Thayer Hardwick

  • Hosted by Children's Law Center of DC
  • Sponsored by Arnold & Porter Foundation
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school Georgetown University Law Center
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2013
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

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.

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.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Thayer has:

  • Directly represented 53 families in cases that involve bullying, special education, mental health, and public benefits
  • Provided brief advice, brief services, legal and non-legal referrals and other information to 73 individuals in matters ranging from special education, bullying, and mental health law to housing, public benefits, and custody
  • Provided trainings to parents, pediatricians, mental health providers, judges, and other attorneys on bullying and other areas of law that frequently affect our clients in the District of Columbia
  • Served as a member of the District of Columbia Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force
  • Partnered with local organizations to improve knowledge of bullying laws in the District of Columbia
  • Advocated for improved regulations regarding bullying in the District of Columbia

Meet Other Fellows Like Thayer

View All

Jaynie Leung

Host: Children's Law Center of Minnesota

Sponsor: Robins Kaplan LLP

Rachel Kleinberg

Host: Public Counsel

Sponsor: Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Ashley Ortagus

Host: Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc.

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, The Florida Bar Foundation

Lauren Zack

Host: Public Counsel

Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP, Spotify