Putting the school on notice of your concerns is a crucial first step.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, bullying occurs when there is unwanted aggressive behavior between school-aged children. This behavior can be physical, verbal, psychological or electronic. Bullying must include an imbalance of power, such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information or popularity, and repetition.
Bullying has become far too common in our modern society. While this behavior has always occurred in schools and social settings, with social media and the availability of electronic communications, the ability for kids to harass or abuse others has extended past the school day. This can have serious consequences, in some cases leading the victims of bullying to suffer mental health problems or engage in self-harming behaviors.
As a parent, you may feel helpless if your child is being targeted by bullies. However, there are steps that you can take to help your child, particularly if the bullying happens at school. As an experienced children’s rights attorney can explain, being proactive is necessary to protect your child’s well-being and to preserve your future options.
The first step to take is to put the school on notice of what is happening. While there may be situations where the school is aware that your child is being targeted by other children, it is also possible that teachers, administrators and staff simply do not know what is happening. Either way, reporting your concerns directly to the school is important to make a record. Be sure to inform the school via letter or email, listing what is occurring as well as how it impacts your child’s safety, education and well-being. This will give the school an opportunity to address the issue and take appropriate action.
Most states, including California, require school districts to adopt policies that prohibit bullying and that set forth specific procedures for reporting discrimination and harassment. If your child has been a target of bullies, be sure to look up this information, and refer to it when dealing with the school. Make sure to keep copies of all correspondence with the school.
If your child has suffered an injury due to bullying, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the school or school district. As a children’s rights attorney can explain, these claims can be complicated, particularly if you are filing a lawsuit against a public school. Cases against government entities have special rules and procedures to follow, and require the assistance of a skilled children’s rights attorney. If your child has been a victim of bullying at school and the district is not responding appropriately, consult with a children’s rights attorney to determine your options and how to proceed.
At PLBSH, our team of legal professionals is dedicated to protecting children from harm, including harassment, abuse and bullying at school. Contact us today at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced children’s rights attorney.