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Legal Steps for Bullying?


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I moved in July and my son is at a new school this year. He has been the victim of some pretty intense bullying, including being punched in the face, smashed in the face with an ice ball and kicked while he was down. The latest incident happened last Friday, he was swarmed by 4 other boys and pushed and shoved and called nasty names. I have been to the school several times and had to take my son to emergency after one incident. The school has really been trying to protect him but it always seems to no avail. Has anyone taken legal steps against the parents of children who bully other children?

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They did punish them ,yes. However 2 weeks later they are at it again. As it stands now my son's EA is his "body guard" in the school yard because they won't leave him alone and punishment seems to have no affect on them. I am getting pretty angry. It is pretty bad that a child needs to have a body guard just to play outside. I can understand why he is terrified too, as 2 of the boys are bigger than my son's father.

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I have no answer to your question, Victoria, but I am really sorry. In the workplace, there are such strict standards for harassment and inappropriate behavior. Adults feel (quite correctly) that they have the right to a safe and respectful workplace. And even as adults, if we're feeling bullied or harassed, it can lead to depression and serious medical consequences. But somehow, a lot of people figure that bullying is just a normal part of growing up.

 

Your poor son. I wish I could throw snowballs at those nasty boys.

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I have no answer to your question, Victoria, but I am really sorry. In the workplace, there are such strict standards for harassment and inappropriate behavior. Adults feel (quite correctly) that they have the right to a safe and respectful workplace. And even as adults, if we're feeling bullied or harassed, it can lead to depression and serious medical consequences. But somehow, a lot of people figure that bullying is just a normal part of growing up.

 

Your poor son. I wish I could throw snowballs at those nasty boys.

 

I am just beside myself about it. I have been to the school 4 times now. This time my husband came too and he is breathing fire and he is about ready to put some boot to backside.

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I don't understand this - you should first tell the school that since they are responsible for your son's safety on school grounds and since 1) they have FAILED to send him home back unharmed and 2) the punishment 'solution' has not worked you are preparing to take legal action if they do not immediately expel all involved students. Do they have a parent association or something so you can possibly get the support of other parents?

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It is not easy to get students expelled here unfortunately. There is a steps process before you come to expulsion and it takes a while and it seldom ever happens because every person has a right to an education.

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I went to a really rough school and my parents took me out of it and into parochial school for a year or two. I wasn't bullied in the same way your son was - it never got that bad, but there were problems with knives - not to me but in my class that made it a difficult learning environment. The small class sizes really helped me and more so that the adults there had zero tolerance. Before, I even contemplated dropping out and I was an A student. I think that there are a few things you should do if you can't pull him out - Teach him survival mechanisms and don't rely on just your own opinions. If fights tend to happen on the play ground - is he a loner? Or can he find safety in numbers with friends? Kids can't swarm and ambush a kid if he is in a group. Also, some schools have projects like a school paper, etc, that meet during recess or lunch and that would prevent him being in an unsupervised situation. This way, if he goes to another school or even if he graduates and gets a job, he will be able to avoid bullying wherever he goes. He can't always just remove other person. Also, if you know of other concerned parents, maybe you can approach the school with the proposal of volunteer recess monitors or hall monitors. Sometimes there just isn't the staff to student ratio to get a handle on anything.

 

btw, punishing a kid really doesn't work well unless a concerned parent is at home, because if the parents think that the kid is just singling their kid out or "kids will be kids," the kid will continue to hurt others.

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Have you involved the police? At least around here they have zero tolerance, either the child will be expelled or have the police involved immediately.

 

I think that is my next step sidehop because it is getting out of hand. I have let the school try and bring about a solution, but it does not seem to be working. They say they have a no zero tolerance policy but I have found that to be BS in any school.

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It is not easy to get students expelled here unfortunately. There is a steps process before you come to expulsion and it takes a while and it seldom ever happens because every person has a right to an education.

 

That's really sad, I'd be livid too. I mean four times? What is it going to take them to take drastic action? I'd honestly put more pressure on the school as obviously they can't even protect your son to learn.

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My son is a bit of a loner, because he is slightly autistic, he finds it hard to read the social ques correctly. So he has a few friends and a few people who defend him.

 

Right now his EA has been turned into his "body guard" of sorts and he can not leave the school without her.

 

The scary thing is he goes to a religious school.

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I am so sorry this is happening to your son and you - it's a real concern for me as a would-be parent, because I went through terrible bullying at school where I was repeatedly beaten by another child.., but to be beaten by several children must be absolutely terrifying.. I cannot begin to imagine the state of mind your son is in. My thoughts are really with you.

 

The first thing to look at is: The Protection from Harassment Act - the link is below.

 

The other bit of this post you may consider to be useless but I think it's worth considering: it was relevant for me: I have learned through my experience of serious bullying at work, even as an adult (yes I am ashamed to say it - it was a female manager who made my life hell for two years) is that there is greater protection from bullying for people where discrimination is involved or the person has a medical condition to manage - because education providers, employers, etc, have a legal obligation to pupils, students, employees, etc to guard their health and safety at all times if either of these are relevant it has a huge bearing on what the adverse affect is of bullying on this and rights in this respect, if this makes sense e.g. if he is dyslexic the bullying - this could be part of why he is being bullied and the serious consequences of this are the knock on effects of being bullied and his learning progress suffering - in which case the school will sit up and take action much more immediately, without you being given woolly answers. Subsequently, you might want to assess if there is some other issue that gives you a legitimate legal umberella to argue along side your case for bullying, that cannot be put to one side easily, to protect your son.

 

Have you contacted your local citizen's advice service? - if you are in the uk you will already know about CAB (Citizen's Advice Bureau) but if your son does have a medical condition you can look up the relevant law relating to his rights as a minor, as this may be the most effective approach to start getting people to sit up and take notice.

 

Does he have lots of friends at school who he can hang out with instead of getting caught alone? I know you will already have thought of most things, but bullies thrive on getting the person they want to bully isolated and that is why I suffered seemingly endlessly but repeatedly.

 

This link might be helpful link removed

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have you talked to the parents of these boys and talked to them about the bullying?

 

i agree if that doesn't work, the next step is the police. since you took your son to the ER, there is proof.

 

I do not know the parents as we are new to this area and they do not like the families of opposing sides to mix too much. I can see why. I can pretty much tell these kids are not taught much at home if this is how they behave so I am not too sure how successful it would be to talk to the parents. I imagine they are the same. I knew all the families in his old school.

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This sounds horrible, i dont know what can be done but going to the parents probably wont help as the kids most likely have learned there attitude from them. As they say, theres no such thing as a bad student, only a bad teacher. Some of the other posts might be able to help you in terms of legal action, but taking your son to a self defence class wouldnt hurt. Depending on the martial art, they teach discipline and respect, it wont encourage violence in your son, but will give him more peace of mind.

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This sounds horrible, i dont know what can be done but going to the parents probably wont help as the kids most likely have learned there attitude from them. As they say, theres no such thing as a bad student, only a bad teacher. Some of the other posts might be able to help you in terms of legal action, but taking your son to a self defence class wouldnt hurt. Depending on the martial art, they teach discipline and respect, it wont encourage violence in your son, but will give him more peace of mind.

 

He has taken it before. He did like it. The thing is my son is very naturally timid and with his own lack of social development it leaves him open to be a big target for others. Thanks for your reply it might be something he could consider doing again.

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i agree with enrolling him in a martial arts class. i think it can help him with his confidence and social development. and then he has the confidence to stand up for himself.

 

That is if he will go. He is pretty picky about what he wants to do and at 13 I can hardly force him.

 

To his credit though the principal has said he has been very mature about everything and has even tried to be friends with the bully ring leader.

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You said something about 'they' would not like it if parents talk to each other. WHO CARES what 'they' like or not (I assume they is the school). They have failed to protect your son on school property and frankly they no longer have a say of what you do or don't do at this point! If YOU think talking to the parents can help you should do it. You never know your impression of the parents may be wrong.

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You said something about 'they' would not like it if parents talk to each other. WHO CARES what 'they' like or not (I assume they is the school). They have failed to protect your son on school property and frankly they no longer have a say of what you do or don't do at this point! If YOU think talking to the parents can help you should do it. You never know your impression of the parents may be wrong.

 

If I knew who they were. I do not know anyone here and I do not think the school is going to hand over their phone numbers. That is against their privacy.

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If you can't change the system and you don't have options to change schools then I do agree he'll have to defend himself.

 

See if there's a school for practical Wing-Chun (or Wing Tsun) classes. I highly recommend it. They were designed more for actual application for self defense without learning all the forms that would take years to perfect. Very effective when he has to get out of a bad situation in seconds. When I used to take the class back in Seattle it was taught by one of Bruce Lee's good friend. Their philosophy was to take down the attacker in two seconds or less. It was popular among women too as their self defense strategies were very effective. It was a very fun class which if he can make new friends it can only encourage him.

 

I understand he has ADHD which I know with some form of ADD/ADHD myself it did help a lot to calm the mind and have better focus in many ways.

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