Many parents whose children are bullied often report that they are unable to get help from the school, school administrators and/or law enforcement. Except in extreme cases, such as the Tyler Clementi case last year, law enforcement may be too busy to get involved.
Lack of sympathy in bullying situations is nothing new. In essence, the culture of insensitivity is what breeds bullying. Sadly, bullying is on the rise. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, since 2003, reports of bullying have increased by nearly 25% among 12-18 year olds.
In addition, cyberbullying is also on the rise. Students are using social media, videos, email, etc. to carry out acts of bullying. Considering the extent to which young people use the internet, cyberbullying can be just as damaging as in person or physical bullying.
Children and teens who experience bullying often suffer in very serious ways. Anxiety, depression, weight gain/loss, loss of confidence, decreased interest in school, etc. are just some of the many ways in which bullied children and teens suffer. In extreme cases, parents may be forced to enroll their child in a new school. In some cases, bullying victims take their own lives.
Civil (Tort) Remedies in Bullying & Cyberbullying Cases
What many parents do not know is that their child may have civil remedies. This is especially important when law enforcement and/or school administrators are unhelpful. Civil causes of action are designed to right a wrong, and they are completely independent of any criminal or school investigation. In other words, you do not have to succeed in a criminal case in order to succeed in a civil one. Essentially, the bully is sued in a civil court and eventually may be ordered to pay civil damages to the victim. In addition, other parties may be held liable, depending on the circumstances:
- parents of the bully who acquiesced or otherwise approved the acts,
- other students who encouraged the bullying, and
- schools and school administrators who failed to respond appropriately.
Bullying, including cyberbullying, must be stopped. While many states have enacted laws to help schools deal with bullying, it still occurs and still causes significant harm to victims.
Related Legal Articles:
- Who are the Parties in a Civil Bullying Case?
- Civil Liability in School Sex Abuse Cases – What Claims are Usually Made?
- New Jersey School Administrator Charged with Lying to Police about Potential Sex Abuse of a Student
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Bullying Lawyers
If your child was the victim of bullying or cyberbullying and you would like to discuss a potential civil case, please call 800-220-7600 and ask to speak to Brian Kent. Mr. Kent is a former prosecutor who now brings civil claims on behalf of victims of crime, including victims of bullying.
Our attorneys serve bullying victims in the following areas: Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; New Castle County, DE; Kent County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can also obtain special admission in other states such as New York or Delaware on a case by case basis.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.