Illinois School Bullying Laws and Legal Help
Brooke R. Whitted was formerly appointed by the Superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education to the Illinois Anti-Bullying and Harassment Task Force. This statutorily-created group will explore causes and consequences of bullying, as well as develop guidelines for school districts to most effectively address this pervasive national issue. For more information, see below, as well as the Task Force’s website at www.isbe.state.il.us/SBPTF/default.htm.
In our state, the statute requires schools to provide a safe and stable environment for all students. It is the affirmative responsibility of school districts to protect children from being physically or verbally abused or otherwise emotionally abused by other students or staff members. Research has shown that bullying can cause severe emotional distress that can affect individuals for their entire life. Teasing during elementary school, harassment in middle school or bullying in high school can create a level of mental distress that can and has resulted in depression, withdrawal, low academic performance, outbursts of temper and, as has been recently covered in the news media, suicide. The long term damage to feelings of self worth is undisputed. Clearly, bullying and harassment need to be eliminated from all public and private school environments so that students can get the education that the statutes mandate. Illinois’ new statute, in conjunction with the Jason Flatt Act (mandating education of staff and students on the signs and prevention of suicide), combine to assist in combating this ever-increasing national problem.
Practice Areas for Parents
- Special Education Law
- Suspension and Expulsion Hearings
- School Residency Issues
- Release of School Records and Confidentiality Issues
- Adult and Juvenile Defense
- Mental Health Law
- Criminal and Civil Litigation
Every child has unique and individual needs. Due process, equal protection, and both state and federal special education law require that every student has access to an appropriate education. If your school district has failed to meet the educational needs of your child, we can help.
Are you the parent of a child who has been threatened with suspension or expulsion from school? You have a right to request a suspension or expulsion hearing through the school district, and the right to protect your child’s access to an appropriate education. The attorneys and advocates of Whitted, Takiff + Hansen, LLC, can help.
Have you received a letter in the mail from your school board requesting payment for out-of-district tuition, even though your child resides in the school district? You have the right to appeal through a school residency hearing. The attorneys and advocates of Whitted, Takiff + Hansen, LLC, can stand by your side to protect your rights and those of your child.
The Illinois School Student Records Act and the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act require school records confidentiality. This applies to all education records, including educational assessments, disciplinary records, mental health records, counseling notes, and psychiatric evaluations. If you feel your child’s school records confidentiality has been breached or that the record contains incorrect or inappropriate information, we can help.
Brooke R. Whitted was formerly appointed by the Superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education to the Illinois Anti-Bullying and Harassment Task Force. This statutorily-created group will explore causes and consequences of bullying, as well as develop guidelines for school districts to most effectively address this pervasive national issue. For more information, see below, as well as the Task Force’s website.
At Whitted, Takiff + Hansen, LLC, we provide experienced adult criminal defense and juvenile defense for clients the greater Chicago area, Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, and the other collar counties, and throughout northern Illinois.
If you are the parent of a child with special needs, whether your child has autism, Asperger Syndrome, Down Syndrome, a learning disability, a behavioral disability, a physical disability or an emotional disability, you need to protect your legal right to make educational, medical, and financial decisions on your childâs behalf. We can help you.
Mental health issues in children have reached an increasingly disturbing level in the past decade, and research has uncovered that in Illinois 1 in 10 children now suffer from a mental illness, however only 20% of those actually receive mental health services. There was such a concern regarding this increasing problem in Illinois that a task force was created and ultimately led to the creation of the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003, a law in Illinois which now mandates school districts to address this problem through curriculum and various support services. In addition to this law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) also mandates that children who qualify for an Emotional Disability receive an appropriate education by their local school district.
WTH offers years of experience in the civil and criminal litigation arena, and our representation of professionals in the state and federal courts encompasses various areas, including contract disputes, arbitration issues, administrative hearing appeals, as well as to the areas of school, special education and mental health laws. While the firm prides itself on working to resolve disputes without litigation, we have the experience and knowledge to represent you in both civil and criminal law matters that are related to education and mental health issues.