Bus Driver Elects Not to Physically Intervene to Protect Boy Being Pummeled by Bullies
Our Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys at Montlick and Associates are committed to taking actions to help prevent and stop bullying. As part of that commitment, we have partnered with Children Without a Voice USA (cwavusa.org) to be the founding sponsor of a national anti-bullying organization, A4K, the Ambassadors for Kids Club (a4kclub.org). Despite the increased awareness in schools of the potential risk of serious physical and/or emotional injury caused by bullying, sometimes school personnel or others that operate youth activities fail to take adequate steps to protect kids from abuse.
A recent example reported on Fox News raises questions about the level of intervention which should be taken by school administrators, teachers and staff to prevent or terminate attacks by bullies. According to the Fox report, the police recommended charging a bus driver who failed to physically intervene to protect a boy who was brutally beaten on the bus by three other kids. Although the prosecutor elected not to pursue criminal charges, the police chief that recommended criminal charges against the bus driver stood by his position that the bus driver’s actions were criminal.
The Fox video shows the three boys pummeling and stomping the bullying victim more than twenty times as about a minute in time elapses. While the bus driver did eventually yell at the assailants and instruct them to stop, he never physically attempted to break up the fight. The video also appears to show that the bus driver did not even attempt to verbally stop the attack until the beating had gone on for over a minute. When the bus driver finally yells at the boys, they did comply and discontinue the attack.
While it is not clear at this time whether the parents of the boy will pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the school district, the bullying victim suffered two black eyes and a broken arm during the violent physical beating. A growing number of lawsuits have been brought against the parents of bullies, school districts and other parties who have failed to take sufficient actions to stop bullying that ultimately led to serious injury, suicides or other forms of harm. There are a range of questions that may be relevant in determining whether a situation like this will result in liability by school personnel or the school district that include:
- Training provided to the bus driver to handle this type of situation
- The school district’s polices regarding physical intervention to stop an assault
- Reasonableness of the delay in verbally attempting to stop the fight or radio for help
- Sufficiency of the intervention taken by the bus driver
- Action taken against the bullies following any prior incidents of violence
Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.