October 31, 2014

National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month


National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

As part of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued guidance to schools about bullying and students with disabilities. (To view OCR's guidance in Spanish, click here.) Under this guidance, the bullying of a student with a disability on any basis (disability, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) is considered denial of a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) and must be remedied. Resources on bullying in schools include:

  • A fact sheet for parents on schools’ obligations under federal law to address bullying. The fact sheet is also available in Spanish.
  • The federal Web site, www.stopbullying.gov, which provides useful information on bullying prevention and remedies.
  • The Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which investigates complaints of disability discrimination at schools. To learn more about federal civil rights laws or how to file a complaint, contact OCR at 800-421-3481 (TDD: 800-877-8339), or ocr@ed.gov. OCR’s Web site is www.ed.gov/ocr. To fill out a complaint form online, go to http://www.ed.gov/ocr/complaintintro.html.

 

In addition, the Health Resources and Services Administration has published Bullying in 2014: HRSA's Perspective, which points out that the ACA can help children with bullying because it requires most health insurers to cover pediatric well-child visits, which include screening for bullying involvement under the Bright Futures guidelines.