Protecting Special Education Students From Bullying

Bullying is a pervasive problem in schools. In 2010, Massachusetts enacted anti-bullying laws to protect all students regardless of any membership in a protected class. Students who are victims of verbal abuse and bullying suffer adverse effects that significantly impact both social and academic development.

Special education students are frequently targets of bullies. To that end, Massachusetts school bullying prevention efforts include processes for Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams to determine whether a special education student is vulnerable to bullying, harassment or teasing. Parents of children who are vulnerable can work with the IEP team to address the needs of the child to holistically craft, or amend, an IEP to ensure the child has access to a meaningful education.

Knowledgeable Guidance From An Attorney For Anti-Bullying Cases

Children who are on IEPs might be more likely to be bullied. IEP teams must determine on an individual basis whether the student's disability affects social skills development or makes the child vulnerable to harassment, teasing or bullying. At the Law Office of Colonna & Doyle in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, we are devoted to helping parents navigate the IEP process, including resolving disputes when school officials fail to properly address the individual needs of a special education student.

We know how to negotiate and draft appropriate IEPs to protect special needs students. The IEP can include a safety plan to include:

  • Staffing arrangements to monitor the child to ensure safety
  • Identifying a safe place for the child to go if the child does not feel safe
  • Identifying staff members throughout the school environment who need to be aware of the need for anti-bullying protection for the student
  • Designating a safe person whom the student can report to in times of need

Contact A Dedicated Special Education Lawyer To Protect Your Child

It is critical school officials and the IEP teams properly understand their responsibilities in bullying prevention and intervention efforts. We can help you protect your special needs child. If you have questions or concerns about how your child's school is handling its duty to protect your child from harassment, we invite you to contact us online or call 866-773-2023 to arrange a free initial consultation. We represent clients in Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk counties, and throughout Massachusetts.