NASET News Alert

Federal Judge Holds Bullied Special Education Student Denied Education

July 07, 2011

In a case where a 12 year old with autism was subject to routine bullying, Judge Jack Weinstein recently issued an important decision in a precedent setting New York case, TK v. NYC Department of Education. The judge ruled that "when a school fails to take reasonable steps to prevent such objectionable harassment of a student, it has denied her an education benefit protected by statute." The case is remarkable in a number of contexts. First, Judge Weinstein overruled the Independent Hearing Officer (IHO) and the State Review Officer's decision to the contrary. Second, the decision was one for first impression for the 2nd Circuit, and Judge Weinstein blazed a bold trail in ruling for the parents and in establishing a new test to be used in deciding whether bullying can be found to deprive a child of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Finally, no other judicial circuit has come out as strongly against the bullying of special education students. To read more, click here

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