A Legal Response To School Bullying

School bullying is a growing problem. It has always been an issue, but the number of students who deal with school bullying is growing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bullying is most common in middle school, but it happens at all levels. There are people who believe it is a regular part of school. However, today school bullying is a serious problem.

Consequences Of School Bullying

The CDC reports that bullying can lead to youth violence. It is now recognized as a significant public health risk at schools.

The statistics of the aftermath of bullying:

  • Common problem. One in five high school students are bullied; 15 percent of students say they have been cyberbullied and 14 percent are bullied at least once a week.
  • Cost. It is estimated that youth violence costs about $21 billion annually for medical expenses and lost productivity.
  • Cyberbullying. One in seven students are bullied via texting, Instagram and social media.
  • Homicide/bullying. Bullying often leads to additional youth violence. For people, age 10 through 24, homicide is the third leading cause of death. The CDC reports that over 1,000 people in that age range go to emergency rooms for nonfatal assault-related injuries and about 14 people that age die every day due to violence.

What Are The Responsibilities For Parents, Schools And Law Enforcement?

The responsibilities:

  • Parents. Protect your child and get them help. If schools do not respond appropriately, you might have to take legal action.
  • Schools. They are required to provide a safe environment, and that includes preventing bullying. Districts must have anti-bullying policies. Schools that get federal funding must deal with bullying that is related to discrimination. They are required to investigate bullying incidents and create a plan to keep the bullied student safe.
  • Laws. There are state and federal anti-bullying laws. If schools do not respond appropriately, you can contact your state’s Department of Education. If the bullying qualifies as a civil rights violation, you should contact your state’s civil rights office.

Protect Your Child From Bullying

As a parent, you want your child to have the best education possible. If you suspect bullying, talk to your child and work with the school. If the school does not protect your student, you might have to take legal steps to ensure your child’s safety.