and Pam Wright live in Virginia. Many of our friends attended
Virginia Tech in the beautiful town of Blacksburg.
This tragedy is a terrible, life-changing
experience for the families and friends of the victims, and for the survivors.
In this time of overwhelming grief, please send your thoughts and prayers to
This issue focuses on bullying and school safety.
Is your child a victim of bullying? Is your child a bully? Learn the signs that
will help you identify potential problem situations.
Special Ed Advocate is the only weekly e-zine with up-to-date, accurate
information about special education law and advocacy, cases, tactics and
Sign up free today!
In This Issue:|
Bullying in Schools: What Can I Do If My Child Is Being Harassed
Who are the victims of bullying?
According to ASAP: A School-based
Anti-Violence Program, victims tend to be "loners who tend to cry easily,
lack self-defense skills, aren't able to use humor in conflict situations or
who don't think quickly on their feet. Children who have few friends are
always easy prey for bullies. It's easier to pick on a lone child without
witnesses. Children who have special needs are also common victims for
What can kids do? Kids can talk to
friends and those in authority to learn ways to cope with and quash bullying.
A free e-book, called
The Bully, is available online for kids (and parents) who want to learn
the signs of bullying and positive ways to cope with their feelings.
What can parents do? Parental
interest, support and involvement are key to effective school safety. If your
child is being victimized at school, it may become necessary for you to
advocate on behalf of your child to help resolve the problem.
Bullying and Your Child, a comprehensive article from
different types of bullying, why kids bully, signs that your child is being
bullied, how to help if your child is being bullied, if your child is the
bully, helping your child stop bullying.
What can teachers do?
Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do (PDF)
is a free, downloadable booklet that gives tips that educators can use
right away to confront bullies about their negative behavior, provide support
and encouragement to victims of bullying, energize student bystanders to help
the victim during incidents of bullying, and make locations throughout the
What can schools do?
Download and read "Protecting
Students from Harassment and Hate Crime: A Guide for Schools." Many
children experience sexual, racial and ethnic harassment at school.
Students from Harassment and Hate Crimes: A Guide for Schools provides
guidance about protecting students from harassment and violence based on race,
sex, and disability. This guide was published by the U. S. Department of
Education Office of Civil Rights and the National Association of Attorneys
General and is endorsed by the National School Boards Association. Topics
addressed in this comprehensive, step-by-step manual include:
- Developing the District's Written
- Identifying and Responding to Incidents of
- Formal Complaint / Grievance Procedures
- Creating a School Climate that Supports
Racial, Cultural, and other Forms of Diversity
- Addressing Hate Crimes & Conflicts in
School and the Community
Tip: If your child has been harassed
at school, make copies of
Students from Harassment and Hate Crimes: A Guide for Schools for the
decision-makers in your school district - the special ed director,
superintendent, and school board members. Yes, making copies is expensive. But
copying costs are a drop in the bucket when compared to the costs of repairing
and healing the damage to your child.
More Free Publications: You can
download dozens of
free publications on a variety of topics - IEPs, special education,
transition planning, reading, children's mental health, harassment,
high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, and discipline from our
Free Pubs Page.
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The Role of Positive Behavior Support|
Support (PBS), when strategically and appropriately implemented, can help
students with a wide range of needs and at all age levels. It can be used on an
individual, school-wide or district-wide basis. Through the use of
can establish and maintain effective school environments that maximize academic
achievement and behavioral competence. The following websites provide in-depth
information on PBS:
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Victimization: What About The Child Who Can't Verbalize Fear or
How do you protect a child who
can't verbalize pain or fear in a way that we can understand?
"Dear Michaels mom...I love you
so much...you are the best mother ever. Love Michael" - Michael Igafo-Te'o, Age
9, August 2003
Those words are from the only
letter that my son (now 12 years old) has ever written to me. Before that time,
he had never expressed emotion in such a candid way. When he was an infant, he
rarely craved affection. As he grew, he would struggle when we tried to hug him
or get close to him. His eyes would never meet ours. There were times when I
remember feeling so much loss. I grieved for my son. Does my son love me? Does
he even know what love is? These questions were often swimming around inside my
head. Will he ever want to give me a hug or kiss without being forced?
As Michael grew, his need for affection and his ability to show affection grew.
At age 6, he started lining up his “friends” on the window sills around the
house. He fed them, rocked them, bought clothes for them, and talked to them. On
occasion, I even heard him say “I love you” to his stuffed companions.
Eventually, Michael started coming up to us offering kisses and hugs. We saw
these gestures of affection as long awaited gifts from our son. He had learned
to express the emotions that he’d long felt inside.
So how do you know if your child
is being abused? Sometimes you do not know. That is why you must remain
vigilant. One morning, my son drew a horrifying picture of himself inside
a box without windows. It was only then that I realized that my son was being
abused. He felt the pain but could not verbalize it. His only means of
communicating the pain was in his drawings.
People with disabilities have the same full array of feelings that we all have -
- whether it be of love, pain, anguish, joy, fear - - it is there...sometimes it
is just locked up inside. It can be difficult for some to know how to express
these feelings to others.
Through modeling of appropriate
and acceptable use of emotion, everyone can learn to show these feelings that
have long been locked inside. We do not need to teach them to love. They have
known how to love all along. We just didn’t know how to interpret the signals.
Once we take the time to interpret
those signals, we will be able to understand the emotions that our loved ones
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National School Safety Center - Highly Recommended Resource|
| The National School Safety
Center offers a wealth of downloadable fact sheets on topics such as
Terrorism, and information on
Week, which will take place in October 2007.|
For more information from the National School
Safety Center, visit them online at
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School Violence Statistics
| According to a survey
conducted by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and
the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, "the
rate of serious violent crime––rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated
assault –– at the nation's schools fell from six victimizations per 1,000
students in 2003 to four per 1,000 in 2004."
Despite the survey results, violence continues
to be a constant occurrence in our nation's schools.
To learn more about what the statistics say,
view any or all of the following reports related to school violence:
Of School Crime And Safety: 2006 presents the most recent data available
on school crime and student safety. This report covers topics such as
victimization, fights, bullying, disorder, weapons, student perceptions of
school safety, teacher injury, and drugs and alcohol.
NSSC Review of School Safety Research is compilation of survey results
from the National School Safety Center which highlights findings from dozens
of reports and surveys going back through 1978.
Free From EdPubs.org (ED001366B) Preventing Bullying: A Manual For Schools
and Communities: This document addresses the problem of bullying in
schools and defines bullying, discusses the seriousness of this behavior and
the effectiveness of a comprehensive approach, and presents strategies for
teachers, students, and parents to use when dealing with bullying
situations. It also provides examples of innovative and successful
approaches used by schools in different parts of the country.
- The U.S. Department of Education in
partnership with the U.S. Secret Service have published
in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and Creating Safe
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Last Week's Poll Results
| Last week, we asked: On
average, how much time does your child spend on homework each night?
Of the 603 responses that we received, it is
clear that the amount of homework brought home each evening varies greatly
from child to child. Surprisingly, one-quarter (25%) of respondents
indicated that their child works for more than 2 hours each night on
- 15% indicated that their child does
not usually have any homework.
- 8% indicated that their child works on
less than 15 minutes worth of homework each evening.
- 12% indicated around 30 minutes per
- 20% indicated somewhere between 30
minutes to 1 hour each evening.
- 20% indicated somewhere between 1 hour
to 2 hours each evening.
- 25% of you indicated that your
child works for more than 2 hours on homework each evening.
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are scheduling programs for 2007 and 2008. If you are interested in bringing a
Wrightslaw program to your community, please read our Conference
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