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Injuries As a REsult of Bullying

There is no private right of action under DASA if a child is injured as a result of bullying. Motta v. Eldred CSD; Terrill v. Windham-Ashland-Jewett CSD. If a child is hurt at school as a result of bullying and if the school had prior notice of the bullying and harassment, but failed to respond, then there may be a cause of action for negligent supervision. 

It is important as a parent, or report each incident of threats, harassment and/or bullying. This puts the school on notice and creates an obligation by the school to intervene or address the incidents. In Briggs v. Thousand Islands Cent. Sch. Dist. the school district knew of ongoing bullying, but failed to remedy the situation, and the court allowed the negligent supervision claim to proceed (N.D.N.Y. 2016). Incidents that parents must be especially diligent in reporting in writing include threats specifically targeted to their child and verbal threats to cause physical harm or engage in physical acts.

Do I Need a 504 Plan for Severe Food Allergies?

My Child Has A Life Threatening Condition, How Do I protect Her at School?

Your first step as a parent is to have your child’s condition diagnosed by a trained medical professional and to establish a direct patient specific order. Then parents should request a comprehensive care plan from their child’s school. A plan ensures that the necessary accommodations are made and that school personnel are trained and informed.

To facilitate the development of a comprehensive care plan, parents should provide the school with their child’s health history, sign necessary medication permission forms, provide medications in original pharmacy containers, and have the ECP reviewed by their child’s treating physician..

Children who require or are expected to require skilled nursing interventions during the school day, or children who may need nursing staff to perform specific responsibilities should have an IHP. Students with a disability may have either an IHP or Section 504 Plan.

If your child experiences anaphylaxis at school and he or she was previously undiagnosed with a life threatening allergy, treatment will be provided under a non-patient specific order written by the school’s authorized medical provider. You should be familiar with your school’s specific policy with regard to non-patient specific orders. In general, emergency epinephrine will be given and the child will be immediately transported by emergency medical services (EMS) to a medical facility, even if symptoms resolve.

For more information about the topic presented here or other topics related to children’s rights, education and special education, please feel free to Contact the Law Office.

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In addition to an Emergency Care Plan (ECP) and Individualized Health Plan (IHP), we recommend a Section 504 Plan if your child will be best protected by changes in the school environment. Frankly, we are not sure why any school would continue to be anything other than tree nut and peanut free when statistically at least 2 children in every classroom in the U.S. have either diagnosed or un-diagnosed food allergies that could lead to anaphylaxis!

Section 504 Plans vary from child to child based on his or her individual needs. Here are some suggestions of accommodations that have been provided for other children, that may be helpful for your child:

  • Notice provided to other students and parents asking that they not send any peanut or tree nut products to school or any school-related activity.
  • Acknowledgement in the Section 504 Plan that teachers and other school personnel will be alert to bullying, harassment or threatening of the student with the allergy and will prosecute offenders consistent with the school's policy.
  • School provides at least one peanut-tree nut allergy trained individual who can properly administer epinephrine and ensures that the person is at school during all regular hours and at all school-sponsored activities in which the student participates.
  • Peanut and tree-nut containing food items entirely banned from the cafeteria and the school meal menu.
  • All students wash hands with soap and water immediately upon leaving the cafeteria after lunch.

We are Schenectady-based civil rights attorneys for children and we pursue claims against schools when a child is injured while under their supervision. Injuries can result from accidents, exposure to food allergens, exposure to toxins such as asbestos, lead, or mold, or as the result of bullying. When it concerns bullying, it is important that parents make schools aware of a bullying situation by reporting all acts and incidents in writing. 

We Are Schenectady-based Civil Rights Attorneys for Children