The Department of Education (DOE) is under fire from parents of developmentally disabled children for allegedly doing little to protect them from bullying, according to a report by the Home Reporter News.
Veronica Stein’s 15-year-old daughter has an Individual Education Plan and attended Brooklyn Studio Secondary School [at 8310 21st Avenue] until October, 2012. She entered the school in sixth grade without any problems, but by the end of ninth grade the bullying got “really bad.”
Stein told this paper that her daughter’s former friends spread rumors about her to the principal and guidance counselor. She said that the administration took their stories as truth and never bothered to question her daughter about the situation.
“Now she is being home schooled, by me, which I have to pay for,” Stein said. “DOE should pay for it; they don’t do enough.”
A spokesperson for the DOE defended the school and claimed that while there was an incident, there was no wrongdoing on the part of any officials in the matter.
Karen Marrero, a mother of another developmentally disabled child, also complained to the DOE about bullying concerning her daughter. Apparently Marreno’s daughter has been victimized physically, verbally and over the internet since 2009 and that the school has done little to protect her.
Marreno also claims that the school discriminated against her daughter because of medical problems.
“She has a medical condition. There is a problem with her hip and leg,” Marreno told the Home Reporter News. “They wouldn’t let her use a cane; they said it was a weapon.”
Stein summed up the frustration she and Marreno share over the DOE and what they feel was a lack of responsive in on their part.
“They make parents feel inferior,” Stein said. “I still have to answer to the DOE and give quarterly reports. I’m trying to help out my child but no one is helping. I have to purchase an assessment test twice a year. You have to have a licensed teacher to give the test. It’s not my choice that I have to home school my child.”
Dewey H.S. previously came under fire in 2012 when two girls complained of bullying and were denied a transfer out of the school, a decision the DOE reversed after it was reported by news media. Coincidentally, the two girls transferred to Brooklyn Studio, where Stein now says her daughter faces similar bullying.