School bullying happens to a lot of kids but the serious consequences of bullying have spurred lawmakers to respond to the crisis.
Anti-bullying laws now exist in almost every state which gives parents greater recourse if their child is bullied. But the law is only as good as its enforcement. If you don't know what your rights are then it's difficult to protect yourself and your children in the event of bullying.
The laws aren't necessarily complicated. You just need to know what they are.
If your child is being bullied by a classmate, the first step is to talk to the school. Hopefully they'll be willing to work with you on the issue to ensure everyone is safe.
Remember that schools have many children to look after. Unless someone speaks up, it may be hard to recognize isolated incidents of bullying. But in most cases, schools work with parents to stop bullying.
Schools generally have a 'duty to rescue' for the students in their care. That means if school officials see a child in danger and do nothing the school could be liable for negligence.
Building a negligence case can be tricky so it's always best to work with an attorney rather than go it alone.
If your school is unwilling to address the situation, you can alert authorities about the issue.
As part of anti-bullying statutes, many states require schools to have and enforce policies against bullying. Failure to do so can result in legal consequences for the school.
Reporting the lack of enforcement won't just help your child, it can help others as well.
In some cases you and the school will do everything you can to stop the bullying but it won't be enough. In those situations, you may want to consider bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the parents of the bully.
The law is often best as a last resort but if you can't get through any other way, talk to a lawyer about your options for a lawsuit.
Filing a suit can be an ugly process but school bullying can be even worse. Protect your children this fall by knowing what to do in the event of bullying.
- 10 Actions Parents Can Take If Their Child Has Been Bullied (Education.com)
- Cyber Bullying (FindLaw)
- Are Bullying Lawsuits on the Rise? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)