Bullying has become an epidemic in American schools. Every day, hundreds of thousands of students are subjected to humiliating experiences by their classmates or, in some cases, by teachers and administrators. Though steps are being taken nationwide to address this issue, many school districts and individual schools are woefully behind the times in instituting common-sense precautions to minimize the effects of bullying.
Though some degree of responsibility rests with the students themselves, school officials must intervene when bullying becomes dangerous. In some instances, the bullying is dangerous because the bullies are physically violent or emotionally abusive to the extent it causes physical or psychological damage. But the bullies themselves aren’t the only people who can become dangerous.
A September 28th, 2017 incident at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation is drawing attention to what happens when the bullied student lashes out. In this instance, bullying at the Bronx school was so bad that one student snapped, stabbing and killing one of his classmates.
The student who perpetrated the attack will be judged in the criminal system. But the school administration itself, which had previously determined there was no need for a metal detector or other safety precautions, could escape without accountability. The mayor and other school officials believe that because this was the first student death in years, people should ignore the violence regularly faced by students. But there are stabbings and other assaults more regularly, with significant injuries.
If your child has been the victim of school violence, it is important to determine what steps the administration did and did not take to protect their vulnerable charges. Please, consult with an experienced attorney who can help you understand what legal expectations exist regarding protecting children in schools.