BERGEN COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION/BULLYING
Representation at due process hearing to address bullying issue, obtain appropriate IEP, and possible comp. ed.
IM is an 11-year-old 6th-grader who is originally from Albania and is eligible for special education services under the category of Specific Learning Disability. During the 2016-17 school year, IM’s peers called her a lesbian, purposely mispronounced her last name, left notes on her desk saying they hated her, and posted mean messages on social media. IM’s mother, KP, reported the bullying and the district found it to violate its HIB policy. KP asked the school not to place IM in classes with two of the girls who had bullied her, but at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, IM was placed in a class with one of them. KP complained but was told that the other girl could not be moved and IM could move to another school in the district if she was uncomfortable. IM has experienced anxiety and a loss of self-esteem and does not want to go to school as the other girl continues to provoke her. KP filed for due process; mediation and a settlement conference have been unsuccessful. KP is seeking representation at a due process hearing (scheduled for April 27th) to request moving the other girl out of IM’s class and ensure they are not placed together next year; development of an appropriate IEP for the 2018-19 school year; and compensatory education if warranted.
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