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What are my rights when my child is being bullied at school?

Gillette, WY |

He is being verbally and physically bullied and just today got punched repeatedly. This has been going on for about 3 years with little response from the school. He is in the 8th grade and is also considered disabled due to a hearing impairment and being on the Autism spectrum. The school always seems to somehow get him in trouble as well, they say he fights back and that is not allowed. Last year, he was choked by another student and very little was done. Several times he has come home with bruises on his arms and legs.

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Attorney answers 1


This is a very serious issue as you know. When any student is injured in school, but particular a student with a disability there is reason for grave concern. First, you must report in writing the bullying incidents and the injuries to your school district. There should be formal forms you can use to report bullying and injuries, but if there aren't or if you can't access them, you must take your own very detailed notes on what has happened, including dates and the medical attention you've sought. You need a local personal injury attorney, and you may want to consider hiring a discrimination law attorney. You should also make a police report. The U.S. Department of Education has made it very clear in the last few years that bullying a student with a disability may be a violation of that child's civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. You should consider filing a complaint online to the U.S. Department of Ed Office of Civil Rights. It is not difficult to do and they will investigate the matter at no cost to you (if they take your case which sounds likely). Google them to locate the online complaint. But more importantly, you son must be safe and the school and district have a responsibility to make sure he is safe when he is at school. You must reach up to the highest levels of the school district and report this as a imminent threat to your son's safety.

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