Bullying can ruin childhoods. Victims frequently suffer increased anxiety, depression, and decreased achievement in school. In extreme cases, victims of bullying have been known to take their own lives, or lash out in violence against their tormentors.
After generations of dismissing bullying as a “normal” part of growing up, educators and child development experts today are unified in their acknowledgement of bullying’s destructive effects. In some school districts, however, it can be difficult to enlist the administration’s help in protecting one’s children from bullies, or even to secure their acknowledgement that a bullying situation exists. Our education attorneys can ensure that you and your child’s stories are being heard and acted upon.
Bullying Often Ignored, Underreported
Under Pennsylvania law, all public school districts have been required since 2009 to create and implement anti-bullying policies. Sadly, however, statistics suggest that many of the 500 school districts in the State have done so in name only. In 2013, for example, 195 of Pennsylvania’s school districts, representing 28 percent of the student population, unrealistically reported zero incidents of bullying. Only 20 school districts in the state reported bullying incidents that impacted more than one percent of their students—figures that fly in the face of most other data on the prevalence of bullying in schools.
If your school district has been reluctant to provide your child with the support and protection he or she needs, we can help you assess your options. We assist students and their families with:
- Advocacy and representation in bullying-related communications with school district personnel
- Assessing school district liability in the event of bullying-related injuries to children
- Criminal and/or civil complaints against bullies and their parents
- Students unable to attend school for fear of bullying