Are Bullying Lawsuits on the Rise? - Law and Daily Life

Are Bullying Lawsuits on the Rise? - Law and Daily Life

Are bullying lawsuits on the rise? Parents
and teachers everywhere have become more aware of the dangers of
bullying and cyberbullying in both the classroom and on the Internet.

Many parents are now turning to the law to try to ensure their children's safety and welfare.

In turn, it seems that the number of bullying lawsuits filed in court is on the rise.

While there aren't any hard
and fast statistics about the number of bullying lawsuits, the General
Counsel for the National School Boards Association, Francisco Negron,
says that "anecdotal evidence shows an obvious increase," USA Today reports.

One bullying lawsuit centers on the tragic case of Jon Carmichael.
Jon was only 13-years-old when he committed suicide, which his parents
believe was spurred by bullying. After his death, his parents, Jon
Timothy and Tani Carmichael, filed a $20 million lawsuit against the
school district, according to USA Today.

They allege that the school district repeatedly failed to take action
against Jon's bullies, who flushed his head in a toilet and threw him
into a trash can. In one incident, Jon was tied up naked and put in a
trash can. The entire event was captured on film, which was posted on
YouTube before it was taken down, reports USA Today.

How is it that parents like the Carmichaels can sue schools and school districts over bullying perpetrated by students?

It's because many states have passed laws that discourage bullying.
Many schools are required to have policies in place that to reduce the
number of bullying incidences, including policies that address the
occurrence of cyberbullying. If the school doesn't enforce these
policies, they could become legally liable.

While there is no specific federal law that addresses bullying directly,
parents can file suits under equal protection laws if schools don't
take action against bullies or try to stop incidents of bullying. This may
be the route that many bullying lawsuits will take until more
legislation is enacted that specifically targets bullying and

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