Bullying can traumatize your child. Children and teens still have developing brains and are supposed to go to school to learn and socialize. However, bullying can disrupt that. But what are the teachers and school staff doing about it?
Did you know that failing to respond to bullying or maybe making it worse can be a violation of your child’s civil rights?
Of course, the first thing on your mind should be the well-being of your child, but if your child winds up having medical bills or needing expensive therapy because of the bullying they experience at school, there are legal options you can pursue.
Dealing with Bullying Traumatizing Your Child
It’s important to know that bullying is not always a harmless thing that goes away on its own.
We’ve all seen stories in the news about children committing suicide or hurting themselves over bullies at school.
The most important thing to do is to make sure your child’s mental health is cared for and that they are physically safe.
If you are worried about their mental health, talk to their doctor about getting a referral for counseling services, or see if any are offered through your school or community programs.
What are my Legal Options?
As organizations that accept federal money, schools are required to comply with all federal civil rights laws.
Federal civil rights laws apply to groups of people called a protected class, and this guarantees all people equal rights regardless of their membership in one of these classes.
Protected classes are groups based on
- Gender Identity
- Sexual Orientation
- National Origin
- And More
If your child is being bullied because of their membership in a protected class, and your school does nothing to prevent or address the bullying, that is considered discrimination on part of the school.
Depending on your case, you may be able to pursue legal action against the school and be entitled to compensation.
To learn more about federal bullying laws, click here.
Other Signs of Discrimination
Sadly, where there is one sign of discrimination, there might be many.
Be on the lookout for other signs of discrimination.
These can include
- Singling Students out
- Excessive office or behavior referrals
- Grades not matching effort
- Not following IEP (if applicable)
- And more
We know there is a lot to remember with signs of discrimination. That is why we at Cueto Law made a free checklist that anyone can download!
Additionally, you’re going to want to start saving any communication you have with the school, taking notes during meetings or phone calls, as well as keeping logs of bullying incidents and what the school does in response.
Should I get a lawyer?
Each case is different, and we always recommend talking to a lawyer.
That is why we at Cueto Law offer free consultations with our attorneys to discuss the specifics of your case and inform you of next steps.
Call 618-277-1554 to talk to one of our attorneys for free!