It is time to put a stop to bullying. Recent news headlines have shown what a devastating effect it has on our children. It is no longer something we can turn a blind eye to. According to DoSomething.com over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year. 1 in 4 teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene 4 percent of the time. Approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying. 1 in 7 students in grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying. 56 percent of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school. Over two-thirds of students believe that schools respond poorly to bullying, with a high percentage of students believing that adult help is infrequent and ineffective. 71 percent of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school. 90 percent of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying. 1 out 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying. Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75 percent of school-shooting incidents. Physical bullying increases in elementary school, peaks in middle school and declines in high school.
As a consequence, 49 states have implemented anti-bullying laws that require schools to take appropriate action to address and prevent bullying. Although there is no federal anti-bullying law, schools are obligated to address harassment and discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability or religion. Nevertheless, many schools fail to follow the law and fail to follow their own anti-bullying policies. Many school officials and teachers have not received proper training on how to respond to bullying. In many instances of bullying at school, no parent, teacher or adult intervenes.
Parents and schools need to be held accountable for bullying activities. Often, phone calls to the principal are not enough. School administrators and teachers need to play a vital and active role in not only preventing bullying, but stopping it when it occurs. Parents also need to be educated on the devastating psychological impact and harm in bullying and share what they learn with their children.
Through litigation in the court system, justice for bullying victims and their families can be sought and systemic changes within school districts through injunctive relief requiring training and education can be obtained.
The Law Office of Frederick S. Schwartz in Sherman Oaks, California is actively investigating instances of bullying, especially in the school setting. Attorney Frederick Schwartz is committed to stopping bullying and welcomes any inquiries on this issue or other issues of discrimination or harassment.