Bullying affects students of all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ethnicities. One of your primary concerns as a parent or guardian is ensuring your children's safety and well-being.
Unfortunately, bullying in schools is a widespread problem that can have long-term consequences for victims and their families. The issue is just as prevalent in Las Vegas.
Eric Blank Injury Attorneys understands the legal complexities and emotional toll of these cases as a personal injury law firm that specializes in representing victims of school bullying.
What exactly is school bullying?
Bullying in school is defined as any repeated, intentional behavior intended to harm or intimidate another person. Physical violence, verbal abuse, social exclusion, and cyberbullying are all examples of bullying. Bullying in school can occur in a variety of settings, including the playground, the classroom, and online.
Bullying is a widespread issue in the United States, including Las Vegas. According to a Clark County School District study, nearly 30% of Las Vegas middle and high school students reported being bullied in the previous year. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, one in every five students in grades six through twelve has been bullied.
Forms of School Bullying
Bullying in school can take many forms, including physical, verbal, and social bullying.
Physical bullying involves physical harm or violence, such as hitting, kicking, or pushing.
Verbal bullying includes insults, name-calling, and other forms of verbal abuse.
Social bullying involves excluding someone from a group or spreading rumors about them.
Cyberbullying is a relatively new form of bullying that takes place online and can include harassing messages, threatening emails, or hurtful social media posts.
Impacts of Bullying on Victims
Bullying can have serious consequences for victims, both short and long-term, including:
- Physical symptoms: Victims of bullying often experience physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and insomnia as a result of the stress and fear caused by the bullying.
- Mental health issues: Bullying can also lead to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. These issues can persist long after the bullying has ended, affecting the victim's quality of life.
- Self-harm and suicide: In severe cases, bullying can even lead to self-harm or suicide. The fear and isolation caused by bullying can be overwhelming, leading some victims to take drastic measures to escape their torment.
Bullying can also have a detrimental effect on a victim's academic performance and social relationships, including:
- Academic performance: The fear and anxiety that bullying creates can make it difficult for a victim to concentrate in class, leading to lower grades and a decreased desire to attend school.
- Social relationships: Victims may struggle to form healthy friendships or to trust others, which can have long-lasting effects on their social and emotional development. Bullying can also lead to isolation and a sense of alienation from peers, making it difficult for victims to feel like they belong.
Addressing Bullying in Las Vegas Schools
Las Vegas schools have policies in place to address bullying, but these policies can vary from school to school. Some important points to consider include:
- Comprehensive anti-bullying policy: The Clark County School District has a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that outlines the procedures for reporting, investigating, and disciplining bullying incidents. This policy helps ensure that schools take bullying seriously and that appropriate action is taken to address incidents when they occur.
- State law prohibiting bullying: Nevada state law also prohibits bullying and requires schools to have policies in place to prevent and respond to bullying incidents. This law provides an additional layer of protection for students and helps to ensure that schools are held accountable for addressing bullying.
- Liability for schools: Under these policies and laws, schools can be held liable for failing to take appropriate action to prevent or address bullying. This means that schools have a legal obligation to take bullying seriously and to take steps to prevent and address incidents when they occur.
Indicators of School Bullying
It can be difficult to identify signs of bullying, especially if a child is afraid or embarrassed to talk about it. The following are some common signs of bullying in school:
- Physical injuries, such as bruises, cuts, or scratches
- Changes in behavior, such as withdrawal, moodiness, or aggression
- Changes in academic performance, such as a drop in grades or a lack of interest in school
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Complaints of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical symptoms
Who is Responsible for School Bullying?
Many different parties can be blamed for school bullying, including the bully themselves, other students who encourage or participate in the bullying, and school administrators who fail to address the issue appropriately. In some cases, parents of the bully or the victim may also be held responsible for failing to address the behavior or for creating an environment that fosters bullying.
School Bullying Lawsuits in the US
Several lawsuits, verdicts, and settlements demonstrate the seriousness of school bullying and the steps that can be taken to hold responsible parties accountable.
Here are a few examples:
- $4.2 Million Settlement: In 2013, a mother in Missouri was awarded a $4.2 million settlement after her son committed suicide due to severe bullying at his school. The lawsuit alleged that school officials failed to take adequate measures to stop the bullying.
- $500,000 Verdict: In 2017, a jury in New Jersey awarded $500,000 to a student who was bullied for years in middle school. The lawsuit alleged that the school failed to take action to stop the bullying despite numerous complaints.
- $125,000 Settlement: In 2019, a family in Indiana received a $125,000 settlement after their son was bullied at school and suffered a broken arm. The lawsuit alleged that school officials failed to intervene and stop the bullying.
- $60,000 Settlement: In 2020, a family in Las Vegas received a $60,000 settlement after their son was bullied at school and suffered a concussion. The lawsuit alleged that the school failed to take action to prevent the bullying.
- $150,000 Settlement: In 2021, a family in Wisconsin received a $150,000 settlement after their daughter was bullied at school and suffered a concussion. The lawsuit alleged that the school failed to take adequate measures to protect the victim from bullying.
Taking Legal Action Against the Responsible Parties
If you or a loved one has been the victim of school bullying, you may be entitled to a compensation. Filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties can help to hold them accountable for their actions and prevent future bullying incidents.
When filing a school bullying lawsuit, it is important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that your rights are protected. Your lawyer can also help you gather evidence, document the incidents, and negotiate a settlement or take your case to trial if necessary.
Claims for School Bullying
The following are the types of claims you can make for school bullying:
- Negligent supervision is a claim that the school or another responsible party failed to adequately supervise the bully or took appropriate action to prevent or stop the bullying. This claim may be filed in Las Vegas under the legal theory of negligence.
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress: This is a claim that the bully purposefully engaged in extreme and outrageous behavior that caused the victim severe emotional distress. This claim may be filed in Las Vegas under the legal theory of intentional torts.
- Defamation: A claim that the bully made false and harmful statements about the victim that harmed or damaged their reputation. This claim may be filed in Las Vegas under the legal theory of defamation.
- Assault and battery: This is a claim that the bully physically attacked or threatened the victim, inflicting harm or fear on them. This claim may be filed in Las Vegas under the legal theory of intentional torts.
- Civil rights violation: This is a claim that the victim's civil rights, such as their right to an education free of discrimination and harassment, were violated as a result of the bullying. This claim may be filed in Las Vegas under the legal theory of civil rights violations.
How Eric Blank Injury Attorneys Helped Bullying Victims
At Eric Blank Injury Attorneys, we understand the impact bullying can have on a person's life and the legal complexities of school bullying cases and can help you navigate the legal system at. Our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of school bullying.
At Eric Blank Injury Attorneys, we can help you:
- Understand your legal options and rights
- Investigate and gather evidence to support your case
- File a lawsuit against the responsible parties
- Negotiate with insurance companies and other parties involved in the case
- Represent you in court, if necessary
To learn more, contact Eric Blank Injury Attorneys today at (702) 222-2115 or visit www.ericblanklaw.com for a free consultation.