Name of Host Organization: Children's Law Center
City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
Issue area: Children/Youth
Sponsors: Arnold & Porter Foundation
Thayer advocated for school safety, mental health services, and special education for bullying victims in DC public schools through outreach, training, mentoring, policy reform, and direct representation.
Need Addressed By Project
Bullying is a widespread problem among youth, disproportionately affecting children with special needs, language minority children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Studies have shown that bullying is linked to long-term negative outcomes, including increased rates of suicide, decreased academic achievement, school absences, and poor physical and mental health. By law, DC public schools are required to provide a safe learning environment for each student. However, without legal assistance, low-income parents must interpret the patchwork of relevant laws alone. This project addresses the issue of bullying by providing legal advocacy and direct representation to parents of bullying victims to ensure school safety and access to mental health and special education services.