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Taking legal action for bullying injuries at school

Unfortunately, bullying at schools is a continued issue across the United States despite extended efforts to prevent it. Becoming a victim of bullying can severely affect a child's self-esteem, their academic success at school and their mental health. They may also suffer physical injuries as a result of being injured at school.

If your child recently suffered injuries at school due to being bullied, you should take action to protect them from future abuse. The school, in this case, failed to protect your child from injury, and, as a result, they had to go through significant pain and suffering. The following are some things to consider before taking legal action on behalf of your injured child.

The difference between bullying and harassment

While you may consider the acts that your child was subject to as bullying, they may, in fact, count as forms of harassment under the law. Bullying counts as any severe or pervasive act that causes fear of harm, or that interferes with academic activities.

Harassment, however, has a slightly different meaning. When the act of bullying is carried out on the basis of a person's race, national origin or other protected characteristics, the behavior counts as harassment.

When are schools liable for damages associated with bullying?

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1999 ruled that school officials can be held liable for bullying, but only when they act with deliberate indifference when they witness acts of bullying that are severe and pervasive enough to prevent the victim from gaining access to an educational opportunity.

How do I know if my case would result in a successful liability claim?

If you intend to take legal action against your child's school, you must be able to show that the harm that your child was victim to was ultimately foreseeable and direct. You should also then be able to successfully argue that the school in question willfully disregarded the safety of your child and that they, therefore, created an opportunity for an injury to occur.

You must hold your child's school accountable for the damages that it caused. To do this successfully, start by learning more about the law. From there, you will be better equipped to take legal action.

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