It is imperative that the district be aware of any safety concerns including social difficulties in encountering bullying or other disabilities that make your child vulnerable to injury. We recommend submitting an addendum to your child’s I.E.P. that includes all of your concerns (including safety) and requests. Be sure to report any injuries resulting from safety violations, bullying, etc. by giving formal written notice to the school district.
Please note, if you are considering a lawsuit, there are very fact specific statutory time frames for making an administrative claim. If your child has been injured, report and document the incident, request an immediate school and police investigation, and file an administrative claim with the school immediately.
Safety Questions Parents Should Ask The District
• Does the school have a annual safety plan as required by law?
• Does the school provide training to staff for prevention, recognition, and response to safety issues/bullying?
• Does the school provide training for how to respond to bullying?
• Does the school provide training for implementing safety goals?
• Does staff know how to respond to emergencies?
• Is all appropriate staff aware of the tendencies of the child? For example, does the staff know the student has a tendency to run away?
• Is bus personnel properly trained including unique needs and knowledge of the tendencies of each student being transported?
• Is the IEP comprehensive including safety, social skills, and self-advocacy?
• Is the school culture one that has a “zero tolerance policy” for bullying?
• Is there a safe way to report bullying, abuse, or mistreatment?
• Is training provided to school staff to highlight how your child’s particular disability may impact the safety of the child?
Each situation is unique, and these suggestions do not represent every situation. An attorney should be consulted to address your child’s specific situation. Feel free to call or email Monica C. Marquez and she can guide you through any questions you may have.