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What to Do If Your Special Needs Child is Being Bullied

Published May 13, 2019 by Susan Clark Law Group LLC
What to Do If Your Special Needs Child is Being Bullied

Harassment, intimidation or bullying, or “HIB” means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of the other students.

A reasonable person should know that the act will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student, or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of emotional harm; the act has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students.

My Child Is Being Bullied – What Should I Do?

If your child is being harassed or bullied, you should immediately notify the principal or administrator of the school and request a HIB investigation be opened. This investigation must be initiated within one school day of the report being brought to the principal’s attention and is conducted by the school’s “bullying specialist.” As part of the investigation, your child will be interviewed as to what has happened. The investigation must be completed within 10 school days from the date of the written report of the incident. These results are then given to the superintendent within 2 days of completion. The superintendent will then make recommendations and present them to the board of education.

Within 5 school days, you must be notified of the nature of the investigation, whether the district has found evidence of HIB and whether the district disciplined the other student(s) or whether the district prescribed services to address the incident.

If you disagree with the findings or result, you have the right to request a full hearing before the board of education and this must be held within 10 days of the request. At this hearing, your attorney will cross-examine the witnesses and will call witnesses on behalf of your child. If the board votes to affirm the finding, an appeal to the Commissioner of Education would be the next legal step.

Contact a New Jersey Special Education Lawyer Today

Harassment, intimidation, or bullying can have a devastating impact on your child and your child’s education. Susan Clark Law Group is here to assist you. Contact us at 732-637-5248 or email us at

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