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 HomeArchives > The Special Ed Advocate, February 27, 2007 (Issue 380)

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The Special Ed Advocate
         ISSN: 1538-3202    Issue 380
February 27, 2007     Subscribers: 45,617

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In This Issue:

1. Creative Ideas and Website Satisfaction Survey
2. Bullying, Confidentiality & Parent's Need to Know
3. Preventing Bullying
4. Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crimes: A Guide for Schools
5. Supreme Court Heard Oral Argument in Winkelman v. Parma on Tuesday, Feb 27
6. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear New Tuition Reimbursement Case
7. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in ME, IL, MI, VA, DE, NH
8. Subscription and Contact Info

At Wrightslaw, our mission is to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to navigate the constantly changing world of special education and the rights of children with special educational needs. Do you know others who want to learn how to advocate for a child with a disability?

Please forward this issue or the subscription page so they can learn about special education law and advocacy too.

1. Creative Ideas and Website Satisfaction Survey

We want to thank the folks who participated in the first Wrightslaw Creative Ideas and Website Satisfaction Survey. Your ideas, comments and suggestions are invaluable.

One thing was clear. Many people do not like current format of the Special Ed Advocate newsletter and asked that begin to publish an html version again. We have a solution to this problem. Look for a new, improved newsletter in your email box within the next few weeks.

Take the survey. After you complete the survey, you'll receive two free Wrightslaw White Papers about IDEA 2004 to thank you for your time and help.

2.  Bullying, Confidentiality and a Parent's Need to Know: How Much Information Should a School Provide?

A special educator wrote: "A child with disabilities was the victim of bullies. The child's parent wants to know who the bullies are, what consequences they faced, and what happened at a meeting with their parents. How much information about another student is too much to share with a parent?"

In Bullying, Confidentiality and a Parent's Need to Know, Pete and Pam answer questions about confidentiality and the parents' need to have information about their child. Pam suggests a strategy to help the teacher can understand the parent's perceptions, concerns and fears.

Pete describes similarities between bullying at school and similar incidents in other places, the need to provide information that will help to dispel the parents' fears. If handled improperly, these incidents cause parents and the public to develop negative perceptions of the school.

Read Bullying, Confidentiality & Parent’s Need to Know.

Learn about confidentiality (and limits on student rights to confidentiality) at the Confidentiality and Privacy page

3. Preventing Bullying

School should be a place where children feel safe and secure and where they are treated with respect. In reality, many students are targets of bullying that causes serious, long-term academic, physical, and emotional consequences.

Preventing Bullying examines these problems, discusses steps schools should take, and identifies strategies to prevent this pervasive problem.

Preventing Bullying asks and answers these questions:

* What is bullying and how prevalent is the problem?
* What happens when teachers and administrators fail to intervene?
* What impact does bullying have on targeted students?
* What can schools do to prevent bullying?
* How can other students discourage bullying?

Read Preventing Bullying.

Learn more about behavior problems and discipline issues.

4. Free Pub: Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crimes: A Guide for Schools

"Research indicates that creating a supportive school climate is the most important step in preventing harassment. A school can have policies and procedures, but these alone will not prevent harassment . . . but good preventive work the field [will] help ensure that schools provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students."

Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crimes: A Guide for Schools is published by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and the National Association of Attorneys General.

Download dozens of free publications about IEPs, special education, transition planning, reading, children's mental health, harassment, high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, zero tolerance and discipline from the Free Pubs page at Wrightslaw.

5. Supreme Court Heard Oral Argument in Winkelman v. Parma on Tuesday, Feb 27

On Tuesday, February 27, the U. S. Supreme Court heard Sandee and Jeff Winkelman’s case against their Ohio school district. The Justices will resolve a split among circuits about whether non-lawyer parents may represent the interests of their children with disabilities in federal court.

This case generated intense interest after the Cleveland Bar Association launched an investigation of the Winkelman’s and other parents for the Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) after the parents received an adverse decision from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Article about Cleveland Bar's Battle with Parents

You will find background information, links to pleadings, amicus briefs, and cases, along with articles about the case on the Winkelman Parma page. The Justices are expected to issue their decision before the end of this session.

Breaking News! Read Transcript of Oral Argument in Winkelman v. Parma City Schools (02/27/07)

6. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear New Tuition Reimbursement Case

On Monday, Feb 26, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Bd of Ed of New York City v. Tom F. et al. (06-637)

The Court will decide whether the parents of a disabled child are entitled to reimbursement for private school tuition if the child had not previously received special education from the public school system or other government agencies.

In Board of Education of New York City v. Tom F., et al., the child has attended a private school that does not have an approved special education program. The boy's parents refused to place him in a public school program, kept him in the private school, and obtained tuition reimbursement. The New York City school system lost in an appeal to the Second Circuit.

We will bring you more information about this case as it is available.

7. Wrightslaw Programs in ME, IL, MI, LA, VA, DE, NH

8. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. The Special Ed Advocate is published weekly (usually on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, with occasional breaks). Subscribers also receive "alerts" about events and special offers on Wrightslaw publications and products.

To subscribe, please go to

To unsubscribe, please go to Scroll down the list and click the link to "Wrightslaw" at the end of the page, then click "Join or Leave Wrightslaw." This will take you to the page where you can change your subscription options. Click "Leave Wrightslaw."

Please forward this issue of The Special Ed Advocate to others who share your interest in special education law and advocacy. If you were forwarded a copy of The Special Ed Advocate and want to subscribe, you can sign up through our website.

Read back issues of the Special Ed Advocate at the Archives.

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043


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