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Can I sue if my child is being bullied?

There can be almost no greater heartbreak as a parent than to find out students are tormenting your child at school. Schoolyard bullying is not a new occurrence, but it seems to have escalated to disturbing heights with the prevalence of social media. Like other parents in Ohio, you may feel upset and shocked to hear about the cruelty that kids can inflict on each other online and in person.

How serious is bullying? In addition to inflicting physical harm upon your child, a bully can cause emotional pain and psychological problems that may endure years after the bullying situation ends. Unfortunately, many parents and school administrators fail to adequately address the issue when it comes up at their school, choosing to adopt a “kids will be kids” attitude or to falsely claim that they took care of the problem. This occurs at the same time that many school districts have enacted anti-bullying policies.

Bullying situations your child may be subjected to may include the following:

  • Physical intimidation or attacks – threatening to beat your child up, shoving him during breaks or assaulting your child
  • Food allergy bullying – terrifying your child by exposing her to a known allergen or sneaking the allergen into her food and making her sick
  • Electronic harassment – taunting, insulting and threatening your child with text messages and social media posts
  • “Mob mentality” bullying – getting peers involved, especially with online bullying

If your child is a victim of bullying, it is wise to discuss the problem with your child's school and the bully’s parents. You may have legal recourse if the school administrators or the parents do not take reasonable measures to stop your child from the torment. You don’t have to put up with physical assaults and harassment by adults at work and elsewhere. Your child shouldn’t have to endure this behavior either.

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