School Bullying Lawsuits
It's no surprise that in an increasingly litigious world, people are suing school districts because their kids are the victims of bullying. For some frustrated parents, suing the school is the last resort after repeated requests for help have been ignored. While taking a school to court may be one answer, a better one is teaching your child how to expose a bully and stop being victim.
Bully Proof Your Child
Perhaps the most important step towards ending bullying is to understand what it is and why it happens. Bullying is essentially when a person takes advantage of personal power to repeatedly inflict intentional harm on others. Bullying is not "a phase," "rite of passage," or "normal." Bullying is never acceptable, and your child should know this.
Why do kids bully? The reasons are as varied as the bullies themselves. Some do it to feel powerful. Others are compensating for lack of control in other areas of their lives. Many do it to look "popular" or "tough." Whatever the reason, bullies are almost always unhappy in their personal lives. Help your child understand that bullies are not cool or strong. In many ways, they are weaker than non-bullies because they take their anger and frustration out on others.
What to Do When a Child is BulliedIt can be difficult to see your child being bullied. You may be tempted to act rashly or intervene unwisely. The best defense against bullingis teaching your child how to react to bullying. Tell your child to try the following:
1. Confront the BullyAlthough you should never encourage fighting, explain to your child that standing up to a bully robs him or her of power. Saying something as simple as, "Stop it," or "Grow up," makes the bully seem childish and small.
2. Stick with FriendsBullying is less likely to happen to people in a group. If there is a specific time or place where the bullying is happening, try and have friends nearby.
3. Talk to an AdultHopefully your child will talk to you about being bullied, but there should also be an adult at school the child can trust. Advise your child to turn to a favorite teacher, counselor or administrator for help. These professionals can serve as witnesses if the bullying ever needs disciplinary action.
4. Document BullyingIf your child is able, try and get him or her to document the bullying. Save cyber bullying texts, emails and social networking posts. Try and get eyewitnesses to bullying incidents, and even consider taking a small audio recorder to school. This will help to expose a bullyand provide proof of his or her actions.
5. Work with the SchoolRequest a copy of the school's bullying policy. Many schools have a zero tolerance towards bullying policy. If your child is being bullied, make the school administration aware of the problem and work with them towards a solution. Be persistent—most cases of bullying take time to be resolved.
The best thing you can do for your child is support him. Believe his claims and make sure he understands that he is not to blame. Kids with good self esteem are less likely to be bullied, so find ways to build up your child's self image. Encourage him to do the things he loves, no matter what anyone else may say to stop him. By embracing who he is and being proud, he'll be showing the bullies that they can't beat him.