Resources for Parents and Schools on Bullying

Hello Parents and Guardians,

This information is valuable for parents and school staff alike.  Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is involved in issues such as bullying when the bullying is directed at someone with disabilities.  Go to for the latest of OCR’s policy letters about bullying in our nation’s schools.

This letter is to “Dear Colleagues”–the governors and authority figures in the states’ education departments.  The information about resources on bullying is universally of value, so OCR included links to some good resources.  It is up to each state to determine what its laws and regulations regarding bullying will be, but as this letter makes clear, bullying is not acceptable behavior, it can destroy good learning environments, and it should not be tolerated.  Local school districts are expected to follow the laws and regulations made by the state.  If that doesn’t happen, sometimes acting locally will get the change needed.  If it doesn’t, a formal complaint to OCR might help.

Yes, there are bullies of all ages at our nation’s public schools.  This includes students AND staff!

Yes, bullying affects the person at whom it is directed, but it doesn’t end there.  Other students are equally terrorized by the meanness and the threat and come to feel threatened as well.

Yes, we can all learn appropriate ways of responding to bullying being done to those around us.

Yes, you have been bullied at some time, and don’t you roll your eyes at me–if you have a sibling, it happened.  If you didn’t have a sibling, it happened somewhere, and that’s final.  The only question is how severe the bullying got and how long it lasted.  (So little?  No wonder you forgot.)  Do you still hurt at the memory of it?

Yes, bullying can leave permanent emotional damage.

Yes, bullying can be stopped.

Go to for a free, valuable bullying resource.  While you’re there, print a copy of that page and take it to your child’s school principal as an FYI item.  When you hand it to your principal, thank him/her for everything he does today to help our students with disabilities.  You can gently suggest “This might be another resource for you about bullying and schools.  It has some good information and links, and I thought you might like to be aware of it.”

The truth is that when these policy letters come out, they are sent everywhere–to the 50 states.  Few private individuals ever receive them.  Now you have.

Read it.  If your school falls short of what is described there, call and ask to talk with special education staff or regular education staff who are supervising this experience and share the letter with them.  In this way you are a resource, not the adversary, but you have expressed your desire for change.  If you want to become active in helping bring change, say so.  (If you’re just griping, don’t say so.  The letter is enough.)