While bullying is a growing problem for all types, ages, and genders of children, this is particularly a problem for special education students who are often targeted because of their differences from their peers. In fact, statistics show that while approximately 10 percent of most students are targeted by bullies, around 50 percent of special education students are bullied. Those with intellectual disabilities are those most likely to be targeted.
It is vital that schools develop anti-bullying programs and come up with policies to deal with future bullying. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, schools are required to deal with harassment that those with disabilities face. Schools must create safe environments; it is often up to the teachers who are directly over the bullied children to see that matters are addressed quickly.
Parents must be aware of what is taking place in the school setting. Parents of special needs children must be particularly involved in the classroom and in the IEP so that they can understand when and why their child may be struggling. If they suspect bullying or are aware of a specific episode, they must remain calm while addressing it. First, they should discuss it with their child if possible before bringing it up to the child’s teacher or the principal of the school. The school should have a code of conduct that will address how to deal with bullying episodes.
Even if a code of conduct is in place, some parents may disagree with how a bullying episode is addressed. They are encouraged to get in touch with Newman Aaronson Vanaman Attorneys at Law who have decades of experience in dealing with this and other special education concerns. An attorney will personally take over the case, ensuring that the school follows their own policies or develops new policies.