The Ohio Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case concerning whether educators recklessly failed to prevent injuries to students as a result of bullying. The victim, in this case, is a young girl at Toledo’s DeVeaux Elementary School who reportedly had her cheek punctured with a bully’s pencil. A lower court has already held that the teacher and two principals are immune from being sued in the matter, but a state appeals court decision reversed the decision on a recklessness issue.
The appeals court determined that while there was evidence of physical and verbal bullying, there was no sign of efforts made to keep the girls separate. Instead, school workers reported that they spoke with both students after being informed about the bullying. Lawyers on behalf of the teachers now argue that the appeals court’s decision should be overturned because it would dissuade future teachers from entering the field. The local teacher’s union has also argued that approximately 130,000 teachers throughout the state would be affected.
Bullying is serious and affects numerous children in Ohio each year. The following information will review some steps that you should take if your child is subject to bullying.
Ohio Has Bullying Laws
Several laws in Ohio protect children from being bullied. These include the following:
- Requirements that Ohio school districts establish policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
- Laws that encourage districts to form bullying prevention task forces, programs, and other initiatives that include law enforcement, parents, and volunteers.
- Laws requiring each board of education in Ohio to incorporate training on the board’s bullying, harassment, and intimidation policies.
- Laws that require districts to develop anti-bullying policies in consultation with parents, school workers, and community members.
- School districts must include in policies a requirement that custodial parents or guardians of any students involved in a prohibited incident be notified and given access to any written reports related to the prohibited incident.
- In addition to these regulations, if you believe that your child is being bullied, you should also refer to the school’s code of conduct.
You should talk to your child daily and ask open questions about how school is going. Many times, when bullying is occurring, parents have a hard time even finding out about it. Actively listening to your children’s complaints and concerns can go a long way.
File a Complaint with the School
If you believe that your child is being bullied, one of the best steps to take is to contact the child’s teacher or principal to explain what is happening. Based on the situation, it is critical to include in writing as many details about the dates on which the bullying occurred. Record keeping about acts of bullying should be as detailed as possible.
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School bullying is a serious matter and can result in serious injuries as well as substantial losses for the victim. If you have been impacted, you need the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer who will fight to make sure your rights are protected. Call me, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®.