According to the federal government, bullying “is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.” Bullying can occur during school hours or after, such as on the school bus or on the Internet. Bullying can take three forms: verbal, social, and physical. Any child can be bullied. Children who are perceived as being different from their peers can be at an increased risk of being bullied. A perceived difference could be physical appearance, social skills, clothing, mental health conditions, or more.
If your child or student is being bullied, this can harm his or her physical and emotional safety at school as well as the child’s ability to learn well. It is important to contact the school – including the student’s teacher, guidance counselor, principal, and/or superintendent. In severe cases, or cases where the school is not responding appropriately, it may be necessary to contact the State Department of Education. School staff should be trained in recognizing and preventing bullying, and the school should have clear policies and rules regarding bullying.
Your student’s school may need to teach students and/or staff about bullying prevention and the harms of bullying. This might involve presentations or class discussions, but it is important that the school is implementing program that is designed to be effective and clearly communicated. There are many evidence-based evaluated programs available to schools that address bullying, and often are designed for use in elementary or middle school settings. Staff training might include meetings, one-day training sessions, or a combination of options.
For more information about bullying and bullying prevention, visit https://www.stopbullying.gov/.
What this means for you: If you have questions about your student’s rights or if your student’s school is not taking adequate steps to prevent bullying or harassment, we can help you. Our team of education law attorneys, Jeffrey C. Murse, Gerryanne P. Cauler, Gabriella Hashem Farhat and Lauren E. Martin, will advocate for your student’s needs and for the proper accommodations in a school setting. We can ensure the proper individuals and entities have been notified of the bullying and can advocate for the school to implement effective anti-bullying measures.
Make Pyfer Reese your choice! Call 717.299.7342 to schedule a consultation regarding your education law needs.