My son has been bullied by the same child all year. He comes home regularly with bruises from his legs to his arms, pencil marks from being stabbed in arms and stomach, and recently this child and two of his friends knocked him to the floor and kicked him in his head – he currently has a fat lip.
I spoke with the principal, vice principal, and superintendent throughout the year, each time being promised this would be resolved. I am at my wits’ end, and the violence has increased. What can I do?
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
Be sure to seek immediate medical attention for your son. A head injury can be quite serious, and may result in a brain concussion, internal bleeding and hemorrhaging.
If you believe your child is likely to be more seriously injured than he has thus far, then you must immediately, or as soon as is reasonably possible, remove him from the school and/or enroll him in another school. You have a legal duty to protect your son from undue harm and injury. That duty includes mitigating the circumstances which are likely to result in your son being injured.
It is worth noting students are injured every day at school. They trip over books, get hit in the face with balls during gym, get into scuffles with other students, and engage in other activities which result in minor injuries. When these types of injuries occur, school districts are normally not responsible (liable) to pay for the students’ medical bills. These types of injuries are expected, and despite schools’ best efforts, students still manage to become injured every day at school. Deliberate acts of violence are not included in the above.
At this point, you have done all which can be reasonably expected of any parent in their effort to protect their child from harm. This includes speaking with the principle, vice principle, and school superintendent. They appear to have failed you.
When a school, its teachers, or the school district have prior knowledge of circumstances which may lead to a student’s serious injuries, and with that knowledge, fail to take remedial action, then the school district may become liable for the student’s injuries and resulting medical bills.
However, because you already have knowledge of circumstances which may lead to your son’s future injuries, and the school can’t seem to protect him, you have no choice but to remove him from the dangerous environment.
You may also want to speak with the bully’s parents about his behavior, and request reimbursement for any medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses you’ve incurred in getting your son treatment for his injuries. If this fails, you may want to pursue a small claims lawsuit to recover compensation, and/or speak with local law enforcement about the bully’s behavior. Some of what you’ve described the bully has done to your son might be classified as assault/battery.
Learn more here: School Fights and Liability
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
Best of luck with your claim,
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