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legal implications of bullying Expand / Collapse
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Posted 25/10/2011 9:47:40 AM
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My 13 year old son has been a target for harassment by a classmate. During a class this boy commandered my sons school issued ipad, and proceeded to install pornographic content onto it and then attempted to get my son into trouble with the teacher for it. The school did not inform me of the incident. The boy was suspended for one day yet his harassment of my son continues. Firstly, did the school have an obligation to tell me about the incident? My son was too embarassed to tell me himself due to the explicit sexual content. Was the school obliged to provide counselling? What legalities have been breached? The school just wants to sweep this matter under the carpet. What action can I take? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thankyou.
Post #63936
Posted 2/11/2011 5:45:00 PM
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The trouble with schools and bullying these days is that the easy way is too-often sought when it comes to any form of harassment. Even if the parents of the bully *were* informed of what their son did, the school is not going to tell you. Especially in high schools - if your son is in high school, that is - the policy is for schools to tell as few people as possible, and hopefully it'll all go away.

From a legal standpoint, there is probably not much you can do, unless you find the school is refusing to talk about the incident at all. Then you could probably write a letter stating you are prepared to seek legal advice on the matter.

The problem is, the various state and territory education departments do not have concrete advice for students and parents about what should be done BY THE SCHOOL when a child has been bullied. It's basically all about what the bullied child should or shouldn't do. This leaves schools to be given carte-blanche to focus on the victim, who is less likely than the bully to react in an assertive/aggressive manner. The bully's parents, too, will probably not be informed because the school doesn't want to deal with the "how dare you - my child would never....".

In your case, if you feel the school has not done enough or, indeed, anything, to deal with this incident, and the harassment is continuing, I would advise you keep on at whichever staff member deals with such issues (class teacher, year level co-ordinator, assistant principal, etc.) until they cave in. If it's a state school, you can threaten to go to the education department about it, or even local media.

Sorry if I haven't been of any help. It's an awful situation and I totally empathise!

Fiona
Post #64164
Posted 3/11/2011 10:13:20 AM
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Thankyou so much for taking the time to read my post and reply. This issue of bullying does need more attention and parents and children need to be empowered will the knowledge of what action they can take. I intend to sift through the various acts to find out. Too many children are suffering in silence as when they speak out they're not heard or worse still, blamed for being bullied. Again, many thanks.
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