TA18E-1000767

SOMERSET COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION/BULLYING

Appeal of district’s HIB findings; negotiation with district to obtain reevaluation, IEP amendments, and comp. ed.

AC is a 13-year-old 7th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD, as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Tourette’s syndrome (though only the ADHD is documented in her IEP). AC has been bullied for years, particularly by one girl, and repeatedly called names like “ugly” and “retarded.” In January 2018, students on the bus pulled off the wig AC was wearing, video-recorded the incident, and posted the video on social media. In a separate incident, other students told AC to put lotion on her face, and when she did, laughed at her for having “ejaculated semen” on her face. AC’s mother, TA, reported both incidents, but neither was found to be HIB. TA requested a hearing before the BOE, and a date was scheduled in April. When TA arrived, she was unable to get into the building. The district claimed that she failed to appear and affirmed its findings. AC has also not had a reevaluation since 2012. In addition, her IEP does not include counseling or social skills instruction. TA filed a complaint with the Division on Civil Rights and is seeking representation at a Fact Finding Conference scheduled for October 11, 2018. She is also seeking a possible appeal of the district’s HIB findings, a thorough reevaluation of AC, compensatory educational services if warranted, and development of an IEP that addresses all of AC’s unique needs.

To review, email tbermudez@vljnj.org