An organization called Injury Claim Coach recently asked us to reprint this resource on our page. It will get you up to speed on what constitutes cyberbullying/bullying as well as what your school's liability is. Any school who has to comply with state law on bullying/cyberbullying needs to pay close attention. I'm not an attorney, but if your school is mandated to provide a policy, training and reporting of bullying/cyberbullying and has not done so, it is a breach of legal duty and constitutes negligence.
Guide to Protecting Your Child From Bullying and Violence at School
(Reprinted with permission) by Judge Anthony P. Calisi (ret.)
Bullying is an increasingly prevalent problem, with more than 750,000 reported acts of school violence each year. Bullying and school violence can occur on and off school property, and involve perpetrators, victims, and witnesses.
Five Forms of Bullying
- Physical bullying consists of the use physical aggression, such as pushing and punching. Many schools have a zero tolerance policy to physical bullying. Physical bullying can involve one or more perpetrators.
- Verbal bullying consists of the use of language to assail another student, such as teasing, mocking, or name-calling. Verbal bullying often occurs in view of witnesses.
- Reactive bullying consists of one student falsely presenting themselves as a victim when they themselves are the bully. Reactive bullies persistently taunt, tease, push, or strike their victims until the victim strikes out.
- Cyberbullying consists of the use of social media to willfully, viciously and maliciously harass a student, whether by posting unflattering and compromising photographs, making derogatory, demeaning, or hurtful remarks, or to otherwise abuse, belittle, or harass another student.
- Vandalism and theft are forms of bullying that consist of damaging or stealing a student's property, such as their clothing, money, or electronic devices. Feelings of powerlessness, despair, anger, or fear related to social status and school experiences can lead students to vandalize school property.