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Bullying of Students with Disabilities

Contributed by Provi Sharpe, Director of Emergency Management and Equipment Reuse, MDTAP

Families all across Maryland are in the midst of preparing for the start of the 2015 school year.  Schools will open their doors to new and returning students the week of August 24th.  As your student(s) prepare to start the new school year, be sure to prepare them for the possibility of bullying.

Many students with disabilities are already addressing challenges in the academic environment. When they are bullied, it can directly impact their education. Bullying is not a harmless rite of childhood that everyone experiences. Research shows that bullying can negatively impact a child’s access to education and lead to school avoidance and higher rates of absenteeism, decrease in grades, inability to concentrate, loss of interest in academic achievement, and increase in dropout rates.

The National Bullying Prevention Center offers resources for parents, students and educators, including “Bullying and Harassment of Students with Disabilities”, which is a fact sheet that is also available as a downloadable PDF.  StopBullying.gov is another resource that offers valuable information, including Maryland Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies.

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