Your Child Deserves A Safe Learning Environment
We think of schools as a safe haven for our children. We trust that caring adults will monitor the activities happening within their walls, nurturing the well-being of all children and encouraging learning and growth. Unfortunately, for many children, the reality is much harsher. Bullying happens in nearly every school and too often, adults do little or nothing to address the problem. The results can be devastating.
At Holman Kent LLC, our mission is to stand up for the vulnerable in our communities, including the elderly and our children. Children should not have to suffer abuse when they go to school. If your child has suffered from school bullying, talk to us about whether a bullying lawsuit may be the best next step for your family.
Severe Bullying Causes Real Damage
States have differing legal definitions of bullying. Conflict is a normal part of growing up and learning how to navigate social situations. Not all conflict qualifies as bullying, but some actions are clearly harmful. Iowa and Missouri generally define bullying as repeated unwanted, aggressive behavior that may involve an imbalance of power, whether real or perceived.
Bullying further violates the law when the bully discriminates against a classmate based on a protected class, such as race or religion. The bullying can be physically harmful or emotionally and mentally hurtful. Either can have devastating consequences and have led to suicide on far too many occasions.
School officials and parents have a responsibility regarding the actions of children in their care. When they know of a problem, they have a duty to act. You may bring legal action if their negligence leads to your child’s suffering.
Sexual Harassment In Schools
Discrimination based on sex is barred under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This law not only prohibits discrimination by the school but also requires a learning environment free from hostility. This includes freedom from sexual harassment. Most people are aware that sexual harassment happens in the workplace, but it also happens in schools and at school events. Examples include:
- Unwanted grabbing or touching in the hallways
- Rape at a sporting event
- Sending sexually explicit photos by text
- Telling sexually inappropriate or demeaning jokes in class
- Following or other physically intimidating behavior
- Degrading comments based on gender or sex
If your child has experienced any of these behaviors, we can help you determine what to do about it.
Cyberbullying Can Happen Anywhere
Cyberbullying includes bullying that takes place over the internet or through social media and has become a popular method for bullying classmates. Both Missouri and Iowa’s bullying laws apply to behavior on school grounds or at a school event. Cyberbullying can happen at school but may also take place outside of school. Cyberbullying can take the form of messages, texts, sound or images through any telephone or computer device.
What Should You Do If Your Child Is A Victim Of Bullying?
Your first step is to discuss the matter with the school and any other parents of children involved so they are on notice of the problem. The law requires every school to have a reporting policy. If you have contacted teachers, school officials and other parents, and nothing was done to curb the bullying behavior, bringing a lawsuit may be your next step. Lawsuits are an effective way to force adults to take notice and stop bullying behavior. The attorneys at Holman Kent LLC will go through the facts of your case to help you determine your best options. We will fight for your child’s right to a safe and healthy learning environment.
Find Out How We Can Help
Discuss your situation with one of our dedicated attorneys in a free initial consultation. We are here to help, and we care about your child’s well-being. Call our Des Moines office at 515-302-6764 or send an online message.