Harassed or Bullied Students
There is an increased need for attorneys to assist K-12 students who are being harassed and bullied in U.S. schools.
Despite over a decade of attention to this concern, efforts of schools to reduce bullying and harassment have had marginal to no positive impact.
Bullying and harassment of students is recognized as a public health concern due to the well-documented harms to students’ learning, as well as life-long emotional and physical well-being.
Efforts of the federal government to protect the interests of students who are being bullied and harassed, especially the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), are being substantially reduced.
To prevail in these cases will require successfully combating the common defense of schools — that every time the student reported, the principal investigated and responded. The effectiveness of this defense was evident in two recent circuit court decisions in the 4th and 6th circuits.
Based on both research insight and agency guidance, this level of school response is entirely insufficient to adequately respond to the specific hurtful situation and to correct the hostile environment that is supporting the ongoing harm.
Deliberate Indifference to a Hostile Environment in School
The video training focuses on litigation under federal civil rights laws that address discriminatory harassment and covers the following:
- Underlying Source of the Problem
- Bullying and Harassment Research Insight
- Case Law
- Civil Rights Regulations and Guidance
- What to Focus on to Make a Case
- Public Education and Advocacy
Watch the video training at no charge on YouTube.
Note, this training does not address other causes of action, such as those under 42 USC 1983. A future training will address this. An additional future training will address issues faced by students with disabilities more deeply.
It is not feasible to have this webinar accredited by the various state bar associations.
Some states allow an attorney to submit documentation to obtain units for a course that has not been accredited through a self-certification approach.
If you are in a state that will allow you to receive credit, please feel free to do so. If you would like to make a donation for this, it would be gratefully received.
The following resources are specifically associated with this video.
- Deliberate Indifference Training Information.
- Blog article on these issues.
- Slideshow slides.
- Citations for slides.
These are additional resources Nancy has written related to legal issues and bullying, harassment, and cyberbullying:
- Legal Protections For Bullied and Harassed Students Primer.
- Deliberate Indifference to a Hostile Environment
- Office for Civil Rights Guidance
- Free Speech v. Harmful Speech
- Student Off-Campus Speech: Assessing Substantial Disruption Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology (2012)
- School Response to Cyberbullying and Sexting: The Legal Challenges. BYU Education and Law Journal (2011)
- Legal and Ethical Issues Related to the Use of the Internet in K-12 Schools BYU Education and Law Journal (2000)
Trial Consultancy Services
Access this page for more information.
Nancy is no longer a member of the bar. She cannot and will not provide any legal guidance to parents or others.