Disability and Abuse Project

        Safe Schools Study

The Disability and Abuse Project is conducting a Safe Schools Study to monitor the national problem of children with disabilities being abused in our schools.  In addition to placing a spotlight on individual cases and commenting on trends, we will highlight best practices in risk reduction and response procedures.

We will share our findings with parent groups, child abuse agencies, and disability organizations.  Armed with such information, they will be better equipped to encourage school systems to adopt abuse-aware policies and practices which will reduce the risk of abuse and create more effective response procedures.

Major abuse-related lawsuits against school districts are being filed with increasing frequency.  Abusive actions by teachers, aides, transportation workers, students, or others can create lifetime adverse consequences to victimized children.  They can also cost a school district hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars of damage payments in a single lawsuit. 

Our Safe Schools Study also has an educational component for parents of children with disabilities.  Such children are at a higher risk of abuse than children without disabilities.  Our educational materials make parents aware of this fact, as well as the reality that most perpetrators of abuse against children with disabilities are not strangers but rather are people who have regular access to such children.  This includes people associated with a child's school.  This knowledge, and being aware of common signs and symptoms of abuse, can help parents respond quickly and appropriately if such symptoms appear or when abuse is suspected.  (Click here for pdf version of this page)

Abuse Awareness Reference Materials

Risk Management Commentary and News Stories

Tips for Parents: English / Spanish

Signs and Symptoms

Higher Rate of Abuse

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