A Delaware teen was assaulted in a bathroom on Thursday by her fellow classmates when an argument over a boy became physical. That evening, she was pronounced dead at a local hospital after succumbing to her injuries.
This incident and others like it highlight the epidemic of violence from school bullying that has swept the nation. It’s estimated that 77 percent of children experience bullying in school. Morgan & Morgan’s own attorney Matt Morgan spoke on Good Day Orlando about his personal mission of putting an end to bullying and the steps that you as a parent can take if your child is being bullied in school.
Form a Paper Trail
If your child lets you know that they’ve been the victim of chronic bullying while on school property, you should inform the school’s administration immediately. After doing this, you should document all instances of communication with your child’s teachers, principal, counselor, and other administrators about the situation. You should also keep detailed records recounting the episodes of bullying that your child relays to you.
As Morgan says, “You have to document every single thing with the school. You have to write letters to the superintendent, to the dean, to the principal. You have to demand meetings and keep copies of everything.”
Request Surveillance Video
Private businesses, public streets, and city buses are overseen by surveillance video as a common practice in this day and age. It is highly likely that your child attends a school with surveillance cameras installed as an added security measure. If your child inundates you with repeat claims of bullying, request that the school’s administration turn over surveillance video of the areas of the school in which the episodes of bullying took place. If they refuse your request, in the event of a lawsuit, you can provide your attorney with paper documentation from your school board meetings and the subsequent denials from administrators to provide you with the requested footage. Your attorneys could be able to get a court-ordered mandate for the release of the footage as part of your lawsuit against the school and other involved parties.
Teachers and administrators are busy people with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of students on which to keep tabs. However, you are ultimately responsible for the overall wellbeing of your child and are tasked with ensuring his or her safety at all times. If you’re getting the runaround from school officials about setting up appointment times to talk about your child being bullied, you must constantly demand meetings on the phone, via email, or in person. Before seeking legal counsel, it is important to have a preliminary meeting in order to ascertain whether or not a situation can be ironed out in advance of filing a lawsuit. Again, after a meeting materializes, detailed notes should be kept in order to document what was said and steps that were agreed to be taken by all parties to ensure your child’s safety at school.
Should this meeting not lead to an immediate improvement of your child’s situation, you should contact our attorneys at Morgan & Morgan for a free, no obligation review of your case. Bullying has serious repercussions on mental health. We can help you — and others — show schools that the safety of students is one of our top priorities.