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Old 06-19-2007, 11:47 AM
 
Location: VA
786 posts, read 4,229,886 times
Reputation: 1071

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A relative of mine is at wits end to stop the bullying of his son. The poor boy is constantly being bullied by a variety of other kids at school. The school officals and teachers are worthless and say they can not do anything unless someone sees it. They say the bullied boy is likely just making it all up. He is not.

Has there been any successful lawsuits by parents of kids who have been physically bullied against the parents of the boy who bullies? I am sure that the bullying would stop if the parents of the bullies were to face legal and financial jeopardy.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, Canada
550 posts, read 2,542,339 times
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Have you tried contacting the bullies parents? Thats what I did with my son (with one bully only) and it worked wonders. I think many parents have no idea that their kid is being so awful and would be fully supportive to change that behavior. Shame on the school for being like that. We have a no tolerance rule at our schools.

Is it possible for your relative to be near the school at recess to see the bullying for themselves? Then when it happens they can go to the principal and tell them that they have seen it.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:38 PM
 
3,079 posts, read 4,995,876 times
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The pain and suffering inflicted upon any child by bullying is awful. Nothing good comes from learning to endure such treatment. However I would never advocate seeking relief via the legal system; that just adds to other societal problems.

Is there a school counselor to assist your relatives child? With my oldest son there were a series of issues over the years and we too heard the refrain that "we can't address a problem we don't see". Eventually we enlisted the counselor to observe over a period of time until they either confirmed or rejected the claims (they usually had merit). In one particularly difficult episode I cautioned the principal that if my son took matters into his owns hands (he knows how to throw a punch) I would absolutely reject any attempt by the administration to discipline him.

I encourage you to advise your relative to hold the school administration accountable and force them into doing their job. If not, they should escalate to the next level.
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:10 AM
 
2,484 posts, read 7,904,023 times
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I'm sure it is *possible* but the chances of you WINNING are pretty slim to none. Additionally, it would pretty much kill any chance of the bullied kid making friends in the future. I can just see it now: Johnny (bullied kid) goes up to Susie and invites her over to play. Susie looks at Johnny warily and says, "Sorry, my mommy told me we can't afford to be sued by you. You need to go play with someone else."

Being bullied is never fun but for some, it is a one of the many trials and tribulations we have to endure to learn social skills, coping skills, and problem solving skills. If the kid never learns to stand up for himself and always goes running to Mommy and Daddy for solutions, he's eventually going to learn that no matter WHAT he does (steal, rape, murder, lie), he can just go run to mommy and daddy dearest.

Imo, teach the kid to defend himself, talk to the parents of the bully, and handle the situation like adults instead of being lawsuit-happy. We have already had enough idiots in the past that sue over every little thing. We don't need to add to that reputation.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:32 AM
 
Location: South Bay Native
13,050 posts, read 21,175,320 times
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I'm not sure if this varies state-by-state, but in California, you can file a grievance with the school, which by law the district must grant a hearing for. If there is no resolution, then you can file a request for a due process hearing, which the courts of your state would be facilitating. You must PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING. Start now if you haven't already. I would start by writing a certified letter or email directly to the principal explaining the situation and that you expect this to be dealt with immediately. You can also state in the letter, if the bully is physically harming your child and the principal does not actuate an immediate halt to this behavior, that you will contact local law enforcement. This is considered an assault at the very least.

With the situations that have arisen out of children being bullied at school (and schools allowing it to fester) everyone is taking this seriously and is making efforts to identify it at an early stage before the target "snaps". I am surprised that your school hasn't taken serious action against this - but if you have only been communicating this by phone vs. writing letters then I am not one bit surprised. I was advised by a teacher friend that I should consider any conversation that is not memorialized in writing as never having happened where schools are concerned. She was right! Our principal promised me something during a phone conversation that he never followed up on, and when I mentioned it at a later date he flat-out denied ever saying anything about it.

I personally would not follow the advice from SmerkyGrl - I really don't think she is speaking from experience but I'm sure she meant well enough. I have had to deal with this first hand and you as your child's advocate are going to have to step up to the plate. The advice given may be suitable if we are talking about a teenager in high school, but most bullying happens in grade school and middle school. I'm sure no one believes a 10 year old child should "learn social/coping skills" by trying to fight off multiple bullies single-handedly. There are times when "mommy and daddy dearest" do need to intervene for the sake of their child's well-being, and it doesn't mean they are going to become a thief/rapist/murderer.

Dingler, I think some of the animosity on this thread is because you mentioned a lawsuit against the parents. In my opinion, the parents aren't the ones to go after. The school is where this is happening, where we are entrusting our educators to see to the needs of our children while under their employ. If they are failing them, then the culpability lies with them (the school). You should not have to deal with the parents at all - the school should communicate with them to seek a solution as to the bullies' behavior up to and including suspension or expulsion, and you should not be seeking financial gain from this but a cessation of the bullying behavior.

How old is this child? What sort of harassment is he subjected to? Does he have any playground friends to corroborate his experiences? These are all things to consider. I wish your relative the best of luck in resolving this situation and don't forget to read the "parents rights" pamphlet that the school gives out at the beginning of every year - it should have all the "offical" information about grievances and due process.
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Kansas City Metro area
356 posts, read 1,076,463 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingler View Post
A relative of mine is at wits end to stop the bullying of his son. The poor boy is constantly being bullied by a variety of other kids at school. The school officals and teachers are worthless and say they can not do anything unless someone sees it. They say the bullied boy is likely just making it all up. He is not.

Has there been any successful lawsuits by parents of kids who have been physically bullied against the parents of the boy who bullies? I am sure that the bullying would stop if the parents of the bullies were to face legal and financial jeopardy.
All states are different, but in general, while at school the school district is responsible for the safety of the child, and to provide an atmosphere condusive to lerning. The childs teacher and building principal can be held personally liable for this. The childs parents need to talk to the principal and explain enough is enough, and legal action against him/her will be the end result if it does not stop.

They might also try contacting the Dept. of Social Services for help.
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:46 PM
 
Location: City of the damned, Wash
428 posts, read 2,218,537 times
Reputation: 255
Depends on what grade the child is in, but when my DD was in elementary school, a boy was bothering her a lot. Every day after school for weeks, I heard about something this kid had done. I finally emailed their teacher and told her she needed to deal with this, (make it stop) or I would. It worked.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla
1,889 posts, read 6,989,955 times
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I'll keep my comment short- I teach assertiveness skills at the school that I work at and it has done wonders for kids who were referred to me for being picked on, teased and bullied. That's just part of the solution. I don't disagree with the other comments but if you want to solve the problem, be prepared to handle it from ALL angles.

Apparantly, teaching kids to be assertive is a new thing in public schools. Usually when I bring it up at the meetings, parents naturally assume I am going to teach their child to be 'aggressive' (huge difference).

I would definitely recommend dealing with it on a school level first. Bullies tend to follow a certain pattern of behavior- whether its catching their 'victim' when they get off the bus early in the morning or tripping the student on the way to lunch, or harrassment in the locker room every 3rd period at gym (just an example)- Your relative better start taking action for his own sake- what that means is being aware of those times, letting the coach, bus monitor or lunch person know about the pattern and then (after its all said and done) if no one helps him, then the family may have a suit afterall.

I'm not a lawyer so I won't comment on the fact that they would consider a lawsuit but my point is to think about all of the ways that this can be handled, first before suing.

So what is it that they hope to gain from the lawsuit? Will it stop the bullying?
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:49 PM
 
432 posts, read 1,691,237 times
Reputation: 135
[quote=skoe;912820]Have you tried contacting the bullies parents? Thats what I did with my son (with one bully only) and it worked wonders. I think many parents have no idea that their kid is being so awful and would be fully supportive to change that behavior. QUOTE]


That didn't work for me. The parents were worse than the kid. Very passive aggressive, and if anyone disciplined their little darling they were going to sue.

Really, it was like meeting the parents of Eddie Haskell's evil twin.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 21,141,653 times
Reputation: 5033
The parents are better off teaching the kid how to deal with it. There will always be bullies, in childhood and adult life. You can't sue them all. Why doom the child to forever play the role of victim?
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