Who is Responsible if my Child is Bullied at School?
When parents send their children to school, their expectation is that the children will be safe, cared for and protected from harm. Schools have responsibility for the well-being of the children they are educating. When a child is the victim of bullying, harassment or cyberbullying, and that child suffers emotional injury as a result, significant investigation and legal analysis may be needed to determine if others besides the bully should or can be held responsible for injuries to the child victim.
In a recent update, the Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC) has included language regarding bullying, harassment and cyberbullying in its definitions regarding the safety of children. In this public document, parents can view guidelines for parents and educators on how to prevent and stop bullying at school, after school and by use of school-owned equipment.
Bullying has no official definition, but the general understanding is that bullying is an intentional act that causes harm to others, and may include:
- Verbal Attacks
- Verbal Or Non-Verbal Harassment
- Physical Assault
- Cyber Stalking
- Cyber Harassment
The classification of bullying may be modified in consideration of the emotional or physical damage that results in the individual case. In a number of recently publicized cases, children have committed suicide as the result of school-related bullying. Students who are bullied at school sometimes must obtain psychological or psychiatric treatment. Bullies may severely injure children on and off school grounds.
Schools and parents can affect the school environment and help prevent or stop bullying of individual students. The state’s guidelines recommend forming a multidisciplinary team or task force, including parents, teachers, administrators, and students to address issues of bullying.
If a child is being bullied at school, cyber-bullied, or harassed by other children, others besides the bully may be liable for injuries they may sustain. If your child has sustained injuries, whether physical, mental, or emotional, you should speak to a lawyer about your legal rights. Call 303-792-5595 or complete the form for a FREE case evaluation.