Toolbox Tuesday!! What about bullying?

 The Toolbox is a full day training program for campus administrators and special education staff who serve students with disabilities.  The focus is on disruptive and/or dangerous student behavior. What options are available to the school?  The Toolbox breaks that question down to ten “tools” that can be used in an effort to serve the student properly while maintaining discipline and order.

When you have a bullying issue, there are a number of tools to consider.  Bullying, obviously, violates your Code of Conduct.  If a student with a disability engages in bullying that is not a manifestation of disability, you have all of the disciplinary options that would be applied to the non-disabled student.  But remember: we have a state law that requires the ARD Committee to “review the conduct” of the student prior to any disciplinary action based on bullying.  See TEC 37.001(b-1).

What if the behavior is a manifestation of disability?  In that case, long term disciplinary options, like DAEP, are not available.  You could ask the ARDC to consider a “change of placement” to a more restrictive environment, if that would be educationally proper.  The Toolbox includes two ways to do that: Tool #2 (with parental agreement) and Tool #3 (without parental agreement).

But I want to suggest another tool for you to employ.  Bullying is behavior that “impedes the learning” of the student and of others.  Whenever the student displays behavior that “impedes the learning” the ARDC is required to consider what positive behavioral interventions, supports and strategies might be useful in curtailing or eliminating the improper behavior.  In the Toolbox, we call this Tool #1—the development of a Behavior Improvement Plan (BIP).  So whether disciplinary action is called for or not, a proactive game plan to address this kind of behavior is almost always a good idea.

If you are interested in Toolbox training, let me hear from you!


 Tomorrow: Same sex harassment: first, some background….