Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Supreme Court rules sexually harassed students may sue

Check out this new ruling today by the US Supreme Court -

By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that students who are sexually harassed may sue under a federal statute covering schools and a broader civil rights law. The decision revives a lawsuit brought by the parents of a Massachusetts kindergartner who said a third-grade boy on her school bus repeatedly made her lift her dress, pull down her underwear and spread her legs.

Her parents, Lisa and Robert Fitzgerald, said officials in their Barnstable School district did not sufficiently address their complaints. The parents sued under Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972, which bans discrimination at schools that receive federal funds, and under a long-standing civil rights law known as Section 1983, which protects against discrimination based on the Constitution's equality guarantee...

My Comments:
WOW this is incredible news!!!
There are two points I would like to comment on...
First that the school "...did not sufficiently address their complaints." This tells me that the schools had prior knowledge and did nothing. This is what ultimately won this case, because if the school had not known about the bullying/sexual harassment, they could have plead ignorance in the matter.
Second - the sexual nature of the complaint...
Parents who are trying to stop a child's bullying will need to think of ways to complain to schools that the bullying was sexual. That won’t be hard because the one term most widely used in bullying is “you’re gay” and “you’re fat”, etc.

This is big news for the rights of our children

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Possible lawsuit over strip searches

Check out this article called...
Mom: I don't send my kids to school to be strip searched
Three high school girls, taken into a washroom one at a time by an off-duty Chicago police officer, told to drop their pants, squat and cough -- all in the hunt for a cigarette lighter that was never found... To read more go to,aspira-high-school-strip-search-010709.article

Monday, January 05, 2009

Wisconsin's Proposed Law

Good news. Wisconsin is proposing an anti bullying law in 2009.

I’ve reviewed the proposed Wisconsin law and as it stands, I would give it a B+. Using as my grading guide...

1) The word "bullying" is used in the text of the bill/law/statutes.

2) The law is clearly an anti bullying law, not a school safety law.

3) There is a requirement for definitions of bullying and harassment.

4) There are recommendations on how to make policy and what needs to be in the model policy.

½ point for number 5) A good law involves education specialists at all levels, starting with the State Superintendent's (Education) office.... but the law only goes this far and doesn't require buy-in with School Districts, Schools, Parents and Students.

6) This law mandates anti bullying programs

7) There is a date the model policy is due, when the schools need to have their policies in place. My only thought here is why the date is March 1, 2010 (and August 15, 2010 for School Boards). Is the Wisconsin State Dept of Ed notoriously slow at getting things done?

8) There is a requirement for protection against reprisal, retaliation or false accusation.

MISSING - 9) There must be school district protection against lawsuits upon compliance to policies.

MISSING - 10) A top rated law will put the emphasis on the victims of bullying by assigning counseling for victims who suffer for years after peer abuse.

½ point for number 11) This law does require mandatory posting and/or notification of policies and reporting procedures for students and parents.

MISSING - 12) Cyberbullying or "Electronic Harassment" law.