Signs Your Child Is Being Harassed & What to Do About It
Posted in Personal Injury on December 13, 2018.
When your child faces harassment or adversity, it can be unbearable, frustrating, and angering. Not only can you often not witness or control the situation, you also cannot always change it. However, legal options exist that can help you and your child through this difficult time. The first step is properly identifying the problem.
If you’ve reached this page seeking to take legal action against your child’s school or aggressor, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. They’ll evaluate your case details and let you know if you know your best legal options.
Signs of Bullying
If your child is experiencing bullying, the first step is to identify and clarify what is happening. If you are not aware of the problem or do not know the source, you can only do so much to help. Pay attention to your child’s behaviors and mannerisms for certain signs that he or she may be experiencing bullying.
- Your child has a notable change in personality or behavior, as if he or she is trying to change him or herself, or act like someone else.
- Your child seems depressed and uninterested in the activities that once made him or her happy.
- Your child attempts to avoid or quit certain activities altogether, such as asking to stay home sick or asking to quit a sports team.
- Your child shows an excess of emotion, or a lack there of.
Of course, you might witness your child being bullied, or your child will directly tell you about it. If that is the case, you have already identified the problem to a convincing degree of certainty. You may notice the signs more clearly after the fact.
What to Do if Your Child is Being Bullied
When you learn that your child is experiencing bullying, emotions may cloud your judgment. It can be tempting to confront the child or their parent. However, doing this is not the best course of action legally. You can take legal steps to address bullying.
- Ask your child (and any other resources you may have) for a detailed account of the bullying that is taking place. Document it.
- Contact the principal of your child’s school. Schools have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of all students who attend. Bullying and harassment claims must be taken seriously by the school and if they aren’t you may be able to take legal action.
- Find witnesses who can back up your child’s story, such as friends and other parents.
- If anyone makes direct threats toward your child, contact the police immediately.
- Monitor the situation closely,
- Document everything. Make note of your child’s account, date and times you consulted with school staff on the issue, their responses and anything you can. If you do decide to take legal action with an attorney, this can be helpful to your case.
What Not to Do About Bullying
Just as legal steps against bullying exist, some methods to attempt to solve bullying may be illegal.
- Do not go to the home of your child’s harasser. The family could consider this trespassing, and it could also result in an altercation.
- Do not go into the principal’s office with a list of demands or an angry, abrasive tone. While school personnel understand that you are upset, taking your anger level too far could result in legal action or expulsion for your child.
Next Steps for Bullying
After you identify that bullying is taking place, it is imperative to continue to follow up with your child and your child’s school to be sure that the situation is improving. Schools have Also, continue to follow up with the principal or guidance counselor about your child’s needs and how the situation is or is not dissipating.
If all else fails, you can remove your child from the situation, although that is often a last resort. The safety of your child is always of the utmost importance, even if that means switching schools or changing after-school activities.
If bullying has impacted your child and you have questions about your rights, don’t keep it to yourself. You can take legal measures to protect your children and your family.
Contact Our Birmingham Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have questions about your situation and would like to discuss the details of your case with an experienced attorney, contact our law office today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Our personal injury lawyers can advise you on your best legal options.