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Child Injury

Many of us experienced some sort of bullying when we were kids. It was, unfortunately, part of the school experience, particularly for kids who were perceived to be “different” in some way from most of their classmates.

Today, bullying extends past the halls and playgrounds of schools. It follows kids home via cyberbullying. Social media, texting and phone calls have been used to torment young people, sometimes to the point where they’ve taken their own lives.

States have taken notice of the damage done by bullying and have enacted anti-bullying laws. Although there is no federal law against bullying currently, there are nondiscrimination and civil rights laws at the federal level that mandate schools to take action against some kinds of bullying — for example if the victim of the bullying is gay, transgender or disabled.

State anti-bullying laws define bullying in different ways. Here in Texas, it includes any verbal, written or physical act that harms a student and/or his or her property or that creates a threatening, abusive or intimidating educational environment.

Most state anti-bullying laws detail behaviors such as threats, harassment, teasing, intimidation and public humiliation as well as physical violence and theft. Schools and their staff members are often provided with guidance under the law for dealing with bullying.

If your child has been bullied at school and you don’t believe that staff members have taken adequate steps to put an end to it, you may be able to hold the school district as well as specific individuals liable. If the bullying has continued outside of the school, such as via social media, texting or even at your home, you may be able to hold the parents of the perpetrator(s) liable, particularly if a child has been physically injured or injured him/herself as a result. An experienced Texas personal injury can provide guidance on your options.

Source: FindLaw, “Specific State Laws Against Bullying,” accessed March 24, 2017

Author Photo

Michael Zimmerman

Michael was born in Houston, Texas. His education at Baylor and Texas State Universities earned him a Bachelor of Science degree in 1987. His major was in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry. He finished his legal education at Texas Southern University in 1990, earning a Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1990.

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