Bullying has become a hot button topic in today’s society, garnering nation-wide attention in the news and media. It is on the minds of parents everywhere. No longer are teachers and administrators allowed to turn a blind eye to bullies or those being bullied. State laws (stopbullying.gov) make various protections available for those affected by bullying. It has been found that bullying can substantially hinder a child’s ability to receive a free appropriate public education.
In New York State, the (Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) ) was created to ensure that students in public schools attend school in a safe environment, free from any kind of bullying or harassment. The New York State Education Department has disseminated policies and procedures to implement this legislation and the school districts are responsible for following them.
In (T.K. v. NYC Department of Education , 779 F.Supp.2d 289 (E.D.N.Y, 2011)), the Court held that the bullying does not have to create a complete deprivation of FAPE – there just needs to be a showing that the bullying had a material impact on the child’s education.