Bullying and Special Needs Students

All administrators are aware of the issues related to bullying of non-disabled students and the need to correct the inappropriate behaviors these students demonstrate within our schools. A recent item in Education Week (October 21, 2014), “Ed Dept. Expands Guidance on Bullying and ‘504’ Students With Disabilities” brings into focus issues related to the bullying of special needs students having disabilities that are neither related to physical or cognitive issues. Many administrators may be unaware that students with these conditions are covered by Section 504, a portion of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973  Students having disabilities such as diabetes, depression or food allergies could have their education denied due to actions/comments from their non-disabled peers.

Included in this group of students with disabilities are students with mental health disorders such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder  and the afore mentioned severe food or environmental. It is important for building administrators be aware of students with these disabling conditions and take necessary action to their peers who may inadvertently or on purpose interfere with the educational progress of their disabeled peers.

Bullies do not make distinction between gender or race and it seems also to their disabled peers in our schools.

If you would like to review more information, please go to:

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/2014/10/ed_dept_expands_guidance_on_bu.html.