Bullying is an unfortunately common problem for many children. It may take the form of teasing or taunts that make them not want to go to school, or it can involve physical altercations resulting in serious personal injuries. As parents of school age children, it is important to be aware of how bullying commonly occurs, and the duties school administrators have in addressing the situation. Learn more about the impacts of bullying and how lawyers that handle bullying can help with your case.
Common Forms Of Bullying In Schools
StopBullying.gov is a website maintained by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, which aims at education parents, school administrators, and children on the dangers of bullying. It describes bullying as an imbalance of power, in which one student or group of students gives unwanted attention or behaves in an aggressive way towards another.
Roughly twenty percent of students between the age of 12 and 18 report being bullied at school at some point last year. As these are just reported cases, the actual number of cases may be even higher. Common types of bullying include the following:
- Verbal bullying, which may involve teasing, name calling, or making sexual comments
- Social bullying, such as purposely excluding another child from activities, spreading rumors, or embarrassing them in public
- Physical bullying, which may involve hitting, kicking, pushing, or punching, as well as destroying another’s property
In addition to the physical threats posed by bullying, it can have a dramatic impact on your child’s emotional health and school performance. Children often get withdrawn, and may be reluctant to attend school activities. Others become depressed, and may even contemplate harming themselves or others. Lawyers that handle bullying can help you with your case.
Duties Of School Administrators
While individual teachers are likely to intervene if they see bullying occur by separating the students, this does little to actually stop it from occurring again in the future. According to the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), school authorities are increasingly being held legally liable for failing to address situations that allow bullying to happen. The AASA advises that administrators generally have four basic duties in addressing the problem of bullying in schools:
- The duty to train: Schools in most states are required to have peer mediation, violence prevention, and conflict resolution programs in place.
- A duty to remedy: Districts must have clear policies for dealing with students, including concrete and practical steps needed to address and remedy the situation.
- A duty to monitor: Regardless of staffing, schools are required to provide supervision and monitoring to help prevent bullying from occurring.
- A duty to investigate: Any complaint of bullying initiated by a student or their parents should be fully investigated.
Is Your Child Being Bullied? Our Lawyers Can Help
When school districts fail in any of the above duties aimed at protecting students from bullies, you may be able to hold them legally accountable for any injuries or harm your child suffers as a result. Lawyers that handle bullying can be of great assistance. Call or contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm online today to request a free consultation with our experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys. Serving residents of Charleston and throughout the Upstate, we can help protect both you and your child’s rights.