Civil Lawsuits on the Rise for Schools Allowing Bullying


March 16, 2011

The heightened awareness by the public of the dangers that on-campus bullying can cause is creating a firestorm for some school districts. From mothers who file personal injury lawsuits alleging their son or daughter is being bullied on a school bus, to lawsuits filed as a result of children who attempt suicide, to lawsuits alleging sexually aggressive behavior and taunting, school districts around the country are feeling the heat from parents who are fighting back.

School districts in Atlanta that allow students to be bullied are prime targets for civil lawsuits. School officials cannot simply turn a blind eye to the bullying and intimidation of the students entrusted to their care.

Your child may be entitled to compensation if he or she has been harmed mentally, physically, or emotionally as a result of bullying. The experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, are dedicated to providing exceptional legal representation as part of our goal to be the best personal injury law firm in Atlanta and throughout all of Georgia. Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers have been representing those who are injured by the negligent or intentional conduct of others throughout Georgia for over 27 years.

At present, 44 states have rallied to the cause of protecting children who are intimidated and bullied by enacting anti-bullying statutes, which detail the procedures and responsibilities for dealing with bullying. While bullying claims are relatively difficult to prove in state courts because knowledge of the bullying act must be proven, many bullying cases are filed as sexual harassment or racial lawsuits in federal courts, alleging a violation of Title VI or Title IX. At the federal court level, bullying cases carry a different standard of liability and a case can be made if it can be shown a school acted with deliberate indifference and that harassment approached a severe level.

Bullying Can Have Long-Term Consequences

When bullying is left unchecked by school authorities, the effects can be devastating for victims. Self-esteem problems, difficulty making friends and a fear of school can haunt children for years and seriously impact their emotional and mental development. Contrary to popular belief, bullying is not just a problem that boys encounter. Girls are just as prone to become a victim of bullying from other girls who are intent on making life miserable. Children who are bullied can become isolated, withdrawn, depressed and even suicidal.

What Constitutes Teacher Negligence?

A court may impose liability on administrators, school faculty members and educators who fail to take adequate care to protect students from being bullied. We expect teachers to provide an education along with a safe environment for our children. If injury to a child occurs while in the care of a teacher, the teacher can be held responsible for emotional or physical trauma resulting from bullying.

Teachers sometimes overlook or even fail to notice when a student is being bullied. When this occurs, teachers, administrators or faculty members can be held liable for breaching his or her duty as a caregiver to our students. A lawsuit based on a school official's failure to prevent bullying will focus on the school official's actions or inactions compared to those of a "reasonable" teacher in a similar situation.

If you have a child attending school in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia and notice he or she has a loss of appetite, evidence of physical trauma, or a sudden lack of interest in school, it could be the result of bullying. The compassionate attorneys at the law firm of Montlick and Associates are skilled in handling personal injury cases where a child's mind, body or emotions have been harmed. Our experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys will provide you with a free consultation to evaluate your situation and work hard to get you the best result possible.

Our experienced Georgia personal injury attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and 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.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.