Feds Urge Educators To Take On Disabled Bullying

As the 2013-14 school year hits full swing, federal education officials are urging schools to tackle bullying, specifically when it comes to students with disabilities.

According to DisabilityScoop. the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services issued a letter earlier this month encouraging school districts and campuses to address bullying, saying that it can lead to a student’s right to “free and appropriate public education (FAPE)”.

“We know that students with disabilities are disproportionately affected by bullying,” said Melody Musgrove, director of the Education Department’s Office of Special Education Programs said according to DisabilityScoop. “Schools have a responsibility to ensure that FAPE and the least restrictive environment is available to students with disabilities.”

Officials said that in cases of bullying educators must respond “quickly and consistently.” They also recommended that schools have a meeting with a student’s individualized education program team if bullying begins to affect a child’s education.

DisabilityScoop reported that a 2012 nationwide poll indicated that 63 percent of kids with autism were bullied. This is not acceptable. Educators, administrators and parents should address bullying if their children participate or are subjected to teasing or mockery.

Many disabled students are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), as they grow or age. Our attorneys can help you determine whether you or your family member qualifies for disability benefits. We offer free evaluations of your case, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404. Contact us today to learn more about your rights.

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