Sadly, South Carolina is among the top ten schools with serious bullying problems in 2016. This certainly is not something that we are proud of, but we can do something about it. Before we discuss whether or not you might have a South Carolina personal injury claim against a school bully, the school itself, or the bully’s parents, let’s take a look at the statistics.
- South Carolina and Louisiana are tied for number one among states where high school students avoid school for fear of being bullied.
- South Carolina has the seventh most high schooler suicide attempts due to bullying.
- More than 160,000 students skip school each day in the US to avoid bullying.
- Recent tragedies include a nine year old child committing suicide in 2016 and a 13 year old committing suicide in 2014, both due to bullying at school.
Understanding What Bullying Is and How it Happens
While children often have arguments and frequently roughhouse, bullying is something else entirely. It includes mean-spirited behaviors like name calling that can turn into verbal abuse, shaming children, cyber bullying (online), and even physical violence, often to the extreme. It happens to boys and girls equally, and boys and girls are equally responsible for being bullies.
With cyber bullying, we have opened a whole new doorway to taking bullying to the greatest extremes. Social media allows for many bullies to gang up on a child with shaming remarks, insults, and outright verbal abuse and threats online. The sheer numbers and public nature of it is enough to overwhelm many children, and many victims avoid school altogether or even take their own lives to escape the torment of their bullying peers.
How to Know if Your Child is Being Bullied at School
Children don’t always want to tell their parents or other adults when bullying is taking place. They may be ashamed of it or afraid of making things worse by telling an adult. However, there are some signs that you can look for, as a parent, to know that something might be wrong.
If your child formerly enjoyed school, but would rather stay home these days, that might be an indication of bullying. A decline in grades and quality of work is another indication. If you start to notice regular injuries on your child that he or she cannot or will not explain, then this is something to be aware of and take note of.
You should also be vigilant to any changes in your child’s behavior, such as remaining alone all the time, not wanting to play with friends, or not having any friends. Moodiness, depression, and anxiety can also suggest that there might be a bullying problem. You may also notice changes in appetite or sleep patterns, as well as physical complaints, like stomachaches.
South Carolina’s Laws Against Bullying
Although South Carolina is in the top ten of states with serious bullying issues in 2016, we are also in the top seven of states with the best laws against bullying and cyber bullying. We have coherent and thorough procedures in place for investigating bullying, responding and intervening, and protecting victims of bullying. Our state takes steps to include parents and law enforcement as necessary.
In South Carolina, bullying is a serious offense, and it includes any behaviors, words, actions, or online communication that physically or emotionally harms a student or damages the property of the student. It also includes any actions that cause a student to become fearful of such harm and any behavior that insults or verbally abuses students or any group of students in such a way that disrupts normal school activities.
What to Do if Your Child is Being Bullied
The first thing that you need to do when you find out that your child is being bullied is to get the school involved. There’s a good chance that the school officials don’t know about it yet. You can attempt to seek a solution within the school, with the parents of the bullying child, and with that child, him or herself. However, if you do not feel comfortable with the approach taken by the school, if you don’t feel that the issue was adequately resolved, or if the bullying continues or grows worse, then you should not hesitate to contact a determined Greenville, South Carolina personal injury attorney.
Contact Bryan Ramey & Associates to Address Child Bullying
When you cannot find appropriate solutions to the problem of child bullying in your child’s school or if serious damage has already occurred, then you may need an attorney to help you pursue a claim against the school or the parents of the bully. Taking legal action is not your only option, and generally not the first step; however, when other attempts to address the situation fail, the attorneys at Bryan Ramey & Associates are here for you. We’ll protect the rights of yourself and your child and work to ensure that the situation is finally and effectively resolved.