Protecting Your Child Against Bullying In School
In the aftermath of the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, there has been much discussion over the issue of school bullying. While not every student who is bullied acts out against others, the experience can leave lasting emotional scars. In some cases, bullying escalates to the point of physical altercations and acts of violence, resulting in serious and potentially life threatening personal injuries for the victim. Schools can be held accountable for failing to take action in these situations, and may be liable for pain, suffering, and the medical costs you incur as your child recovers.
Twenty Years Later, Parents of Bullied South Florida Boy Get Settlement
In late March, 2018, the Sun Sentinel reported that a local case involving school bullying had finally been settled, roughly 20 years after the actual incident occurred. It involved a disabled Palm Beach County middle school student who was shot and killed by another student.
The victim, John Pierre, was a seventh grader at the school. He was relentlessly bullied by 14-year-old Tronneal Mangum, who in addition to frequently pushing and shoving the victim, would kick his prosthetic leg. Mangum also reportedly stolen personal items from the child, including an expensive watch he had recently received as a gift from his mother.
Pierre approached Magnum in school on Jan. 27, 1997, demanding the boy return his watch. A shoving match ensued and Magnum pulled out a gun, shooting Pierre in the chest. He died at the scene. Both Pierre and his parents had reported the bullying, yet school officials failed to provide any practical assistance. Twenty years after losing their son, the parents are set to receive $360,000 through a newly approved legislative bill requiring state and local agencies to resolve cases in which someone had been injured or killed. The money was in addition to the $200,000 the school district gave the parents at the time of the murder.
Holding Schools Accountable
While the above case highlights the physical danger your child could face as the result of bullying, it can cause serious emotional harm as well. According to StopBullying.gov, bullying can lead children to become depressed and withdrawn, impacting their education and their social life. In some cases, bullying can cause a student to act out against others, or even to take their own lives.
There are a variety of different types of bullying, all of which should be taken seriously by school personnel. These include:
- Making threats and using intimidation;
- Name calling and spreading rumors about the victim;
- Theft and destruction of property;
- Sexual harassment and abuse;
- Pushing, shoving, and other acts of assault.
When school officials fail to protect your child against the above types of bullying, they can be held liable through a personal injury lawsuit.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If your child suffers emotional or physical harm as the result of school bullies, our Florida personal injury attorney is here to help. Contact the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III and request a consultation to discuss the options available and the types of compensation you may be entitled to.