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Bullying & Harassment

Articles l Articles for KidsCases l Reports & Resources l Free Pubs l Books

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50% of children are bullied and l0% are victims of bullying on a regular basis.

Kids who have learning disabilities are especially vulnerable to bullying problems.

On this page you will find information about bullying and harassment, prevention, legal decisions about harassment, and effective ways to respond to bullying.

We have included articles, campaigns, reports, and resources to empower schools, parents, and kids to end bullying and childhood harassment.

OCR guidance letter explains bullying and denial of FAPE. The bullying of a student with a disability on any basis can result in a denial of FAPE under Section 504 that must be remedied; it also reiterates schools’ obligations to address conduct that may constitute a disability - based harassment violation and explains that a school must also remedy the denial of FAPE resulting from disability-based harassment. (October 21, 2014)

Free App: KnowBullying by SAMHSA is a free app that encourages conversation between you and your children. Learn how KnowBullying can encourage conversations and prevent bullying. Download the app: http://store.samhsa.gov/apps/bullying/

videoBullying, Harassment, & Civil Rights: An Overview of School Districts’ Federal Obligation to Respond to Harassment. A 12 minute video about bullying harassments and how to file a civil rights complaint.

videoStopBullying.gov. View the Bullying Prevention Training Course.

National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE), funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students provides topic research and resources on bullying and cyberbullying and more.

08/20/13 US Department of Education Guidance on Bullying. This guidance provides an overview of school districts’ responsibilities to ensure that students with disabilities who are subject to bullying continue to receive free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Guidance to educators and stakeholders

State Anti-Bullying Laws and Policies. Find the law in your state at stopbullying.gov.

US DOE releases State Bullying Laws and Policies Report summarizing current approaches in the 46 states with anti-bullying laws and the 41 states that have created anti-bullying policies as models for schools.

08/11/10 US Department of Education Holds First Ever Bullying Summit. The goal of the summit is to engage governmental and nongovernmental partners in crafting a national strategy to reduce and end bullying.

What Laws Apply to Disability Harassment

Legal Obligations of the School. Guidance letter from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) regarding bullying and disability harassment and the school's obligation to properly consider whether student misconduct results in discriminatory harassment. (October 26, 2010)

Background, Summary, and Fact Sheet. Harassment and Bullying Guidance Letter (October 26, 2010).

Prohibited Disability Harassment, (2000) letter from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education. Disability harassment can have a profound impact on students, raise safety concerns, and erode efforts to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to the myriad benefits that an education offers.

"States and school districts also have a responsibility under Section 504, Title II, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which is enforced by OSERS, to ensure that a free appropriate public education (FAPE) is made available to eligible students with disabilities. Disability harassment may result in a denial of FAPE under these statutes. Parents may initiate administrative due process procedures under IDEA, Section 504, or Title II to address a denial of FAPE, including a denial that results from disability harassment. Individuals and organizations also may file complaints with OCR, alleging a denial of FAPE that results from disability harassment. In addition, an individual or organization may file a complaint alleging a violation of IDEA under separate procedures with the state educational agency. State compliance with IDEA, including compliance with FAPE requirements, is monitored by OSERS' Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)." Read the letter.


In What to Do When Teachers Bully, Parent Advocate Susan Bruce First explains steps you should take: how to gather your data, organize your information and documentation, then contact the school.

In Preventing Bullying, Linda Lumsden identifies some of the warning signs, examines the problems caused by bullying, and discusses strategies to prevent this pervasive problem.

What Can I Do If My Child Is Being Harassed or Bullied? Dynamics of the bully-victim situation and what parents, kids, teachers, and schools can do about bullying by Jackie Igafo-Te'o.

Protecting Bullies, Not the Bullied, Seems to be the Rule in Our Schools. In Mass, parents are reporting that their children are refusing to go to class, have dropped out of sports, stopped trying to socialize, refused to go to class and in some cases had to change schools - all because they are being bullied.

Talk With Your Child About Bullying. Information about how to discuss bullying with your child.

Your Three Step Plan to Stop Bullying. Ready to take action to address bullying? Maybe not sure how to start? Get a Student Action Plan.

The IEP and Bullying. Learn how to work with the IEP team to develop goals and supports for prevention and intervention against bullying.

Bullying, Discipline, and Confidentiality. A special education teacher asked a question about a student’s right to confidentiality after being disciplined by the school.

Best practices in bullying prevention, including cyber-bulling. Read what works-and doesn't work-in bullying prevention and intervention from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Bullying Among Children and Youth with Disabilities and Special Needs. Research indicates that these children may be at particular risk of being bullied by their peers.

Is Your Child the Bully?

Teaching Kids Not to Bully from KidsHealth. audioListen in English and Spanish.

Confidentiality v. Parent's Need to Know. Pete and Pam answer when a special education teacher asks, "how much information about bullies should a school provide?"


Electronic Agression. Mirroring the increase in youth accessing and using technology, the number of youth between ages 10 and 17 in 2005 that indicated they had been involved in cyberbullying was twice what youth had reported in 1999/2000 (Wolak, Mitchell, & Finkelhor, 2006).

Feds release cyber safety booklet. (eSchoolnews, 02/13/10) The booklet tells parents and teachers what they need to know to talk to kids about issues such as cyber bullying, sexting, mobile phone safety, and protecting the family computer. Download the booklet: "Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online" (PDF)

Cyberbullying FAQs for Teens. Get information about cyberbullying for kids, teens, and parents from the National Crime Prevention Council.

Cyberbullying Research Center - A great resource for educators, parents, and teens.

Digital Safety - Staying Safe Online - This site gives a quick overview of internet dangers for parents teaching their children the dangers of social media.

"So called cyber bullying is the most rapidly expanding kind of abusive behaviour among school children." For information for schools, parents and children of all ages, go to StopCyberBullying.org.

Articles for Kids

Pacer Kids Against Bullying. Fun and games, real life stories, and smart stuff on how to "Spot it" and "Stop it."

Pacer Teens Against Bullying. How to identify, respond, listen, and act. Will UStand against bullying?

Top 10 facts that parents, educators and students should know from the PACER Center.

You Can Beat Bullying. Find out one thing Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, and David Beckham have in common.

Advice on How to Handle a Bully. How do you know if you are being bullied? If someone is causing you harm, physically or emotionally, by verbal harassment, physical contact, or through any other means of intimidation, you are a victim of bullying.

Bullying in Schools

Prevention at School There are a number of things school staff can do to make schools safer and prevent bullying.

Bullying in Early Adolescence: The Role of the Peer Group. Important information for schools to use for helping children and young adolescents learn how to manage, and potentially change, the pressure to hurt their classmates in order to "fit in."

When Teachers Bully. What do we do when our children are bullied by teachers? My son has a teacher who actually calls the kids wieners and makes fun of them if they are struggling. He has a mug and sign in the classroom that say “I see stupid people.”

Teachers Who Bully Students: Patterns and Policy Implications. "Although most professional educators are ethical in their conduct, bullying of students by teachers needs to be recognized as a problem".

Are You A Bully? If you are a teacher, behavior management in the classroom is always a challenge. What is the difference between behavior management and bullying? Linda Starr says "Don't accidentally bully your students."

What Teachers Can Do: Prevention at School. Learn as much as you can about bullying among children and youth and best practices for addressing bullying from StopBullying.gov.

The National School Safety Center has excellent resource information about how to create bully-resistant schools. Bullying in Schools Fact Sheet Series.

Bullying: Facts for Schools and Parents from the National Association of School Psychologists.

Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do, by Jim Wright of Intervention Central.

Bully Free- It Starts with Me from the National Education Association including the article "Silencing CyberBullies".

For additional information about Cyberbullies use this
Cyber Safety Interactive Guide from opencolleges.com.

Leadership Insider from the National School Boards Association
1. Coming to Grips with Harassment and Bullying
2. Strong School Board Policies Can Help Prevent Bullying
3. When Can Schools Discipline Students for Cyber-Bullying?
4. Sticks and Stones in Cyberspace
5. Practical Tips on Dealing with Cyber-bullying

Bullying in Schools and What to Do About It by Dr. Ken Rigby defines bullying in a New Look at an Old Concept.

Studies have found dramatic reductions in bullying of between 20-80% when school wide strategies are used.

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There have been a number of "bullying" cases in our "Year in Review" books which contain all of the U. S. Court of Appeals decisions issued for each calendar year, i.e. 2015, 2016, and 2017. The 2018 edition is pending. For more information, see the book descriptions in our store.

Jarron Draper v. Atlanta Public School District (N.D. GA 2008) Court denies motion by Atlanta Public Schools (“APS”) to dismiss Jarron’s civil rights claims that APS discriminated against him, harassed him, and retaliated against him and his family; damages requested under Section 504. (PDF)

Reports and Resources

Ten Actions All Parents Can Take to Help Eliminate Bullying. An excellent list of interventions parents can take to help eliminate bullying and its destructive effects on the victim, the bully and the witnesses.

The PACER Center, a national parent center in Minnesota, has established a National Center for Bullying Prevention. Read about their campaign to empower schools, parents, and kids to end childhood harassment. With an emphasis on children with disabilities, you'll find toolkits for daily activities, online bullying prevention training for parents, and informational handouts.

Stop Bullying Now! from Stan Davis, founding member of the International Bullying Prevention Association.

You can find many other excellent resources on bullying the Uniquely Gifted website.

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Free Pubs

Disability Harassment in the Public Schools (Word format) by Mark C. Weber, published in the William and Mary Law Review (Volume 43, Issue 3, February 2002). Mark Weber, author of the Special Education Law and Education Treatise, has written an excellent publication that will help you understand the legal issues of disability harassment. Pdf format

Bullying Prevention in Positive Behavior Supports. Giving students the tools to reduce bullying behavior through the blending of school-wide positive behavior support, explicit instruction, and a redefinition of the bullying construct from the National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

Another excellent resource for parents, teachers and others who are trying to protect kids is a publication from the Office of Civil Rights, Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crime: A Guide for Schools. It includes a section on the definition of harassment based on disability and provides step-by-step guidance for developing a district's written anti-harassment policy.

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.


Schools Where Everyone Belongs: Practical Strategies for Reducing Bullying, by Stan Davis. Practical information for school personnel concerned with reducing bullying among students.

The Bullying Prevention Handbook by John H. Hoover.

The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander by Barbara Coloroso.

Bullies to Buddies: How to turn your enemies into friends by Izzy Kalman.

Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do by Dan Olweus.

Bullies are a Pain in the Brain by Trevor Romain.

Childhood Bullying: What School Personnel, Other Professionals, and Parents Can Do by Dorothea M. Ross.

Beyond Sticks and Stones: How to Help Your Child Address Bullying available from PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Read the introduction to Beyond Sticks & Stones.

Last revised: 10/29/19

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