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School Bullying: When to Seek Legal Advice?
School bullying is one of the worst things that can happen to a child. Most children go to school ready to make friends with their peers and to learn new things and to be praised and loved. However, sometimes some pupils undergo bullying or harassment. This is when someone tries to intimidate or harm a pupil.
Bullying may take different forms; for example a child may be bullied or intimidated online (through social media, e-mails, text messages and so on), or he/she may be bullied either verbally (e.g. when someone uses inappropriate lexis towards the pupil or threatens him/her or calls names) or physically (when the pupil is being hit or knocked down or when someone threatens to steal or take his/her property and so on).
Online bullying is most often referred to as cyberbullying. The bully may be anyone in the classroom. Sometimes the bullies act in groups; they threaten to harm or they just mock those pupils who are alone or who are weaker.
There are different school bullying laws in the U.S. and most states have various acts and legislations that are aimed to protect schoolchildren from being bullied. It is established that mainly pupils of grades 6-9 are undergoing bullying and harassment.
Anti-bullying laws differ from state to state; in some states bullying is considered to be a criminal act and all the cases of bullying are taken to the court, while in other states the problem of bullying is coordinated and resolved in the schools where special anti-bullying programs and trainings are constantly being held.
If the school is aware about the bullying and it does nothing to stop it, then the school is also liable for what has happened. Thus, if the school teachers or administrators act negligently towards school harassment or bullying, then the parents of the pupil may sue them, as well.
The school bullying laws, however, have got certain limitations. The thing is that most school bullying laws address only the cases that have occurred in the school and not outside of it. This means that the laws do not have anything to do with those bullying cases that occur with the pupils on the way home or vice versa.