Case tests whether districts must protect students from bullying under Pa. law

By Darryl C. Murphy, The Notebook | February 21, 2018

Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow Lizzy Wingfield helped to draft an amicus brief with the Education Law Center in support of a case that will test whether school districts must protect students from bullying under Pa. law.

Do school districts in Pennsylvania have a legal obligation to protect students from discriminatory harassment and bullying? A court case filed on behalf of a bullied student at William C. Bryant Elementary School in Philadelphia seeks to clarify whether the state’s Human Relations Act protects students from peer discrimination that results from District negligence, as opposed to direct institutional discrimination. The Court of Common Pleas threw out the case against the School District of Philadelphia earlier this year, but that decision is being appealed.

Lizzy Wingfield, a Stoneleigh Foundation emerging fellow at the Education Law Center, said, “It fits our priorities to make sure schools are intervening with bullying before it escalates” and it’s important for the courts to “see the broader implications that apply for vulnerable students.”

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