Unfortunately, bullying at school is a problem that parents and students deal with far too often these days.  Parents whose children have been bullied at school are well-advised to deal with the problem as soon as it comes up.  Otherwise, it will not be seriously or adequately addressed.

I recently had a case involving a high school student who had been bullied severely by the same students for more than a year.  The bullying got so bad that the student theatened suicide and had to be hospitalized for a few days before it was determined that he was not in danger.  Luckily, this student ended up being fine, but this situation should have been resolved much earlier.  This student’s action was a call for help to school officials who ignored what was going on in their school and tolerated behavior that was unacceptable.  The parent of this student and I worked with the school to develop a safety plan that ensured that no bullying would take place in the future.  The student is now safe and successful.  

If your child is being bullied at school, you should address the issue right away. Demand a meeting with the school principal.  If he or she declines to meet with you, take it up a level to central administration and the school superintendent. Most larger school districts will have a parent liaison who addresses parent concerns.  Get in touch with that person if need be.  Do anything you can to get the school’s attention.  

If the school is still unresponsive — which, sadly, happens far too often — you will find that the presence of an attorney can do a great deal to change the situation by forcing school officials to pay attention.  Do not allow the situation to fester, however, or it could lead to much more severe probems.  The longer that a student is bullying, the greater a toll it takes on his or her emotional development.  

Igor Raykin