities.


The U.S. Department of Education said in a letter to school officials this week that they are obligated under federal law to respond immediately when bullying of students with disabilities is suspected and act to halt attacks and prevent any recurrence.


The letter comes after an ever-increasing number of complaints and law suits related to bullying of special needs students have occurred in recent years.


“While there is broad consensus that bullying cannot be tolerated, the sad reality is that bullying persists in our schools today, especially for students with disabilities,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education. “Basic decency and respect demand that our schools ensure that all their students learn in a safe environment.”


The letter clarifies protections in place for students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.


The USDOE has already sent out investigators to schools both public and private to investigate civil rights violations of children / students.


In addition to the letter for educators, the U.S. Department of Education also issued a fact sheet for parents.


Assistance for Superintendents and School Boards is available.

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