Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
It can be devastating to hear that your child has been bullied at school. Children often do not tell parents about harassment until the situation has already caused them to suffer from physical injuries and great emotional harm. There are some steps that you can take as a parent to stop bullying, including pursuing legal remedies.
If you have questions about how to help your child if they’re being bullied, contact the injury attorneys of Kisling, Nestico & Redick today. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free consultation of your case, or reach out through the online form.
What to Do if Your Child Discloses They’ve Been Bullied
The first thing you need to do as a parent is to find out exactly what is going on. It is a good idea to ask about where bullying occurred, who was involved, and any times and dates that your child remembers. Ask your child to write down how the events made them feel. Communicate to your son or daughter that the bullying is not their fault.
You will also want to know if your child spoke to any adults in charge of supervising them at the time the bullying occurred or afterward, as well as the response. If you were notified of the incident, write down what you were told about it, and when you were notified. This may be important later if the situation doesn’t change.
Know the Signs
Many children are reluctant to report bullying at first. Being alert and aware of childhood bullying can help stop it sooner. Unfortunately, many children are so afraid to report that they are being bullied that they will go to great lengths to hide what is going on.
Be alert for any changes in your child’s behavior, such as a change in how much they sleep or eat and talk to you about school and friends. If your child suddenly stops talking about how things are at school, ask specific questions about how things are in the classroom and during other activities. Some of the most common signs that your child is a victim of bullying includes:
- Being afraid or reluctant to go to school
- Having unexplained bruises, scrapes, or cuts
- Coming home with damaged clothing or books
- Changes in mood, especially if a child suddenly becomes sad or irritable
- Avoids going to school or loses interest in activities
- Seems socially isolated and is not invited to events such as birthday parties
- Changes in how much the child sleeps or bad dreams
- Reluctance to talk about friends
Teach Your Child
Teaching your child skills to cope with bullying can help them avoid it in some cases. You should also teach your child how to avoid the consequences of striking back. Your child must understand that physical aggression is not acceptable, and that they should walk away and tell an adult if they were targeted for a fight.
Teach your children which adults they should talk to if they need to report bullying, and how to report it. An incident is more likely to be taken seriously if a report includes precise details such as when and where it occurred, and what the child has done to try and stop the bullying on their own.
Contacting School Officials
If your child has been bullied at school, contacting administrators such as teachers and principals is important to ensure that the school has been put on notice that they need to take action to ensure that bullying does not continue. Failing to take steps can result in school districts being held liable for not acting sooner.
Try to stick to facts whenever possible. It is easy to get emotional, but you will get farther being specific about times, places, and events when it comes to reporting bullying. If your child’s teachers and guidance counselors don’t seem to be taking the situation seriously, get a principal or superintendent involved.
What if Nothing Changes?
If your child has been relentlessly bullied at a school or any other place where adults should have stopped it from occurring, it might be time to take legal action. An attorney can help you take the proper steps for reporting the bullying to administrators and authorities and follow up about handling your claim appropriately. If bullying has caused extreme stress in your child and officials have failed to do anything about it, you should consider filing a lawsuit.
Speak to an Ohio Attorney for Help Today
Do you have concerns about your child being bullied? Our lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick can let you know about your legal options to hold institutions that allow bullying liable, and fight to get the bullying to stop. To schedule a free consultation of your case, fill out our online form or call 1-800-HURT-NOW.