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Dept of Ed on Disability-Related Bullying

Media Contact:
Andy Marra
Public Relations Manager
(646) 388-6575 

August 23, 2013

WASHINGTON - GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, applauds guidance issued this week by the U.S. Department of Education focused on bullying of students with disabilities. The Department notes that under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), students with disabilities have a right to a free and appropriate public education, and that bullying of a student with a disability constitutes a denial of that right. 

The following is a statement from GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard: 

“We are pleased with the Department’s continuing recognition that bullying and harassment is a serious problem in our nation’s schools and its ongoing efforts to address it. Through this guidance, the Department has made clear what GLSEN has known for years – that bullying denies students the meaningful education they are entitled to. We applaud the new guidance on this important issue, and we look forward to continuing to partner with disability rights organizations to improve school climate for all students.”

GLSEN regularly partners with leading national disability rights organizations through the National Safe Schools Partnership, a coalition working for the passage of the Safe Schools Improvement Act. 


GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit