Bullying Child in classroomMost school-aged children are exposed to some form of bullying over the course of their childhood education. Bullying is often written off as part of growing up. However, bullying can have serious consequences, impacting a student’s well-being and safety.

Stories of classmate bullying ending in violence, attempted suicide or suicide have become all too common in recent years. Who is responsible for stopping this bullying behavior at school or on the school bus?

Are school boards and school districts responsible? What about the parents of the bully?

According to National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 1 in 5 students report being bullied during the school year. School bullying impacts over 5 million youth every year.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying can take many forms, whether verbal, physical, or social. And while the definition of bullying is different from state to state, it generally includes verbal, physical or mental actions by a student to harass, threaten, or harm another student.

If school officials are aware of persistent harassment and bullying and fail to act, they may be liable. However, that said, bullying does not have to take place on school property for it to be harmful. In this era of social media and prevalence of mobile devices, cyberbullying has become much more common, especially among teenagers.

What Is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullies make threats through outlets such as:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Text messages
  • Instant messages
  • Email

Cyberbullies may also send, post, or share harmful, false, or private information about someone else. Cyberbullying carries a certain level of anonymity. This often leaves the victim feeling helpless and causing humiliation and harm to the victim’s mental health, self-esteem, and reputation. According to the i-SAFE foundation, 42% of students have been bullied while online, and 1 in 5 have been repeatedly threatened online.

Are There Laws Against Bullying?

There is no federal law that protects individuals from bullying. However, each state has its own definition and approach to bullying. Many states have anti-bullying laws and policies in place. Some states only have policies to help prevent and respond to bullying behavior. In most states, school districts are required to establish anti-bullying policies. Many of these policies also cover cyberbullying that takes place off-campus. School districts may address other types of bullying in their policies too, including:

  • Hazing
  • Teasing
  • Sexual harassment
  • Physical acts of violence

If these policies are not adhered to and school officials do not take proper actions to stop the bullying behavior, devastating consequences can result.

Students who experienced bullying or cyberbullying are nearly 2 times more likely to attempt suicide.

What Can You Do if Your Child was Injured or Died After Being Bullied at School?

If your child sustained mental or physical injuries, or took his or her own life after being bullied at school, contact a compassionate, knowledgeable Grant & Eisenhofer attorney today. You may be able to file a bullying lawsuit against one or more of the following parties:

  • School board
  • School district
  • Parents of bullies responsible for inflicting harm on your child

Want to Know if You Have a Valid Legal Claim?

Contact the attorneys at Grant & Eisenhofer if your child sustained emotional or physical injuries or died as a result of bullying at school. Call (844) 394-3624 to discuss your potential claim. We offer free consultations.