Special Education/Bullying


My son, a 15-year old with Asperger's, has been bullied all year by a classmate, who also has a special ed designation of some kind.  The school has done little to address this because of IDEA regulations, which I can understand and appreciate since my son isn't always perfect with regard to behavior, either.  Recently, however, the intimidation from this other student toward my son has escalated, resulting in my son choosing to quit an after school activity that both boys attended because he didn't "feel safe".  Yesterday, this boy threatened to kill my son as he walked down the school hallway (no witnesses, unfortunately).  When my son asked if he was making a threat, the other kid replied, "It's not a threat -- it's a promise -- I'm going to effing kill you!  What are our rights in this situation or how should we proceed it the school still does nothing?


You must take action by notifying the principal. Special Education law does not allow students to bully or threaten other students. Special needs kids are to be treated the same way general education students are treated when it comes to intimidation. There is a provision that before a special education student can be expelled or suspended for more than 10 days total in a school year, the IEP Team must conduct a "manifestation determination." In this they determine whether or not the action taken by a student was the result of his or her disability. If not, they are to get suspended or expelled just like any other student. If so, then the IEP Team must determine placement and services required to keep this from happening again.

If it were my son and the school did not take action, I would report the threat to the police. Threats about "killing" need to be taken very seriously.

I wish you and your son the best,
Tim Runner, Advocate
Advocates for Kids
Email: timrunner@gmail.com
Phone: (949) 582-3601
You can learn more at my web site:

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Tim Runner


Questions concerning special education: IEP, assessments, Due Process, mediation, resolution conference, federal law, state law, qualifying for services, residential treatment, special day classes, resource specialists, procedures, having your child assessed, adaptive PE, speech & language, non-public school, FAPE, and tuition reimbursement.


I have been an education advocate representing students and parents for six years. My experience includes: representing my clients in IEPs, SSTs, Due Process, review assessment results for my clients, and mediations. I have represented clients with learning disabilities, autism, Downs Syndrome, cognitively challenged, emotional problems, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and physical disabilities. I have also represented clients to County Mental Health Departments and Regional Centers. My clients range from pre-school to college students in many states.

I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of California with minors in Psychology and Physics. I also studied applied statistics in psychology at the graduate level. I have taught college classes, conducted seminars, written articles for various publications, and testified as an expert witness.

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