Parents Can Sue School Districts on Their Own Behalf to Enforce Anti-Bullying Laws

 Hector F. v. El Centro Elementary Sch. Dist. (CA4/1 D064035 6/24/14)  California’s public schools must protect students from discrimination and harassment engendered by race, gender, sexual orientation or disability.  In particular, Education Code section 32282 requires that public schools develop and implement comprehensive school safety plans which include a discrimination and harassment policy.  These include, "to the extent that resources are available . . . policies and procedures aimed at the prevention of bullying."  (Ed. Code, § 32282, subd.(f).) Hector F. is the father of three children.  While Hector’s

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Amended California Special Education Regulations In Effect

Legal Alert Nearly 14 years after President Bush signed the IDEA Improvement Act of 2004, special education regulations found in the California Code of Regulations, title 5, sections 3001-3088, have been updated and became effective July 1, 2014. The revisions align what the California Department of Education ("CDE") has referred to as "old, out-of-date regulations" with existing state statutes and federal statutes and regulations. The new regulations were finalized after a period of public comment and the holding of a public hearing on July 8,

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Special ed student records proof of bullying

Threatened with charges of wiretapping: Here’s a case that makes you wonder. A special education high school student recorded a bullying incident and the school district threatened with charges of criminal wiretapping. According to a recent report in the Daily Caller, school administrators agreed to reduce the sentence, and March 19 the student, from South Fayette High School in McDonald, Pa., was charged with disorderly conduct. The student and his mother, Shea Love, testified in front of District Judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet that he had been

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Suspensions hit minorities, special-ed students hardest

According to a recent Seattle Times article, a Washington non-profit group obtained data showing the depth of disproportionate discipline in nine school districts, which affects not just students of color but also those in special-education programs, and those from low-income families and in foster care. In Seattle, for example, the data suggest black students were suspended and expelled at five times the rate of white students in the 2012-13 school year. And in Bellevue, special-education students are disciplined three times more often than the average

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Common Core State Standards

What is Common Core? For many years, California set its own standards of academic achievement. Our children were given yearly standardized tests to measure whether or not they were meeting these minimum standards. In 2008, widespread concerns over floundering U.S. academic achievement prompted states to join together and create updated common academic standards that rely less on rote learning and more on critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These are called Common Core State Standards and currently cover only English and Math. The goal of Common

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Autism Health Insurance Project: Navigating The Maze Of Health Insurance for Autism related Interventions

Recently, Ms. Adams attended a seminar regarding Health Insurance for Autism. It was presented by Dr. Karen Fessel. Ms. Adams found it very enlightening and believes that this is a service that we should all recommend to our friends and clients. A little bit about Karen and the Autism Health Insurance Project: According to her website bio, Dr. Fessel sought to get the most out of her health insurance benefits. Having a Doctorate in Public Health and having worked in a variety of health settings,

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California District Adopts Tablets for Special Education

California’s Mountain View Whisman School District has deployed 80 tablets to its special education classrooms. The Silicon Valley-based district, serving approximately 5,000 students, decided to adopt SpEd K12’s Android-based SmartEdPad, a tablet designed specifically for special ed classes. “We have stories of school districts that haven’t achieved measurable benefits by rushing to buy tablet devices,” said Cynthia Loleng-Perez, director of special education at MVWSD, in a prepared statement. “We knew from the beginning buying a few tablets and loading it with a few dozen apps

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Supreme Court Rules Special Education Litigation Costs are Public

The California Supreme Court has opened the door for public disclosure of school district costs in ongoing lawsuits where the school districts, cities or other public agencies refuse to reveal the bills before litigation is complete. In Orange County and other jurisdictions, governmental agencies have frequently refused to disclose the costs of ongoing litigation, claiming these legal bills are exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act. According to the Voice of Orange County, this court decision removes a ploy used by the Orange

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Positive behavior workshop scheduled

The Desert/Mountain Special Education Local Plan Area will be hosting a positive behavior workshop for parents, psychologists, counselors, administrators and providers starting February 12, 2014 in Victorville, CA. For more information, please visit the Desert/Mountain SELPA website at:

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